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an unconventional journey into law

- by Alice Marie Beard

Once upon a time, as a middle-aged homemaker, I paid $24,500 to spend nine months in a place known as the first-year of law school. To try to make sense of the strange land, I wrote about my "one hell year."

"Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit." Loosely translated, that means that the day may come when even my ONE HELL year will be pleasant to remember.


From beginning to end:

  1. October
  2. November
  3. December
  4. January
  5. February
  6. March
  7. April
  8. May
  9. Coda
  10. Update, 2004
  1. Law School Ratings:
    Statistics for law schools inside the D.C. Capital Beltway

  2. "Dear Alice":
    Minus the sugarcoating
    More words from others
    A letter received
    Letters from older students

  3. Specials:
    Effects of devaluing human life: School shootings
    Justice Clarence Thomas: Two hours with the Justice
    Breakfast with Jay Printz, of Printz v. U.S.
    Shooting guns in the desert with W.E.B. Griffin

  4. As written about by others:
    New York Times article on ONE HELL
    ABA's Student Lawyer magazine article on ONE HELL

  5. The Navajo connection:
    Navajo Nation Supreme Court Invited to CUA Law School

  6. Examples of what all 1st-year law students write:
    Appellate brief: Admit confession into evidence.
    Defense Argument (portion of brief): Suppress confession.
    Memorandum: Defamation on the internet
    Memorandum: Trademark Dilution Act
    Memorandum: Burglary when person did not enter

  7. First year of law school on a 3 x 5 card

ONE HELL was written while Ms. Beard was at Catholic's law school.
Ms. Beard's J.D. is from George Mason University.

1st year books



Anyone is welcome to link to my words, and anyone is welcome to print a copy of ONE HELL for personal use. However, you are not welcome to reproduce at another web site, and/or to distribute en masse.
The copyright is mine.

From October 10, 1999, until December 20, 2000,
JURIST had permission to run entries from this journal.


site by Alice Marie Beard

email Alice

Alice, in Doctor of Jurisprudence regalia

In her mid-fifties, after a quarter-of-a-century as a housewife and mom,
Alice Beard graduated from a law school ranked #38
and passed a bar exam that only 57% passed.

Alice is a member of the D.C. Bar.