To rip off an all-too often ripped-off phrase, that may be the most important lesson I've learned in my first semester at law school. Of course, one must come to this rule with certain priorities in place. If "academic achievement" comes before life, love, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, then getting grades and talking law school up as much as possible is the ultimate goal, no other rules needed. But I've discovered that in order to maintain any kind of humane equilibrium (ie--a life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) certain rules must be followed at certain parts of your day. This first must be adhered to whenever outside of the law school. No matter what the recently admitted law student thinks, unless what he has learned that day at the law school is easily relatable to Matlock, Law and Order, or (for the older crowd) Perry Mason, no one gives a res judicata what collateral estoppel in its disfavored offensive usage implies in potential tort actions in the 9th Circuit of the United States. Really. No one cares. I think I once tried to explain to my dad the implications of a recent lawsuit regarding reverse-engineering software at Blizzard (makers of the ever-popular Warcraft series), and he followed me through all of the technical jargon, but once we hit the legal side of things, his eyes glazed over and he nodded at me until I stopped talking. Really, I can categorize people into two groups according to how they perceive legalese: the "Blah-blah-blahs," or those who maybe feign interest in the law-talking-guy in front of them, mustering a smile when appropriate and patiently waiting for him to talk about last night's episode of "The Office" or the "Bling-bling-blings" who, while bubbly, talkative, and overtly flirtatious, find comfort in their erroneous assumption that the more "legally" one talks the more "money" one makes, thus making whoever is in front of them the richest person they know. Seriously. Don't talk about law school outside the confines of your little world. Only in law school will battery without assault be funny because it's such a far-fetched hypothetical. Really. I promise
Wow. Nothing can make you appreciate Holiday Break more than returning to school, realizing you have days where you're in class for upwards of six or seven hours without a break, that you have to start this whole damnable "Socratic Method" thing all over again with such winners as "Contracts" "Constitutional Law" and "Criminal Law," and that, wonder of wonders, Law School is still not "fun." Each day that passes by makes me yearn more and more for my undergrad days, or a year off to write a novel. Don't get me wrong, I've made some tremendous friends while here. The funny thing about Law students is that none of us really enjoy it here, nor would we ever claim to have some sort of affinity to the whole process. Yet, something binds us together, like the sticky residue of 7-Up on a football bleacher or the weird stuff on the back of Post-It notes. I'm still wondering what it could be that holds us together so well, and I think the most apt analogy might just come from HBO. Over the holiday, the History Channel ran a marathon of the series "Band of Brothers," based on the experiences of the "Easy Company" during WWII. At first, this seems to be a hodge-podge collection of rag-tags and army brats, farm boys and street rats. However, after going through the hells of battle during D-Day and well into the German surrender, this group came to love each other. Well, while it may not compare in scope and magnitude, anyone that has had to make sense of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and how it applies to Personal Jurisdiction simultaneously with a balancing of the intricacies of Future Interests and application of the Rule Against Perpetuities while trying to grasp the notions of Proximate Causation in Tort law knows what I mean. Thankfully, our adversity has drawn our class together. That's not usually the case (note: everyone I have ever talked to about law school has expressed their utter loathing of the competitive nature of the student body. I simply have not seen that in my class. Whether that remains after grades come out on the 19th is another matter...) My computer died today, and I considered holding a little viewing replete with Black CDs, Bagpipe Fugues and Professional Wailers. Unfortunately, I need my computer alive, so through some stroke of luck, lots of restarting, cursing, desperate prayers, and eventual pounding on the computer corpse, I lucked out and got the thing to work long enough to download the new driver I needed. All in all, a good day. Relatively Speaking, of Course.