Been a while. I still think the law school is a ridiculous system but I still managed to survive 2 years. It’s almost 3 am and I am still wide awake thanks to my PMS.
People usually tell 1L is the worst time, and it gets better in 2L. Well, not for me. I would say 1L and 2L years are busy and frightening to the same level. 1L year is tough because you are just trying to get used to the new surrounding, but then the school just doesn’t let you. They keep throwing all this burdens you have to do, with very little direction. I don’t know about others, but for me, 2L was a very busy year because I overloaded myself. I took 5 courses in my 2nd semester of 2L year, two being writing credit courses, which is a graduation requirement for my school. One of them was not regular writing – an intensive writing course.
Here the inefficient admin chimes in again. Later in the semester, I found out my friend tried to take 2 writing courses in one semester. Then the dean didn’t let her to do so, saying it would really increase her workload. Well, I’m fairly sure the dean looked at my registration anyway but not a word was said to me. Awesome…
One of those courses were called “transactional doc draft.” 2 credits, sound useful, right? WRONG. Look, I haven’t really seen any of serious contract document until I come to the law school (to be fair, I saw a few, but it was for translation or to be used as manual for my reporting job). So logically, the best way to teach this stuff would be
1) Explain a concept. Or two.
2) Give an example and explain.
3) Make the students to write something similar and give feedback.
Well, I’m in a law school, where the common sense doesn’t work. Instead, from day one, professor gives us 80+ pages long “model contract” with some “errors.” That we have to spot and change. Did I learn anything? No. But it squeezed so much my energy out for a 2 credit course.
But, on the other hand, the other writing course turned out to be so much better than I expected. The professor was frigging awesome in a sense that he actually lives in a same planet with us, and talks about real shit and $, not some highly scholastic legal concept that exists somewhere far far away over the rainbow. About half of the class were part time students, meaning they are actually older and have a work experience. Plus, the prof lived in Korea and India for a while as a peace corp member so he was one of those few people who knows the linguistic challenge.
I could have done okay this semester, but this one other crazy professor totally screwed up my grade again. I visited this professor before exam, and asked her whether the exam would be closed book or open book. Easy question. And a sane person would answer “yes, it’s an open book” or, “no, it’s a closed book exam.” Right? Wrong again. Welcome to the law school. Her answer was: “Well, it’s an open book but not really an open book, because the time is limited and you need to know the rules in your head.”
….So does that mean open book or closed book? I have no fucking idea. And I speak English well. Then she never made it clear in class anyway: all I heard from the class was some classmates whispering, “I heard it was part open book and part closed book for last semester.” Well, then, what should I do? Prepare the worst. So I prepared it as if I would do for a closed book exam: forget the rule #s in the exam prep note, and try to memorize the contents as much as I can.
….only to see that the exam instruction saying “it’s an open book test! cite rule #s for a full credit!” Yeah, thanks so much. The exam itself was crap. All of sudden the “driver” in the facts disappeared and “Joe” appeared. Who seems like the driver to begin with. Then she nearly failed me (her words: “I could have failed you, but I decided to give a benefit of doubt.” yes thank you for your thoughtfulness, bitch). Which shocked me, because I actually studied this shit.
Turns out, she simply didn’t give me full credits just because I didn’t cite the rule #s. Which then shows, she is doing a very, very lazy way of grading: mark off the rule #s, rather than actually reading the answers. If I remember correctly, she said something like “don’t worry about the rule #s” in the early semester. And she really should have made what her exam would be like clear. This was another moment where I seriously considered quitting, only until my tutor gave me an honest opinion: that although my answer isn’t the best exam answer, it really doesn’t deserve the grade I got, and this professor is fucking nuts (“I teach this stuff for living, but I would get confused in her questions, these are just bad, lousy questions.”).
In addition, I didn’t have any summer. I overloaded my summer semester limit by taking two courses, and at the same time preparing for MPRE.
So it sounds like I still have an awful life. Which is true, but this post ends with a happy note.
1) I take less courses than before, thanks to the summer overloading and clinic.
2) I fucking passed MPRE – good enough to sit for bar exam in any state. So I don’t have to worry about this for next 2-3 years.