Commandment 9: Thou Shalt Not Go On Facebook During Lecture. (It is distracting to every single person in the room, trust me. Nobody cares at all)
The internet is a wonderful tool. I’m all about it. But, when you sit in the front row of the lecture and are not taking notes, you should just listen and try to absorb the information. It’s fucking annoying to see Facebook on your computer screen. What the fuck are you doing? Oh wait, you’re using the instant message function to chat about how boring your class is to your friend, Peggy? Well, then fucking leave. Nobody wants you to be here. Everybody, however, wants you to attend the final so that the curve is in their favor, not yours. It is incredibly distracting. Every second that I spend being annoyed at you is a second of class time wasted. (And money; we’re paying about $300 a class.)
People are easily distracted and I understand that. Please please fucking please. It is so easy even for an attentive student to zone out. Don’t make it any worse by keeping Facebook up on your computer and making it more than obvious that you are a total douchebag and are not listening to anything that is being said by the professor. If you can’t handle a lecture then leave. I thought that you came to law school to learn, but you far too busy looking at your friend’s pictures from Italy or Canada or IHOP or whatever. You are an asshole and everybody agrees. That is, other than the people that are on Facebook as much as you are whilst in class. Your grades will most assuredly reflect the level of commitment you have put forth in class. I don’t care how sick your outline is, you will most certainly be very lost during the final exam.
My favorite part of lecture is when the professor cold-calls on that student who has been on the internet for the entirety of class. To watch that person scramble to figure out the appropriate response without feeling like a total asshole pleases me beyond belief. Usually the response is only “Can you please repeat the question?” but still, I laugh at them anyway. They turn red, the close the Facebook window quickly as if the background of their desktop somehow contains the answer to the question. It doesn’t, so stop staring at it like it’s the holy grail. If you paid attention in the first place, you wouldn’t look like a total fucking laughingstock. People secretly (or not so secretly) love to see those who surf facebook totally tank in class because it makes all of us look better. Most of the time, there won’t be someone to save the unfortunate soul in the moment of frantic fumbling. We all delight in seeing those who don’t pay attention fail miserably when they are cold called on. No one gives a shit about your conversation with your friend Helga about which guy in your torts class is so totally smokin’ hot, or what shoes you should buy. Fuck you, Helga. Another thing that should be included in this rant on facebook is the people WHO FUCKING ONLINE SHOP DURING CLASS. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THAT PAIR OF HEELS YOU’RE EYEING UP ON ZAPPOS. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOU LOOKING AT SUPER COOL KICKS ON KARMALOOP OR SOME SHIT. It’s extremely fucking distracting, and everyone in the lecture hall can see your fucking screen. Your taste is most likely shitty anyway.
You are not cool. You are an idiot. So stop and pay attention in your fucking class.
Liberace and Harry Houdini Signing Off
Commandment 8: Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbors Grades (They are not you, you are you. You’ll be fine!)
It is very easy to get wrapped up in how others do in your first year law school class, your law school section even. When you receive your grades for the semester, whether they are good or bad, keep that shit to yourself. Seriously. Keep your mouth shut and don’t tell the whole law school how well you did or how poorly you did. You are unique and special and all that fucking bullshit. You cannot change those grades so just get used to it and move on. If you did poorly on an exam and your douchebag classmate tells you that they received an A, well good for them! Trust me, you do not want to be them. You want to be you. We all fuck up a few times. If not now, in your first year of law school, then you might in your second or third year. Whatever, it’s all good. You are a fucking unique snowflake and if you get a C- in Torts or if you get an A, it’s okay. Be happy that that test is over and now you can work on improving or maintaining your knowledge from the course.
The natural fear when you have done badly is that you will be harshly judged by a set of asshole critics who seemed to do pretty well on their exams. It all comes down to one test. Everybody has bad and good days. This is no indication of your aptitude in any way. You got into law school; be proud of yourself. If you fuck up in your first semester or first year, you are able to fix that. Nobody knows what they are doing yet.
Whatever you do, do not resent your classmates for their good fortune, their hard work, and their good grades. That bitterness will end up consuming you and you will have a hard time in the future maintaining friendships. You earned whatever grade you got, which sucks if you didn’t do well, but you fucking earned it. We could go back in time and take that exam again and maybe we would do better, maybe not. Trust me, though; you do not want to retake that exam!
