3L Dispatch: Law School Finals Survival Kit

Once again, I have entered Finals Season. Hypos, outlines, and practice exams will be constant companions for the next three weeks or so. I have four exams, one licensing project, and one seminar paper. One exam (Venture Capital) is multiple choice and disturbingly requires the use of a calculator. To help gird my soul against the unrelenting misery that lays before me, I have assembled this:

Properly, I suppose it isn’t really a law school finals survival kit. It won’t actually help me memorize statutes or SCOTUS tests and it won’t teach me how to make kick-ass outlines. Nothing in this box will increase my ability to spot issues or manage my time on a complex fact pattern. But, maybe by thinking about the contents of this survival kit I will be able to maintain the self-discipline to keep my nose buried in the outline. It’s an “eyes on the prize” kind of thing, the light at the end of the tunnel and a tangible collection of rewards to look forward to once I wade through this madness. There are certain items that represent an entire class of pleasures I am denying until this tumult has passed. These are the things will will sustain my flagging spirits.

It contains:

  1. One bottle of Aberlauer Scotch
  2. One copy of Bioshock 2 for the X-Box 360
  3. One Astonishing X-Men Omnibus
  4. One Kindle (with a butt-load of new books (none of which even mention the word “law” (an embarrassing number of these involve wizards of some type))
  5. Two Netflix movies (Blast of Silence and Network)
  6. One X-Box 360 Controller (which symbolizes Netflix streaming as well as Halo3)
  7. One plane ticket to Las Vegas (for post-finals debauchery in a city I am ambivalent about)
  8. One copy of The Economist

Strangely, I post more in this blog when I am in the midst of the hellish fray of outlining and reading that ties up the end of every semester.  Actually, I get many things done at this time of year. During this long, dark tea time of the soul I become more likely to seek release from the mounting pressure in small distractions. The dishes get done. The laundry gets folded. The closet gets reorganized. The blog gets updated.

And this is the final go-round. Today I had my last class of my law school career. Barring the Dean granting my request for permission to become an unprecedented 4L, my time as a student of The Law is drawing to a close. I’ll look back fondly on my time here at Hastings. All the gunners I sighed at. All the holdings I highlighted. All the cold calls I choked/gasped/stuttered in response to. The beers I drank and the friends I made are important, too but I’ll mostly overlook them in favor of memories of the classes themselves. Good professors and bad, I have learned SOMETHING from every thinker who stood in front of me. There’s nothing like the satisfaction I get from a truly engaging discussion, when I walk out of the classroom positively buzzing from my sips of the  sweet draught of Knowledge. I don’t know if I learned how to change the world, but I learned that it’s important to try.

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