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October 5, 2009
… and third year, they bore you to death
Whoever came up with the expression “first year they scare you to death, second year they work you to death, and third year they bore you to death,” did not participate in a clinic his or her third year. I also do not agree with the first statement. Sure, everything is new your first year, but the professors are not out to get you, at least not at Pace. Being scared has to do with the unknown and not being prepared, however, “they,” whoever “they” might be, are not the cause. This is also true for second year. It is not that classes are more demanding or that you have more homework to do, it is what you do outside the classroom, which creates the work. Activities, such as law review, moot court, job applications and interviews are the reason we feel “worked to death.”
I am a third-year now and am still waiting to be “bored to death.” I picked classes I am really interested in, I am involved in different activities, and most importantly, I joined the Immigration Justice Clinic. I am paying a lot of money for my education, so I am trying to get as much out of it as possible. Obviously, I can see how students might be bored to death, but that will be their own fault. Though I understand that getting good grades is a good goal to have, I think it is equally important to take the classes that you are passionate about instead of the “easy” and “boring” ones. There are so many opportunities to get involved in on and off campus; it would be a waste of money to not participate.
Joining a clinic is one of the most rewarding ways to get involved on campus. Not only is it never boring, you are challenged every day. Getting hands-on experience is a good way to transition from being a student to being a practicing attorney. Although I agree that it is important to learn the theoretical principles, in real practice, the issues are far more complex. For example, I took Immigration Law last semester; however, I have yet been able to apply one black letter law to any of the two cases I have been working on. Also, nowhere did I learn what color the paper has to be for a notice to appear or how many hole punches a motion needs. In class, there always seems to be a rule, especially, because Immigration Law is governed by the Immigration and Naturalization Act. In practice, this is not the case.
Needless to say, I have been keeping myself busy this year. I cannot say that I have been bored. Have I been scared? YES; Have I been over-worked? YES; but bored? Not at all. Someone might consider revising this outdated expression, because it might give students the wrong idea about law school.