Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Our First Year Lawyering course -- abbreviated FYL -- is often a topic of conversational scorn. It's a "legal skills" class -- how to do legal research, write memos, negotiate, conduct client meetings, etc -- and it's graded on a pass/fail basis (high pass / pass / low pass / fail, if I'm not mistaken), so it's basically just not as "real" as the other classes. Plus it's taught by a lecturer, not a famous professor like the rest of the classes. And apparently my section has more work than the other sections -- an extra memo, I guess -- but I think the fundamental complaint is that the class in general feels like busywork that takes time and energy away from the other classes, as opposed to feeling like valuable supplementary instruction. Because writing a 10-page memo -- even though it's graded pass/fail -- still takes a lot of time and effort, because what's the difference between aiming for an A and aiming for a pass in actual performance? Should I purposely spell words wrong because it's only graded pass/fail? I imagine a solution to people's disgruntled-ness might be if they set it up as a real class -- didn't make it pass/fail, didn't act like it was any different from contracts or criminal law or civil procedure, and didn't give us reading targeted for a nine-year-old (we have a book called "finding the law" which basically tells us how to open books and turn pages, and we've had some excerpts from books about client interaction that say things like "it's important to listen and not to judge other people" -- yeah, because lawyers just lawyer and it's judges who judge). Anyway, as I try to figure out if this is a good topic for my newspaper column next week, I've been trying to come up with some other (funny) things that FYL could stand for with regard to the class, besides First Year Lawyering. So far:

Finding Your Library
Finishing You Last
Frustrating Your Leisure
Feeble Young Lecturers? (that one's too harsh... but the F and Y are hard...)

I'm in search of more and better ones...