Law school | Second-Year Confessions
"You cannot legally force someone to get a vasectomy!" Thankfully, I've never had to announce this in my law tutorials, especially when discussing grievous bodily harm. But I must confess that the scene where Fisk yells about the unlawfulness of forcing someone to get a vasectomy- is hilarious. The skit was ridiculous, and so is the second year of law school, but it's also arguably the most fun.
After the first year of law school slaps you awake, the second year is full of surprises. Didn't think you'd enjoy Contract law but ended up loving it? Yes, we see you recalling whether the contract was terminated or vitiated. But I loved the second year of law school for the following reasons. Do you relate to any of these?
The chances of you running into someone you befriended in the first year have increased exponentially. I'd argue that there are few bonds more robust than those who have to determine trespass together, and now you know that you'd never dream of crossing each other. Just look at you discussing whether the negligence principles apply to the current case. You're well on your way to becoming a fantastic lawyer, and the best part is that you've got some awesome mates to destress and vibe with after your tutorials.
Mooting is the legal equivalent of LARPING (live-action role play) in the legal sphere. Whenever my relatives ask, "what is mooting?" I tell them it's a mock court trial to practice fundamental lawyer skills, which sums it up pretty nicely. In the first year of law, you're absorbing so much that you arguably might not be comfortable diving into mooting straight away. However, your Law Faculty likely has a law society that is undeniably bad a** and overly prepared to help you navigate your first moot. When you first start mooting, it'll sometimes feel frustrating, and it should because you're brand new at it. At the same time, the best part about mooting is anticipating the moot and getting ready to challenge your adversary. The more prepared you are, the better too!
Improving your schedule
During your first year of law, you learn about Criminal Justice, Statutory interpretation, tort and Contracts. That's a lot to take on while you balance your scales of justice. The best-unsolicited advice you need for your second year of university is to find a schedule that works for you. Not everyone will be exactly in your shoes. Some of you already have roommates and need to contribute a certain number of hours to support yourself. Some of you may live at home but are also very far from campus and will have a longer commute. Although you've made some lifelong friends appreciate that the knowledge you share in the classroom is mutual, and recognise and understand that you have different life goals at this time.
Since you're more familiar with your schedule, you have an improved understanding of how much you can take on during the week. If it damages your mental health, you're allowed not to do everything. Although exploring projects and essay competitions are interesting, you only have so much time throughout the day to cook, go to the gym, study and prepare for your numerous assignments and quizzes. I'm getting that setting boundaries isn't just about recognising what you won't do but also scheduling time for what you want to do. You are never too busy not to be able to hang out with your friends or at least meet for a quick coffee for a catch-up.
Your second year could arguably be your best year because you're finally getting into the groove of things. You're improving at writing case summaries and keeping your notes in order. You also set up good habits such as not bringing the recorded lectures but realising how much time you save by physically being in the lecture theatre. Or, if you like to grab a coffee before a challenging class, you find yourself making time for it in your schedule. Of course, everyone's second year of University can and often does look different. Still, I hope this article reassured you that you're doing a fantastic job of growing professionally and doing what works for you. Even if the readings are impenetrable. See you in class for our third year!