Diary of a 1L

[Preface: I realize this is long, but it didn't seem right to split it up.]

March 15
Dear Diary,
I got my admissions letter from law school today! I can’t believe that I’m going to law school. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to be a lawyer. After seeing Erin Brockovich, reading John Grisham, and watching endless Law and Order marathons my dream is finally going to come true! I can’t wait until I can get out there and start fighting for the little man. There is so much injustice in this world and I feel like I’m being called to fix it. The impoverished need someone to fight for their rights and their cause. Just think – a mere 40 months from now and I can be the one fighting for their rights. I’ll never sell out like so many slimy lawyers do – justice will be served – I will be a public defender. I’m so excited!

The Soon To Be 1L (that’s what they call first year students!)

April 24
Dear Diary,
I attended the admitted applicant day at the law school I’ll be starting at in the fall. I met the dean, and some of the current students – everyone is just so nice! I was on a tour of the law library and noticed all of the students scattered throughout. Everyone looked so intelligent and professional, hunched over their laptops and surrounded by stacks of impressive-looking books. One of the tour guides said that law school can be challenging at times, but I’m not worried. I’ve gotten all A’s since kindergarten and always been at the top of my class. I was valedictorian in high school and undergrad was a piece of cake for me. I graduated magna cum laude without much effort. Plus, I got a 165 on my LSAT, and that is supposed to be a good judge of how I’ll do in law school, so I know that I’ll do just fine. There are over 20,000 people a year graduating from law school so hard can it actually be? It’s going to be great. I’m going to get so involved. They have this thing every Thursday night called “Bar Review” (it’s a play on words – because once you graduate you take the bar, but bar review is actually going out to the bar – isn’t that clever?), there are over 40 student organizations (something for everyone!), and even this dance called the Barrister’s Ball. Law school is going to be awesome!
I Can Hardly Wait!

August 22
Dear Diary,
We had orientation today. I met some really fantastic people. Everyone seems just so nice and friendly! It will be refreshing to be around smart people. Just think – we’ll all sit around and discuss the public policy and moral philosophy behind the law. I’ll be one of those law students in the library, deep in discussion. I can’t wait! I had my first official law school class. It was great, we were so involved – the prof was calling on people and asking us about this case that they had given us to read and brief. Briefing is so easy. Kind of nice just to summarize the case up: facts, issue, how the court ruled and why. I think it’s going to be a great tool this briefing. They served us lunch today, had the financial aid counselor come and talk about taking out loans, and all of the student organizations had representatives there to talk to. I put my name on about 12 of the mailing lists. This is going to be so great! Alright, well its late and I need to go finish reading these assignments for class tomorrow. (Can you believe that they give us homework before the classes actually start? Isn’t that so cool?)
I’m Going to be the Best Law Student Ever!

August 23
Dear Diary,
I survived my first day of classes. It wasn’t so bad. I got a syllabus in each of my classes and the prof put us in seating charts. Kind of strange to be in a seating chart – that hasn’t happened since high school! And almost all of the profs have attendance policies. Do you really think that I will miss more than 7 days of your class? Come on, I’m an adult and that is a lot of class to be missing. I did already get called on in Civil Procedure today, good thing I had read the case for today. He asked me a couple of tough questions, but I nailed them. It wasn’t so bad. I think everyone else was impressed that I knew what I was doing. I don’t know why people complain about this Socratic method. Well, tomorrow is my long day and I’ve got 10 pages to read for Contracts, 12 for Civ Pro (I think that’s going to be my favorite class!) and some stuff in my legal writing book. That’s not so bad – its only 22 pages and 3 cases total. That should be nothing.
I’m Finally a 1L!

September 15
Dear Diary,
Sorry, I haven’t had time to write. I’ve been really busy lately. The Defenders for the Poor Group has finally kicked things off so I’ve going to those meetings during my lunch time, and the profs have really started piling it on. My Civ Pro prof seems to love me. He calls on me almost everyday – it must be because I’m so prepared and know all of the answers to his questions. I haven’t missed one yet, but all of this reading is an awful lot of work. Between all of my classes I’ve been reading around 40 pages a night. In undergrad I could skim 40 pages in under an hour. Unfortunately law school takes a little longer. But I’ve been getting everything done and only spending about 5 hours a night on studying. And briefing every case (all freaking 10 of them a night) is getting a bit annoying, but I’m sure that I’ll be happy I did it when I start studying for finals. Speaking of which, I’ve got midterms coming up in three weeks, so I’d better go work on my outlines some more.
A 1L

