It’s 12:55 PM. My web browser is open and my fingers, clammy
with sweat, have just finished typing an email crafted to execute a very
particular objective. My cursor hovers over the “send” button. It has to be hit
precisely within 15 seconds of the clock striking 1:00 – no sooner, no later. The
extensive time trials I conducted earlier through Microsoft Outlook had
confirmed as much. I’ve chosen to sit on
the blue couch outside the school’s Career Services Office as I’ve reasoned it
would afford my data packets the shortest route to my target’s computer. I have
a pretty good idea what the odds are, but I know if I can pull it off the
returns will be incalculable in comparison. It’s 1 PM. I count to 10. I hit
Less than one minute later, my target emerges from the office.
It’s already over.
No, I didn’t just launch a malware attack against KU Law’s
servers. I did, however, successfully send in my RSVP for an event that, for me
and 19 other victorious 1Ls, amounted to a full-scale city invasion for just
under 24 hours.
An invasion in the best sense of the word, mind you. The “24
Hours of Wichita” event put on by KU Law’s Career Services department in
conjunction with the Wichita legal community has by far been one of the best
and most enjoyable experiences I’ve had, period. The anticipation for the event
really can’t be understated. The 20 spots opened to the 1L class were filled in
under a minute as Dean Thompson’s inbox was inundated with eager missives just
Given that my only familiarity with the city was driving
through it on my way back from a spring break road trip, I really had no idea
what to expect. In the weeks leading up discussion amongst those event-bound
included what we’d be wearing, speculation about where we’d be going, and
anxious feelings about what we’d be doing to try and not seem completely
intimated as we mingled with partners of some of the state’s largest firms.
Fast forward to the day of and we arrive in Old Town, which
is smack dab in the heart of Wichita. The place is actually super modern, we
toured some recently developed apartments that can attest to the fact, but I
get that “New Town” as a name doesn’t really conjure up the same sort of
whimsical yearning you want tied to a sense of place. The name of the district
really does capture that sort of romantic 19th-century city
aesthetic of old-brick buildings and streets, adorned by grandiose lampposts
luminescent with nostalgia for the past as you walked on by.
|KU Law students explore Wichita's Old Town.|
Walking actually turned out to be half the allure of the
city. I’d liken it to downtown Lawrence in that you can literally walk anywhere
you’d want to go on a night out and then walk back home again. After touring a
little bit, we went back to check into the hotel (we got GIFT BAGS – I was
like, “What is this, the Oscars?”), changed clothes, and then walked over to a
fancy restaurant called Oeno (don’t try to pronounce it) to mingle with the
aforementioned scary lawyers.
Put short and sweet, they all turned out to be incredibly
welcoming and easy to talk to. The cocktail/tapas hour was one of the best
parts, a classic good food, good drinks, better people type situation. To have
these individuals take (very valuable) time out of their day just to come hang
out and talk with us was both rewarding and encouraging, because it showed me
that the Kansas legal community is genuinely interested in my development as a
young professional despite my bewilderments and as of yet unarticulated career
And the city is definitely appealing to my young
professional self. After a couple hours of mingling, the 20 of us left for a
night out on the town. That’s its own separate series of blog posts. It was,
I’ll say, “Wichitawesome.”
We wake up early the next morning to split up and grab
breakfast with more
area attorneys at
different local breakfast joints and later regroup to head over to the art
museum. I personally love art, and although I know next to nothing about it, the
museum did not disappoint. You would have never guessed that there were famous
paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and Norman Rockwell in the middle of Kansas, but they
were there among many other inspirations.
There was a LOT more occurring here, there and everywhere in
between. I could write a short novella about this trip and the friends I made
on it, but I’d like to conclude by saying that I was indeed inspired by the
lengths KU Law and the community at large will go to see to it my legal
education is supplemented with intensely personal and fulfilling experiences.
Did I mention the firms footed the bill for the entire
thing? I really could not be more grateful. And that honestly
goes for all of the opportunities Career Services has put on so far, ranging
from this event to a fashion seminar to bringing in over 100 different legal
employers in one night just to talk to you about what your options actually are
as a KU law grad. My suggestion to any entering 1Ls would be to take advantage
of as many of the prospects the Career Services office and Kansas legal community
has to offer you, because they all have the potential to be just as satisfying
as this 24 hours of Wichita trip ended up being for me.
Getting good at hacking computers may not hurt either. Just
— Cody Wood is a first-year law
student from Leawood, Kansas, and a KU Law Student Ambassador.