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A Boy Scout at Heart

You would find me hard pressed to resist a gauntlet thrown down at my feet. If you looked me square in the eyes and challenged me to be left alone in the middle of the Siberian wilderness, only to then find my way back to civilization, I would nonchalantly, with a shrug of my shoulders, say--"sure". I would take up your gauntlet.

But what you wouldn't know is that for weeks ahead of time my eyes would be pouring over maps of the Siberian terrain. My daily commutes to work would be spent quizzing myself with flashcards of edible and nonedible plants. And I probably would have made 12+ trips to the local "mountain man survival store" to pick up a flashlight, backup batteries and backup, backup batteries. For, as that gem of a motto coined by the Boy Scouts goes---one should always be prepared.

This is similar to how I approach the infamous summer before law school. Law school is a wilderness of uncharted territory for all us entering students. Despite our best efforts one can easily get turned around in the rules of the law or confuse one jurisdiction with another.

In response, I have amassed my own "survival school". A survival kit of hornbooks and study guides stowed safely on my bookshelf at home that I read bit by bit as time allows. My goal for the summer is not to cram every quirk of the law into my head, but to walk into class on day one having a general layout of the law terrain. I want to know which way is north and what lies ahead at mile marker 1, 2, 3 & 4.

The 'be prepared' method is in stark contrast to what many others are choosing to do. Another popular method of pre-law prep is to relax and enjoy the summer. To travel the world and return refreshed with a mind ready to tackle the year ahead, rather than risk entering already exhausted. The understandable theory is that they will have the energy to charge full speed ahead and react to any unforeseen challenges. Come the first day of class, they will possess the calmness of mind to figure out which way is north rather than run in circles.

Both methods have their pros and cons and I am sure both would be awarded merit badges in any local Boy Scout Troop. Although I am a huge supporter of traveling the world and believe the education that one acquires from it is invaluable, I have already done this multiple times over. What I need, based on my individual circumstances at present, is a map and an opportunity to start getting my study muscles back into shape.

In the end, what can I say but that-- I really am a boy scout at heart and "always be prepared" is how I am approaching the summer before law school.

Joanna Lehmann
New York Law School 2014

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 15, 2011 8:46 AM.

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