Posts Tagged ‘Contracts’

1L Reflection: Attendance

May 17, 2011

At the start of the year we were told many things.  One of them, emphasized by every student panel we heard, was not to skip class.  The students told us how shocked they had been as 1L’s to see how many people skipped class.  I imagined an epidemic of class skipping.  I imagined large swaths of the classrooms empty.

Lots of people skipping lots of classes didn’t happen.  I guess we took the advice to heart.  Day in, day out, it sure seemed like everyone was there.  I missed two classes.  One was for a job interview and another was because I mixed up which day con law was cancelled for Passover.  Occasionally I’d notice an empty seat where someone normally sat, but attendance really wasn’t the problem I thought it would be.

I think the faculty may have reacted to class skipping in earlier years.  Every class had an attendance policy.  It was typically something like the professor reserved a right to adjust student grades if there were excessive absences.  Contracts was simple: miss more than three classes and you couldn’t take the exam.  A lot of the professors simply put in the syllabus that the attendance policy would be in accordance with the college’s standards.  From what I could find, the college’s standards on attendance were that every professor would have an attendance policy.  So I’m not sure what that added up to.

1L Down

May 10, 2011

The last exam is done, the books are on the shelf, and the first year of law school is over.  One down, two to go, but first it’s summer break.

I’m Back

May 5, 2011

Where, you might be wondering, have I been the last three months?  In two words: law school.  I got bogged down in the grind that is reading, class, and outlining.  A few highlights:

Grades came out the first week of February.  I did pretty well.  Contracts was the outlier.  It was ugly.  Sports teams will say after a particuarly gruesome game for them that they’ll watch the tape once and then throw it out because there’s nothing they can salvage.  That’s how I felt when we went over the first semester exam.  My conclusion was that I hadn’t yet figured out how to take a law school issue spotting exam by the Monday before Thanksgiving.  Luckily the rest of my grades made up for it, and because contracts is a year long course, the its grade isn’t factored in until the end of this semester.  So for a semester at least I’ve been quite pleased with my class rank.

Classes went okay this semester I think.  Another semester of contracts was fine.  Having gotten the theory last semster, this semester we delved into the actual specifics like offer and acceptance, warranties, terms, and all their friends.  Constitutional law wasn’t what I expected.  I’m not sure what I expected, but the class felt like it was just the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment rather than the whole constitution.  We spent two months on those.  Con law has the problem of being too big for just a four credit course.  I think I would have just picked the topic list differently.  Legislation was a bit different.  The professor even said as much.  At its heart, I guess it could be described as how to interpret statutes.  But we thew in a lot of civil rights, lobbying, direct democracy, and election law too.  The professor said the course would cover the legislative process from the election of legisators to the enacting of a bill into law. It did do that, but it felt a bit like a grab bag.  Property was okay.  The professor loved policy justifications.  I don’t.  Plus, she’s been in academia her whole career.  I prefer professors who’ve had some real world experience.  The class didn’t always click for me, but I think that was largely my fault.  Legal writing felt like discussing how to ride a bike, then being given a bike and told to ride it, and then, surprise, surprise not being ready for the Tour de France.  It was very much an interative process: write, meet with the professor, revise, repeat.

This semester really felt like a grind.  It was hard for me to get excited about the classes.  The new car smell was gone.  It wasn’t exciting to be back on a college campus like last fall.  It was just a lot of repeitive work: read, class, outline.  Over and over and over again. Plus, I wasn’t having much luck finding a job for the summer when all my classmates seemed to have lined up awesome opportunities.

But around the middle of April, my luck finally changed.  It was the best week of my law school career to date.  It started with a last conference with my legal writing professor.  I should say our previous conferences had such gems as me being asked, “You’re not a writer, are you?” and “Do you know what a comma splice is?”  Not my finest moments.  My hopes were not terribly high.  But the professor actually like my brief!  He even said that one of my arguments had changed his mind!  Latter in the week I had a third interview witn an intellectual property law firm in town.  It wasn’t much of an interview: after five minutes of small talk, they offered me a job for this summer.  There is the very real expectation that I should be able to keep working there during the school year, next summer, and after graduation.  Finally, the week ending with me meeting the university president, E. Gordon Gee, at a scholarship lunch.  So that was a good week.

