I go back and forth over which class in law school disillusioned me more, Con Law or Crim Pro. I don’t understand how anyone could take Criminal Procedure and think our justice system is fair.
Since I knew I was going into civil litigation after law school, I never took Crim Pro. I worked days as a paralegal in insurance defense and went to night school. So I knew I had a job as soon as I passed the Bar Exam.
My Con Law professor was a hoot. Made the classes fun, loved longwinded background stories of famous cases. Mr Crim professor was strange but predictable. He telegraphed what was going to be on the Final pretty early on.
If you want to see purely what an arbitrary and unfair system looks like, take Immigration Law.
Granted I’ve only had a couple of CLEs on the immigration process, but the impression I got from that is that in crim law some halting attempts have been made to paint over or justify the racist roots. It’s still there to see if you give it a moment’s thought, but people are embarrassed by how obvious it is. Immigration law just has a neon sign outside the door that says “racism buffet.”
Interestingly, my Con Law professor works extensively, or used to, on immigration issues with the ACLU. I liked him, but I can’t say he was the greatest professor. He was disorganized and easily pulled off topic onto tangents that, while interesting, did nothing to prepare us for the final. We didn’t even get to the First Amendment, which was supposed to be the final unit of the course. He told us that was ok because they offer an elective that’s just on the First Amendment. Unfortunately, I’m in a part-time, 4 year weekend program, and they have never offered the First Amendment course on the weekends. On the plus side, I took Admin Law this semester and hated ever fucking minute of it. It made Con Law better just by comparison. Also, my professor is an appellate court judge appointed by Trump, so there’s that.
ETA: My Crim Pro professor was a former public defender. He didn’t overtly criticize the system or point out how biased it was. He didn’t have to. He just laid out how it works, and it was pretty easy to connect the dots.
I feel your pain. Nobody ever respects the part time students.
For example, my old law school had a meeting for night students to discuss their gripes/problems with the faculty/administration. They scheduled it in the middle of the week at 2:30 PM. When virtually every night student would be at work.
We have complained about the weekend 3L/4L course offerings the last two years, and the response has been “Well you can always take a regular weekday course.” It’s a shame because this weekend format is otherwise really nice. Due to the nature of my job, night school would have been almost impossible. But I always have weekends off. And we only meet in person every other weekend. All assignments, where there are any, are done online. It’s been great, except for the paltry electives offerings.
Here is some useful advice for the Bar Exam that a former boss passed along to me.
- Take a leave of absence from work for the few months you will be studying for it.
- Sign up for a Bar prep course. They provide practice exams, and a level of structure to your studying. Its all about creating routines.
- Don’t study at home. If possible go to your school and find a spot. Home brings distractions.
- Here is the biggest one, Treat studying for the Bar like a full time job. M-F 9-5. No weekends, no late night studying. Just do it during normal daily hours and then go home and get on with your life.
- Chill. Its a marathon, not a sprint. You won’t do well at the beginning but will gradually get it through practice. So stay calm, accept it will be frustrating until it stops being so.
I’ve seen brilliant students lose their nerve and psych themselves out, I know plenty of boneheads with a legal license. Its a test of endurance and ability to handle routine, not intelligence.
Thanks. I’m currently a full time live-in caregiver, so I can’t really take time off, but I do appreciate the advice. I’m definitely taking a bar prep course, as much as it pisses me off that I have to. Law school wasn’t enough? I have to pay for another course to prove…something. Ugh. The justice system isn’t the only thing that’s bullshit. So is the entire process of becoming a lawyer. I wish I’d known before I started that Wisconsin has diploma privilege.
Usually it is what the prosecutor feels they can convince the jury of. It is pretty hard to prove the state of mind of someone, especially beyond a reasonable doubt. While I tend to agree 2nd would be accurate, I am sure there is a calculated reason they are going for manslaughter - so they are more likely to win.
The dude had a week+ to scrub his social media, making it harder to prove his possible attitudes/state of mind.
ETA - Skimming down now, I see you’re in law school, so you know all of this already. Good luck on your exam. I remember my ex-wife studying for that thing.
A-hole has weighed in.
“We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left’s pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens,” DeSantis wrote in a tweet with a fundraiser for Penny’s legal funds. “We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine… America’s got his back.”
Yeah, them ol’ lynch mobs, acting safely in big crowds at night, what a bunch of heroic macho men they were.
What a world, when people can just blurt out that kind of shit now in tv.
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