Cold Calling 101

I have a pretty high tolerance for looking foolish in front of people. Like every single student in my class, I know deep down that I am qualified to be studying at BU Law, so the small (albeit public) glitch of bombing in front of 100 students rolls off me rather quickly. Of course my heart rate picks up a little bit. Of course I feel freezing cold or burning hot when my name is called. But I bounce right back.

I may be the exception. Many students feel anxious speaking in front of such a large room. Nerves are totally normal! You are normal! But even so, I am here to give you reasons why you should not dread cold calling—and perhaps should enjoy it.

  1. You are brand new. Cut yourself some slack.
  2. Not every question has a “right” answer. Law school forces you to reason through problems, and everyone reasons differently. Why would we have a Supreme Court if there are neat, clean, obvious answers to every legal question?
  3. Cold calling provides great incentive to come to class prepared. There may be times when you need to skip or skim a reading, but on the whole, grappling with the reading is essential to understanding the subject.
  4. The method keeps class engaging. Have you ever met someone who enjoys listening to lectures for an hour or two straight? Please introduce me to this unicorn.
  5. Professor Van Loo. All I am going to say is (a) you are lucky if you have him and (b) he is the monarch of cold calling. Perfectly balances guiding you through a stressful situation while pushing your brain farther than it wants to go.

Truly, cold calling should be low on your list of law school worries. Winter should be at the top of your list.

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