5 New Year’s Resolutions Law Students Should Not Make

hung overBy sheer chance I’ve landed the 01 January spot this year, which probably means that most of my target audience is far too hung over to be reading this post.  In the hopes that eventually a few of you will sober up (and because my editor will probably hunt me down and kill me if I just disappear again), I’ll plug along anyway.

So, it’s the first day of 2013 and now that we’ve indulged in our favorite hangover cure, it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution or two.  Since only 12% of these resolutions are ever actually kept, we might as well shoot for the moon and look ambitious.  For anyone who needs a little help, here’s a quick rundown of five good resolutions for law students (and the reasons why we won’t be keeping them).

  1. Suppress the urge to correct laypersons’ mistaken legal assertions.  We’ve all been there, annoyedly patiently trying to explain to someone that no matter what the photocopied pamphlet left under their windshield wiper said, the federal government does, in fact, have jurisdiction over all state citizens.  Maybe it’s finally time to let it go.  The universe will take care these sorts of crazy assumptions on its own (often in ways that are more entertaining than they should be) after all.  No matter how much we know we should keep this one though, we also know we won’t.  Because if there’s one thing we have in common as law students, it’s a burning need to not merely be right, but to have others recognize that we’re right.  It’s like the old proverb about wrestling with a pig.  Except that we kind of like it too.
  2. Stop worrying about grades.  If you’re a 3L there’s no reason to be worrying about grades.  If you’ve done well enough to be at the top of the class, chances are that you’ve got a job lined up and can coast from here.  If you’re mid-pack, you’re not likely to move your ranking much and you’ve probably already been working on other things to separate yourself from the pack (volunteering for clinic work in Alaska, perhaps).  And if you’re at the bottom, well, good luck I guess.  Still, the fact is that by this point in your 3L year, your grades are pretty much what they’re going to be.  Short of a spectacular mental breakdown anyway.  But worry about them we will, because, let’s face it, our egos love the competition.
  3. Finally learn how to use Westlaw (if you have been using Lexis) or Lexis (if you’ve been using Westlaw).  The career services office is quick to point out that having proficiency in both systems is important because we never know which one a potential employer will use.  Problem is that learning the one we don’t use takes time and effort and we’re already spending most of that correcting randos on the internet (see resolution #1) and worrying about our grades (resolution #2).  Not to mention the fact that we’re all arrogant enough to believe that we can just pick it up once we have a job.  After all, how hard can it be?
  4. Socialize more with people outside the law school.  Everyone needs a break from the constant pressure of law school and this is one of those resolutions that seems perfect.  Spend some time with normal, well-adjusted people and actually remember that it’s possible to enjoy life without continuously arguing over whether a text message was ambiguously punctuated or not.  Problem is that we’re the sort of people who actually have argued about whether a text message was punctuated ambiguously and who wants to hang out with people like that?
  5. Cut back on the drinking.  Not even regular people keep resolutions like this, what chance do we have?  Besides, there are only so many times you can hear a person claim that the income tax is unconstitutional before you need a drink.

Post image via Shutterstock.

The Northwest 3L spent 6 years in the "real world" cultivating cynicism and a dim view of humanity in the telecom and software consulting industries before deciding that the best way to deal with having zero debt in a down economy was to load up on student loans and truck on off to law school. Asked for a description, his friends replied, "says inappropriate things." Grainy, out-of-focus film footage suggests that he attends law school somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

3 Comments

  1. Ken

    January 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Makes sense to me. I would add one more. No sex with any woman who is not fresh downstairs. It takes DAYS to get rid of that fishy odor and other women know what you’ve done even when your pants are on!

  2. southern bitter

    January 3, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Totally disagree with # 2, especially if you are mid or bottom of the pack…

    and the income tax is unconstitutional.

  3. Ashley Casas

    January 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I am not a law student. I just enjoy reading this blog immensely so I can safely say that my favorite on this list is number 2 and I cry because of the injustice that is number 5.

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