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Law students are something of a different species

Law students are something of a different species. Though Law students are a diverse bunch in many ways, there are traits and common understandings we come to share as we go through this journey together. As they say, above all, law school teaches students how to think like lawyers. It all develops very naturally, gradually, almost insidiously. Then, the inevitable occurs: that moment when you realize that one of your loved ones on the outside just doesn’t get it. You know the moment. Maybe it was when your friend from college came into town for the weekend, clearly assuming you could go three days without doing a lick of work whatsoever. Or when your significant other’s eyes glazed over when you discussed the fascinating world of the non-delegation doctrine. Or when that family member *shudder* asked you for legal advice. Recently, I wondered: if I could have given my loved ones a little pamphlet called “Knowing Your Law Student” before I began my 1L year, what would it have said? 1. When the law student in your life says she’s busy, over and over again…she probably is. Be understanding – law school is time-consuming. It’s just the nature of the beast. Voice your needs when appropriate – and, if possible, not during final exams time. Which leads us to… 2. Some things are going to be a lot different. You may not be able to watch “Law and Order” or “My Cousin Vinnie” again without your law student pointing out the inaccuracies, almost as a reflex. Legalese will find its way into your dinner conversations. You may gently mock your law student 3. Law school can be stressfu – but you can help. It may not be The Paper Chase, but it’s not Sesame Street, either. Your law student may feel disillusioned about something that sounds trivial to you. You may feel helpless to comfort them – but actually, it’s quite the opposite. You have the power to ground your law student in reality, and remind them of the bigger picture. 4.But don’t overdo talking shop. As much as they enjoy talking about all things legal, law students love talking about everything else, too. It reminds us that there’s still a whole other world outside law school, and that can be incredibly refreshing. Your law student has other law students to talk about that stuff with, anyway.

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