Thursday, February 4, 2010

How My Legal Brain Works

I find that there are certain areas of law that my brain just "gets."

I'm really good at Contracts, Sales makes total sense to me, I have Wills down pat, Landlord Tenant law is right up my alley, and so is Insurance Law.

The things I have trouble with are things like Evidence, Criminal Procedure (shudder!), Criminal law, Corporations, Indian Law and Property topics like easements and covenants and all those crazy Simple Fee Defeasible estates (who was on crack when they invented those?!).

I am a really visual learner and there is a limit to how far my brain can wrap itself around intangible concepts. Sure, basically ALL of law is intangible. But law that plays itself out in an area of life were you can see it working or where I have personal knowledge- that I can handle. Whenever there is an underlying contract (whether oral or written) or some other document that governs rights and liabilities between parties, I'm right there. I'm ALL about that. I can understand concepts like "implied warranties of merchantability" or "implied warranties of habitatbility" or "insurable interest" or, my PERSONAL FAVORITES: the Mirror Image Rule, Perfect Tender and the Article 2 "Knock Out" Rule. Do you remember my crazy love affair with the economic loss doctrine? It's just so sexy!

Where I somehow have a basic understanding of how the law play out in real life- I understand the underlying actions of the parties- the law becomes tangible to me. I understand how people place orders with manufacturers. I understand why and how people write wills, I understand the underlying action of people renting apartments.

But criminal procedure? I have no idea what police men really do. I don't get search and seizure at all. I know the rule about inventory searches but WHAT THE HECK is it really? If I saw one I wouldn't even know. And evidence- hearsay? That's is just too intangible for me no matter what. Similarly the concepts of negotiatbility in Commercial Paper drive my mind into a crazy, abstract haze. I don't quite understand what Indian land is or how you can differentiate it. Why can't all reservation land be Indian land? The visual learner in me wants to actually go to an Indian reservation and figure out what a tribal court is, what public domain land really looks like.

So I guess the takeaway from this is my extensive shopping experience and skills have helped me better understand all commercial areas of law- contracts, sales, etc. In order to understand Criminal Procedure, I need to be arrested. In order to understand Indian law, I need to sneak into an Indian reservation and be hailed into their court. Commercial paper? forget it- who uses checks anymore anyhow? Evidence law? I need to watch more Law and Order.

Does anyone else have this problem? And how can I accomplish all these before the bar exam?


オテモヤン said...
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Anonymous said...

Weird - I find crim pro one of the most tangible/easily graspable! Youre in luck, though, not having the MBEs - you really can just learn the three tested areas of Crim Pro and be done with it. I'm having a really hard time with property. The mortgages crap is the worst for me.

Proto Attorney said...

Jay-Z actually taught me criminal procedure, not Bar/Bri... Well my glove compartment is locked so's the trunk in the back, and I know my rights so you gonna need a warrant for that... I ain't passed the bar, but I know a little bit, enough that you won't illegally search my shit... Uh, yeah, anyway. The Law in a Flash cards are definitely well worth the 30 bucks. Going on a police ride-along is quite informative too.

Property was what got me, I rocked at crim pro, so if you need any outlines or notes or anything, I can probably help.

CM said...

Watch Law and Order! Seriously. You'll learn about crim pro in no time.

Anonymous said...

i ultimately concluded that police will determine a search is reasonable whenever they really want to perform the search. end of story.