Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Advice to First-Year Law Students

The first thing I like about this article was this: I searched for the word "survival" and discovered it wasn't there.

The second feature I enjoyed?  The author's emphasis on learning the language of the law: "If I had realized that the law was going to be a new language for me, I think I would have been much more patient with myself. Knowing and accepting the great difficulty involved in learning this new language, the considerable amount of time required to master it, and the steep learning curve confronting new students, can be very helpful."

An admission follows: Bingo is ubiquitous.  "In my law school, games of Bingo were sometimes played - with the squares representing the students who spoke up in class. I heard once that my own name was in the center of a board. That can hurt - but on reflection, not so much. Silent detractors are kind of pathetic." 

This might be a good (quick) read for some of your struggling wunnelles.

HildenJulie Hilden, a Yale Law grad, having also earned an MA in creative writing from Cornell, lives in New York city.  After practicing law for several years, Ms. Hilden now writes (creatively) full time. Her regular law column appears in FindLaw.com's on-line magazine Writ and on CNN's Law Center. Her first book, a memoir, was entitled The Bad Daughter (1998); in 2003 she published 3, a novel which(according to one reviewer on Amazon.com) "...is both beautiful, and disturbing ... definitely not for the faint of heart ... extremely graphic [with] gut-wrenching scenes...."  Doesn't this description sound like some students describe law school? (djt)

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