Friday, May 06, 2005
What is Law School Like, Part II
In part I, I told you about class preparation and what goes on during class. In part II, I want to describe the exam process. First, let me back track a bit. Law school is 180 degrees different than any other kind of schooling one has subjected themselves to. It's hard to explain, but again, the main part is learning to think like a lawyer, I'm not sitting in a classroom listening to lectures taking notes all night. The classroom experience involves a lot of critical thinking, asking questions, asking questions about your questions, doubting the responses, questioning your doubting of the responses...you get the idea. It involves knowing what fact patterns to apply certain rules of law to, figuring out the potential outcomes, creating plan B, plan C....Preparing for exams is a whole other sadistic process. It usually involves dozens of hours of memorizing the blackletter law (rules of law), doing dozens of practice exams (gotta learn how to apply those rules), no sleep (seems traditional that every student at every law school does it this way), gallons of coffee, tons of junk food, a sound proof study chamber and the dim hope that this will soon be over. So then the day comes, you get your exam, at my school it consists of three essay questions, which doesn't sound to bad, but in those three questions you'll have to spew out every cotton pickin rule of law you know and correctly apply it to the facts of the question. So for three questions, I'll write about 30-60 pages in a three hour span. Now you know why lawyers are the way they are...their minds have been imperviously damaged by law school and the sadistic rituals of exams. More on grades later.