Tag Archive: law school life

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Dispatches from Law School: The Stress of Cold Calling

When you think of law school, the scene that comes to mind might well be the beginning of the movie The Paper Chase, where a law professor calls on a student the first day of class and ruthlessly interrogates him about a case he didn’t know he was supposed to read. Law school professors are notorious for “cold calling” students — essentially, calling on individuals at random to answer questions without waiting for students to raise their hands. It’s a source of stress, especially when a lot of new law students are used to seminar-style classes in undergrad where they could pick up participation points by giving their opinion about a novel they looked up on Sparknotes that day. Cold calling takes away so much of your control over how and when you participate, so you have to be on your guard all the time. Now a few weeks into law school, I have been cold-called, and I’ve also observed it in my classes almost every day. With that experience in mind, I can answer some of the most common questions people have about professors cold calling in law school.

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Dispatches from Law School: First Two Weeks as a 1L

My law school orientation began August 22, so I’ve officially experienced two weeks of law school orientation and classes as a 1L. My year before law school was filled with current law students and lawyers providing ominous and contradictory clues about the first year law school experience: “It was the worst year, but it’s supposed to be that way” or “I hated 1L — it was the best year of my life.” While it’s still very fresh in my mind, I’m here to provide at least a few more concrete details about my experience of the very beginning of law school.

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Looking Back on Law School, Upon Graduation

In two days, I am going to graduate from law school. This post, like Yuko’s from last week, is going to provide some reflections on my experience over the last three years.

Looking back, the first year of school was exactly as bad as everyone says. The first semester, in particular, was extraordinarily stressful. I often felt lost, I dreaded cold calls, and I never felt like I was on top of the material. Not even rose-colored glasses can improve the situation. If you’re planning on going to law school, you shouldn’t expect anything different—you’re in for a trial by fire.

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The Best and Worst Law School Has to Offer

I just took my last law school exam yesterday. So I’m officially done with law school. Here are some of my thoughts on the best and worst law school has to offer.

The Best: Loads of Free Time

Look, your first year of law school will be fairly busy. But if you somehow end up sleep deprived and antisocial, or if you lose all your gains bro, then it’s your own fault.

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Slavery and Symbolism at Harvard Law School

As you may have seen in coverage from The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Law School is considering changing its seal. In a social climate laden with cheeky editorials about excessive PC culture on college campuses – or, for that matter, in an election dominated by The Donald – it comes

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Does compassion have a place in the law?

The University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law has recently voted to “champion the cause of compassion.”

When I heard about this, my initial reaction was positive. I think there already is a lot of compassion and other emotions that can come into play behind the rhetoric of legal reasoning. Judge Richard Posner has been arguing that politics, intuition, and emotion, rather than sophisticated legal reasoning, are often the real motivators behind judicial decisions.

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Trust Issues? Try Antitrust!

Antitrust law might not sound as sexy as space law but it might be very attractive to many of you. Antitrust law is the law of competition. Essentially, the purpose of antitrust law is to ensure that firms are competing against each other and not colluding in a way that hurts competition and ultimately consumers.

A lot of law students get disappointed by how formalistic legal reasoning can be. For example, in patent law, to figure out if something can be patented you have to decide if it’s, say, a “process” but not an “abstract idea,” but if it is “it adds significantly more to the abstract idea.”

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Social life matters in law school.

Here’s the thing about law school. You’re there to learn and build a solid ethical and knowledgeable foundation that will sustain a decade’s long career. But, if we’re being real, you’re also there to get to know people, to make friends, to schmooze even. The friends you make in law school — whether they are students, professors, or support staff — could have a direct impact on your job prospects after graduation. In law school, it’s both what you know, and who you know.

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Logical Reasonings / 9.9.15

A) A new University of Tennessee program will allow students to graduate in six years with their bachelor’s degree and a JD. University of Tennessee Knoxville

B) Did that Kentucky county clerk have to go to jail? Volokh Conspiracy

C) Legal writing classes in law school are the source of much complaining – but here’s why they’re not all bad. Law School Toolbox

D) Cat ladies everywhere, rejoice – it will soon be legal to own more than three cats in LA. Wall Street Journal

E) Impress your friends by using your LSAT skills to solve this riddle that was allegedly created by Einstein and has been making the rounds. IFL Science

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Real-Life On-Campus Interview Nightmares

It’s job season for rising 2Ls. It’s a stressful time for pretty much anyone. But, I’ve been hearing a lot of hilarious stories, so I’m going to share some with you.

The Ronald Reagan Library

I was interviewing with a big firm in the City. They’re known for being especially left leaning in an industry that’s itself very liberal to begin with. So I walk into a partner’s office for my second interview of the day, and there’s presidential memorabilia everywhere. Pez dispensers, bobble heads, buttons, and a huge map marked with what are probably the birthplaces of US presidents.

She asks me, “So, where’re you from?” I tell her I’m from this small town in California.