Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Post

I'm sick of the last post Steve put up about the Tudors. I have absolutely no intention of reviewing the episode and am sick of seeing the picture every time I go on our site, so I decided that I had to write something to cover it up (sorry Steve, you can blog about the Tudors). The problem is I don't have anything to blog about. So I will just take this time to complain about law school.

I didn't mind it until this quarter - so until about a month ago. But all of the sudden, I don't have time to do anything but work, and the quality of the work I do is substandard. I don't understand why the assignments are so looong. Well, partly I do: this is law school, it is supposed to be hard and time consuming; they are trying to simulate time-crunches that we will have in practice; why should a professor have to modify his assignment just because another professor went out of control on assignments that week; etc. But, on the other hand, do they really think we are learning?

I spent the entire weekend doing nothing but sitting on the couch, hunched over the computer, writing and researching. I understand that in any school or program students will have to write and it will take a long time. And that would be OK, except it hasn't ended! I have to have a conference on my paper (and come prepared with ways that I plan to change the paper, which I just wrote), substantially improve the paper, prepare a binder of the cases I've used on the paper to prepare for my oral argument, further investigate the issues from my paper for my oral argument, come up with questions that opposing counsel will likely have trouble answering so we can have a lightening round in class (come on!), read tons of useless articles that could really be condensed into one paragraph, et al. And that is all for one class, this week. I also have to read about 40 pages a night for each class (which doesn't sound like much, but in legal reading it is!) which takes 2 - 3 hours per class. Today, by the time I got to the last half of each 40-page assignment, I was just trying to get it done, instead of getting it done right.

What is the thought process behind this? There is a limit to what people can retain, and a limit on how much work you should do per credit! Isn't is a better pedagogy to assign a little less so that we actually understand and retain the material than to assign the entire book in one night so we only get a cursory understanding of the issue (but with expectations that we thoroughly know the issues)? I'm not saying that we should cut down on the substance of the class - we can still get through each subject, but instead of four cases per each little element of every issue, maybe two will work. And the worst part is that the majority of the time we get so behind in class because of this overburdensome assignment structure that we are discussing cases in class from 2-3 classes ago! So I hunched over my computer for hours the night before for nothing, and have to re-read all the cases in addition to reading the cases assigned for the next class.

I'll end this by saying that I think my problem is just arising from a coincidental maelstrom of assignments. It's really not all that horrible, and I think it will start to get better next week. But I hope I'm not called on to discuss the reading tomorrow!


Los said...

Well, it seems like you certainly had plenty of time to post a blog entry ... just kidding!

Just imagine how difficult doing research and presentations were when we didn't have the internet or Powerpoint! I'm going to sound old with this comment, but I remember those days. I went to college from 1990-1994 - I had to go to the actual library to do my research ... and HATED IT! This was for my undergrad ... I couldn't even imagine doing this for law school.

Jess Sum said...

Haha, I was about to say the same thing as Senor Los over there about having the time to write this ;-)

Anyhow, this should cheer you up. http://lifeatthebar.wordpress.com/2006/03/14/surveys-of-lawyers-satisfaction-levels/

Oh wait, probably not. Hang in there!