I checked out my final exam schedule earlier this week and received a pleasant surprise. Our final exam schedule runs from April 27-May 8 but both of my final exams are in April. That means next month is my last month of law school. My graduation isn’t until May 9 and I don’t leave for my hike until May 11 so I’ll have plenty of free time at the beginning of May. I do still have to finish my R&W but I should be close to finishing by then.
The Research and Writing Requirement
In order to graduate my school has a research and writing requirement that can be satisfied by the completion of a 30 page paper. Most schools have a similar requirement. It is actually an ABA requirement that law students must take at least one course as a 2L or 3L that requires the writing of a paper for credit.
As with most things in law school I have procrastinated in fulfilling this requirement. This is my last semester though so I can’t put it off any longer. I’ll have to write thirty pages over the next two months which I’m not looking forward to. I like writing in general but not legal writing. I plan on working on it an hour at a time and it will eventually get done.
For any of you current or soon to be law students I would advise starting your R&W before your last semester or at least starting on it promptly at the beginning of your last semester.
Complete Your Character and Fitness Application Early
You have the option of submitting character and fitness application for the state bar early during your first two years of law school. You’ll receive a discount of about $200 for filing early. A more important reason for filing early is to get it out of the way so it is one less thing for you to worry about when you are preparing for graduation and studying for the bar. I didn’t submit my application early and I wish I had. I have not started my application yet but just looking at it I can tell it is going to take a major chunk of time to complete.
One of the requirements of the application is that you list everywhere you have lived since you were 18. That might not be a big deal for a 25 year old but for a peripatetic 41 year old like me it is going to be a major pain in the ass. I have lived more places than I can remember. Hopefully, I will be able to come up with all of the addresses by looking at my credit report and my tax records. This will take a lot of time though and it isn’t the only part of the application that will require a lot of time. If you have the option to apply early for your character and fitness determination in your state I highly recommend you do so.
Law School is Over for the Semester
I had a final Monday and another final Wednesday and that was it for the semester. I have to do a little work for my clinic but I am basically done until next semester starts. I wish I could say that I’m confident that I did well enough on my tests to stay in law school. I feel okay about one of them but I’m worried about the other one. I don’t have a high enough GPA to bomb on a final and still maintain the minimum GPA for law school. It has always been very difficult for me to gauge how well or poorly I performed on a law school final. I’m hoping that I did good enough on the final but all I can do now is wait. Unfortunately, I will probably be waiting for a while. Based on my past experience I probably won’t receive my grades until after the next semester starts.
On a positive note, if I do manage to stay in school my next semester will be easy. I only have 9 credits and they are all pass/fail. I will have to do my 30 page R&W and I’ll have to actually appear in court for my clinic. Those are both things I’m dreading so next semester won’t entirely be a cakewalk but compared to my other semesters it will be pretty easy.
Oral arguments are presentations you make before a panel of judges stating the legal reasons why your client should prevail. It isn’t the same as a speech because the judges will frequently interrupt you with questions about your case. As a law student you usually have to do an oral argument during your 1L year as part of your legal research/legal writing class.
I had to do an oral argument during my 1L year but when I transferred my current school said that my former school didn’t say anything about oral arguments in their class description. They made me take another class that requires oral arguments. I didn’t want to take it but it is required for graduation so I did so.
I got one of my oral arguments done today. In this class you have to do two oral arguments and I’ll be doing my second one in a couple of weeks. I really hate public speaking and I don’t think that is going to change. When I’m a lawyer I might occassionally be required to speak before a court but I’d prefer to keep those occassions to a minimum. I doubt I’ll ever feel comfortable with public speaking and for now I’ll be happy to get my oral arguments behind me.