My apologies for not updating my blog sooner. I intended to check in during orientation and then after the first week of classes but once the first day of orientation came, I pretty much hit the ground running and had very little extra time. So I’ve completed my second week of law school and what can I say, I am absolutely loving it!
Law School is definitely a lot of hard work and nothing I have ever done could have prepared me for what was ahead. As you know, I read a lot of pre-law school preparation materials but to be honest, the only thing that has been particularly beneficial is the fact I had already read and briefed opinions before. Getting used to reading and learning in a new language (the language of law) is one of the biggest changes from undergraduate coursework and though I had worked as a paralegal for 5+ years prior to beginning law school, I hadnt’ been asked to think critically or analyze (legally) what I was reading. It isn’t just about reading and knowing the facts of the case but knowing what they mean in terms of how and why a court ruled a certain way. Whether or not I agreed with the court’s decision. And how a given case changed or added to my knowledge from previous cases. It is all about analyzing the law. Time management skills are of course important, and suggestions on how to prepare for class were helpful, but at the end of the day, no one book is going to give you that knowledge. It is really about what works for me – which I’m still relatively figuring that out. One thing that is a must-do is to review your case briefs and reading notes 10 minutes before class starts. It is amazing how just a few hours between reading and class can make that information dissapear. I haven’t been cold-called yet but my classmates tell me it is easy to forget everything you know when you are on the spot.
Contracts is quickly becoming my least favorite class. Consideration . . . it’s just so vague. I love criminal law and torts. And legal writing and research are sort of my “comfort” classes because I feel like I can draw upon at least some of my prior knowledge to help me make my way through.
One thing I had been forewarned about was that law school is a lot like high school. This is no exaggeration! I carry a book back, have a locker, there is already a lot of gossip going around, and the clicks are already forming. It is kind of fun but I’m thankful that I get to stay out of a lot of the high school-esque behavior (my marital status has granted me immunity!)
I have about 60 pages of reading every night to prepare for the next class. It isn’t really beneficial to read too far ahead on the weekend when time permits because then the material isn’t as “fresh” and some of it is better learned after a given class. For example, if pages 10-20, 21-30, and 31-40 are due in a given week, pages 21-30 might make more sense after the class that discussed 10-20 has met. I know 60 pages an evening doesn’t seem like much but boy does it take forever!!!
Another thing that will take some getting used to is uncertainty. Everything is pretty vague. There is no right and wrong answers, rather, there is only what a given court thought on a given set of facts.
I will do my best to post more frequently, but these first few weeks have been quite busy.