legalacidity's musings


Law School is High School

Well, here I go. I officially reached the end of the Internet this morning, and there was a sign that said “Congratulations, lazy! Now that you’ve read everything, contribute.” So, here I am in this wonderful entity that we call Cyberspace.

As you can tell from the name of this “blog,” ER, “diary,” I’m involved in the legal field. Sort of. I’m actually a law student, finishing up my third year of law school at a large Southern university. I kind of wish I had started this thing back at the beginning of law school, to chronicle my experiences, but I just never got around to it. The alcohol and whatnot sort of prevented it.

I figured I’d start off this entry with a primer for all of you who are thinking about going to law school. First off, law school, at least initially, is EXACTLY like high school. No doubt about it. Sure, there’s the neverending pressure in every class period of whether or not you are going to be called on, and if you are, whether or not you’re going to sound like a Maori tribesman speaking Sanskrit or whether you will come off like Perry Mason channeling Clarence Darrow. Other than that, however, it’s just like high school. From the first day, cliques form, people start to pair off (we even had one couple get married before the second year started), and tons of alcohol are consumed. I guess that may lead to the one glaring difference between the first year of law school and high school: in law school, the school itself throws parties where they encourage you to drink as much as possible. At least, that’s what we got from it.

Case in point: Day One of orientation. You’re at the law school, and you spend all day listening to boring “Here’s How You Can Succeed In Law School” speeches by people who presumably have succeeded in law school. Then, once you’re done, they remind you about the “1L Orientation Party” at a local bar. The great part is, you show up and drink anything you want (we’re talking beer AND liquor, people) until you’re obliterated. The bad part is that there’s a Day Two of orientation and you’re expected to be there at eight o’clock in the morning.

The glorious schedule of Day One continued for a Day Two and, dare I say, a Day Three, all followed by boozefests on the law school’s tab. I don’t think that in high school the principal would’ve led the students down to Harry’s Bar and thrown keg cups at them, ordering them to drink. If every high school in America did that, I can guarantee you that the dropout rate would be reduced to almost nil.

Of course, some of my more nit-picky colleagues (read: the nerdy people in high school that always raised their hand and always had the right answer) would point out that upon entering law school, you were required to pay Student Bar Association (bar as in group of law folks, not bar as in drinking) dues and that it was from that pool of money that paid for the parties. Yes, this is true, but, anytime a student organization throws drunken toga parties the school itself is a de facto partner in crime. So, I guess the high school analogy would be more akin to the Key Club or FBLA or whatever club you had at your high school throwing a blowout every other week, all under the watchful eye of the school. Same difference.

That’s all for today. I think I’ll continue my primer next time. I’ve got work to do.

10:22 a.m. - 2005-09-21

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