Monday, March 3, 2008

It doesn't have to be like this

I went to Kentucky the other weekend to be in a friend's wedding. His sister was a 1L at UK and some people were asking us about law school. They were asking how hard the school work is in law school. I found myself explaining time and again that law school really isn't that hard. By that I mean, the classes aren't that hard. Make a good faith effort at reading and take good notes and you can get your B to A- and move on with your life. Take good notes and barely read and you can get a C to B and become a lawyer in three years anyway. Even here, you have a choice, it doesn't have to be hard to get through law school.

Let's say you decide to make a good faith effort at this law school thing. If you're smart, you can leave it alone, work 30 hours a week including actual going to class, and finish somewhere in the top 30%. [channeling John Belushi here] But noooooo.

If you get that high, odds are, you're an overachiever anyway. You want to be somebody. That's why you went to law school right? Oh yeah, that and the obligatory "making a difference in the world" thing. So what do you do?

You spend 80 hours over your summer break after your 9-5 clerkship writing a note for the hope that you will get selected for the "prestigious" honor of law review.

You then spend 4-5 more hours a week on average doing menial work for the law review so that some professor can publish an article that maybe the 10 other professorts in their specialty will read. This time can stretch as high as 15-20 hours if the professor who sent the article is well known enough in the field to send in a half done article and get published anyway.

If you are really a sucker, you can get bonus points for trying out for a minimal position on managing board which ups your work without really helping your resume like Phaedrus and myself.

You then try out for trial ad. Now if you don't try out, you have several hours of easy pass/fail trial ad classes ahead of you. If you do try out you get a minimum number of hours to audition for the chance to work your ass off.

Then comes moot court. If you try out for all three it is the sucker trifecta! You can spend hours upon hours writing and revising a brief that they won't give you the grade on and spend more hours preparing for oral arguments for which you recieve scores that absent a standard are meaningless.

All in all I think I've spent more time on "prestigious" extra curriculars in law school than on actual classes. Which brings me back to El Guapo's first rule of law school: If they say its prestigious, RUN!

Why can't I follow rule #1?

All this is to say kiddies, becoming a lawyer is easy. Turning off the switch to the ambition that made you want to be a lawyer is hard.

1 comment:

Guy Fawkes said...

I agree. I don't have the level of extracurricular shit that you guys have, but I still think my life would be infinitely easier if I could just prepare for and attend class. Law school would be a joke.