Bar Review Fun (?!)

There's one aspect of my bar review course that I do, in fact, look forward to on a daily basis.  We have a number of international students in the class, and I enjoy seeing them trying to process homespun American legal vernacular (and helping them understand it, too, of course).

Yesterday, for example, the term "going on a fishing expedition" came up in the terms of search and seizure.  I had to chuckle as I encountered furrowed brows around me - what in the world was a fishing expedition in the setting of a suspected criminal's dwelling?

Today, another unusual word popped up, something near and dear to my heart: "badgering" in the context of law enforcement officers seeking a criminal defendant's confession.  My colleague from China thought it had something to do with an actual badge.  I proceeded to give a quick synopsis of the animal, my alma mater's mascot, and the verb in question.

There was also the incomprehensible phrase "knock yourself out" - and I realized that my initial definition of "go ahead, suit yourself, give it a shot, but don't drag me into it" barely did anything to clear up the concept.  Physical gestures and facial expressions helped get us half of the way toward an understanding.

Substantively, too, it's interesting to get snippets of comparative legal observations.  My colleague from France, for example, explained the civilian concept of a preliminary "investigative judge" that amasses the factual record before the a matter proceeds on to the second "hearing judge" that actually makes a determination on the merits.  I wasn't anticipating the cross-pollination.

So, despite the drudgery, there's always something that makes a little light bulb or two go off in any given class period.