Friday, March 08, 2013

Briefing a Sigh of Relief

I survived my first rite of passage as a law student:  I briefed my first case.  This means I was called on in class to stand up and give a short synopsis of a case from our reading assignment.  This was in my Contracts class, and the case was Hamer v. Sidway where the issue was to determine whether or not an uncle made a gratuitous promise to his nephew, or whether a contract had been formed.  As you stand and give the facts, the professor then puts you on the spot and interrogates you, asks your opinions, and leads a discussion that other classmates can chime in.  The entire time you stand (with your butt to your classmates - a downside to sitting on the front row), and the conversation is directed towards you, so you had better know the answers!  At one point I felt a little light headed and thought, oh my gosh, I'm going to pass out right here!  I guess it was just the adrenaline.  The whole ordeal lasted maybe 10 minutes or less before we moved on to the next case and some other poor soul got called on and I could sit back down and allow my heart rate to return to normal.

This is the Socratic Method, and it's how we learn, and so it will be a frequent occurrence for me in the future. I'm just relieved to have gotten the monkey off my back, so now I can relax in at least that class at least for a while since that professor is kind enough to call on us alphabetically.  My time won't come up again for several weeks; however, in other classes I am not so fortunate, and the instructors fire at will, putting you on the spot with zero notice.  This insures you will always come to class prepared.  So far I've dodged the bullet in those other classes, but of course, it's not if I'll be asked to brief, but when, and my time for my other classes is most assuredly coming.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

WOOHOO! Way to go. I'm sure you nailed it. I have to confess that I got that panic-stricken feeling reading your post - ha ha ha. :)