'Tis the Season.

Posted by Kathleen Moxley
Kathleen Moxley
Hi, I'm a 3L Dual JD student, originally from Ottawa and now living in Windsor
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on Monday, 12 November 2012
in Student Blogs

No not of turkey or remembrance but rather of the evil end of term deadlines.  As of the 27th I will be done.

I seem to recall someone back in first year explaining law school in the following manner. First year is all about your marks. You basically hibernate focusing solely on somehow beating the elusive curve so that come time to apply for summer jobs you can triumphantly present your straight A marks for all the employers and land the job which you will keep for the next two years and which will eventually lead to an articling and associate position.  Then second year when this plan fails for all but 5 or so per cent of you, you can expand your extracurriculars and then reapply for the next summer with those all so important first year marks. By third year you should be employed permanently, your marks no longer matter and you can enjoy coasting through the year before settling into your nice aggressive corporate job.

I'm still waiting for the coasting to start. Don't get me wrong, I really like law school; it's just more of a marathon than a mad dash. Luckily for us there are many fun opportunities and distractions along the way.

I suppose that as this is my first post I should tell you (my mystery reader) a little bit about myself. I'm a 3L Dual JD. I'm Canadian and I grew up in Ottawa. Prior to coming to school here I had never been further South in Ontario than Stratford, let alone down to Michigan. I didn't visit the schools and I had no idea what a nexus card was or that Windsor is the real "South Detroit." I came because the program sounded interesting. Two degrees in three years, why not?

I did my undergrad in Political Studies at Queen's University (Kingston, not Belfast or in New York).  I coached downhill skiing throughout my latter years of high school and most of my undergrad. I haven't written a blog since grade 7 or 8 and to be honest I'm not entirely sure where to start.

I guess I started talking about end of semester work so I'll start there. The closer I get to the end of law school the more constant the work seems to become.  This semester I have 2 exams. That means that all of my other courses are based on term work. UDM has 2 specific upper year course requirements for Dual JD students. We have to take an upper level writing course and 3 credits worth of LFP (Law Firm Program). I fully support both of these requirements; however taking them both in the same semester was not my brightest move. As a Dual JD we regularly take above a full course load (13-18 credit hours), so when I was course planning I figured my measly 17 credit semester shouldn't be too bad. I failed to consider that 10 of those credits are all course work and therefore require that I submit or complete more than 40 different things during the semester. For those of you calculating that's about 3 things a week.

Now that I have completely scared you out of going to law school, my semester is definitely an exception to the rule. It's also proof of why it is important to consider more than just credits in planning your schedule. But beyond all of the academic considerations, it's amazing practice. When I'm out in the real world I know I can handle whatever an associate throws at me; and still have a life. I actually think this is one of the biggest strengths of UDM law. I really do feel prepared for the real world.

About the author

Kathleen Moxley

I'm a 3L Dual JD student, originally from Ottawa and now living in Windsor. I did my undergraduate degree in Political Studies with a minor in Psychology from Queen's University, Kingston. I love to ski and generally just get outside and explore new things. You can contact me at moxleyka@udmercy.edu.