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

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Oddities of law school

This week marked my last week of my first semester of three years of Law School and the one thing I will take away from this: people do weird things in law school.

On Tues. night (our last day of Contracts)...when Prof. finished speaking, people clapped. I joined in, mostly because I was just confused. Someone in the back of the room started it and everyone just started clapping. The stranger part, is that Prof. stood there with a smug smile as if he knew it was coming. How strange! As if paying them $32,000 a year to go to school here isn't reward enough, we clap for the teachers too. Not that I don't think the man is brilliant, but this was not the end of a dramatic performance or anything. (Not to mention, we have same prof. for next semester's continuation of the class.) I don't know why we clapped. Apparently, this is some sort of strange law school ritual practiced by my kind all over the country. As Buffalo Wings & Vodka notes, no one can really figure it out. Hmm.

Another strange ritual is the accumulation of as many OUTLINES as one can get their hands on. See my previous post for explanation on outlining. So, everyone is hellbent on getting as many old outlines as possible. I must say that I fell prey to this one before school even started. I actually purchased some dudes outlines on E-bay. (hangs head in shame). I have no idea why I did this, other than it was $2. Could've been to get a jump start on the reading and organizing before all of my classmates. (Nope, opened them and didn't understand a word.) Could've been to help understand things during the semester. (Nope, as I have already alluded to, I barely had time to do the reading, much less sort through someone else's thoughts on the cases.) Could've been to take up space in my binder and give me more opportunity to bitch about how heavy my bookbag is. (ding ding ding...I think that's it.) Anyway, it's funny to listen to people. "So, did you get the BarBri outline?" "You know, Lexis Nexis has a great one" The funniest is when you get someone that says "I have a 2L friend who gave me her stuff. Sorry, I don't know if she wants me to share." He lets you glance at it and you notice it is not for your professor, nor for the same book. (This is important, as each case book contains different cases. It really is all about the teacher's style. It's a bit worthless to have synopses of all the cases your prof. did NOT talk about:-) IDIOT...how much good is this going to do you. Since I, myself, have done this, allow me to answer: it takes more time to sort through and try to find information within the outline that your Prof. actually touched on...then it would to just do the damn outline yourself. I don't think I won the game, as I only have about 8 outlines per class.

Forgot what I was talking about. Oh yeah, strange Law School rituals. My new favorite oddity is the "study group." There are a few categories of insanity on this one. (1) There is the person that is so nervous about not being picked for anyone's team, that they pick their study group during orientation. Mind you, at this point, you don't know who the dumb folks are. Then, you find yourself feeling all cool with a study group, but no one in the group knows what's going on. (2) Then, there is the anti-early picker. This is the person who is too laid back for their own good. They frantically decide the day before the test that perhaps that whole study group thing is a good idea. Then, they email their senator for the phone #'s of everyone in the class so they can find someone to study with. (3) My favorite is the 'it will all fall into place' study group facilitator. This is the one who reserves a coveted room at school in an effort to have people flock to her to be in her study group. One girl in my class has reserved the same room every day through finals. When I asked who she was studying with, she said she didn't have anyone yet. Jeremy Blachman has a few funny posts about study groups. I especially like his application!

I am sure as exam week presses on, I will come across many many more eccentric law school rituals. For now, I am going to turn on Extegrity (which will freeze up my entire computer) and do a Contracts practice exam.