Thursday, December 20, 2007

First semester finale

It's over! Yesterday morning's civil procedure final marked the end of the first semester for 1Ls. For many in my section in particular, it was the most dreaded of the three. It's all done now!

For me, it was definitely the most painful part of the day. But I did go from the final to the surgery center, where I finally got this awesome piece of metal out of my knee. As you can see, it's about four inches long (almost twice the length of a AA battery) and comes with a washer, to boot. I elected not to have general anesthetic, so I got to watch the entire procedure. I think the best moment was when one of the nurses asked me which final I'd taken. I said, "Civil procedure," and she asked, "What kind of law is that?" I said, "How to sue somebody." Immediately the anesthesiologist looked up with wide-open eyes as if to say, "Oh, great." I told him I'm not into medical malpractice, then I laughed.

The whole thing was much less painful than the first surgery, and my knee feels so much better already. I should be running again in a few weeks! I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my friend Cabell, who waited for more than three hours in the surgery center lobby to take me home. She's the best.

So that was my excitement yesterday — not the kind of day I hope to repeat anytime soon, but as Nietzsche would say, "What does not kill us makes us stronger." I couldn't agree more.

I have a lot to do in the last few hours before this afternoon, when I fly home to Iowa. I thought I'd at least post my second semester schedule, so I can remember what awaits (in just 2 1/2 weeks).

  • Property, Prof. Ronald Rosenberg—M, Tu, Th, 10-11:15 a.m.
  • Constitutional Law, Prof. William Van Alstyne—M, Tu, W, Th, 2-3:15 p.m.
  • Contracts, Prof. Angela Banks—M, Tu, W, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
  • Legal Skills, Prof. Fred Lederer—Tu, 8:30-9:50 a.m.
I'll also be taking Advanced Research for two weeks in March, after spring break. The class meets on Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

So, 16 credits, compared to the 14 I had this semester. At least now I have some idea what I'm doing and how to get ready for finals. I'm definitely looking forward to next semester. See you all in January!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Getting testy around here

Two down, one to go. We can't really discuss final exams and as I've quickly learned, it's better that way. There's enough stress circulating here already. At the same time that we're taking our first law school finals, deadlines are approaching for summer jobs and Moot Court tryouts are just on the other side of break. And of course, most everyone I've talked to is very excited for break. That Civil Procedure final can't get here soon enough. In the meantime, a lot of people (including me) don headphones each and every time we enter the law school, hoping not to catch that inexorable panic that seems to radiate from the back of the first floor of the library, spreading to every corner where it will be heard.

"Is that really your outline? Really? That's it?"
"I probably should have done the reading."
"I don't know anything about civil procedure."
"Honestly, your first semester 1L grades are the only ones that matter for getting a job."
"The good firms couldn't care less about people with straight B's."
"Oh, you're just doing public interest law. Well, I guess your grades don't matter then."

I wish I were making this stuff up. I can't imagine what it must be like at more competitive law schools. For all the stress that emanates here, it must be nothing compared to a place like Georgetown or Harvard.

Anyway, I'm happy to be done with two finals. Oh, and a fun note about Wednesday: after finishing Civil Procedure, I'll drive straight to the Surgery Center, where I'll finally get the screw out of my knee. It's a fitting bookend for my first semester, which began at the same Surgery Center, where the screw was installed. On this trip to Iowa, there will be no trips to the Field of Dreams.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The final push

This might be my last post before exams, which for my classmates and me are just 10 days away. Just one week of classes remains — three hours each of Criminal Law and Civil Procedure, and four hours of Torts. (We've gotten so far behind in Torts that Prof. Meese is attempting to schedule a last-minute make-up session.) Of course, that's strictly the class schedule and doesn't factor in: 1.) two more teaching assistant review sessions, which last an hour and tend to be productive; 2.) an optional 1-hour exam preview with 2Ls and 3Ls from my Legal Skills firm, Lederer & Posey; 3.) two optional hour-long Civ Pro review sessions with Prof. Green; and 4.) an hour-long Crim review session after class with Prof. Marcus.

Aside from those, there are study group sessions and a ridiculous amount of reading, outlining, reviewing, flow chart drawing, copying, printing, labeling, and practice exam-taking in the 10 days ahead.

In the end, however, we'll all gather at the scheduled times for our first three exams. We will take them, and we will not have any idea how well we did for about 45 days — well after we have started our spring semester.

Crunch time is here. Om.