Emily Rock

Montessori 1L: Halfway Through Law School

I’m very close to the midway point of law school.  It seems like a good time for some reflection, and so I’m trying to tally the lessons I’ve learned and reminders about how I want to live my law school life. This fall, I dealt with the worst clinical depression I've ever experienced. Law school didn’t cause that, but keeping up with law school while trying to manage the depression was tough.  And it made me realize some things:Some things will always be more important than school.  Health is one of those things.  Some days I couldn’t get myself out…

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Emily Rock

Montessori 1L: Finding the Right Balance

Yesterday, a classmate said she had a question for me.  She said I’d be interested in the topic because I’m into women’s rights issues, and then she prefaced her question with “Now, I’m no feminist, but…”  She went on to explain that at several top law schools, the percentage of women who get onto the flagship journal is as low as 20%.  “Doesn’t that just make your blood boil?”  I had to bite my tongue, because the response that first came to mind was not entirely sincere.  What really made my blood boil was the caveat “I’m no feminist.”  This…

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Emily Rock

Montessori 1L: Law School and the Busy Trap

Tim Kreider wrote an insightful piece last week on “The Busy Trap,” and while his peer group isn’t mine (mostly because his peers are out of school and somewhat closer to the real world than mine), the piece resonated with my law school experience. The essay opens: "If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint." As…

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Emily Rock

Montessori 1L, Summer Internship Edition: First Impressions

Three weeks into my summer internship, I can’t purport to be an expert on internships, but here are my entirely subjective tips on how to make the most of your summer: Some of what you do in an internship you might feel totally ill-prepared for.  A lot of us felt like we’d been thrown into the deep end as we started our internships, given tasks we have no idea how to tackle.  While we may have received a lot of instruction on assignments in law school, now we have to figure things out on our own without someone else providing…

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Emily Rock

Montessori 1L: Summer To-Do List

1) Read books for fun I jump-started this item by reading the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, which had been sitting on my shelf for months, all in one day after I finished my final exam. Friends had assured me, when recommending the novel, that it would be a quick read, but I didn’t want to start anything while I had so much reading to do for class. Reading has always been my main downtime activity, but in law school, the idea of more text in front of my face seems much less fun.  Now, though, I have…

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Emily Rock

Montessori 1L: Stop and Smell the Finger Paint

There are many unique aspects of studying at Yale Law—small classes, no letter grades, students get to pick their own courses after first semester—but even expecting an unconventional legal education, I was surprised at my 1L orientation to hear a professor call Yale “Montessori Law School.” We all laughed, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking, “Really? What does that mean?”   Montessori education emphasizes independence and freedom of choice, and describes learning as “purposeful activity.” As I reflect on my time so far as a 1L, I’m starting to see what the professor might have meant. This…

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Emily Rock

Montessori 1L: Law School and the Culture of Shiny

As with any new relationship, this one started out with a honeymoon phase.  “So nice!” I assured my parents.  “Really smart and interesting,” I told my friends.  “A little bit intimidating,” I confided to my boyfriend.      I'm talking, of course, about my classmates.  The first week of law school was like one long networking session.  After dozens of identical conversations, I thought about preparing business cards in lieu of dialogue, listing college attended, undergraduate major, job or fellowship or other post-undergrad feats.  I often felt inadequate: my Ohio State faltered in the face of so many Ivy alumni, my…

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Emily Rock

Montessori 1L: Second Semester Report

I’m happy to report that I survived my first semester finals. There’s not a lot of suspense about getting them back, because a) professors have until March to turn in grades, and more importantly, b) those “grades” consist of either “pass” or “no pass.” And everyone passes. Depending on how studious you are, you might be either comforted or aggravated to know that your transcript will look exactly the same as everyone else’s, including that guy who only came to Torts twice all semester. Me, I’m pretty glad to just be done with exams and on to second semester. Which…

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Emily Rock

Montessori 1L: First Exams Edition

I have to admit, this isn’t my favorite part of law school so far. My first semester exams are coming up this week. My bookshelf is cluttered with hornbooks, my mind a tangle: res ipsa loquitur, promissory estoppel, maybe I should have taken Latin in high school. At the same time, I feel pretty lucky. First-semester finals at Yale are different from any other law school. From the outside, the tests don’t look so unique: we aren’t invited to answer questions in interpretive dance or finger paint (though one classmate suggested idea map answers for the professor who covers the…

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