Upon finishing my first year of law and starting my second I have noticed a very serious issue that needs to be addressed within the law community, an issue that undermines the very foundations of our society’s confidence in the legal profession and the upholding of justice: our reputation for being twats.
This is a big deal. When did we become so ubiquitously synonymous with being massive tools? If you couldn’t spot the irony, IT’S BECAUSE WE USE WORDS LIKE UBIQUITOUS.
Now this isn’t completely our fault. After being subjected to hours upon hours of archaic language that was in use around the same time the wheel was invented, it’s only fair to assume a little would rub off on those versed in legal writings, and it may become a bit of an ‘autopilot’ response.
Yesterday I heard someone in the law library, probably in their early 20s, exclaim loudly ‘the diminution of high school graduates have caused the education standard to be lowered blah blah’. Diminution. Really? C’mon people, this sh*t is whack, we need to address this. More like the diminution of your chances of getting laid, or making any friends that aren’t law students… or imaginary. I know it’s hard when we are constantly surrounded by legal jargon but can we at least try a bit harder?
Another issue that just screams twatiness: premature suiting up. Why is this happening? You are a student, therefore you are poor. Why make it worse by forcing yourself to live on 2 minute noodles, fritz sauce sandwiches and tin cans of tuna for the next 4 weeks so you can afford a business suit? What BUSINESS do you have?
Oh I’m sorry, are you a Very Important Student? I didn’t realise you were attending the annual procrastination convention to discuss the effects of copious amounts of caffeine on student colour coding and post-it abilities (I hate it when you go to highlight something yellow but use blue instead, then you think you can make it better by going over it with yellow and you just get green. Yeah that sh*t ruins my day).
The worst offenders are those who wear suits out to clubs or pubs thinking they might impress the ladies. Seriously, this just redlines on my douche-o-meter so much I think it might break. This just shouldn’t happen unless you are Barney Stinson. You are not a better lawyer/ law student depending on how slim fit your suit is or how shiny your shoes are. I swear if I ever start my own firm, I’m going to designate one day of the week where it’s compulsory to rock up with a backwards facing cap and cheap sunnies.
Uncool use of Legal Knowledge
Third contributing factor for lawyer-associated douchbaggery: trying to use your knowledge of the law to legal-muscle your way into getting what you want in social settings.
I work at a bar, and last week I had a fairly intoxicated patron come up to the bar (who turned out to be a law graduate) who demanded that we give him free beers from 5pm-10pm because one of the promotional text messages we sent out was ‘ambiguous’ about the terms and conditions, and threatened to take us to Consumer Affairs. There was no appreciation for the fact that he was getting a free beer and he thought he could get his way by throwing a few legal terms around. Incredible douchebaggery.
Don’t get me wrong, I love law. I love studying law and I really enjoy being surrounded by people who generally can provide me with some form of intellectual stimulation, but we as a community need to do something about this issue. Who wants to work hard for the three to five years it takes to get a law degree, only to have people’s first impressions of you being influenced by their experiences with law twats?
Enjoyed this post? Sign up for the Survive Law weekly newsletter for more.