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

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


I have a professor that keeps referring to that point in law school when that light bulb in your head goes off and you "just get it." I guess it can be compared to a runner crossing that "threshold" after which, the act becomes more natural. Supposedly, a law student will likewise cross a threshold. The difference here, is that is upon crossing it, the student then slows to a leisurely crawl. I think I am getting there.

Often times, we read cases in which the opinion contains a statutory excerpt crucial to understanding the case. 'Beginner student Law-Rah' used to read and re-read the statute portions numerous times. In the beginning, I would highlight the entire indented blockquote. Later, I began putting a big star next to the whole thing. In a good judicial opinion, right after the statutory exerpt, the judge will enlighten you as to which sentence in the statute is actually important and why. At that point, I took out a pen/marker and underlined that important sentence. I then re-read the reasoning behind it's importance so I made sure to understand everything.

I just finished reading a case with a crucial statute in the opinion. After I read the whole statute, I highlighted one sentence. As I began to read, two sentences down in the text the judge actually quoted the important language as being "blah blah blah" which so happened to be the PRECISE words I highlighted, start to finish. (Excuse my excitement, but this seriously is a rare occasion.) Does this mean I have passed the threshold? Is there still a need to continue reading as to why they thought it was important? I already knew it was important. So, I am done, right?