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13 Things I Learned in My First Year of Law School

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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13. This list is not exclusive.

The Law School Casebook
Image by David Ortez via Flickr

12. Everyone talks about the “real world,” but no one can quite articulate what that means.

11. Everyone agrees that one exam at the end of a semester is pedagogically unsound, and bears little resemblance to the above-mentioned “real world,” but no one does anything about it.

10. If stress is good preparation for the “real world,” I must be really prepared now.

9. The Rule Against Perpetuities: it seems straightforward until you try to apply it. But it’s fun, in a twisted and evil sort of way!

8. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.

7. Lawyers are the biggest fans of lawyer jokes.

6. Debt is inevitable. Accept it, deal with it, plan for it.

5. Perhaps surprisingly to many, the professors really want you to succeed.

4. Law students are smart and talented.

3. Most barriers to success are artificial: the curve, the single exam, the pace. Without these to sift us out, most students would succeed.

2. Many, perhaps most, law students are interested in the public good. (But see “debt is inevitable,” above.)

1. There is one true answer to any legal question: “It depends.”