• Cameron Ritchie

“I can’t stop talking about law”

I’m a law student, so naturally I find it hard to talk about things that aren’t related to law. Of course, I can carry on any kind of conversation with any reasonable person… but when thinking about what to talk about next, the first thing that comes to my mind is always law related. I wonder: is this a bad thing? Are law students kind of weird?

I need only point to a chat with my friends, en route to the Law Faculty cafeteria, to demonstrate that constantly being engaged with the law means that we law students may find it hard to talk about... well, anything else. One day at lunchtime I declared to my friends that the law cafeteria was a law-free (and study-free) zone. We cleared our minds of the daily law school gripes and sat down fresh and ready to talk about something different. Cue the chirping crickets.

It probably all started that fine day when you came home to talk to your housemates/parents about what you’d learned at uni. It then grew when your housemates/parents asked you for a little bit of advice. “What do I have to do if I become a trustee?” my mum asked me.

By the end of your degree though, you’ll be trying to explain Donoghue v Stevenson to your grandfather just for something to talk about. You try and get your non-law friends to start watching Crownies, Rake, Boston Legal, Harry’s Law, or another law-related program because it’s just so amazing. Your most hilarious story from the last week probably has something to do with a funny thing you read in a judgment or court transcript. The news will come on, and you have to explain the legality or the underlying principles of the subject of the report. I could go on and on…

I’m convinced that our obsession with the law only intensifies as we progress further through our degrees. Back in first year I had my double degree to study for, I had more freedom on the weekend, and I even had time-intensive hobbies! Now, my idea of a quiet relaxing afternoon is talking about the effect of certain High Court decisions with my dad, a business executive. Is that kind of tragic?

Maybe our love for the law will wane over the years. My girlfriend, a paralegal, told me that a solicitor at her firm said to her “it sure is great having you around, you remind me of a time when I used to enjoy law.” If that’s the case, the lesson here might be this: relish in your obsession for law. There isn’t anything wrong with it; it’s what you’re setting out to do after all, so enjoy it while it’s still enjoyable!

That said, it probably wouldn’t hurt to give your friends and family a break from the law talk every now and again…

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