We came back to the office and talked some strategy while drinking coffee. Another associate brought donuts today so we shared one. After our brief talk, I went into my office to the load of other work that awaits me - discovery requests, complaints to draft, demand letters to send, etc. Suddenly, I realized that this lawyer gig is for real. I have one semester left of law school. I'll take the Illinois Bar Exam in July and hopefully I'll be sworn into the Illinois Supreme Court in November. How the hell did I get here so quickly? It seems like only yesterday I was bullshitting on here and my now-defunct blog, the Metal Pundit, with BND and the other boys. Such a realization made me think back to the past three years, which have been the most difficult, painful, agonizing, yet enlightening, exciting and rewarding years of my life.
On March 2, 2007, I received an acceptance letter from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago - a 4th tier law school that produces excellent trial attorneys and legal writers (the school is currently ranked 4th in the nation for its legal writing program and its trial advocacy program is also ranked 4th).
In mid-August 2007, I attended 3 days of orientation at the school where I met the people who would become my law school comrades. Most of them are still with me while some didn't make it this far.
Late August, 2007 - On a Monday morning I walked into room 1200 - a large room where only 3 other people were sitting. I was half hour early to class. Within 10 minutes, the room swelled to about 70 students. Professor Lewis walked in at 9:00 am sharp and said:
A trembling voice proceeded to give him the facts of the case. She did a remarkable job until the legal analysis of the case came up. Then the Socratic questioning began. What did the judge say the applicable law is? What if instead of X, the defendant did Y? Would the law apply similarly? Why was it important that the defendant did Z? Etc, etc, etc. Two weeks later, my turn came to answer Professor Lewis' questions.
"Welcome to your first day of law school. This is Property Law. Open your case books to the first case assigned for today. Where is Ms. Cunningham? [she raised her hand]. Hello Ms. Cunningham, please tell me the facts, issue, and rule of the case, then I'll ask you about the judges' reasoning."
The other first semester classes were Contracts, Torts and Legal Writing. I did well in all except for Contracts. I will not write about final exams because doing so would be like asking a prisoner to talk about the first time he got fucked in the ass by bubba.
The 2nd semester was better, although I had 1 more class than the previous one. I had Contracts II (where I redeemed myself with contract law), Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure I and Legal Writing II. I did well in all but Constitutional Law I, but the Professor sucked - I swear! In Legal Writing II, my writing finally clicked and I began making a name for myself at the school. 2nd semester finals weren't as anally intrusive as the 1st semester, but I'm still licking my wounds. It should be mentioned that I began drinking far more often in my first year of law school.
Summer- I took Counseling and Negotiating and Entertainment Law - aced that shit! Better yet, I got myself a JOB!
2nd year - Far easier than the first year. I had Evidence, Moot Court, Constitutional Law II, Civil Procedure II and Professional Responsibility (ethics). It all went smoothly and I actually got a hang of law school
2nd semester of 2nd year. I did a national moot court competition in Miami, Florida. Aside from that experience, I took Criminal Procedure, Workers' Compensation, Products Liability and Payment Systems. I did rather well.
2nd summer, continued working at the same firm (where I'm still at) and took Sports Law and Fair Housing. Did well.
3rd year - this year- just finished the first semester. I took Family Law, Corporations, Estates & Trusts, Accelerated Trial Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution - killed it!
My upcoming final semester - I'm doing another national moot court competition. I'm taking Commercial Law online, Remedies (the law of equity), Legal Drafting and Writing for the Practice of Law. On May 23, I will graduate. In the last week of July, I will take the bar.
My journey is almost done. It has been one hell of a ride. I cannot wait until I get my license and can say I'm a lawyer. The dream is coming true...