Wednesday, May 23

Law Student - An Insight

After reading a comment I received on my last post, I decided that it might be an idea to explain slightly more about my life. It must first be pointed out that my blog is written from the perspective of someone studying law. This will give rise to a rather two-dimensional portrayal of myself. Most things that have happened to me whilst a student are omitted and only the parts (generally) that relate to my study of law are written about. This post is however, intended to be different.

When I write about how I'm studying for next year's exams whilst barely out of my first year, it does not explain how I am to go about it. Despite the number of my friends, much like anyone, I need my alone time. Time when I can just relax. This is usually mid afternoon, and lasts until early evening. That is the time you will find me buried in books. Shortly after that you will find me ready for a night out, when I meet with half a dozen or so friends and go to the local bars and then enter a club. I don't write about any of this because it's just not what my blog is about. No one wants to read of another person being face down in a pool of their own vomit, or how many scuffles and scrapes people get into - Well they might, but that's not what this blog is for.

I also never write about my love-interests. I had one, but shortly before my exams I put an end to it. Not because I am a nerd and wanted to focus my attention on work, but because it was no longer working.

One thing that has begun to play a large part in my life is the feeling that unless I really try and do all that I can, I will not make it to where I want to be. If that means I have to spend a couple of hours a day studying whilst everyone else is watching Neighbours, then so be it. I would much rather spend a little time each day trying to get to where I want to be, than not and end up somewhere I don't.

I make no bones about it, I am a nerd - When it comes to my studies. The rest of life is fairly well rounded. I plan on succeeding that's all.

Tuesday, May 22

Too much spare time

The bliss that followed the end of my examinations was somewhat short lived. No more than a week passed before I was already bored. I am faced with the possibility of three months with nothing academic to do. Of course, I have work experience and mini-pupillages to attend, and the obligatory job I need to pay off my overdrafts - but three months with no law learning seems a long time.

And so it was, with my recently acquired motivation, that I popped into the local Waterstones last week and purchased a case book on Tort law (I also purchased a book on Italian, reasoning that if I am intent on learning a year's worth of work in three months, learning a foreign language on top of it all is likely to make little difference). I am going to focus on Tort law first, for a number of reasons. The most important is that a third year friend, who is well on course for a first class degree, recommended that the best approach to take with Tort is to learn as many cases as you can. The second reason is that I would rather avoid starting to learn 'The Law of Business Transactions' before I have to.

I have sat down with my case book, and am beginning to work out (using lecture notes provided to the current second years) which cases are of most use. The list will be extensive and large in number, but when it is taken into account that my Tort exams are just under twelve months away, it seems highly possible that I should be able to almost entirely memorise every case listed in Nutcases.

I will inform my readers when I become bored of Tort and move onto the joys of Property law.

Saturday, May 12

One Year Down.....

It was with a sigh of relief that I set down my pen yesterday. For weeks I have been making constant trips to the library, burying myself amongst the dusty tomes on the third floor. Any time I didn't spend in the library was time wasted, unless spent in the company of my own books. For the time being that is all behind me now. My last first-year exam has been taken.

Our University regulations dictate that we are not to leave our exams within the last half an hour of the allotted time. This has not been a problem for me during the examinations. Many people take it upon themselves to leave around the first hour of two hour exams, but I prefer to stay and use the time we have been given.

Yesterday's exam was different. The two sections of the exam were of equal marks and therefore required an hour each of my time. I finished the first section well before the first hour. I had myself in a slight predicament. I knew that having finished the first section somewhat early I would not be working until my two hours was up. I also knew however that the time it would take to finish the section would run over into the last half an hour of the exam, thereby precluding my escape. I am not particuarly keen on sitting around at the end of exams waiting for them to finish, the time seems to drag on purpose.

To save all the bother I was mentally causing myself I stared at the ceiling for a few minutes to kill some time before I began the second section. Ten minutes before the end of the exam a girl was allowed to leave after claiming she was unwell. I hung my head in shame.

I had been outwitted.

Monday, May 7

Sorry for the delay

During the past two weeks I have taken the majority of my first year law exams. I feel quite confident about my performance, though I will have to wait and see.

In the days preceding my exams I found a rather obscure way to revise case names. I sat in one of the local student bars, overlooking the river, with some friends and my books. I read through the list of cases I had prepared a few times, and then sat watching the music videos on the television. A friend (who doesn't take a course with exams) who was also in the bar relaxing did ask why it was that I was just staring at the television, whereas my course mate who was with me was elbow deep in books.

What I was doing was going over the order of the cases on the page in my head. I didn't read the pages more than three times each before I could comfortably recall all the cases. I remember my old Chemistry teacher saying that his roommate during university had a photographic memory. I can't have that or I would have done better at Chemistry A-Level...

I don't know how it worked, or how it managed to work as during the 48 hours prior to my contract law exam I had 4 hours sleep - but it did. I had time enough at the end of my exam to count how many cases I used. Thirty one - I have no idea how many I learnt that weren't relevant to the question.

The day after the exam, more studying was needed. My friend joked that I should try to learn the full citations for the cases I was going to need in the next exam. I am glad to say that I did not attempt to do so, however I did read a case as he said this, and managed to recall the citation in the exam, but was too worried I would be suspected of cheating should I put it down.

Nearly a week later I can still recall the citation. I did remark that it's like Good Will Hunting, only better, as I'm not best friends with Ben Affleck.