« Next bit of outside reading | Main | Devil's Dictionary »

It all comes down to this

I think that in the years to come, yesterday will be the day that I remember law school actually starting.

Everyone's been working like crazy this weekend, or at least so it seems. You walk through the law school and there's a fever of outlining, revising, practice exams and other business. I felt as if my own efforts were nowhere near enough. That's changed.

Some people learn through the slow accretion of knowledge gained daily, fact after fact filing on top of one another. Some of us, however, learn through endless hours of drudgery combined with momentary and sudden flashes of brilliant clarity. (Or, in my case, months of somnolence followed by a minute of near-adequacy. The principle is the same.)

Something like that happened yesterday, as I was reading an Emmanuel's outline on the torts work I'd done last week. Suddenly, a lot of things fit together: not just negligence and battery, res ipsa and the intentional infliction of emotional distress, but everything I'd been doing. This IRAC thing: how does it fit with the application of a case to tort law? How does combining those two items with a knowledge of our exam structure lead to an effective and efficient form of outline? Why does that particular fish need this particular bicycle? Boom, there it was.

After that moment of procedural satori, I sat back and took stock of where I was. I'm about four weeks behind, really, but that's not so frightening, because if I'd been working enormous hours the last four weeks, I'd still be four weeks behind. I'd be ripping everything up right now and starting afresh--or worse, trying to get MS Word to rearrange my notes. Not only that, but I'd be far more tired than I am now. OK, I've not made my first move on outlining torts or contracts, but now I know what they should look like.

Following standard practice following my moments of zen, I grabbed some light work-related reading (Chirelstein's chapbook on contracts), walked briskly over to Nacho Mama's, and drank two margaritas whilst refreshing myself on promissory estoppel[1].

I can imagine my fellow students wondering exactly what the hell I'm talking about: many of them probably figured this out last month. But hey, everyone learns differently, and we all have our own path--if I sound like an idiot writing with such excitement over something so small, well, at least I'm a happy fool. I woke up this morning not only looking forward to getting to the law school, but with thoughts of a contract outline forming in my head. It wouldn't be too much to say I was enjoying the prospect of leaving the shower and making my way here.

So it begins.

[1] Yes, Martin, I get it now, well enough to write your sitcom. It should hit the screens fall 2005.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.threeyearsofhell.com/cgi-user/mt/mtPleaseLinktoMe.cgi/185

Comments

Let me tell you as a third year - you are ahead of most of your classmates. the fact you get how you are supposed to think about first year classes is more than half the battle. that fury of you are seeing: much of it is wasted until you learn how to study. congrats on your moment of clarity and good luck!
You may get it but I don't. These jokes have to be accessible to your core demographic you know... Besides, stop worrying. Your relentless intelect will have bullied this whole lawyer thing into the ground in no time. M

Post a comment

NOTICE TO SPAMMERS, COMMENT ROBOTS, TRACKBACK SPAMMERS AND OTHER NON-HUMAN VISITORS: No comment or trackback left via a robot is ever welcome at Three Years of Hell. Your interference imposes significant costs upon me and my legitimate users. The owner, user or affiliate who advertises using non-human visitors and leaves a comment or trackback on this site therefore agrees to the following: (a) they will pay fifty cents (US$0.50) to Anthony Rickey (hereinafter, the "Host") for every spam trackback or comment processed through any blogs hosted on threeyearsofhell.com, morgrave.com or housevirgo.com, irrespective of whether that comment or trackback is actually posted on the publicly-accessible site, such fees to cover Host's costs of hosting and bandwidth, time in tending to your comment or trackback and costs of enforcement; (b) if such comment or trackback is published on the publicly-accessible site, an additional fee of one dollar (US$1.00) per day per URL included in the comment or trackback for every day the comment or trackback remains publicly available, such fee to represent the value of publicity and search-engine placement advantages.

Giving The Devil His Due

Choose Stylesheet

What I'm Reading

cover
D.C. Noir

My city. But darker.
cover
A Clockwork Orange

About time I read this...


Shopping

Projects I've Been Involved With

A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care (A new round-the-world travel blog, co-written with my wife)
Parents for Inclusive Education (From my Clinic)

Syndicated from other sites

The Columbia Continuum
Other Blogs by CLS students

De Novo
Theory and Practice
Liberal Federalism?
Good News, No Foolin'


Althouse
Nancy Pelosi covers her head and visits the head of John the Baptist.
Vlogging in from Austin.
Omikase/"American Idol"


Jeremy Blachman's Weblog: 2007
Happy Passover
Looking for Advice re: LA
Google Books


Stay of Execution
What I've Learned From This Blog, or My Yellow Underpants
The End
Mid Thirties


Legal Theory Blog
Program Announcement: Summer Programs on the Constitution at George Washington
Book Announement: Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy by Whittington
Entry Level Hiring Report


The Volokh Conspiracy
Making the Daily Show:
Civil unions pass New Hampshire House:
Profile of Yale Law Dean Harold Koh:


Crescat Sententia
Hillary II
Hillary
Politics and Principal/Agents


Law Dork
Election Approaches
Following Lewis
New Jersey High Court: 'Same Rights and Benefits'


IrishLaw
Homecoming
Surveying the revival
Birds of paradise


Half the Sins of Mankind
Cheney Has Spoken Religious conservatives who may ...
Does Ahmadinejad Know Christianity Better Than MSN...
Borders as Genocide In discussions of climate chan...


pf.org
Progress
For lovers of garden gnomes...and any China-freaks out there
We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming


Ideoblog
Does SOX explain the flight from NY?
More Litvak on SOX effect on cross-listed firms
What did the market learn from internal controls reporting?


The Yin Blog
Iowa City = Riyadh
Jeffrey Rosen's "The Supreme Court"
Geek alert -- who would win between Battlestar Galactica and the U.S.S. Enterprise?


Letters of Marque
Graduation
And there we are
Oil!


BuffaloWings&Vodka
Signing Off


Dark Bilious Vapors
Jim (The Waco Kid): Where you headed, cowboy?
Bart: Nowhere special.
Jim: Nowhere special. I always wanted to go there.
Bart: Come on.
--"Blazing Saddles"

Technical Difficulties... please stand by....
The Onion should have gotten a patent first....


Legal Ethics Forum
Interesting new Expert DQ case
Decency, Due Care, and The Yoo-Delahunty Memorandum
Thinking About the Fired U.S. Attorneys


Ex Post
Student Symposium- Chicago!
More Hmong - Now at Law School
Good Samaritan Laws: Good For America?


Appellate Law & Practice
Those turned over documents
CA1: courts can’t help people acquitted of crimes purge the taint of acquitted conduct
CA1: restrictions on chain liquor stores in Rhode Island are STILL okay


the imbroglio
High schoolers turn in plagiarism screeners for copyright infringement
talisman
Paris to offer 20,600 bikes at 1,450 stations to rent by the end of the year


The Republic of T.
The Secret of the Snack Attack
links for 2007-04-04
Where You Link is What You Get

Distractions for stressed law students

The Other Side: Twisted AnimationsSomething Positive, a truly good webcomic

Syndicate This Site

Sitemeter

Technologies


Stop Spam Harvesters, Join Project Honey Pot