Overall, your classmates rubbing their grades in your face can really hurt if you did not do as well as they did. But it is important to know your strengths and weaknesses. These grades will help you get the motivation to work on your weaknesses and turn them into your strengths.
Want to know what I hate? Douchebags. Don’t be one. Don’t boast about your good fortune and neither will I. But fucking calm down; first year grades are not the end of the world.
Liberace signing off
Thou Shalt Make New Older Friends in Order to Attain Outlines* (This is very important; being attractive helps speed this process along)
Law school is hard: people say that you can just get through it if you work really hard. Well, yes. Work really hard. But dude, there is no way to pass your finals unless you have an awesome outline that you study every day and night. And then some. Sometimes you can’t make a good outline with your own little brain, or you have no idea where to start. This is when these outlines that have been attained from older students come into play. Sometimes, these bomb outlines literally are so good you just start typing your own notes into it in class. So if you want to get ahead, this is where older friends come in handy. Now if there is any advice that I, a lowly 1L can give you, it is that you must find a 3L friend who has a nice vault full of fucking outlines from his or her friends.
You do not HAVE to be attractive. However, as a female, you will find that men want to get on your good side, maybe if they want to fuck you. This is part of how you will score an amazing outline. If you are a boy, looking good to ladies will make it so they want to impress you. Everyone in law school is a bit of a whore, so this is just another way people have pull over each other to obtain what they need or want. Girls and guys can both be shameless in this plot to get outlines, however, you don’t have to fuck this person; you are not an escort or a prostitute. Just play the game. It is selfish and it is fucking magical because sometimes you really can’t do it all on your own. Older friends are essential to law school success. If this doesn’t apply to you, fuck off over-achiever.
Anyway, write your own outline because you learn the material better when you write it yourself. However, the bare bones of what your older friend will give you is going to be fucking beautiful and you will very pleased with yourself when you literally learn every word of that fantastic outline. It isn’t cheating. An outline is not going to make all your fucking dreams come true; but somebody else explaining abstract concepts to you might be a helpful tool. These older students don’t remember your classes, but trust me, they have outlines for you in a folder on their computer, probably with the intention of making a girl or boy either open their legs or open yours. Well, I think it’s part of life to use others sometimes. Let’s find those older students and charm the fuck out of them so that we can get what we so desire: outlines.
Liberace and Harry Houdini —- OUT.
Commandment 5: Thou Shalt Find All Of The Hidden Bathrooms In Order To Poop In Peace
I have no problem with discussing poop. If you have any issue with doing so, get the fuck out of here and don’t read this post, please. Also, do yourself a favor and grow up. This is a very human thing to do. Anyways, I preface this post with the notion that finding the most secluded location to go in order to go to the bathroom is pretty important. I certainly don’t want an audience and neither do you! Well, if you do, that’s fine too, but you have other issues that need to be addressed between you and your physician. But, the general public probably would prefer to go to the bathroom in peace.
This is one of the most important things to learn during your first semester of law school. I cannot even begin to express how this will come in handy one day when you are planning to spend the entire day in the library. Do you like Chinese food/pizza/any meat or dairy product/lettuce? Do you like those things? Well, then shortly after you eat them, you’re going to have to poop. Bottom Line. You simply must think outside of the box. Look for the weird bathrooms. You know the faculty bathroom upstairs where nobody goes? Well, BOOM. That is where you’re going to have to check when that rumble begins in your stomach. Because going to the bathroom is a personal thing, certain places that you will find only have one toilet and a bathroom with a lock; well, now you’ve just found fucking gold. Treasure this and hold onto it. Unfortunately, in law school, there are mostly public bathrooms so you have to find the perfect bathroom and tell nobody else the gem that you have just stumbled on. Trust me, finding the hidden bathrooms will save you lots of trouble. Make sure these toilets flush properly before extended use.
Student 1: I’m going to the bathroom
Student 2: Oh I have to go also; I’ll come with you.
Student 1: No fucking way, bro.
This conversation is likely to happen a lot if you have found the perfect bathroom. Keep that shit under lock and key; other people need to find these for themselves, and if they can’t, that is why your special bathroom is still special.
Bottom line, a lot of people don’t like talking about this subject because their own bodies gross them out. Well, fuck you and get over it. This shit happens, no pun intended. The important thing to know is that you have to find a bathroom in your law school that is quiet, hidden, and contains a functioning toilet. It is preferable that people will not be cognizant of when you enter and exit this phantom bathroom. If all else fails, go to Starbucks; they have bathrooms for one. And you can blame anything on whoever went to the bathroom before you did to the next person waiting to enter. Trust me.
