Scaling the wall

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 20, 2010 in The 2L Life

I suspect most of us would agree with the proposition that law school centers around a quasi-caste system.

The 3Ls, only a few classes and a Bar exam away from becoming The Anointed, are at the top. They know the professors, they’ve taken the classes, they run the student organizations. 2Ls seek them out for advice and mentorship; 1Ls hang on their every word.

At the bottom of the law school hierarchy are the 1Ls, still fresh and doe-eyed and excited about everything that lies ahead of them. They’re the serfs of the system, providing volunteer labor or dues $$ (or both) to the groups they join, along with an endless stream of amusing stories and questions for their more-experienced law school colleagues :beatup:

Then in the middle are the 2Ls. They hold leadership positions throughout the school, but usually in lower roles like Vice Presidents or Secretaries or Treasurers. They still have questions for their 3L mentors, but now they provide answers to their 1L mentees — unless a 3L is around for the 1L to get a second opinion. They’re basically sowing the ground preparing for the next year’s harvest.

That system seems fairly stable and pervasive… but my (admittedly limited and unscientific) observation suggests that social wall separating the classes seems to disappear when we’re all in an academic setting together ;)

Tonight was my first elective class at NCCU Law, titled “Race and the Law”. I’ll get into the course details and why I’m taking it in another entry, but the thing that struck me was the balanced mix of freshly-minted 2Ls and 3Ls in the course. The balanced demographics also yielded balanced participation, with the attendant (but balanced!) cluelessness and even sparring between opposing viewpoints.

It’s like those [#]L divisions just melted away for a few hours and we were all the same lump of proto-attorneys analyzing American jurisprudence. Not sure if this is a common occurrence in other electives or other law schools, but I thought it was pretty cool… and a reminder that we’re all getting professional training in a professional institution to become fellow professionals, not mere schooling in a university to become college graduates.

Looking forward to what this class will be like over the next 5 weeks :)

Oh and Lobbying for Lawyers is 40% done! :D Heading to bed now so I can get up early for Day 3 — good night y’all!

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