Law school phenomena #1

They warn you about something, well many things, when you start law school. You hear stories from law students, lawyers & judges about these things too. These are strange phenomena, unique to the legal world & often to legal education. Many of these phenomena become amplified when you're the only one in the family pursuing the law.

I've decided to group these phenomena according to their onset. Some set in the minute you announce that you plan to take your LSAT and apply to law school. Others don't manifest themselves until later in the process. I'll present them in groups of 3 & sprinkle them throughout updates on life & the feathered ones.

The pre-law school phenomena

1. Lawyer jokes: just get used to them. They never go away and friends and family will never, ever, ever tire of throwing them at you. This phenomena often takes multiple forms. The most common are the straight up jokes. How many lawyers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Etc, etc etc. These are quite abundant and rather obnoxious. Even more obnoxious is the fact that the teller says them as if you haven't already heard every lawyer joke out there at least 3 times. The other form lawyer jokes take is best illustrated by the following example (which actually has happened to me multiple times):
Law student: We can cross the street now.
Parent: If we get hit by a car I'm going to tell them my lawyer told me it was okay.

2. Warnings about law school: Don't be surprised if a friend's older brother that you never spoke to suddenly starts filling your Facebook wall with dire warnings about the hell that is law school. Before starting I was warned by several concerned parties. One detailed the "circles of law school hell" for me. Your parents will probably reference the movie the Paper Chase. No, I haven't seen it and no I do not intend to see it. People will give you books filled with dire warnings about breaking off any unhealthy or needy relationships before you start law school. Suddenly statistics about the extremely high rate of depression, alcoholism & addiction among lawyers seem to be everywhere. And orientation certainly ain't what it was in college. There are no fun games here. Only presentations by mental health services, warnings about doing your homework, & speeches about how if you miss more than X number of classes you will not be allowed to sit for the exam. These translate into another phenomena which will be detailed later.

3. Intense anxiety about the bar exam: at this stage the bar is still a strange & alien concept. It's an exam you have to take in order to become a lawyer and OMG it's the hardest thing ever. This one will stick around with the lawyer jokes. Unlike the lawyer jokes, this one will eventually fade after Bar results are received. Of course, if you don't pass the anxiety begins all over again.

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