Law in Contemporary Society

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LeoFarbmanSecondEssay 4 - 29 Jun 2015 - Main.MarkDrake
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 It is strongly recommended that you include your outline in the body of your essay by using the outline as section titles. The headings below are there to remind you how section and subsection titles are formatted.

LeoFarbmanSecondEssay 3 - 22 May 2015 - Main.LeoFarbman
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It is strongly recommended that you include your outline in the body of your essay by using the outline as section titles. The headings below are there to remind you how section and subsection titles are formatted.

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 -- By LeoFarbman - 29 Apr 2015
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1. An Imagination Test

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A Year in Reverse

 
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The teacher responds to a question at the end of class, “there is no plane, there is no jump.” I ponder this idea over in my head, trying to accept the notion. It reminds me of a letter that a young, struggling Hunter S. Thompson sent to a friend about the meaning of life:
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I walk into Jerome Greene Hall on a crisp August morning, excited to get started; yet not exactly sure what is about to happen next. The goal was simply to put my head down and just get to the other side. I was eager to be back in school, but I knew very little about law school, or the law whatsoever. I was nearly blind. I was never a paralegal and I’d never even heard of Paper Chase or 1L. My expectations were low, but I wanted to learn and I wanted to figure out what it meant to be a lawyer. Unfortunately, this wasn’t even a question I sniffed during first year.
 
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Whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal. It is a choice we must all make consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives. So few people understand this! Think of any decision you’ve ever made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don’t see how it could have been anything but a choice however indirect — between the two things I’ve mentioned: the floating or the swimming.

Eight months into this journey of law school and I’ve been floating throughout the entire process. I’m still not sure what it means to practice law, let alone what my practice is. I am interested in civil rights law, criminal defense, and community development, but through a year of school, I feel no closer to making those realities. Whether this is an institutional or personal problem doesn’t quite matter; I must start swimming towards a goal.

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After a full semester of getting no sleep, reading everything, and living in a culture of stress and fear, I was fed up. I felt painfully distant from myself and still had a semester left of this nonsense. My first semester eagerness was long gone and the reality was beginning to set in; this is three years, not just one. “Is this worth it?” kept spinning through my head. School was suffocating me and there was nothing easing the struggle. No focus on lawyering. No forms of collaboration. It never felt like a healthy or productive way to be trained as a future lawyer.
 
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As I turn to our last assignment -- Not more than 1000 words. Under any circumstances. -- the same thoughts arise. No walls are built, no roads are paved, and that is exactly how I should be approaching law school. I, like the rest of my classmates, must search ourselves for whatever comes up, whatever seems important to each one of us. If law school is an imagination test, then here it is, willing me to search for my own answer.
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An Imagination Test

 
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2. A Year in Reverse

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The teacher responds to a question at the end of class, “there is no plane, there is no jump.” I’m immediately taken back. I’m reminded of a letter from a young, struggling Hunter S. Thompson in response to his friend about the meaning of life:
 
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a. Simple Expectations

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Whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal. It is a choice we must all make consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives. So few people understand this! Think of any decision you’ve ever made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don’t see how it could have been anything but a choice however indirect — between the two things I’ve mentioned: the floating or the swimming.
 
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I brood these ideas over in my head, trying to accept and/or understand their notions. A year into this journey of law school and I can’t help, but feel that I’ve floated throughout the entire process. I’m still not sure what it means to practice law, let alone run my own practice. I believe I am interested in civil rights law, criminal defense, and community development, yet through a year of school I have a hard time knowing. Envisioning a reality in that world wasn't even in the picture. Whether this is an institutional or personal problem doesn’t quite matter; I must start swimming towards a goal.
 
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I walked into Jerome Greene Hall on a crisp August morning, excited to get started; yet not exactly sure what is about to happen next. The goal was simply to put my head down and just get to the other side. I was eager to be back in school, but I knew very little about law school, or the law whatsoever. I was nearly blind. I’d never even heard of Paper Chase or 1L. My expectations were low, but I wanted to learn and I wanted to figure out what it meant to be a lawyer. Unfortunately, it was a question I didn’t even sniff the answer to during first semester.
 
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b. Reality As the Dust Settled

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So, What the Fuck is Lawyering?

 
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After a full semester of getting no sleep, reading everything, and living in a culture of stress and fear, I was fed up. I felt painfully distant from myself and still had a semester left of this nonsense. My first semester eagerness was long gone and the reality was beginning to set in; this is three years, not just one. “Is this worth it?” kept spinning through my head. Compounding the problem was I still didn’t feel any closer to being a lawyer. School was suffocating me from the things I love and wasn’t even helping me to envision a future within the practice of law.
 
