Like many men in my generation, I have a father who has consistently failed at life. His unsolicited advice is usually worthless dribble aimed at justifying his own terrible choices. Two days before I left for law school this summer, he told me, “Blair, you don’t have the social temperament to succeed in the legal field.” For once he was absolutely right, and I pulled out in late October. It was one of the top five best decisions I will ever make.
Of course he meant that as a pejorative, since I am a mean son of a bitch, but I couldn’t be sycophantic enough to succeed in law even if I wanted to be. You really have to have the eternal smile, and I am just far too emotive. Law school fosters every terrible trait in my generation. For example, the students had this idea that they have a human right to never be offended by a peer for any reason.
One time a professor asked who in the class did not like Pope Francis, since apparently even he wanted a distraction from tort law. When I was the only student to raise my hand, he asked me why, and I responded, “Because he’s an empty showman and a media whore.” That might have been the day when I became “the one to avoid.”
As shallow as it sounds, law students cannot risk being around someone who could ruin their career. They will dump you at a moment’s notice based on a rumor no matter how close you have been. The demands for a clean reputation and the ease of falling into ostracization mandate that they have an exaggerated view of others as commodities. They spend so much energy building contacts but cannot afford to have any friends. It was political correctness hell.
Of course, they are somewhat wrong to think it really matters what the other law students think about them. The other students are not going to get you a job when you leave school, and after your first job, what really matters is your ability to make money. Or at least I assume that is so. But you do hear stories about people in big firms commonly knifing other members on their team at any opportunity. I decided very quickly that I wanted to work small firm or private practice in a rural area.
Misery And Misanthropy
I wrote that law school attracts the worst in humanity, but I have since learned that it also corrupts the best. There were some absolute southern feminine sweethearts unsure if they really wanted a career, and I worry what will be left of them by the time they graduate. I myself became a sadistic person, trying to ruin the day of people I didn’t like or delighting when something upset them.
My last week there, I found myself spreading a completely false rumor about a girl out of revenge for a completely true rumor she was spreading about me. I don’t want to be that kind of person, but apparently I am. I do not believe in using such phrases as “that’s not really who I am” to justify immorality. But terrible vindictiveness aside, I saw many good people become consumed with social anxiety.
The strength in a rumor is not in its ability to cause belief but to cause doubt. That girl I slandered, she was a virginal redhead Catholic ditz, and I claimed that she was making up lies about me because I rejected her sexual advances. Given law students’ love of gossip, it likely could have spread as absolute truth within a few days had I not emailed the person I told it to and played it off as “a tasteless joke.”
The rumor mill was amazing, and it would churn about anything insignificant. One time I bragged to a few friends about getting a girl’s number from a cold-call pick up, and I heard about it from two or three different people over the next few days. Why does anyone care? You would think they would find my love life to be boring. It’s not like I was even banging her.
The only professor I truly hated, one time she divided us into four teams and had us do a trivia challenge for a minuscule amount of extra credit on the midterm. Most of the students would argue ad infinitem for technicalities when they would get a question wrong, like a dog begging for the master’s table scraps.
I later told a friend that it was pathetic, and he said, “It makes us look passionate.”
“No,” I responded, “It makes you look desperate.”
My team ended up winning even though I came to class without the questions printed out. As soon as I left, I emailed the professor saying, “I would prefer not to receive the extra credit since I cannot take pride in my grade if I did not earn it.” I did this partly for the sake of my own pride and autonomy, but also just to mindfuck her. As the Bible says, showing graciousness to those you hate is the best way to screw with them.
If you hate being around beta males, you cannot fathom how lame the law school dweebs are. For example, two students actually told me they wanted career wives. The above “passionate” law school friend told me that he wouldn’t have a problem with his future wife pursuing her inane dreams because he didn’t want to be controlling. He even said that he preferred a career wife because he could have someone to relate to. [Snorts at the notion that men and women have things in common.]
I told her that a woman like that can marry someone else. If I am going to spend the rest of my life with a person, I have every right to be as picky as I want. The other was a fat male feminist who said he hoped to find a wife specifically at law school. I’m not sure if there’s a worse place to find someone who won’t have your balls on the nightstand as a trophy for all the guests to see.
About a month after I dropped out, I ran into the tort law professor at the gym. I told him basically all of the above. He said, “I’ve met so many students who go to law school because they feel like they have no choice, often from family pressure, and then they are miserable for the next thirty to forty years.”
