Law School Horror Stories

Articles


– You can swim in my tears, that’s how much I cried in law school. (quirky music) – So I went into law school
doe-eyed, ready to work hard, but not really understanding
what I was getting into. – I feel like I blocked a lot of it out. Law school is traumatizing. – Basically, you’re
with the same 80 people for all of your classes the
entire first year of law school. You would end class and stand outside and just like talk to each
other about law school. – Little groups, you
huddle in little groups about how much you hate law school, and then shuffle over
to the library together. – Yeah, together. Like, alright, I guess I’ll study now. – Like little flamingos. – So cold-calling is
basically, you’re in class and then the professor calls on people. So he might say Tina, “What
was the courts rationale?” and like, “Well what did
the dissenting opinion say?” And not only question, so
you know if your professor called on you, you’re
going to be cold-called for the entire case. So you better know it inside and out. Make inferences about it. Like have an informed,
critical opinion of the case. And he might leave you for
a little bit and come back and be like, “Tina, what
happen in Paul’s graph?” – Right, and you think you’re safe, for that moment that he leaves. You’re like, I got this, I slay, queen. You walk away thinking your Beyonce and then come back and
get hit in the face again with questions that you can’t answer cause you have no idea what’s going on. – So this class, he did
a little differently. He would right a letter on the board. And so you would walk
in, look at the board, and it’s like, “Oh yes, the letter is “S”, my last name starts with a “C””. I’m safe for today. You knew right at the
get-go if you weren’t going to be on-call so
you could kind of relax. But if your letter was on the
board you’re just like scared. I had never missed a class,
people don’t miss class in law school also, by the way. Anyway, so I missed this class because I had a doctors appointment. That was the day my
letter was on the board and I had text messages
from like 10 people in class asking me where I was. So I guess my professor called
my name like three times and I wasn’t there and it
was actually so humiliating. The professor I don’t think
even remembers that probably. But every single day feel so
ashamed, embarrassed, scared. Like nothings going to
happen if you get cold-called and don’t know the answer. – It is definitely public shaming. – Yeah. – On my birthday, we took
our first criminal law exam. I slept through my class the
next day, through that morning and I missed class. So twelve o’clock rolls around, I wake up, I don’t really know how sober I am but you can’t miss class. So I throw on my girly
pink running shorts, I run from the mission district through it to the tenderloin, which is
like a 10, 15 minute run. So I’m covered in sweat, I
have Pedialyte as my breakfast, and I have my aviator sunglasses
and I stroll into class and I’m like, yes I got this. I don’t got this. So I’m in class, everybody
is already staring at me because I’m suppose to be on-call. It’s civil procedure, I have
no idea what’s going on. The professor is sitting
in front of our lecture. He turns to me and we make eye contact and for a moment in my life I’m like, this is it, this is when I go, Mom. I’m sorry, I love you, I’ve shamed you. So I felt myself about to throw up and we’re locking eyes and I
can’t feel it like a chipmunk. Just culminating in my mouth
because I’m so nervous. By this time I’m a marathon runner, I just ran to the tenderloin,
I just ran to school. So I run into the bathroom
and he didn’t even call on me. So I puke in the bathroom for no reason and I’m too ashamed to
go back into the class. So my ride or die law school homie, she luckily picks up my stuff
and just kind of walks it out and everyone just forgets
that ever happened. It was traumatizing though,
ruined that bathroom. So I was sent to Texas for Moot Court and it was the Houston competition. – Moot court is like mock trial, but it is a little different. – It’s less exciting
and theatrical, I think. – We don’t get to yell out, “I object, – Yeah, no. – “You can’t handle the truth.” One really old lawyer man comes up to us and he
was just talking to us, it was really early in the morning and he looks at me and goes, “I’m surprised they let women argue.” Silence. From our table. And we’re from San Francisco
area so we’re not use to the type of discrimination or at least, I’m not use to the type of discrimination that I would have to face in Texas. And without missing a
beat, I just looked at him and was like, “I look forward
to surprising every body.” And it was something
that I necessarily wasn’t prepared for coming into law school. I didn’t realize how
much biased and prejudice I would get from current attorneys, especially being a woman of
color, first generation law. But it was something in Texas that kind of hit me in the face. And that was my terrible experience. It just threw me for the whole competition so I did end up rolling my
eyes and saying “Mhm” a lot. I got a little feisty, I got
a little attitude over there. – Yeah, I would leave, I feel like. – We didn’t get very far. – Yeah that’s for the best probably. – Yeah. (laughing) – I’m banned from Texas. – Yeah, goodbye. I had an exam, it was my
first year of law school, my first semester, so it
was one of my first exams. I studied a lot, I felt fine. Just as I’m ready to get into the exam I go to the library to just
review things very quickly before going into the classroom. And I look over to my left
and there’s a girl in my class a smart girl, like someone
who should be feeling better than me, is
sobbing in a study room. Like crying, sobbing. That just really tore up my life. – Confession session. It wasn’t me. I walked into my civil procedure class, which is funny because I’m attorney now and I do nothing but civil procedure. But in law school it’s terrifying. I walk in, I sit down. My little sister was hyping me up all day. She was just like, you got this, you slay, walk in there like you own it. I do and then I open the
first page of my booklet, I look down and I just start balling. In the exam room, just crying. And I try to look cute because I figure if I’m going to fail, I’m
going to look fly as I fail. And I did it, mascara
was running everywhere. My cat eye was not cute like
it is, it was everywhere. Half of my eye brow wasn’t even done, I don’t even know how that happened. It was the trauma of civil procedure and so I had to work through tears. And my laptop, I was like great, now there’s water everywhere, it’s gonna explode then I’m going to burn the school down accidentally. So that is my confession
about how I cried. – So you did cry? – I cried. – It really does break you
down, like really tests you. – I don’t cry now, anymore. Except when I’m watching This is Us. – You’ll cry a lot, you
won’t recognize yourself.

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