I really wish I had an emotionally captivating story as to why I’m in law school.
I suppose it’s not absolutely necessary, it’s just, I can’t help but get a little bothered when someone asks me when exactly I knew I wanted to be a lawyer and I respond with, “I really thought it would be today, but now I’m just hoping it’s tomorrow.” What can I say? I’d be lying if I gave the nauseating cliché narrative of how I loved to argue as a child and how I defended the quiet kids from bullies and how my friends would always come to me for relationship advice. Which really translates to “I wet my bed until I was 16 and I’m a virgin.”
All of that aside, I do remember watching “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and thinking to myself, “Jesus Christ, the lawsuits this asshole is going to have to deal with when he comes down from the ‘great glass wonkavator’ that literally just burst through the roof.”
Additionally, I thought about how the factory had zero quality control including but not limited to, the human testing of potentially lethal candy and that god damn chocolate river, talk about an attractive nuisance. Just totally unrealistic. Obviously any reasonable Oompa Loompa would highly consider the alternative of unionizing since payment in the form of cocoa beans, while extremely cute, is just totally barbaric (that sounded very Hermione). Wow, maybe I’ll tell this story the next time someone asks me why I want to become a lawyer. Just shut it down, Willie.
Truly, law school unconsciously compels us to apply such legal analysis to the things (and people) we hold deeply while ultimately pushing them further out of our lives.
Unfortunately, these are the types of nutjobs that surround us in law school.
But, by some obnoxious gesture from the legal gods above, they get much, much worse. I’ll end this introduction much as I ended every email I sent during my summer clerkship — “please refer to the below attachments” of the 8 types of people you find in law school:
1. The Apprentice
You likely got a friend request from this person 30 seconds after you joined the “Incoming Class of” Facebook group. His name is forever drilled into your brain because he was asking you to vote for him long before there was even an election held. He’s the guy who, when a guest speaker asks how everyone is doing today, screams back “Good, how are you!?” And naturally, he’s the asshole who replied “present” when his name was called during attendance on the first day of class. You can find him at the bar wearing a fedora and calling girls “m’lady.” And if you can’t find him, don’t worry, he’ll find you and will get uncomfortably close to your face until you sign up for Barbri.
2. The Pothead
You give this kid an inch and he’ll take a mile. During the few times his eyes are open, he’ll conveniently glance at your laptop and say something like “Yoooo can you email me that outline, that’d be so sick.” He’s not going to do any work all semester and will still guilt you into giving him everything he could possibly need to study for the final.
The depth of his legal knowledge begins and ends with Lucy v. Zehmer. You know this because you’ve seen him say the same thing to 13 different people: “Poor guy was drunk yo, and got like freakin’ tricked into giving up his farm. And the law, like, the law just lets that happen? Psh, I’ll say.” In 20 years you’ll run into him at a mall food court wearing a shirt that says: “I used the carbolic smokeball and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”
3. The Foreigner
He’s extremely bright and it’s incredible that he’s come all this way just to law. I couldn’t find a way to feed myself in a foreign country let alone write a 2,000-word proximate causation analysis on the likeliness a zoo owner would face liability for his escaped zebra that somehow hitchhiked across the country and took a shit on the plaintiff’s living room floor. But even his 3.5 GPA can’t hide the fact that every time he speaks, everyone momentarily thinks the Terminator has returned for one last attempt at the desolation of the human race.
4. The Law Review Fanatic
We get it. You’re in law review. Whether it’s your binder, your pen, your quadruple shared photo on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, making sure the time “11:49 p.m.” is very clear so we all know how late you stayed at school screwing up citations, accompanied with hashtags: “#grindtime,” “#beastmode,” or “#teamnosleep.” Nevertheless, she’s killing it and we’ll likely be working for her some day. Law Review or not, we’d all really love it if you just stopped raising your hand and starting your sentence with, “Well, in my opinion.”
5. The Anxiety Ball
There is no cheering this guy up. He’s freaking out about finals the moment he saves the date in Google calendars. His sense of humor is dry as is, but T-30 days until finals and not even a good ole “I adversely possessed your bitch last night” during a property review will get him to crack a smile. This is the guy who for weeks will beat himself up about how he’s doomed because he accidentally made eye contact with the teacher while yawning. Or how he walked into the wrong class room by accident and could have sworn someone yelled, “Hey that’s the guy with the small penis!” Not only is he the class mouth breather, but he’ll surely be the awkward attorney you catch on TV pleading with you to call his personal cell if you think the government might be watching you, or to just “wink twice” if they’re doing it right now. He’ll spend his entire contracts exam determining if there really was valid offer and acceptance.
Issue spotting on your final like:
6. The Tampon
This kid’s got it real rough. He hasn’t yet figured out that he can just say “I don’t know” when he gets called on in class and it’s totally fine. Not only does he get destroyed in class, but he’s constantly lured into attending Kaplan bar review sessions by luke warm cold cuts and always shows up 10 minutes late to his 1:30 p.m. class because he was guilted by a LexisNexis rep into observing a “quick lesson” on how to navigate the database in exchange for a mini snickers and a flash drive keychain.
Things won’t get better. He’ll likely pronounce Justice Scalia like “Scale – Yuh” for the rest of his life. Poor guy.
7. The Moaner
This one might be the worst. Everyone behind you can see that you’re on some weird dating app sending guys pictures of yourself eating carrots, but you continue to nod your head in agreement and moan like the professor just read your favorite verse from Proverbs 3:5. Do you even hear yourself? I don’t think you’re following along at all.
8. The Outline Reader
Dude, everyone in the class literally has the same outline in front of them. Not only does it tell us exactly what question the professor is going to ask next, but it tells us exactly when we should get up and go to the bathroom to avoid the five minute divergence as we’re forced to join him in an uncomfortable journey through sex, love and litigation.
When a professor is lecturing on something that has literally nothing to do with the actual class they’re teaching:
Don’t be a jackass and raise your hand to comment on something that we have no business knowing the answer to (besides the fact that it’s on our outline). We’re all going to know you’re full of shit when you can’t respond to the professor’s simple follow-up question because the answer isn’t right in front of you. Really, you knew that under the hearsay exceptions, after someone is read the Miranda rights that their silence can’t be taken as an admission? Give us a break, cowboy.
Either way, we’re all in this together. So we may as well just get really drunk and make out with each other. Barristers’ Ball 2015? Or not.