As legal employers increasingly fault law schools for failing to prepare their students for the actual practice of law, law schools have responded with an increasing array of student requirements that appear relevant without actually requiring the law school to provide any of that pesky practical experience that most professors don’t actually have. For example, when law firms complain that students exiting law school don’t have a proper grounding in how to draft legal documents like motions, briefs, or memos, the law school may respond by adding an “analytic paper” requirement in which a student must write a short academic treatise on a legal topic.
About a month into this semester, a classmate told me he “almost wished he could do law school again.” Cue my wide eyes and partially-dropped jaw. At the time, we were less than four months from our law school graduation. As a class, we have spent the last five semesters commiserating together, and I don’t know a single soul who ever indicated an interest to spend another five semesters together.
Everything has its own special variations on the classic seven deadly sins and law school is no different. The sins, of course, are always the same, but the manifestations vary. Keep Reading ⇒
Q: My law school reunion is coming up (it’s our tenth) and I’m on the fence about going. I’ve been moderately successful in practice but am now actively trying to dump practicing law entirely, with limited success. While I loath having to be around a bunch of lawyers at an “old-fashioned cocktail reception” and reunion party, I’m fairly curious to know how others did, plus I’d love to catch up with a guy for whom I had a mega crush (I hear he’s single now). Did you go to any of your reunions and, if so, why? If not, why not?
As part of my graduation 3L experience, I have the (mandatory) opportunity to participate in an exit interview. I’m not sure if my school has done this before; I don’t care if they do it again. I do know that I have to spend 15 minutes with an assistant dean I’ve never met sometime this week, discussing a two page survey I have to complete prior to our meeting. Rumor has it I may even get a pen as a parting gift. Woo hoo.
With the end of my J.D. classes rapidly approaching, I’ve started to think about what I wish I’d known coming into this
bullshit incredibly rewarding process. There are plenty of lists out there for how to succeed at law school, instructions on what to do in the great variety of situations that a law student will find himself (or herself, as Title IX reminds me I should include) thrust into. Helpful books like “How to Win at Law School” exist to suck money from gullible 1L gunners instruct incoming law students on how to achieve the highest grades possible. But what about the rest of us? Those of us happily sitting in the fat part of the grade curve and, by so doing, retaining some semblance of a life and hobbies unrelated to our classes. As a group, we’ve been largely overlooked, so here’s a bit of advice for us, the silent majority of law students who aren’t killing ourselves with work. Keep Reading ⇒
As my law school career draws to a close, and I realize so many of my friends without degrees are making more money now than I will when I graduate and (if I find a job) start working, I’ve increasingly thought about the actual costs of law school. What exactly am I paying for here? There are the obvious answers, like overhead and faculty and staff and administrator salaries. There are the clichéd answers as well, like getting a legal education and a J.D. and becoming a lawyer. And while all of those things are true, they don’t quite seem to cut it. So after doing some thinking, I came up with a list of 6 things I’m paying for, by way of my law school tuition.
Keep Reading ⇒
Litigation is the common path for most young attorneys. In law school, the vast majority of subjects are taught through case law, i.e., litigation. In fact, most transactional courses are presented through the litigation lens: contracts, debtor/creditor, real estate transactions, etc. So it’s no surprise that most law school grads head straight to the litigation department. A year or two of being beaten senseless, however, many lawyers begin to investigate these rumors of some happy place in the firm called “trans-act-shun-ul-land” and eventually take up residence there. The rest accept their fate as permanent citizens of Scorched Earth. Here’s why:
One of the things I didn’t think of when I was thinking of going to law school was how I would have to make new friends. I recognized, of course, that I wouldn’t recognize anyone there. But I forgot that I’d have to remember how to make friends, that this wouldn’t be some continuation of undergrad where I’d see at least one familiar face in all of my classes. That this wasn’t a house party where I wouldn’t know half the people or a volunteering event with multiple RSOs; this was like going to my first college party where I didn’t know anyone but my roommate and the semi-sketchy dude who invited us, except without that my roommate or that dude. If I had realized that, any of that, I’d probably have welcome Shady McSketch with open arms.
The great Disney philosopher Tony Perkis once stated, “Can you smell it? There’s a life force in here tonight. Do you feel it?” Today, that statement could not be truer. I can feel it in my plums. Its electric in the hallowed halls of jurisprudence. Its Barrister’s Ball time! Law schools across the country are setting up tables in their lounge to sell tickets to the yearly dumpster fire.