Last night I was talking to one of my UCLA friends who said he regretted going to undergrad so close to home and living there during college because he did not feel like he got the entire college experience and it stunted his growth as a person. Conversely this fall, I started to question, for the first time, whether I made the right decision to move out to DC for law school. Oh how the grass is always greener on the other side of the country.
After some reflection, I would say there is no right answer about where you should go to law school. Naturally, if you know 100% where you want to work after graduation, it is probably best to be there. But I did not know if California was it for me.
All in all, I am sure I would have been fine being in DC, California, or even Minnesota (yes, I actually considered applying there). As our professors tell us, it does not matter what the answer is, it is how you back up that answer. Analogously, I guess it does not matter where you move but how you live your life once you are there.
I think actually going through a minor crisis of confidence during the emotionally vulnerable state known as "Fall Recruitment" helped me realize that I am actually happy with where I chose to go to school. It might have made the job process a lot harder, but there have definitely been positives that have balanced out the hardships: becoming more independent, meeting great people, exploring an amazing city, unique opportunities like American's prestigious clinical program and touring the Justice Department.
Moral of the story (aka- advice that I would give to future law school applicants): Make an informed decision about where you want to be. You should factor in the advice from others, but ultimately it is a very personal decision that only you can make. And once you make your decision, make the most out of it and do not doubt yourself when times get tough.
I guess this advice is applicable to all types of decisions. And I will probably need to remember my own advice many times in the future as there will only be more decisions to make.