So these things are always in tension, but I think in hindsight the tension is much greater in 1L than in subsequent years. I felt a great deal less stressed about finals because by now I know what to expect and I know the drill of what it is what I need to know to fill in the gaps and write a convincing essay that demonstrates I don’t merely know the knowledge but I can weigh and consider factors appropriately tailored to facts and argue for a reasonable outcome under (usually) the totality of the facts and circumstances that would likely be consistent with a modern court. I suppose that’s what we do in a nutshell, and what awaits me in the bar, except more crossover between subjects as the world is complex.
So, this finals session will be somewhat less intense than in the past, and next semester will likely even be less so, but I will be taking the MPRE and doing the ramp-up toward filling my head with whatever I need to be ready for the bar, just because I want to make doubly sure it’s an experience I need not repeat except by choice and in another state.
But bottom line, things do look different now than in the past. There’s also a quandary of choosing my last semester to just take a minimum number of units since most of my requirements are done, or if it makes sense to explore more subjects that pique my interest. It’s nice to feel confident and even a bit whimsical because I no longer have doubts in my ability to accomplish anything I set my mind to do. It will happen for you too.
Wow, this semester has been a blur. I was talking to some 1Ls about what it’s like now that I’m a 3L and I no longer get terribly excited about exams, etc. I know what I need to do, and it’s only fear of the unknown that made me apprehensive my first semester. I still like to read and study, but I like it best when I’m learning so that I can create arguments with the knowledge, and analyze the state of the law. In many ways, my mind has changed from merely knowing about what’s happened in past cases, but now I think about what the law might look like, or observing trends to see how it’s changing. I’m now writing my capstone and I’m happy about my topic because I somehow managed to look within myself to determine what drives me and the literature had yet to address it. So I get much more animated when I’m researching and writing my paper than I do about my classes. But it’s time to take a break and do the examination dance. Right after I eat a good meal with some great legal friends. =)