It is sort of de rigeur in law school blogs, I’ve found, to mock 1Ls, especially at exam time, for their nerdishly studious behavior and the competitive psych out games in which they engage. I have no delusions of coolness and know myself to be a nerd, so lest my friends be given the opportunity to scold me (“pot? Have you met my friend kettle? He is also black!”) I will refrain from openly mocking the nerd tendencies of 1Ls.

Notice I did not say I would refrain from mocking 1Ls entirely. To the contrary. Today, there is something entirely separate about 1Ls about which I would like to complain. And no, it is not their tendency to turn around suddenly in the hallway, taking out anyone within a four foot radius with the huge backpack stuffed full of books. Or the alarming numbers of libertarians in their ranks. No, what bothers me about the 1Ls today is their complete and total lack of manners.

Today, the Public Interest Law Society that I help to run had an event. At this event, a man I used to work for, who is so old that Llewellyn was still teaching when he started law school, came to talk about his four decades working on fair housing issues in Chicago. (He is so cool. Seriously. Forty years of bad salary and wrestling with the Chicago Housing Authority and you’re still an optimist? Cool in my book.)

Because I am a vegetarian, and because I was in charge of ordering the food for this lunch event, we served falafel. (Side note: I realized about 4 minutes before the event started that today is also Ash Wednesday, so if anyone asks, the reason we had no meat at the lunch is out of sensitivity toward the Catholics, because a couple of Catholic students came up and thanked me profusely for being so thoughtful and having a veggie lunch and hey, who am I to correct them?) A full 20 minutes before our event was scheduled to begin, 1Ls started lining up for lunch. At our law school, this is normal: if you want to have an event at lunch time and don’t provide food, good luck getting anyone to attend. It’s like the bagels of entitlement. Law students really like to be fed.

Now, I had heard rumors that this year’s 1L class was a little, ahem, overenthusiastic about free food, and I had seen with my own eyes how they descend like vultures upon any food that happens to be left over at the end of a lunch event. (Heaven help you if you get between a 1L and his free leftover pad thai.) But I was floored (FLOORED!) when a 1L walked around the line, grabbed a falafel WITH HER BARE HANDS, and kept right on walking right out the door of the law school. That’s right: she budged in line, put her germs on our food, and then DIDN’T EVEN COME TO OUR EVENT.

I couldn’t help it. I yelled at her. I’m not proud of it, but come on, lady, where were you born? A BARN? Did you grow up one of 17 children? Or the only girl in a family of 5 hungry football playing brothers? You know, in the kind of household where if you wanted to eat you had to grab food fast, real fast, so fast that even utensils would slow you down too much? Even if you did, here’s a heads up: you’re in law school now! You will likely someday be a lawyer! Lawyers, even the public interest kind, make money! Enough money to enable them to buy food! You’ll never go hungry again! So STOP STEALING MY FLIPPIN’ FALAFELS.

That is all.

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