Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Court is Now in Session!

Contrary to my usual morning schedule, I was forced to wake up even earlier in order to meet everyone from my class near the subway station. The plan for today was head down to the New York Courthouse and witness first-hand a real case being argued. I had been excited ever since I heard about the trip because I would actually be given a chance to see exactly how a real lawyer debates and not just something that is over dramatized on television. We took the subway almost all the way down and walked a few block to the courthouse. The interior was exactly how I imagined it; white marble walls and flooring, with a distinct eminence of justice and authority.

As we took the elevator to the fifteenth floor in order to reach the courtroom, I sense of anxiety stirred from with in me. I could only imagine the magnificence of an actual trial occurring before my eyes. When we finally were all ready, we entered the courtroom with much excitement, however we had to be extremely quiet as the trial had already begun.

We took our seats and watched as a witness was being questioned. I have seen countless movies and T.V shows that depicted trials, however, nothing compares to the reality. Within the first few minutes, I noticed how specific and thorough each of the lawyers was with their questioning. Like I had learned from reading the numerous court cases I was assigned- every detail counts. No matter how small or inferior it might appear to be, that detail can lead to either a victory or loss. Another thing that amazed me was the eloquence with which these lawyers all spoke with. Their train of thought appeared to never be derailed and focused on improving their position above everything. I was in awe as the lawyers spoke because I have always dreamed of having that kind of linguistic abilities.

The trial proceeded as normal with a ten minute recess to allow everyone to break from all the intensity. When the trial reconvened, the intensity rose up again. I really must give praise to lawyers because a trial can apparently be very stressful and intense. Unfortunately we were unable to view the end of the trial because a witness failed to show up on time, thus forcing the trial to enter a long recess, one which would prevent us from returning to Columbia on time. The day was not entirely lost however, we used the extra to go grab some lunch in China Town. For the low amount we paid, the food was not all that bad. It was actually a huge shift from the usual campus food at Columbia and really showed the distinction of the culture. 
When we returned to campus I immediately proceeded to continue with my essay. I was determined to use this day to get the greatest amount of my essay done as possible, therefore allowing me to add a few simple revisions tomorrow and have it in early so I could enjoy my last few days at Columbia. I ended up using the majority of my evening working on it, but I felt proud with the amount of work I had accomplished.
As I look back I cannot believe how much I learned about trials in one simple day. The overall experience gave me first-handed glimpses at what the world of an attorney is like and the heavy responsibilities that come along with it. This experience actually inspired me to reach for my dream of becoming a lawyer and I hope to one day be standing in a courtroom like the one from today, participating in a trial of my own.

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