Writing Is The Right Way To Go

Professor Fallone left a thoughtful comment on my last post, pointing out that Marquette goes farther in emphasizing practical lawyering skills than many of its peer institutions. I agree with him, and from my experience, one of the most important practical “lawyering skills” that is emphasized here at Marquette is legal writing and research. I consider myself fortunate to have been assigned to Professor Julien’s section of LAWR I my 1L year. Even though I still have nightmares about losing that Writing Bee shirt in the final round (thanks to the space I should have put between So. and 2d), in the end, I gained much more from her class than I lost.

We learned the basics — pronoun-antecedent agreement (her pet peeve), citation, punctuation, and CREAC. But we were taught something more that I will never be able to put a value on. Professor Julien helped us to become passionate about writing.  

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I Graduated From Law School . . . But I Have No Idea How to Be a Lawyer

For me, there’s a very bright light at the end of this tunnel. I graduate from law school in December and then it’s out into the real world. My experience at Marquette, in the classroom, has been an exceptional one; but until I spent a summer surrounded by practicing  lawyers, writing actual briefs, drafting complaints, and petitioning an out-of-state court for pro hac vice admission, I hadn’t realized how just how clueless I really was.

Granted, I could rattle off the elements of adverse possession with the best of ‘em (thanks Parlow), discuss “penumbras” over cocktails, and wow underclassmen with my thorough understanding of International Shoe… but when I showed up for work on my first day and was handed a new-client file and asked to draft a summons and complaint, the only thing I could muster up was a spot-on impression of a deer in headlights. I thought I remembered talking about complaints in a class once (which one was it?) but the task of actually having to write one was overwhelmingly daunting.

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