'examination summaries' by now - except that I am not doing any examinations this year. I have not done any for years. Nevertheless there comes a point in October when I feel vaguely guilty that I have not started to write those summaries of the year's work, the case names, the important issues, the relevant rules etc etc. As a law student I was, like every other law student, allowed to take my 'examination summary' into the room with me. You could refer to the summary during the examination if you wished to do so. I never did. I never had time.
I do not know whether other students referred to theirs. I never asked.
There were very few essays to write in law. You were given problems. You solved them. I did not enjoy most of the course. It bored me. I needed the degree (and I am glad I did it) but law irritated me. I enjoyed Jurisprudence - examination for that was by long essay. I wrote about "Language planning, multiculturalism and bureaucratic law making". I do not know where the essay is now. Someone wanted it the other day. I think I gave it to a judge of my acquaintance and it has not been returned. It would well out of date. Language planning was another world for the lecturer who had to read what I had written - and yet language is central to law.
Lawyers use and abuse language. Many of them also have little idea how to use it outside the law. I discovered great gaps in my knowledge but equally great gaps in their knowledge. In my first year I had no idea how to write an examination summary. I did not know what an examination summary was. There was a Saturday morning workshop for the first year students where later year students were supposed to provide examples and staff were supposed to explain. It really did not help a lot. The nice man from the "Study Skills Centre" said all the usual things - the things my father had been telling me since I began school - but he did not understand examination summaries either.
Over the summer at the end of my first year, in between the tutoring that would feed me the following year, I wrote a guide for new students. It was intended for the Asian law students in my English tutorial group. I passed it over to my first year tutor and asked her to check it for any blunders. She passed it on and, each year, it was copied for all students. It is still a Study Skills Centre resource - and a Law School resource as well.
But, there is something I did not put in the guide. I never mentioned that there is a point at which such things must be well and truly underway - I know I need to have done most of the work by the time the fluff is flying from the plane trees. The fluff is definitely flying at full speed this morning - and I have not even started.