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

When Dean Michael Fitts opens orientation, Melissa listens attentively to him as he acknowledges studentsí uneasiness about the next three years, let alone the first year, and describes the opposing forces in society that lawyers must comprehend to do their jobs.

Gary Clinton, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, tries to further brace students for the rigors of law school. “This isn’t practice, but preparation, for the rest of your life,” Clinton said. “There will be a great deal of dissonance in your life as your values and belief systems are challenged in class and conversations with each other, because you are coming from widely different places. And that’s okay, because you will come to understand why you are who you are. This is not just a legal education, but a world education.”

The next day, Melissa and her classmates receive a welter of tips from upperclassmen, each of whom professes to know exactly how to manage law school – Don’t study all the time, Don’t give up your outside interests, Don’t relinquish your identity, Treat law school like a job, Investigate public service opportunities, Align with or start your own student group, with one student concluding: There is no formula for law school.

Who could blame students if the din of voices and the demands awaiting them turned orientation into disorientation.

As August wanes, Melissa prepares for her first day of classes. In fact, she has been preparing over the summer. She was assigned to read seven cases for two classes, a total of eight hours’ work.

Her required courses (there are no electives in the first semester) are Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, Torts, and Legal Writing. In her first semester, Melissa has a frontloaded schedule, with most of her classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

 
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