Our 1Ls finished their first round of exams a little over a week ago, and after the Dean of Students sent them off with a champagne toast, we contacted some of them and asked how the exam period had treated them. 1L Emily Throop, author of the November 28, 2006 post declaring that students are actually having fun here at The University of Chicago Law School, reports that she is still enjoying law school, exams and all:
"Well, exams are over, and despite the periods of freaking out that myself and my fellow 1Ls survived, exams were not that bad. In fact, if I may say so at the expense of being crucified by law students across the country, they were kind of fun. Ok, well maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. Exams here are not the uber-competitive, impossible tasks that one hears about in law school legends. First year exams are all open-book, which means you can use ANYTHING: outlines, notes, casebooks, hornbooks, commercial outlines, old exams, anything. Of course, by the time the exam comes along, you basically know the material, but it’s always nice to have items to reference. There is no stress about memorizing tiny details, because you can always look them up. Our profs are so nice about the whole process. They realize we will be a little worried (to say the least) about exams, and hold review sessions, hand out outlines, and tell us their main advice is to relax and enjoy ourselves! It can be stressful to pack a whole quarter of info into 3hrs, or 8 in the case of a take-home, but you will have all the tools you need to succeed. And, due to our quarter system, we only have two exams this quarter. All in all, it was a gentle, a little bit scary, but also a little bit fun initiation of law school exams."
Yes, Emily, law students across the country would probably react strongly to your characterization of exams as "fun," but I get what you're saying. I always found that my classes in law school didn't really come together for me until I sat down to study for exams. It was always a cool feeling to look back on the quarter and realize that I had actually learned something . . .