This Is Madness. Pure Madness!

Ok.  So, I’m going to be in debt for oh, roughly the rest of my life, for choosing to attend a top tier law school.  Yet I am pulling triple and quadruple all-nighters trying to learn all the law my brilliant professors neglected to teach me.  Hence, the title of this post.

On one hand, I don’t regret my choice of law school and never will, because I’m the kind of person who needs to be constantly challenged by the people around me, and I’m just not very challenged when I am one of the smartest people in the room (don’t worry, I don’t suffer from any delusions that I am ever the smartest person in any room).  While some incredibly intelligent people choose to attend low-ranked or even unranked law schools for their own reasons (geography, cost, family, subject focus, whatever), it’s a demonstrable fact that the higher-ranked schools draw proportionally greater numbers of super-smart kids.  How do I know this?  Because those schools are free to select the top achievers: while GPAs are arguably not objective measures of intelligence (I feel they are not at all), the LSAT functions as a basic IQ test.   I offer these obvious facts in the event that some person dares to throw out the argument that their low-ranked or unranked law school is just as hard or competitive as the high-rankers.  I actually had this happen to me once: a person I worked with one summer tried to engage me on the topic, asserting that his school’s grade curve was much stricter than my school’s.   After a futile attempt to demonstrate the meaning of grade curves, I told him:  “Imagine you’re sitting in one of your Law Review meetings, surrounded by the smartest people in your class.  Now imagine that everyone in your entire class is at least that smart, and then you’re trying to get an A at my school.”  End of conversation.

Go ahead and think I’m an asshole—whine away—but it’s true. 

Anyway.  All that goes to the half of me glad for the choice I made.  Now onto the other half, which is screaming in despair, Why didn’t you people teach me any of this stuff?  With a few very notable exceptions, I learned close to no black-letter law in law school.  Sure, it’s crucial for law students to be taught how to reason closely and abstractly on matters of legal theory and history.   Sure, it’s awesome to have professors who are at the top of their fields in legal research; professors who literally “write the book”(or books) on major topics of law.  But yo, at the end of that obscenely expensive and stressful 3-year vacation from reality known as Law School, there’s this test.  It’s called “the bar exam.”  And guess what it tests?  Drumroll. . .that’s right, THE LAW! 

Since this “bar exam” thingy is the one test required for a person to become a lawyer, and since that test covers the current law in a frighteningly comprehensive array of topics, wouldn’t it, you know, make a teensy-weensy bit of sense to actually teach such law in law school?  Just a thought.  Because honestly, I could’ve quit after my first year and just studied bar preparation materials and saved the [ridiculous sum of money that I’m too ashamed to reveal] I forked over? 

Die, you teachers of irrelevant knowledge and personal viewpoints.  Die.  I hope all of your illicitly gained property gets taken under eminent domain and the government doesn’t give you just compensation!!  Or something.   Grrrrrrr

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~ by lewdandlascivious on July 14, 2007.

4 Responses to “This Is Madness. Pure Madness!”

  1. Lewd,

    I’m curious, what law school do you attend? I work, as a librarian, for a Jesuit law school here in Northern California.

  2. Hey David! Alas, I would tell you, but for professional purposes I must guard my identity to a reasonable extent [[strikes pathetically inadequate Greta Garbo pose]]. Don’t want no blog drama at work. I can tell you, however, that it was a school on the East Coast.

    I considered going to Fordham and Notre Dame: I’m curious as to your perspective on law schools founded by religious groups vs. totally secular ones. Have you noticed benefits/drawbacks of any kind? Or any differences?

    Hope it isn’t too hot for yall out there. I’m inside 24-7 studying so I’m missing all the terrible heat.

  3. I think the biggest benefit working for a Catholic campus is they truly believe in caring for their employees. We have the highest ranked employee benefits of any university campus in California. We are also home to the Northern California Innocence Project and have a strong emphasis on social justice due to our Jesuit tradition. I think this environment encourages collaboration and community involvement, although it is still highly competitive.

    Are you taking the bar this month? If so, good luck!! We are getting prepared for July 24th, which begins the 3-day bar exam here in California.

    God bless!!

  4. Thanks! I definitely need the luck–crunch time now.

    That’s really cool about the Innocence Project chapter–I helped found the one at my school (I hope it continues, it’s still fledgling). Wrongful convictions is probably my biggest “soapbox” issue.
    There’s something to be said for taking care of your people–I’ve always observed that employees work a lot harder (and better) for people who treat them like valuable human beings. Sounds silly when I say it, but you know how it is out there…

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