Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A first time for everything

So, today I had my first experience of being cold called upon by a professor. The infamous Socratic Method, the infamous way professors torture their students by having them speak in front of everyone in their section about the case. (See The Paper Chase for a extreme view of it)

But I survived, and did not make a fool of myself. I did do the reading and have been briefing each case, so I was not scared. I think I might have even given a semi-logical and semi-convincing answer to the professor's questions.

In bad news, another gunner has popped up in my classes.

In good news, only 2 more days until bar review (incidents from last week: (1) 1L got drunk and fell down, breaking a tooth and needed to be sent to the hospital in an ambulance and (2) 2 slightly drunk 1L girls decide to make out with each other on a dare from a bunch of equally drunk 1Ls.

3 days until Labor Day weekend. Trip to San Diego, Vegas, or Malibu? That is the question. I know, I know, law school here in LA is rough, but someone has to go to school here. We can't all be attending school in the pretentious (and cold) Northeast.

Friday, August 25, 2006

How lawyers get formed

Yesterday was the first bar review of the school year.

400 law students
+scandalous photos taken
-potential political careers ruined as a result of aforementioned photos
+gossip and scandal
+hooking up
-law school pretense
A whole lot of fun and lots of stories to share


Repeat weekly for the next three years

Don't be that guy

I never really understood why people hated gunners. I mean, they have opinions and like to talk in class, which takes the burden off of you. You won't be called on my the teacher because the gunner is monopolizing all the time. I always believed that class is an intellectual experience and through interacting with your professors do you truly learn.

Until I got to law school.

It has been a week of classes, and I hate the gunner (OK, I have a few gunners in my section, but there is an "alpha gunner"). He is so opinionated that he loves to tell the professor what he thinks. He loves to talk about theories not relevant to class. He annoys people around him. He insists on talking to his neighbors and mutters things under his breath at comments the professor makes. In a 80 person section, I can be reasonably assured that at least 75 can't stand him (the other 4 are the minor gunners).

Recent exchange with Prof CivPro who is discussing personal jurisdiction:
PROF: Who can discuss how this personal jurisdiction plays in [case]?
GUNNER: [something about how personal jurisdiction is unfair]
PROF (trying to hide his irritation): That's interesting. Now, how about how it plays in this case?
GUNNER: [some hypo about jurisdiction in unrelated criminal case]
PROF [holds up casebook and points to casebook title]: We are in civil procedure and not criminal procedure. Your point is not relevant for this class. Who can tell me about personal jurisdiction in this civil case?
ANNOYED 1L: [gives correct answer]

And then today, [Prof CivPro] was getting tired of his comments and did not call on him for the last 20 minutes and gunner's hand was getting pretty tired by having to constantly raise it. So, a normal person would lower their hand, right? But not Mr. Gunner. He takes his left hand to support his right hand.

Classic. I was close to loosing it right in the middle of class. And best part is that [Prof CivPro] still did not call on him.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How am I already behind?

I have had 2 days of law school and I have no idea how I am already behind with my readings. I only have three substantive classes and a legal writing class, but apparently it is taking forever to read and brief all the cases that are assigned. Perhaps it is this whole "learning to think like a lawyer" thing I'm learning. Or perhaps it is because I'm not used to the density of law school readings. Or perhaps it is because I fool around too much (among other things blogging).

Class from 9-5 is getting exhausting.

Oh, and carrying around 3 casebooks everyday in my backpack and a laptop is taking a toll on my shoulders. There are people who go around with a rollie bookbag, but I refuse to do so out of principle. My biggest pet peeve before law school were people I saw who had rollies. I'd rather be the hunchback of Notre Dame, and it will be a cold day in hell before I get one.

At least I'm at law school in Southern California and not somewhere where it is not 85 and gorgeous every day (a contributing factor to my procrastination)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Back to school

Finished with my first day of law school. I did not act like a fool, packed my lunch, my shoes tied tight, and did not get into a fight (bonus points if you know what I am talking about). Anyway, classes did not seem all that intimidating as portrayed in movies, but then again, today was only law school lite.

But life has become like high school all over again. In between classes, I (along with everyone else) rushed to our lockers to put our books away and prepare for the next class. We all ate lunch at the cafeteria next door. And there was everyone awkwardly trying to introduce themselves to everyone else. Oh, and some of us got wedgies from the football team. Just kidding, the football team did not haze us. It was the Law Reviewers.

On a side note: 1L is split up into 12 supposedly random sections, except even after the first day, everyone knows they're not random, especially regarding minorities. Certain sections have more color than others. Other sections have more old people. The frat boys dominate in other sections. The two strict mormons are in the same section together as well. I guess the principle of critical mass overrules the principle of random distribution.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Done and done

So, 1L orientation officially ended on Friday and classes begin tomorrow. That 's right--my law school career officially begins tomorrow at 9:15AM in room 1457 of the law school. Not sure how I feel, somewhere between nervous and excited. This weekend alternated between going out and getting hammered and being all studious, since each class has reading for the first day. There will be no "OK class, here is the syllabus, and this is what we will be doing" normal first day stuff. Instead, the prof will enter the room and turn on a unsuspecting 1L and ask about the case that was assigned.

One major observation of orientation: there is a real lack of color in the 1L class. What that means is that whites and asians aside, there are few hispanic or black students in the 1L class. Surely some of it has to do with Proposition 209 passed 10 years ago, and people have been saying that this class is more diverse than in years past, but still it is pretty disconcerting that a state institution such as UCLA has become so unrepresentative of the state as a whole. Here's a interesting view of the whole diversity issue at UCLA: A New Ivy.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Orientation and marriage

So we had our first day of orientation yesterday at the law school, so now I am pretty well orientated. One recurring theme did keep on coming up yesterday, and no, it was not how much better UCLA was better than USC. If there was one thing I learned yesterday, it was how everyone in the class of 2009 will marry someone else from law school. That point was stressed home by countless alumni and faculty, as well as Dean Schill himself...how 1L year will bring you all closer, how the long hours in law school is conducive to these relationships, blah blah blah... Afterwards, a bunch of the 1Ls went to the bar to do what lawyers do best: drink. Oh, and to ridicule the whole marriage thing. (I know this is going to come back to bite me in three years when I'm married to a UCLAW alumna)

Anyway, going to head off to my second and final day of orientation soon.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

OK, one more before bed...

Today, I had my first In-N-Out burger in a long time, and man, did I miss it. Simple, unpretentious, and cheap. There's four things on the menu, the fries are fresh cut from potatoes right in front of you, and everything is made right there in front of you as well. 1000x better than all the other fast-food burger joints.

The only down side...The wait, since there's always tons of people in line in front and there's also cars lined up in the drive thru. But, that's the price people have to pay for greatness, I guess.

So it begins...

I woke up at the crack of dawn to get from (hometown) to LA today. After much bags, boxes, and furniture moving, I am set up in my apartment. My back and arms are all sore from all the moving, and I can now look forward to a night sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag, as my bed has yet to arrive. But all the negatives aside, I love the new place. It's brand new, with all the trimmings, and (for Westwood standards) relatively affordable. Tomorrow, I have to go and buy some more stuff for the apartment, and walk around Westwood some more.

So, August 1, 2006 marks the day I left my old life behind to begin anew in unfamiliar Los Angeles.