Blog Entry 68
April 20th, 2010
I think yesterday was my longest school day of the year…
I arrived at school just before 9am to be in some pictures for the school’s marketing campaign. (When you flip through one of the many UDM Law brochures, appreciate the fact that all of the people you see are real students…and I can also attest to the fact that the classroom shots you see are real students in a real class. They came to one of my contracts classes last semester and took pictures throughout the class; that was kind of an intimidating day.)
After that, I had my last property class of the semester, and then a three and a half hour break until core concepts. In core concepts, we finished our negotiation game, which held a pretty interesting lesson in negotiation and trying to figure out how to get the best result for everyone involved.
After that, I had a client counseling simulation for core concepts where I got to pretend to be an attorney discussing options for a plastic bag manufacturer who is faced with the prospect of one of his buyers declaring bankruptcy. Although there has admittedly been a lot of dispute over the way the core concepts class was organized this year, I really do think that the class has brought a lot of interesting lessons to light. With this exercise, I learned the importance of knowing my audience with the language that I use. We become so used to reading, writing and speaking legalese, which is efficient when you are writing legal documents and delightful when trying to sound smart to your friends; however, when you are talking to a client, it is important to recognize that the most important goal is to communicate to your client the information he or she needs to make an important decision, and most of the time, that means plain English. (For example, instead of talking about how there is a potential voidable preference issue, tell your client that their buyer can’t pick and choose which debts to pay, so if their buyer makes a payment to them and then declares bankruptcy, they might have to return the money so that it can be evenly distributed among all of the buyer’s creditors.)
I ended up not getting home until about 7:30pm last night, at which point I made some dinner, watched a bit of television, and went to bed.
Fortunately, both of my classes today were cancelled, so I have the whole day free. So far today, I’ve installed this semester’s Exam4 software on my computer (this program allows students to type my exams; when you open it up and start an exam, the program blocks out all other programs on your computer…it’s free to students and the registrar’s office always sends out an e-mail before exams with download and registration instructions), gotten some lunch and started on my last core concepts assignment, a memo on whether or not our client is likely to prevail on a motion. I’m pretty anxious to get this memo finished…once that’s out of the way, I just have my three finals and then I am DONE!
I hope you all have some opportunity today to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Two weeks from today and I will be free to lounge around outside with some sort of delightful non-textbook!