Law School 101

It’s been three weeks since I started school, and I can honestly say that I’ve never read this much [serious] stuff in my whole life. I read a lot, yes. But I read fiction, and those I can finish in 2 days. Now I read cases and articles. (Sometimes interesting, sometimes very interesting, most of the time just boring. Hahaha.)

Yeah, that’s my new adventure, to be Leigh, the Lawyer. (Kinda sounds like Dora the Explorer, doesn’t it? Haha.)

Malcolm Hall, home of the UP College of Law

Three weeks in the UP College of Law has already taught me a lot. Surprise, surprise. And I don’t mean law-related things; these are lessons in how to be a resilient person in a very, very tough world. They weren’t kidding when they told us it would be hard. I remember sitting in the auditorium, listening to our orientation speakers and thinking, “Why the hell are they so nega about it all??” Lo and behold, they were all telling the truth. :s

Law school is not the place for cramming. I’ve always been proud of my cramming skills until now. No matter how good you are at cramming, there is no way you could get to understand what you’re reading in less than an hour (unless you have bionic memory and you’re a very fast reader). Cases, regardless of how short they are, tend to be complicated at times, and legal terms are scattered everywhere in the text. To fully understand the text, well, you have to understand the legal terms as well.

Time management is very, very important. My cellphone timer is no longer used to time my workouts, but to measure how much time I spend reading a case/article/chapter. I measure my days in hours — how much time I spend doing personal things (driving, preparing for school, eating meals), studying and sleeping. This I have yet to master; for someone like me who doesn’t like structure, well, this needs a bit of getting used to. Sadly, the sleeping part gets to be sacrificed more often that I would like to. 😦

Law school is a blank slate. Tabula rasa, as they say. People don’t care if you were a cum laude, a mediocre student, or an ex-reality show personality (hahaha). In school, you are all equal. Everyone goes through sleepless nights and bad recits. This means for some, kailangan bawasan ng yabang ang katawan. No matter how good you were in your undergrad studies, the professors here are waaaay smarter than you, so don’t ever think you can outsmart them and that you’re better than them. You are not equals. They are the gods of Olympus and we are just humans wanting to be like them. For the others, this means an opportunity to redeem themselves from mediocrity. After all, it was previously mentioned in our orientation that the school accepted only 8% of its applicants for our batch. If we were good enough to pass, well certainly, they must have seen potential there somewhere. Kailangan din ng konting yabang sometimes.

Three weeks is just that — three weeks. I know I’m bound to learn more things, and unlearn some of the things I already know. I’m keeping this list open, so that I can correct myself in the future, if my assumptions now turn out to be wrong. 🙂


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