Test, Criminal – tomorrow

Implicit meaning: let’s blog.

No, really, I’m good with crim; the policy question may give me some trouble but my feeling is I have opinions; I shall elaborate. Seriously, I love this stuff. Property – confidence lower, but no unmanageable anxiety whatsoever.

We’ll talk later about exams, 1L and anxiety; I need to mean that. I have meant to write up 1L for a while now, but there is just little time and when I do have down-time, I take it away from the computer screen. I drive. I meet with friends at A-Bread (Atlanta), Chili’s or Cheddar’s. But tonight I’m here because I totally forgot to record a cool thing I did (and I’m relaxing from crim-study): made the College of Law’s cheerleading team, aka Trial Team.

There aren’t a whole lot of 1Ls who try out for the college’s competitive trial team; the competition is mostly rising 3Ls. Good reasons for this exist, or at least they did this year. The tryout for the team came precisely when earnest studying for finals should begin – 1Ls have no time for not-studying. The try-out consisted of drafting and giving a five minute opening statement, based on the fictional case of “Micah Victor,” a clear play on the Michael Vick 2007 dog-fighting/abuse case (which I’d never heard of), five minute direct examination of a live witness, and five minute cross examination of a live witness.

You will spend your entire 1L year in classrooms and not once will they mention or read to you an “opening statement.” There will be no “direct” or “cross” examinations considered. It’s all case law, all the time. You’re writing memos or appellate briefs (and definitely not reading them – honor code violation) and briefly arguing both. Unless you’ve watched Law and Order or Perry Mason, opening statements are not in your little 1L sights.

I took two days, probably, in toto and researched how to draft a statement, how to examine witnesses on direct and cross, where to stand, and how to enter exhibits into evidence. I learned that no one really knows what being “argumentative” is during an opening statement, so you can probably get away with it for around 15-20 seconds before opposing counsel’s eyebrows begin to lift. Four hours one Sunday, right before my try-out, I memorized my opening statement.

Fifteen minutes before a video camera and six 2 and 3Ls. Five minutes seemed like an eternity when I realized I hadn’t researched how to shut the defendant up on cross examination. Also when I realized my shoes didn’t fit. Curses when I buy shoes because they are too cute* but clearly not my size. I kept walking smooth out of them. I stood still on cross.

I’m utterly excited – tentatively I’m on the part of the team (there are twelve of us total attending 2-4 competitions throughout the year) that will attend the Chicago ABA Labor Law Competition in November.

red heels*Apt. 9’s Glance Red Patent Heels.

Adorable. I have them in black and red. I’m keeping the red – sentimental reasons, really, and because I rarely have need to wear red shoes. The black ones are not functional for me whatsoever. Want a pair of 7’s?

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