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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

JD2B also links to a post by Jim Dedman that links to another post (all this linking!) about the six types of law students: "The Disgusting Elite... The Star Students... The Single Focus Student... The Survivors... The Graspers at Straws... The DOAs." Uh, maybe -- but that's not a very interesting breakdown. That's just a set of labels for the GPA distribution, really. And I'm not sure I understand what a "single focus student" is -- if you do well in one or two classes and not the rest, I'm skeptical that has much to do at all with your aptitude in that type of law -- I'd bet it has more to do with the professor or the type of exam or factors like that. In any event, I can't believe that we can't get a better list than that of the law student types.

Like the Myers-Briggs Personality tests, I think the best way to sort law students might be on a bunch of different continuums (continuua?). Your "Law Student Typology" would then be the combination of your leanings on the various attribute scales, and would say something about you overall. I think I've come up with something relatively interesting, at least to open a debate about this stuff. I don't know how successful I've been, or how accurate this is. But I thought I'd try. Here goes:

The Law School Typology Scale

Intensity Scale -- I / C -- Intense / Chill. Students at the "I" end of the spectrum sit in the front row and raise their hand a lot. They distribute application forms for the study groups they want to start. They write hundred-page outlines. They don't sleep. If they didn't think they would get caught, they would rip pages out of library books and bring unauthorized material into the exam. They have lots of Lexis points. They eat Powerbars. They try out for law review. They really want to work at Skadden. They don't expect to live to see 70. And no one else expects them to either. Students at the "C" end of the spectrum may or may not care about their results as much as their intense counterparts, but the difference is that if they notice you've fallen into a well, they'll probably try and help you out. They'd rather not talk in class, or at least only if they really do have a legitimate question. They don't kill themselves. They sleep. They may or may not join study groups. Theirs don't meet every day.

Interest Scale -- T / B -- Trying / Blowing It Off. This is a different measure than the intensity scale, although it might be rare to find someone who's an "I" and also a "B" -- but the other three combinations all seem relatively common. Students on the "T" end, whether they show it or not, really care how they do. Students on the "B" end really don't. They don't go to class, they don't read, they don't remember to bring a pen to the exam...

Involvement Scale -- O / U -- Overcommitted / Undercommitted. Overcommitted students are in everything -- legal, non-legal, fun, not fun, interesting, uninteresting. Undercommitted students watch TV and sometimes play Playstation, if they feel like it.

Into the law -- L / N -- Love it / Not gonna do it. This one's easy. There are the ones who want to be on the Supreme Court, and the ones who don't.

So -- these four attributes get us the 12 law student types (I've eliminated the 4 I/B combinations, because I don't know if you can be intense and checked-out at the same time). As I sort this out, I'm starting to think my scales may not be exactly the right ones. But I'll let this be a jumping off point for some other blogger to fix my errors.

ITOL -- Future Wachtell associates
ITON -- Future Wachtell associates who are only there for the money, I guess.
ITUL -- Really boring future Wachtell associates?
CTOL -- Future happy lawyers?
CTON -- Future happy non-lawyers?
CBON -- These are the people who are having all the fun, I guess
CBUN -- These are the people playing Playstation all day