If this post made you uncomfortable, then I’m deeply apologetic that you are uneasy going to the bathroom. Take a laxative or some miralax. Any standard stool softener will do, but please, get the fuck over yourself and take a shit that you can be proud of.
Please read this, people.
The 5th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Come To Class With an Odor. (Seriously, it is distracting to others.)
I was under the impression that this would not need to be placed on the commandment list. Seeing as we must all have graduated college to go to law school, we have to be over 21 years old; therefore, I really, truly thought that showering/hygiene was a known prerequisite to being around others in public. I was wrong, and for that, I am sorry. Here is a list of the odors that I have smelled just sitting next to people who are unaware that soap and water exists:
1. B.O. (standard typical horrible smell)
2. Fart. (yes, fart)
3. Garlic. (what the fuck, dude.)
4. Chicken Soup (how is this possible, you ask? IT IS)
5. Cigarettes (I know law school is stressful and I get that you smoke. Please put on some cologne/perfume to mask that odor because it makes my nostrils want to die and I feel like I’m in my grandpa Mort’s apartment in Brooklyn)
6. Booze (This has only happened once. Really? Drinking at 10 AM. I will not even discuss this further. Either you’re a total champ or a fucking mess. My guess is the latter. See you at graduation? Possible but unlikely. Even if you make it, I might see you but I have a feeling you won’t see me…or anybody else)
7. Old Gym Socks (if your feet smell that bad, why don’t you just fucking cut them off and save the rest of the world from how badly they smell)
8. Sex (I’m glad you’re getting laid, really, I do. But seriously, you need to take a fucking shower cause you stink of sex. And if for no other reason, stop making everybody else who isn’t getting laid be reminded of how their lives suck.)
The farting has become a problem, I must say. If you don’t feel well, go to the bathroom. But please stop farting and pretending it wasn’t you. I have a nose, although when you fart, I wish that I didn’t, but I can tell that it was not me who farted and there are only a few people it could be. If I narrow it down, you, the one who most assuredly farted, are at the top of my list of suspects.
Old gym socks, my arch nemesis. If you go workout before you attend class, there are showers provided there so as to prevent a person like me from saying exactly what I am saying now. You smell like sweat and ass and it actually becomes severely distracting and I am unable to focus on what my professor is saying because I am counting the seconds to see how long I can hold my breath. This is when I will naturally be cold-called. So thank you, you smelly fucking fuck, for making my professor think I’m a douchebag when I make him/her repeat their question. I apologize professor, my mind is as clouded as my nostrils are. I repeat again, please take a fucking shower.
All of these odors are a problem, but I don’t have enough time to go into further detail about them. Well, I have the time. But it is painful to recollect the memories of stank that I have encountered.
Overall, I just want to say I am a big fan of the human body and its naturalness. I just am not sure that I can handle a stranger smelling so bad sitting next to me for 2 hours and not doing anything to stop them. People have a hard time offending others, I find. This is why people like me use this type of venue to voice their grievances. So here: If you smell horrible, or if you may potentially smell horrible, why don’t you fucking do something about it and stop being a disgusting douchebag that everybody talks about. People have begun to pity me just for sitting next to Dracula (garlic man) in one of my classes. You should be ashamed of yourself, stinkbomb.
Good luck, take a shower.
Liberace signing off.
This one is pretty important.
Commandment Four: Thou Shalt Not Derail Meaningful Lectures With Your Pointless Questions
I’m fucking begging you; please, pretty fucking please with sugar on top, shut the fuck up. If you’re even slightly unsure whether or not your question will provide meaningful thought-provoking discussion about the topic at hand, shut your damn mouth. I can’t even begin to tell you how often I have to sit in my seat with a horrified expression on my face wondering, “why the fuck does this person have a mouth and a voice box…and why are they using them concurrently to ask this fucking nonsense?” Well, chances are, if you see that expression on my face, it is probably you if you have just asked a question, and it’s because your question took away 10 minutes of class time that I will never get back. It also made me want to jump off a bridge. Thank you, very very much, for being an idiot.
