Miles driven: 0
Steps walked: 50,000+
Money spent: ???
So this post will be of little help to prospective law students, but maybe it’ll help to convince folks to take their own trips and see schools. Well, the first part. As we continue on, it gets less attractive…
Saturday: Constance and I slept in and got up for our fancy brunch reservations at “Founding Farmers.” I had the “Dragged through the Garden” egg plate with leek hash browns and some awesome bread, with an Irish coffee, of course. Then we did the beignets. Omigodthebeignets.
During brunch (which Constance informed me is really properly enjoyed after noon), I heard the gentleman next to me say “law school.” We were sitting so close, I just went for it. “Oh, law school? Which law school?” Mark Morrison, the gentleman in question, was celebrating his friend Natalia’s birthday with her, but was happy to tell me he was a 3L at Colombia.
“No way! I’ll be there next week. I’m visiting law schools.” And Constance, “I’ve heard it’s pretty cut-throat… Do you like it?”
And so begins about an half an hour of finishing drinks and conversation about law, law schools, and the legal profession. It ended with Mark and I exchanging contact information so that maybe he could show me around on Colombia day! “That’s so D.C.,” said Constance, and we were back to feeling like D.C. is, without a doubt, one of the best cities in the world for a budding lawyer.
After that, Constance and I walked down to her office in Georgetown and stopped in at a candy store next door. We walked around the Georgetown undergraduate campus, and swung by Georgetown Cupcakes, the shop where the television show “D.C. Cupcakes” is filmed. The line was outrageous.
First of all, Constance tells me that D.C. folks really do have a cupcake fetish. Her roommate (of whom she is a big fan) reminded me walking out the door not to forget to have one while I was here. Second of all, Constance says she doesn’t know what the big deal is about Georgetown Cupcakes. “They’re not even that good. Baked and Wired is better.” If you’ll notice, Constance once again demonstrates her impeccable taste, as B&W is rated number one out of 1,564 restaurants in D.C., over Georgetown Cupcakes, number 199. Which is only an affirmation of why I am always happy to let her pick the restaurants and order for me.
As far as cupcakes go, I prefer pie.
After that, we did some more walking, I saw the Watergate Hotel. We took a nap and went out for Indian food, but I don’t remember the name of the restaurant (Constance is asleep) and I guess it doesn’t matter anyway because Constance said it was no good. Plus, the spicy soup really messed her up later.
Sunday: Yesterday, I slept late again, while I think Constance was more productive and got in some pilates. But once I got up, we headed to the National Archives to see the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The line was murderous and it drove Constance crazy, so she went to find us coffees and I called the boyfriend to catch up.
Once inside, we were pleased to find that they had a copy (one of four) of the Magna Carta as well. The Declaration is barely legible, but a helpful guard told us that curators believe the Constitution still has another 200 years. And hardly anyone was crowded around the Bill of Rights. What is wrong with people? It’s only the best part. Who cares about Article One?
Dinner at Ethiopic. It was so fun! I’ve never had Ethopian food before, and I really loved the beer I drank (St. George?). Early to bed because…
Monday: Today we woke up early to get down to the Supreme Court and get in line to see oral arguments. First we had to move my car out of weekend parking, then we had a ways to walk, and the snow. But the guidebooks said in line by 8:30, and that’s what we did.
The line was crazy already. We were all the way at the corner. We inched along even though no one had been let in, each person more cold than the next and everyone huddling together for both the warmth of other bodies and the false hope of forward motion. Not having thought about the fact that I did actually have room in my trunk for boots, I was wearing Converse sneakers and two pairs of socks. I was fairly certain I would lose a toe, but the pain was so intense I thought that I had at least not entered the threatening stages of frost bite.
At 10:15, after the first arguments should have started and nearly two hours later, they told us that there were no seats available for the first arguments. (Note: The SCOTUS police are not helpful in estimating the likelihood of getting in, contrary to any guidebook.) They also split the line into the 3-5 minute line and the whole argument line. Even after having invested 2 hours, a lot of people went over to that line. Things looked a little better for us, but the guards yelled that we would be taking our chances and that if we didn’t get in, we could go to the back of the 3-5 minute line.
An hour later, they let in about 25 people and told us that was all for general admission today.
Constance and I decided not to be lawyers and we went inside for coffee.
Protip: If you want to see oral arguments at the SCOTUS, go around 6 A.M., on a nice day, and get in line. Bring a book.
Inside, we shut our things in one of the lockers and wandered into, out of, and around the building, looking at the portraits and busts and waiting for her program to assemble for the tour, where at least we’d be able to go inside. That was pushed back, so we had to wait another hour. When we got upstairs, it became clear that was I thought was sort of an exclusive tour was really a general admissions tour that we hadn’t needed to wait on her group for anyway. The first tour guide was new, and forgot things, which was okay because everything she said we knew anyway. “An oral argument lasts for one hour. Each side has… 30 minutes. To present their case. … Imagine if you only had 30 minutes to explain… something.”
We went back downstairs for our bags, which we’d left in the locker, but they were both gone. Purses, IDs, wallets, keys, money, cards, everything. After having a miniature heart attack, we talked to a security guard who told us the lockers had to be emptied after hearings and so our things were probably at security. It was raining when we got outside. The Supreme Court hates us, so we went to Matchbox Pizza and drank beers.
There might be more to say but I’m tired and I have to get up early…
Tomorrow: Train ride, Philly, UPenn, Mutter Museum, a Philly cheese steak?, Constitution stuff, a hostel.