Malapropos

So I still think that I’m really good at the one thing in law school that really doesn’t help or affect my grade (and hopelessly mediocre at everything else): cold calls.

I got cold-called in Crim again today, and once again I felt like I made a pretty good showing of myself. I knew the cases, I knew the policy arguments, I’m not afraid to crack minor jokes, and I treat the entire experience as more of a dialogue with the professor than a top-down, test-me-on-my-knowledge grilling. I don’t generally get hung up on a question, or let the silence grow while I look for an answer/authority.  I don’t mind cold calls. I’m not really afraid of them.

I received notice that I did very well in my associate-to-partner research presentation simulation for legal practice too, likely because I treated it the same way I do cold calls. When I’ve done the research, taken my notes, know the cases, I can spit out something that sounds reasonably confident and informed, almost extemporaneously. That can perhaps be attributed to my teaching days, when I (sadly, and shamefully) prepared far too little for my classes and had to think on my feet to answer my students’ questions. I enjoyed that process, and I enjoy speaking to people about the legal research I’ve done as well.

Sadly, however, that does little for my grade (at least during this 1L year), since it has no bearing whatsoever on how well I do on the test. It also has little to do with the memos and briefs that I write, on which I’ve consistently (and oh-so-frustratingly) gotten B+’s. The latter can perhaps be attributed to my excellent legal practice teacher, who has set a new standard for me in the amount of time, effort, and care he puts into editing his students’ writings (for any context, let alone a legal one), but it still irritates me no end. Writing was supposed to be the thing I was good at, the thing that put me over the top! And yet when it comes to writing legal documents or law school tests, I cannot seem to break free from the pack.

Except when it comes to irrational confidence during cold calls. Sigh.

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