A Message from the Dean
A 1L Odyssey
Alumni Fill Halls of Academe
New LAS President Hopes to Increase Outreach to Alumni
Levy Scholars Program Provides 'Mark of Distinction' for Top Students
Tanenbaum Hall Turns 10
Judge Rosenn Inspires A Following Among Former Clerks
The Brief
The Board of Overseers
Faculty News & Publications
Philanthropy
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam
 
A 1L Odyssey 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8
 
Be sure to read
Robert H. Miller's Q&A on How To Ace Law School
at the end of the article!

By Larry Teitelbaum

So, Ms. Iachan, why did you decide to go to Law School?
    I wanted to learn to think and speak like a lawyer, and make laws that change society.
    But you know, Ms. Iachan, that law school is incredibly demanding. Are you up to the challenge?
    I think so. I’m a pretty determined person, with lots of energy and a good sense of humor. I can make it.
    Ok, Ms. Iachan, welcome to the first year of law school.

    Melissa Iachan (Ya-Shan) earned the appellation 1L after graduating last year from Brown University with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. A quick study, Melissa breezed through college, juggling schoolwork with off-campus activities such as political organizing. Exams didn’t require much heavy lifting. In truth, she only had four exams in four years. Like many undergrads, most of the time she wrote papers. No sweat. Then came law school. Its packed schedule, demanding reading, and probing questions from professors weaned on the Socratic method is a grind, as Melissa quickly discovered. “I sat in all my classes for the first month and I felt like I was taking Latin,” Melissa says. “Beyond the archaic language, the legal terms and the structure of arguments and analysis are not easy to follow.” Did we mention the workload? “1Ls have twice as much work as any other year. You have to take twice as many credits,” says Melissa. Professor of Law and History Bruce Mann, who teaches Melissa’s Property class, agrees that the high expectations and demands placed on students can be quite daunting. “The first year of law school, particularly the first semester, is unlike anything students have encountered before… Because we focus so closely on cases and statutes, we’re teaching students to read much more closely than most of them have been asked to read before. We’re trying to develop analytical skills that most of them have not had to use. Students often are overwhelmed, but they quickly get over the sense of being shellshocked.”

 
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