Monday, September 04, 2006


2L vs. 1L

I thought I'd take this chance to note the differences I've seen through the first week of classes between being a first year law student (1L) and a second year law student (2L). I think it's worth noting because of the horror stories you hear about the first year of law school - and of course the famous quote referring to law school: "All you need to do is get through the first year."

Classes: Half of my classes are electives, and half are required upper-level courses. The electives tend to be much smaller, ranging from 30-50 students, compared to a required course which can have more than 100 students. It's nice to have room to spread out your things, and not have to sit in the last row (unless that's your thing). It is also nice to see that the students in the elective classes are actually interested in the material (possibly wanting to practice in that area of the law).

Professors: All of my professors this semester seem much more laid back and less "hardcore Socratic method." In case anyone doesn't know, the Socratic method is a teaching style used in most law classes (especially 1L classes) where the professors will randomly call on someone, and usually grill them for awhile (not quite a book definition, but it will suffice). Basically, it's scary at first, but after a few weeks it gets easier (unless you don't read). Two of my professors are older, and would prefer lecturing and open discussion rather than harrassing students. The other two still randomly call on people, but are much more laid back about it.

Reading: I didn't think that the length of reading assignments would vary between years, but so far I've noticed that I'm actually reading less. With 1L classes such as Torts and Criminal Law, reading assignments were sometimes 60+ pages for each class, and you would burn through about 20 cases in that assignment. The reading assignments I've had thus far have been much shorter and more focused, which makes life much more enjoyable.

Overall, I think it is going to be a smoother, less stressful (but not necessarily "easier") year. I'm not jumping to any conclusions though, since it's only the first week.

If there is anything people want me to talk about, concerning either Engineering, Law School, Patent Law, or general Intellectual Property Law (copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, etc.), feel free to leave me a post/comment. Otherwise, I'll just try to keep these posts as informative as possible on topics I think you all might want to read about.

Any advice for pre a pre 1L. Starting in January, and freaking out
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