Tuesday, June 24, 2008

OMG! PWNED! They call it LSD for a reason.

While perusing this week's Law School Roundup, I came across this post from an incoming 1L. Because I am secretly your mother, I had an instant urge to comfort her (and then make her matzo ball soup. Thats how I roll. See above).

As a 2-year veteran of Law School Discussion, I feel I can say with a certain amount of authority: Just. Stay. Away.

First of all, the constant influx of suspense & drama is addictive. Incoming applicants, think to yourself:
1. Do I like stress? (Answer: Yes. I am going to law school, obviously).
2. Wait. Don't I already have that? (Answer: Yes. I am applying for law school, obviously).
Be aware- there will be comparisons. There will be expostulations. There will be authoritative statements on your ability to succeed, and the certainty of your failure, by people who....are in the exact same shoes you are. I don't take pills from the pre-med kids, and I don't recommend getting law school admissions advice from pre-laws.

Certainly, you may find some kind of companionship. You meet people! They are sympathetic to to your angst in a way your non-law roommates could never be! They're funny (sometimes)! It's a live-feed of who-got-in-when-and-with-what-stats! But be aware of the toll this may take on your sanity- everything, before law school and during it, has a little tinge of self-preservation and a dash of balancing act thrown in for good measure.

If it is already too late for you:
That's ok. It was too late for me, too. These things happen, and there are worse vices to have. However- remember this: the next few months, like the next 40 years, are best taken with a hefty dose of humor.

Fun fact: Most people don't go to Harvard/Yale/Stanford* (OMG!! TTT!!)...Fortunately or unfortunately, there are going to be are almost certainly going to be in your class.
The bonus- they are hilariously maladjusted, and prone to inadvertent self-satire, and will do things like a) bring their bluebook to parties, b) expound on the philosophical origins of our nation, using words found only in thesauruses and the mouths of the soon-to-be-professorially-disembowelled, and/or c) refer to their Very Important Parentage With Lawyerly Powers as though it is some sort of reflection on their ability to write a legible brief.

These things can either be hilarious, or infuriating...what they shouldn't be is intimidating.

As your mother would tell you, "it takes all types." As I will tell you, "delusional and crazy don't get filtered out by law school admissions."

That's not to say that all of the Pre-L online world is bunk:
You will make friends- maybe even meet roommates. But as you're checking your messages for the umpteenth time, or hitting "refresh" on your LawSchoolNumbers charts, or agonizing over "what to wear to your first year summer associate interviews if you want a firm job in a mid-range city" (hint: clothes), keep this in perspective: the next few years will have you largely library and computer-bound.

It isn't the end of your social life (more on that later), but remember: law school is your initiation into the legal world, and the beginning of your career. Enjoy your time now, while the weather is pleasant, you have the free time to see your friends, and the word "tort" calls to mind luscious chocolatey goodness, and not hairy hands. You have 3 long, thrilling years to stress out over whether you are doing it "right."At this point in the year, you're admitted, you've doled out the seat deposit (never fear, that chunk of money will do nothing to change the fact that you'll be sitting on plastic thrones of death and back pain)...you've nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy the ride.

Don't waste too much of it sitting with furrowed brows in front of your laptop- there will be time for that later. Remember: nothing you do now (short of convincing Judge Posner to be your BFF/Study Buddy/Designated Test Taker) will guarantee your success in the fall. Reassuring? I thought so!

The other side of the coin? Protecting your mental health now will make your 1L year just a little more bearable. Promise. And don't you feel a little more clever knowing that?

* My theory? They do not actually admit anyone...And that's the dirty little secret the Trifecta of Glory doesn't want you to know.


Butterflyfish said...

Congrats on taking over the round up. This is a good choice. I am pleased!

Kel said...

Thanks for the suggestions. It's nice to know I've got motherly-law advice.

melissa said...

Thanks for this post...I needed some good advice and this is the best I've gotten.

I am doing a little bit of prep (with some law school-related reading) and stalking the LSD site while I'm bored at work.

But, I'm taking a vacation, reading as many non-law material as I can, taking 3 weeks off between full time work and the start of school... I'm hoping that these things will make a difference come August when some of my classmates are frazzled. We'll see, though.

All rights reserved to my snotty and generally self-deprecating writing. And if your comments bother me, I'll delete them. That's right, pumpkin.
...How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!
-- Emily Dickinson