Yup, that basically sums up my life right now. If it wasn’t for this hazelnut frap, I would be curled up in a ball in my bed ignoring the world.
My first writing assignment for the semester is to write a memo in support of a motion for summary judgment. It’s awful. I have no idea what I’m doing and am so overwhelmed by the number of cases and depositions we were given to go off of. I feel like I now know how a kindergartner feels when they learn to write or add.
It’s incredibly frustrating having no idea what you’re doing or if you’re doing something correct. I know writing memos and motions is a big deal for a lawyer and I very confident that over time I will be able to develop the skill it takes, but as of right now, I severely lack that skill. The worse part about this whole thing is we’re writing about injuries resulting from a hockey fight! HOCKEY! My favorite sport and it’s making me want to cry because I have no idea what I’m doing.
Today is just one giant BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO moment.
If I’ve learned one thing in my 4 months of law school it’s that there is always room for improvement. Professors, faculty, heck even other students love to rip everything you write, and sometimes say, to shreds.
Not that it is entirely a bad thing to have people tear apart how you write or analyze something; it’s actually a really good thing. I recently took my resume to our career services office in preparation of my summer job search. By the time I left, I’m pretty sure there was more red on the paper than there was actual resume. Now normally, I would be really upset that someone didn’t like my writing or resume or really anything but it’s not as though there is the intention to tell you “hey this sucks”.
Everyone, at least as my school, is highly invested in making sure you have the best possible education, opportunity, and resources available. They don’t want to send out poorly prepared lawyers who can’t survive in the real world. I don’t see more red than black on a page as a bad thing anymore but more of constructive criticism meant to teach me how to be successful in my chosen career. Never having anything be perfect can be a little disheartening at times but because it’s done with the right intentions and the people correcting me are willing to help me learn and get better, it’s not so bad having everything ripped to pieces.
NEWSFLASH: Your law professors are dumb.
Ok, no not really. They are all very intelligent professors and it’s great. However, for the sake of any writing, professors are the biggest idiots in the world. At least that’s how I figure things out in my mind when it comes to my writing. Plain and simple, professors LOVE the word because. “Cinderella has hostile possession because…” or “Jafar committed battery because…”. Needless to say as a 1L, my writing could use quite a bit of work. Every writing assignment or hypo I’ve done has come back with a million “why?”s written on it because I didn’t clearly explain my thought process. So, my new approach is to assume my professor is an idiot on the given topic and write it so any average person can read it. Honestly, I think that’s what they want, for any average person to read it and understand it. For some reason it’s just so difficult for me to write connecting all the dots when I assume the reader understands certain concepts. Here’s to hoping my new “they’re dumb” method works well enough to improve my writing a bit.
Legal writing will be the bane of my existence. I’ve always loved writing and writing papers was always very easy for me. This week, we got our first law school writing assignment: a memo. Memos are fairly standard in the legal world from what I understand and that’s fine, it’s not like they are extremely difficult to write. But good gracious, I hate legal writing. I have a compulsive urge to add words to make it flow and sound like the pretty English paper’s I used to write. Legal writing is very “no bullshit” writing and the more concise you can be while getting the point across the better. I sincerely hope this legal writing thing gets easier so I go. Until then, here’s the kitten I’m absolutely DYING to get!