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Spring Break

Wow…it’s been a little while.  This semester is fantastic!  I couldn’t ask for a better set of practical coursework.  I’m taking nonprofit law, criminal procedure and practice, advanced legal analysis, and the South Royalton Legal Clinic.  So far in my legal career, I focused quite a bit on environmental law courses.  But, this semester I wanted to ensure that I gained the practical “lawyer” skills necessary to do any type of law and not just environmental law.  I wanted to gain an understanding in a variety of topics so that if I didn’t practice just environmental law that I would be a well-rounded candidate for the position.  My class choices were also affected by the Alaska State Bar.  Some bar exams require that you complete a practical writing portion.  This is called the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).  I heard from previous graduates that you should take broader courses so that you can feel more comfortable completing this section of the bar exam.

I’ve really like these classes so far.  I’ve learned more than I imagined.  My Advanced Legal Analysis focuses on preparing us to take the bar exam.  It reviews how me how to study, write, and analyze the questions so that I can practice these tools and skills before taking the bar exam.  Criminal Procedure and Practice has encouraged me to stand in front of a large classroom and argue a point or judge the other students arguing for either the defense or prosecution.  I was one of the first to stand up in front of the class – I was horrified!  I didn’t feel prepared or comfortable.  I learned from this experience, and then did way better as a judge several weeks later.  I have to argue again so I’m already preparing for that moment.  Then lastly, the South Royalton Legal Clinic is one of the best opportunities for real-life experience at VLS.  The first three weeks of the semester contained intensive course work and exercises teaching me the protocols of the Clinic, how to interview, negotiate, and counsel a client, and some substantive points to the law that the clinic deals with in their cases.  After this three-week training course, I was assigned three cases this semester.  I’ve really learned how to handle a case load, interact with clients, supervising attorneys, other attorneys, fellow Student Clinicians, and managing the case files.  I learn more and more everyday I’m there. 

I’m very please with my class choice and can’t wait to see what is to come!  I’m on break, but I’ve decided to stay in Vermont to focus on trying to get ahead with classes and other responsibilities as graduation comes closer and closer everyday.


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