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.