Hornbooks for breakfast
Hornbooks for lunch, too
The fucking curve for dinner
Hornbooks for breakfast
Hornbooks for lunch, too
The fucking curve for dinner
What are some reasons why LSIWWCHNT?
Certain occurrences are comforting in their regularity – the swallows returning to Capistrano, Amy Winehouse being discovered in a dumpster behind a Long John Silvers somewhere outside of Omaha covered in a mixture of tartar sauce and the tattered remains of her dignity and punctured with so many hypodermic needles that she resembles the ghostly remains of a hipster porcupine, and, most topically, the Spring Semester 1L Power Shuffle (hereinafter “SSOLPS”).
After grades come out over winter break, a marvelous change sweeps over the 1L class. It’s well-accepted among people who study this sort of thing (which is to say bored and jaded 2&3Ls with too much time on their hands) that 1Ls are the most obnoxious people in the world, or possibly the third-most obnoxious, trailing only Klansmen and those fucking people who discover classic rock in their 20s and don’t fucking shut up about it as if they’re the first goddamned person in the history of the fucking planet to ever hear Stairway to Fucking Heaven. But I digress.
The point is that if you ask any 2-or-3Ls, they’ll tell you that the 1Ls are the worst, most bonery, most gunner-tastic bunch of 1Ls to ever enter the hallowed halls of their esteemed place of legal education. This is true every year, at every law school, even fake ones like UC Irvine. And so, just as we cheered as kids at the end of ’80s teen movies when the chiseled, 6-foot-3-inch blonde-haired jock villain finally got his comeuppance at the hands of a hunch of wily nerds – just as we cheer generally whenever forces of evil are humbled – we cheer when fall semester grades bring about the SSOLPS.
When the forced curve is spread across the 1L class, shit changes. The kids who spent the first semester waving their hands in the air like they just did care (a little too much, in fact) and telling anyone who would listen about their plans to finish top-5% and transfer to Stanford actually finished median and transferred to the ICU after overdosing on Adderall. Like a bus full of people trying to figure out if the guy in the back with the weird hair is actually Rod Stewart, the one-time gunners are hushed, subdued. No longer does every class end with their hypos or begin with their soliloquies about the previous night’s reading.
But it’s not just the gunners whose lives change after the SSOLPS. The quiet kid who spent just a little too much time in his carrel but whose name no one quite knows suddenly walks with an extra spring in his step. That weird stoner who spent every Thursday night in his apartment seeing if the movie Moon synched up with hair metal band Ratt’s 1984 triple-platinum release “Out of the Cellar” (it doesn’t, btw, but “Round and Round” remains, for good or ill, the high water mark of American songwriting) somehow managed to get all A’s.
Fundamentally, law students just like upheaval. It’s why we were all on Facebook last week pretending to care about Tunisia, which, according to Facebook posts, is a country somewhere where some Very Serious Political Things are being Tweeted, probably by Kanye. It’s why we love the SSOLPS, but it’s also our undoing; as we sit, licking our chops with schadenfreude waiting for the mighty to fall and the meek to become mighty, we only serve to reinforce the sad truism that law students are just a bunch of misanthropic weiners.
And that, my friends, is another reason why Law School Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.
As the amount of time a person complains about “haters” increases, the probability that that person does not have health insurance approaches 1.
Farmers’ Markets and the Law
And yet still I gun…
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2-3 years, you probably don’t know who Ke$ha is, in which case you’re a better person than I am. Ke$ha, for those unaware, is a not-hot, not-talented, not-interesting purveyor of breathtakingly mediocre techno-pop. Think like a less talented Britney Spears, or a much less talented Lady Gaga. (That’s right, I said “less talented Britney Spears,” and for once I wasn’t employing hyperbole. Take a minute. Let that sink in.)
Ke$ha has no discernible skills or abilities. According to basic free market theory, this should leave her behind a dumpster somewhere in the Tenderloin, sucking dick for money to buy coke. Instead, however, she earns $9,000,000 a year (seriously), is living in an extravagant mansion in the Hollywood Hills, and has more than enough money to support her blow habit, which means that any D she might S behind a Tenderloin dumpster is being done for love of the game, not on account of crass pecuniary motivators.
So what does Ke$ha’s lack of talent or extravagant income have to do with law school, and why law school prevents us from having nice things? I’ll tell you. The bulk of us – even the ones at shitty schools – are an awful lot smarter than Ke$ha. If you haven’t had your face and vocal chords mangled in a bizarre gardening accident, you’re probably also better looking and a better singer than Ke$ha. (Hell, even if you have been thus hideously disfigured, you’re probably better looking than Ke$ha). In theory, a rational market would reward us for this set of advantages. Instead, we go into six figures of debt and work our asses off, gunning for that hallowed top-10%, all in the hopes of making $160,000 in the vaunted world of BIGFUCKINGLAW.
But here’s the thing: That $160,000 that the most successful among us will be making in a year – a year of 80-hour weeks taking depositions, doing doc review, and making sure the partners’ macchiatos are prepared just so – Ke$ha makes that amount of money in less than 5 days. Seriously. This is The Ke$ha paradox, and it’s why law school is why we can’t have nice things. In the time it took you to read this post, Ke$ha made about a grand and contracted about a dozen more socially communicable diseases, including a couple which were hitherto undreamed of by medical science and a couple thought previously to only occur in moose.
So as you plow through those E&Es, oh gunners, do so with the depressing knowledge that it’s all so you can hopefully become about 1% as successful as Ke$ha, who has no skills whatsoever. But wait, you might be saying: I didn’t go to law school to make money. I came here for public interest! I want to make a difference! To which I’d reply, of course, get serious. Nobody actually likes public interest.
Sitting in the airport, waiting long hours for a plane to be de iced in Denver, knowing that the first day of the semester is tomorrow and you probably out to be doing your reading but also that you’re not because, fuck it, it’s the first day of the semester… Well, my friends, thats just a time for rumination, and ruminate I shall, motherfuckers, ruminate I shall.
So forgive the stream of consciousness approach this post may or may not take, dear readers, because it’s being written half by me, the pseudonymous authorial ghost you’ve all come to kind of know and maybe love, and half by a growing sense of impotent rage that comes from being surrounded by people in an airport with nothing to eat but eight dollar slices of fucking sbarro and choking mouthfuls of my own bitterness.
There is currently a woman sitting adjacent to me who has been having a forty five minute cell phone conversation, at full, undiminished volume, during which she covered such topics as the frequency with which her boyfriend is able to bring her to orgasm (not very, unfortunately for Ryan) and her recent trip to the doctor for some kind of surgical consultation. Now, right now you’re probably saying Jesus C.P., what is this shit? I assure you that I offer this story as a segue into something legitimate, not merely as warmed-over “omg sometimes people use cell phones” humor that lost it’s cultural relevance sometime around the time of clinton’s reelection. Rather, it is time to discuss the matter of confidentiality, a matter of some significant relevance to the lives of law students and lawyers.
My point, inasmuch as there’s any point whatsoever to this post, is this: The next time you want to share something with someone, don’t.