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I turned my focus on LPW and the Moot Court to try and grasp the meaning of lawyering. I met with a research assistant and found out how to research on my own. I then spent hours honing my research skills and learning how to write a brief. I enjoyed the process, but it was a Fair Use case, not something for building my own practice. Furthermore, the surrounding culture refused to take it seriously. Students complained around every corner about how it was a waste of time and it was time that should have been spent on our substantive classes. Even my LPW instructor didn’t take it seriously, he only showed up for two classes all semester; the 2L advisors ran the class and did all the editing and critiquing. The class with the most practical skills is treated like a joke while classes that have no relation to my practice (See: Torts and Property) are worshipped.
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I turned my focus to LPW and the Moot Court when I had enough of substantive class and started to understand the game of it all. I met with a research assistant and found out how to research on my own. I then spent hours honing my research skills and learning how to write a brief. It was a step, but a baby step at that. Conversely to my thinking, the surrounding culture refused to take it seriously. Students complained around every corner about how it was a waste of time and it was time that should have been spent on our substantive classes. Even my LPW instructor didn’t take it seriously, he only showed up for two classes all semester; the 2L advisors ran the class and did all the editing and critiquing. The class with the most practical skills was treated like a joke while classes that have no relation to my practice (See: Torts) were worshipped. Besides the tradition of it, the whole system is lost on me.
 
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The question now turns to, “Why come back?” but how can I begin answering that when I haven’t gotten much closer to my question on day one; what does it mean to practice law?
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There Is No Jump.

 
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3. Don't Build Walls to My Own Prison

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As 1L fades into darkness, the reality of my future must come squarely into the light. I now realize that 1L is an extremely flawed, archaic system, but part of the system nonetheless. I spent much too long worrying about my place amongst those around me and not on carving out a path of my own.
 
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As 1L fades into darkness, the reality of my future must now come square into the light. I now realize that 1L is an extremely flawed, archaic system, but part of the system nonetheless. I spent much too long worrying about my place amongst those around me and not on carving my own path. I now must find a way to keep “1000 word essays” around every corner throughout my remaining time at CLS. There is no fall and there is no plane.
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My first step is a summer stint at a small civil rights firm in Brooklyn. The goal will be to soak up everything around me and hopefully add some skills to my practice. Ideally, pick up a mentor or two. Maybe learn what I hoped to get out of 1L year, or maybe I just expected too much. Either way, I must use it as a launching off point over my next two years at CLS. Whether I get the clinic and journals I want or not, I must continue to swim towards a goal, not unconsciously float somewhere else.
 
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The pressures of the law school continue to resonate everywhere as the EIP process begins and the fight for journals and clinics heat up, but I must not get trapped in the cycle of keeping up. Law school is an imagination test; a test I’m currently failing.
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The pressures of law school continue to resonate everywhere as the EIP process begins and the fight for next year positions heat up. I must stay outside of this cycle of keeping up. Law school is an imagination test; a test I must always remain conscious of.
 
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My first step is to make the most at my summer job at a small civil rights firm in Brooklyn. The goal will be to soak up everything around me and hopefully add some skills to my practice. I’ll hopefully learn what I hoped to get throughout 1L year and use that as a launching off point over my next two years at CLS. I also applied to the Community Development clinic that helps non-profits and small business get off the ground in hands-on experience. Whether I get the clinic or not, I must continue to swim towards a goal, not unconsciously float somewhere else.
 

LeoFarbmanSecondEssay 2 - 02 May 2015 - Main.MattBurke
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META TOPICPARENT name="SecondEssay"

It is strongly recommended that you include your outline in the body of your essay by using the outline as section titles. The headings below are there to remind you how section and subsection titles are formatted.

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 My first step is to make the most at my summer job at a small civil rights firm in Brooklyn. The goal will be to soak up everything around me and hopefully add some skills to my practice. I’ll hopefully learn what I hoped to get throughout 1L year and use that as a launching off point over my next two years at CLS. I also applied to the Community Development clinic that helps non-profits and small business get off the ground in hands-on experience. Whether I get the clinic or not, I must continue to swim towards a goal, not unconsciously float somewhere else.
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Comment (Matt Burke)

Studying for Crim, such as I am, words like "consciously" and "unconsciously," as well as the implicit words like "intent"—as in, if one must do something, one does the thing with intent—all have a novel sort of resonance for me. My point being, you have a mens-fucking-rea. Model Penal Code 2.02 (1985). And your piece prompts the question: What's my mens-fucking-rea? Most of us around here, by hypothesis, have one, and I think for most of us around here, it's recklessly or higher. Id.

For myself, I think (abandoning, for the better, the MPC extended-metaphor) that I came to law school wanting, as you put it, to float. Part of it was that I didn't know what to swim towards, but the other part was that I was, as Eben might say, scared to swim.

I like your piece because you capture not only the process of coming to know what you want and learning how to get it, but you also provoke the realization that to know what you want, you have to know whether you want what you think you want. And that last bit of knowledge can be hard for us risk-averse-control-freaks to come by because, I think, a lot of us have convinced ourselves we want something that we don't actually want; and it's hard to unconvince ourselves—especially for those of us who wound up here because we thought we'd be good at the job of convincing.

 
You are entitled to restrict access to your paper if you want to. But we all derive immense benefit from reading one another's work, and I hope you won't feel the need unless the subject matter is personal and its disclosure would be harmful or undesirable.

LeoFarbmanSecondEssay 1 - 29 Apr 2015 - Main.LeoFarbman
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META TOPICPARENT name="SecondEssay"
It is strongly recommended that you include your outline in the body of your essay by using the outline as section titles. The headings below are there to remind you how section and subsection titles are formatted.

The Utter Confusion of 1L Year

-- By LeoFarbman - 29 Apr 2015

1. An Imagination Test

The teacher responds to a question at the end of class, “there is no plane, there is no jump.” I ponder this idea over in my head, trying to accept the notion. It reminds me of a letter that a young, struggling Hunter S. Thompson sent to a friend about the meaning of life:

Whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal. It is a choice we must all make consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives. So few people understand this! Think of any decision you’ve ever made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don’t see how it could have been anything but a choice however indirect — between the two things I’ve mentioned: the floating or the swimming.

Eight months into this journey of law school and I’ve been floating throughout the entire process. I’m still not sure what it means to practice law, let alone what my practice is. I am interested in civil rights law, criminal defense, and community development, but through a year of school, I feel no closer to making those realities. Whether this is an institutional or personal problem doesn’t quite matter; I must start swimming towards a goal.

As I turn to our last assignment -- Not more than 1000 words. Under any circumstances. -- the same thoughts arise. No walls are built, no roads are paved, and that is exactly how I should be approaching law school. I, like the rest of my classmates, must search ourselves for whatever comes up, whatever seems important to each one of us. If law school is an imagination test, then here it is, willing me to search for my own answer.

2. A Year in Reverse

a. Simple Expectations

I walked into Jerome Greene Hall on a crisp August morning, excited to get started; yet not exactly sure what is about to happen next. The goal was simply to put my head down and just get to the other side. I was eager to be back in school, but I knew very little about law school, or the law whatsoever. I was nearly blind. I’d never even heard of Paper Chase or 1L. My expectations were low, but I wanted to learn and I wanted to figure out what it meant to be a lawyer. Unfortunately, it was a question I didn’t even sniff the answer to during first semester.

b. Reality As the Dust Settled

After a full semester of getting no sleep, reading everything, and living in a culture of stress and fear, I was fed up. I felt painfully distant from myself and still had a semester left of this nonsense. My first semester eagerness was long gone and the reality was beginning to set in; this is three years, not just one. “Is this worth it?” kept spinning through my head. Compounding the problem was I still didn’t feel any closer to being a lawyer. School was suffocating me from the things I love and wasn’t even helping me to envision a future within the practice of law.

I turned my focus on LPW and the Moot Court to try and grasp the meaning of lawyering. I met with a research assistant and found out how to research on my own. I then spent hours honing my research skills and learning how to write a brief. I enjoyed the process, but it was a Fair Use case, not something for building my own practice. Furthermore, the surrounding culture refused to take it seriously. Students complained around every corner about how it was a waste of time and it was time that should have been spent on our substantive classes. Even my LPW instructor didn’t take it seriously, he only showed up for two classes all semester; the 2L advisors ran the class and did all the editing and critiquing. The class with the most practical skills is treated like a joke while classes that have no relation to my practice (See: Torts and Property) are worshipped.

The question now turns to, “Why come back?” but how can I begin answering that when I haven’t gotten much closer to my question on day one; what does it mean to practice law?

3. Don't Build Walls to My Own Prison

As 1L fades into darkness, the reality of my future must now come square into the light. I now realize that 1L is an extremely flawed, archaic system, but part of the system nonetheless. I spent much too long worrying about my place amongst those around me and not on carving my own path. I now must find a way to keep “1000 word essays” around every corner throughout my remaining time at CLS. There is no fall and there is no plane.

The pressures of the law school continue to resonate everywhere as the EIP process begins and the fight for journals and clinics heat up, but I must not get trapped in the cycle of keeping up. Law school is an imagination test; a test I’m currently failing.

My first step is to make the most at my summer job at a small civil rights firm in Brooklyn. The goal will be to soak up everything around me and hopefully add some skills to my practice. I’ll hopefully learn what I hoped to get throughout 1L year and use that as a launching off point over my next two years at CLS. I also applied to the Community Development clinic that helps non-profits and small business get off the ground in hands-on experience. Whether I get the clinic or not, I must continue to swim towards a goal, not unconsciously float somewhere else.


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Revision 4r4 - 29 Jun 2015 - 21:46:19 - MarkDrake
Revision 3r3 - 22 May 2015 - 03:40:53 - LeoFarbman
Revision 2r2 - 02 May 2015 - 00:42:29 - MattBurke
Revision 1r1 - 29 Apr 2015 - 21:25:11 - LeoFarbman
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