Posted May 15, 2020. To settle a pandemic-related financial crisis at UMass Dartmouth, law faculty are not receiving research compensation in summer 2020. I will be away from my desk, May 16 to August 15. Blog posts will be sparse, and I will not receive email. On the upside, summer 🌞! If you need to reach me, please send a message through the faculty assistants’ office (Ms. Cain and Ms. Rittenhouse). Stay thirsty.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Advice for New Law Students, 2019 Edition

New law students, allow me to refer you to and to recommend my 3Ps for 1Ls (2018).

This morning my pastor preached on Proverbs 15:31-33.  It occurs to me that the teaching, which deals with spiritual maturation, is especially appropriate and extrapolatable to the start of the school year, for us all, teachers and students, of any level, and, to be sure, of any faith.  Here's the NIV:

31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction
    will be at home among the wise.
32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
    but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
    and humility comes before honor.

Pastor Kim pointed out that there's a difference between a "wise guy" and a wise person, and the latter takes work.  (Aug. 18.)  Verse 32 is especially intriguing: "[O]ne who heeds correction gains understanding."  

The words for "discipline" and "correction" in verse 32 vary with translations.  But I think it's fair to say (not being a scholar of these things) that the Hebrew words put a little more rebuke and reproof into the former and a little more instruction and rectification into the latter.

As is often the case with Proverbs, this is good advice that goes beyond faith and has application in commonsense life.  In our academic pursuits, we should always be open to correction.  Pastor Kim laid out correction, even rebuke, as sine qua non of learning and growing.

Pastor Kim also pointed to the word "humility" in verse 33.  The antithesis of pride, humility renders us susceptible of correction, and therefore ready to grow in knowledge, intellect, and wisdom.

Happy new academic year!  Be humble and get wise.

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