• maggiemac

1L Law Courses as 1L Students

Updated: Mar 17

Contracts:

Contracts is that nice, studious girl that you chatted with on Orientation but who quickly spiraled into the tunnel-visioned, dedicated student who would rather reread her notes before class than chit chat. She's not winning any popularity awards but you definitely would still try to get her in your study group. During class, she's confident with the cold calls although she won't say anything off the cuff. She literally reads word-for-word straight out of the book because each individual word is crucial to its meaning. She would spontaneously combust if she had to come up with an original interpretation or paraphrase a rule of law. She will become an IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer and will make massive bank as in-house counsel for a very vague Silicon Valley monolith some day. But for now, Contracts is invited to the study group but not the more exclusive meme group chat nor Friday night happy hour. She is wicked smart but just not that much fun.


Civil Procedure:

Civ Pro is a force of nature. She is very proud of the fact that she doesn't drink coffee and carries around a giant Nalgene just so everyone else sees where she is on her "daily requirement." She parks the farthest away possible in the parking lot just to get in her steps. She was involved in every single club and society in undergrad; even though she only peppers this into her conversations infrequently, you just know that her ability not to brag makes her even more intimidating. Civ Pro is the wonder-student who somehow is personable but also too smart. She's the first at any optional review or office hour; she's somehow on first name basis with all the professors. She's definitely in the study group but whenever she pulls out her color-coded, perfectly organized charts and diagrams that predict every single Issue Preclusion scenario known to man, you kind of just want to disintegrate into the ether. Her copy of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is dog-eared and sticky-noted to the point you wonder if it's her diary. You fear her. You respect her. And one day, you will definitely see her litigate in the Supreme Court. You'll turn to your kid and say "Mommy used to know her!" Your kid will not be impressed.


Torts:

Torts is definitely a returning student and he is insecure about that, even though literally no one cares. He'll remind you of all of his "real-world experience" any chance he gets. He also would've definitely gone into medical or business school. You know this because he keeps saying he should've gone to medical or business school, but when you ask him why he didn't if he was "definitely a shoe-in," he quickly changes the subject. He'd rather litigate slip-and-falls and conversion anyway, he huffs to himself dejectedly. Torts will also brag about not going to class and 100% over-relies on Quimby and outline banks. I'm not saying that he's a frat bro legacy student, but I'm not not either. He insists that he has so much knowledge but literally, like, what does he know that you can't get from Criminal Law? You find out though that everyone after law school seems to love Torts, and you are left absolutely confused. You wonder if you ever even knew Torts at all.


Criminal Law:

Crim Law burst into that first class of law school like she was re-enacting How To Get Away With Murder. Unlike the majority of law school students, Crim Law knew she was destined to be a lawyer practically from birth. She took the wise advise of Charlotte Pickles from Rugrats to heart; she's dreamed of a high-power ponytail, aggressive stilettos, and a himbo stay-at-home husband from age 2. After studying poli-sci, pre-law, and Law & Order: SVU in undergrad, she is ready to lay hands, literally, at any moment. She has been known to make other students cry, will not suffer fools, has questionable beliefs on capital punishment, and is trained in self-defense. However abrasive she may seem though, she channels that anger into her volunteer work for wrongfully convicted inmates and survivors of domestic abuse. She is an absolute sweetheart to children and can crack bawdy jokes with just about anyone. She has a bad habit of preening over herself in her little Zoom square like Narcissus and a pool of water. You don't doubt she'll make a kick-ass attorney but you do wonder how she'll pass the bar because she basically threw her everything into clinics and moot court, and barely attended anything she deemed boring.


Property:

Listen, she's just super chill. She has all the components there; she never wows but she definitely is getting her work done and is way smart. She's a second-row sitter and attends every Zoom class but has her camera off. A power move. She never really saw herself going to law school but now that she's there, she realizes it's pretty cushy once you fall into your niche. She is a little judgmental about the bleeding heart Public Interest Law betches and even more so about the Corporate Assholes. Her philosophy? Just go into estate planning and wills and call it a day. Skip the drama. Get that paycheck. Go on a hike. You were all about her vibes until you asked her to tutor you in the Rules Against Perpetuities; you got into a literal screaming match when after countless hours drawing out detailed diagrams, you burst into tears. It felt like doing elementary-school math with your dad at the kitchen table and you were triggered. After school, she is somehow is the only lawyer you know with a work-life balance so you are inherently skeptical of her.


Constitutional Law:

You and Con Law definitely got off on the wrong foot. You never wanted to start a conversation with them because they just went on and on. You finally had to kind of scootch out of the way and deliberately fiddle with your car keys until they got the hint. I'm not saying you avoided them, but also....yes, you did. Whenever you finally succumbed to their study group invite and got through the Commerce and Dormant Clauses (bleh), you discovered they're actually kind of cool??? And the more they regaled you about their tales of protesting during Black Lives Matter, picketing against an ICE detention center, registering voters, and an epic Lizzo encounter at Pride, you low-key developed a crush. They're all about holding our systems accountable so the promises of the Constitution can be realized for all citizens. They basically sleep with their pocket-sized Constitution under their pillow. However, it all came crashing down whenever they expressed their opinion on free speech and gun rights. They are as contradictory as America itself and you're reminded how you can't pick and choose what you want out of a person; they are the sum of their parts. You come to a place with Con Law where you're friends but also will go head-to-head over some of their lamer points of view (like c'mon, Phyllis Schafly, get with the ERA already!). You may also forget about them in your day-to-day life after law school but the reunions will always be lit.


Legal Communications and Analysis:

LCA is an absolute dork. And you can say that because as a law student, you're also a bona fide dork. However, you would venture to call LCA a-dork-able and mean it. She is in law school because she genuinely loves legal analysis. She was a philosophy and English writing double-major in undergrad; while she weasels this into every conversation, it somehow doesn't seem brown-nosey. She genuinely gets so excited about writing memos and briefs. The subject matter is irrelevant (unlike Criminal Law, who you're pretty sure never even bothered to buy the textbooks that don't explicitly contain murder); LCA could be reading a lengthy passage about compulsory counterclaim rules or promissory estoppel, and she'd still be geeked out. She has a favorite Supreme Court Justice not because of how cute their dog counterpart is on Last Week Tonight's "The Supreme Dog Court", but rather by their writing styles. She may not even go into practice. She literally would be happy doing legal writing or becoming a professor without ever going to a courthouse. Meanwhile, you've definitely gotten to the point when you turn in your Appellate Brief five minutes before the due date with bloodshot eyes and more than one Flaming Hot Cheeto stuck in your hair. However, LCA's meme game is sick and you can definitely gossip about the Britney Spears' legal conservatorship case with her, so you keep her around.


Legal Research:

Listen, he's an absolute dork but in a very bad way. He is so boring and yet somehow so aggravating; he lives rent free in your mind and you hate him for it. Honestly, I heard partners don't even know how to use WestLaw or LexisNexis and rely on Google anyway! Why are you like this, Legal Research??!! Leave my GPA alone, you bully!!!

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