What I “Learned” in Law School

It’s not what you think.

There used to be a saying about the three years you spent in law school: First year, they scare you to death; second year, work you to death; third year, bore you to death. That pretty much sums up the emotional side of it.

Besides that, there was the drinking. WOW! Probably every second week, mid-week, we had these things called “smokers” – pure unadulterated beerfests – attended by students and faculty in great numbers. “Moderation” was not a word you’d use in the same sentence when talking about one.

Ping pong. Not only the #1 recreational activity (underway from school open to close), but also a huge status maker. When I was at Western, a couple of Western’s varsity table tennis stars wandered over to the law school, got involved in a “friendly” game and got trounced by several third-year law nerds. My proudest law school accomplishment? Not my grades, certainly, or being elected to student council; it was making it to the semi-finals in singles (second year) and the finals in doubles (third year) in the annual law school tournament.

Performance art. After first year’s “No Talent Night”, I was hooked. Putting together bands, writing comedy pieces and organizing ensemble performances became a huge focus of years two and three.

How to run a business. No kidding. In second and third year, two partners and I bid on and won the right to run a coffee and donut concession at the school. It involved a lot of running around, but since I was at the school all the time anyway, it wasn’t a big problem. Besides, it ended up paying for most of the aforementioned, ahem,…,recreation.

Finally, I learned that, where law is concerned, there is no such thing as the answer to a legal problem. You took a horrible chance, especially on an exam, giving a categorical answer to a given factual/legal situation. Perhaps the most valuable thing I learned at law school.

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