You can feel it crackling in the air in every class. It’s almost time for exams, and the student body is visibly stressed. There are still two weeks before the ordeals begin, but that is not as much time as it might seem. The pressure has already driven at least one Hastings student to the edge. As a lowly 1L, this will be the first time I’ve taken a law school exam. My testing up till now had been of a completely different order than what the professors look for on law school exam questions. I’ve been working feverishly to get myself ready, creating outlines and synthesizing the metric ton of information that they’ve thrown at me over the past four months into something that will help me get through. It will be new for me and I’ve chosen to take a Neitsche-ian view regarding the bolstering effects of non-lethal experiences.
The problem is that these will not be objective tests where merely knowing the pertinent information and explaining your answer is enough. No. These professors are thirsty for blood. Mere application of rules will not satiate their sadistic urges, they want to see their students embrace all the issues and argue from a number of different points. Their weapons are fact patterns and they mercilessly deny their students the surety and comfort of objective truth. I can picture them laughing with malicious glee as they design their exam questions for maximum trapping power. They probably high five each other as they lay out forks in the law and red herrings and picture their students flailing and glomming on to the wrong issues.