Tuesday, August 19, 2008


That seems like a fitting topic to my new and improved (yet slightly less exciting?) blog. This week I am going through orientation. It is basically class, except at the end of the week we will take a practice exam that will not be factored into our grade. The main goal of orientation is to get everyone used to the Socratic method and "get you thinking like a lawyer." To illustrate this new thought process we would be adapting, our professor took out an apple. He asked us "what is this?" An apple. "How do you know?" We came up with three rules. All apples are 1) red 2) round 3) have stems. Then the professor pulled out a tomato. "Is this an apple?" We decided that it was. Correct!

I have found Law school is extremely different than undergrad. Your success in college is determined by how well you can regurgitate and memorize facts. Law School is not interested in your memorization skills, they care about concepts and how you can apply different concepts to various situations. Thus, an answer with all of the correct "facts" could get a significantly lower score than an answer that has few facts but great analysis and application. Oh yeah and we only get one shot to do this. One exam for each class. This is like the guy at the Lakers half time show that will win $100,000 if he makes a half court shot. One chance- don't miss- no do overs- good luck!

During class we are subjected to the dreaded Socratic Method. You could be called on anytime during the class without warning. This is supposed to simulate the court room environment and teach you to think on your feet. I have to admit my motivation for being prepared in class has more to do with not wanting to look like an idiot in front of my fellow classmates. The pressure to look intelligent is heavy, and people are already trying to distinguish themselves as analytical powerhouses. There are a few people (you know the type) that use big words and monopolize the professors time by asking irrelevant hypotheticals. Not only do I think these people are overcompensating for their lack of intelligence, they are being disrespectful to the class by making the professor go off on tangents. Are you with me? Let me hear an Amen!

It all boils down to this. As much as you may hear me complain over the next three years about the long hours, having Blacks law dictionary permanently attached to my hand (because I don't speak Latin- or proper English for that matter), missing meals, missing sleep, missing events, arguing with classmates over cases, study groups, and all the other junk I am sure is going to happen- the truth is... I am secretly loving it. In the words of another fellow Cheerleader, Bring it on!

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