"happy ash wednesday"

1. 

오늘, 로스쿨에 와서 처음으로 과제에 대한 칭찬과 좋은 점수를 받았다. IIED (Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress 의도적인 감정적 고통 야기) 불법행위법 Torts 케이스에서 피고 측 변호인을 맡아 쓴 약식판결신청 Motion for Summary Judgment 과제였다. 돌려받자마자 교수님의 지적질로 난무한 페이지를 한 장 한 장 아무 기대없이 넘겼는데 마지막 페이지에 “Good job” 이라는 두 단어로 시작하는 교수님의 코멘트를 읽고 내 두 눈을 의심했다. “Your analysis is also strong overall.” 아 나 로스쿨에서도 이런 문장을 받을 수 있구나. 나 완전 불가능한 애는 아니었구나. 덕분에 정말 정말 기분 좋은 날아갈 것만 같았던 하루였다. 나아질 수 있다는 희망. 

2. 

점심시간에 로스쿨 채플에서 재의 수요일 미사를 봤는데 신부님이 시작기도에 성호경을 긋자마자 “happy ash wednesday” 라고 하셨다. 사람들이 그 말에 피식 하니까 왜 자기가 재의 수요일 앞에 “happy” 를 붙였을 지 생각해보라고 하셨다. 평화의 인사를 나누기 위해 뒤를 돌았더니 학장님이 내 바로 뒤에 앉아서 미사를 보고 계셨다. 간지 좔좔 학장님과 평화의 인사를 나누어서 기분이 더 좋아졌다.

3.

로스쿨 채플 신부님은 – 우리 로스쿨 출신 대선배님이시다 – 가끔 미사를 라틴어로 진행하실 때가 있는데 오늘은 하느님의 어린양 agnus dei 을 라틴어로 진행하셨다. -로스쿨이니깐 나 라틴어 해도 되지? 하고 찡긋 하셨는데 너무나 귀여우셨다. 

나는 가톨릭 고등학교에서 라틴어를 배웠다. 신앙에서 시작되어 배우게 된 언어를 법이라는 학문을 통해 또 접하게 되면서 공부를 하다 법률용어로의 라틴어를 접하게 되니 기분이 참 묘하다. miserere nobis, dona nobis pacem 같은 기도에서 시작되었던 나의 언어가, res ipsa loquitur, actus reus, mens rea 같은 용어들로 연결되고 있다. 여기까지 생각이 닿으니 이 공부가, 이 직업이 나의 사명 vocation 이라고 생각하고 임해야겠다는, 그런 어마어마한 생각이 들었다. 

4.

아무튼 이번 사순절 동안에는 맥주, F로 시작되는 4글자 단어, 그리고 S로 시작되는 4글자 단어 – 한국어 ㅈ과 ㅆ로 시작되는 단어들도 포함 – 를 끊기로 했다…😂

5.

하느님 가까이서 공부할 수 있음에 감사하다.

how to law

In honor of the coming school year, because I recently hit my first thousand followers (I’d like to thank the Academy and my mom), and given a few questions I’ve received (feel free to keep them coming), I’ve decided to compile a list of sure-fire success tips for new law students. Congratulations, I am now your mentor. Welcome to the circus. 

Behold, the contents of my school bag. 

1. Color coded schedule- This is certainly not mandatory, but I find that I don’t go anywhere without one. I like to print at least six and put them in places that I’m likely to stumble across when I’m trying to avoid doing work (next to the bed, inside of my closet, in my car). If only to familiarize yourself with it, write/type up your new schedule and tuck it into a binder just in case. 

2. Notebooks- Get them in every shape, size, and color. You won’t know what your professor’s policy is on computer use in class until the first day (or it’ll be on the syllabus, for you nerds who actually read those). Either way, handwriting notes is the best way to encode the information you’re learning. Hand write in class and transcribe later into an outline–or at least do that for the first week when you’re still feeling motivated. 

3. Planner- I cannot CANNOT stress the importance of this enough. Bring it everywhere, write everything in it, do NOT leave home without it. Make it your best friend. Confide in it. Tell it your secrets. 

4. Supplemental Materials- When professors give you supplemental materials, these aren’t optional. Sometimes, as with a professor I had last semester, they’ll contain more understandable restatements of the lecture. Buy them, bring them to class. 

5. Textbooks- Or, as I like to call them, the “Budget Busters”. Make a concentrated effort to get these from upperclassmen if you don’t mind books that have been highlighted and doodled in, otherwise get them from Amazon. If you’re a purist, buy them used and appreciate the fact that the next year professors will likely be requiring a different edition and the sellback price for your books will be a fourth of what you pay for them. If you’re lucky. That being said, DO THE READING. You’ll get a feel for your professor’s tendency towards cold calling the first week or so, and that’ll tell you in how much detail you need to be reading. But when it comes time for exams, I swear you’ll thank yourself for doing the damn reading. 

6. Expo markers- You will find an abandoned classroom with a white board in the law center on a Sunday morning and you will rejoice. Until you realize some upperclassman has stolen the markers the night before. Buy your own kit so you’ll always be prepared for impromptu study sessions involving flowcharts. 

