I just accomplished something seldom (or possibly never) done in my life. I studied for eight hours straight. It did end with a headache, which quickly subsided after eating the best pizza in town. There were internet breaks, but overall, I accomplished a lot today, from briefing cases to writing a very short paper to preparing for my terror-inducing, participation-heavy Civil Procedure class.
This week in Civ Pro we have to act like lawyers again, in our fifth DAY of law school. Now, before I proceed with a mild complaint, I will say, everyone I have talked to has gushed about this professor. I know he is fabulous and unorthodox. He’s very funny, and I got a very good impression from the short time I have heard him speak. However, that doesn’t make me any less terrified for his class.
I mean, couldn’t we start having to act like lawyers after we know one or two laws? Or after two weeks of classes maybe?
What threw me happened during the first class, when we split into small groups and had to role play with an older student as if we were an attorney. I was taken totally off-guard. I didn’t realize we would be doing this exercise, had already endured several hours of mind-numbing class that day, and completely lost words and brain function. I laughed awkwardly (more than once) and had nothing to say, and no one in my group laughed along, they just looked at me like I was an idiot. So, that was kind of annoying, because it was, after all, our second day of law school, and it seemed hilarious, to me anyway, for us to role play as though we were lawyers.
The worst part, however, was that the other people in my group all sounded like lawyers! How the hell? Well, I think I may know. Their parents are lawyers, or they deal with the law for their full-time job. I was sitting next to a classmate eating lunch when she took a call from her dad the other day. I couldn’t help but hear the conversation, and it was extremely obvious her father was a lawyer. She later told me there are tons of lawyers in her family. Then I remembered that another of my well-spoken section mates said both his parents are lawyers. And how another has a job working extensively with law. Comforting? Not really.
So, it’s not just that law school is all new to me, it’s that the whole world of law is new to me. I have been racking my brain trying to think of anyone I knew before say, last year, that is an attorney. I don’t think I have a single family member, not even an in-law or a second cousin or a great uncle, who is or was an attorney. I can’t even think of a friend who has an attorney parent. I can’t think of a neighbor or someone I knew from church either. Nor can I think of any time in my life that anyone in my family dealt with an attorney (besides divorce) that I knew anything about. Yes, I have some knowledge about immigration law, but that means jack when you are talking about criminal, torts and civil procedure.
And, so I digress. I don’t want to sound whiny or like I feel sorry for myself. I’m still excited about school, and so far it’s pretty good. It’s definitely not boring. But more challenging and intimidating than I thought, absolutely.