The study of law can be disappointing at times, a matter of applying narrow rules and arcane procedure to an uncooperative reality; a sort of glorified accounting that serves to regulate the affairs of those who have power--and that all too often seeks to explain, to those who do not, the ultimate wisdom and justness of their condition.But that's not all the law is. The law is also memory; the law also records a long-running conversation, a nation arguing with its conscience.
Should I have a doughnut or my disgusting cardboard? asked Gwynn, as she drew up languidly before me at a study table in a bookstore on State Street, raising a puffed rice cake in the air. My eyes narrowed attentively at her face, but as I hesitated, she announced eagerly, Disgusting cardboard it is!
A computer search would have given me a list of pertinent cases, but without that I had to read everything. That is harder by far, but you end up learning a lot more. I was forced to remember cases because making copies of everything was too expensive. Keeping cases in your head is good, too, because cases are like puzzle pieces floating around in your mind, and sometimes, in moments of creativity, they fall into place and form a picture. If they were words on a screen that you could pull up anytime you wished, that phenomenon wouldn't happen as easily.