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Two GL Members Podcast -- What It's Like Going to Law School
Monday, August 29 2005 @ 10:40 PM EDT

As I've mentioned before, a number of Groklaw's members are now in law school, I'm proud to say. I thought you might like to know what it's like going to law school. Here's An Insider's Guide to Law School, which tells what it's like, year by year. It normally takes three years. The first year, according to the article, goes like this:
First-year students attend class roughly 14 to 15 hours per week. Whether your courses are yearlong or semester-long depends on the school, but the first-year curriculum is virtually identical at every law school in the country:
* Civil Procedure covers the nuts and bolts of litigation.
* In Torts, you learn about civil injuries and their remedies, often with a healthy dose of economic theory.
* Contracts is the study of enforceable agreements.
* Criminal Law, not surprisingly, covers criminal statutes and penalties.
* You debate the merits of abortion rights, free speech, and gun control in Constitutional Law.
* Property is the study of ownership and rights, and when these rights are infringed.

Most schools also require a first-year seminar in legal writing and research, often culminating in a moot-court exercise where 1Ls argue an imaginary case before a panel of "judges" played by professors or practicing attorneys.

Our own Neil Wehneman is in his first year of law school, and he's put up a website, Life of a Law Student, where he is posting podcasts of all that he is learning, day by day, class by class. As he says in his disclaimer at the beginning of each podcast, he isn't a lawyer, just a student, and a beginning student at that, and so it's very possible he's missing some things he just didn't get to study yet, so don't rely on it for legal information per se, although he does provide links to references. But as a record of what it's like to attend law school, and all that they cover in class, I think you'll find it useful, if you are curious and especially if you are considering going to law school yourself, which I hope some of you are. He is still working out the details of exactly how to do his podcasts, so they get better, naturally, as he goes along, and I'm sure he'd love some feedback.

There is a second one, Law School Podcast, focusing more on the life of a law student, by Daryl Fallin, also a Groklaw member, who is a Linux guy with a technical background, in computer security, who at 35 is now going to law school too.

I'm sure you saw that EFF is asking for volunteers with technical skills to help their lawyers. Why would they need to do that? Because not enough lawyers understand the tech fine-tunedly enough to handle certain tech-related cases. That's very much why I started Groklaw, actually, because I was afraid the lawyers wouldn't get the tech of the SCO litigation, and I knew you guys would, and I also feared that you wouldn't understand the legal side of it, although they would. If Groklaw could be a bridge between the two groups, I figured it'd be useful. Anyway, the more geeks who go to law school, the better I like it. It's the efficiency, I guess, that appeals to my geeky brain, putting both sets of skills in one person. And of course, there's the " proud Mom" factor.

: )


Two GL Members Podcast -- What It's Like Going to Law School | 104 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections (if any)
Authored by: nsomos on Monday, August 29 2005 @ 10:55 PM EDT
Please place corrections here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Two GL Members Sweat Blood
Authored by: AllParadox on Monday, August 29 2005 @ 10:56 PM EDT
My own experience was that I had no time at all my first year of Law School to
file these kinds of reports.

Kudos to you folks, and thanks.

PJ deletes insult posts, not differences of opinion.

AllParadox; retired lawyer and chief Groklaw iconoclast. No legal opinions,
just my opinion.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic to go here ...
Authored by: nsomos on Monday, August 29 2005 @ 10:57 PM EDT
Please place off Topic posts below here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw is why I'm going to law school
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 29 2005 @ 11:10 PM EDT
...been reading Grolaw for years now (but never posted). I graduated last year
with a BS in Computer Engineering, applied to law schools (thinking I would not
be accepted), was admitted, and today was my first day of classes.

