Blog Entry 75
May 20th, 2010
Wow, it has certainly been awhile since I’ve last updated.
I wish I could say that I’ve been able to easily return to my before-law-school routine, but it has been kind of slow going. The good news is that I seem to be getting more productive as the days go on.
This week, the “problem” for the law review write-on competition was released. They provided us with a set of facts and four cases and we are to write a six page memo evaluating whether a tort was committed. (Tort=harm that one commits against another for which the law provides a remedy. Our facts deal with intentional infliction of emotional distress, a tort which, because of its requirements, is really not as common as one would think.) We have two weeks to complete the memo, but I’m leaving for vacation in Florida before those two weeks are up, so I will just have to be really good about working on it during the
time that I do have. Ew, work…
Because I really don’t have a lot of interesting law school experiences to post about at the moment (and who really wants to read a blog that, day after day, reads “I woke up late. I ate a sandwich. I showered. I cleaned. I watched some television. I made dinner. I read for a couple hours. I went to bed. The end.”), I have decided that it might be a good idea for me to provide some reviews on different law school books (and a movie!) that are out there.
First the movie: The Paper Chase. This really isn’t entertainment at its best, but most professors will know about it and you will likely hear references to it. It was kind of fun to watch, but it also terrified me, particularly when I saw their way of studying for final exams. If you do decide to watch it, just know that it really isn’t as bad as they portray. None of the video/DVD rental places near me had it, so I bought it on Amazon for like $3…and I’m sure it’s available on Netflix.
I just finished the book Lawyer Boy, by Rick Lax. I loved it. It’s about a guy (from West Bloomfield, MI!) who had graduated college (U of M…) and was basically spending his days sitting on his parents’ couch, played the cow bell in a band and earned money as a magician. Pretty much all of the men in his family were lawyers, and somehow he ended up applying to law school. The book talks about his experiences as a 1L at DePaul School of Law (during the year that DePaul moved from the third tier to the top 100). I found it very honest and realistic, yet entertaining. It was a fun and easy read, so I very much recommend it. (Plus, he employs the use of footnotes…something which I used to be really good about ignoring, but can be ever so important in legal reading and writing.)
If you’re looking for a book that’s actually designed as a prep book, I’d recommend Law School Confidential. With the exception of their brief-your-cases-by-using-colorful-highlighters-instead-of-actually-writing-out-briefs suggestion, I found the information very useful. They address pretty much everything, including: choosing a law school, things to consider when moving to a school in a new area, a quick overview of 1L subjects, how to prepare for exams, a post-exam evaluation method, how to apply for jobs and internships, etc. I appreciated the fact that it was written by several students who attended different law schools and could give me a good perspective.
I’ve heard good things from people in my section about the book Getting to Maybe. This book helps with preparing for law school exams, which are unlike pretty much any exam you have ever taken before. If you think it would be a good idea for you to read this book, read it now. Don’t tell yourself you will just wait until exams are approaching…once it gets to that point in the game, it will probably feel like a waste of time.
I began listening to Scott Turow’s One L in audio book form at the beginning of the school year. This book discusses Turow’s experience as a 1L at Harvard Law. I daresay, this book made me terrified for school. I think it’s worth noting that Harvard is more cutthroat than UDM; if you decide to read this book, keep that in mind. I have to admit, I didn’t make it through the whole audio book; I could only listen to a story about someone reading and studying for hours on end for so long…although the book has received good reviews, so it might just be me. (Plus, when I read for pleasure, I read very quickly. Lawyer Boy took me maybe four hours to get through…I think this leads me to be much more impatient with audio books.
My mentality going into law school was that I was going to read all of the horror stories I could…and then my experience would HAVE to be better than the combined horror of the collective experiences I heard about. It was. Hopefully you will also find these books beneficial.