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As any of my classmates can tell you, this is crunch time. November in the 1L is when it all comes together. We’ve been poring over Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Torts for three months and now, heading into Thanksgiving, we’ve hopefully acquired enough understanding of the law to say something coherent on the upcoming exams.

I’ve said before that the type of student that comes to law school is generally used to getting good grades. One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of 1L is that you really have no idea how you’re doing until it’s too late to do anything about it. I am also definitely at the point where this “stuff” has permeated my brain. I read somewhere that if a lawyer sleeps soundly at night, they aren’t doing their job right. Judging from the bags under most of my classmates’ eyes, I’d say that applies to law students, too.

Now I can’t walk past a parking garage without wondering if the guy pulling his car out has a duty to the unfortunate pedestrian who gets in his way. When I dropped a tomato in the supermarket today, would I have been liable for negligence if an old woman slipped and shattered her hip? This stuff, fundamental to the 1L experience, is what’s going to shape my next three years in law school and I can’t help but wonder how it’s all going to play out.

Law school is competitive because there’s always something you could be doing to make yourself better. Everyone knows it, too. We are graded on a curve and, as we head into our first final exams as law students, it’s hard not to think most of my section-mates are searching for some affirmation: a sign that they made a good decision by coming here.

It’s also time, since I’ve been focusing more on day-to-day preparation for class, to begin actively preparing for finals. Outlines and practice problems are going to be key in making sure my analysis is strong and that I can express myself clearly on paper, something I’ve been struggling with.

I’ve joked that you know you’re in law school when even taking a break stresses you out. I’ve heard conversations at school that sound like students competing over who can take the shortest trip home for Thanksgiving and rush back to finish their outlines. One thing I know for sure is that I am looking forward to rejoining civilization for a couple of days, even if I don’t plan on spending much time outside the library, either.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 18, 2010 2:58 PM.

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