Thursday, April 9, 2009
Law School and the Danger of Becoming a Jackass
Socrates was a Jerk As law students, you are trained to think a certain way. You tend to look for your opponents weakness. You learn to be critical as well as defensive. Take care that you do not project this on your friends and family. Are you becoming more critical of people? Are you more aggressive? Do you take the fun out of every law related movie and tv show for those around you? Do you constantly talk about law. Do you tend to over analyze everything that is said to you. Do you have a chip on your shoulder? Thinking like a lawyer does not have to be a 24 hr job. It is a career skill, not a life skill. Take care of the way you relate to others. While being mindful of your studies, try to have somewhat of a social life and remain grounded. It is the well rounded lawyer that usually achieves the greatest success. So while you are in law school, try not to turn into a complete jackass. Not only will you alienate your friends and family but you will eventually alienate those you will contact in your professional life. Jackass law students often turn into jackass lawyers. They are difficult to deal with and we tend to make fun of them in court house backrooms and on golf course fairways. They usually have more bark than bite and in the end they do no benefit to their client. These are the attorneys who tend to speak loudly and carry a little stick. They make wasteful motions that clog the courts. They fail to see that civility with opposing counsel can often lead to a better outcome for their client. But I digress..... Once your friends and family learn you are pursuing a career in law, you will surely be inundated with legal questions. They will expect you to know everything there is to know about every area of law known to man. Many have trouble understanding the enormous stress you are under. It can drive you crazy. Your friends will no doubt wonder why you can't go out drinking, or cow tipping or what ever the devil it is you kids do these days with your crazy rock n roll music, sugary cereals and your i-phones. They often do not understand that your law school exam takes up more time to study and requires more intensity than their final pottery exam. Keep a line of communication open. Law School can make or break relationships. Their idea of law school is probably the movie "Legally Blonde." They see law school as no different than what they experienced in college. The Nutmeg Lawyer Tip of the Day. Show them what you are going through. Let them look at your casebooks, assignments, etc. Make your loved ones watch "The Paper Chase." Ok, so maybe law school isn't quite as over the top as that particular movie, but it should buy you some sympathy and a little understanding.
Posted 10:54 AM