My learning expectations have changed dramatically since entering law school. My first year I was worried that I didn't have any midterms. It seemed unfair to just expect me to get everything on the final when I had had zero input on what I should have learned up to that point.
Tonight I've been studying for a midterm. I think that it is an extraordinary burden to expect me to take a midterm. Where does Professor E get the gall to expect me to know anything by the middle of the semester. Dead days are for learning the entire semester's lessons. Why would I know anything at midterm?
First year I wondered why the textbooks wouldn't come out and tell me anything straight. Why did I have to decipher all the cases to figure out the rule. Now when I read immigration law and there's another law review article I flip out. Jesus Christ, just give me a case. Why the hell would I care what some pinhead academic thinks the rule is. If he's not wearing a black robe he can shut the hell up.
First year I wished there was some kind of homework besides reading so that I could measure my progress. Now my feeling is that the professor should be happy that I show up. I'm a freaking Third Year. The only person I do homework for is my boss.
I no longer feel like I'm learning very much at school. School is standing in the way of my learning. I took the day off of work so I could prep for my midterm tomorrow. I lost a whole day of going to hearings and learning what my job entails. One may argue that my job will entail what I studied today, but the chances are slim. I don't want to sleep with my meth head clients and I'm sure as hell not going to be able to steal what little money they have.
Legal education is frustrating. It needs to be reformed and it needs to be more relevant. Actually I might say that about the whole legal system.
To highlight my point about third year being a waste of a lot of time, I was just at the pub having a beer with my friend to celebrate his birthday. The party was moving to another bar and I said I had to go home b/c I had a midterm in Ethics tomorrow. Mr. B, the birthday boy, looked at me and said, "You have a midterm? Why the hell aren't you at home studying?" There was a pause, and then the law students and lawyers present broke in to laughter.