Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Meeting of the Minds?

Silly me.

I actually thought going to law school meant the level of professionalism would be higher than in undergrad. What a naive assumption on my part. Won't happen again.


Perhaps this is such a shocking sentiment coming straight from the Baylor bubble, (and when I say straight I mean straight.from.graduation. I'm mourning the loss of one final "That Good 'Ole Baylor Line" like you wouldn't believe) but there is more to this theory than my sudden lack of proximity to live bears.

At face value, MSU and Baylor could be called similar: both have squirrels (Baylor's are fluffy and cute. MSU's are mangy, red, and psycho), both have brick buildings (Baylor's have the additional aesthetic of spires), both have rivers running through campus (The Brazos only wishes it were as legit as the one at MSU), and both are beautifully green (I know my tuition dollars were well spent on landscapers, and am enjoying the natural dense forest paths of the north).

Yet, the culture shock goes far beyond Floyd Casey's jealousy over a convenient stadium location in the heart of campus. This is not about factors that would be better served in the U.S. News guide to choosing a school. Instead, the matter is of professional behavior in general. I knew when I applied that law school (and lawyers) have a reputation for being ruthless. This meant leaving the comfort and easiness of the Baylor bubble behind for the world of Socratic belittling, oppressive amounts of reading, and passable legal writing. One of the reasons I'm currently sitting in a Barnes & Noble in the middle of Michigan is because, in light of these reasons, I wanted to test drive the law before making a down payment on the three hardest years of my life.

The program is half over and the funny thing is, I am fascinated by the subject matter. Legal writing requires a complete overhaul of everything you thought you knew about effective sentence structure and grammar. Essentially, legal writing eats undergraduate research papers for breakfast. Doctrinally, I'm learning that contracts are everywhere. What constitutes a meeting of the minds? Offer.Acceptance.Counter-offer.Consideration.Ambiguous terms.Parol Evidence. OR-you get a hankering for chocolate chip cookies, so you go to the store and buy cookie dough. Congratulations, you just effectively entered into and completed the terms of a contract.

Without saying too much about acquaintances on the open Internet, I have been severely disappointed in the way in which my program colleagues choose to interact. Older seasoned professionals from other careers and Master's Degree holders alike talking smack about virtual strangers, reverting to 7th grade locker room insults and humor, and ridiculous attempts at egotistic intimidation techniques are all part of my daily existence.

The essential issue in this case is not whether I will be able to hack this life, but whether I want to. The cutthroat culture of law reaches far and wide (and yes, even to the Baylor bubble. In fact, read any law school review guide and it'll tell you competition is practically born at Baylor Law).

While I may soon be declared certifiably insane for having the audacity to actually enjoy law school exams, as they say in baseball, "it's never over until it's over."

And to that I say thank you to for providing me with an interactive game tracker for streaming play-by-play coverage of the College World Series as I furiously scribble away the terms of real property, navigate the sea of jerk colleagues, and tackle law school one case at a time.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Love, love, love the blog. But, made me "leak in the eyes" a bit to hear that you are subjected to such juvenile antics every day. Yes, Baylor sifted out the true riff-raff that is the general population. But, you are most undoubtedly noted as a true professional if you do not succomb to the same antics.