October 2
Dear Diary,
Law school fucking sucks. Fucking midterms. I had one yesterday, another tomorrow and this damn memo is due next week. On top of all of this we’re supposed to be continuing to prepare for class each day. And my Civ Pro prof seems to think that he should call on me every single day. Doesn’t he know that I’m prepping for midterms and don’t have time to read freaking 50 pages every night? I don’t have 12 hours each day on top of class to deal with all of this crap. Oh, and I just got my first quarterly interest statement for my loans. It was only for a month and it was $120. At this rate I’m going to have over $3,000 a year in interest accruing. Great. Can this get any worse?
A stressed 1L

October 21
Thank God for Fall Break. I’ve never been so looking forward to a week off in my life. Well, if you can even call it a week off. I have another damn brief that was assigned last week and is due three days after I get back. WTF? One of the profs was like, “Oh, yeah, go to Mexico for the week. Have a good time.” But they expect me to spend 50 hours on this brief. If I could go to Mexico right now it would only be to buy more valium.

December 6
I cut myself for the first time today. I just sat there and watched the blood run down my arm and drip onto my Contracts book.

December 13
Finals are over. I haven’t slept or showered for three days. I’ve been living off of vending machine food for the last week, and if it weren’t for the fact that there is a Starbucks nearby that is open until midnight I would have killed someone by now. All of those nice people that I met at the beginning of the year? Yeah, they are no more. Share an outline? Hah. Rip pages out of my book when I go to the bathroom. Bitch.

I’m going to drink myself into a stupor, pass out and not think about anything – specifically why the hell I decided to go to law school – for at least three days.

January 15
I got my interest statement for the last three months of my student loans. It’s $804. I want to dropout so bad. But if I do now, I’ll never make enough money to pay off the loans I’ve already taken. Fucking law school. They suck you in with promises of nobly pursuing a profession held in such high regard. Who are they fucking kidding? At this point, I’ll be lucky to get a job chasing ambulances.

February 4
The LSAT is bullshit. 165 my ass. Doesn’t matter what you got on the damn test, how you did in high school or undergrad, you are not going to get A’s in law school. This shit is hard. No wonder why there were all of those students in the library on a Saturday afternoon with books stacked around them. You want me to write papers, read 70 pages a night, and get called on in class and have to spout it all back at you? Are you trying to fucking kill me?

March 21
Law school is bullshit. It’s like being back in high school, only with a lot bigger egos and a lot more alcohol involved. The Barristers Ball? It’s fucking prom. If I have to listen to one more bitch describe her damn dress to me, I’m chopping her up into pieces and stuffing her in my locker. Bar Review? No one fucking goes. It’s not that law students don’t drink. It’s just that we are all closet alcoholics. Apparently it is not socially acceptable to be drinking from a flask in the middle of Con Law. Nor is it socially acceptable to go to bar review, order a pitcher of beer and then drink it all – directly from the pitcher. At least I’m getting smarter: everyone that sits around me just thinks I drink a lot of coffee, no one knows that it is just straight gin in my travel coffee mug every morning.

April 17
Shitcockfuckballs. Where did I put that bottle of Jack?

May 9
It. Is. Over.
You can find me at the country club this summer. I’ll be the one with the baseball cap on the John Deere mower. Apparently that’s about the only thing I’m qualified to do after my first year of law school.


John Roberts said...

For a second there, I thought Citrus Barbie was guest blogging. Glad to see the cynicism I know and love come through in the end.

dicta said...

hahaha i love the naivete in the beginning...and i remember having it myself. i think most law students do when they enter.

cynicism rules however. for me, second year was worse than first, but maybe cuz i didnt like my school as much. and civ pro is not the prof you want to like you. haha ouch.

but dont worry, you'll soon learn how to cut yourself more effectively! what mom, the bandages? oh...i fell down the stairs...a lot!

Larceny Bitch said...

I think I have ADD, I could not read that whole thing at once. Hey, won't this get me extra time on finals?

Walking Tort said...

Hahaha, beautifully written.

JayBad said...

This is awesome! I totally relate. It's crazy how your perspective changes and I just hate when everyone asks me how I did on my exams. Frankly, I have no clue...

Will being a 2L get better, considering I pass and decide to stick it out?

Calculating Bitch said...

Jaybad -- I certainly hope that things will get better as a 2L. Otherwise my diary of a 2L will probably only make it as far as two entries -- with the second one as me dropping out!

All of the "upperclassmen" that I talk to say that it gets better -- its just as much work as a 2L but you get smarter about how you do it (i.e. get better at bullshitting when you get called on).

Remember what they say: as a 1L they scare you to death, as a 2L they work you to death, and as a 3L they bore you to death!

Anonymous said...
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Abby said...

LOL this post is hilarious, but it is stressing me out a little. I start orientation in a couple weeks. I started a blog too because I hope it keeps me relaxed and focused. Did it help you?