Mentors.

 

Tips for Current or Future Tributes:

Get a mentor. Got one? Get another. Doesn’t matter if they’re a peer, professional, teacher, or some stranger you met in the hallway who you know is in law school too. Get a mentor. Get more than one. Get as many as you can. And then…

Use them. Ask them questions. People that are attracted to the law love to be asked their opinion on basically everything. You could ask them about almost anything and you’d have a decent conversation going right there. I mean you should probably ask them about the law and/or law school, but you could get away with almost any topic. (But be smart and be appropriate, c’mon, it’s grad school.)

Why? Because we think we’re really smart. And we are. Smart. Maybe not all really smart. But we have reason to believe that we’re smart. We’re in law school or went to law school. Getting into law school takes intelligence and dedication. The smallest amount you’ll have to put forth through the entire legal process. Because the longer you’re in school, the more intelligence and dedication it will take. And, while this is just a guess it’s probably a good one, the practice of law will be the same. Which means that mentors, the people who have been doing this longer than you, will have more intelligence and dedication than you. They can help guide you to get it too. And trust me, they want to. You’ll be in their profession some day and they want to make their lives and yours as easy as possible.

Intelligence and Dedication. If you don’t have some, get some. And while you’re at it, get a mentor.

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When our Torts midterms were returned…

Immediately upon looking at my score of 28/46…Image

After remembering the curve, looking at the distribution, and figuring out I got an A…

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Sometimes I like reading casebook opinions…

Especially when the opinion reads like good prose, and says something valuable. Like in the later opinion of Queen v Dudley and Stephens in our Crim Law book:

To preserve one’s life is generally speaking a duty, but it may be the plainest and highest duty to sacrifice it. War is full of instances in which it is a man’s duty not to live, but to die. The duty, in case of shipwreck, of a captain to his crew, of the crew to the passengers, of soldiers to women and children . . . ; these duties impose on men the moral necessity, not of the preservation, but of the sacrifice of their lives for others, from which in no country, least of all, it is to be hoped, in England, will men ever shrink, as indeed, they have not shrunk.”

This case was like the ultimate hunger games. In 1884, a group of sailors wrecked quite a distance from the coast. They hadn’t seen a ship pass in days and started to fear for their lives from the extreme hunger they experienced. Two of the sailors discussed killing one of the others in order to prolong their chances of survival. They solicited the advice from a third party and then the two decided to vote to see who they would choose. They ended up choosing the youngest, weakest boy of their crew. They killed him in cold blood and ate him, only to be rescued a short while later. It was contested as to whether they would have survived without resulting to cannibalism, but ultimately (thankfully) the court held that was not an issue. Dudley and Stephens received the death penalty, but had their sentences commuted by the Crown to six months’ imprisonment. I personally felt that if the sentences had to be commuted,make it a year at minimum. The boy deserved at least that.

The first time we read the case (it was a different section of the opinion and focusing on a different topic for class discussion purposes) our class was split on whether we felt the defendants should be punished for their actions. Half of the class felt like they shouldn’t be punished because they were acting to preserve their own lives and it was highly doubtful the boy would have survived until rescue.

However, I was with the half that thought the defendants should be punished. One, because eating humans is wrong, and that should just never be ok. Two, because they killed an innocent young boy. Why? Because he was weak. Because he wouldn’t put up a fight. He was an easy target and they were hungry. They didn’t care anymore that they were killing a young boy or that they ate his body. They were predators; they saw easy prey and they attacked.

In a different part of the opinion the judge remarked that it was possible they could be rescued the next day (and probably that they all would’ve survived, even the boy) or that they could never be rescued at all (in which, killing the boy would not serve their ultimate needs). And with that argument, the defense that killing the boy was necessary to survive starts to disintegrate into nothingness.

Also, the judge remarked that it is better to sacrifice your own life than to take the life of an innocent person. I wholeheartedly agree. Murder in the name of self-preservation against a non-aggressor is wrong and always should be. Another thing that is wrong and always should be: cannibalism.

“[F]or he ought rather to die himself than kill an innocent.”

when friends say they want to go to law school

Seriously friends, if you’re not 100% sure that you want to be an attorney for the rest of your life and to commit yourself to the legal profession, then don’t go to law school. This is information based on “advice” I’ve received from multiple practicing attorneys at networking events. It’s expensive and really hard. If you do know, like really know and have dreams (while you’re sleeping) about being a lawyer, then go for it. But always keep in mind, there is nothing shameful in leaving law school. In fact, more people probably should. Then there might not be so many unemployed, bitter law grads. There would still be some, but maybe not as many.

How I’ve felt this week.

Crim Law midterm. Memo due. 1000 review sessions. Three outlines to finish. Mock trial to prepare for. #lifeofa1L