TAKING TO THE LAW: A First Year Law School Journey

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In the 1999-2000 academic year, twenty-two years after Scott Turow's classic One L, JURIST followed another first year law student as she started her journey in American legal education. Our very own "Alice in Wonderland" - Alice Marie Beard - attended the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in Washington D.C.; she told us that she "began law school after twenty years as 'just a mom.'" When she was writing these columns her son was a U.S. Marine Reservist and in college; her daughter was in 10th grade.
  • October 1, 1999: Alice starts her journey - "I felt as if I'd walked into the movie 15 minutes late and missed all the important parts..."

  • November 2, 1999: stress sets in - Alice goes to the Red Mass, reflects on her debt, and just can't seem to get away from law school.

  • December 3, 1999: Alice wraps up her fall classes, and braces for her first set of exams...

  • January 15, 2000: Alice reflects on exams and family, and returns to law school without really having left it.

  • February 10, 2000: first semester grades are in - Alice agonizes over her future, but holds on.

  • March 13, 2000: a time of transition - the law comes to life, and Alice comes to realize that just as she's already a "different" kind of law student, she'll be a "different" kind of lawyer.

  • April 15, 2000: back from Spring Break, Alice looks back on the year, wonders whether she's "getting it" yet, and begins looking forward (?) to her 1L finals.

  • June 1, 2000: Alice writes her final exams, and finishes her first year.