Friday, October 29, 2004

What Words Put Fear In The Hearts Of 1Ls Everywhere?

Open memo... How could two such small words cause so much pain to so many people?

For those of you who've wondered where I've been this week, this was my first really heckish week of law school.1 We had to do legal research for our open memo this week. For those of you who aren't in law school yet, and are checking up on good ol' Unreasonable Man to see what this crazy game is all about, an "Open Memo" is a creature (Latin name - Studenticus Lack-of-sleepicus) where you are given a hypothetical situation that invokes a particular legal topic (ours is satisfaction clauses in Contracts), and then you the "student" have to research the case law to figure out an answer. That's the open part (as in open research). The memo part, as you might expect, is where you write a predictive memo, based on said legal research, to a senior partner at the fictitious law firm you work at.

As you would expect, it's a hoot. There's nothing like several hundred law students (generally a very competitive bunch, as you know) all looking for that "perfect case" that matches the hypothetical's facts exactly. Of course, the "perfect case" doesn't exist. If it did, the legal writing teachers would not have given these facts to us. But it's fun to see hyper-competitive souls scrounge in AmJur and the Restatements in the hope that they will find that case in their jurisdiction that will blow all the other students away. The funny part about that is LEGAL WRITING IS A PASS/FAIL CLASS!!!

Next week looks to be even more fun, because while this week was the research part of the assignment, next Thursday our first draft of the actual memo is due. Plus, our substantive classes are really starting to kick into high gear with more reading. And now the professors, who just two short weeks ago were saying "You don't have to worry about outlining yet," have started saying "If you haven't started outlining yet, you are behind and about to be in DEEP TROUBLE. BWA HA HA!"2 Oh yeah... it's gonna get interesting. We've started a pool for my section on who will snap first. My money's on me.

1It wasn't quite hellish... but it was darn close.
2They may not have actually said "BWA HA HA!" That may just be in my imagination.


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