Having been a political science major, I am used to taking classes that fine tune critical analysis skills but do not impart practical knowledge that I would need in a job. I kind of thought that the first year of law school was the same way. It was there to make you think like a lawyer. Who knew that those classes were all applicable to the 'real world'.
Working at a small firm this summer, I do a little bit of everything. I mostly help represent school districts and education offices, but I have also done some family law and business law issues. However, between these three areas in three weeks, I have seen all of my first required classes put to use, especially civil procedure. Contracts, constitutional law, property, torts, and even criminal law; I cannot believe that I have seen it all.
And of course there is legal rhetoric. A lot of people thought that our legal writing classes were either too rigid or a waste. But let me tell you, when your boss tells you to prepare a trial brief for a very rich and important client, you go back to the basics to make sure that you are doing it right. Yes I CREAC'ed. (conclusion, rule, explanation, analysis, conclusion). Thank goodness I had a good legal rhetoric professor who taught me to do this well.
I gave my brief to the lawyer today and was slightly nervous because this was my first big project for this particular lawyer. He came to my office and told me that I did a good job and that my writing style was very persuasive. Breathes another sigh of relief. I think I am getting a hang of this lawyer thing.