Classes

For the love of UCC

Last year, I HATED contracts. If I had a stronger word than hate, I would use it. It was the bane of my existence and having the class at 8:30 clearly didn’t help. This year, I thought it would be a great idea to take a Uniform Commercial Code class so I didn’t have to teach myself for the bar exam.

I thought I would hate it. Friends I talked to about the class decisively responded with “I’m sorry”. In reality though, I love it! I’m taking Secured Transactions which covers Article 9. It’s not terrible and I have an awesome professor for it. I guess sometimes you really just don’t know what’s going to peak your interest.

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Classes

Don’t be scared of your professors

At the beginning of my 1L year, I was terrified of my professors. Were they going to judge me? Was I asking a stupid question? Am I bothering them? Let me answer all of those right now: no, no, and no. First off, professors are NOT going to judge you. I guarantee whatever comes out of your mouth is not the stupidest thing a law student has ever said to them; trust me. In law school, the old “no such thing as a stupid question” still holds true. Now, there is a difference between asking questions in class and after class or during office hours but for the most part, there are no stupid question. Especially 1L year. Professors also don’t get bothered by students asking questions. You’re engaging in the material; you’re keeping up on the class and that’s a good thing.

Professors are not people you need to be afraid of. Right now, they are steps ahead of you in life but as soon as you graduate (or pass the bar depending on how you look at it), you are on the same level as them; you are a lawyer. In my experience, most professors treat you like lawyers and understand they are teaching groups of twenty-somethings, not children. It may seem intimidating when you have to ask them the most basic “what is battery?” type question but at one point, whether it was 10 years ago or fifty years ago, they were in your place too. Everyone starts at the same beginning in law school. Very few people come in with prior knowledge of the law and for me, that acts as an equalizer between classmates. Professors remember what that’s like. If you can’t ask your professor, who is well versed in a subject of law, a question, who can you ask?

Classes

A rough few weeks

For whatever reason my inability to focus has completely come back. I’ll sit in class and instead of listen or take notes, I will find absolutely anything else to do. I don’t know if I just don’t care, I have a naive idea I already understand what’s going on or if I’m really just that dumb. Either way, hopefully switching to a spiral instead of my laptop will help.

But, today was actually really well. I think I’m finally starting to feel like I fit in here and that I have the ability to do well in law school. Even though I’m happy and feel good, I have this nagging feeling that it’s the calm before the storm. Finals are coming up and I do not handle stress well at all. I don’t know how I’m going to handle things in the upcoming weeks but for now, I just want to focus on being happy and loving my life.

Classes

The Socratic Method

Sometimes the Socratic method is just downright brutal to watch. I’ve never been called on when I hadn’t done the reading or been prepared (thank goodness), but lately I’ve noticed more and more classmates getting the unlucky call. Now, I’m not putting myself on a pedestal saying I’ll never mess up or never be unprepared for a class but so far, I’ve been lucky. I’ve started to notice there are a few different types of students who get called on and watching them get through it is heartbreaking.

1. “I’m unprepared”

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Alright, I understand being unprepared for class. I really do. I just don’t understand why there is no attempt to even try. Pull up a brief online, look over notes from last class, ANYTHING! As soon as “I’m not prepared” comes out of someone’s mouth, I instantly see the look of regret on their face because they know the professor is not going to be happy.

2. “I don’t know the answer to that”

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These are the students who flat out admit they have NO idea how to answer a question. I do give them a ton of credit for admitting they are as clueless as the rest of the class. Some professors move on and it’s no big deal, some lead them in the right direction. The worse are the professors who say “I don’t care give me an answer anyway”. That’s when it gets difficult to watch.

3. “Well, I’m not sure if this is right…”

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So basically, you didn’t read or you didn’t understand. Alright no big deal. But watching this person struggle through BS just to attempt to get to the answer the professor wants makes me nervous. Legitimately, makes me nervous. I feel like I’m good at BSing my way through things usually but these students are courageous.

4. Silence

This is hands down the absolute WORSE and I can’t even find a picture to capture how insanely nervous and upset this makes me. I’ve only seen this once but it was so heartbreaking because you can tell the person knows the answer but just can’t seem to formulate it correctly so instead of throwing together random words and sounding like they are reading from a word jumble, it’s just silence.

I know my day of being subjected to a longer Socratic method than two questions is coming. I’m starting to get really nervous that I haven’t had a complete fail on things like this but I have to imagine this will be my reaction the first time I massively mess up:

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Classes

Change of Heart

I’ll be honest. I started classes absolutely hating┬átorts. It was boring, tedious, and I just didn’t like the subject matter. I started classes adoring property and civil procedure. Oh my, how things change.

As classes get more challenging, I have had a change of heart on the classes that I enjoy and classes I dislike. Now, I adore torts and hate property. It’s not that my like or dislike of a class comes from the class itself but the substantive matter of the class.

Torts involves two people. Their actions, motives, decisions, and thoughts all interact with the law and create a situation where the possibilities are endless, in terms of what the action could have been. I love the real side of the law and seeing how things could have been avoided based on how a person reacts.

Property, eh not so much. While sometimes property involves the actions of two people and their decisions. The big part of the class right now, possessory estates and future interests, is all about giving property away. It bothers me that everything could be avoided if something was written differently or explained differently.

Who knows, I’ve had a change of heart after a month, maybe I’ll have one again next month. Either way, I can’t imagine I’m the only person who hates the same class they originally did and loves the class they originally did.

Classes

You can’t be wrong

I’ve been in orientation (not real orientation, more of a “here’s how to be successful” orientation) for, oh, two days now and if there is one thing I’ve learned: no one expects you to be perfect. I’m a huge perfectionist and I still intend to do my absolute best but it is a huge relief to know that I can do a brief, come to class, have it be completely wrong, and NO ONE CARES! Not my professors, not my classmates, no one. As long as it’s corrected and I understand the concepts, I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to learn.

My second lesson has been the Socratic Method sucks. We’ve been exposed to it a few times and while I generally don’t mind it, I know I’ll screw up at some point. Apparently as long as you don’t do this, the world doesn’t come crashing down:

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With any luck, I’ll be Socratic Method-ed on days where I 100% completely understood the case and rules. Ha, I doubt that will be ever.

Classes

And the fun begins

Well, here I am law school!! I’m officially moved into (and unpacked completely) in my own apartment and start my first day of orientation tomorrow. I’m very excited to be starting this part of my life and can’t wait to see what the next few years bring me.

For orientation, we were given some reading and a few cases to brief. I took law classes in undergrad and have the basic gist of briefing but I’m really scared I’m doing this all wrong. I have no idea what is going on this case, if I’m formatting right, or if I even understand the most basic things. I’m trying to go on the rationale of “we’re all freshman and will definitely screw this up” and hope that I’m doing my best for my first ever “real” brief.

One down, a million more to go