Last week’s attempt at a post was a wash due to an important LPS paper. The last minute editing and rushing around by my classmates was amusing to watch, luckily I gave myself enough time over the weekend to finish writing, leave it for 24 hours, and give it an honest edit. For those who don’t remember LPS is the Legal Practice Skills class, or the Suffolk Law legal writing class. I assume all 1L’s are required to take a writing class of some sort. The best part of this particular class is we only have about 14 students; it’s much better than the 85 or so in the majority of my classes. I feel like my section got the best professor of the bunch. We get so many handouts and suggestions on how to write the different parts of the memos that I laugh at myself while editing. I’m fairly accomplished at using non-human subjects and screwing up the most obvious requirements that I would likely be lost if left to my own writing skills.
There was so much time spent running around thinking about and drawing up the memo that most of the week was a blur. As usual, contracts was unmemorable and a reasonable part of the weekend must be spent trying to figure out what the hell is going on. We are still on adverse possession in our property class, which has only become slightly more interesting because we moved from adverse possession of real property to adverse possession of personal property. The Tort’s professor is likely giving us a false sense of security by being meticulous and covering every square inch of material. He could possibly be the only professor alive that can turn five pages of reading into two 50-minute classes. The general consensus is that we genuinely enjoy his instruction and attention to detail but our admiration is overwhelmed by the fear of his testing expectations. I decided to not talk in class two this week since my attempt at answering a question was fumbled and awkward earlier in the week.
I’m dedicating an entire paragraph to Criminal Law not only because it’s interesting but also because we get so much more…that was sarcasm. Let’s see we finally maneuvered past the Cahill Case. He gets side tracked often with his distaste for Mitt Romney or conservative idea in general that doesn’t have a similar political view as his. It’s waste of time and a distraction on an otherwise entertaining subject taught in a manner that I genuinely admire. Some of the more interesting advice, which is decidedly not related to criminal law, is that we should seek another state to practice. I had considered this even before law school not because I knew the state was over saturated with lawyers (a bit he has told us a few times) but because I am not a fan of the state in general. I am not ready or prepared to make a decision at this point in time on whether I will take the Mass Bar but taking another bar is something I will consider after seeking out more information, maybe I’ll see what Wikipedia has to say ☺ At this point I’m as decided on where to practice as I am to what type of law interests me most.
UMass Lowell finally got around to mailing my diploma. I don’t want to sound ungrateful but I was unimpressed with the document. I suppose comparing it to others I’ve seen on the wall is a bad idea right now. I guess I’ll have to pay $200 to have it properly framed and matted in order for it to look like I put some effort into graduating. I hope the J.D. diploma looks a little more impressive.
Looking at the current weather I’m skeptical about this “winter storm warning” it looks more like cold rain than snow…it would be nice for the weather people to keep quiet until they know more instead of sensationalizing every stiff breeze and cold front that comes our way. I’m still trying to figure out how to arrive at school without looking like I’ve run there. It’s only a mile walk but it seems like the more I try to stay warm the more it looks like I’ve just arrived from the gym and the less I wear the more I look like I stood outside for three hours.
In other news I went for a 30 minute run Thursday evening…bad idea. The goal was to stop making excuses and just go run, well driving cold rain and wind is now an acceptable excuse. I must say I’ve run in worse and colder weather but that was while in the military and not optional.
Attaching this to my Facebook profile has ruined the anonymity that I started out with; those of you reading at school…enjoy…send comments if you want. I’m not a drama queen so don’t expect any serious debates. The blog wasn’t started with any of you in mind; it’s all in good fun and a great way to blow off steam.
Hello, Friends, Family, nosey strangers, and my fellow 1C warriors,
For those of you who actually read this and do not communicate with me in person, phone, or Facebook I am still alive and surviving my first year. I’ll apologize up front for not writing the last few weeks. It has been busy and on top of school I moved last week.
I’ll start with school since that is what this is supposed to be all about. It’s getting kind of crazy. I’m staying on top of things for the most part but I can definitely feel the pressure building. Reading, briefing, and trying to understand the cases is getting a little easier but trying to implement what I’ve learned and think ahead to testing has been weighing on me lately. We just received a “problem” from our criminal law teacher who won’t be around next week. I’m following his advice and hoping I can come up with a positive result. I feel pretty good about Criminal Law; it’s contracts that could potentially slip away at any minute. Two friends and I purchased an extra book recommended by the professor as well as another study aid. I hope it clears things up fairly soon. Enough about that mess, lucky for me my brother-in-law attorney and a former professor told me not to worry about it. They managed to pass I’ll take their advice.
The first LPS memo that I might not have written about was handed back Tuesday. Tuesday is our worst day of the week. I think I speak for the class when I say our minds are numb after the day has ended, so I waited until Thursday to actually read what she wrote about my memo. At first I thought it was drivel and I wouldn’t survive the next memo (which is due in a couple weeks) but after reading it closely and my professors explanation in class, it wasn’t quite as bad as it looked. The additional information was helpful. There was one part where I did something she said explicitly to not do. Unfortunately they’ve told us to do and not to do many things in the month prior to its due date and I forgot…oops.
