Well tomorrow is my last first day of law school. I’m excited and nervous and a bit sad because I know full well how fast semesters fly by. The sooner it starts, the sooner it will be over. I’m not really sure if I’m ready to move on; I’ve grown comfortable here and I like comfort.
The Spring semester officially kicked off for most people today, but my new schedule is sleek and compact. I have 9 hours to graduate and have managed to squeeze those into a three-day week; Tuesday through Thursday. Although it sounds easy, once you add my 7 hours a week working as a Westlaw student rep. at school and the approximately 15 hours per week I’ll be working at the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office (more on this later), it’s just as much work in fewer days. Wish me luck squeezing all this into the time I’ve got. I’ve not yet had any classes, so comments on that will have to wait until later this week.
I will say that my Winter-mester class was fantastic! I just loved it. I spent WAY too much time on it for a pass/fail class, but I really wanted to get the most out of the experience. Our last assignment was to argue a Motion for Summary Judgment. We only found out which party we were representing on Friday evening, so I ended up working all night and into the wee hours of the morning to get my argument and Powerpoint together. I got about three hours of sleep, so when the alarm went off at 6:45 am, I was a bit slow.
It ended up that I was one of the last pair to argue and by then, I was dragging. I felt like it wasn’t my best performance (we’ll get a video of it in about a week, so we’ll see!), but the critique I got from the Judge was excellent and all my classmates gave me top scores and positive comments. In all it was a great experience and it’s just nice to get a little more confidence about arguing in front of a judge and thinking on your feet while your opponent makes his or her points. It takes practice to juggle all that’s going on at one time. I long for the day when this will come to me more naturally.
Judge Sudderth was so helpful and patient in answering all of our questions. That was by far the most helpful thing–just having someone to ask the simple questions like, “Which side of the courtroom does the plaintiff/defendant sit?” or “How do you stop the proceedings if you have to go to the bathroom?” Seriously, things like this become important and it’s good to know the protocol from the judge herself.
Another important thing I learned from this experience meeting Judge Sudderth up close and personal: Judges are just people like us. In law school we’re trained that judges are on a different plane than regular attorneys and well, they are, but still they put on their shoes one at a time like we all do. You can only do the best you can do; the judge, for the most part, doesn’t want to embarrass or humiliate you. Everyone is just trying to do their job. I hope to keep this lesson in mind as I progress through my career meeting all kinds of judges and attorneys.
In other news, I’m still waiting on some grades to post, so the fall has yet to wrap up, but tomorrow….my spring begins in earnest! Time for one last dance with Texas Wesleyan School of Law!