Descomplicando as legal news: L1; T14
Tales From An Unsuspecting T14 1L: Law School Orientation
Ler notícias em inglês pode parecer difícil para um não-nativo da língua inglesa. Agora imagine ler notícias em inglês jurídico!
O Descomplicando está lançando hoje o DESCOMPLICANDO LEGAL NEWS, que tem como objetivo explicar expressões e referências culturais que podem dificultar ou impedir o entendimento de um texto.
Hoje vamos descomplicar os termos L1 e T14, que aparecem na manchete do texto que reproduzimos aqui.
L1 - aluno de Direto do primeiro ano (L2: aluno do segundo ano; L3: aluno do terceiro ano)
T14 - ranking das melhores faculdades de Direito norte-americanas (entre elas: Berkeley Law School, Columbia Law School , Cornell Law School e Georgetown University Law Center)
Agora que você já sabe o que significam essas expressões, lei o texto interessantísimo de um aluno 1L, de uma universidade T14 dos Estados Unidos:
Ed. note: Please welcome Earl Grey (not his real name) to our pages. He’s a first-year student of color at a T14 law school, and he’ll be sharing his experiences with us.
I am proud to be among the thousands of future professionals diving into their fall law courses. Though endless readings pour down on me, I can’t help but feel energized from my law school’s motivational orientation.
The memory of a happy orientation will fade for most of us as multiple syllabi dictate our lives and we consider that era “wasted reading time.” Thankfully, I have already made it my goal to chronicle these legal experiences as they pass us by.
How was orientation? As I sip on my tea (the kind suggested by a reader of my last article), many interesting moments come out at me. I can surely boil these moments down to six major takeaways.
Foremost, we are privileged.
There goes my reader base.
The truth is the truth. Numerous interactions lead me to believe economic diversity in law school is worse than in elite colleges, and embarrassingly so. As someone who has normally had less privilege than others, it did not take long for me to realize that this lack of economic diversity is drenched with classism and elitism. Students have referenced their “safety schools,” speakers have commented on our “rare opportunity,” professors refer to “peer law schools,” and all these moments are done in a nearly condescending way. Even those of us with more humble backgrounds cannot help but mention the privilege we have adopted purely because our hard work was luckily recognized by a handful of admissions officers or faculty.
This, of course, does not necessarily mean we are inherently evil. But it is cruel that many did not want to think of themselves as privileged.
Second. The professors really do like having us.
Every boss I ever had found me replaceable. Someone else could and would do a task I was assigned to do. College professors could be great, but their research obligations and large teaching loads distracted them from fully engaging with me on an individual level.
These law professors seem to look at us law students, and especially 1Ls, differently. To them, we are future colleagues and leaders. In the present, they seem to believe our perspective shapes their understanding of the law as much as their experience informs our ability to understand it.
Third. Law students can love too.
To be fair, the key word is “can.”
Despite the jokes of law students living loveless and solitary lives, many of my fellow 1Ls entered law school with beautiful relationships, and I am sure about half of them will last past the first year of school.
There was plenty of tea to sip on when talking about the single law students too. People surely performed their awkward mating calls during our more social events. I guess if you are going to be privileged and elitist about it, you might as well find someone like you. But, as long as we are keeping these spaces comfortable for colleagues to work in, I will raise a tea cup to your love.
Fourth. Books are expensive.
That is all I have to say on this point. You forget you need them until you get here.
Fifth. Social justice is a thing. But, it also is not.
Let’s first be honest. Most of these law students think they are liberal or left-leaning. There exists the bunch that constantly talk about social issues. There also exists the disproportionately few who silently wince whenever a conservative view they hold is publicly disparaged. And Donald Trump’s and Thurgood Marshall’s names have been mentioned on occasion. I will let you guess who was praised.
That being said, my school’s employment statistics and the honesty of about half the people I met suggest most of us did not enter law school to save the world. And those who say they are interested in social issues are more than open to learning about the benefits of a Biglaw alternative.
Regarding differing viewpoints, no one quarreled inappropriately, and no professor made other views seem invalid, even if they were.
And lastly, I think I will be alright for now.
I took pleasure in responding to all the emails wishing me luck on my journey through law school. Though I was nervous, everyone else seemed nervous. One moment you were in awe and the next moment you were surprised someone was in awe of you.
Making friends and preparing for classes came easier than expected. The sense of community was quite high if you allowed yourself to take it in. The readings were more interesting than discouraging if you accepted the fact that you did not enter law school knowing how to think like a lawyer.
But, there are dreaded exams that everything from this point revolves around. It seems you will not know for sure that you are failing until after you fail. I hope office hours will change that feeling.
I am no longer excited, just forever sleepy. I look forward to letting you know more specific details on classes, professors, and my personal life in the next article. Stay tuned.
Earl Grey (not his real name) is currently a 1L at a T14 law school.
You can reach him by email at HotTeaForEveryone@gmail.com.