“Two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of them says, ‘Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.’ The other one says, ‘Yeah, I know, and such small portions!’” Alvy Singer, the protagonist in Annie Hall, says that’s how he feels about life. I think that many people would find this metaphor equally applicable to the law school experience. That is, it’s full of loneliness, misery, embarrassment, and suffering—but it’s all over much too quickly.
As I write this, and assuming that I don’t fail Labour and Employment Law, I have about a month left in law school. Yet, in a way, I’m already nostalgic. I miss saying “good morning” to OCI recruiters at four in the afternoon, then having to look at their business cards just to remember who I was interviewing with. I miss turning down the brightness on my laptop in property law when I was too embarrassed to have the person next to me see me Google every second word coming out of Professor Katz’s mouth.
I miss approaching people in the library the evening before the legal research memo is due and asking them whether they’ve started the legal research memo. I miss watching my chances at romancing a 1L spontaneously combust when the entire female Class of 2019 cohort blew my comment on the students’ Facebook page way out of proportion.* I miss spacing out in a moot tryout and feeling like a fool afterwards.
Rather than shying away from these things, embrace them! Laugh in the recruiter’s face when they remind you that it’s the afternoon. Try out for moots for which you feel wholly unequipped. Turn the brightness on your laptop as far up as it can go. I think we should embrace all these feelings of misery and embarrassment. I think that any honest law student will tell you they share all these feelings with you. Plus, an overpriced cup of Goodman’s Cafe coffee might spill on your diploma tomorrow and ruin it. But nobody will ruin your memories of misery and embarrassment!
Short of acting like a complete muppet, I urge you to go out there and be miserable! Go out there and embarrass yourself! To paraphrase Lamont “Big L” Coleman, law school without the misery is like the Bulls without Mike, or crackheads without pipes. If you embrace this as an inevitable by-product of your law-school experience, you’ll have a much fuller and more rewarding experience. Plus, misery loves company, right? Enjoy it while it lasts. When it’s almost done, I think that you’ll find it’s all over much too quickly.
*The incident I am referring to is my response to Snailgate. I said, in jest, “grrrr my dad didn’t pay $35,000 for me to study next to snails in the library.” This comment was grossly misinterpreted to somehow suggest that only a dad (and not a mom) could possibly finance their child’s education. It appears that I have inadvertently set women’s rights back several decades.