On a more positive note, I moved to the North End of Boston last weekend. Small place but bigger than my last place. This one actually has a stove and a bathroom sink. The commute is 30 minutes total versus the 2.5 hours from before. I’m still getting used to how the area works but I have a lot more time to spend in the library at school, which is where I do the most productive work. Most everything I need is within walking distance and everything else is a short T ride away.
I did manage to get out to the burbs and see my nieces today; we worked on penmanship and letters. My mother should get a good laugh out of that since my penmanship was terrible when I was her age. It’s a little far out to write letters to Santa since he and I haven’t had our yearly lunch and discussion about their behavior yet but I can’t blame her for getting a head start. I had to pass on apple picking so I could go shopping and stock my barren apartment. My grandparents reminded me about Italian night next Saturday night, which is more of a family reunion. It should be a good time and a break from studying. I was chosen by my sister and brother-in-law to be godfather to my niece Violet next Sunday. It’s only logical that I be picked because I’m a pretty awesome uncle to begin with and she was almost born in my car, either way they made a good pick. No ring kissing necessary but you will have to wait online if you have requests in the future ☺
Leave the gun take the cannolis. Speaking of delicious pastry, I wonder if anyone has any advice (preferably if you’ve been living in the North End a while) on how to walk past the string of bakeries on Salem Street could lend some advice on how to avoid the tempting smell every day. I am trying to resist the temptation but it’s not easy. Modern’s is my favorite, Mike’s isn’t bad but it’s definitely not the best neither is on Salem but there are some that are tempting me.
Since I have a few followers who are on their way to law school I’ll say a few words about where I’m at two months in…be prepared to work your ass off. The first year of law school is every hard undergraduate class you had all rolled into one semester with no tests until they’ve tried to cram tons of information into your head. There are people in my class who are losing focus already. I caught myself doing it a couple weeks ago. It’s not hard to find a distraction when you’re reading about some goof who lost a fox 200 years ago because some other guy caught up to it first. Don’t be surprised when you ask yourself why you are doing this to yourself. Everyone does, and if they say they didn’t they’re probably lying. I’ve only done it once so far and it was while reading some crappy contracts case at 11pm on a school night. Just remember that it’s worth it and the faculty wants you to succeed. How else are they going to squeeze you for 40K a year? I’m kidding, they seem genuinely interested in helping.
Thanks for the advice from both of my former professors and of course my brother-in-law who seems to enjoy reliving his experience, without the long studying hours. More next week maybe…we’ll see.
This is not a cry for sympathy, I only have a cold. I pretty much expected it to happen within the first month or so. Lots of reading, less sleep than I’m used to, and the filthy commuter rail finally caught up to me. Boo freaking hoo. I needed a more interesting title for my post than “week 3.” Anyway, sick or not I survived the week, managed to meet a few more cool people at school and didn’t die from boredom in Contracts. I’m hoping for at least a half recovery over the weekend which so far has so far been consumed with sleeping, criminal law reading and drugs (all legal of course.)
Speaking of criminal law, it’s become one of the more interesting classes that most of us seem to look forward to. There is no doubt in my mind the professor will be a strict grader when it comes to exams but he’s thought provoking and mildly entertaining during class. I’m not sure but I think they might have scheduled him after contracts (which we’ve observed many have stopped attending) to wake all of us up before Legal Practice Skills (LPS.)
LPS is a class where we are taught how to analyze cases and write like a lawyer. It sounds reasonable enough, my LPS teacher is very knowledgeable, runs a fun class and loves to email us five or more times per day. The truth is, I’m secretly afraid she might discover this blog and correct all of my grammar mistakes. The entire class is currently living in fear of our first assignment which is a memo to her concerning a group of cases that apply to our “client.”
All said, this week was more of the same, lots of reading, feeling a little more lost in some classes and a little less in others. Trying to keep up with the reading and case briefings is becoming less challenging than in week one and two.
Well I’m off to get loopy on cold medicine. I’m not a huge drug pusher so when I take them they really work!
Hello out here,
I was just thinking I’m going to have to come up a more creative heading for each of my posts, but I suppose “week two” will have to do for now. There isn’t much to report about the second other than it seems that everyone is getting more comfortable with school, the word load, and each other. The week ended with a 1C get together at the 21st Amendment, a bar near school that is supposedly the 1C hang out of previous years.
I managed to have a somewhat relaxing weekend though I have about what feels like a months worth of contracts reading/briefing to do. It only seems like a months work because it’s the one class I have a hard time figuring out what the issue is. The teacher has a somewhat shotgun approach to teaching class. I imagine I’ll get it eventually it’s just a pain in the rear right now. Property is another class that is hard to grasp. Thankfully our professor is going fairly slow in the beginning and beating the horse dead (or in this case the fox in Pierson v. Post and the whale in Ghen v. Rich) to ensure we understand the basic concepts.
Tomorrow is our only day with four classes. Property, Contracts, Torts, and LPS. That along with the hour each way commuting to school wear me out pretty good. I’m still trying to get into bed around 9:30-10:00 which is proving difficult so far.
I’m off to enjoy some pasta and meatballs with my two crazy nieces. Until next week…
Yes it finally happened. Week one wasn’t too bad. I’m pretty sure the professors are going easy on us to let us get some kind of pattern started. The homework hasn’t been too heavy but is definitely there. Looking ahead most of the classes have 1-6 cases to brief for any given week. The one part about law school I was not aware of is that there are really only two tests (at my school anyway), a test in December and a test at the end of the year. One of the classes “Legal Practice Skills” (a legal writing class in addition to other things) is the only class that has multiple graded assignments throughout the year. The first year students here are enrolled in six classes, five of which last the entire year. Criminal law and Constitutional law are only half year courses. I knew before starting that first years take the classes they are told to take, but did not know they lasted all year. I
did a silent cheer to myself when I found out the classes last all year since the required books cost upward of $1000.00 and that’s not including the recommended text which most classes have. Speaking of recommended text, there is one class in particular where all the professor does is talk about the “recommended but not required” text. I’m not sure why he didn’t just make it a required text book he’s definitely a character more about him another day.
The nervous energy of orientation has, as expected, simmered over to week one. It usually isn’t too hard to tell who is in their second or third year. They have an air of relief of having finished the first year or the confidence of graduating in nine months. The other years seem to be friendly toward us at the moment. I’m not sure if they pity us because they know how difficult the year ahead is or if they just are amused by us. I suppose I’ll know more about that next year when the first years a bumbling around the building like I am now. The students in my section have begun to break off into groups, some forming study groups and some merely sitting in proximity. I sat away from some folks I’ve been sitting next to most of my classes for only one class and felt a little weird. Apparently there is something to be said about strength in numbers. One of the guys asked my friend if we were fighting. He put on his best sad face, let a tear drop and sobbed “yes”. Okay so I made that up, I just arrived to class late and there weren’t any seats nearby. I imagine the entire section will get pretty close over the next few months. One girl in the class invited everyone out for an end of the first week celebration, regrettably I could not attend but once I move into Boston I’ll be more apt to attend the after school parties.
Why didn’t I go? I’m currently living about 45 minutes North of Boston and take the commuter rail to school each day. 45-60 minutes on the train and a few stops over from North Station to Park Street isn’t too bad but I would rather walk a mile from the apartment I’ve secured in the North End. I’m hoping the move into the city will cut down on the fatigue I’ve been feeling this first week. The 9:30 bed time I set for myself has turned into 10-10:30. I am trying to get into bed early so I feel alive by the time I get to the train, but it’s proving difficult so far.
I think that’s enough for week one. I survived the first week. The weeks to come will undoubtably become busier and these posts will get shorter. Lucky for me I type nice and fast so I’ll try to jam something out at the least weekly…or if something really entertaining happens. Those of you who are commenting thank you for the words of wisdom and encouragement, I will try to get back to you personally if I can. Welcome to all of those who are subscribing. My mother just signed up the other day…:)
Managed to make it through the first two days of orientation. A friend from UMass is also in my section so I had someone to hang out with the first couple of days.
The instruction seemed to be standard fare. We gathered in our sections for some sessions and then combined with another section for short classes that had less interaction. Thursday we broke into our Legal Practice Skills (legal writing) sections and interacted in the smallest group.
There was definitely a lot of nervous excitement in the crowd. A lot of the other students I spoke with seemed eager to get started more than anything else. The getting started part didn’t take too long, each day I check the campus cruiser (our online system) I seem to have another first class reading or legal briefing assignment to complete. Just today I’m pretty sure I read half of the entire semester of information we covered in my undergrad criminal law class and that’s just for the first week.
During orientation there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on a few themes. First was that we should treat law school like a job. Have a start and finish time for each day and set goals for what to finish during that 8-10 hour shift. Second, don’t forget to do the things that you did before law school started. There seemed refer a lot to exercise but the Dean mentioned she enjoyed watching Star Trek during law school. So really anything that keeps you sane will likely work. Third, be prepared to interact during class. Do the reading keep up with the assignments and prepare yourself for the socratic method of teaching. Lastly, the administration and 2L/3L stressed to seek out help if you are having difficulty. The administration seemed to have an honest interest in seeing everyone succeed and offered their assistance in many different areas. The 2L/3L students we met with in our LPS sections seemed to be relieved they were no longer first year law students but assured us that if we worked hard and stayed on top of things we would be successful. It was nice to hear things weren’t all doom and gloom which is what I suspect many people has as their first impression.
I have assignments for five of my six classes, weapons safety class, and a party to attend for my cousin who is joining the Marine Corps very soon. I’ll write more later after those reading assignments. Have a good weekend everyone.