August 20, 2015

Law School Orientation Day 3

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What I Wore

Hump day. Wine Wednesday. Third day of orientation. Yesterday I ended up wearing what is technically a tailgating dress (more commonly known as a plain colored sundress) because I figured it'd be a safe choice. While I wouldn't say that I was overdressed, I will say that I was jealous of the girls in jeans and a nice top. But that's probably because the building was freezing. And that's exactly what I wore today- we definitely all were rocking skinny jeans because they look a little more polished than bootcut. Also, when I last watched the orientation scene of Legally Blonde, I thought it was unrealistic that someone would get a Masters or even a PhD before going to law school. I was wrong. About half of my class is like me, fresh from graduating either last spring or last December. The other half either have gone on to get a graduate degree or even worked for several years before attending law school. A lot of people are married too! I wasn't really expecting so many people to be more accomplished in life than me. 

Related: What to wear to orientation 

Premises and Conclusions

Once again, all today basically was a how-to law school again. We went over premise and conclusions because apparently that's where a lot of points are lost on essay answers. In short, premise + premise = conclusion. Here's the example we went over:

  • In order to be violate a speeding law, one must be operating a motor vehicle at a speed which exceeds the posted speed limit.
    • Element 1-operating a motor vehicle
    • Element 2-traveling at a speed excessive of the posted speed limit
  • Jane was driving her car at a speed of 95 miles per hour in an area with a posted speed limit of 65 MPH
  • don't say Jane violated the law because she was speeding
    • This just jumps to a conclusion without giving any premises, a big no-no
  • instead say Jane was operating the motor vehicle, satisfying Element 1 (premise). Jane was driving in excess of the posted speed limit, satisfying Element 2 (second premise). Because both Element 1 and Element 2 were satisfied, Jane was violating the law (conclusion).
    • obviously though, in real life you wouldn't have "elements," but you get the point

Book Briefing

Yesterday, I mentioned briefs and today we went over book briefing. Book briefing is marginal notes/ highlighting/ underlining that you do in the book as you read it. After you read your assignment, you can take your book briefs to fill out your IRAC. One professor suggested briefing on weekdays and organizing your briefs, along with class notes, into outlines on the weekends. Some important notes to take are:
  • find out who was who (plaintiff and defendant) in the original case
    • find out who was who in the appeal
      • find out who was who in the Supreme Court (if it goes that far)
  • summarize the main point of each paragraph as you go
  • connect summaries as you go
  • find out who is suing who and why
  • list all of the characters in the case 
    • witnesses
    • other parties
    • victims
  • list all words defined in the decision
  • make a vocab list of all unfamiliar words (with their definitions)
  • note all outside cases cited
    • how they are relevant
    • not necessary to look up & read these cases

Legal Writing

Lastly, we went over legal writing and to sum up a pretty boring hour: write clearly and concisely. While we were going over this, I noticed that a lot of the girls in the row in front of me were sneaking Core Grammar assignments to get them done. I'm extremely grateful for always being such a grammar nazi because I watched these girls work for a long time just to accomplish what I did last night while waiting for my towels to dry. 

Our Syllabus

We also found out how to navigate the website to find our professor's syllabi, so I took a look at them and a lot are pretty strict. Every single one counts you showing up to class "unprepared" as an unexcused absence, and some lower you a half grade after two unexcused absences. One professor banned all electronics, which really bums me out because I'm obsessed with EverNote. Another professor requires a hard copy of briefs to be turned in at every class. And the reading for each class is about 20 pages, starting the first day of class. So that's how I'll be spending my weekend, cracking into briefing my first books on top of finishing up Core Grammar. 

Also, our school's email is set up through Outlook and I'm having a hell of a time setting it up on my phone and laptop. I really hate the setup of outlook and how complicated it is, and hate that I don't get notifications instantly when I get an email. I hope I can get this set up before class starts so I don't miss any assignments. Mac > PC all the way

Final Thoughts

Read more about how my Day 1, Day 2, Day 4, and Day 5 went! And check out my Guide to Orientation post :)


  1. thank you so much for this!!!
    --fellow pre-law struggler :'(