Monday, March 7, 2011

Tell me about it

I want to read all about your law school experience. I really do. Blogging about your law school trials and tribulations has many benefits, so why not start one?

Maybe I am just a little late to the party (see bottles everywhere and nobody in sight), but I seem to be the only Australian law student keeping a blog. Why is this? I don’t have an answer for you but I will ask you to join me. Here is why.

It is Cathartic
We all experience stress, anxiety and the crushing pressure of studying the law while also doing all the other things we need to do (it sucks how sleeping takes up so many hours each week right!?). Sometimes just taking the time to sit down and express those worries is enough to bring back some perspective and create a bit of clarity.

Comradery, Amigo
When you share your experience and read those of others some of the isolation felt during the peak of the stress is lessened. Yes you could lean over the partition, talk to the person next to you and break the golden law library rule but then you would obviously not be reading those cases (naughty you).

Different writing styles

Writing in a different ‘voice’ is great training for the real world, as legal eagles in training we are also apprentice word smiths. Writing in as many different styles to develop your ability to work with the written word is like exercising different muscle groups, yes it would be nice to have great abs but it would be far better if the rest of the body was in shape. Your blogging/creative writing helps shape and mould your more formal work, practice, practice, practice. In any event, imagine how liberating writing a whole paragraph without referencing a single case is! Looking back at my own posts, the growth in my proofing, grammar and spelling is blaringly obvious (I think editing a post after posting is cheating – my writing is there for all to see, good, bad and blotto)

The cases we read are full of imagination and flights of unbridled fancy… Clearly I am taking some artistic licence when describing the tedium that can be both legal reading and writing. Break it up a little, after hours salving away at that criminal law memo flowed by briefing notes on why Mabo changed the legal landscape in Australia, be crazy and produce a little bit of airy fairy fluff. Just writing outside of the topic might alleviate some writers block and allow fresh eyes, maybe even a different angle you did not see before.

A record (productive procrastination)
If that Equity text book looks a little too dense and cracking in open for the first time can be avoided for just a moment longer is that not reason enough? If you’re just starting law school this is the best time to write about it, because the learning curve is about 90 degrees and when exams are over you can see how far you have come.
Do you put your name to it?
In my case no. I like the anonymity of my pseudonym; there are both pros and cons to both sides. In any event always be careful about what you put out there. I follow a few golden rules

1. Never name anybody
2. Be general when talking about a person (yes the 5’3 Caucasian guy with brown eyes, tongue ring and Mohawk, I know you read my blog… and I am watching you, watching me).
3. Play nice with others.

When you start your blog, let me know and we can get a roundup happening.

See you in the blogosphere – Obiter Ovum


  1. Great post!! :-)

    We've often debated in the UK blawgosphere why we each created and maintain a blog and it's fascinating to see your reasons. I think you've more or less nailed the main things which motivate me as a blogger.

    I love your rallying cry to other Australian law students to create a blog and join the party! Great stuff! Let's hope there's some uptake!!! ;-)

    Picking up on one of your points, I'm curious to know how often do you read your posts back?

  2. Hi Obiter. I was led to your blog from Survive Law. Then I promptly plundered the archives :)

    I'm not plugged into the blogosphere so I don't keep up with the law school blogs. I too am surprised at the lack of Aussie blogs though, given how law students are all loud, opinionated prigs who don't know when to shove a foot in it. Haha, I kid.

    I did keep a blog once, with some law *in* it, but it wasn't about my law school experiences. Your blog manages to encapsulate most of my own feelings about law school -- I don't even think I could add meaningfully to it!

    That may one of the problems. People might not think they can add anything really original to the blogosphere.

    Nevertheless I suppose I might as well start a new blog. It's a bit whingy though.

    Cheers :)

  3. Hi Michael.. Did you see that!! Points to the post from Marlowe!!!

    Welcome back to the blawgosphere Marlowe!I will add you to the list very soon.

    There is a definite correlation between how often I look at past posts and how much wine is in my system. I look back maybe once or twice in a 6 month period. A lot of that is evaluating my writing generally.

    I actually chanting the 'I can do this, I can cope' mantra in the shower this morning, felt a tiny bit better. Thanks :-)

    Love to write more but I need SLEEP.

  4. Hi Obiter!

    I've just set up a blog called

    I thought it'd be great to contribute (and kind of offload my problems into pixel form)

    Love your blog (I was also led here by Survive Law)!

  5. I too was guided here by the hand of Survive Law, and have set up my own blawg as well. It's so interesting reading about other peoples law school experiences! Not to mention excellent procrastination from law assignments :D

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I created mine around 6 months ago but in the return to res and the associated stress I didn't post my introduction post until today... yes I forgot all about it! Slightly frustrating now, especially because I just got my business cards and if I had been doing the blog I could put that on there! oops!


  7. I have been searching for blogs on student life in Australia and found there are hardly any compared to those of UK and American students. Your points discussed as to what motivates you as a student to maintain a blog are very valid and relatable. Additionally I think that in today’s society being familiar with and demonstrating an understanding online means of communication is extremely important for students in any field of study for future employment.