Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Friday, June 06, 2003

The Children's Guide to Law School: a work-in-progress (part 2 of ??)

Chapter One: Arriving at Law School

Welcome to the first chapter of your law school adventure. If you've read the introduction, you know that law school is where people go to learn what things are okay to do (like eat the cream out of the middle of an Oreo cookie before you eat the cookies), and what things are not okay to do (like make a pipe bomb out of Oreo cookies and use it to blow up the Hydrox factory). And I've already told you that law school is a lot like preschool. Except while preschool takes place in a safety-hazard-ridden living room of an unemployed scam artist who decided that pretending to watch a bunch of kids all day was easier than getting a real job, law school usually takes place in big fancy buildings with pictures of old people hanging on all of the walls. Some of the old people might look like your grandparents. Except these old people are much meaner and like to make children cry. Judge Robert Bork once physically removed a child's intestines with his bare hands. I know that's true because I read it in one of those colorful newspapers your mom always reads on line at the grocery store but never buys. It was on the page right after the article about the three-headed werewolf child. Before your surgery, you were a three-headed werewolf too. But don't tell anyone I told you, because I think it's supposed to be a secret.

The first thing you will see when you walk inside a law school building is probably a large group of people carrying books the size of the boxes your toys come in, and crying. You might wonder why they are so sad, but in fact they aren't really sad. It's just something they've gotten used to after a few weeks at law school. The teachers make them carry heavy books. Heavier than mommy's belly while she's pregnant with the new child that will take your place and make her love you less.

The second thing you will notice is how strange the people at law school are. It's because they’ve all done well on a test called the L-S-A-T. You may remember the S-A-T from my previous book, “The Children’s Guide to a Small Set of Elite Undergraduate Colleges and Universities that Your Parents Probably Can’t Afford To Send You To Anyway, or at least not after Daddy divorces Mommy and burns the house down.” The L-S-A-T is a similar test. But what’s interesting about the L-S-A-T is that while there may or may not be a correlation between L-S-A-T score and pretty much anything else, depending on who you ask, there’s a really high correlation between L-S-A-T score and having have some sort of latent psychological disorder. That’s why so many of the people you’ll find at Law School walk around muttering to themselves, or spend all of their waking hours in a library, drawing on windows with marking pencils and daydreaming about working for the C.I.A. You may recognize this plot if your parents couldn’t find a babysitter and took you with them when they went to see A Beautiful Mind, a movie about a crazy math professor who won a special prize for his work. Whether or not you’ve seen the movie, there’s a valuable lesson hidden between the lines: only crazy people win special prizes.

Anyway, the students are also strange because they want to be lawyers, and normal people would never want to be lawyers. Normal people want to play all day. Like with fun toys, or with coloring books, or with Mommy's ears. But lawyers don't get to play at all. They have to write memos and do legal research. A memo is kind of like those boring things Mommy gets in the mailbox that come in envelopes and have lots of words on them. Not very fun. And legal research is kind of like when you have to go to the potty and it's kind of hard to get everything out and you have to squeeze a lot. That's what doing legal research feels like. Not very fun either. So lawyers are not fun people like you are. Instead of toys they have heavy books and instead of food, they eat sticks and leaves. Sharp sticks, like Daddy throws at Mommy sometimes after she yells at him for not taking out the trash and for going to the hotel with his pretty secretary and taking her clothes off. Daddy likes to take the clothes off of his secretary, and she does not like wearing clothes. Mommy should buy her things like the nice sailor outfit she bought you and then maybe she would not want to take off her clothes for Daddy. Maybe if Mommy was a better wife also.

The other thing you might see when you go to law school, if your law school is in New Haven, Connecticut, is an explosion. But we won't talk about that because explosions are scary and because it's horribly inappropriate for me to be writing about that. So we'll pretend I didn't say that. Finally, you might see squirrels. Because squirrels like law school. I don't know why. It's just something that's true for no reason.

[Coming up in chapter 2: How to Survive Class. "Teachers look funny when they talk, don't they? They look like aliens from the planet Zeptar. Zeptar is in between Mars and Jupiter, but because it's full of scary aliens, they don't talk about it in school much..."]