Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 29, 2005
LAW: J.D. High

Kevin Cott, a/k/a The Intern, makes a point I used to make frequently in law school:

For those who are unfamiliar with the unbridled joy that is law school, I'd like to let you in on a little secret -- you were once there, and it was called "high school." Forget the workload, the general paranoia, or even the culture shock of class attendance mattering, the most searing impression that law school left upon me was the overarching deja vu, right down to the personalized lockers, gossipy cliques, musical chair dating scene, and sack lunches. I spent my entire first year waiting to be informed that I was unknowingly taking part in a scientific bio-dome experiment (think MTV's "The 70's House," but more generic). With each year, you become increasingly removed from the high school throwback vibe, but it always exists in the undertones.

For me, of course, the workload and the paranoia were both very much a return to high school; I worked much harder in high school than in college. What unifies high school and law school, and what separates them from college, is that most everyone you know is studying the same subjects and chasing the same goals - getting into college/making law review/getting clerkships/getting good legal jobs. Whereas in college, there's no reason to feel yourself in competition with pre-meds, art history majors, accounting majors, etc.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:36 PM | Law 2005 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Oh, yeah. Not to mention the attempts of profs with Kingsfield complexes to infantalize first years with intimidating in-class displays of the Socratic method, and the smirks of the gunners when it becomes apparent that you haven't fully briefed the case Kingsfield is grilling you about.

Posted by: Luke Gofannon at August 29, 2005 8:38 PM

I didn't have those issues - I had no Socratic professors, and frankly I was one of the people in my section who did, in retrospect, way too much talking.

Posted by: The Crank at August 29, 2005 8:51 PM

Crank, exactly how much "musical chair dating scene" did you do in high school? :)

Posted by: Jonathan at August 30, 2005 9:53 AM

Well, I didn't do that in law school, either.

Posted by: The Crank at August 30, 2005 10:17 AM

Well, the difference, to me, was that high school lasted for 3.5 years - until you received that acceptance to college. Law school, OTOH, lasted about 1.3 years - until that point in the first semester of second year that you got a job offer for the next summer. After that, the paranoia, workload, and attendance were, um, less. (Although the cliques, dating, etc. remained the same throughout.)

Posted by: Al at August 30, 2005 11:03 AM

I worked at the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan my second summer, so the job-related paranoia stretched into December of my third year (exacerbated by how few firms were hiring third-years by that point).

Posted by: The Crank at August 30, 2005 11:22 AM
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