Monday, November 6, 2006

2L Year

The stories of a better life that I kept hearing from 2Ls and 3Ls are what got me through 1L year. Every night when I was at the library long past dinnertime, I would think - next year I'll be home. Every weekend when I was sitting in the library and not out enjoying this wonderful new city, I would think - next year I'll have big plans every weekend.

The 2Ls lied. This year is not easier. Supposedly there is less pressure on your grades because now we have jobs. But your grades still matter if you want to clerk or if you change firms early in your career (and so many people do). And pretty much anyone who gets in to a top law school is too much of an achiever to actually "not care" about grades. We've cared for too long.

I share part of the blame for the fact that I'm about to eat dinner in the library while reading antitrust - I took 4 tough classes and am volunteering at the Chicago Legal Clinic all day on Thursdays. But still - the classes are harder, not easier. As a 1L it was understood that we knew nothing about the law - we had a mixture of backgrounds, and the only thing we had in common is that none of us used to be lawyers. But now we've been armed with the basic knowledge of contracts and somehow that means we should know the answers to complex corporate governance questions. Apparently over the summer, all that 19th century case law we learned was supposed to transform into the answers for today's complex questions. I learned a lot at my firm - how to use Lexis in a cost-effective manner, how to tailor my memos for each partner, how to time my Ann Taylor bills to arrive just after my paycheck... I did not learn what a corporations was or how it is governed.

So 1Ls- law school does get less stressful (you're done with OCI), more familiar (you can read cases pretty quickly now), and more fun (picking your own classes!), but it does not get easier.

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