Hello and Happy Friday to you! I am coming to you live from a winter wonderland since St. Louis had a mini-blizzard this week. Classes were still held though, don’t you worry, so I’ve got lots to tell!
When you get to law school you will experience a new and unique type of panic. It’s the panic of sitting in a room with 100 competitive, brilliant people you hardly know, and without notice, having to answer difficult and often confusing or misleading questions aloud in front of them. This panic of which I speak is that incited by cold calling, and it will make you fear the sound of your own name.
Now, I have written about this before, and about overcoming my fear…but on the first day of school this week…I was re-traumatized when… wait for it…
I WAS THE FIRST PERSON COLD CALLED IN BOTH OF MY CLASSES. The day started with Criminal Law… where my professor asked me and only me questions for a solid 45 minutes. While this was completely and totally terrifying, I did actually pay attention to the reading so I was able to coherently respond. Not only that, but because it was the first day and everyone else was relieved I had taken up so much class time, I was rewarded with numerous high-fives and “good jobs” for the rest of the day. This wasn’t so much the case in Civil Procedure. When my professor said “Where is Kailey Burger,” the entire class erupted in laughter. Was it really possible for someone to be the first person called on in BOTH of their classes on the FIRST DAY of school?! Yes. It was. And of course it happened to me. Despite my diligent reading and note-taking, I had no idea what “civil procedure” really even meant so my answers to my professor’s questions were less straightforward and included numerous awkward pauses. Thankfully, after a few questions, he moved on. As you might imagine, there were fewer high fives and more “you hung in there”-esque remarks after my 2nd round.
This anxiety-ridden first day back reminded me how important class preparation is as a component to law school, and it started my semester off with a bang. It also gave me a funny story to tell you and anyone else who will listen. Cold calling certainly isn’t the end of the world, and both of my professors were considerate, helpful, and kept me on track so I didn’t feel embarrassed. I won’t say I enjoyed it though.
This semester, the 1L curriculum consists of Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Law, as well as Legal Practice and Legal Research. Our Constitutional Law book is five inches thick. Seriously. I have decided to leave it in my locker because transporting it back and forth to school is a burden. So far I’ve really enjoyed the material we’ve discussed in these classes and my professors are awesome. My Crim Law Professor plans to take 10 students at a time out for coffee or ice cream to discuss our progress in class…how wonderful is that? Really wonderful. Constitutional Law has been compelling so far. As a political science major, I’m finding it interesting to dig into some of the ideas I’ve already studied and examine them from a legal perspective. The jury is still out on Civil Procedure. My professor is great, but I’m still not 100% sure what is going on. I think a study group might be in order.
I wasn’t very social this week because getting back into a school routine can leave a person pretty sleepy. But last night I did go to the first Bar Review of the semester with a big group of friends. It was great to hear about everyone’s new classes and regale them with my cold calling tale. I’m sure I’ll be out and about in weeks to come…Barrister’s Ball b.k.a. “Law School Prom” is coming up the first weekend in February so look forward to a full report about that. Until then, stay warm and have a lovely weekend!