Hello! My name is Matthew Chin. I'm originally from Hingham, Massachusetts, a small coastal town just south of Boston, but moved out to Seattle to pursue my dream of working in sports law. I graduated in 2011 from Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY) with a double major in Political Science and Public Policy, and then spent two years working in investment banking in downtown Boston. Moving to Seattle was the boldest thing that I have ever done in my life. Law school in its own is a major adjustment, but studying in a city where I didn't initially know anyone has been especially eye-opening. While it has certainly taken me out of my comfort zone, I have loved every part of my time in the Pacific Northwest. When I'm not studying, you can find me exploring the streets of Seattle, finding any excuse to try out one of the many ethnic restaurants, or looking for the best pickup basketball game at the SU Fitness Center.
The atmosphere in law school changes significantly between Halloween and Thanksgiving. The stress level starts to rise, there are more late nights in the library, much of your social life is put on the back burner, and all of a sudden, this place doesn't feel new anymore. While I may be solidifying every stereotype that someone may have about law school, I can conclusively say that everyone in my SU circle is happy, and couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now.
It's kind of crazy. On the one hand, this semester has flown by. It seems like just yesterday that I moved to Seattle, not knowing anyone, and felt intimidated by everything having to do with law school. On the other hand, the amount of material I need to review for finals makes this semester seem tremendously long. This month has been dedicated to outlining, hypoing (one of many made up words in law school), and reviewing for final exams. I've learned a lot about myself academically this month. I never thought I have to grasp so much information in such a short period of time, and while it can be a very daunting and overwhelming feeling, the sense of accomplishment has never felt so genuine.
In non-law school news, I GET TO GO BACK TO BOSTON NEXT WEEK!!!! While test prep will be the #1 theme of my Thanksgiving break, I cannot wait to see my extended family, play football with my high school friends, and ride the T throughout the city. The T (slang for Boston's subway system) and I had a love/hate relationship for 24 years, but I never thought I would miss it that much. Another goal I have for Thanksgiving is to convince relatives to come visit me over the summer. After I return from Thanksgiving, I'm going to be in studying beast mode, so next time I check in with you all, I'll let you know how finals went.
October is actually my favorite month. I love brisk weather, football, playoff baseball, and fall foliage. For some reason, every autumn, I always like trying new spicy ethnic foods, paired with an awesome IPA. Seattle has no shortage of that- I've gone out to a bunch of new restaurants, and I'm getting into the local breweries around here too.
Academically, the workload has stayed the same, but I am far more efficient at briefing cases. Now that I know the style of each of my professors, it is a lot easier to pick out specific issues and holdings in the cases. All that efficiency has led to less time reading cases, but more time prepping for finals. I can't believe finals are just over a month away! The law school paradox is having too much work, and never enough time. I'm discovering how much time management plays a major factor in 1L. Since my last entry, I took my first law school test and submitted my first memo. As nerve racking as they both were, it's reassuring to get the first graded assignments off your chest and realize that you survived them.
Outside of school, our section intramural flag football season is starting to heat up. It's just another way for us to get to know each other outside of class, and it has been awesome. To cope with my off and on homesickness, I found a bar in Belltown called "Spitfire" that houses Boston fans for every sports game. I've been getting friends from school to tag along for World Series games and on Sundays for football. Spitfire is a little taste of home, and it's great to meet other New Englanders who relocated to Seattle. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving break, and heading back home to see family and friends for the first time since Summer, but I'm excited to sell them on Seattle in attempts to get more visitors out to the PNW.
Hey Hey Hey Hey (Robin Thicke patent approving). This is my 5th week living in Seattle, so does that mean I'm kind of a Seattlelite now? The east coast is where my heart is, but slowly I'm encompassing the Seattle lifestyle. I bought a cheap bike (best decision ever) to cut my daily commute down to about 5 minutes from my apartment. Coming from the curvy streets of Boston, I wasn't used to such a biker friendly city, but it's allowed me to explore some Seattle neighborhoods that are a little more removed from the law school.
Academically, I'm like every other 1L- taking a full schedule of Criminal law, Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, and Legal Writing. Having all of my classes with the same people has been incredibly beneficial (Section C Represent!). It's been helpful to be able to bounce ideas off of classmates, and analyze cases and statutes within our study groups. Just when I felt like I was finally getting used to the law school grind, things ramped up big time. Civ Pro midterm is Friday, and my legal writing memo is due this weekend?!?!?!? These things came up so quickly, and I still feel like a neophyte, but I'm confident that I'll survive.
In non-academic news, I got involved with a few things on campus. Believe it or not, I became an admissions fellow (I even have my own nifty diary on the website, you should check it out). I also joined the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, which I have been planning on getting really involved with even before my law school journey began. Lastly, some of the guys in our section have formed a Friday morning basketball league, and it's been awesome to get to know everyone outside of the classroom. Overall, the last month has been a whirlwind of new people, places, and experiences, but I love being so busy, and I cannot wait to see how the rest of the semester progresses.