Thanks, PJ, for being such an inspiration.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thanks, PJ, for being a bridge...n/t
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 29 2005 @ 11:26 PM EDT
Thanks, PJ, for being a bridge...n/t

[ Reply to This | # ]

On the topic of law school...
Authored by: Arker on Monday, August 29 2005 @ 11:51 PM EDT
What I'd be interested in seeing is information on what these schools cost.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw meets Futurama
Authored by: belzecue on Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 03:05 AM EDT
'... the "proud Mom" factor'

hehe. Being a rabid Futurama fan, of course that immediately brought to mind
the Mom of Mom's Friendly Robot Company fame. The following bio of Mom made me
laugh. The similarities to the fiaSCO are hilarious. It could easily describe
PJ's imaginary evil twin and her 'Friendly Unix Company' :-)


We know nothing about Mom's upbringing. She has owned her company, Mom's
Friendly Robot Company, for many years. While Professor Farnsworth was working
for her, he designed the prototype all current robots are based on. They had an
affair, and he was her first and only love. Their breakup, which involved her
wanting to make enourmous robots instead of cute ones, left her bitter and evil.
Her company produces all robots and she is the powerful person in the world. She
maintains a public persona of a sweet old woman.


[ Reply to This | # ]

The Terrible Truth About Lawyers
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 11:03 AM EDT

A lawyer, and engineer and a accountant are trapped on a life raft surrounded by sharks. About a 1/2 mile away is an island, but the raft is drifting out to sea.

The lawyer jumps in and swims for it. The sharks part and don't pursue.

The accountant asks the engineer, "how'd he know they'd do that?" "Professional cuourtiousy!" the engineer replied.

Now, the truth is I read "The Terrible Truth About Lawyers" and got that joke from that book. Its a quick read and I recommend it if you ever have to deal with a lawyer. Here are some insights:

1) Lawyers only make money when there is conflict. Don't expect them to provide the cheapest way out.

2) Lawyers are the only people who are taught to control information, not reposnd to it. Every other career is about accurately processing information. Lawyering is about controlling what gets processed. (Now you understand why Bush was accused of "information to fit the policy"... he want to law school) The judges and juries process information so the lawyer's only part is to control what they get to process.

3) Lawyers are paid to create doubt. See #1

4) Lawyers ARE you in court. An anoying or crass lawyer reflects on you. When being represented, you also surrender your rights to them. They are now in control.

[ Reply to This | # ]

UNIX owners?
Authored by: ff5166 on Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 12:02 PM EDT
The Unix ownership claim might have been dropped from the press
blurb, but it's still sitting here at

"But since SCO owns the UNIX operating system..."

[ Reply to This | # ]

RIAA going on the defensive?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 12:33 PM EDT
There is something interesting going on with the RIAA's latest terrorist attack on thieir customers. One of their victims, a mom named PATRICIA SANTANGELO, showed up in a court in New York, and this is a transcript of what happened. Basically, the judge sympathised with her plight, suggested that she should find a lawyer, any old lawyer, and come back to talk with him , in court. The RIAA lawyer had a hissy fit, suggested that she should just settle out of court as she was requested to, and that a messy hearing and all just wasn't necessry. The judge told him to shut up.

Well, it seems the mom did indeed get a lawyer. Several interesting quotes from the interview.

    p2pnet: Where will the money to pay for it come from?

    Beckerman: We expect Ms Santangelo's costs to be picked up by the RIAA, since (a) the copyright statute permits the Court to shift the attorneys fees to the losing party, (b) these cases were clearly frivolous and brought in bad faith, and (c) it is a matter of public interest that the RIAA be deterred from bringing more such meritless cases.


    p2pnet: On a scale of one to 10, where do you place your chances of winning? Beckerman: I think our chances of winning the Santangelo case are a 10. Our motion was based on black letter law. The plaintiff's 'opposition' papers were weak, digressive, and nonsensical. I believe they will be laughed out of court.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thank You PJ!! Daryl
Authored by: Extropian on Wednesday, August 31 2005 @ 01:39 PM EDT
PJ -

I have been reading groklaw for some time now. I rarely, if ever post but I
enjoy the website and it has been an inspiration! I feel as you do, that we
need technical minds in the legal field.

I hope to be able to contribute more as I get a handle on the law and can merge
it with my technical knowledge/experience. I hope to especially be able to help
the open source community and although it is probably too early to say how I
will do this, it is something that I am passionate about. I am personally get
tired of hearing all the legal fear of Open Source in the corporate

Thank you PJ and everyone that contributes, etc to Groklaw!! Groklaw is an
invaluable resource of information.

Law School PodCast

[ Reply to This | # ]

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