Tuesday, March 30, 2010
“This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.”
Here's a summary of what grad school has been like so far for those who are interested. I thought that law school would be memorizing laws and rules. But mostly we are just given questions with no answers. Like, when is someone too crazy too be responsible for their actions? What is cruel and usual punishment? etc. At the end of this summer I will be 50% done with law school, and it's been fun so far. Working full time has made it harder than I thought it would be, but it's going well. Most of my classes from here on out will be criminal law classes. Criminal law is all I'm really interested in, so hopefully I can work at a District Attorney or public defender's office when I'm done.
My classes this semester are Criminal procedure (you have the right to remain silent) Rules of Evidence (objection! badgering the witness!) and a policy class on the death penalty. The next year I will be taking Adjudicatory Criminal Procedure (Aka Bail to Jail), Forensic Science and Criminal Procedure (CSI!), Drugs and the Law (drugs!), Negotiations (10? I'll give you 5 for it), Mediation ( Can't we just work this out amongst ourselves), and Computer Crime (I'm Chris Hansen, with Dateline NBC. What are you doing here?) Also, I like parentheticals(parentheticals).
It's kind of sad that by the time I finish law school I will have been in school for 25 years! And at that point I will have to start fresh at a new job that I will know nothing about. I think the Chinese have it right, when they start training people for jobs at 13, but hey at least I know about the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and how to do calculus. I can't tell you how much I use calculus in my daily life.
But I'm really lucky to be able to study something that's interesting to me, without having to borrow piles of money to do it. Here are two articles that I read for class that do a good job of showing that our legal system doesn't provide a lot of answers, just lots of hard questions.
Fatal Distraction - how our legal system treats people whose children die after being left in a car.
How I convinced a murderer not to die -A death row inmate tries to donate his organs.
* be warned, both articles have heavy subject matter & language.