1L Finals: Part 2

The funny thing about blogs, besides the hilarious content, is that new posts always come before older ones, so when there is a two-part entry, such as this very post, the second part is above the first. So if you’ve missed the fist part, see below. This second entry is coming to you from the Valgardson farm in Taber Alberta, where I’ve traded in my casebooks for a hammer and screwdriver (which I am using to help build a garage) and have to drive into town in an old 1970’s Ford truck and connect to the internet in the Super 8 parking lot in order to post on my blog.

First off, I’d like to wish everyone a very merry Boxing day, which, since its main purpose is shopping and because of my recent move to the mother of all capitalist countries, has become my new favorite holiday. Also, in reference to the first part of this entry, I would like to make clear that Theresa bringing my hot chocolate is not evidence that she is my slave (since I didn’t even ask her to do it), but was merely a kind gesture by a loving wife who was passing the school on her way home from a shopping trip. But as we all know, my blog isn’t about love and fun times, but strictly about business, so lets get back to the topic of exams.

So, after all of our pep talks and hours of studying, the big week finally arrived. Law school exams are much different from my undergrad experience, which is defined by gymnasiums filled with row upon rows of desks and mediators who walk up and down the isles between the desks to make sure that not one eye wanders or one word is spoken. UVa Law’s exams are taken on the computer and may be completed in any of a number of rooms, none of which are supervised in any way. This mean there are about 739 ways that a student could cheat, from talking to IMing to internet searching to spending submission time to work on answers, but because lawyers are known for their integrity (and perhaps a little bit because the only punishment for any honor code violation is expulsion), none of these possible cheating methods are ever employed by first year law students.

Our first exam was Criminal Law, which was taught during the semester by Dean Jefferies, whose dry humor and passionate outbursts in opposition to unjust laws that often resulted in a raised voice and blackboard pounding made for a very entertaining and informative semester. The highlight of this exam was the students who, in response to Dean Jefferies’ revelation of his law student habit of dressing up for exams because it made him feel more intelligent, came to this exam wearing a shirt and tie. Now they may have dressed in this fashion because they really did believe it made them smarter, but if you ask me, this was just another stunt in a long line of acts that reveal their addition to brown-nosing that is so prevalent that the school’s blind grading policy and professors’ custom of not attending their own exams did not even convince them of the futility of their actions enough to override their innate tendencies to do every little thing they could imagine to try and raise their grade a few fractions of a point.

Next up: Contracts. Overall, Hynes was a good professor who, although he has the tendency to accidentally convey that he does not love his daughter or make other verbal slip-ups, did teach us a virtual tanker-load of contracts law and was able to successfully elevate Section J’s revelry with Section C. On thing Hynes could work a little on is estimating how many thousands of words the type A personalities who usually attend law school will typically write in response to his fact patterns; for example, on the test that he designed to be three hours took the entire four that he allowed, without any time to spare, making contracts the marathon of our finals.

Cival Procedure was our third exam. I particularly enjoyed that, by making one of his fact patterns about a failed Rock star that turned to law school, Garrett effectively wrote an exam about himself.

Last of all was Torts. At the beginning of this exam, Professor Armacost informed us that she tired to write the test so it will be fun for us to write. It is nice that she had such good intentions, but I think it is a little na├»ve to believe that a group of highly stressed 1Ls at the end of a long exam period would describe any kind of test with any adjective that could be remotely considered a synonym of ‘fun.’ The closest thing that I have ever experienced to a fun exam was a genetics test I wrote a few years ago that had a Lord of the Rings Theme, complete with pictures and questions that asked us to outline the genetic pedigree of Hobbits and help Sauron selectively breed a new species of poisonous berries (I am not making this up). Unfortunately, or Torts exam replaced the dwarfs and wizards of my collage days with mauling tigers and negligent doctors, which made the test more ordinary than I hoped. Hopfully, I was able to remember enough magic language to come out with a half-decent grade in that class.

So that’s that. I successfully navigated the mine-field that is first year law exams. Now all I have to do is sit around and wait for three months before I official receive a transcript full of B+s.


Anonymous said...

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