Monday, August 15, 2011

First Real Study Day

I went to the law library today (early, even) to try my hand at studying. I have a few of my first assignments, and in order to get into a routine, I thought I would try going to the library to study. There are a couple of things I learned.

The library can be a loud place. In the main area there are people chatting, phones ringing, people answering, elevator doors dinging. After about an hour I moved to a more quiet, cozy spot. Silence works best for studying from books.

Smartphones are ever the distraction. Texting, messaging, emails, all add up to some serious distraction. I may even need to (gasp) leave my phone at home so as to cut out the temptation to check it.

Learning law is fun. Did you know that in a civil case, the trial judge can overrule the verdict of the jury? Seriously, after the cases are presented, the jury decides for one party, the judge can overturn it and rule in favor of the other party (although the losing party must file a motion). It's called a ruling in favor of a motion for judgment notwithstanding verdict (I guess it's kind of a safety net for biased, misled, or prejudiced juries). I had no idea how much power individual judges have in deciding the outcome of trials nor how many opportunities the judge has to make a mistake and allow for an appellate court to overrule him.

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