Saturday, December 20, 2008

An Ode to Law School

Yesterday was the end of my first semester as a 1L. I was expecting a huge feeling of relief after handing in my last final exam, but strangely enough, that did not happen. Instead, anxious thoughts about grades swirled through my mind. Here are some thoughts of what made this semester so memorable.

When I first started the semester, I had a strange preconception that I was going to excel above all the other students in my class. I figured that because I had no distractions, I could spend all my waking time on school. I discovered, less than a couple weeks in, that spending all my time with school is necessary just to keep afloat. Each of my five classes required me to read and write more than I ever had before. Also, it seemed like everyone around me was as smart or smarter than me. Plus, every guest lecturer or student adviser stressed the importance of getting superb grades. It was around this time that I felt overwhelmed, freaked out and depressed about law school. I later found out that 1Ls tend to have these moments. sp0053muhammad-ali-posters

However, I felt confident that if I kept working hard, I could do well. For motivation, I went online and bought a poster to get me riled up. Every day I would come home to this poster. If the text is too small, it reads: 21st May 1965, Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston, First Minute - First Round. Sometimes I felt like the man on the mat, but most of the time I pictured myself as Muhammad Ali.

I was not completely anti-social, but close. Thinking back throughout my life, I realized that without distractions I tend to close myself up and study. I got really good grades in high school, because I was basically not into the high school social scene. I didn’t get good grades in college because I liked hanging out with friends. In Boston, I was supposed to study for the LSAT all summer long and do amazing on it. Then I made great friends who helped me unfocus myself from my studies. Then I came to law school and without any relatives or close friends, found school to be my outlet for spending time.

I found out something very interesting about my sleep patterns. When I spend a lot of time exercising my mental faculties (studying), I don’t need very much sleep. Especially when working on specific assignments, I found I need no more than 7 hours of sleep. Getting by on less sleep was crucial over the course of the past four months.

I learned that writing is an art. I love it, love it, love it. Writing as a lawyer is so logical, once you know how to do it, and it’s FUN.

As fun as it was to become all competitive with fellow students, I learned that getting good grades isn’t of sole importance. Actually, it may be, but I am not going to incessantly fret about grades. My motto has become this: work hard and in theory you will get what you deserve.

Franklin Pierce Law Center did not let me down. The facilities were good. The fellow students were very friendly, helpful, and smart. For the most part, my professors were great, knowledgeable, and friendly. Civil Procedure was awesome. Professor Budd, Harvard Law alum and former head of the ACLU in California, taught like a champ. Contracts was cool. Johnny O was cool. I liked his conservative approach and his lectures were very interesting and funny. Torts was not too fun.