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Law School’s Little Satisfactions

November 26, 2012

A law degree is one of the most difficult qualifications to obtain. Tens of thousands of pages of reading, countless cases, hours of lectures and tutorials – it can all get very overwhelming. In these moments it really is those small satisfactions that get you through the day…

 

The first swipe of a new highlighter

 

What is this amazing, unexplainable feeling?! There’s something fantastic about using a new highlighter for the first time.

 

Reading a judgement without having to re-read any of it

 

Admit it. You’ve come across at least one judgment that, no matter how many times you read and re-read it, just did not make any sense. Fortunately, every now and again you stumble across a judgment that is easy to understand first time around, and you think that maybe you’re getting the hang of this law student thing after all.

 

That moment when you realise you’ve know the names of all the current High Court Justices

 

There comes a time in your law degree when you realise that you can reel off the names of all seven of the High Court Justices. You don’t know when this will happen, but it just does.

 

Having a fantastic lecturer

 

Sometimes you get a lecturer who is not only academically brilliant, but also has the charisma and enthusiasm that makes you want to study the subject. I despised the idea of contract law from the get-go. And then I met my lecturer.

 

She was incredible, excellent, amazing, (insert various other superlatives here). She knew her subject back to front, her lecture notes were great, and I always left her tutes understanding things that had seemed so far-fetched just weeks before. She would reply to emails at ungodly hours and made an effort to memorise all our names. Even her exam questions were great – she peppered the scenarios with characters from Big Bang Theory and Futurama.

 

Having a brilliant timetable

 

Okay, so not just law kid specific, but hey. There’s an awesome feeling when you have Fridays off, or when none your lectures start before 11am, or even when your lectures are in one of the newer, nicer lecture halls, instead of the old lino-clad abominations with squeaky chairs.

 

When real-life law and legal language makes sense

 

I once went car shopping with my mother and was rewarded with the chance to read the sale contract. Not only did I understand it, I also got the sales dude change some clauses relating to the holding deposit. Furthermore, you use words like ‘furthermore’, ‘therefore’, ‘hence’ and ‘but for’ in your daily vernacular. And dammit, you don’t even realise it any more.

 

When you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, focus on what’s in front of you, and find enjoyment in those seemingly insignificant things. Those tiny victories along the way really do make law school’s challenges seem more bearable.

 

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