|A 1L Odyssey, Part 2
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In a dry run earlier in the year, albeit of a different case, Melissa
came off as too combative. A panel of 3L students interrogated
her. They tried to puncture her poise with constant interruptions
and tough questions. She bridled at their questioning.
Mindful of that experience, Melissa is determined to maintain a
cool demeanor this time.
Melissa, her long blonde hair pulled back, begins to present
her case. She carries herself with decorum and respect, spicing
her presentation with “your honors.” However, not two minutes
into it, the judges begin to probe. One judge wants to know
why Melissa asserts that the case appears to be about constitutional
issues but is not. Melissa scans her notes and parries.
More than an hour later, the fencing match is over. Relieved
and ecstatic, Melissa goes home.
Her own assessment? “It’s hard to listen (to the judges) when
you’re up there, because your mind is working so fast, there’s so
many things you’re reminding yourself of. But overall I thought
I did a good job.”
ON TO THE SECOND SEMESTER
Melissa returns from winter break recharged. She vows to reassess
her study habits. Maybe she will start outlining material
earlier, or preparing note cards with key information for her one
T in-class exam — although she readily admits that there is no
foolproof way to beat the system.