I went to Orientation on Thursday and Friday, and I lived to tell about it. More importantly, those around me lived, as well.

Maybe it’s my inner Event Planner coming out, but these things should not be so hard. Everything was presented out of order; very important pieces of information were left out until a last minute “Oh yeah, …this is where you can find your assignments for Monday” as everyone was walking out on Friday afternoon; we got to hear all about the student associations, the student bar associations, and the alumni associations (never too early to start feeding us the “giving back” spiel after graduation in 3 years), but simple things like, oh, computer network registration, class registration, financial aid questions, where to buy books, the location of the copy center, were either rushed through in the interest of time, or completely lost altogether. Does anyone have a spare Comment Card handy? So frustrating.

I did learn a few things about law school, though, that will be helpful for me to remember in the coming months.

1. Almost everyone who works at the law school has a JD.

I’m not talking just about the professors and the Deans. I’m also talking about the Career Services people, the Student Services people, the computer techs – everyone. For them, this means that everyone at the law school can understand what we, as students, “are going through.” To me, it means that everyone has a “legal ego” (see #2).

2. People with JDs have huge egos.

I’m sure this is not the rule. I don’t know very many lawyers, and those that I do know are very nice people. But the people who have JDs and work for a law school seem a different breed.

Maybe it’s what draws them to academics – the idea of projecting their vast legal knowledge into the future – but the message I kept hearing over and over was how smart I was for choosing a legal career over some other career that made less of a difference. There’s an arrogance there that I have no interest in being a part of.

3. Law school is an indoctrination.

Wow. These people take this stuff seriously. Not the Law (which is important for everyone to take seriously), but the Pomp and Circumstance of law school. At the end of a very long first orientation day, they held a dinner and a “Pinning Ceremony.” In this Pinning Ceremony, new students were called one at a time, shook hands with professors, and were given a pin “in recognition of the start of your legal career.” What? Are you serous? Have I just pledged a frat? I don’t need a pin to remind me (A) that I am in law school or (B) why I’m here. That, plus the fact that they had nothing vegetarian for dinner, convinced me it was time to go. Brent and I skipped out of the Pinning Ceremony and went to dinner by ourselves. And I do not feel bad about it.

Yes, surviving Orientation was a big step and I got through it with very few scrapes.

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