11.17.10 By Kailey

Law School Essentials

Good morning friends! It’s been a busy week for 1Ls… our Memos are due on Monday, we had a legal research final (not to mention my birthday) last Friday, and the need to outline is feeling more and more urgent by the day. Despite the stress, I decided to reflect on some of the essentials items in my day-to-day existence as a law student. So, here we go:

– Highlighters - Listen, highlighters are a big deal. Some people are highlighter crazy. Not crazy…Highlighter SERIOUS. They have one color for the facts, one for the holding, one for rationale, etc… every case is a beautifully configured rainbow. This is too much for me, I just highlight the info I find most relevant and then take notes. I used to carry around a highlighter in my backpack during undergrad, now my highlighter stash has multiplied by a factor of 10. A few weeks ago, a classmate described to me her overwhelming joy when she opened a fresh pack of highlighters and gazed upon their beautiful glow. As you can see, it’s the simple pleasures of law school that get you through the stressful times.

Camaraderie – “Wake Up Kailey! This is not a game! It’s time to get up!”  This is a text message I received from another classmate at 7am. In my contracts class, instead of being cold-called, my professor creates a “panel” for every class. So, instead of the whole class sitting and wondering if they’ll be called on, a panel of 6 students knows for sure they have to keep the conversation moving. This is an important part of our grade, so everyone takes preparations very seriously. Unfortunately, my sleeping subconscious self had created a game in my mind, and in order to win I had to successfully turn off my alarm clock. And then obviously, I would fall right back to sleep. After telling this to my friends in Contracts one morning, I was delighted to find that on the day I was up for panel, two of them texted to remind me to get up. Certainly, Law School has its competitive edge, we’re all used to being the smartest. BUT, we all also know that the best way to succeed is to support each other and play fair. This will be one of my favorite memories from law school, I think, and it’s a good indication of the simple acts of kindness you find around our school.

- The Importance of Eating and Sleeping – Yesterday I got up at 5am. I like to get up early, this isn’t any big deal. However, I had trouble falling asleep so I ended up with about 3 hours of solid slumber. Then I made the genius decision that I would wait until after property class to eat lunch. Breakfast at 5am. Lunch at 3pm. 3 hours of sleep. Do these sound like prime intellectual conditions? Absolutely not. So, of course, I got cold called in class. I did the reading, but with minimum nutrients and rest, I had a bad case of the “umms” and awkward pauses. Luckily I was able to gather my thoughts in some coherent way, but it reminded me that Law School is my job and I need to feed my brain in order to get that job done right. Focusing on being healthy, and also thinking of how you might answer simple questions might be good advice. Just saying. Haha.

- Shamelessness in the Library – As I said before, memos are due this week, so everyone has been camped out in the library researching, writing, and bluebooking like crazy. On Sunday afternoon I made my way down to my favorite study spot and found a classmate with a table covered in cases, notes, charts, cookies, juice, crumbs, highlighters, pens, cords, and numerous other items. I had forgotten about that pre-finals time when everyone loses their marbles a little bit, puts on sweatpants, and barricades themselves in their favorite study cubby. There was something quite delightful about this sight, and though you may think I’m romanticizing this law school experience, I can assure you this element of academic nostalgia provided much needed comfort for my six hour stint in the lawbrary.

Those are my thoughts for now. Today I’m finishing up this memo draft and meeting with my professor to discuss. He has individual 30 minute office conferences for every student for every writing assignment. These are super helpful because he will point out flaws and also give ideas that didn’t occur to you because you’re so tired of reading the same words over and over again. I’m also tabling in Crowder Courtyard (a common area in the middle of the law school where lots of students eat their lunch) to get signatures for a petition to start an Animal Law organization. We need 20 signatures and 10 members to start, and we got almost all of those yesterday. I’m really excited about getting this started and I look forward to sharing my progress with you.

With that, I’m off. Have a fantastic day!


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