Things learned from my First Amendment Law class

“You play the hand you’re dealt”. If a lawyer is handed a case with specific facts, she must make those facts work for her client. Likewise, if a judge must make a decision on a case it will be on the facts, not on the repugnance of the defendant or that judge’s moral outlook (unless that moral outlook is reflected by the law under interpretation).

Judges can write beautifully. Not all of them do and sometimes reading decisions feels more like wading through an online rant but in most cases there are moment’s of beauty and clarity. Sometimes those moments are the motivation for finishing the rest of the ghastly opinion.

Read ahead. The time reading an opinion will take is relative to the time you have to read it. Reading a week ahead makes the cases seem like a breeze. Reading the day before ensures that you will suffer through it all. (For a scientific take on this, see today’s Inspirational Quote).
And finally, think logically. The feel for a logically valid argument and the power of arguing logically has struck me again and again in this course. I find myself replying to arguments in English class with “that’s illogical”. The slow and steady progression to an accurate statement is becoming more and more comfortable for me. It’s so cool!

Have a fantastic day!

Inspirational Quote:

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.”– Albert Einstein

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