Welcome to law school orientation, dear reader.
Here’s what Michigan Law School looks like. That’s the Lawyers Club on the right. Lawyers Club is a fancy term for “dorm.” That’s where the Blog resides.
Our room is kinda small, but it’s got everything we need: an internet connection so we can blog, a closet to keep heavy coats, and a TV with nine sports channels. Nine. We are not making this up.
And this is where we spend our Saturdays. More on that in a later post.
Okay, so now that you’re oriented, it’s time to make friends. You can share ours. Here are some of them. From left to right, that’s the Blog, Chris (note the frat goggles), Amy, Sean (more frat goggles), Josh, and Spencer. They’re good people. You’ll read more about them in future posts.
Next: class. This semester, we’re taking Property, Torts, and Contracts. These are typical 1L classes. 1L is what we call first-year law students. Second-year students are 2Ls, third-year students are 3Ls, and fourth-year students are past-due to graduate. We call that “taking a victory lap.”
Law classes are not like classes you’ve been to before. Law classes are full of funny-sounding words. Say “tortfeasor.” In law classes, you’ll be called on even if you don’t raise your hand. This is called the “Socratic method.” It’s named after Socrates, who believed people learned better if they felt really dumb. Law professors think it’s important to carry on this pedagogic tradition.
Here’s the good thing about law classes. When they’re over, you walk into a hall filled with second-year students. These people were in your shoes last year, and they voluntarily returned to law school. This makes you think, “Huh. If they came back, this must be worthwhile.”
After class, you go to the library to get ready for tomorrow’s class. The library isn’t so bad. All your friends are there. They have to read the same thing you do. It’s bonding through communal suffering.
This routine might sound boring, but sometimes really fun things happen. In our second week of classes, the Chief Justice just dropped into our Contracts class. He was in town to celebrate Michigan Law School’s 150th birthday and help us break ground on our new building. He got to Ann Arbor early, and decided to surprise some 1Ls.
So he just walked into Contracts and stood in the back of the room. The professor, who was explaining something contractual, stopped mid-sentence.
“Uh, ladies and gentlemen, we have with us a most honored guest. Mr. Chief Justice?”
The Chief Justice walked to the front of the class.
“Thanks,” he said. “I didn’t come to impart any specific wisdom or anything. You guys have any questions for me?”
The Blog’s hand shot up.
“Can you tell us about Citizens United v. FEC?” the Blog asked. Citizens United is a case the Supreme Court had heard the day before. Justices aren’t allowed to talk about cases before the court, but we figured it was worth a shot.
“Uh, no,” said the Chief Justice.
He stayed for more than 20 minutes, casually answering (and not answering) questions and graciously ignoring our gaping mouths.
So fun things do happen at law school. We think you’ll really like it here.
We’ll try to post more regularly from here on out. There are plenty of quirky goings on to keep the Blog entertained. We hope you’ll be entertained, too.