I just finished my first week of my last year of law school. It was a doozy. I feel like this guy:
When I registered for the fall semester, I was drawn to classes with intriguing titles like "Hate Speech" and "Mental Disability Law Seminar" over classes with boring titles (and material that will actually be tested on the bar) like "Wills & Trusts" and "Marital Property."
Here's a sampling of the questions that my professors have made my classmates and me discuss this week:
- How would you draft a date rape statute?
- Should the law prevent a church from burning a copy of the Qur'an? (i.e. When should safety and decency trump free speech?)
- If you had to choose, would you rather have quadriplegia, blindness, deafness, epilepsy, or a cognitive disability?
- How should the law define "family"?
- Should people with mental disabilities who have committed crimes be forced to take medication in order to make them competent to stand trial even though they otherwise would not be competent?
Come to think of it, I highly doubt that I will ever have a significant say in society on any of the above topics, and yet my heart and brain get invested as if I will. But, I guess that's just the nature of academia: lots of theoretical discussion in class and and it's the clinics, summer jobs, and post-grad career that teach you the nitty gritty of practice.
For now, I will choose to enjoy this last year of the mental gymnastics that we call "law school."