I’m still in bed.

It’s the Monday after my First Year Final on Friday, it’s 11:30 in the morning, and I’m still in bed.

I haven’t posted recently about school, not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I have been so consumed with studying.  Our final consisted of essays in all three subjects:  Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, and 100 multiple choice questions.  Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?  It’s not, until you throw the time pressure in – 1 hour each for the essays, that we could easily have used 2 hours for, and 1.8 minutes per multiple choice question.  Just for fun, here’s an example:

Paolo’s daughter, Maria Elena, was getting married at home on December 25. Wanting to make the palazzo as nice as possible for the big day, Paolo signed a written contract with painter Diablo who agreed to paint the house. Mindful of the importance of getting the job done on time, the contract contained an express provision that all painting must be completed by the wedding date and that time was of the essence. To prevent any misunderstanding the writing also stated that any modification to the contract must be in writing.

After signing the contract, Diablo was offered another lucrative job by another rich client. Diablo called Paolo on the phone and offered to upgrade the quality of paint from store brand to designer top-grade if Paolo was willing to delay completion of the job until January 31. Thinking that the house maybe didn’t look so bad after all, and how much nicer it would look with top-grade paint, Paul orally agreed that if Diablo used the better paint he could have until the end of January to finish the job.

When Paolo’s wife, Strega, returned from a business trip on December 15 and asked why the house was not painted as planned, she became furious about Paolo’s new deal with Diablo. Paolo, before going to sleep in the dog house that night, remembered the provision in the contract stating that all modifications must be in writing, so he called Diablo telling him that he needed the job done by December 25 as stated in the written contract. Diablo refused, stating that he was already working on another job and could not get to Paolo’s house before the 25th. When the wedding day came and went without the house being painted, Paolo sued Diablo for breach of contract.

Will the court likely find that Diablo breached his contract with Paolo?
(a) Yes, because the oral modification violated the Statute of Frauds.
(b) No, because the written contract was modified.
(c) Yes, because the modification lacked consideration.
(d) Yes, because the contract expressly provides that any valid modification must be made in writing.

How’d that go?  Did you even get the question read in 1.8 minutes??  Now add that in most of these questions, usually 2 and sometimes 3 of the answers are actually RIGHT, but only one is the MOST RIGHT.

So, I’m still in bed.

Flying to Arizona for a last-minute study session with my study partners is what made it tolerable.  I blogged about them earlier; they are one of my favorite parts of law school.  It’s sadly one of the things we most feel we miss attending an online program like ours.  It’s the tradeoff we make for attending lectures in our jammies in our big comfy chair in our own living rooms with a glass of wine and a blazing fire in the fireplace.

old school
new school

My school is a 4-year program, unlike the traditional 3 years at a bricks-and-mortar.  It allows me to see it in terms of my high school and undergraduate programs:  I’ve finished my freshman year.  My dad has always liked this little saying:

Freshmen don’t know, and they don’t know they don’t know.

Sophmores don’t know, but they know they don’t know.

Juniors know, but they don’t know they know.

Seniors know, and they know they know.

So that puts me ending the year that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know, which is pretty accurate.  My reflections on this past year are:

1.  Law school is harder than I expected.

2.  Law school has no bearing on the Bar Exam.

3.  Law school appears to have no bearing on the practice of law.

4.  Law school makes for some incredible friendships.

5.  When I don’t think I’m going to pass, I think of all the people who are lawyers, like Dan Quayle, Michelle Bachmann, and Judge Roy Moore, and I get sick to my stomach.

My class now gets the much-anticipated break in which we get to enjoy not studying for the first time since last January, that is delightfully tainted by the fact that we don’t get the results of our final, and consequently, the results of whether or not we’ve passed the first year.  Happy Holidays!

In this break of time I want to read, work, cook, watch Project Runway with my daughters who are home from college on Christmas break, clean the house (a little, don’t get all crazy), and go out to Colorado and ski with the sons.  I have to go back to a real to-do list for a while; for the past 3 months, it has only had one thing on it:  STUDY.

I love law school.  I know that’s not the conclusion you were expecting from all the above.  I love it in SPITE of all that stuff.  And I love my school in particular, imperfections and all.  I love being at my own pace, I love clicking off the modules on the timeline, I love chatting with my fellow students in our virtual classroom, and more than anything, I love learning this stuff.

Like a law princess version of Rumplestiltskin, I wish I could spin that passion into grades….but for now, I’ll just have to wait to learn my fate.

If you sent me a note of encouragement, a text of support, a phone call of I-believe-in-you — THANK YOU!  I’ve cherished every word and I promise to try to live up to your faith in me.  I can tell you I really did the very best I could.  Free legal advice for EVERYONE IN THE BAR!

As always, thanks for reading!

The minute you read something that you can’t understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer.
Will Rogers

(a) Yes, because the oral modification violated the Statute of Frauds.
No. This contract does not fall within the SOF.
(b) No, because the written contract was modified. Yes. Although the
contract contained a clause prohibiting oral modification, courts
typically view a subsequent oral agreement as a waiver of the clause,
particularly when it is supported by consideration, as it is here.
(c) Yes, because the modification lacked consideration. No. The
agreement to upgrade the paint quality was sufficient consideration to
support the change in date.
(d) Yes, because the contract expressly provides that any valid
modification must be made in writing. No, for the same reason that B
is correct.