Law School Must be Hard

I spent a day trying to find out the exact wording on a New York City law from the 19th century. How hard could it be, I thought. I’ll google it and find the exact wording for whatever law was on the books at the time, end of story.

Mother of God. First, I learned very quickly how much I do not know. Like, what’s the difference between a statute, a law, an ordinance, and what else is out there? Something called “common law,” I learned.

I can’t tell you the number of places I looked and then it became a thing, and I couldn’t rest. I wouldn’t be able to stop working and go to bed until I found it, or at least found reason to hope that I could, like tracking down a book I could look at in the library the next day. I think I may have finally found my answer and I emailed an NYU professor for help and to confirm, but who knows if he will answer. He probably gets a katrillion people like me emailing him every day.

It made me realize that in addition to needing to find a medical historian willing to comment on some of the things I’ve found for this book I’m working on (that’s a whole other post) I need to find a legal historian.

A Finney and Bleeck encounter that ended in … a kiss. Perhaps I should have saved this rare moment for Valentine’s Day.

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Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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7 thoughts on “Law School Must be Hard

  1. It was crappy, but distinguished two of the three definitions you were investigating. Thank you. I was a bit surprised about the distinction between statute and law. Who knew, specifically? And Law school is not that hard. Too many loser lawyers everywhere… not even worth the student loans… Good lawyers are going to heaven.

  2. I don’t know, I took one course in copyright law and I found you could argue the finer points endlessly, and you needed to be very smart and clever, and a hard worker. Finding cases to prove your points was a lot of work, etc.

  3. As I said, in some kind of agreement, Good lawyers are going to heaven. Shoot. Thunder over my house! And it’s February! Is that an omen?

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