By Ty Nagamatsu
As you may know, the Law Student Chronicles is a new column giving Docket readers a glimpse into what the typical law school experience is like for today’s law student. I’ll begin my chronicle with the disclaimer that my unique situation made aspects of my first semester far from typical—I started law school with a three-week-old baby!
In August, Baby Sloane and I frequently holed up in Crema Coffee House while I drafted my first memorandum on the Voluntary Payment Doctrine for Lawyering Process. (She hasn’t said her first word yet, but it will most likely be “Memo.” Fortunately for me, that sounds a good deal like “Momma.”)
Before the cool Autumn days were upon us, she and I would take long lunch breaks and walk down to our plot at the DU Bridge Community Garden for a change of scenery. Getting my hands dirty has always been therapeutic for me, and this past semester was no different. After a long day of being stuck indoors, there was nothing like eating an heirloom tomato right off the vine. I’m a big advocate of urban gardening, and with a law degree, I hope to contribute much more to this “growing” (pun intended) movement. Even some of our founding fathers were farmer-lawyers!
Sloane loved Torts, but she was a little concerned when we learned about parental immunity. I assured her that neither her dad nor I would ever have reason to invoke this immunity. Despite her best efforts, she had a hard time staying awake in Civil Procedure.
And then reading days rolled around, and I studied and studied and studied! Sloane did her part—always willing to hold a page. (I’ve since had to invest in an actual book holder because these days, there isn’t a piece of paper that doesn’t go straight into her mouth. My dog didn’t eat my homework; my baby did!)
Hours after my last final, we got bundled up and headed to the mountains to find a Christmas tree. It was the perfect ending to my first semester as a Colorado law student.
Last semester was quite a whirlwind, and Baby Sloane and I are very pleased to say we’re both still standing—well, I’m standing, she mostly just rolls at this point. People ask how we did it, and all I can attribute our success to is the support of an amazing partner, tremendously understanding classmates and professors, and the wonderfully supportive DU staff in Suite 115.
This second semester feels calmer already. Sloane and I have fallen into a solid rhythm, as have most of my classmates, and we’ve got a great lineup of classes: Property, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Lawyering Process. We don’t yet know what the summer has in store for us, but we’re both ready for the exciting new challenges ahead.
Ty Nagamatsu is a 1L at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Nagamatsu, a native New Englander, graduated in 2008 from Gordon College with a degree in political science. Before coming to Denver, she served with AmeriCorps for two years in Minnesota.
Editor’s note: We asked four 1L law students—two from Colorado Law and two from Denver Law—to submit articles for our new column, “Law Student Chronicles,” twice per year for five years. We will follow them through their educational journey, as well as join them as they venture out into the legal field.
Originally published in The Docket.