Admission

Matthew Chin

Matthew ChinHello! 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.

March

Greetings and Happy Spring!

The post-spring break stretch toward the end of the semester is here, and I have that “finals is sooner than you think” feeling. Having gone through finals once before, I know my studying habits like the back of my hand, and that makes the process a little less stressful. The key to this part of the semester is to ideally spend more time outlining/doing hypos, and less time reading cases. By now, I know the material, and it’s about connecting the concepts. By now, professors are moving at a rapid pace, and no one wants to fall behind!

In non-class news, I finally lined up my summer plans…well, sort of. I am grateful to have a few externship options, and I am in the decision period now. I’ll be sure to update you guys once I choose a final destination, but the most important part is that I will be here in Seattle for the summer! Classmates have been hyping up July and August, and I am really excited to experience my first full summer here. Because I won’t have grades to worry about (phew), I’m planning on playing a lot of basketball, hiking up in the mountains, and hitting up as many happy hours as possible. I know that it’s a few months and four big finals away, but I can still be giddy in anticipation, right?

Spring break was a mix of studying and play for yours truly, as it should be. Professors stress the importance of doing work over break, but also tell students to take the opportunity to unwind and relax. I spent the first few days living in room 306 of the library (You’ll quickly learn that it’s the best study room) and writing my collaborative memo. While it was the toughest memo yet, I can proudly say that I’m now a mini-expert on how implicit racial bias influences jury selection.  Hopefully my grade will reflect my newfound expertise! I spent the second half of break in Lake Tahoe with my closest friends dating back to 1st grade. Spring skiing paired with a stunning 10,000-foot view was a fantastic formula to temporarily put school in the back of my mind. Watching March Madness didn’t help though. Come on Duke, why did you have to ruin my chances of becoming a billionaire law school student? It was great to spend time with my buddies from home, and they’re planning a Seattle excursion in August. I’m pretty excited to introduce them to my new home and show them everything that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

February

If first semester is any indication, February and March are the calm before the storm. I’m back into full force, and now that I’ve gotten my feet wet with property law, I can feel the transition toward finals studying. Having gone through the gauntlet once, I know that this period of the semester is about staying on top of the material, and understanding every aspect of it before the Professor moves to a new topic. This is also the time of the year where 1Ls are trying to line up their summer plans. For me, the plan is to extern part-time and to take a slew of classes at night. Over the past week or two, I’ve applied to a bunch of externships in the Seattle area- hopefully I will have some new developments by my next journal entry.

In legal writing news, the collaborative memo that we are currently working on is my favorite so far. It requires us to work with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on a real legal issue that the Washington courts are present facing. Our topic is implicit racial bias in jury selection, and whether the current procedure to eliminate such partiality is working or not. A little context- litigating attorneys are allowed to dismiss jurors without a reason, but previous case law has concluded that it is unconstitutional for jurors to be discriminated against based on race. Having an undergraduate public policy/political science background, I am drawn to this memo because it allows me to be creative, pragmatic, and practical in forming an alternative to the current procedure. After spending my whole weekend writing the first draft, I am looking forward to editing and adding the final touches.

In non-academic news, I just bought series tickets for when the Red Sox will be in Seattle. I could get used to how inexpensive baseball tickets are here- I spent less on three games than I would have on one game at Fenway! A lot of the guys from my section are planning on going to a lot of Mariners games, so I’m excited to tag along once it gets warm out.  Our admissions schedule is ramping up. As we have sent out the first round of acceptances, there has been an increase in prospective student visits. With open houses coming up, it is an exciting time of the year as we build our incoming class.

January

Greetings amigos. After a break filled with a lot of sleeping, skiing, visiting family/friends, nervously checking for my grades, and eating lots of holiday food, I was more than ready to get back to Seattle.  Ditching the snow for the rain is a very fair trade off right now. The transition from spending a month on a Netflix bender to reading cases again was tough at first, but I’m finally back into the swing of things. It’s been great to catch up with other classmates, and find out that they spent most of break sleeping as well.

It’s a new semester, and I am no longer a rookie. Fall semester was definitely hard, but I know that Professors expectations increase even more for this semester. Half of the battle for fall semester is learning how to study for law school. Now that I have that down, I hope that I can step up my game even more during spring semester. Like every other 1L, I say goodbye to criminal law and civil procedure, and hello to property. I’m going to miss Professor Roberts’ British accent, but not having 8:30 AM class is something I’m looking forward to. Having a quick sample size so far, property seems very interesting- it’s crazy to think how the law of property has must have had to develop over history. By the end of the semester, I hope to know how the frontiersmen on the computer game Oregon Trail claimed land to be their own.

In non-academic news, a bunch of us went down to Portland right before second semester and saw a Trail Blazers game. It was my first time in Portland, and it finally confirmed that the show Portlandia does a wildly accurate portrayal of life down there. Also, I’m looking forward to an early February meeting with the externship office so I can solidify my plans for the summer. The hope is to get a part time externship while I start business school classes. Additionally, I think I’m the only one in the law school who isn’t drinking the Seahawks kool-aid right now. As a Pats fan, I’m still in football depression, but I’d like to see the Hawks win so I can see all of my friends happy. Happy sports culture = happy law school.

Decemeber

Hello all! I'm 3000 miles away from the SU campus right now, gearing up for the holidays. December was a crazy month for me. The three-ish weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break seemed like a blur. Law school was more than a full time job preparing for finals, and it's crazy to think how hard my study group and I worked. As my civil procedure professor Julie Shapiro says, "Taking finals during your 1L fall is a right of passage into the legal world", and she couldn't be more correct. Through one semester at SU, I couldn't be happier with my decision to move to Seattle. I've made incredible friends, and developed connections that I never could have imagined beforehand. While I will be soaking up being home for the holidays, I will surely miss my 2nd home in the Pacific Northwest while I'm here.

In other news, I just got accepted in the SU MBA program! It's been my plan all along to work toward a duel degree, and I couldn't be more thrilled that it's coming to fruition. My plan for winter break is to mostly take it easy. The 1Ls deserve a few weeks off to unwind and think about something other than exams. I think I want to begin drafting some cover letters for externships, as I want to make sure to solidify my summer with an externship and some business school classes. Other than that, I plan to make it down to New York City to visit friends from college, and obviously I'll be in Boston a lot to visit other friends/family.

Looking forward to spring semester, I have 1L part deux of Torts, Contracts, and Legal Writing. I also add Professional Responsibility and Property to complete my schedule, so I envision being just as busy as I was this fall. Can't wait to come back on the 8th! Headed down to Portland with some other Section C buddies to see the Trail Blazers host my Boston Celtics. Check in with you guys soon.

November

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

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. 

September

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.