Why Law Students are the Worst, by a Law Student
We’re even worse than medics
When you tell someone you’re a law student, it always produces the same reaction. The eyebrows go up, then quickly furrow as the person you’ve told suddenly realises the terrible implications of your statement.
I have met some lovely people while studying law, and this isn’t meant in mean spirit. That said, there are some things a lot of law students seem to do which make me want to strangle myself with a barrister’s wig.
As a law student myself I’m not denying that I exhibit a lot of these traits too, and this is as much of a dig at myself as anyone else. We are the worst people on campus, and this is why.
Law is technically a humanities subject, but unlike our cousins studying English and History we are pretty much funnelled straight into predetermined careers by the end of second year. The question isn’t “what are you going to do when you graduate?”, it’s “solicitor or barrister?”.
Firstly, this gives us a lot more to moan about as we are supposed to be applying for vacation schemes with law firms or mini-pupillages throughout our degrees., providing a constant source of stress. Secondly, all law students are painfully aware that there are very few jobs to go around, and that we are all going for the same ones.
This means that your coursemates won’t be happy for you if you manage to do well in a piece of coursework, as something in the back of their mind is saying “That prick is going to steal my job”. Don’t expect to be borrowing classmates’ notes or collaborating on essays, law is the most dog-eat-dog degree imaginable.
It’s easy to spot a law student in the library for several reasons. One is that we have our own section, filled to the brim with law reports and textbooks which you will see us trawling through around deadlines and exam periods, sighing loudly to indicate exasperation.
Another giveaway is the general vibe of stress combined with self-righteousness. When you sign up for a law degree you accept the fact that your time at uni will consist of a lot of reading. Do law students let this stop them from moaning? Do they fuck.
Don’t try to complain about your workload if there’s a law student within earshot. “Oh you have to read a novel for your seminar do you?? Try reading 25131341351 cases within a week!!!” The martyr attitude is something which us law students really need to sort out.
This one isn’t entirely our fault. Whenever you tell someone you study law the reaction is the same: “So if I ever get arrested you can sort me out yeah?” (We CAN’T, and you should probably take a look at yourself if you’re planning on murdering somebody).
People seem to suggest that we’re somehow above the law, all-knowing legal entities who can defy justice itself. This combined with a basic knowledge of criminal and contract law means law students think they’re invincible.
The guy arguing with the bouncer about being kicked out after throwing up on the dancefloor? Law student. The guy emailing his landlord in a dire attempt to haggle rent? Law student. Just because you started reading the iTunes terms and conditions since coming to uni it doesn’t mean you’ve become Harvey Specter from Suits, tone it down.
Law students are petrified of social media. It is drilled into us from an early stage that the best law firms are only looking for flawless candidates who are willing to give up their social lives in order to work every waking minute. This is ultimately bullshit, but we don’t let that stop us.
If they have Twitter or Instagram, odds are it’s set to private. God forbid that a prospective employer might see that tweet you did in year 12 about how homework sucks, they would never hire you after that. If you upload any night out pictures to Facebook where you’re all holding a drink, expect a prompt message from them asking you to take it down.
Does anyone actually care about LinkedIn? Law students do. It’s a relative safe-haven from the potential pitfalls of Facebook, plus it’s yet another opportunity to get a head-start on your peers and secure that dream job. No, I’m not going to endorse your skills, leave me alone.
As students we all share some pretty terrible qualities, but they seem to be amplified in law students in particular. As a group we need to learn to loosen up, let our hair down once in a while, and above all to stop sending out LinkedIn requests.
Deep down we’re students just like the rest of you, sometimes we just forget it and need a reminder. The next time someone is introduced to you as a law student, try not to assume the worst. Give us a chance, take a bit of pity on us, and you might realise we’re not all terrible.