My law school odyssey: three years, three time zones and beyond.
I've just spent four hours and forty-five minutes briefing a case for Civ Pro, two for Crim, three for Torts, and a lucky seventh for El-Dubyar. That last one truly got my goat, since rather than a notetaking-style brief that would actually be useful to me if called on in class, I instead had to produce a readable document that extrapolated the issues of law at a much higher level -- the level at which the professor would take over in an in-class discussion and frame the issues in his own words.
At the close of my first full week of law school, I've found two things:
Thursdays shred me.thus spake /jca @ 10:11 PM...
Add me to the list of folks who have been Called On In Law School.
You learn interesting things about professors in office hours.
My law school, like most law schools, does not offer opportunities for first-year students to participate in the production of any of the school's official law review journals. However, it looks like I've lucked out once again: a new journal is in the process of forming this year, with its first issue due out in the spring, and 1L students are enthusiastically encouraged to take part.
Here's some good news: a Truly Excellent Person has started blogging. Check him/her out! *huge grin*thus spake /jca @ 7:59 AM...
I'm finding, as time passes, that my original 1L shopping list was incomplete to start. I now share my revised necessities list for the aspiring first-year law student:
Hey, check it -- Sua Sponte has been pegged by JURIST (along with a bunch of other nifty blawgs). Authorship is attributed to "California Law Student," which I guess is as good a way as any of preserving my anonymity. In fact, it's probably better than using my initials; today's Torts reading introduced me to the 1348 case before the assizes of I de S et Ux v. W de S, which sets precedent for, among other things, identifying folks in a court of law solely by their initials. Who'd'a thunk.thus spake /jca @ 10:53 PM...
Today's quote, courtesy of Contracts reading (at least in part):
The rumors were true about Professor Civ Pro, sort of.
Looks like Google has finally found Sua Sponte, after these many moons of virtual secrecy. Now people are coming here via such exciting searches as "Paxil is non habit forming" and "Honda outboard sucks," the latter of which has me mystified since I didn't even know Honda made outboard motors. I guess you learn something new every day.thus spake /jca @ 10:53 AM...
I had four classes in a row today, which constitutes more shifting of mental gears in quick succession than I ever remember experiencing as an undergraduate. Still, I think it should work; each is only an hour, and the professors are uniformly of such quality that the hour feels like fifteen minutes rather than three days. Professor Torts has won a number of students'-choice Best Professor In The Whole Wide World awards, and I wager that Professor Crim might have been a runner-up. Professor Contracts seems a very sweet, soft-spoken guy who nonetheless doesn't put you to sleep, not even when his class immediately follows lunch. My only concern, if it's even intense enough to qualify as one, is with Professor Civ Pro, and that's largely attributable to hearsay -- 2Ls have said that he'll call on one person and lock onto you for the entire hour, old-fashioned-Socratic style. I guess it wouldn't be a real 1L without at least a few crazy-professor stories, though, and this fellow seems like a good sport with a robust sense of humor. All good.
This MP3 player thing isn't quite working out as I'd hoped.
We scope each other out shyly, unwilling to allude to something as gauche as age. Only after a few conversational volleys does someone throw out, "So, are you going to the reception for over-28 students tomorrow?" And then, when the answer is invariably yes -- amazing how apparent age is, when it's your own! -- suddenly you're both fast friends.
By the time I woke up this morning, actually woke up and realized that I was awake, I found myself on a train halfway to San Francisco. This was all according to plan.
I had a bizarre drink at dinner tonight, something called a "Jade" that was a mixture of rum, creme de menthe, triple sec, and lime juice. It was bright green and reminded my husband of mouthwash. I nonetheless found it perfect with which to propose a toast, clinking glasses with my husband's mango lassi and declaiming: 1L delenda est!
Today's mail brought not my MP3 player, but a letter on letterhead that I thought I wouldn't see again for another year. I don't have the heart to fisk it right now. In an odd, semi-sadistic way, this was rather kind of them:
My pullman backpack has finally arrived, and boy, was it ever a good choice.
I think I slept maybe three hours last night. Now I feel jetlagged and my nineteen-item to-do list for the day looks damn near insurmountable.
Denise suggests Xanax as a crucial component to 1L work-life balance. Something about that drug sounds awfully familiar...where have I seen it before?
I have a day left in my larval life. A day to do laundry and get groceries and wash the car and go to the post office and vacuum and clean the bathroom. A day left before I wake up to an alarm the next morning, head up to the city, and begin to pupate.
Here's some more prospective-1L advice, not nearly so upbeat as previously cited, but nonetheless compelling to someone with [checks timer] 2 days, 8 hours, 36 minutes and 15 seconds remaining in life before law school starts...
G R E E T I N G S Capricorn
TPB, Esq. has a particularly interesting philosophical take on the anonymous-blog phenomenon. Perhaps there is no such thing as online credibility, because we are all virtual straw men, "writer's selves," de facto misrepresenting ourselves by attempting to represent ourselves in the first place. "Somehow, the fact that people write changes who they are," he says.
This excellent advice for 1Ls deserves many links. Here's one.
Some thoughts on anonymity...
Jane Galt has now taken up the mantle of admissions discrimination, aiming at the UCs for their latest veiled attempt at social engineering: giving undue weight to sob-story application essays. (See also.)
Prioritizing the to-do list:
Everyone should live in California at some point in their lives, I've decided.
I hate it when shopping isn't any fun.
Here's an interesting site on admissions discrimination cases, focusing on the recent ones in Michigan.thus spake /jca @ 5:56 PM...
I have a feeling that Crim Law is going to be the most fun among my coursebooks; the first case it analyzes is The Queen vs. Dudley and Stephens, which plays out like a Stephen Crane short story as directed by Quentin Tarantino. Dudley and Stephens were adrift at sea in a lifeboat with two other guys, one of whom they killed and ate to stay alive until they were rescued. They were convicted of murder for the act, with no mention of whether they thereafter became vegetarians.
Some quotidian quotes:
Things to-do are getting done, slowly but surely.
Check out this guy, who's suing the law school at CUNY-Queens because they rejected him seven years in a row. They say it's because he had a 127/133 LSAT. He says it's because they're discriminating against him for being white, male, and Jewish. Catch: the guy is 80 years old.
For about a month now, I've been meaning to set up a webring for law blogs. I registered the group at RingSurf a few weeks ago, motivated by an email exchange with Denise, but hadn't yet gotten around to assembling the registration page until today.
New casebooks vs. used casebooks?
My in-laws have returned to the Greater New York Accent Area after a week's visit chez nous, so blogging should hopefully resume normal frequency (although I'm debating whether to scale "normal frequency" back to 3-4 posts per week, to allow for more study time...we'll see what winds up being necessary).
Huzzah! Sections and fall semester schedules have finally been posted on the web, and I'm awash in relief. My earliest class, Criminal Law, is at 10:40 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mondays and Wednesdays don't start for me until Torts at 12:40. And Fridays...*chortling*...I fear a great temptation to cut class, as my only session that day is one hour of Civil Procedure from 1:40 to 2:40.
After a week being bumbled-about in the hands of the blithering United States Postal Service (motto: "Priority Mail...we *think* it eventually should get there"), St. Daniel's books have finally arrived. My Christmas-in-July (well, August) haul consists of the Torts and Civil Procedure in a Nutshell books, the latter of which was actually authored by the dean of my law school; a Contracts handbook with the Uniform Commercial Code, Second Restatement, and other goodies; and the 2002-2003 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, still in the shrinkwrap.
Bumper sticker seen on an SUV in the parking lot of the Cost Plus World Market, ostensibly promoting Ben and Jerry's ice cream: