Orientation Day Two


Professional--"Regarding or relating to a profession. May also refer to a person who is a practitioner of a profession.”
-Black’s Law Dictionary

Yesterday was my second day of being a law student.  The orientation sessions yesterday focused mainly on professionalism and what that means both in the context of law school and in our future careers.  We also had a mock class and session about legal writing and research thrown in as well.

Professional Oath

The first thing to be done yesterday morning was the administration of the professional oath, which was basically an excuse to be dressed up for the day.  Before we were swore into the profession, an alum spoke to us about what he thought were the important aspects of professionalism.  He gave us four Cs to think about when it comes to professionalism:  character, competence, civility, and compassion.  These four words exemplify what it means to be an attorney and how we can be as successful as possible.  We then were sworn in by a fellow alumna, who now is a judge, so I am now officially part of the legal profession (thought I was already but I guess now it’s for real!).

Legal Writing and Research

The first session of the day was run by my legal writing professor, a law librarian who is teaching my legal research session, and my Civil Procedure professor.  For this session, we were required to read a case and brief it.  My Civ Pro professor then lead us on a discussion of the case, similar to what we might experience during an actual class session (with cold calling, hypos, and everything).  I actually really enjoyed the experience because it made me a little less nervous for when classes start on Monday.  We also talked about how much our case briefs helped us and what we could do better on them for use in class.

The next part of this session focused on an introduction to our legal writing and research course.  So at my school, this is a two part course team taught by a legal writing professor and a law librarian.  How the class works is as our legal writing professor gives us assignments, we learn how to approach those assignments from a research perspective from our legal research prof.  This semester we have two big writing assignments, a professional email and a legal memo, but thankfully that means the course is over about two weeks before finals start so I won’t have to worry about that interfering with my studying.  I also have a TA for the class, whose main job is to teach us how to use Bluebook citation and I had to register to do online interactive Bluebook exercises.  I haven’t started any of these but I think this is valuable for anyone at law school so if you want more info, feel free to email me.


The final three sessions of the day focused on the more formal aspects of professionalism.  They covered character and fitness (I’ll talk about that more later) and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Title IX, and what it means to be a professional.  The first two sessions were more nuts and bolts sort of presentations but the last was a panel discussion including two alumni.  They emphasized how important reputation is in the legal profession.

That’s all for day two!  I’ll fill you in on the last official day of orientation once it’s over!

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