Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Break from Studying

Every couple hours of studying I start to get really fidgety and have to do something else for a little while so I decided to write a quick blog. This week is placement break which means the 2nd and 3rd year students have a chance to travel for interviews and such and first year students have a chance to catch up on mountains of studying and work on our Memo 3's. Memo 3 is the only graded assignment in the first year writing class. That means, no matter how good or bad I did on the first 2 memo's, I could still fail the class if Memo 3 is not wonderful. So I have spent approximately 17 hours over the break doing research. And the rest of the time I have been preparing outlines for finals (ya they are in 2 months but when the final exams are the only things on your grades, you spend the whole semester preparing for them). Anyways...a lot of people have asked me about law school so here is a quick summary of life as a first year law student at BYU.
  1. BYU is one of the top 10 most competitive law schools in the nation once you get in. So even if you are studying for 10 hours per day, 5 days a week, you can still rank in the bottom half of the class since others will certainly be putting in 12 hours per day, 6 days a week.
  2. Law professors are all about the Socratic method so they will call on you to analyze a case you read (one you probably read a week ago) and then will give you hypothetical after hypothetical until they can stump you in front of the class...and trust me, they will stump you haha. But it actually is pretty fun once you get over the fear of looking like an idiot.
  3. The reading for law classes is really interesting. The case books use the craziest cases they can find to illustrate the different aspects of the law. Torts is by far the most interesting though (law suits)'s unbelievable the kinds of things people sue over. One of our first cases was about a 60 year old lady who was sueing a 5 year old boy. The boy definitely did something lawsuit worthy but it's still crazy to read about them calling the 5 year old on the stand to defend himself against an $11,000 lawsuit haha.
  4. I used to love classes that were graded on a curve because I knew if I worked hard enough, I would be at the top of the curve but in law school...everyone has always been at the top of the curve. So I prepare myself everyday to be at the bottom but I think nothing can really prepare any of us for the emotional breakdown that is sure to follow final grades :-S.
  5. Law is such a different subject to learn. Because the law changes every single day. With every new case, new precedent is set. It's really fascinating to me that I could write a paper about what the law is on any particular subject and by the time I graduate law school, that paper could be entirely useless because the law has changed so much. Usually in school you learn how to apply rules that will typically never change. But in law school, you learn how to manipulate any kind of rule to work in your client's favor, which could even mean changing the rule entirely. It's interesting that one attorney could look at the rules set out in one case and construe them to favor his client while the attorney opposite him could use the SAME case and construe the rules in favor of her client.
  6. One thing I have learned in law school: People should just stop trying to argue against Justice Scalia. Justice Scalia is a conservative judge in the Supreme Court who was appointed by Reagan. And let's just say, I feel bad for the other Justice's when they argue against him in their opinions because he destroys their arguments every time. He is sometimes criticised for writing such scathing dissents against the majority but it certainly makes his opinions interesting to read. Seriously...this guy is so cool.
  7. One unfortunate thing about law school is it has made me hate mundane activities such as showering or cleaning the house, because I feel guilty every time I spend time on stuff like that knowing someone else is probably studying at that moment.
Okay...I really should get back to studying.