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A Quick Break From My Final Paper

The second semester has been flying by so far.  A few of my classes are beginning to wind down, one even ends the week after spring break. I can’t believe they came up so quickly! As a result, the month of April is really going to be crunch time, and students will be working hard again.  But fortunately before then, we also have spring break, which for most of us, begins next week.  So for the time being we don’t have to stress too much about outlining, hornbooks, or practice exams, and instead we can catch up with friends, relax a bit, or even do some traveling. In fact, I’m even writing this post from NYC tonight.  Sounds fun right? Well, this time there’s just one problem.  Most of us still have a final CLR (legal writing) paper due Monday morning.

As a first year here at Northwestern, we all take a class called CLR (Critical and Legal Reasoning). One aspect of the course here that’s a bit different from a majority of the other top ranked schools is that our class is graded. And in law school, I’m sure you know what graded means.  It means that students work way too hard on that assignment, at times in ways that may not be as productive because of either diminishing returns or bad habits.

With my CLR paper ahead of me this weekend, I did just the opposite and decided to take a quick trip to New York city to attend a networking event with the Toigo Foundation. The daylong event was both insightful and fun.  For one, I got the chance mingle with a number of cool employers.  I also saw a few familiar faces in the sessions and met a number of new people as well.  And last but not least, I also had the good fortune of meeting the Toigo team here, as well as a few alum.   I’m glad I came, though unfortunately, the next two days are going to be long, as I have to fly back to the midwest in a few hours and make some real progress on my paper before Monday morning. Should be an interesting 48 hours.

The good news and bad news with CLR is that it’s only two units. On one hand, two units of a class shouldn’t change much if you think about it from the big picture. But on the other hand, the workload for CLR is closer to that of a four unit course, so the time we’ve invested all semester is pretty significant.  In fact, ask anyone whose ever taken the class, and they’ll tell you that it’s by far the most time consuming class we have the first year.  But from what I hear it’s also one of the most beneficial courses, though I’m not sure that it wouldn’t have that same benefit with more units attached or if were pass/ fail.

But one thing is for sure.  In today’s world of growing business risk and legal uncertainty, there’s significant value in being able to think critically about the issues and having the ability to write compelling and persuasive arguments.  Hopefully I’ll be able to do that on my last paper. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

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Friday, March 12th, 2010 Careers, Law School No Comments

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.

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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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