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47 Washburn L.J. 327 (2007-2008)
You are Not in Kansas Anymore: Orientation Programs Can Help Students Fly over the Rainbow

handle is hein.journals/wasbur47 and id is 335 raw text is: You Are Not in Kansas Anymore: Orientation
Programs Can Help Students Fly over the
Paula Lustbader*
Law school is like Oz.1 Law students, like Dorothy, want to fly
over the rainbow, where they believe they will find happiness, justice,
and a meaningful life. Although many do not know what lurks over that
rainbow, that belief compels them to enter law school. True, law stu-
dents go to law school willingly, whereas Dorothy entered Oz only after
a cyclone intervened. Once they are in law school, however, students
feel as disoriented as Dorothy did when she walked out of her battered
house and realized she was not in Kansas anymore. Like Oz, law school
could be a transforming experience that enriches and empowers stu-
dents to do justice. However, all too often, like the Yellow Brick Road,
the path in law school is wide, winding, and full of dangers and diver-
sions. Dorothy had to contend with dark forests, poisonous poppies, fly-
ing monkeys, the Wicked Witch, and the man behind the curtain. Law
students must contend with challenges to their values and sense of self,
the competitive and sometimes hostile learning environment, exhaus-
tion, the allure of materialism, and the use or misuse of power. Over-
coming or transcending dangers is a necessary part of life's journey;
however, some dangers are gratuitous and could deter the student, as
they did Dorothy, from their ultimate destiny. Imagine how more en-
riched and empowered law students would be if law schools offered a
transformative experience where students had help navigating their
journey. Instead of putting all of their energy into finding directions,
students could remain focused on more significant questions such as:
how they define justice, how they can fulfill their life's purpose, how
* Associate Professor of Law; Director, Academic Resource Center, Seattle University
School of Law. I want to express my appreciation to Michael Schwartz who tapped my shoulder to
write this article; Washburn University School of Law for hosting the conference on Humanizing Le-
gal Education and the Washburn Law Journal for publishing this symposium issue; Debbie Maran-
ville, Laurie Zimet, Chach Duarte-White, Laura Anglin, Michael Cherry, and Val OhIstrom for their
support and edits; Helen Rickey, Keith Kinzebach, and Susan Harrison, for.their research assistance;
Kelly Kunsch, the uber reference librarian; Nora Santos; and all the students from whom I continue
to learn so much.
1. THE WIZARD OF OZ (Warner Bros. 1939).

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