The worst is when these questions are so clearly being asked because of a personal reason. Would you care for an example? I thought you’d never ask:
Location: Torts Class
Student: So let’s say a person goes to the doctor and the doctor tells them that they should stop eating McDonald’s Big Macs every day because their cholesterol is too high. Is that Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress?
Wanna know what I think? That question was intentional infliction of emotional distress to ME because I am severely disturbed that you just asked such a ridiculous piece of bullshit that is very clearly about yourself. Why do I care that you eat McDonald’s every day? I don’t. And that means nothing to me. And another thing, you also gave nothing of importance to the lecture in any meaningful way whatsoever. And the worst part is, the professor now has to answer that question even though the fact pattern is not complete and only a portion of the story has been told to the class. But seriously, spare us the rest because it is too stupid to entertain any further.
Bottom line, I have to sit here for 2 hours in class and listen to something that I actually need to know and am curious to learn; I would prefer to not have to listen to you make a fool of yourself and ask a question about your pet rabbit named twinkles or your mother who is suing her business partner and wants life advice. Please make sure that when you ask a question, it isn’t the single dumbest fucking thing that I’ve ever heard. Thank you.
Liberace signing off.
This one is short and to the point.
3. Thou Shalt Not Be An Annoying Douchebag (Gunner) That All Others Despise (The original commandment of thou shalt not kill will be acceptable for others in this case.)
EVERYONE HATES GUNNERS. THEY EVEN HAVE SPECIAL NICKNAMES. IT IS NOT COOL WHEN YOU RAISE YOUR HAND BEFORE THERE IS EVEN A QUESTION POSED BY THE PROFESSOR. IT DOES NOT GET YOU BROWNIE POINTS IF THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE AIMING FOR. YOUR ANONYMOUS NUMBER IS ON YOUR EXAM, SO THE PROFESSOR REALLY COULDN’T GIVE TWO FLYING FUCKS. Phew. Okay, so this one, I have to say, is extremely important. If you want people to respect what you have to say, say it well. I certainly do not mind people who talk all the time in class, because there are a lot of people I know who contribute on a regular basis and bring up valid, thought provoking points. However, there are an overwhelming amount of people who really enjoy spitting word vomit onto their desks because they’re tripping over themselves to answer a question they know they don’t even know the answer to.
It simply comes down to classroom etiquette. Cold calling is obviously a different scenario… you are basically being held at gunpoint and being asked to answer questions you may not know the answer to. But when a person voluntarily puts themselves in a professor’s line of fire and doesn’t know shit, there will be hell to pay.
I have not broken this commandment, and solemnly swear I never shall.
- Harry Houdini
The second commandment is an important one, so listen up.
2. Thou Shalt Start Outlining On The First Day of Class (Rule Whatever, Don’t Be an Idiot)
I’ll be easy on anyone who didn’t do this the first semester. First of all, the first month is a giant pile of what the fuck are we doing here. It’s really hard to figure out what method of studying works the best, and how your brain best absorbs information that you’re unfamiliar with. I remember the first week of law school, full of meltdowns and the looming questions of, “Am I really cut out for this? Can I really do this?” It was hard. Especially admitting that I had to get used to a whole new style of learning after finally being comfortable with my previous learning experiences. However, never fear - this shit gets drilled into your brain. I can still recite from rote memory most torts rules, and I certainly haven’t looked at them since the final. I told my friend that her family had a case for NIED and then proceeded to shoot off how it would play out in three different rules established by different jurisdictions. Needless to say I nearly bored that friend to tears and made this person reconsider law school all in one shot.
OUTLINING. SO IMPORTANT, IF ONLY I UNDERSTOOD HOW TO START THIS PROCESS WAY BEFORE I DID. It’s not that we’re stupid, or for that matter, don’t know how to make an outline. It just seems like there’s an insurmountable wall of information being thrown at you at all times, and attempting to scale it, master it even, sends on a fresh wave of meltdowns earlier in the first semester. Or you conveniently find any reason to “take a study break” such as tweet about how much law school sucks in hash tag format, tumblr your way into oblivion, read popular gossip sites, go on IMDB, netflix… the list is endless. This is when turning off your internet for an hour comes in handy. I wish I had thought of that trick sooner for when I wasn’t actually in class (more on that later).
However, with a semester behind me, I can say that this will be a commandment I REFUSE TO BREAK. Outlining is extremely useful in distilling information, and the more you edit it throughout the semester, the more the information really sticks in your brain.
