On behalf of The Legality staff, welcome to the awesome community that is O Law. I can confidently say, with no flowery hyperbole, that you will love it here. For real. Thus, it’s a little sad (but mostly funny) for us 2/3L’s to see some of you freaking out. Fortunately for you, lucky reader, we’re here to help assuage some of your deepest law school-related fears!
What should I expect at O Law? How should I study? How will law school cut into my drinking schedule? While we don’t necessarily answer any of these questions directly, we did each come up with a list of things- some serious, some anything but- you should keep in mind this fall. If you do, you’ll be the coolest kids in school like us in no time!
Kevin and The Legality staff
1. Don’t discuss your LSAT score. Your first semester will be rampant with douche-baggery that starts with comparing LSAT scores. Avoid the trap!!! You got in, so LSAT scores don’t mean anything anymore. So when you are dominating the law school rankings, you can sit back and laugh at your 145.
2. Don’t eat garbage. The Court Café food is tempting, but it leads to sweatpants and acne. Everyone always says to find time to work out and while I agree, I also believe that those 1,000-calorie scones don’t help with the inevitable feelings of self doubt caused by law school.
3. Go to ThuNBaR [Thursday Night Bar Review]. Meet people. Have fun. Make at least one decision that makes you cringe every time you think about it.
4. Go to Red Agave at least once. Order the Ahi Tuna Ceviche and enjoy. It’s expensive so only take a date you really like or who is a sure bet. (same goes for Cafe Soriah, Excelsior Inn, and Papa’s Soul Food- this one is inexpensive).
5. The Cinemark 12 in Springfield has $1.75 movies… GO! It’s kind of sketchy, but it’s cheap, popcorn isn’t $11, and there are late showtimes. It’s also at the strangest mall ever (Gateway), so there is great people-watching.
6. If you have the opportunity and it’s the right situation for you, date a law student. They know what you are going through, offer great intellectual insight, and, because they are most likely also Type A, they have no problem telling you when you’re being a pretentious and judgmental lunatic.
7. Go up to Portland when Eugene starts to feel uncomfortably small. Whether you go to a concert, a Trailblazers game, or just stop by Nordstrom’s, Portland can offer an escape from what seems like a never ending cycle of study, sleep, coffee, repeat.
1. Ignore your friends, professors, Career Services, etc., if they say you won’t find a job. You will. It may not be a good one, but it’ll be a job.
2. Don’t be the gunner with 5 highlighters on your desk during class. Do it in private like a normal person.
3. I know book holders look really handy and will save room on your desk, but everyone will make fun of you.
4. Don’t use class on Friday as an excuse for skipping ThuNBaR. Everyone does it, and you will be lame.
5. Learn to filter your email now. I don’t want to have to read 8,234,643 emails of people complaining about the flame wars clogging your inbox. Similarly, if you are offended by something, email that person. I don’t want to read about your feelings.
1. Be yourself. I enjoy book holders. I also don’t care what anyone else thinks of me. That’s important. Remember, you’re here to get an education, not be the most popular or the best looking. That’s what high school is for. Remember why you came to law school if you start to fret about your social standing. I guess my point here is to be yourself in the wake of the immense peer pressure to conform.
2. Work hard and be humble. If you work hard, and are humble and open-minded, you will have absolutely no problem finding work. Take your schoolwork seriously, take your job search seriously, understand that getting a J.D. does not guarantee a lifetime of financial security without hard work, and you will find employment.
3. Strive to get better. If you do poorly your first term, or even your first year, that’s not the end of the world. Recognize your shortcomings and work to improve them. Personally, I don’t like talking grades with anyone. Law school imposes unnecessary competition amongst friends. I would rather assume all my friends get better grades than me, which forces me to work harder. Like how Michael Jordan used to manufacture feuds to fuel him in midseason games.
4. Be wrong once in a while. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. However, when you are wrong, own it. Anybody who’s anybody will respect you more for it. I find that I learn a lot more when I’m wrong – and stand to be corrected – than when I’m right and am tempted to rest on my laurels.
5. Keep your hobbies. This is a huge one for me. Law school hit me like a ton of bricks and I quit playing music because of it. Now, two years later, I have to practically relearn how to play the bass.
1. Don’t live on campus/in the library. Don’t be the guy/gal that brags about spending 10 hours a day on campus (s/he’s probably lying anyway). Go out, have fun, have a life. Otherwise, you will get burned out, and your experience here will suffer as a result.
2. Take everything that everyone does/says with a grain of salt. If the kid next to you in class is organizing his outline in a certain way, don’t just scrap yours out of panic. If your LRW professor tells you to make X number of changes to your memo draft, don’t do so if your gut tells you not to. I could go on, but the point is the same. Do what works for YOU- the universe tends to reward you accordingly.
3. Avoid “Wet Blanket Syndrome.” Yes, a few people you encounter over the next three years will probably annoy a lot of you. That said, don’t be the guy/gal that constantly whines about how so-and-so’s girlfriend is a bitch that hates fun, how Gunner A always holds up class, how Professor B sucks, etc. A little criticism now and then is 100% natural in an environment like this, but like everything else, exercise some degree of moderation.
4. Brush aside the little things. Just delete the flame wars in your email inbox (despite the listserv changes this year, a few students will inevitably find a way around this). Ignore the smug, self-referential musings of gunners in class. Don’t sweat it when a passive-aggressive classmate gives you backhanded compliments about your outlines or the job you just got. The little things that don’t matter can and will add up if you let them!
5. Make friends. I won’t mince my words here- life as a law student sucks sometimes. Whether it’s an LRW memo due in 24 hours, a week of summer job interviews with no offer, or the Court Café running out of spinach and feta pizza, a little moral support goes a long way. So become law homies with people you meet at orientation, the folks sitting around you in class, the hottie in [fill in preferred student organization here], etc. Hell, you have my permission to chat me up in the commons. Chances are, we’ll probably be best friends.
If all else fails, just remember that you’re not alone: