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This whole law school “competition” thing…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 19, 2010 in Drama

…is a complete and total farce. jsyk.

Let me preface this entry by saying I’ve had a downright blissful experience at the N.C. Central University School of Law so far. For all the internet talk about gunners and Socratic nightmares and everything else that supposedly makes law school such a horrible experience, I haven’t really encountered it.

My less-than-stellar moments of Socratic hazing (notably in Contracts and in Torts) receded from my memory almost as quickly as they happened; I actually can’t remember either day at all except what I wrote here on the blog :beatup:

Even the personal drama that crops up at every school has been minimal. There were some childish inquiries about Madame Prosecutor a few weeks in, some unrelated ASG issues that same month, and only a pair of bona fide law-related gripes before and after midterms — both by the same people, all of whom have been notably silent since finals.

The general lack of drama can be seen by the category counts: in 154 posts over the past 6 months,1 only 4 of them went in the “Drama” listing.

So it’s a little grating when it seems like someone is going out of their way to be ridiculous.

Those of you who are regular readers here at law:/dev/null2 know I’m pretty much completely open about my grades, posting a class-by-class list of both the Fall ’09 midterm results along with my final exam grades and current GPA. My rationale for doing so is a blend of principle and pragmatism.

On the principle side, I just don’t see why grade secrecy is that big a deal so I feel no compulsion to invest energy in keeping mine secret.

On the pragmatism side, it’s a combination of 3 things:  (i) because grade info is an artificially constrained supply (by virtue of folks keeping grades secret), demand for grade info/gossip is high; (ii) I have a horrible poker face,3 so the first person to ask me for my grades would inevitably get either the truth or a poorly-concealed lie; and (iii) since someone could get the info in person without any trouble, putting it online for everyone to get without any trouble theoretically levels the playing field and destroys its social value as gossip, consequently reducing/eliminating the number of people talking about my grades (which ideally is the objective anyway).

Besides, if it bothers any of you that much you can always stop reading :)

Bearing that background in mind, I also don’t mind talking about grades when folks ask me. I had a candid conversation with Rico during our run on Tuesday. Co-Counsel4 hit me up on Gchat to ask about yesterday’s LRP quiz. And as I was leaving CrimLaw today I chatted with Rockstar about how crazy people can act sometimes in this environment.

It turned out to be a prophetic conversation.

When I got home I cut on a Law & Order rerun and started catching up on emails and Facebook messages. While I was working on the latter one of my classmates, clearly in a petulant mood, starts ranting at me over FBchat about my inquisitiveness during CrimLaw. Apparently I’m annoying… even though Professor CrimLaw has made it clear on numerous occasions that if the class doesn’t start speaking up he’ll forgo Q&A-style teaching in favor of the less-preferred lecturing from the podium. That and I plan on doing this professionally so I’d like an answer while the question and material are both fresh in my brain ;)

In general I didn’t respond to her diatribe beyond the occasional “gotcha” and “ok,” which apparently only pissed this chick off more. She closes with “if u spent half as much effort studying as u do asking questions maybe u’d have grades like mine.”

::cue scratching record sound effect::

Honestly I couldn’t even be mad about the remark, that’s how derisible it was. I just replied with a “lmao k” and that was the end of the conversation.

I noted all the way back in September that there’s far more to a lawyer than a GPA.5 We’ve all got different interests, we’ve all got different objectives, and in general we’re all going to end up at different places in life — professionally, temporally or geographically. As long as I’ve got my 2.5 required for most extracurricular orgs, I’m satisfied. You should be too.

I’ll put it another way:  I have no interest in law journal or becoming a corporate attorney. You have no interest in trial team or throwing criminals in prison. Almost by definition, we’re not in competition with each other. So do us both a favor and spare me your sanctimony :heart:

And if my questions are that irksome, convince your classmates that a lecture is less boring than a Q&A :*

To the rest of you, please forgive my ranting :oops:  I hope you all have a great night! :D

  1. Can you believe we’ve been in law school that long?! []
  2. THANK YOU!! :) []
  3. See my losses at poker night if you need an example :beatup: []
  4. Co-Counsel’s new to law:/dev/null, a 1L in a different section. You’ll probably read more about her later. []
  5. Though if this girl’s an example, tact apparently isn’t included. []

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5

NCCU Law 1Ls take Silver in K-S competition

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 17, 2010 in NotFail

The unexpected miracle run had to end eventually, and today was the day :cry:

But after a hard-fought trial in a rematch against Duke Law, the NCCU Law 1L Trial Team — the Legal Eagles — still finished in 2nd place in the 2010 Kilpatrick-Stockton 1L Mock Trial Competition :D

I’ll confess there were some aspects of the final that had me in a certifiably frosty mood when I left the UNCCH Law building earlier this afternoon, but the particulars aren’t the type of thing worth detailing in a family-friendly forum like law:/dev/null ;) I will say our entire team turned in an excellent performance, and it’s been an honor to serve as their captain :)

Top 4 teams in the 2010 Kilpatrick-Stockton 1L Mock Trial Competition

Something that was worth pointing out (at least IMO) is this chart I put together of the final 4 teams.

Now I know several of my Duke Law friends will argue with this chart — as some already have :beatup: — claiming that the difference in cost of attendance is irrelevant, since their salaries at summer associateships and after graduation will more than make up for the extra law school expense.

And they’re certainly right… to an extent.

But given my aspirations to spend my career in public service, on top of my acquired distaste for BigLaw, I’d be lucky to pull down in a year what the Duke grads will make in a month. Keeping that in mind, and considering both of us made it to the finals in this particular competition, as of now I’d say we’ve got the better Return-On-Investment :)

The folks over at Fight the Hypo wrote this entry on the topic of ROI a few weeks ago.

Aside from the clichéd “bang for your buck,” this is also one of those cases where I really can’t consider a loss as a loss: when the judges announced the results this afternoon and handed me a certificate for our team’s performance, the crowd was told “If this were a real trial, the verdict would be to acquit.”

So we lost the competition… but won our case. As much as I love being #1, it’s gratifying to know a client paying us would have gotten their money’s worth ;)

Here’s how the final competition turned out for us over 4 days:

  • Round 1A:  UNCCH 1 vs. NCCU (W)
  • Round 1B:  NCCU vs. Campbell 3 (W)
  • Round 2:  NCCU vs. Campbell 1 (W)
  • Round 3:  UNCCH 7 vs. NCCU (W)
  • Round 4:  NCCU vs. Duke 1 (W)
  • Round 5:  Duke 1 vs. NCCU (L)

I’d be ecstatic if my Wolfpack could keep an 83% win-loss ratio in football (or basketball, or hell any sport for that matter :beatup: ) — so I’m pretty doggone happy+proud of us :D

And now I can finally go back to reading the cases I’m paying that $8K in tuition+fees to study ;)

Many thanks to all of you who commented and emailed and FB’d me to send your support, it meant a lot! I’m hoping I’ll be able to repay the gesture at some point over the next 2 years :)

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SUCCESS!!!!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 16, 2010 in NotFail

Y’all…

O.

M.

G.

For serious. The final round of the Kilpatrick-Stockton 1L Mock Trial competition is tomorrow. And the NCCU Legal Eagles are in it! :D

The 2009-2010 NCCU 1L Trial Team -- the Legal Eagles :)

We had 3 rounds today, with our prosecution beating a 2nd Campbell team this morning, our defense knocking out a 2nd UNCCH team this afternoon, and the prosecution defeating a team from Duke this evening.

Since the finalists are based on scores, we’re actually having a rematch against Duke tomorrow — this time it’ll be our defense squad (including me) up against their prosecution.

32 teams started. 2 are left.

Wake Forest sent their best… and lost. Elon sent their best… and lost.  Campbell sent their best… and lost. UNC Chapel Hill sent their best… and lost.

I’m hoping in tomorrow’s entry I’ll be able to tack Duke onto that list ;)

Plus our 2L trial team just found out about an hour ago that they’re going to Nationals for TYLA or NOLA or something — I’ve been so wrapped up in my own stuff I don’t even know :beatup: But I know it’s a good day to be an NCCU Eagle :)

I’m heading to bed so I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for tomorrow’s marathon. Good night y’all! :D

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Success

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 14, 2010 in NotFail

The defense team (my side) of the NCCU Legal Eagles competed in the Kilpatrick-Stockton 1L Trial Team competition tonight… and we won :D

We successfully beat a team from UNCCH Law, and now we wait until Friday night to figure out if our score was high enough to get us into the next round on Saturday morning.

Now I’ve gotta rush and study for class tomorrow :beatup: Good night folks!

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