1L – I Survived My First Month of Law School

I finished my first month and I still have no idea what I’m doing, can’t retain shit, but with month 2 starting there is hope on the horizon.

From what I’ve read, most law students check the bar passage rate of the school as their primary indicator as to whether the school is “top tier.” The reasons for this seem to be mostly job prospects. Which is understandable when you’re in debt around 100K  for a doctorate. The other reason I can understand this is because in a way passage rates may reflect the quality of the education, unless you recently got burned by Charlotte Law. I chose an unaccredited law school mainly due to price. I have to pay out of pocket and the secondary bonus is that my law school has I think the second highest passage rate among unaccredited schools. I forget the name of the other law school that is number one, but it is a devout Christian school up north somewhere. Again, passages rates aren’t something I can boast about nor care about because statistically, someone has to fail the exam nothing [Baby Bar, GBX] has a 100% passage rate and the California Bar has about a 48% passage rate and it ain’t all correspondence kids failing that sucker.

With that said, my school follows the California Bar requirements that we must study no less than 48 weeks per year with a maximum of  52 weeks. What this means is we cannot take our finals earlier than the 11th month of instruction. Just like any other law school our grades are comprised of a midterm and a final. The only difference is our midterm just has to be turned in and graded before we can schedule our final.

I’m happy I survived my first month because some people don’t. I have a few classmates who have started over 1L up to 3 times due quite simply to life. I’d say the average age of my class is about 45. These people are grown, with families, and professionals at adulting.

My law school gives you the tools you need to succeed, but if you don’t do them then you can’t expect much from yourself. We are given traditional syllabi, we have a few mandatory items that we have to do before the midterm which they even provide a study plan to take the thinking out of it all.

I elected to deviate from the study plan just a tiny bit, once I looked at every item in the plan. There were some things that I could do now, having no outline, having no rule statements memorized, having no idea what in the fuck I was doing because it was actually going to introduce me to the material. So I did. Now I have something that isn’t due until about Month 4 done. But I’m not ahead, I just lessened my load for months 5-7.

Month 1 is designed to just kinda let you marinate on how everything works, has a few tasks that consist of  audio lectures and you poke around. Sounds easy right? Nope. Because you’re dealing with a bunch of people posting shit to the forums. Sometimes it is utterly stupid shit, shit that is in the syllabus that people are too lazy to read, I’ve even posted to the wrong board and had to deal with that embarrassment and subsequent deletion of my post.

Even though I’m not at a traditional school, I’m still subjected to the Socratic method, it’s just on a message board, and I feel like because it is on a message board it goes WAY deeper than it would in a on-campus real-time class.

Month 2 is where we really start studying the law, we have some assignments to begin working on like case briefs, etc, we have more reading to do and we really start the journey full speed ahead. My biggest issue right now is figuring out which book I am going to use to create my outline with. I bought so many supplements, all different in unique and valuable in their own ways, but for now I need to just pick one. I also need to start writing my case briefs,  joy.

Onward and upward.