The list of characters is being written, but I wanted to take a moment to explain why I am writing this blog. Writing a blog that I am not publicizing, and that I won’t take credit for, and that is likely to never be read by anyone. I’m writing it because law school gets lonely. Law school breeds its own kind of isolated depression. Those moments where you can’t see a future, and you no longer understand your own past. Everyone else seems to have some secret to life, and it’s all you can do to drag yourself out of bed in the morning and sit through a lecture. Work piles up and you’re internally screaming at yourself to get your shit together, but your body’s reaction is to just sleep. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe tomorrow your lungs will feel slightly less constricted. Maybe tomorrow the world outside your brain won’t look and sound so sludgy.
The thing that makes this worse is that, at first, no one talks about it. Videos like this, and this, let you know that other people feel the same way (and that there are hilarious law students), but, especially first semester when everyone is trying to figure each other out, no one wants to admit to any weaknesses. Even once you find those with whom you’re willing to open up, and who are equally willing to voice their frustrations and pain (and even my friends who rank in the top of our class have plenty of each), there is nothing practical you can do for each other. Moreover, it’s still all a competition. I have hidden great outlines, and allowed friends to continue under misguided information in an effort to retain some sort of “edge.” I always subsequently hate myself.
There is a lot of debate and discussion about law school depression. Some people blame predispositions, others anxieties about finding a job, or student loans, or the fact that it’s just so much goddamned work, and yes, all of those are difficult. But I think that for me, there is an additional huge factor. Assuming you came to law school for all the right reasons – you were a finance major and your passion is tax law and being a part of the inevitable tax reform, you want to be in-house counsel for a major corporation with 9-5 hours and a family, you studied economic development in undergrad and aspire to serve the under-served – you get here and realize that law school isn’t teaching that, not really. You’re killing yourself in class so that you can learn on the job because nothing in Torts or Property or Contracts is specific enough to be relevant to any client’s needs or teaches you bedside manner. And so, best case scenario: you suffer through this useless bull for three years thinking that if you drink the Kool-Aid you’ll land that dream job. More likely scenario: you suffer through three years and end up at a small- to mid-sized general practice firm wondering where all your dreams went.
So that’s why I’m writing this. Because I have to for my own sanity. Because maybe one student somewhere will read it and feel a little less lonely. Because maybe one student somewhere will read it and I will feel a little less lonely. Thanks for listening.
Sorry this post was such a downer. Here’s a picture of the High School Musical Parade in Disney Hong Kong a few years ago: