Blog Entry 92
October 6th, 2010
Maybe next week’s workload will be lighter! I say it every week, and I’m certainly hoping this is finally the week where it’s true!
This week is a crazy week for many of the 2L students, at least all of us who are taking evidence. (And I think there are three sections of us, so that works out to an awful lot of students…) It is the week that our “Writing Across the Curriculum” paper is due. The WAC is a UDM Law specialty; it is a component of all of our upper-level required courses, and is designed to give us more practical-based writing experience. For our evidence paper, we have a hypothetical situation where a man shot his brother-in-law, and the wife was a witness (the facts are a bit more complex than that, but you get the idea…). Of course, there is the notion of spousal privilege, and depending on the circumstances, an individual cannot be called to testify against his or her spouse. Using the Michigan statute that sets forth the privileges, and looking at cases that have interpreted it, we have to determine whether or not this wife could be compelled to testify and then write a trial brief expressing our view.
The WAC assignments are interesting because it forces you to take the concepts you are learning in the classroom and look at them in a practical way. (And isn’t that why we’re in law school…to become lawyers?) Of course, they’re also an awful lot of work. Our evidence paper is worth 20% of our final grade, and they have to be written with a partner, so it has required me to be a bit more structured with my writing schedule, and mesh writing styles.
In addition to my paper (that is due on Sunday, but my team wants to have submitted before we go to bed on Thursday so we can enjoy the weekend…), for advanced advocacy, we had a research report due on Sunday. We were supposed to take our facts, apply them to the law, and write out a nice outline. Easy enough, right? Well…this case is probably the most confusing case I’ve dealt with since I started law school. (In all fairness, I DID sign up for ADVANCED advocacy…) I’m very used to having nice hypotheticals drawn up by my professors, with clean disputing case law, and although it requires a lot of work, the answers are pretty straightforward. This, on the other hand, is a case that is before the Supreme Court, Koubriti v. Convertino, and the issues are far from clear. Just the act of figuring out what Koubriti was alleging took way more time than I would have liked, and all I found was that the attorney who wrote the complaint was very vague, and he could be alleging several different things. Fortunately, we turned in a very rough start on Sunday, and had the opportunity to meet with our professor on Monday (or some people are meeting on Wednesday). Then, we were able to get suggestions and talk through our issues with her (because she’s learning this area of the law too!), and we’ve had two days to complete a new version of our research report to turn in for a grade. (And if you’re me, you met with her two other times during this process to make sure you’re on the right track. Thanks Prof. Streicher!) Although this issue is dreadfully confusing, and has taken so much of my time, I know that when I really wrap it all up and get my thoughts together, I will be able to be very proud of what I’ve accomplished. Now I just need to get there…
In addition to that, of course I’ve had my usual reading for class, and I’ve had to schedule some time to eat and sleep. It’s looking like I won’t have time to watch any of my television shows for the week until the weekend…thank goodness for DVR.
If I make it to the weekend, I think I will deserve of a cookie. I’m halfway there…I can do this.