May 4, 2016

What Happens When You're Not Prepared for a Law School Class

What happens when you're not prepared for law school classes. Going to a law school class without reading. Do you have to read everyday for law school? Should you read everyday for law school. Most embarrassing moment of law school. Scariest moment of law school. Law school horror story. Messing up in law school. Law school mistakes. Law school blog. Law student blogger |

This is embarrassing. I originally had no intentions of blogging about this, but after my last post I realized I wouldn't be completely honest if I omitted the flip side of what happens in class... 

Related: What a law school class is like

A few months back, I was trying to finish up my Con readings but kept dozing off. Because this class is 2 hours long, we get a 10 minute break at the half. I decided that I'd go ahead and quit and either skim the cases during the break or look them up on Quimbee if they were long. By the time we got to our break in Con, we had only gone over 1 out of our assigned 6 readings. I reasoned that at this rate, we wouldn't even cover the cases I didn't read so I went ahead and took my break. But to make up for spending too much time on the first case, my professor decided to skip to the very last two (the only two I hadn't read yet). 

Related: Quimbee review

As you can guess, yours truly was the first person he called on. I also just so happen to sit in the front row, near his podium. He was staring right at me and I was panicking so much I didn't feel like I had time to pull up the case real quick without it being super obvious that I didn't read. Since it was mid-semester I wasn't the first person to get called on without reading, so I knew what would happen. An "I'm not prepared" by me followed by a kinda snarky "Oooookay...." by my professor before he picked someone else to go over the case.

Related: Getting called on in law school

I'm still not sure how this will effect my grade, whether it'll be a half a letter or less (hopefully not more!!) that's taken off. Every professor's syllabus says that class participation is considered when they have to place you on the curve. This is why I was sweating my midterm, because I knew that I was starting at a disadvantage.

This isn't how it always goes down. For my Contracts professor, he prefers that you tell him right off that you're not prepared. If you do this, he'll just warn you that it counts as an absence and move on. But if you try to fake he very obviously will let out an annoyed sigh and roll his eyes and ask if you're prepared. My Property professor will also right out ask you if you read the page, and if he thinks you're bluffing he'll ask you to summarize it. My Crim professor definitely doesn't put up with that, and will give this big speech about how we're all supposed to be lawyers and you can't tell a judge that you weren't prepared and you can't tell your client that you didn't do your job. His speech is bad enough that people will get up and leave before that class starts just because they haven't read.

I guess really you just have to know your professor and figure out if they'd prefer you at least try to give some answer or if they think that's just wasting everyone's time. What's funny now is that in Con there's been a few times when he has called on someone, then there's an awkward pause, and then they literally start reciting from the Quimbee case I have right in front of me. While my professor hasn't acted like this upsets him, the whole rest of the class can tell you dropped the ball because practically everyone uses Quimbee.
I hope my little horror story scares you into reading every case with the assumption that they will be covered in class. Honestly it was good for me though because I have not skipped a single case in any class since, and I've spent the rest of the semester in Con eagerly waiting to get called on so I can redeem myself.


  1. Keep your chin up! Law school is hard. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    1. Thank you! It definitely was a humbling experience!!