My classmates and I thought it was quite appropriate to begin law school with two natural calamities- an (admittedly overblown) earthquake and Hurricane Irene (whose rain I am watching outside as I write this). It looks like we will survive both of these, and we all survived the first week of law school as well- with a few good stories out of it.
On the first day of class, in my first class- Torts, taught by Jonathan Turley- Prof. Turley had been in the classroom for about twenty seconds, long enough for him to walk to the front of the room, drop his book on the podium, and say, “Well, I guess the best way to get started is to get started. Let’s begin with the end of the roster.” And the cold calling began. “Ms. Woods, did you read the first case assigned?” Ms. Woods had read it, but she could not define the first Latin term that Turley had asked about. He was none too pleased. He then turned the beginning of the alphabet. “Ms. Aaron, do you agree with the court’s decision here?” After Ms. Aaron gave a satisfactory answer, Turley turned back to Ms. Woods: “Ms. Woods, I suggest you purchase one of the eighty available legal dictionaries and give it a read. Do you not care enough about your legal education to understand the first sentence of the first case you read for your first class in law school? Please leave my classroom, buy your dictionary, and prepare better for next class. Leave now.”
Well, at this point, about two minutes into our first law class ever, you literally could have heard a pin drop in the room. We were petrified. Absolutely terrified. What have we gotten ourselves into? Ms. Woods stormed out of the room, and Turley went to the board, and wrote, in big letters “JUST KIDDING”.
The release in the room was palpable. Ms. Woods and Ms. Aaron were plants- upperclassmen- to show us how Turley would NOT be teaching his class! But we had been Turley’ed, and none of us will likely forget that in the near future.
On our first day of Contracts, unsure of what to expect, without saying anything to the class, the professor simply started by playing a video, which turned out to be a scene from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Let’s just say, we weren’t expecting to begin our legal study of contacts by watching Ariel and Ursula. But we watched the scene in which Ariel agrees to give her voice to Ursula and Ursula agrees to transform Ariel into a human for three days, with a few other stipulations as well. We analyzed this scene for the entire class. Was there a contract? Was there mutual assent or a meeting of the minds? Did Ursula unduly pressure Ariel into agreeing? Did Ariel have the ability to negotiate Ursula’s terms? Did Ursula also sign the scroll that Ariel signed? Did Ursula’s subsequent interference with Ariel and the Prince nullify the terms of the agreement?
Generally, things have been just great. Classes require A LOT more work than undergrad in simple preparation for class every day, but that’s what I was expecting. Nothing is especially difficult, though- just time consuming and requiring of our full attention. There are 490 new JD students with me, selected from over 9,000 applicants. That’s a pretty low acceptance rate, and our Dean posted some of the really cool things my classmates have done- including a world ranked tennis player, a professional cellist, employees of the FBI, White House, Senators, the Manhattan DA, CBS News, the World Bank, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Clinton Foundation. Makes me wonder how I got in! All my fellow students whom I have met seem incredibly bright and engaging and interesting. I’m very happy to get to know so many of them and am looking forward to hearing all the amazing things they do in the future.
I also went through Elliott School orientation this week, as much as I could at least, scheduling around law classes. I’m REALLY looking forward to getting into that program next year. DC has been really great to live in; it’s a very exciting place. I can go for an afternoon run down the Mall and around the Capitol and next to the White House, which makes for a more interesting run and an easier one to do.
I think that’s all for now. Thanks for reading.
Finally, here are just a few pictures I thought people might like to see: