Issue 10, Semester 1, 2019
If you’re a law student like me, then you probably know that you are setting yourself up to be loathed. According to that stalwart of the journalistic profession, thebalancecareers.com, lawyers are in the top ten hated professions, alongside tax auditors and used car salespeople. Lawyers have a reputation in the community for being self-serving gougers, protecting rapists, murderers, and drug dealers, from the rough justice of the mob. It’s well established that lawyers drink the blood of their clients, but did you know they are also known to question our elected officials, and even give succour to illegal immigrants?
Perhaps you’ve heard the joke about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the honest lawyer. My friends certainly have. Lawyers are more disliked than guys who wear sunglasses indoors, or even that kid in Year Four who stole the teacher’s whiteboard marker, but then told Mr. Halliday that it was you, and you got detention all lunch time, even though you’d been sitting outside the whole time. Yeah. Even him.
I regret to inform you that this hatred extends to those studying to be lawyers. There is a perception among many that we are mostly just preppy private school kids. That we’re arrogant, argumentative, and aloof. Actually, they may have a point there. However, what the critics fail to note is that we still have FEELINGS despite all that.
After my acceptance to MLS, my father wryly commented that ‘most politicians are lawyers, and most politicians are arseholes.’ Oof. No Dad, I meant I want to be a barista, and work in a bar. At least our collective insecurities will give my psych friends a job in the future. Just kidding, I don’t have any friends in the peasant courses.
It’s not just the reasonable average person who hates law students – we love to hate each other. It’s edgy to complain about law school culture; just another way for law students to humble brag about how hard-working and independent-minded they are. Man, I hate them.
Despite my unflappable advocate’s exterior, I care about what other people think of me. I’m not a psychopath, after all (unlike most lawyers, according to Internet tropes). So, why do they hate us?
The only reason I can think of is that the legal profession is the mirror to society’s tumultuous underbelly. We’re them, merely more intelligent, well-adjusted, and accomplished than they are. And we’re humble about our role in keeping democracy spinning. They just don’t understand us. Right?
J Grimaldus is a First Year JD Student.