Homework – 1L Week Two

SEPTEMBER 2 – SEPTEMBER 6

Pretty boring. I’m no good at updating and keeping paper planners but putting up my homework for the week on WordPress is something I have been doing for a while 🙂 Instead of breaking up assignments by day, I’m going to break them up by subject I think. And if I don’t like that, I’ll switch back to day.

This is a pretty typical weekly schedule. In fact, it’s on the lighter side because Legal Writing hasn’t started giving out any official graded assignments yet. So…if you really wanna go to law school, make sure you can do the work! Cuz there’s a hell of a lot of it.

Note: § – denotes “section”

CAREER DEVELOPMENT
[ ] Class does not begin until September 13

CIVIL PROCEDURE
[X] Tuesday: pp 59-92 (Casebook); Marshall v. Marshall; Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (RP) 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1335; Fed.R.Civ.P. 22
[ ] Thursday: pp 93-123 (Casebook); RP 28 U.S.C. § 1331, 2201

CONTRACTS
[X] Monday: Casebook pp. 40-64
[ ] Wednesday: pp. 64-76

LEGAL WRITING
[X] Monday: No class; Practice Analysis #2 due @ 10AM Tuesday
[X] Wednesday: Bring hard copy of Analysis; Neumann pp 37-42, 53-60, 117-125; Just Writing Ch. 9

TORTS
[X] Tuesday: Trespass and Conversion pp 68-70, 81-91 (2 cases + reading)
[ ] Thursday: Defenses pp 92-132 (10 cases + reading); from supplement – Penal L. §§ 35.05, .10, .15, .20, .25; Public Health L. §§ 3000-a; Miglino v. Bally Total Fitness of Greater New York, Inc., Gen. Bus. L. §§ 218

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Loss, Grief, Death

These are all tough topics that are hard to breach in everyday conversation. But they’re heavy and grim and very upsetting when they do pop up.

On Thursday night, my classmate Lauren was in a terrible car accident. Our section was just getting to know each other, having met for the first time during orientation that Monday. I was scared and worried for her, and I could see from her Facebook page (I was already FB friends with her…she was one of the first few people I added) that it was serious. We were all praying for her and just hoping she would pull through.

Thursday was our last day of class for the week and I have no doubt she was just unwinding from a really stressful, scary, and intimidating start to law school with friends. I don’t know, maybe she was on her way home or maybe she just had to go pick something up in the city. I don’t know. She was walking, not driving, and it was dark (So it had to be evening, after 7-8PM?) when she was hit by a garbage truck.

I do not know if she was jaywalking or drunk or if the garbage truck driver ran a red light. I know that this classmate that we had all met that could possibly have been my friend down the line, was now in a medically induced coma as doctors attempted to revive her from her injuries.

On Sunday night, she passed away. The same girl who I SPOKE to on Thursday, the same one who assured me during break that I did the briefs for the right cases, was DEAD. Gone just like that after spending four days in law school with us and ingraining herself into all of our hearts and memories forever.

She was beautiful inside and out, with a sparkling personality that refused to be put down. She was kind and always smiling. She was spirited and generous with her answers and her hugs. She didn’t deserve this. She was young and ambituous.

It’s not FAIR. Rather than depression or sadness, I felt very angry. I don’t know who to blame for the accident, but my anger is at the unjustness of it all. The irony that we are learning about all the loopholes and nuances of justice and then easier BAM, a reality check. A practical application, if you will.

Her funeral was held on Wednesday, August 21. I pray that she has found a new home in Heaven that is every bit as kind as she has been to everybody she met on Earth.

Lauren, I hope the law school up there’s got easier professors because you fuckin deserve it. RIP to an angel that briefly but profoundly touched the lives of everybody at St. Johns University School of Law.

SYTYCD is kickass this season!

Last week’s round determined who went into the Top 10. EVERYBODY WAS AMAZING. For some reason, I swear to god there was not a single performance I didn’t like from that week, and that’s super rare. Check out ma faves!

Damn they have some serious MOVES here. She looks hot and he is so handsome and buff and just freakin fantastic. They were so on point and with the beat and I just felt so happy watching them dance that I immediately rewound and rewatched it!

In other news, these dances were also fantastic. The first is SO CREEPY!!!! They really make me want to watch Kiss Of The Spiderwoman to see what it’s all about.


