Here’s the foundational problem with deciding to become a lawyer: If I had told my parents I wanted to be an artist, they immediately would have forced me to do my homework on the career opportunities. They would have mandated the shadowing of professional artists and lengthy visits to a variety of art schools.
That wasn’t quite the case when I announced I wanted to go to law school. My parents’ immediate prideful joy precluded any suggestion that I should visit a law school classroom or spend a day with a practicing attorney before making up my mind. To them, it indicated an unspoken sign that I was moving past the septum-pierced, mohawked freaks of my youth and preparing to settle for a Catholic, suit-wearing sedan-driver.
Which is how I entered the realm of law school—unprepared for its harsh, disfigured realities.
I thought there would be a lot of dating potential in law school. I envisioned a slew of JFK Jr. types surrounding me in every class. But alas, there were none. Not only did girls outnumber guys 2.5 to one, but 79% of the guys were either married, engaged, or practically engaged. (Apparently, any decent-looking guy who exhibits equal parts risk aversion and considerable earning potential has been strategically nailed down prior to the start of 1L.)
After subtracting the gay guys from the remaining pool of unattached male law students, I was left with little more than a handful of horrifying mutants to consider. There was the prematurely graying and/or balding set—most of whom were in their late 20s going on 50. Sadly, they often overlapped with the pale and hairy group who had large stomachs and/or man-boobs. There was also a contingency of unacceptably bearded, white-leather-tennis-shoe-wearing squares, and a small number of non-ugly, charming, but deal-breaking-ly short guys.
In other words, the list of guys a relatively attractive girl sleeps with in law school is mostly comprised of non-classmates.
But since it’s a known fact that women are particularly vulnerable to pangs of loneliness and trifling self-worth, extreme conditions call for us to modify our standards in order to have our “needs” met. So, I felt it necessary to represent female law students everywhere with this list of the types of men we girls are forced to turn to for arousal in dire straits. (And note that I said “arousal,” not “satisfaction.”)
This may seem a little personal, but I think there are multitudes of females toting leather- and gold-bound textbooks who will relate.
For me, he inevitably graduated from Illinois, Iowa, or Iowa State, and his profession was, without fail, either a pharmaceutical sales rep or a trader. His type is most ubiquitous at classmates’ birthday parties and other open-bar functions. This type respectfully disappears almost immediately following whatever after-hours, amorous encounter you’re able to muster on your couch before waking up early on Saturday morning to start your Property outline.
Pro: They’re usually in good shape since their undemanding careers allow for lots of gym time.
Con: They’re drug reps and traders, for God’s sake.
He’s the young partner at a mega-firm whose early, intense career focus left him single and therefore primed to use his adjunct professor status as a form of speed dating.
Pro: Finally get to add a CALI award for highest grade to your resume.
Con: Realizing he never had any intention of buying you a ring—which is a shame, because he could’ve afforded a big one.
He starts to seem acceptable near the end of the semester when exam hysteria intensifies the effect of the multiple Americanos you consume before visiting him for help during his office hours. This severely impairs your judgment and any semblance of standards.
Pro: Crim-Pro would’ve been a bitch to outline from scratch.
Con: Forced to live with the fact that you disgraced your standards by sleeping with a man whose best line was, “If looking good in jeans was enough for probable cause, then I would be Terry searching you right about now.”
He spills his heart out to you over oceans of vodka at a bar crawl following the close of exam week. His vulnerability is insatiably attractive. But he breaks it off with you halfway into the following semester when he decides it’s less risky to put the ring on her finger.
Pro: Since he’s actually attractive, there’s a boost to your self-esteem.
Con: The blow to your self-esteem resulting from being dumped by the only attractive guy you’ve hooked up with in three years.
He’s the newly minted associate at the law firm cocktail party who first catches your eye while welcoming your summer associate class. You’re so lonely after having practically killed yourself to get grades warranting a spot in the summer program that you can’t help but be briefly charmed. Following that night, you will spend the rest of the summer hiding from him. Not to be confused with:
6. The Unhappily Married Sixth-Year Associate Just Passed Over for Partner Who is Morally Troubled and Seems to Understand You in Ways that No One Else Can After Pouring Several Scotches at the End-of-Summer Dinner Party
Pro: You won’t have to see either of them for the entirety of 3L, and they’ll likely forget about you before you become a full-time associate.
Con: Therapy centering on guilt issues can be expensive.
His inauspicious career status seemed okay when you got accepted into law school as a college senior after lifting your head from a bong and realizing you needed a career. But after a few half-hearted romps in your apartment—surrounded by stacks of Civil Procedure textbooks and copies of the Federal Rules of Evidence—he hightails it from the scene just after 1L Thanksgiving break. Something to do with the insecurity sparked by innocent questioning when one of your classmates at a booze function asked, “Which building do work in downtown?” To which he responded with the cross streets for Maggiano’s. Your subsequent drunken remark about wishing he was an investment banker certainly didn’t help either.
Pro: The break up grants you a reprieve from nightmares of being forced financially to continue practicing law after bearing children.
Con:His departure severs your final remaining link to the outside world.
Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly since law firms are full of former law students, it doesn’t get any better when you start practicing. In fact, it gets worse. Whereas in law school you viewed traders and drug reps as practically untouchable, you now find yourself weighing the pros and cons of a fling with a male paralegal. And given that all the semi-decent “spoken for” men in law school are now primarily divorced, giving up a majority of their paychecks to alimony and child support, it’s like staring into a sea of potential gone wrong. Meaning there’s no wonder why girls like me fall for “It’s Just Lunch”-style traps.