1L Diary: Introduction

By Thomas Durham, Staff Writer

Hello Vermont Law School, it is a pleasure to be here. My name is Thomas Durham, and I am a freshly arrived 1L. I am currently wondering how I am going to possibly get through law school, let alone a first year, which also happens to be plagued by pandemic. I am nervous. I am feeling daunted, scared and uncertain, but also excited. I know I am not alone.

This will be an ongoing segment in which I check in with other 1Ls to see how they are doing, what their life is like, and give them a small space to speak to the VLS community about their experiences here. In the process, together, we will be chronicling this period.

It seems only fair to start with myself, and so allow me to answer some of the questions I will ask those who are willing to participate in the 1L Diary.

I am from San Antonio, Texas, though I was born in Louisiana. I moved to Vermont, by way of Portland, Maine, from New Mexico, which is where I received my undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in English and Political Science. I was drawn to VLS because of its commitment to positive change for our country and ourselves. I respect that the law school’s community strives to create an inclusive student body who works together to bring about collective success. That seems to be a rather defiant and atypical practice for law schools.

I am currently progressing with a focus on restorative justice, but that could change, as I transition from a 1L to someone prepared to “practice law for the community and the world.” The prospect of this journey is one that I find a little intimidating, but I am already feeling better about it as I have encountered fellow students and professors. I realize now that I am not alone. We are not alone. Swans fly together.

I do not need to tell you that the world looks different than it did when many of us were first considering law school as a next step. I do not need to tell you that we are starting this process during a year that has seen and will see so much going on for our country that it is hard to keep track of it all. What I would like to tell you is that I admire the bravery of moving and starting an adventure during these times, one that is known, if not renowned, for its difficulty. It is that aspect of my class that I want to investigate. It is my hope that exposing this aspect of our class will help to uplift us all. I will be asking for candor, humor, hardship, and a glimpse into how 1Ls are faring. Afterall, Swans fly together. This may be an important mantra to embrace and incorporate now, as we are going to need each other.

I am glad we are here. Let us see where we can go. If anyone would like to be interviewed about the law school experience, please email Thomas Durham at ThomasDurham@vermontlaw.edu with “The Forum 1L Diary” as the subject.

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