As I write this blog post, I’m on my second cup of coffee. As I do love coffee very much, this is a necessary daily routine, as my body adjusts to working full time and being in law school. Currently, I am a part time student, but don’t let this distract you from the fact that I spend up to 3-4 hours a day studying when I get free time. But I digress.
The first week of school was an adjustment. For one, I graduated College in 2012, so it’s been a solid 5 years since I’ve been in a classroom setting. Along with probably 99% of the other 1L’s (first years), I had a mix of emotions throughout the week. I was nervous, frustrated (mostly because my ID card kept malfunctioning and the Bookstore never ordered the required text for my Legal Research class), overwhelmed and straight up tired. Because I am part time, I’m currently only taking 3 classes; Torts, Contracts and LRW (Legal Research & Writing). I felt a little like Harry Potter sitting in Professor Snape’s Defense against the Dark Arts class, while in Torts for the first time. Torts is basically a civil wrong doing (aka a non-criminal act, that a person may sue for, for monetary compensation). My Professor was very intimidating and it is clear she has very high expectations for 1st day 1L’s to know every Tortious act, their elements and how to clearly recite the 10 cases she assigned prior to class. Needless to say, our entire classes was on the same page as our boat of confidence slowly sank.
Contracts, my professor and his uncanny resemblance to Professor Slughorn in Harry Potter, was a stark contrast from Torts. He’s sarcastic, hilarious, patient and the subject matter, although not as interesting as Torts, was easier to understand. I look forward to learning more.
Legal Research and Writing is one word: Dope. First things first, my professor is an older Caucasian man, with Dreadlocks. Yes, you guessed it, he’s woke. LRW is probably the most important and fundamental classes a law student will take. People might think that lawyers spend most of their time in court rooms, and this is false. You have to be able to research prior cases, policies and laws, properly cite and know how to write the legal documents needed, appropriately. It could possibly be a very boring class, depending on the atmosphere, but so far I actually look forward to it and our discussions.
Overall, the hardest part of my first week is learning how to manage the many pages of reading, and case briefs. A case brief is basically breaking down a prior case into different categories (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Holding, Conclusion). Stay tuned for my blog post over this topic. When I say many pages of reading, I mean an average of about 40 pages each torts class and roughly 20-40 in contracts. That’s easily 120 pages per week, not including the cases that need to be briefed! I urge anyone with a desire to go to law school to understand, this isn’t a walk in the park, but I know it will be so worth it. As time goes by and I get more and more comfortable/knowledgeable with the subject matter, I’m sure it will get easier. Nothing worth having is easy. But in the meantime… Coffee.