Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Law School - First Semester Survived

I haven't discussed law school much since starting the blog, but now that I have survived the first semester mostly intact, I guess I could share a few thoughts about it.

First, I'm loving a great part of it. Don't laugh, but I enjoy reading cases, thinking about "the law" and learning about new ways of thinking. It definitely feels like intellectual boot camp a lot of the time and the first semester, they say, is the roughest. But still, I am glad I decided to go back to school.

Having said that, I am afraid I peaked a little too early and the last month was rough. I did lose some interest as the avalanche of reading built up. I did stay on top of the daily stuff, but did not do enough studying and preparing for finals. And when they did come around, I had to rush with my outlining and studying, cramming a lot of it into the spaces between exams. Next time, I hope to get a quicker start on this, possibly even at the expense of some of the heavy daily reading.

This might sound silly, but I set myself a goal of going to every single class and I achieved it. OK, with one exception for the legal writing class, but that doesn't count... (The goal was a result of the fact that I skipped way too many classes back in college). Anyway, I think that helped with the understanding of the material, but I admit that going to some of the classes was marginally useful and I may hesitate a little less about skipping when needed next time. The goal is still there, but I may be a little more "flexible".

See, for law students it's all about the grades. Most people do want to learn, but that A or B is still the bottom line. So, if anybody out there is looking for tips, do read all those professional outlines and other study aides. They do help and I should have started that earlier. Again, at the expense of the reading. Do read the cases, but be wise with your time.

Finally, I met a lot of fantastic people at school. New friends and other acquaintances with a lot of interesting backgrounds. This is also the advantage of moving around once in a while (with the disadvantage being, of course, having to leave them behind after a while). You don't want to close yourself only within the law school community and I am happy that I did meet some nice folks who have nothing to do with the law in Chicago, which itself is a great town.

Talking about friends. I did neglect many old ones, especially in the last few weeks as the finals began to loom over the horizon. I am sorry for that and I hope to reconnect in the next few weeks.

I am scheduled to do the first year at the law school and then move on to journalism school for a while before going back into the real world. So, unless things change, I have one more semester on the law side and I plan to enjoy this one too. Weird.

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