The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Saturday, September 04, 2004

The little things count

Relative to the South, the people in DC are not exactly "nice". Relative to undergrad, the people in law school are not exactly "nice". Don't get me wrong, there are some really awesome people and there are nice people! There is also the underlying aspect of competition that is in each law student. If you don't have it, you won't do well in law school (at least that's what they say.) Furthermore, all of the horror stories and scare-tactic books and such serve to foster that competition. Everyone has their guard up, everyone is judging the next person's answer to the prof's question, everyone is hoping their 'friend' gets called on and not them, everyone wants to come out on top. Afterall, this is law school, and everyone knows lawyers are conniving, deceitful little devils. I was told by a law school grad (from my very school) that no matter what type of person you are before law school, you will be cynical after law school. Well, before I made the decision to go to school here, I knew all of this. And before I made the decision to become a lawyer, I decided to break the norm. (I usually do anyway:-) I decided that I will not let the next three years change who I am and what I believe in. I believe in being nice, and I believe in helping out the next guy. Maybe we can be like that movie 'Pay it Forward' when the niceness is supposed to catch on like dominos. Okay, this is Washington DC, so I won't hold my breath. I am, however, going to do my part.

On Wednesday, we did the Pennoyer case in Civil Procedure. This case is supposedly the most difficult case of a law student's first semester. So, I get to class and people are discussing what tactics they took NOT to get called on for this case. (Prayer, dances, wearing shirts the same color as the walls to blend in, etc.) The guy that got called on was a few seats down from me. When the professor called his name, I think he squealed. Poor guy, he instantly began sweating and we could visibly see him shaking with every question. But let me tell you, he knew his shit. He had great answers (in between the 'um's and 'uhh's). He probably understood that case better than any of us. Once the class was over, he darted! So, on Thurdsay, I went to tell him that he did a great job. What? he said. I told him that I could tell he was nervous with the Pennoyer case, and I just wanted to tell him I thought he did great. He, of course, seemed confused that I was approaching him just to tell him that. Anyway, I just really hope that he went home smiling and feeling a little better about his day. It's always nice to recieve a complement:-)