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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Procrastination is a powerful motivator. WSJ Law Blog turned me on to The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law. While finishing up my torts outline last week in the library all of a sudden I just had to read it. Procrastination well spent though. It’s an excellent stocking stuffer for any lawyers or would be-lawyers. Hell, I’ve already read it and I’d still be pretty excited if Santa bought me one. The huddled masses in the O’Quinn Law Library may save their $25 if they care to visit KF300.H47.

My favorite parts –

On Dicta – “The holding of the case is what the trial court did. All the rest is just old men in nightgowns talking.”

On the relevance of law school exams to practice, very timely –

“Take law school exams for example. You always thought they were ridiculous; you probably still do. Cram irrelevant crap into your head for two days; spill it all out in an hour or three; forget about it, and move on to the next set of irrelevant crap. Sit back and wait while someone passes judgment on your abbreviated presentation. Surely this has nothing to do with the practice of law.”

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. That process is the very essence of practicing law. What do I do when I argue a motion? Cram irrelevant crap into my head for two days; spill it all out in five minutes or thirty; forget about it, and move on to the next set of irrelevant crap. Have someone tell me if I win or lose.

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