Sunday, December 30, 2007

Legal Hazing

When I was running at the gym last night, I started to think about my 1L year. While time goes fast in law school, each school year has brought what seems like a decade of change to me. I feel like I am mentally and personality wise growing at an exponential rate.

I decided to go to law school pretty late in my undergrad year-- in fact, just one month before I was set to graduate. In that last month, I quickly signed up for the LSAT and an LSAT training course. I don't exactly know why I chose law school, and unlike most of the students in my school, I didn't grow up knowing I wanted to be a lawyer. In fact, even after I decided to go to law school (I think it was the impending doom of entering the real world with nothing but a liberal arts degree without a drop of special training-- "hi, please hire me, I can run a mile in 5 minutes and recite the causes and facts of the Iranian revolution"), I had pretty much decided that I was going to law school for the education and to gain professional skills and that I was not doing it to be a lawyer.

After I graduated, I took a year to work full time and apply to law school (I had such a late start). When I actually arrived at school, I knew absolutely nothing about it. Unlike students who has prepped their whole life for these three years, I was blissfully ignorant of what was to come. I got my class schedule, and wondered curiously what "torts" was-- certainly I can't be taking a course on european egg cake?

Some things I was ignorant of:
  • I assumed a "memorandum" was inherently short (I was shocked to learn in legal writing that our memos had to be a minimum of ten pages.
  • what Attorneys actually do- you mean it's not like the movies?!
  • the difference between an Appellate Court, District Court and Superior Court. "Isn't the Supreme Court superior?" duh.
  • I thought the concept of property was objective and tangible.
  • A legal brief isn't a type of lawyerly undergarment.

It's amazing to look back and think how far I have come. I am sure now (well on most days) that law school was the best choice for me. It's such an interesting profession and its full of acadamia, stimulating discussions about important life issues, and practicality. And I am almost certain now that I want to practice law.

In just ONE YEAR, I went from knowing absolutely nothing about the law, Attorneys, or the legal profession to working part time in a law firm drafting motions, meeting clients and researching issues. With the most recent baby developments, this second year is bound for even greater changes. Sometimes I feel like I'm changing so fast, I hardly know myself.

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