Tuesday, July 19, 2011


When I was preparing to register for my 2L year, I knew a couple of things for certain. I definitely wanted to do the Innocence Clinic, and I wanted to get some practical criminal defense experience. The Criminal Clinic offered during 3L year sounded good. It will allow me to appear for clients under the 3rd Year Practice Rule in my state. It also has several pre and co-requisites which have completely dominated my schedule.

Doing these clinics means that my entire schedule is criminal law, with no room for other stuff. This seems like a mistake, given that I want law school to at least teach me SOME stuff that will be on the bar.

What to do?

Right now I have a HUGE schedule in the Spring, so big that I know I will hate my life. I need to trim it up somehow, but I'm not entirely sure how to do it. My boss said he is happy to supervise me during 3L so I can still do appearances, so perhaps I should not do the criminal clinic?


  1. You don't need to take bar topic classes in law school. Take what you like and what interests you. You'll learn the bar topics in bar review. You will not learn them in the classroom. I am still incredibly bitter that I spent all that time 1L year trying to master the rule against perpetuities, only to discover during bar review that my state doesn't even have it. Grr.

  2. What Proto Attorney said is true, although as someone currently in the death throes of bar prep I would say that it's never a bad idea to take a bar prep class. More concerning than whether you take a bar course is whether you want to be so loaded down your last semester.

    I took my dream clinic my 3L year - it was a two-semester asylum clinic where I got to work directly with clients to build and defend their claims to asylum in immigration proceedings. But I really regretted the time it consumed during my last semester. As much as I loved getting the hands-on experience, it took up all my mental energy and added a lot of stress to preparing for my actual classes / exams. In the end, I really resented having been so busy and stressed to the last possible minute in my last semester when I was supposed to just be slacking. (Of course, I also had to write a paper that semester, so.)

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do! You can't really go wrong. It's more about figuring out what quality of life you want over your last year. No amount of bar courses are going to lessen the pain of studying for the bar, so don't worry on that front :)