#The3Llife: Using Your Resources

GUEST BLOG by Harrison Thorne,
3L at UCLA Law

This past week, I asked a question, and my teacher singled me out in a class of well over fifty students.

She said, “Harrison is always prepared, and always thinks about the material before coming to class.  I know this because he often emails me asking for the answers to the coming week’s readings on the weekends.”  Everybody laughed, and we moved on.

After class, she apologized for “putting me on the spot.”  I laughed and responded, “Don’t worry about it.  I’m embarrass-proof after three years of law school.  And also, why would I not ask a million questions?  I’m taking out literally thousands of dollars for the opportunity!”

I tell this story because it reflects a huge shift in my thinking.  When I first began studying law, I thought of professors as demigods that were to be admired but not spoken to.  I never asked questions or emailed, for fear they would judge my question as dumb.

After a few months, I realized that I was seriously shortchanging myself by taking that approach.  I drastically changed.  My professors essentially know me as the guy who asks forty questions a week now!

Overall, I have learned to use all the resources available to me.  I delegate tasks when I can, I ask questions when I don’t understand something, and I use office hours to gain clarity.

In fact, I’m doing something new tomorrow: a professor had to cancel office hours because of a scheduling conflict, so I pressed him to come up with a time to meet.  When no alternative time was mutually acceptable, he agreed to speak to me over the telephone tomorrow evening.  Tomorrow will be the first time I have ever spoken to a law professor on a Friday night . . .