I'm not necessarily saying that bitter is better. What I would say about my school is they tout this new cutting edge curriculum, but it's not exactly what they advertise. I would have wanted to know that inside info up front. But, the facilities can't be beat, and I do feel like I'm getting a good education there. If the review provides info that swings to either extreme, then something's obviously up. I will definitely agree that law students have at least an oligopoly on complaining. I admit I do my fair share of it when I get stressed out.
Like I said before, there's a real lack of honest information that's school specific, as well as a lack of honest info about the law school experience generally. Based on my experience and what I hear from friends and acquaintances at other schools, some things seem to be truisms across the board about law schools regardless of the school.
Here's a few (Remember, I'm just poking a little fun here. There's a lot of truth to all of it, but I'm just trying to have a laugh at ourselves):
1)The gossip and rumor mill beats even the most ferocious group of old ladies at bridge night.
This blows my mind considering we're training to enter a profession that holds confidentiality to be among the most sacred of our ideals. I'm further astounded considering this is the only place in the world where people spend nearly an entire semester learning about the infirmities of hearsay, but can't make the connection that the courtroom is not some magical place where the infirmities only apply.
2) A large cross section of the student population is amazingly juvenile considering their age, level of education, and magnitude of responsibilities they are preparing to take on in three short years.
3) At times, the partying is darn near like being a freshman in college again.
4) People try to act humble about the fact their in law school, but when push comes to shove they're more than willing to break out that "I'm in law school" card; Like when they're trying to run their game on a female, or when they're drunk and having a run in with the police. FYI, about the only thing that could make that situation worse is if you began making comments about the incestuous sexual history of the cop's mother (or if you punched him). Cops hate lawyers. They hate law students who think they're lawyers even worse.
5) Law school is not the dominion of the young Banana Republic martini set eager to engage in philosophical and political debate and other discussions of high minded upper class topics. It is, however, the dominion of people who were not cool in high school or college, but are now in paradise because they outnumber the people with social skills 5 to 1. Some schools are also the dominion of ex-frat dicks who led their frat in grades with a 2.9 and managed to score just high enough on the LSAT to get into a 4th tier school. It's three more years of partying, their friends think they're smart, and mom and dad are proud and no longer worried. At least they're not worried until junior can't get a job because attorneys don't like to hire muscled up twenty five year olds with popped collars who use the words "dude" and "like" about as much as any other words in a sentence. It's also the dominion of twenty-two year olds driving cars that most fifty-two year olds can't afford after thirty years of work and saving. Most of us are here because we were previously under the erroneous impression that this would get us the car. You already have the car. Why are you here?
No. Wait a minute. Let's be realistic. Daddy wants his little girl to be safe when she's driving to and from school, and the only way she'll be safe is if she's driving a brand new 7 series BMW with alloy rims and the navigation and premium sound package. Can't be safe without that premium sound.
6) This is the most important. A law degree doesn't get your ticket punched to an upper middle class lifestyle in your mid-twenties or early thirties. It doesn't guarantee you immediate membership in the top ten percent of wage earners club. It does, however, guarantee that when you graduate your friends back at home will expect you to live an upper middle class lifestyle. About two years out, they'll be surprised that you're still driving your old honda hatchback, and buying your suits from the sale rack at JC Penney all because you wound up making about half of what you thought you would when you were a 1L, and 8-900 dollars a month of that is going out the door to the loan sharks back at the law school. You wanna make more money young? Real estate or finance is the better option. Hell, you don't need any kind of degree for real estate.I've got a friend who is 23 with no college degree making 120,000 a year selling homes for a residential developer. That pisses me off
. Not really. She's a single mom with no father in the picture, and she works d-mn hard and earns every penny of it. I have a lot of respect for that.
7) Law school is certainly a few steps up the ladder in terms of workload and academic standards, but it is nowhere near as hard as what the popular belief holds.
I'm amazed at how smart some of the people are. I'm amazed at how dumb some of the people are.
9) Sometimes in law school effort doesn't matter. Strike that. Most of the time in law school effort doesn't matter. Most of us can't buy an A. Even if we could and did, We'd probably still get a B.
10) At orientation everyone thinks they'll be in the top twenty percent of the class. Eight out of ten of those people will not be. One out of five of those people will be in the bottom twenty percent. A few of those people will fail out and never be lawyers while still paying back the fifteen to thirty grand they spent to find that out.
I'm really just poking fun. There is more or less some element of truth to all of that. But, all in all, I think I did the right thing. There's pros and cons to everything. You get out of law school what you put into law school, and if you pay attention and play along you'll notice some very distinct intellectual changes occuring. I'm happy with my choice.