Denver Bar Association
March 2001
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Law Student Lost in Mexico?

by Diane Hartman

He’s done with his first semester . . . time to conquer number two.

The e-mail from Tom read: "I’m writing this from Mexico. I’ve decided law school is not my destiny. Beach is great. Talk later."

Oh, no! We’ve lost our law-student-in-progress.

But then: "Oh, I’m just kidding. I’m really in the library trying to brush up before classes start."


He had a little less than a month off from DU Law. He and girlfriend Ange traveled back to Dallas (his home) for Christmas and got there in time for a big storm. Later, they stopped to see her parents in Oklahoma, then came back here for New Year’s. Yes, they went downtown to see the fireworks. "We ate at Vesta Dipping Grill. I would hear the fireworks go off but when I’d go out, I couldn’t see them."

But still a celebration was in order—he got his grades and got "mostly B’s" He didn’t do so well in torts, he reported, but has time to make that up this coming semester. "And in a class like Contracts, if you do well on the May test, the December grade is dropped. Now I know what to expect on the tests."

What about all the competition that we hear about among first year students? Tom said he and his friends don’t compare grades, don’t even talk about them. "But then I’m not trying to be number one."

The Tom who was a little uncertain at the beginning of school now says: "I feel like I didn’t get admitted by a fluke. It feels like I belong here. I can compete and hold my own." He also said that the rest of his class seems to be settling down, although there are always students who want to answer every question. Few "suits" show up now, and most everyone is in jeans, sweats or shorts.

Besides his continuing classes in Torts, Contracts and the Lawyering Process, he will be taking Property and Advanced Dispute Resolution.

"Property is going to be cool. I have a very good professor, and the class is only about 15-20 people."

The Lawyering Process class is "writing intensive," he said. "It will help me a lot. I’ve done professional writing in jobs before, but that was mostly technical writing. I need to work on the flow of my writing.

He enjoyed his time off and did lots of skiing at Breckenridge and Keystone. But now it’s back to the books—although, between study sessions, he and Ange plan to tile their new house.

We’ll check in with Tom half-way through his second semester and see how he’s faring then.

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