Now I’m in the middle of exams.  Property was Monday, con law is tomorrow, and legislation is next Tuesday.  I’m ready for the semester to be over.  I’ve been ready since I found out I had a job for the summer.  After exams there’s the law journal competition/application process, and then orientation for work is the final week of May.  After a year of reading, going to class, and outlining, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Weekend Study Resolutions, Presented by Catch Up

January 21, 2011

Saturday I’m volunteering to be a tour guide for prospective students.  That’s at 2:30.  Which means I’ll have six or so hours to study before that.  How do I plan to spend that time?  Contracts and property.  I’d love to get all the reading done for next week.  I’ll find out tomorrow if that’s going to happen.

Delayed Start

January 7, 2011

And I just received an e-mail saying that my very first class of next semester is cancelled.  It’s a bit of a let down.

Reflections On A Contract Exam

November 22, 2010

So that’s what a contracts midterm exam is like.  I feel ok about it.  No curve balls or anything.  The only bad point was when I tried to upload my exam.

Up popped an error message that the network connection was lost.  “Uh oh, that’s not good,” I thought, “I should probably go find the professor.”  Except I wasn’t sure where he was.  I vaguely remember his office was 301.  Or 201.  I tried 301 first.  That wasn’t it.  So I tried 201.  He wasn’t there.  Now, I realize as I was searching for him, he could well have been back in the computer exam room, the hand writing exam room, on the third floor in general, or even in the men’s room.  I imagined myself wandering the building searching for him.  That would have been ok, I had an hour until the exam was over, but I really didn’t want to do that.  Luckily, I ran into another of my professors who told me who to talk to.  They said to just pack up and bring my laptop to them.  Fortunately, when I got back to the computer exam room, whatever the problem was had fixed itself, and I could just upload it.  So it all worked out.

Thinking about the exam, I found it a bit silly that thirty hours of class time were summed up in just a handful of questions.  Granted, one of them was quite through, but for a couple of others we were limited to a relatively few number of characters (including spaces and punctuation), and for the fourth, it was a one word answer.  Seems it would have to be graded as right or wrong; I can’t help but wonder what impact that would have on the exam.  But, still, thirty hours, four questions.  It seemed a bit silly to me.  But I have learned that when I ask why something is done the way it is for law school, the answer has always been because that’s the way it’s done for law school.

Soon enough it will be next year and I’ll learn how I did.  Until then, I’m just going with my ok feeling.

With the contracts exam out of the way, I can turn my attention other things: Thanksgiving, the Michigan game, more exams in a couple of weeks.

Contracts, Contracts, Contracts! Update

November 22, 2010

Studying is done.  I’m feeling good about the exam.  Just waiting to take it at 11:00 am.

Weekend Study Resolutions, Presented by Contracts, Contracts, Contracts!

November 19, 2010

Monday’s the contracts exam.  The time between now and then, with the exception of a little college football late Saturday afternoon, is for studying for them.

Study for contracts exam: Outline is done and I’ve been strategizing how to attack the problems on the exam.  I just need to practice that.  My plan is to run through CALI sample problems, review the relevant parts of my Barbri first year outline book, and I think Barbri might have some online stuff too.  I feel like I’ve got a decent understanding of the material; like I said, I just need to practice using that understanding.  And I’ll also be reviewing flashcards again and again to keep reinforcing that understanding.

Stop Sign in Contracts

November 12, 2010

When I was in elementary school, once I year we would spend a week taking standardized tests.  The tests would be divided up into different sections.  The bottom of each page in a section would say to go on to the next page until the last page in the section.  That last page would say “Stop: Do not proceed to the next section,” or something to that effect.  What I remember is that there was a little picture of a stop sign next to the text.

With the contracts exam a week from this coming Monday, I’ve been wondering when we would encounter the little stop sign saying we’d read all the material we would need for the exam.  It was getting a little tense as I wondered just how close to the wire the professor would take things.  Well, today I got my answer.  We reached the stop sign.

Weekend Study Resolutions, Sponsored by Short and Sweet

November 12, 2010

Like I said, short and sweet.  Tomorrow afternoon, Penn State is coming to town.  That leaves tomorrow morning and Sunday for study activities.

Read for the week of Thanksgiving – The Monday morning of that week, November 22, I have my contracts exam.  The Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, and possibly Monday afternoon, I’m back to regularly scheduled classes.  I don’t think I’m going to want to deal with reading for those right before the contract exam, so I want to get the reading out of the way.

Finish contracts outline – I’d like to have my study materials set by the end of the weekend.  That would give me the next week to learn them.  It’s a closed book exam, so flashcards will be flashing.

Research “big” law firms – Still hoping the slim chance longshot plays out into a job next summer at a “big” law firm.