Sunday, December 17, 2017
Most of our first-year students have now completed their first semester of law school! Congratulations to all of you for hard work and perseverance! You deserve a round of applause and pats on the back for all of the things you have accomplished. At times the legal jargon, workload, and challenges of legal thinking and writing may have seemed overwhelming. But you did it! Wow!
Let's look at some of the things you accomplished this semester:
- You learned a new vocabulary of specialized legal terms and every-day terms that have a different legal meaning.
- You learned how the federal and state court systems work - in more detail than you ever thought you needed to know.
- You learned how the federal and state legislative systems work - with all the political and balance of powers nuances that cause complexity.
- You researched a variety of issues, drafted a variety of legal communications, and condensed your thoughts into precise, concise legal prose.
- You read and analyzed hundreds of court opinions, waded through an avalanche of uniform code and restatement sections, and parsed multi-layered rules of procedure.
- You survived the deer-in-the-headlights moments of Socratic Method and learned to think on your feet while answering questions you had not known even existed.
- You then synthesized and condensed it all into outlines to study for exams that encompassed an entire semester's learning.
- You reviewed reams of outline pages, completed practice questions ad nauseum, and distilled it all into attack outlines.
- You spent long blocks of time sitting in exam rooms applying your knowledge to a sea of fact patterns as your fingers cramped from typing.
- You learned how to deal with section dynamics, made some new friends for life, challenged yourself intellectually, and learned from legal experts.
- You participated in student organizations, listened to guest speakers on topics you knew nothing about before, and likely participated in community service.
Did you realize that you did all of that in just five short months? Hooray! Huzzah! Whoop-whoop! Cheers! Enjoy your semester break. Spend time with friends and family. Catch up on sleep. Relax. We are all proud of you for your accomplishments and look forward to seeing you at the beginning of a new semester. (Amy Jarmon)