* I’m really liking my Civil Practice class this summer. For the uninitiated, here’s what law school classes are usually like: Sit in big auditorium. Listen to professor drone on for one to two hours. Take break in the middle of the session if professor remembers. But Civil Practice consists of actual tasks that law-talkin’ folk do every day: planning witness interviews, writing complaints and discovery, preparing settlement demands, etc. Therefore, it’s been much easier to stay engaged and focused.
Last night we did witness interview role-playing. I played an attorney, and found it unexpectedly easy to initiate the interview and stay on track. On my way home, I realized the value of my journalism degree and writing background. I’ve always believed in overpreparation; if I’m preparing for an interview, at the very least I need to generate a list of potential questions. Once the interview begins we can go off-script and improvise, but I’ve learned from painful experience that I can’t wing it. So preparing for last night’s class felt familiar: sit down, think about the interview, identify the important subjects, write an outline and bring it with me.
Who knows? Maybe I didn’t waste my life doing a fanzine and writing about music. Maybe interviewing a couple hundred bands has taught me the importance of research and advance planning – two invaluable traits when preparing for a deposition or a trial.