Blog Entry 110
January 29th, 2011
Three weeks down…
This was a trying week for me. I have a lot going on: moot court, law review, classes, internship applications…plus worrying about my first semester grades that I was not-so-patiently waiting for. All of this pressure seemed to just pile on throughout the week, and on Thursday morning, it took everything in me not to burst into tears.
Fortunately, as the day went on, things improved, to the point where I was happier than I have been in quite awhile. Keep in mind that Thursdays are my long days. I have trial practice 2-5pm, a dinner break 5-6, constitutional law 6-8, and criminal law 8-9:30. I’m enjoying my classes, but let’s just say, by the time it’s over, I’m ready for the weekend!
My trial practice class is quite a unique class. The name pretty much sums it up well: it teaches students practical skills in how to try a case. On our very first day of class, we had to interview a hypothetical new client, and then represent that client at an arraignment, arguing why our client should be released on a low bond. This week was voir dire, jury selection. We were given a “case file” and assigned a side, and then we had the opportunity to question potential jurors. Although I knew the basic premise of jury selection before class (obviously you want jurors who are going to best agree with your side…), the process taught me other important purposes of jury selection. The voir dire process gives you the chance to make a good first impression on jurors, allows you to expose potential bias, introduce the jurors to legal concepts that will be relevant to your case, and plant the seed for how you are going to argue your case.
I was really nervous about this process, because I had never done jury selection before, and here I was going to be graded based on the types of questions I asked, and how well I performed in class. Eek! This did nothing to help my Thursday morning panic. After I got up there and asked my questions, I was surprised by how well I did, and how easily I was able to identify things that I should question further. I said on the first day that this class scares me a lot…but I really think it is going to be one of the best classes I will take in law school.
Today, I am working on my Keenan competition brief. I’ve started finding support for my position, and I know how my argument is going to go…now it’s just a matter of actually writing it. Easy enough…right?