Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Picking Classes

I believe I have settled on a winter class schedule:

Constitutional Law II (Freedom of Speech): T,Th 9:45-10:50, W 8:30-9:35
Sexual Orientation and the Law: T,W,Th 11-12:05
Marriage: W 1:30-3:50, Th 1:30-2:35
Law and Politics Workshop: T 4-5:15

That gives me 11 credits, so I only need to take 9 next quarter to graduate with the 105 required. I don't have class on Mondays or Fridays which means I can use those days to catch-up and get ahead as needed, as well as write those two pesky papers hanging over my head from previous quarters (and run errands, research the Austin housing market, and maybe go to the gym. Maybe). I didn't have to spend a penny on books, so I'm forcing myself to pay back the loan refund check I was issued this quarter. I always take out the full amount for tuition (nearly $40,000) and then some extra for books and other expenses. Just thinking about all my loans is depressing, so we'll save that topic for another day. Moving on!

Con Law II is interesting, taught by a great prof (who co-wrote our massive casebook), and is one of those topics I feel like I should know more about before leaving law school. Two things holding me back from taking the class were the ridiculously expensive casebook and the dread of the final, but a friend loaned me her book from last year and I suppose one final won't kill me.

Sexual Orientation and the Law (I need a shorter name for this class... Gay Law?) is fantastic. It's a topic I'm really interested and I love that it's such a current, evolving area of the law. The professor is the perfect mix of a practical and entertaining practictioner (he's at attorney at Lambda) and ridiculously smart theorist. He's also hilarious- as are some of the state statutes against gay sex and marriage. For example, a Washington sodomy statute explicitly bans carnal knowledge of a bird. Yes, a bird, because such behavior undercuts the moral foundation of our society. Or whatever the justification for those laws is... Other pluses: the reading assignments are really short and we can write a paper in lieu of the final.

Marriage: I haven't attended this class yet, but I read past course reviews and they were all very positive (and just as important, rated the difficulty of the class as a 2). It's taught by a pretty famous feminist and I may very well be the only woman in attendance who is married, changed her name, and has a baby, but it should be interesting and fun. There's no final and the grade is based on participation and short reaction papers.

Law and Politics Workshop: I discovered this little gem yesterday. It meets every other Tuesday from 4-5:15 (our seminars normally run from 4-6 and I have to get Landon by 5:30, so I haven't been able to take any this year) and involves a professor from some other law school presenting a paper on a topic related to the intersection of law and politics. We have to write a 3-page paper about a weak or interesting point in the paper and prepare two questions to ask at the workshop (though we don't actually have to ask them). It continues through the Spring quarter and gives me just the right number of credits.

So I think that's it. I've finished the bar application (at least the parts under my control- still waiting on the certified copy of my birth certificate, copy of my law school application, and kindergarten report card). I have not started my substantial paper on criminal justice and cyber law (or picked a topic) and I have not started my research paper for my helpful professor friend from last quarter. I'm in a constant state of almost being behind, but so far, I feel like I'm staying ahead of the curve. Of course, we're only 4 days into the quarter...


  1. Please tell me you are joking about the kindergarten report card.

  2. Sounds like a pretty good lineup of classes. Did you have to submit a DNA sample for the bar exam as well? Just kidding. I had a friend recently that took it and I was one of her reference (or whatever you call them). They sent me a little form to fill out on whether I thought she was of good moral character, etc. They are so funny. I'm looking forward to hearing about the classes you are taking.

  3. good luck with the classes. I don't know how you do it. At least work doesn't require much time outside of the office...but then maybe you're not in class 40 hours a week, so it balances out a little...sorta.

  4. I took Con Law II First Amendment and Sexuality and the Law/ Gay Law my second year. Both were really interesting and actually pretty easy (i.e. did not require a lot of studying). Of course, I took those courses at UT so that might not be relevant at to you, but I thought I could shed a little hope on your 3rd year!

  5. omg LL, if you are looking for houses in Austin, my parents are putting their house on the market in Feb...its off of 620 in NW austin..about 20-30 minutes from campus...just a thought =)let me know if you want details (IM me: hannahluluTX)

  6. how nice to see a normal post!

    And DO NOT get me started on student loans!! UGH. What a nightmare to repay them when you don't have a full time job. But hey that's my story! Hopefully, you'll get to be a FT lawyer, and won't have any issues with that.

  7. I am SOOOO jealous. My crap law school is supposedly top tier but offers ZERO interesting classes. Our list of class offerings is about half a page long, and that includes crap like bus orgs, tax, and corporations. By the way, I think your sexual orientation class best lends itself to the title "sex law."

  8. so i still follow your blog out of habit when i get a minute or two now and i have question - how did you get info on the course reviews from previous years (and especially how easy people rated the classes)?? i feel like this is something i should've figured out before my 3L year but this is the first i've heard of it....

  9. Cathy: just go to the reference librarians and ask for the binders with the course evaluations. Usually you need to know the professors name and the quarters/years s/he's taught.

    I find them really helpful! The law school should advertise their existence more.

  10. If it were at all possible, I would totally take a "Gay Law" class. I'm fascinated with all things homosexual (nature vs. nurture, gay law etc.) which is unusual since I'm totally heterosexual. Those bizarre laws crack me up. Can you imagine the event that had to take place for those laws to even be put into service? I wish I could audit that class!

  11. Sexual Orientation and the Law is about more than just gay people, I'm sure. So it would be more accurate to call it Sex Law. I bet you would get a lot more search hits that way too.

  12. LL: You're talking about GS for Con Law II, right? That final wasn't so bad; I thought it was pretty straightforward.

    That's right, I'm giving law school advice from the delivery room!

  13. Dan: I'm glad to get info about the final- straightforward works for me! And I am enjoying that class, it's one of those topics I feel like I should know as a law school graduate.

    And I can't believe you're commenting from the delivery room! JP kept falling asleep while I was in labor and I'd get so mad at him. His defense was "it's 3am and nothing's happening right now!" I informed him that quite a few things were happening and his duty was to keep me entertained :) Ahh, the memories of the miracle of birth...