How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground)

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Does doing anything change a person? I mean, does medical school instill a god complex in young doctors? Does playing professional sports make you whore-mongering 'roid head? Does an M.A. in English make you a pretentious twit?

Anything can change someone, if they let it. Don't get me wrong, I too sometimes get wrapped up in the trappings of "law school" and all that it entails. But if you don't let law school consume you (get some friends who don't study law--they are amazingly astute at pointing out when you are full of s***) then I think you can still make it through with some perspective.


Law school hasn't caused me to become a different sort of person. I had a vision for what I wanted to do with my law degree before ever starting my 1L year. My vision was to help poor people, and that is still my vision. How I wish to accomplish that changes, but the objective remains the same. Also, I had a good sense of proper and improper conduct before law school, and that has not changed either. Trees with deep roots aren't easily blown over by the wind.


Sure, law school changes people, and I'd agree generally w/Buffs that too much of the change is not good for society. W/out going into it all here, this is one reason law school should be different. For anyone who agrees, please join the discussion. But I also agree w/JR that if you go into it w/a solid commitment to what you want to do, you can escape mostly unscathed and better for some positive things you can pick up in law school, including familiarity w/how a flawed system works.

And although it's a little old, for more on why law exams may not be so good, see this recent criticism.

Still, I'm really glad to hear that the feeling that you're seeing the world upside down wears off quickly once law school is over. I'm predicting the upside-down feeling will right itself as soon as I learn I've passed the bar and I can give the finger to law-related "exams" for good ... er, or at least until I move and have to take another damned bar exam.

Dave: I resemble resent that M.A. in English remark. ;-)


I'm a lawyer from Oregon and I'm trying to get qualified to practice in Canada. I'm preparing for the National Accredidation Committee's Constitutional Law exam. I would like to locate old Con Law exams, preferably with model answers.
Any help would be appreciated.
Janet Connolly Gyr


I would argue that it's not law school that changes people, but just that at the current time law school seems to be attracting more people who want a guaranteed ticket to a six-figure job rather than people who want to be lawyers because it would be the right kind of job for their personalities. Unfortunately, some people in the former category ultimately realize they're not also in the latter category.

As a result, they become bitter and negative about their jobs, which manifests itself in amorality/lack of caring and a negative attitude in general.

But I believe (hope?) they're in the minority compared to lawyers as a whole.


Of course law school changes people--you have to learn to 'think like a lawyer'. That doesn't mean it changes people into amoral jerks, any more than (as Dave! points out) med school teaches you to have a God complex.

I do believe, though, that there is a push toward that amorality; you have to set aside your feelings about how a case "should" turn out and look at what the law says.

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