Reflections on the First Year of Law School
well the first year of law school is behind me. i'm alive,
i'm well and i have a job. going back to work i've come
across some paralegals who ask me with their wide eyes,
"so how was the first year of law school?"
my reply is always the same,
"the first year of law school is like dating a crazy chick.
it's a hell of a lot of work, but it's a lot of fun,
although you're always afraid you might die at some point."
well at least that's how it was for me. really in your
first year you go through the following courses:
torts - this is essentialy the "people's court" 'you hit my
car and i'm suing you.' it's pretyt intuitive largely
because you have examples in every day life...in short this
is the most applicable course. we've all battered someone
at some point in our life and this is a great course to take
if you've ever wondered if blowing smoke in someone's face
is considered a 'battery' (depends on the jurisdiction).
contracts - for most people this si either the hardest or
second hardest course. as my mother likes to say,
"contracts were made so that you don't understand them."
more specifically this course is completely self-contained.
you are in the world of contracts, and although the
fundamentals are quite easy (i.e. offer and acceptance, a
promise, etc.) and you enter into contracts every day of
your life, the more in depth portions are a bitch to master
(law school doesn't wear you down through blunt hits, but by
asking you waht the implied merchantiability of a salad bowl
would be as defined under the uniform commercial code).
property - since this is one of the oldest subjects in law
(property has always been on the king's mind) this boils
down to a lot of history and figuring out terminology. the
dreaded 'rule against perpetuities' is in this course.
overall it can get a bit complex, but it somehow seems a bit
more intuitive (like torts) than contracts.
civil procedure - well this is the other motherfucker for
people. this deals with such great things such as the
"federal rules of civil procedure" (i.e. how to not get your
case kicked out because you printed it on 8 X 11 paper
instead of 8 X 14). a lot of students have a problem with
this course cos it has no substantive material to grasp (by
definition it deals only with the procedural). my teacher
summed it up best. good lawyers know civil procedure; great
lawyers use civil procedure. (in other words this will give
you a hand up if your neighbor sues you cos your fence is
infringing on his yard).
criminal law - of course you can't finish the first year of
law school without criminal law. i foudn this course the
most fascinating (there's just something about homicides).
overall i'd say this is the most entertaining course of all.
in genearl the first year was just a shit load of work. i
mean you have to read all the damn day. and frankly, some
people simply can not think like lawyers. i know that
sounds really elitist or whatever, but it's true. some
people just can't do it.
you really can't figure it out until you're in it. but i
encourage everyone to try it.