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Welcome to the Law, One-Ls!

51K6M61VPTL._BO2%2C204%2C203%2C200_PIlitb-dp-500-arrow%2CTopRight%2C45%2C-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpgAs last week closed, over on WSJ’s The Law Blog, Peter Lattman rounded up a lot of legal celebrities (ha!) to offer advice to incoming One-Ls, most of whom began their legal education last week, probably with an incredibly awkward orientation in which most of the students looked around them and decided, almost instantly, that everyone but him or her was completely undateable. Guess what? So are you. That’s what alcohol is for — give it a few days and a few shots of Jager, and you may end up sleeping with half your class. And do yourself a favor and avoid the mistake Seth and I made early on: The $1 Mad Dog 20/20 beers aren’t worth it. You’ll wake up with the worst hangover of your life. Alone, if you’re lucky.

At any rate, among the legal celebrities (ha!) offering their wisdom was Scott Turrow, who offered this nugget: “Remember that law school is not lawyer school — it’s about more and less.” Jeremy Blachman, the Anonymous Lawyer, advised new students not to buy used casebooks because they tend to have unpleasant things written in the margins. Jeffrey Toobin waxed poetic about torts (man, I bet he got laid a ton in law school), while some guy named Rob Leibman warns that “your life is about to change.” No shit.

Well, I won’t speak for Seth, but I’m guessing his advice isn’t too far removed from mine. But here is my own friendly little tip to all incoming 1Ls, two cents that you’re going to want to take to the bank (maybe write it down, even). And it is this: Get the fuck out. Now. What the hell are you waiting for? You’ve still got at least a week before your tuition won’t be fully reimbursed.

You remember all those douchebags at your orientation? Yeah — it’s not really going to be much better. They’re going to annoy the piss out of you for three goddamn years and, probably, the rest of your life. You remember the uber-Republican tool with the gameshow haircut who wears sweaters in August that came up and started an awkward conversation with you about which firm you’d be going to after you graduate? In first year criminal law, during the section on rape, he’s going to argue that “she was asking for it.” Some will back him up. You will want to murder him, but your newfound knowledge of criminal law will prevent it.

The next year will be the worst of your existence. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t plan on being in that relationship this time next year. Do you like reading fiction? Tough shit. I hope you’ve already read the last Potter book. You smoke? No? Well, you will in a few months. You like to drink? No? Well, you will by this time next week. In fact, the reason that the alcoholism rate is so high amongst lawyers is not because of the stress involved with the job. It’s because the only time your colleagues will be bearable to be around is when you’re completely shitfaced.

You know what you should do with the $120,000 most of you are going to spend on law school tuition over the next three years? Throw it in the ocean. You’ll be a lot happier for it.

And, since no one actually takes this advice, we do hope that — over the next three years — you’ll stop by QuizLaw to help take the pain away. Because there’s gonna be a lot of it.

| Comments (7)


The thing is, for some of us life isn't really that much different. You have to work two jobs just to pay rent? Tough shit. You drink and smoke because there is no end in sight to the monotony? Of course.
You won't be getting a high paying job for dealing with 3 years of reality? Never? Really? Oh. Sorry.

Eh, I'm not really that bitter. Sometimes though, it can be hard.

In regards to the case where the term rape was stricken: http://www.smbc-comics.com/

Jesus, I just graduated -- where the hell were you when I needed you three damn years ago?! The bit about the ocean and tuition is so true.

The real question is, what should I/we have done instead?

just entered in to second year of law school.

man this advice would have been useful (or atleast i wouldnt have felt like i was some duche for not liking that republican guy (in my case conservative, since im in canada) who ended up defending the rape case and wondered outloud WHY exactly should women get reimbursed for funding their husbands medical degree.

also good call on the drink to make other bearable/datable. seriusly i NEVER drink when im home/not with law school people.

that i will have to work with these people one day (soon) makes me want to throw myself into the ocean.

I'm currently preparing for the special little hell that is the LSAT/application process and this post brightened my otherwise bleak day.

No matter where I end up, be it a top 20 school or some place only I've heard of, life will suck. For some reason that equalizer makes me feel better.

so its a lot like engineering school, except instead of "geeks" you have "tools", the girls are better looking even when sober, and you actually have sex.

The problem is that the worst kind of people gravitate towards law school. We all know them: complete asshats who are utterly convinced of their own genius and soooo very pleased with themselves for being in law school in the first place.

I hated law school because of those people.

Here is what I would say to 1Ls:

You're not special because you are a law student. Fawning over professors doesn't make you impressive. No one wants to hear about your ideas, no one. Just shut up, really. Don't send out mass emails demanding some system be set up so you can gain access to the library at 3 a.m.

There are a lot of law students out there, and you are just one more - don't be too proud of yourself.

Oh, and taking the bar sucks.