Contours

voices of women in law // voix des femmes en droit

10 WAYS IN WHICH LAW SCHOOL HAS CHANGED ME

Written by Aishah Nofal, Student at McGill Faculty of Law.

1. Gone are the days of leisure reading.

Oh, how I miss the days when I would curl up in bed with a cup of tea and indulge in a good book.  Ain’t nobody got time for that. Nowadays, I still curl up in bed with a cup of tea but it is accompanied by a course pack.

2. …Although I seem to have caught up on every show ever aired.

My eyes may be too sore for leisurely reading, but I’ve somehow managed to make time to watch every kind of TV show online. I study for half an hour, and then watch a half-hour show. I study for an hour, and then reward myself with a one-hour show. Sometimes I watch things I don’t even like, but I’ll do anything to take a break from my readings.

3. Procrastination has evolved.

I’ve reached a new level of procrastination. I’m not saying that I procrastinate more, but there are always far too many readings for the hours available in a day. So, even though I’m doing work every day (not as much as I should be doing), the unread readings accumulate exponentially and I never seem to catch up- then exams come rolling in and I realize how much crap I’m really in.

4. I don’t feel as comfortable participating in classroom discussion.

In my undergrad, I always participated in classroom discussion. If I had something to say, I would say it out loud; however, in law school I’m always second-guessing myself. I’m always self-conscious about saying something ‘wrong’ and about what others might think.

5. I never have any idea how well or how poorly I did on an assignment/exam once I’ve submitted it.

I used to be able to gage how my exams went, but not anymore. Now, I get the same grades on the things I think I’ve bombed as I do on the ones I felt more confident about. In law school, my instincts always fail me.

6. Latin.

Who says a major in Latin is obsolete? Lately, there seems to be Latin everywhere. I did my undergrad in Business. The only Latin I learned was caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).

7. On the one hand there are no straight answers for anything…the other hand doesn’t have any either.

Long gone are the days when I would solve an equation in my Finance class, arrive at an answer, and either be right or wrong.

As Professor Jukier once put it in class, you should begin every answer with “on the one hand” and follow it with “on the other hand”.

8. Farewell multiple choice.

I miss the days where at least 60% of my exams were multiple choice. I ain’t seen none of that here…

9. Sharing is caring.

I am pleasantly surprised to see that most of my peers are very generous with their notes. I’ve heard all of the common horror stories about people ripping out pages from textbooks to get an upper hand over the next person, and I am very happy to say that I haven’t seen any of that at McGill.

10. We’re all in this together.

I guess this is kind of related to the previous point, but it’s definitely worth mentioning because it’s much more than sharing notes. Everyone helps each other out. When I’m stressed, there’s always someone there to help me put things into perspective or to remind me that they’re stressing out just as much!

Contours is made possible by funding from the McGill Law Students’ Association / L’Association des étudiant-e-s en droit de McGill. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without permission from the authors.

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