10 Incredibly Weird Things That Are Completely Normal For A First Year Law Student


1. Gossiping more than a small town stay at home mom. We’re in a small, confined group with our section — and we’re competing with everyone. This leads to massive, section-wide speculation over such small events as someone missing class one day or being the drunkest person at bar review.

2. Getting an entirely new group of friends. Some people go to law school near their existing homes but lots of us pick up and move across the country in order to attend the best-rated school we’re accepted to. This means our section quickly becomes our own micro-universe containing almost all of the people we interact with — our best friends, our enemies, our crushes, our drunken hook-ups — everyone.

3. A good outline is more valuable than gold. My 1L year I saw a pair of girls who seemed really close end their friendship over an outline. Not everyone will lie, cheat, and steal for one (though plenty others do) but they will cozy up to the other classmate rumored to have an excellent outline in hopes of it being bequeathed to them.

4. Actual nightmares about getting cold called. I’m not hyperbolizing, we literally dream about our professor calling on us the one night we didn’t do our reading and getting taken down hardcore.

5. Crying in the bathroom after a bad cold call. The sad thing is, you’re actually proud of yourself for making it to the bathroom first.

6. Grown adults acting like they’re back in middle school. But with drinking! And sex! Most people that go to law school are the responsible type, so it’s pretty bizarre that once we all start going to a school together we completely devolve into drinking and hooking up way more than we did in undergrad. No judgement, if you were taking four hour tests you’d need a source of stress release too.

7. Most people are happy when the weather is nice outside or when their favorite song comes on the radio. We get a burst of joy from finally remembering the difference between In Personam and In Rem Jurisdiction.

8. Celebrating the day your loans come in. Most people don’t celebrate getting further in to debt but no one holds a job while in their first year of law school so we live on our loans. While stressful to think about in the big picture, it’s a reality that we breathe a sigh of relief the day they come in and hit the grocery store.

9. Not hooking up with someone because of a seating assignment. Once you sit somewhere on the first day it’s typically set in stone for the rest of the semester and in order to avoid awkwardness it’s totally valid to avoid hooking up with someone simply because they sit near you in Contracts.

10. Being extremely myopic. When you’re in law school, law school becomes your whole life. It’s hard to empathize when other’s talk about how stressful their lives are because you’re so consumed with your own. You’re in class, or studying, or talking with your law school friends about law school or at a law school social event literally all day, every day.