^That performance makes me not despise Lady Gaga because what they performed is beautiful.

My Bucket List

I don’t know if I’ve posted a bucket list on WordPress before, although I have definitely added things to my list mentally. Here are some of those things I want to do!

[ ] Fall in love
[ ] Skydiving
[ ] Bungee Jumping
[ ] Actually dress up in a costume for Halloween
[ ] Backpack through Europe
[ ] Go to a spa…in Switzerland
[ ] Weigh 130lbs or less
[ ] Learn how to cook properly
[ ] Die my hair something ridiculous, like purple with teal highlights
[ ] Get a second ear piercing
[ ] Road trip from NY to California
[ ] Visit Alaska
[ ] Go on a cruise

There will be many more things to add over time. Maybe I should sign up for an account on bucketlist.org and keep track of everything there.

Law Movies Are So Much Cooler Now!

My blog, by virtue of being the only diary I keep, tends to obsess over a subject as much as I do. Right now, that subject is the law. The law is awesome. The manner in which it is taught in law school is pretty awesome too.

They really instill a ton of basic skills into us early on. The need to proofread is not optional like it was in Undergrad. You can’t just half-assedly skim and submit. Here, even a misplaced comma means that the teacher will take notice of you as performing below average. You need to do the readings every single day, and you need to brief every single court case. You need to learn how to only ask questions that make you sound smart, and be prepared to answer hypotheticals and questions in response to flesh out your own question and turn it into something you can answer by yourself. It’s pretty cool that way. 

I see the need to be on time, not to speak out of turn, to write concisely, and to pick out the nuances between each word. Our legal dictionary is currently our Bible. When we read a court case, we have to look up pretty much every fourth word in it. And if we don’t and she asks us, we can’t BS an answer and get an E for Effort. You need to confess that you don’t know, and hope that the next time you are called, you do.

I just like the discipline a lot. It certainly makes you more meticulous in everything you do and that’s important because it matters. You have to conduct yourself professionally in the classroom. If, while speaking or answering a question, we use “like” or “u,m” we will get called out on it. A girl was attempting to flesh out the procedural posture of one of the cases we had to brief for today’s class and used “like” while speaking (Even I am guilty of throwing likes and ums when speaking. It’s a bad habit that I didn’t pay a private or prep school to have removed) but in school, you would rather compose your thought quietly for a few seconds than make a mistake or misuse a legal term.

In other news, I have to write my first memorandum over the weekend. Woo, fun. I took today off to clear my head (Did I mention that already?) but starting tomorrow, I’m on it! Hopefully I can finish it tomorrow night and spend the weekend doing my readings for the week. I already did the readings due Monday last night because I finished my case briefs by midnight, and had an extra hour or so before I would feel sleepy.

OH MY GOD. what kind of studious non-procrastinating person has four days in law school turned me into!?!?!?  On a more serious note, one more little clip

^ That’s from Philadelphia, which is actually a REALLY cool movie! Someday, I may watch it in full, but this is the clip our teacher shared with us during one of our breaks yesterday. There’s another clip from the same movie that I will share later.

Case Briefs and Scary Professors

Life as a first year law school student involes A TON of case briefs! You will read a court case and effectively brief or summarize it in about a page or so. The brief requires a concise statement of facts relevent to the issue, the procedural history of the case, the issue that the Court is deciding, the holding/judgment of the Court on that issue, and the rationale by which it came to its Judgment.

Plaintiff’s are abbreviated as a “π” (Pi) symbol and defendants are the “Δ” (Delta) symbol for the sake of saving some space and using shorthand. Judgements are “J” and Holdings are “H”

Our first assignment, issued on Monday after the end of class and due by 9:15AM the following day (With hard copy to be turned in within the first five minutes of class) required that we brief our first case. We also had 3 chapters to read from one book and an additional 70-80 pages to read from our casebook. Naturally, this included cases in it, all of which we are apparently assumed to have briefed in preparation for class. We weren’t told to brief cases in our readings and all labored away at submitting the one brief that was the class assignment.

Today’s class went over some of the cases in our reading, and many students were “cold called” (Ie. The socratic method) into what they determined to be the facts of one case or the procedural history of another. Most were not prepared b/c even though they’d done the readings, they hadn’t briefed the case and couldn’t provide as concise an answer as the teacher required.

Oh mannnn did we get it after that. She was SO PISSED AT US. So for tonight’s homework, we’ve all been briefing away. I had 4 cases to brief that were due for yesterday afternoon’s class but weren’t uploaded until today by accident. So in case we use them, I should brief them. Then the readings for today were 4 chapters from one book and a section of a chapter from the casebook. This section has 4 cases, and I’m only up to briefing the 3rd one now. It’s already 12:30 and I want sleep!

Remember how a case brief was our first assignment? Well, our Professor’s rules on formatting are so harsh that you automatically failed if you messed up the margins, header fonts, formatting, spacing, etc. Beyond that, you get a check/check+/check-.We handed in this assignment online and in hard copy. We got back our grades before leaving for the day and the TF’s told us that 70% of the class received a grade of “unsatisfactory” meaning that it must be re-done.

YAY I received a “check” and it’s my mistake entirely for uploading a less-than-fully-proofread brief because it was aleady 2:30am and I wanted to sleep.  Today’s assignment was EASIER if there is such a word, and only involved determining the rule the Court established in a made up case, and then answering how the rule would apply to 10 hypothetical situations where 1-2 facts of the case were tweaked and what the Court might rule.

Wow I’ve only been in school for two days. That’s a lot of stuff andh onestly you guys might feel like you have no idea what I’m talking about, but yesterday morning I was as clueless as you all. Literally this only started Monday @ 1:30PM and I already have so much to share.about what going to law school feels like.

My teacher is really tough. If we were not made of the tough stuff we are, her abrasive questioning methods could have made some of us cry. As it is, she takes great pleasure in making students uncomfortable by making them think and reason through questions when they clearly have no idea what they’re talking about. She will do this while you squirm painfully and not let you go until 20 minutes later when you finally figure out the words she is looking for are res judicata. But you know what? We’re all learning, if not for the sheer fear she’s instilling in us that if we don’t do our readings, we will fail. At life. At law school. At everything.

Well I’ve got to get back to writing case briefs, but it was nice to vent over here & update because I know I’m going to be terrible at replying to text messages until I get the balance of things.

The Socratic Method

I’ve got one more night until I’m in law school. WOAH. I’ve tried to accomplish a lot since my last post. Room’s organized, jewelry is organized, I went shopping, I figured out an outfit to wear, I’m all on track! I cleaned up the computer desk area, got my planner started, finished my reading assignment, took notes on the reading assignment, and helped somebody out with a Photoshop project. OH and also, I watched Season one of “Baby Daddy” (Hint: It’s awesome. I love Danny Wheeler and Ben Wheeler, the supposed star, really irritates me. The fact that the main female star likes him instead of Danny irritates me even more)

I wasn’t quite as accomplished in one night as Birdman and his friends in that video are…BUT I think I did my fair share LOL. Also on today’s agenda was painting my nails (I left my hands the same color – Miss Bliss, a pink holographic shade by Color Club) and am going to paint my toenails something shortly. Probably a purple of some sort, since I abhor pink in general. Miss Bliss only stayed because it’s holographic and looks good on my skintone)

I also got a haircut (Didn’t really touch the length beyond trimming 1-2 inches off so they look healthier. Re-cut to have my side swept bangs look like bangs and not just a short layer to try to frame my face or something. Got my arms and face waxed (Upper lips yay).

Oh my gosh, I plan to shower and be in bed by 10PM at the latest. Then I’ll wake up by 7 and be on campus, parked and ready to go, by 8:30. Tomorrow’s agenda is orientation, first Introduction to Law class, and then errands around campus. Namely, I have to submit my immunization records and make sure they’ve received my official undergraduate transcript from NYU.

BUT ONWARDS TO THE POINT OF MY POST’S TITLE. The Socratic Method.

It’s a style of teaching that first year law students FEAR before starting school. Professors call on students at random to answer their questions rather than waiting for a volunteer, that’s all. But it requires a certain level of paying attention and being prepared so you aren’t caught like a deer in the headlights not knowing the answer or not even realizing you’ve been called. You can’t go to sleep in the back of a lecture (I mean you can, but if you’re called, it’ll be rather embarrassing)

I’ve just gotta make sure I’ve got my readings done at all times 🙂