This is another commandment I have broken, however this one is more understandable that the first one.
In the spirit of the law school commandments, I decided to elaborate a little more on each of these gems. I’m not going to do them all in one post, because frankly, some of them are way more juicy than others. Nonetheless, they are all pretty important in their own right. I’m also going to rat myself out on which ones I’ve broken, and which ones I’ve actually stuck with. Lets start with the first one…
1. Thou Shalt Not Fuck Any Member of Your Section Unless Necessary (RULE 19, JOINDER OF NECESSARY PARTIES)
First of all, this one is a loaded gun. Everyone spends so much time with their section, it’s hard not to get romantically involved, or at least have a crush on a fellow section mate that you don’t tell anyone about (or you tell everyone about because it’s somewhat hilarious and you think nothing will ever happen anyway). At times, it even feels like your section is a fucking soap opera. Some days, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t give to have a camera following our every move just for confirmation of how fucking WEIRD it gets every day. When you spend hours upon hours with your section, especially in the beginning when you barely know anyone, you begin to develop a weird bond and dependence upon each other. At first, it seemed like everyone could get along without any drama, but I knew better. Give it a month and people show what they’re truly made of. I’m not claiming I’m a standing example of righteousness or anything, but spending hours on end with people and then seeing them out on the weekends when there’s social lubricant involved tends to really shed light on personalities. A person could seem pretty cool and harmless, but then once they’re drunk, their true colors start to show.
Also, alcohol seems to be a running theme throughout this whole commandment, especially. If you think you’re going to make bad decisions when you drink, or your attraction to someone isn’t going to be well hidden if you’re drunk and around them, keep that shit on lock down and DO NOT hang out with anyone in your section of the opposite sex at the bar. I made this particular mistake, and it NEVER ENDS WELL. Even if you’re on okay terms with the person, or even somewhat friends with them, it will always end badly. Especially if the other person is a giant child in a grown up’s body. There is no knowing how people will react, but if they seem immature on the outset, there is no doubt that it will make for future awkward interactions.
Remember, you are with these people for hours on end for a year, and if you think a three week break will cure the first semester awkward situation you brought upon yourself, chances are you’re wrong. The forecast is not looking particularly sunny. Get out now before it can get any worse. I REPEAT, stop where you are, DO NOT cross into the fucking someone in your section territory.
This is indeed a commandment I have broken, much to my detriment because when you spend so much time with people, they tend to notice when something is off - especially when two people who normally have civil conversations are completely avoiding each other like the plague.
… and this is why my moniker is Harry Houdini. Amazing at getting myself into particularly tricky situations, and most of the time, swift at getting myself out of them. However, fucking someone in your section is not going to be one of the particularly tricky situations that you can get out of easily.
First semester down; now where are my grades?
Am I not allowed to see these phantom grades until less than a week before next semester starts because I’m an asshole? Because I deserve to be tortured? Is this a tactic to encourage me to rip my hair out? Possibly decide to drop out of law school so that this nonsense shall never occur again?
I think I have an answer. First year, first semester, law students are idiots. We know absolutely nothing at all. Our finals probably reflected that pretty well. Our professors are most likely having a difficult time establishing the curve because all of the exams were so riddled with errors that they don’t even know what to do with themselves/are unable to distinguish between who the best and worst fuckups in the class are.
On a lighter note, my professors have taken this shit to a whole new level. I have checked for my grades approximately 40 times since I have left for home and every time, I know that I will be looking at a class with no letter grade attached, yet I have continued to check consistently every day COME HELL OR HABEAS CORPUS. What a pun! No, but I have been checking too frequently to actually make a joke out of it. I, unfortunately, will take a bad final grade very personally. These professors know this too well, I think.
This is the stress we are so inextricably encompassed in right now. Waiting waiting waiting. This is exactly what we are unable to handle. We thought the studying was stressful, the anticipation of finals absolutely agonizing. Now, just waiting for those letter grades to punch us right in the face, that is what we so eagerly anticipate now. And I’m sorry but the turnaround is becoming a bit irritating. So much of ourselves went into these exams, and our swelling ego is not able to handle the pressure of the potentially less than perfect grade that we have all begun to fear. This pretty much sucks.
Finally, I think it’s high time us law students realize that we are no smarter now than we were in July and August and we need to stop acting like we have any idea what we are talking about. we don’t.Liberace signing off.