The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Friday, January 14, 2005

First week wrap up

"Welcome back. Okay, enough of that. Miss F, what gave rise to the claim in Swift v. Tyson?"

That is how CivPro II began last night. No "hope everyone had a great holiday." No "in grading your exams, I was impressed by the amount of knowlege you were all able to retain." No "damn, it's hot in this classroom, we should call maintenance." No "well, over the break, I read about a case I wanted to share." Nope. This man hit the ground running...rather, sprinting to the Erie Doctrine. One may think this makes for a scary situation. Prof. is picking up where we left off, including with the folks on the seating chart he has not yet called on, which includes yours truly. I must say, I felt more at ease in his class than some others this week. Don't get me wrong, he can be an absolutely terrifying little man when he wants to. But, we spent all of last semester figuring out this socratic facilitator. We know his quirks. We know his moods. We know his exams. We almost know his family. It is kind of refreshing to have a familiarity to the class and to already know what to expect out of something in my first year of law school.

On the other hand, for Torts and Crim. Law, we are just getting started trying to figure these guys out.

Crim Law:
So far, all we know that Prof goes in alphabetical order when calling on people to describe some theoretical ramblings about punishment. I am not sure anyone in the class has yet to really "get" what he is talking about. I could be wrong, as I say this based on his lack of facial expression or response on his part when anyone speaks. He asks a question and we all write it down. People raise their hand to answer. Someone is called on and starts off their comments strong. Halfway through, when he isn't budging, they change course. Still no nod or smile, so they scramble to actually make a point. Then, he says "okay", calls on someone else and repeats that process. After a few rounds of that, he asks another question that is fairly unrelated to the conversation. After class, I looked at my notes, and a I have 26 questions. Umm...no answers. Maybe the task here is for US to write the exam. If so, I am golden. Mine will be fill in the blank!

I think I am golden here too, as apparently, Prof. has a thing for co-eds...kidding. I am sure all of you have already read about the story of the first night of Torts so I won't go through that again. This man is pretty funny. I think he really wants us to like him and be his friend. I appreciate the lack of "I am Prof. and that means I am smarter than all of you combined" attitude. He is all about positive re-inforcement. If someone says something intelligent, he will tell them they made a good point. He will also admit if he doesn't know something, which is strange to me, as I was under the impression all law school Profs knew everything there was to know! He's also a bit on the spastic side. He likes to throw his leg up on the desk and move around a lot. He also has a thing for throwing stuff around the 145 person classroom to prove his point. That's okay, as long as he does not hit me, because that would surely be an external manifestation on his part.

Prof. here did an amazing thing for us. He specifically set aside the first 30+ minutes of class to discuss something he felt was extremely important. He did a "it's time to start thinking about your career" speech. (Even had a power point) This is somthing that the Career Developement folks or someone should take the time to do for us. I am not talking about some noon luncheon that the evening students cannot attend. I am talking about coming to us and bringing us the info at a time convenient to us. He did just this. He spoke of his experiences, what worked and what didn't, advice from a practicioner, etc. THANKS CONTRACTS PROF! Other than that, not much changed from last semester. I think he may be brushing his hair in a different direction.

So, that sums up my first week of my second semester of law school! Things are quite different and believe it or not, much more intense! This may be due to the fact that two days a week I have 6 hours of work, then 6 hours of class, back to back. (Add in two hours of transportation to, from, and around the city) So, if you notice a mood shift on Wednesdays or Thursdays, you can see why!