by Andrew ’16
Everyone knows that law school is a considerable amount of work. I wish I could say that everyone was wrong. Aside from the obvious requirements of classes and endless amounts of reading, NUSL really keeps you busy. From the outside, it may sound onerous. However, if you are someone that enjoys being busy, then it works out well. That does not mean that a break is not helpful. With Spring Break starting tomorrow, it seems appropriate to reflect on the semester so far.
In many ways, this semester is a continuation of last semester. Where last semester we learned the language, now they expect us to use it. Legal Writing has amped up with a larger and more in-depth project meant to encompass everything we have learned up to this point. To make it more interesting, this time we will perform oral arguments along with the written assignment. My “law office” also just submitted our second submission for our Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) project. With only the final draft remaining, our focus has shifted from the intense research of the first semester to execution of our final work product. After returning from Spring Break, our focus will again shift, this time to the big presentation at the end of the semester. As a whole, it is fulfilling to see the efforts of our labor realized as the project nears completion. That being said, as with any deadline, it can be daunting to imagine how everything will be done in time. And, as if LSSC was not enough to keep us occupied, our doctrinal classes have also upped the ante.
At their core, many of the lecture courses this semester have similar expectations to last semester. The reading assignments are still lengthy. The material continues to be somewhat dense and difficult to grasp at times. Yet beyond that, our professors are asking us to do more in-class discussion and argumentation, which requires a better understanding of the material. It is not enough to read the cases. We are expected to absorb the information and use it to make (and back up) our arguments in class. As a result, I find myself spending more time pouring over the reading, even if there are only a few pages assigned. In spite of the extra effort, I find it gratifying to see how far my classmates and I have come since August.
The way I see it, when you are working at something you enjoy, it seems less like work. That is not to say it is not challenging or frustrating at times. However, the work eventually gets done. The deadlines come and go (and usually come again). Yet, the result is a better grasp on legal theory and practice, and that is why we are all here. Besides, everything seems brighter knowing that there is a beach in my future. Thank goodness for Spring Break!