me and Socrates

Well, my day finally arrived in Contracts. I admit I am pretty lucky to only have one intimidating fall 1L class that makes use of the Socratic method. My torts professors’ questions are so leading that there is no pressure to spew much brilliance besides a few case facts and a perfectly timed, “Yes,” or “No.” I have a non-traditional civil procedure class with almost no case law and few lectures. My criminal law class is like a long, strange trip through the mind of an amusing but forgetful tenured professor. He rambles, the same 20 or so students raise their hand and talk, he never calls from the seating chart, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Contracts is another story entirely. The professor is a “minor legend” according to law school lore. His demeanor displays his brilliance without a trace of arrogance though. But he asks hard questions during class, and sticks to a fairly strict Socratic method. He introduces a case, then picks a student to question for 5-15 minutes, depending on the case. Today we were talking about a local case that happened to take place in my hometown, so I raised my hand when he asked if anyone knew anything substantial about the setting of the case.

He moved onto another case a few minutes later and then called on me for the real deal. And actually, it was fine. It’s a good thing I spent quality time with the case over the weekend and didn’t have to search my notes to answer most of the questions. I felt somewhat nervous that I would get lost in his lines of reasoning, but it didn’t happen.

Now I’ll feel much less nervous in Contracts for a while.

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