The Halfway Point and Other Winter Blues Observations

Project 1: CALI a Law School Class

Happy midterm week! At the midway point of the semester, I am swamped with work. In the next week and a half I have 3 papers due – which seeing as I only have 5 papers due this entire semester is a bit overwhelming.

Nevertheless, I want to take this opportunity to guess which classes I think I can do the best in. I did this on my first day of class and at the very least it’s a good mental exercise. So allow me to rate my classes in order of least likely to be able to CALI in to most likely.

  • International Law: It’s a pass/fail elective that doesn’t affect my GPA. Technically, it doesn’t even count. That being said, my final paper is due next week (it’s a half semester class) so I can’t cross it off my list just yet.

  • Legislation and Regulation: It’s not that I can’t CALI in this class. It’s just that the expectations are very unclear so it’s a guess as to whether or not what I’m doing is right. My professor uses his own methods which means I can’t even google concepts because what he says goes. We had a midterm on Monday and he went over a potential answer yesterday. The entire class was fighting him over his answers and I sat there in silence. I had the same answers as him. I can’t be too cocky just yet though. I haven’t gotten the midterm back yet.

  • Civil Procedure: Civil procedure is tough, but it’s worth it. Of all my classes, I put the most effort into this one. While I know I can learn all of this material I currently don’t have an outline of everything we’ve learned. I go day-by-day instead of pulling all the concepts together into one big outline. Until I do that, I don’t have a chance at anything. Although since it’s a memorization class, I do think there’s still a chance.

    It’s important to note here that we do multiple choice questions on our phone almost every class. These questions count for 20% of our overall grade. I think I’m doing alright, but if everyone around me is doing better than alright I’m not in a great position to CALI.

  • Property: I really love property. My professor is incredibly entertaining – bordering on a complete nihilist as he rambles on about how at the end of the day, no one really owns anything. He simply drops some profound thoughts that can definitely keep you awake at night if you’re not careful. That being said, he’s also very clear on what key points of the law are and I feel pretty confident I can nail this class.

    Also, we have take-home pass/fail midterm this week which is one of my papers. It’s set up exactly like our final – one really long essay question. After I do that, this ranking could change.

  • Legal Writing: I know it wasn’t in my initial guesses on the first day of the semester, but that’s because I didn’t have the class that day. But I have mentioned this class before. Remember my motion to dismiss? Anyway, I’m pretty sure I stand the best chance in this class. I really nailed the last paper and all of my homeworks have had the highest grade. I’m most definitely at the top of the class right now.

    Legal writing is my only class where we turn in assignments throughout the semester, so I need to keep my momentum going. I hope if I do that, other people might slack off a bit and I can sneak ahead. I have a small paper due on Friday, but a massive one due at the end of March, so I’ll probably have good hard push this upcoming month.

Did you notice that I feel comfortable in all of my classes? I’m a little too complacent right now. I want to propose a secondary part to this project: getting a 4.0. Why not reach for the stars?

The reason I also want to work towards this is because, quite frankly, I don’t do a lot of work. I sleep most evenings and skim my readings. I know if I spent the time living out a Legally Blonde studying montage I can get the 4.0. It might sound arrogant, but I know I can do better.

So with that, let’s raise the stakes: a perfect GPA.


The First Day of the Semester

A summary of the day: I walked into a class five minutes early and was the last one to arrive. The professor had already started lecturing.

Could law school be any more intimidating?

All Lizzie McGuire moments aside, with the first day of the semester under my belt, I’m actually pretty hopeful. I think I can do this. For my own entertainment and future embarrassment, I want to place my bets on how I’ll do in each of my classes now – to try and guess the class I’ll try and CALI in.

(If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, click here to see what my current goal is.)

The first class of the day was Property, which initially compelled me because I’m interested in doing intellectual property law (yes, property law and intellectual property law actually do connect!). My professor seemed very engaging and clear with expectations. We had three cases to prep for class and we got through all three. Definitely a class I can see myself sinking my teeth into. 7/10 interested.

Next was Civil Procedure. Now this one might just be the one. Not only was my professor very, very interested in what he was teaching, he dropped a few South Park references along the way. Since Civil Procedure (usually just written as Civ Pro) is the study of the law of laws – how meta! – it seems like it’s going to be heavily reliant on logic. He also compared the class to organic chemistry, since you spend time learning the rules and then learning a million exceptions to it and exceptions to the exceptions… etc. I’m not sure if this is encouraging or disheartening since in OChem I I got a 17% on the final, but in OChem II I got a 97%. Either way, 9/10 interested.

The last class of the day was Legislation and Regulation (see also: Leg Reg). I can’t seem to get a gauge on this one yet. Not only do I have no idea what it’s about, since it’s the only class where we covered 0% of the readings we had done in preparation and instead looked over the syllabus, but I can’t get a read on the professor. He spoke rather quietly and to be honest, I zoned out. Maybe from hunger or boredom or sleep-deprivation. I don’t know. But my boyfriend took a class of his last semester and he seemed to have developed a fondness for the professor, so perhaps I will too. 4/10 interested.

And that concludes my riveting “what did you learn in school today?” answer. If you’ve made it this far, thanks. I know it was a bit of a diary entry, but I hope that it’s interesting for me later in the semester and can be used for self-evaluation throughout the course of this project.