So, the title. First I should point out that I deserve no credit for it. All credit is due to my friend Y., who blogs over at UpperWestLaw. Also, to be fair, it's kind of a half-truth on my part. I'm not sure it's totally accurate to say I liked myself before law school (chorus of former roommates cries out "You can say that again!"), although I promise not to make this blog a chronicle of my own Robert Langdell-induced psychological woes. But it is by far one of the most common sentiments I've heard law students (especially female law students, but more on that another time) express. Often with a touch of gallows humor.
But sometimes without it-a friend of mine who had been in my section throughout the entire year (sections do a bit of switching up between first and second semester at my school, which I think I'll be terming East Coast Law School for the sake of anonymity) ran into me after our Crim exam. She's a bit older than me, and law won't be her first career. She said she was worried that she hadn't done that well on Crim (which to be fair, was everyone's feeling, even the Crim law junkies like myself and the prep-schooled, Ivy League-d future Law Review-ers of our section). I made the usual supportive law student noises-it was an awful exam, everyone left feeling bad about it, probably the curve would help her out, etc. And then she said "Yeah, but I don't think I studied enough. I spent the day after Con Law beating myself up about how I probably did. Law school has made me pretty good at self-hatred. Although I was pretty good at it already."
Yeah, me too.
Which is not to say I hate law school. Hate's a strong word, as elementary school teachers and mothers of 12 year-olds worldwide like to say. I like class (well, except Contracts. Nothing good to say there). I like my summer job, at home in a public defender's office. I like-love- the people I've found who aren't nuts. I'd happily teach in a law school someday (in my current dream life, I teach Criminal Procedure somewhere and have a criminal defense practice). But my gosh and golly does it get weird in there sometimes. Weird like "OMG my life is over because I will not make 160K immediately upon graduation" weird. And there's what my friend S. has cleverly termed "the nuclear arms race of studying." There are the dudes who make you want to go "Yes, I know. I go to law school, too. This law school. That's why I'm in your Property class every morning." I've managed to scare med students with tales of law school. Med students!
Rant-y there, are we?
I guess a few words about me/this blog are customary at this point. First, yes, I'm blogging anonymously. In large part because while things could get a little substantive (maybe even a lot, who knows?) around here at times, I don't plan on putting this on my resume, and really, it's unlikely to ever have readers beyond a few friends anyway. Also, I want to be able to talk about school without it someday coming up in a Google search, so any references to my school, my classmates, and my professors are going to be, I hope, sufficiently veiled. And to the extent that there may be a little injection of feminism/gender law into this blog from time to time, I'm inclined to protect myself to the extent I can from the vitriol that can sometimes get directed at feminist bloggers (somewhere, someone is already telling me that I am giving in to the patriarchy...but dude, come on, I'm one person with a computer trying to read casebooks, politely scold errant journal authors who have failed to give this poor, suffering Articles Editor a friggin' revised draft a month after it was due, and not cry daily.)
So...yeah. Wow, I need to start working on concluding cleverly.