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APRIL 19 Well, my time is up. I was buzzing along comfortably, working on my litigations, a fantastic pro bono asylum case, some client-counseling matters, when suddenly it hit me. I was asked to draft a contract. Up until now, contract-writing has been just a notch higher than taking the bar-exam on my list of Fun Things to Do With the Law. Of course, I mean no offense to my “transactional” friends; it’s just that I never saw the appeal in working with contracts. It looked to me like a lot of toiling through pages of dry boilerplate language, generating those black-lined copies for each and every revision, and then having the other side come around and try to change everything. All this caused me to approach the assignment with some reluctance, but I tried to keep an open mind as I discussed details of the project with the associate in-charge. At least the contract, like most of my work, was Internet-related so I’m, you know, on the cutting-edge (as the partners like to say). After I picked up the assignment, I started reading through some sample contracts. I thought: How am I going to learn how to write like this? “What do you know about contracts?” I asked my office-mate. Unlike me (a seasoned first-year), he’s just a few months out of law school, so this stuff is probably fresh in his mind. “Well, if the contract’s not about a barren cow or the definition of a chicken, I don’t know much,” he answered, referring to two famous contract cases that many students wrestle with in law school. Hmm. Maybe a little too fresh. I realized that in Contracts — that five-credit, back-breaking whopper of a law-school class — we thoroughly learned how to argue about the terms of a contract, but we didn’t learn what now seems to be a more important aspect: How to write one. I turned back to my sample, hoping it would me guide me. I lost hope, however, when I read the last provision: “When required by the context hereof, the singular shall include the plural and plural shall include the singular. The masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter genders.” “What’s a neuter gender?” I yelled out loud to no one in particular. MAY 22 I can’t believe time is passing so swiftly. I’m back from vacation and I just moved into a new office with no office-mate, but no window, either. In my department, you work your way up from a double-occupancy, with-a-window office to a solo, no-window office, and finally to a solo office with a window. This is like a built-in department retention policy because nobody wants to leave before achieving solo-window status. The real shocker, though, is that the summer associates are already here. This means that even though I am officially still a first-year, there are people under me who can do a lot of first-year tasks, especially research. That’s why a lot of us first-years are getting cocky and saying things like, “can’t we get a summer to do this?” The summers look so young. But they look more relaxed than we did in my summer class. They have casual summer, whereas we were summers back in the old-fashioned days when we wore navy suits in 98-degree weather. I have yet to go out for a big summer lunch, although today I gave an assignment to a summer. As he was sitting in my office, I somehow morphed into one of those exuberant associates who wants to find out all about you. I even asked him the most commonly asked question, “what kind of law are you interested in.” “Litigation,” was all he said. I understand completely, thinking back to my experience drafting a contract. Looking back, I eventually did get over my contract-phobia. After finishing my first contract assignment, the associate gave me another one to draft, and I started to enjoy it somewhat. I felt pretty empowered, sprinkling my drafts with a lot of words like “shall” and “shall not” and “subject to approval.” It all came together in the end. But does this mean I’m ready to abandon my love for litigation to become “Transactional Girl”? Never!

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