7. Hand sanitizer- Everyone in the law center is going to get sick approximately four weeks before exams. Don’t be that person who comes to class with The Plague. You’re welcome.

8. Lip balm- I tend to bite my lips when I’m nervous or stressed or bored. You will likely feel all of these things with nauseating frequency, so keep lip balm on hand to keep your pout lookin’ fresh to death. 

9. Snacks- I cannot stress the importance of snacking enough. Whether you’re fortifying for class, or you’re halfway through an outline day in the library, snacks are quick fuel that keeps you from getting hangry and/or falling asleep at your desk. Keep them light to avoid that happy, sleepy digestion feeling, but make them substantial enough that you’re not going to want to eat something else fifteen minutes later. 

10. Pens- Fancy, fun colors make note-taking enjoyable and you’ll be the envy of your class when you whip out some Stabilio point 88s (in thirty brilliant colors!). Honestly, this is a matter of preference, but I like to go big or go home in this department. 

11. Boring Lawyer Pens- You will inevitably need to sign a document, and that is not the time to whip out your Stabilio point 88 rollerset of 25.

12. Highlighters- It’s good to have at least two (or eleven) different colors of highlighter so that when you first read for class, you can mark in one color and when you’re going over your book again closer to the exam, you can do a different color. Or if you’re me, you’ve got a different color for main points of passages, case names, legal theories, party names, code articles, etc. 

13. Flash drive- Good for transferring outlines you’ve acquired from upperclassmen. Always have one. 

14. Index cards- I use these for cases–put the name on one side and the facts and/or legal theories on the other. 

15. Tabs/Post-its- Let me just take a brief moment to tell you a little about myself. I like to live my life as if we’re in the zombie apocalypse and the cure for the zombie virus is post-it notes and tabs. I can’t walk into a grocery store without buying at least a pack, often more. So when I tell you to hoard this shit like it’s gold, that’s probably the most solid life advice I can give you. Use them to mark pages you’ve read, assignments, important notes, stick a post-it in your book and take down a note if you don’t want to mess up the pages. I’m telling you, the possibilities are endless for these little shits. 

16. Headphones- If you can, splurge and get noise-cancelling ones, if not you can grab a $10 pair at the drugstore that works just as well. Stick to classical music, or film scores when you’re studying so you won’t distract yourself listening to the words in songs. 

17. iPad- Unnecessary, but nice for unobtrusive notetaking. Also playing games in class, not that I would advocate such a thing.

18. Laptop- Check with your professor about her/his computer policy in class, but at the very least have a good laptop for writing assignments/streaming netflix when you’re done with your homework. 

19. Powercords- NEVER leave home without them. 

20. Water bottle- Another thing I cannot stress enough–please drink water. Drink water like it’s your job. Drink water like it’s what eighty-five percent of your body is made up of–because it is. Drink water to stave off the throbbing, unassailable headache that results from dehydration. Drink water to boost mental performance, drink water because it tastes good, drink water so you have an excuse to go to the bathroom during class. Please drink water. 

21. For my ladies- Disclaimer: I work better when I’ve got a face of makeup on, I’m wearing four inch heels, and my suit game has reached Olivia Pope levels. Since makeup is obviously not an integral part of being a fabulous law lady for everyone, I didn’t take my essentials out of the gold bag in the picture, but I’ll give you a quick runthrough. 1) Feminine hygiene products; stress will fuck with your cycle, always be prepared, 2) Oil absorbing pads; stress will also fuck with your complexion, get a pocket-sized pack of these to avoid the greasy feeling of oil buildup on your face, 3) Mascara; if you’ve got an afternoon meeting and need to freshen up, or you just rolled out of bed and need to look awake, a swipe of mascara is a lifesaver, 4) Cover up/powder; cover up emergencies/ dark circles, 5) Travel sized can of dry shampoo; a day will come when you can’t remember the last time you showered, and I promise you’ll thank me for this, 6) Nail file; I chew my nails when I get nervous, so I keep this in my bag as a preventative measure, 7) Red lipstick; for when you need to be a boss ass bitch (I swear by Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hr Color in All Day Cherry. 

TO CONCLUDE: The final, most important part of your law school survival kit isn’t photographed either, and that’s because you’ll have to find it for yourself. In order to make it through law school in on piece, you have to find friends. I’m not talking a study group, although the two often coincide, I’m talking people who you drink wine with and bitch about professors and call them in the mornings to remind them to drag their ass to class and they give you a reason to keep going when you can’t remember why you decided to do this crazy law thing in the first place. Find people who inspire you to be the best little law student you can be, find people who encourage you to succeed even when that means another hour in the library. Find your very own wherethewhiteroadruns to commiserate with about everything from favorite pens running out to the tensile strength of various types of tabs to generalized law stress to an episode of Suits. I wouldn’t have made it through my first year without the people who carried me (and also my collection of tabs and post-its) along the way. Welcome to 1L year, you beautiful land mermaids. May the odds be ever in your favor.