Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Much of the 1L experience is spent slogging through cases and just trying to survive. This naturally leads to complaining. I use my blog to vent and the writing process helps me sort out issues and relieve stress. That said, sometimes it's just difficult to get passionate about things when you're in survival mode.

Now and then, however, you find something to grab onto. You feel inspired and that surge of energy that comes with inspiration pushes you on and reminds you about why you've decided to go to law school.

While I am not looking forward to applying for summer jobs (we're being told to start preparing now), a few events have helped motivate me in the past week.

First, we had an exoneree come and speak at the school. What an amazing story he had to tell. The injustices felt by wrongfully convicted persons are appalling. Parolees get more consideration from the State than exonerees, yet the trauma of being wrongfully convicted certainly merits the same psychological and financial relief afforded to parolees. I had already been planning to do the Innocence Clinic as soon as I'm allowed, and this furthered my resolve. I hadn't previously considered doing defense work, but the more events I attend the more appealing it seems to be.

We also had a fantastic event by one of my favorite professors, who had been receiving national attention for some law review articles he'd recently written about the foreclosure crisis. I had no idea some of the things going on, and it was pretty disturbing. It was thrilling to see the passion this professor had about his research and the cause in general. I want to find my own niche in the legal world.

If I have a prayer of getting onto law review, which I may not even care about were it not the best way to get into academia, I better start caring about something now. It's hard to write if you don't have passion.

I certainly do not have passion for my legal memo. I am horrified that it will be given out with my resume as a writing sample, because I didn't choose the topic. You inevitably write less well when you aren't interested in the subject. Were this a paying client (or a worthy pro bono cause) I would have a much more vested interest.

What? You think a good grade in the course should produce that level of interest?

Perhaps, but while I can do great on the memo and get a great grade, passion leads to BRILLIANT writing and that is what I want to showcase to my future employers.

I am hoping to take a class with a writing requirement that will allow me to work on something interesting that I can use instead. I don't think my employers want to read about common law marriage. YUCK.

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