I am sitting in 103 Jerome Greene Hall. It is 9:03 AM. My final officially begins at 10:00. Pre-test instructions and stuff occur at 9:30. I'm trying to keep myself calm and ready for the test. But none of that matters. This test doesn't matter. Civ Pro doesn't matter. Law School doesn't matter.

Because it's motherfucking snowing outside.

You who are in California have no idea. I walked out and the entire landscape was covered in an (entirely unanticipated) 3-4 inch layer of snow. And the snow is still coming down in a flurry.

I have officially decided that the first thing I'm going to do once I get out of this exam, after taking my stuff home, is to go out and buy that winter coat I've been meaning to get.


Hey! Final over yet? It's 11 am here, so it must be 2 pm there. Let me know when the time is ripe for congratulations.

You weren't expecting the snow? I guess you could get caught up in finals and all, but it was all anyone talked about this week in the NY/NJ area. I left early on Thursday to beat it back to my house in PA, and I'm now spending about 16 hours traveling to Phoenix instead of the anticipated 8, because the snow cancelled my AM flight!

OH well - good luck with your tests!

Oh! Sorry, I finished around 1. I was taking the final on my laptop at school. The laptop is also my only means of computing at home, so logging on once I got home would have involved hauling it out and setting it up and everything. I wanted to get downtown and buy my coat (Which I did, along with a cold weather hat and some Christmas presents for people), and didn't want to get derailed checking websites.

But anyhow, it's done! Civil Procedure is over! It's weird; a month ago this is the final that I was absolutely dreading, the one where I had absolutely no idea on anything. Then, I don't know, about a week ago something clicked and I suddenly got it. I spent the whole class completely lost, then figured things out (maybe) during the dead week. I was pretty happy with how the exam went, over all. I think the important thing is that I came up with shit to write the entire time, and I think all of it was as right as is possible on a law school exam.

My concern now is that I feel good about how I did on the test, which, according to law school conventional wisdom, is a bad thing. The rule is that the better you think you did, the worse you actually did. The reasoning goes something like this: the point of a law school exam is to present intractable questions and lots of them. Layers upon layers of questions hidden deep in the folds of a 12 page long hypothetical. They call these exams "issue spotters." They give you a huge hypothetical with all sorts of weird bits sticking out and extenuating circumstances, then they give you an open-ended prompt like "Party A approaches you and wants to know if he can sue Party B, and what issues might arise in the suit. What do you tell him?" The idea behind these questions is that 1. None of the issues have easy answers; they're all to be answered in the "On the one hand... On the other hand... On balance, I would say..." manner. 2. There are more issues embedded in the question than you can possibly hope to answer in the time alloted. So the rule is supposed to be that, if you leave feeling you did well, you probably fucked up in some serious way, because you shouldn't have been sure about any of your answers and you shouldn't ever feel like you addressed all the issues.

Having said all that, this wasn't a conventional issue spotter. It was a single big hypothetical, but it was divided into 4 sub-parts. After the first broad-based sub-part, the rest were much more specific questions. I think I answered to the best of my ability, and I went right until the buzzer, so it's not like I was sitting there twiddling my thumbs thinking I'd aced it after two hours.

In any case, I don't think it'll be a problem. I'm not shooting to clerk for a Supreme Court justice, and I don't really want to be on Law Review, so I'll be happy with Bs. And, thanks to Columbia Law's extraordinarily generous curve, you have to be in something like the bottom 3 or 4 students in your class to get less than a B.

Ted: Mostly it's been finals. I've just been cut off from everything else but the internet, locked in my room all day studying. Also, I'm still adjusting to the whole "Checking the weather report" thing. It's not as important in California, I find.

Mom did a little victory dance when you told her you were going to get a coat.

I know what you mean. When I lived in California, I hardly ever checked the weather. Now its a twice a day task!

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on December 9, 2005 9:07 AM.

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