Sixteen weeks, five courses, twenty-two assignments, and one practicum-search have made for a busy Fall 2012. Throw in that nine of the fifteen LLMLEs are still lucky enough to have a significant other (three with kids), and it’s clear that coffee+ has been our saving grace. But this post isn’t about how each of us managed––though we all did. Rather, it’s about a few aspects of the program that came as unexpected surprises over the fall term.
1. Group Work *Gasp*
I know . . . tell a bunch of over-achieving lawyers that they’ll be working in MBA-like teams, and the reaction isn’t great. Maybe it’s just me, but “group assignment” immediately conjures visions of freeloading sophomores and needless interpersonal dynamics drama. But this time around has been different. For one, I had different groups for each class that required one. That means I’ve worked on course deliverables with about half of those in the program. And that’s been a net positive. Nabbing drinks doesn’t quite highlight core strengths quite like a tough assignment. I won’t say that I was a huge fan of every group assignment, but I have developed some appreciation for group work (admittedly starting from zero). In such a busy program, there were times when each of us benefited tremendously from the group picking up slack or challenging us forward. All told, I’m glad to have had the experience, though it was a surprise and adjustment for many of us.
2. Practicum: Have it Your Way
LLMLEs are far more involved in nailing down a practicum than many of us imagined. While the program is committed to discussing options and working connections where necessary, it’s primarily on the students to identify and pursue particular placements. There are strengths and challenges to this approach––the former being the chance to tailor the practicum experience to one’s particular career interests. There will be a whole post on practicums once everyone is set and starting next term.
Though each of us came to the program planning to network in the area, I think we were all surprised by the numerous opportunities we’d have to interact with the Triangle’s startup and services community. Most dinners, mingles, pitches, and incubator walk-throughs took place just down the road at the American Tobacco Campus or within a 30-minute radius of the Law School. Nobody attended everything, but everyone attended something (check out Eb’s guest post for a bit more about this).
The program is small, and class 4-5 days a week meant inevitable interaction. That could be a problem with the wrong set of people. Good news: These folks are ballers. Throughout the term, LLMLEs have traveled together, double-dated, lost their voices over game day festivities, chewed through a comprehensive list of area BBQ, and frequented an embarrassing number of beverage establishments. Though everyone else is too kind to admit as much, I was happily surprised that we didn’t get any bad apples in LLMLE ’13. They’re a great bunch of folks, and I’ll honestly look forward to making more great memories in the New Year –– memories you’ll find documented right here.