Friday, September 15, 2006

Or Dentistry without the lollipops

In years past, the first month of law school played out like summer camp. You met a lot of great people, signed up for fun activities, knowing that in a few months, you'd have to write a legal memo and study for days on end. (Or did I just go to the wrong summer camp?)

This year, things seemed to have changed. First years have a much more intensive curriculum, but we third years also seem to have a fair bit of work during the term. And it's not actually as bad as one might think. I've always been an advocate for regular assignments throughout the year - it just seemed like disingenuous preparation for this type of career, like med school without the cadavers.

For instance, I have weekly assignments for my Appellate Advocacy course. At each weekly AA lecture we get an assignment, a quick talk and then have the week to work on it. (Although, condsidering how short the class, is it's really just an AA meeting. "Hi, my name is Ryan Austin and I haven't had a successful trial in ten months.")

Initially I was worried that because Trial Advocacy wouldn't work with my schedule, taking the Appellate level might not be as useful as it could be. I've since realized that it's just as useful, and there's a certain logic to it as well:

If a trial ever goes so badly, there'll be no shock in that, but when we get to the appeals, well, then it's my time to shine!

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