November 16, 2009

another how-to

Here's something I drunkenly submitted to my law school's weekly newspaper in 2005. The editors politely declined to run it:

A lot of people around here are fond of comparing law school to high school. And they're right to do so. But the sad thing is, as Ferris Bueller aptly pointed out, high school is childish and stupid. So let’s all follow these simple steps towards eliminating our embarrassing predicament.

STEP ONE: Stop trying to sleep with everyone you know. Cripes, man. There’s an unlimited number of undergrads out there, all of whom are younger, prettier, and dumber than we are. Remember: the only people who aren’t impressed that you’re a law student are other law students.

STEP TWO: Stop hanging out at the law school all day. No one makes you hang out at school when you’re not in class. You’re not waiting on a bus. There’s no reason to spend $19 on a lettuce wrap at Bob Scott Commons when you own a car.

STEP THREE: Don’t get a locker. What’s the point? Ever since Sir Isaac Newton invented the backpack, people have enjoyed a more convenient way to store their books. Honor him.

STEP FOUR: Learn to hold your liquor. Wow. The youngest of you is, what, twenty-two? That means you’ve been drinking for at least five years. So act like you’ve been there before. A little bit of self-respect will go a long way in the outside world. The first time your promotion hinges on taking six boozebags from Lehman Brothers out for drinks, you’ll thank me.

STEP FIVE: Stop wearing so much Abercrombie and Fitch. When Jody Kraus is making fun of you, it’s time to reevaluate.

STEP SIX: Don’t pose for a yearbook photo. Actually, we’re doing pretty damn well on this one. Keep up the good work.

STEP SEVEN: Don’t join a journal. I can’t emphasize this one enough. If law school is like high school, then stretch the analogy out a little further: in high school, everyone is concerned about doing as much pointless bullshit as possible because they think it will help them get into the best colleges. In law school, someone tricked you into thinking you have to do a bunch of pointless bullshit if you want to get hired by a good law firm. Spearheading your neighborhood’s recycling efforts didn’t get you into Harvard, and spending your entire second year cite-checking some blowhard from Vanderbilt isn’t going to impress any interviewers. Take it from someone too stupid to get elected to even the most frivolous journal: you’re going to get a job no matter what.

STEP EIGHT: Don’t watch The OC. There’s a reason people compare it to Beverly Hills 90210: they both suck.

STEP NINE: Stop pretending you’re going to marry your current love interest. I swear, if I have to hear “I have a boyfriend” (or--worse yet--“you have a girlfriend”) one more time, I’m going to start listening to Pearl Jam again. Let’s not sugarcoat things: as future lawyers, we all have at least two unhappy marriages in our future. The sooner we own up to this, the sooner we can get on with our miserable lives.

STEP TEN: Smoke cigarettes. Hunton & Williams encourages it. And I promise Principal Jeffries won’t give you detention.

It's amazing how dated this already seems. Everyone gets a job? And what the hell are Lehman Brothers? What planet was this guy living on??


  1. Law school is no different from any other closed environment. It all seems so important when you're in the middle of it but given the perspective of a few years, most of it seems trivial. Or if not trivial, mundane?

    The only experiences maybe where this probably doesn't hold true might be falling in love or raising kids. MAYBE.

    This sounds negative, but I really don't mean it to. It's all ebb and flow, right?

  2. I'm super pissed off about the OC/90210 comment. Other than that, I would have run it my school paper.