In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a tribute to the most commonly seen law school couples: the good, the bad, and the thank-god-you’re-currently-single.
These two are constantly together, and usually not as adorable as the Dr. Seuss characters. They’re intentionally taking most (if not all) of the same classes, they sit together in those classes, they probably only have one set of notes/outlines between them, and one of them is usually paying hundreds of dollars a month for an apartment he/she can pretend to live in should a conservative family member ever ask or visit.
These two either love or hate each other, no in between. They are borderline psychotic. Jealous and possessive are understatements. Everything starts a fight: things like one of them choosing to work with someone else on a non-graded, in class, practice exercise. It’s like they’re competing to see who can be the most absurd, and the winner may literally end up peeing on the other to mark his/her territory. If your morbid sense of curiosity gets the best of you, just check Facebook. Every break up and subsequent make up is documented. You almost envy the free time they have to devote to this kind of extensive back and forth.
Somehow, these two have managed to slip below the general populace radar. Their friends and roommates know they’re dating, but social media, and consequently most of the class, doesn’t. After a few months—with a couple of drunken public make outs and the occasional lingering after class for each other—people start to put it together.
This is the law school version of the high school senior
preys on dates a freshman cliché. The “upperclassman” is a male (usually a 2L, not sure 1Ls even register on 3L radar) and the “freshman” is a female 1L. This goes one of two ways. It turns into a legitimate, healthy, long-term relationship. Or, much more commonly, the 1L incorrectly assesses the 2L’s interest and becomes a Stage 5 Clinger.
These two are not actually dating, but they might as well be a couple. They’re usually best friends and/or roommates, and you don’t get one without the other—they even drive to class together. They’re almost identical to Thing 1 and Thing 2, except they are adorable. They get nominated as a joke for the school’s Cutest Couple contest, and almost win.
“Friends” may be too generous a label. They aren’t sitting together in class or sharing outlines. They barely speak in public at school. You see them leaving the bar together on occasion, and that’s about it. Do not mistake this to mean either is available for a more committed relationship. Something about the purely physical nature of their companionship typically indicates a type of unavailability you’re better off avoiding.
Of course they’re together. Everything about them as a couple is endearing. Maybe at first you didn’t see it coming, and then you had a Kevin-PBJ-what-a-waste moment. The only negative thing about this couple is that at least one half of all of the other actual couples mistakenly believes they are this couple.
These law students have taken “don’t crap where you eat” to the extreme. Some students met their partners before law school, some during school, some are married, some long term, and some just beginning. Hard to generalize, but usually involves weekend disappearances, intense phone attachment, a non law school partner, being creative about activities to do “together,” and one or both of them saying, “Can we please not talk about law school?” at least once a week.
Like Going the Distance, the married couple can take on many forms. Getting married between college and law school will, if nothing else, have saved them the paranoia of planning a wedding while learning about inter-vivos gifts and breaches of contract. It will also have spared them the drama and expense of having to decide which law school classmates and how many to invite. In any case, if these two can make it through law school, they can probably make through anything.
This is a current law student dating a geographically nearby non law student. Also takes on two forms: long term (and likely living together) or just began recently. Long Term Partner may in fact be a saint, having essentially uprooted his/her previous life to come with Student to law school. If Long Term Couple has made it through 1L with both parties still breathing and they aren’t married, expect to see the ring soon. Just Beginning is hardly worth talking about. If they do exist, they won’t for long.
PS: Tonight’s as good a night as any to uncork that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for “something special.” It doesn’t get more “special” than celebrating your involvement—or lack thereof—in one of these dynamic duos.
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