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‘Sue’ Chef: Law Students in the Kitchen

Cartoon chef

Whenever I finish a long day of classes or hitting the books in the library, I’m starving – worse than the very hungry caterpillar and those hungry hungry hippos combined. Maybe law’s mental acrobatics just helps us to work up a good appetite, but I’ve noticed that heaps of law students LOVE cooking.

Even when I’m attempting to escape it, sometimes it feels like my legal reasoning has even influenced my approach to cooking. A recipe calls for two teaspoons of a particular ingredient and I find myself perplexed: this teaspoon looks bigger than a regular teaspoon! Do they mean two level teaspoons or heaped scoops? Yes, strict interpretation can make kitchen times stressful. On the other hand, it will also make you the most precise and successful procrastibaker around.

Then again, a more expansive approach to statutory interpretation can lend itself well to cooking o’clock, especially for those of us who are time poor or living on a student budget. Have you run out of brown onions? If you broadly interpret the recipe’s list of ingredients, you’ll find that it actually just calls for something from the general onion family – spring onions will do, and you have plenty of those!

Even if you’re just concocting new ways to eat two-minute noodles, there’s good precedent for your culinary experiments. David Klein, the inventor of Jelly Belly jelly beans, has a law degree from UCLA. Even the father of KFC, Colonel Sanders, had a law degree. And a law degree was surely the secret kitchen weapon of MasterChef winner Adam Liaw. In fact, just Google “lawyer turned chef” and you’ll find a whole lot of law grads who swapped advocacy for aprons.

Of course, if you’re not quite a fan of the kitchen and find yourself frequently ordering from the law school vending machine, you can always just drool over the beautiful pictures on The Hungry Lawyer blog – it’s written by a lawyer so that definitely counts as study. At least, that’s what I tell myself!

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