A Day in the Life of a UNC Law Student

A Day in the Life of a UNC Law Student

Hello everyone! I thought it might be fun to let y’all know what an average day as a UNC law student looks like. Of course, this isn’t exactly how everyday goes, but it’s an idea of what I get up to on the regular.

Baity Hill Apartments
Baity Hill Apartments

6.45am: Rise and shine.

Almost everyday is bright and clear here in Chapel Hill, this makes getting up in the morning a whole lot easier!

7.30am: Walk to the UNC Law School.

We live in the lovely graduate housing complex, Baity Hill. It’s about a twenty minute walk from the UNC School of Law, or a ten minute bus ride if you’re running late or feeling snoozy. I prefer walking to class because it’s a great way to wake up in the morning and I can grab a coffee on the way.

I walk past this Chapel Hill landmark every morning!
The Bell Tower – I walk past this Chapel Hill landmark every morning!

8.00am: Bible Study

I joined the Christian Legal Society when I arrived in UNC this September. The group holds weekly meetings in the Law School rumpus room, where law students discuss a bible passage and enjoy doughnuts and coffee before class. (There’s also a ping pong table in this room – perfect for study breaks).

The Christian Legal Society also organises great events, which are of course open to all students. I recently enjoyed attending a talk from Mike McIntyre, a former member of the House of Representatives, who discussed the interaction between his faith and his career as a politician.

8.45am: First class of the day – Trademark Law

My trademark professor is so energetic, it really is quite amazing (especially at 8.45am every morning)! Trademarks is a fun class and we often welcome guest speakers. Today a registration officer from the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) came in to discuss the process of trademark registration.

UNC School of Law
UNC School of Law

10.25am: Second class of the day – Energy Law, Environment and Economics

I found this class challenging at first, primarily because I knew very little about the energy sector in America. However, three months later and I am enjoying it very much! My professor has been so encouraging, and is pleased to offer extra help during his office hours to explain some fundamental principles such as the the distinction between state and federal powers. Today we discussed natural gas regulation, focusing on the future of hydraulic fracturing and the Trump administration’s approach to energy.

12 noon: Lunchtime Panel – “The Future of the Energy Sector”

One of my favourite things about studying at the UNC School of Law is the amazing lunchtime panels which are held almost everyday. There are no classes scheduled during noon hour, and students are encouraged to attend the discussions. As a bonus, there’s usually free pizza 😉

1.00pm: Study break

I use this time before my next class to meet up with friends in the main quad, or to catch up on some last minute reading which I may have neglected the night before… There is a great library in the UNC School of Law with study cubicles, perfect for quiet study. Today was beautifully sunny and I had a sushi lunch with my friend Andrew outside in the quad. It’s hard to believe that it’s November! 

It's difficult to resist studying outside in this weather...
It’s difficult to resist studying outside in this weather…

2.25pm: Third class of the day – First Amendment

First Amendment is my favourite class here at UNC. My professor was the former assistant to President Clinton, and has some great stories to tell! Today we discussed Government Speech and to what extent it is protected under the First Amendment.

4.00pm: Group project session

As part of my Professional Sports Law class we are required to complete a group project which accounts for 35% of my overall grade. Our project is a Major League Baseball (MLB) arbitration. This involves an exchange of numbers, preparing a fifteen page brief, and a MLB arbitration simulation. A lot of preparation has gone into the project, and I have had to familiarise myself with the rules and conventions of baseball very quickly, but I am really looking forward to the arbitration next week, judged by professional MLB sports agents.

6.00pm: Intramural Soccer Game

Although I haven’t played soccer for years, I decided to join the UNC Law soccer team. I am by no means the team’s most valuable asset, but it’s a lot of fun and a great chance to meet new people and run about! We play other teams in the intramural league every week, and so far we’re placed second overall!!

7.30pm: Dinner

Marta, my roommate and I cooked up some spaghetti bolognese tonight. I even used some fresh basil from the campus communal garden. Delizioso!

Fresh basil from the campus communal garden!
Fresh basil from the campus communal garden!

8.30pm: Homework

I normally spend two to four hours on homework each night. Tonight I worked on my Trademark assignments for tomorrow, including a chart detailing the distinctiveness of non-verbal marks.

My study buddy, Rex
My study buddy, Rex

10.30pm: Gossip Girl and chill (with my roommate)

Believe it or not, I have never seen the final season of Gossip Girl (I know, I know.. embarrassing) Thankfully, Marta is here to educate me.

Gossip Girl (Halloween edition)
Gossip Girl (Halloween edition)

11.30pm: Bedtime reading

I like to read something that isn’t course-related before I go sleep, and take my mind off of the law for a little while. At the moment I am enjoying “The World According to Garp” by John Irving.

12pm: Goodnight

There’s no doubt that life as a law student is jam-packed and often very challenging, but it’s also exciting and fulfilling. Of course, everyday is not exactly as presented above, but this is a typical day in my life.  I end each day very happy, and with a better understanding of the world around me – and I love that!

The Old Well.

As always, feel free to contact me at madelinerolfe@kcl.ac.uk with any questions or ideas for future blogs!

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