The freedom to pee when I want: priceless.
September 5, 2009 § 1 Comment
So Confused in Crimson, a section mate of mine, wrote a wonderful summary with opinions of our first week of classes that I just don’t see the need to duplicate. His thoughts mirror my own, with a few exceptions, and I especially recommend that 0Ls read his post to get an idea of how the classroom experience of law school is different than anything you have experienced before.
Some of my own thoughts about this first week of law school:
-My classmates are brilliant. They think on their feet and analyze deeply and richly. They ask insightful questions. I am going to learn so much for them.
-I fear my Torts class the least and my Legislation and Regulation class the most. In legreg (as we call it), the professor summarizes the facts of the case himself and then immediately calls on people to argue for the defendant and plaintiff. He then leads us through a richer analysis of the possibilities of statutory interpretation than the judicial opinion even hints at. Maybe it’s because I see the practical applications of torts most clearly, but that class is interesting yet safe.
-My civpro professor is intimidating. He is so articulate that I would love to record the class and then just sit there and soak up everything he says. He does not allow laptops, so I can’t transcribe his genius (I can’t write fast enough by hand). But I love how he makes what can be a very dry subject fascinating by forcing us to see the way skilled lawyers can learn the system and use it to further their deeper goals of ensuring outcomes underpinned by justice and morality (or, as with the counter-resistance during the civil rights movement that took advantage of civil procedure to block social progress, goals not so just and moral).
-Legal Research & Writing inspired my first panic attack of 1L, because I attended assuming that the class would teach me the tools I need to succeed in my other courses in a relaxed, safe atmosphere; instead, I left the classroom feeling more vulnerable and clueless than I had all week. I hope it gets better, because legal research & writing is a foreign language that I must become fluent in to succeed in the law, but if it doesn’t I will have to teach myself.
-My property professor (the one who used to be an ambassador to the Vatican), is a fascinating woman; her approach to teaching property is highly theoretical however, which means that class discussion is intellectually rigorous but not so practical. She has lots of prior exams online, however, and it seems like she requires a weaving of theory, policy, and blackletter law, which means that I will have to take a much more holistic approach to studying for this course.
Finally, the workload: it is tremendous. Everyone does the work, though, so working hard is not enough. One must also work smart, in terms of how they take notes independently and in class, revise and synthesize these notes, apply the law to hypotheticals, and outline weekly to create a toolbox that can be used on exams. There are so many parts that must come together cohesively. That said, on Friday afternoon, after the final class of the week, I felt relieved that the weekend had come, yet not nearly as emotionally and physically drained as after a week of teaching. Law school is difficult and tiring, but I feel this odd sense of freedom. I know I have a lot of work to do, but I also have a lot of time in which to do it. And, most importantly, I can pee when I want to. All my teachers out there know how priceless that is!