Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Truth About Law School

I am having a hard time coming to terms with something that is, frankly, a known “truth” in law school. Some refuse to accept this truth, while others go along with it by seeing it as the key to their potential success.

Law school is not about “The Law”, it is about learning how to pass law school exams and ultimately the bar exam. That’s it. That’s all it’s about. Everything else is just incidental. No doubt somewhere along the way actual black letter law is learned, but what is really driven into our heads is to think like a lawyer. In other words – law school is a head-trip, and even more than that – it is an Iron Man marathon that is designed to weed out the weak and leave the strong (barely) standing. To make it through law school one must FORCE their minds to change in ways they never thought possible. Above and beyond all of this, is something else that is tested to the limit... RESOLVE. One must have RESOLVE to finish law school. Without it - forget it. If or when that evaporates, it probably means a different career might be in the cards.

I love learning. I enjoy the casebooks, and I dig another student's perspectives on Whaley’s textbook. It’s so good - it's THAT good – it’s unfair to my other courses. In fact, the drawback to this textbook is that I am starting to read way, way too far ahead. It’s THAT good.

And you know what?

The "joy" of learning law doesn’t mean squat as far as I’m concerned. The fact that I find the subject matter downright intoxicating (much to my astonishment) is simply a side effect of law school, and has nothing to do with the actual purpose of this place.

The most important class I am taking now is the one I like the least… Intro to Law.

This class simply does not compare to any normal law class. An exceptionally smart, zany, frightening, inspiring, law professor who is one-half motivational-speaker and one-half crack appellate lawyer heads it up. If a law course can be trip on methamphetamines – this is the one.

The purpose of this course is to teach us how to do well on our exams. It also attempts to teach us how to study, brief cases (a little late guys), locate the issue, the rule, and so on, using a method known as IRAC. I can’t say I’m crazy about it, but I am forcing myself to use and learn it. I started out thinking it was pure bullshit, but now I’m starting to come around to seeing it as just another mental tool to use as needed.

This class is a total let down. Why? Because it jettisons the myth I held about law school i.e. that I was going to be immersed in the law, become one with it, marry it, make love to it day and night, and sire children by it. I had, foolishly, thought my experience in law school would be an orgy of hot, passionate, sweaty learning on a 24/7 basis. Turns out it’s more like ordering soup from the Soup Nazi. "No Soup For You! Back of Line!!"

I am, yet again, switching gears. The strange transformation my brain was already going through has now been thrown in to Turbo-Mode complete with multi-threading capabilities and true parallel processing coming on line soon (once I finish recompiling my mental kernel). Change can be painful. Adding these new features won’t be easy, but if I want to avoid hitting the wall… so be it.


Post a Comment

<< Home