10 Ways You Know You’re a Penn Law Student (Or Should Be!)

Hannah Glass L’17 shares her field guide for spotting a Penn Law student.

1. You use the word “collegial” to describe the culture at Penn Law, because even if it’s overused, it also happens to be true…

Penn Law students know that the word “collegiality” shouldn’t be thrown around lightly. For us, collegiality defines our law school experience. It means sending notes to your friend who missed class before they even have to ask. It means sharing outlines and texting your friends the questions your professor answered during office hours. It means pie eating contests, pumpkin carving contests, and knowing everybody in the administration by their first name.

2. A Wawa gift card is the best holiday present you could imagine.

If you don’t know what Wawa is, don’t worry — you will. Wawa is so much more than a convenience store. Where else can you get good coffee, delicious and affordable deli sandwiches, a free ATM, milkshakes, and prepared snacks? There is a Wawa located right outside the Law School, and I promise it will become a welcome addition to your diet and lifestyle.

3. The words “goat” and “clock” have lost their usual meanings and are now synonyms for “friends and free food.”

“The Goat” and “The Clock” are the two main gathering areas in the Law School. If you are looking for your friends, they are either in the Goat or the Clock. If you are looking for free food, you can almost always find something there, too. This is where student groups advertise for upcoming events and where you can relax with friends in between classes.

4. You fell in love with Philadelphia without even realizing it.

Before you know it, you will become an expert at navigating the bustling streets of Center City, and you will become part of the diverse and captivating culture of this city. Warning: you will become a foodie — Philadelphia has the best restaurants. Specifically, Philadelphia is known for having several BYOB restaurants. To see what I mean, you can sign up for and attend a BYOB dinner with current students during Admitted Students Weekend!

5. You’ve been to professors’ homes and out to dinner with them.

Before the end of my first semester at law school, I had gone out to dinner with all of my 1L professors. One of them even opened up his home to our class and made us dinner. This is a great way to get to know your professors outside of class and learn about their impressive and interesting career paths.

6. You love to take snapchats of Locust Walk.

Locust Walk is a picturesque section of the University of Pennsylvania undergraduate campus. Located across the street from the law school, the campus provides law students with additional food options, beautiful study spaces, and gorgeous buildings.

7. You choose to spend (some) weekends and school breaks on trips with your Penn Law friends to places like Colombia, Israel, Greece, Cuba, skiing in Vermont, Japan, and more!

Whether you join the International Human Rights Advocacy group and volunteer at refugee camps in Greece or want to spend a weekend in New Orleans with your Law School friends, Penn Law students love to travel. There are several academic and volunteer-based travel opportunities offered each semester. If you want to get away for a weekend of fun, Penn Law students travel each year to Vermont for the annual “winter getaway” and to Virginia for the UVA Softball Championship.

8. There is a waitlist for the bowling league.

The bowling league is an honored tradition at Penn Law. Join the league and spend your Wednesday nights bowling at South Bowl in Philadelphia. This is a great way to meet upperclassmen and other law students you may not get to know in your 1L section.

9. You enjoy spending time using your legal skills to help the Philadelphia community.

Penn Law students do not isolate themselves from the community. Whether it is through your pro-bono project, your clinic, or as an extra-curricular activity, you will have the opportunity to engage with the community and make it a better place.

10. Once you’re a 3L, you would stay for three more years if you could!

My three years at Penn Law have been a blast! Law school is hard, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, too.