I told him, “Professor W— said that he’s never met a lawyer who didn’t hate practicing law. That’s like a watching a murder of crows at a nursing home.”
“I’m lucky I get to teach,” he responded.
But All That Aside
Could I have just morally reformed and found a practice in a rural area away from normal law people? Somewhat, but we are all products of our environment. I saw what I would have to become, or at least what I would have likely become. And even if I did not become that, I understood that I could never entirely avoid these people in the profession. Without having met them, you really have no idea how hair-trigger they are to ruin each other’s career, and they naturally always assume that the others are out to get them.
To be a successful lawyer is to live in a state of paranoia. And even without the paranoia, I just hate being surrounded by the kind of people who make an effort to not have a personality or individuality. Law school was by far the most toxic social environment I have ever been in, and that includes youth group at Baptist church.
But apart from the social ills, I was surprised that the study of law was much more boring that I thought it would be. I am far too ADD to study in the necessary depth to make a decent grade. I have always had a “that’s good enough for me” kind of work ethic. While it is true that the best lawyers often have the worst grades, I really did not want to spend my life doing something I found mentally draining. Also, I do not want a career that requires overtime every week if there is no guarantee at making six digits.
In contrast, I had previously spent half a year painting professionally and almost enjoyed it, so I decided to enroll in the plumbing program at the local community college. And if I end up hating plumbing, at least I will not have pissed away three years and $100,000+ on an unstable career.
Some Things I Learned
The most important thing I learned is how to look up what the law is. This is more complex than you may think, and the average person cannot quite do it, even with the internet. And unless you want to spend several hours at the local library, you will need to pay for a subscription service.
I learned why lawyers are terrible people even though many good people aspire to study law. I think the administration pushes them into that competitive frenzy, but I cannot figure out why. Perhaps it is a rite of passage. The administration also has a strange toleration for overtly torturous professors who delight in having a reputation as a terrible human being. I fortunately only had one of those. She had all the smugness of Hillary Clinton without any of the charisma. Of course when I would rant about her, the female students would say, “Yeah, but have you seen her credentials?” as if that gives her a pass on basic human decency.
Law school is just as susceptible to progressivism as anything, including nominally Christian schools like I went to. The long-standing dean had retired the summer prior. He was an old white man. They replaced him with a middle-aged black woman with a background in public interest law. Of course a black woman would study public interest law, something with no marketable value but supposedly helps the disadvantaged.
I found it odd how people thought there were some forms of law that are intrinsically moral, when actually every field of law has its dark side and its bright side. The flagship program of the school is Child Advocacy, since that seems to be the Jesus thing to do. But how many homes have been broken up through a guardian ad litem because of a flexible definition of abuse? The women students especially seemed prone to finding a feel-good field of law with low pay. Myself, I was planning on studying “divorce, custody, and elder law so that I can provide a single-income family.” The other students would be horrified or look embarrassed when I would tell them that.
My article I linked to above? I can’t quite figure out how, but somehow someone figured out I wrote it, and the article went viral around school. Remember, a hunch that something may be true is good enough for a conviction when it comes time to ruin someone’s career. This was a week before I dropped out, and although it’s not the reason I withdrew, it certainly made me want to even more, though I doubt it would have made much difference in the long term even if I had admitted to writing it.
Several people were asking about it and not believing me when I denied it. It’s amazing how they think they are entitled to your private life or that they have a right to be offended by your unspoken opinions. One white knight even said, “It’s common knowledge…You chose to publish things online under a different name.” [emphasis mine]
For over a week, I was very angry and upset, but then I suddenly realized that it was actually a good thing. This is the article that said:
Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t find any data for what fields of law women tend to study, but from what I’ve seen, they are almost always either “fun” fields like child advocacy, sports, or entertainment, or “clean” fields like tax law or prosecution. Women don’t study divorce, custody, criminal defense, or anything that is morally vague or subject to interpretation.
It is said that there are twice as many law jobs as there are new law graduates, but that’s because people specialize in bullshit fields that are flooded by cowards.
Also unsurprisingly, the kind of men and women who go to law school aren’t the type of people who read Return of Kings…Law school attracts the absolute worst in humanity. Weak, cowardly men and cutthroat, entitled women.
I had been wanting to tell the entire class off since orientation. How many people get that opportunity? And the best part is, they all willing listened to my insult and then spread it to the others. This is one of many reasons that ROK is the best job I will ever have.
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