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August 2000 Dear Incoming First Year Student, Congratulations on your choice of law schools! However, now that you’ve paid your non-refundable $700 deposit, there are a few things that we thought you should know. In many ways, law school enables you to relive the horrifying high school days you thought were long behind you. By being placed in sections, you’re guaranteed that you spend every hour of every school day with the same 100 people. Those people who ask annoying questions won’t be asking them in just one class, but in FOUR! And that’s not all — when class is over, you go to your locker and stow your books, just as you did in ninth grade. (We highly recommend buying your N’Sync locker posters before coming to school). Then you’ll eat lunch with these people. Everyone will eat lunch with the same people at the same table every day. This lunchtime rapport is very important, because it allows back-stabbing, gossiping cliques to realize their full potential — in preparation for weekends of binge drinking. (Actually, in law school, Thursday nights are also part of the binge drinking scene.) Beware of the juniors and seniors. Here, we call them 2Ls and 3Ls. The suffering and misery of the first year is still fresh in the mind of the 2Ls, so they’ll be doing everything in their power to help your experience be equally miserable. They’ll have “How to Survive the First Year” panels that serve little purpose beyond freaking out all the 1Ls. They’ll tell you how hard the first year is in an attempt to make their own survival seem all the more special. Come October, one or more will inevitably proclaim, “You haven’t started outlining yet? You are screwed!” In addition, some will tell you that they spent 30 or 40 hours a week studying, and that their torts outline was 11,000 pages long. Take a little advice from the 3Ls — adopt a casually apathetic attitude toward everything and everyone. But watch out for the 3Ls — literally. They’ll run into you in the hall because they don’t see you; two years of law school has placed them in a walking coma of jadedness. They’re simply going through the motions, because someone at some point arbitrarily decided law school should be three years long. On the plus side, because some of the 3Ls are lucky enough to have job offers already, you probably won’t see them often, as they have no incentive to study or go to class. Actually, some of them never cared in the first place. They say that in the first year they scare you to death, in the second they work you to death, and in the third they bore you to death. And we’ll do our best to make sure that’s the case. We’ll help make the time leading up to finals the most stressful period of your life — not because it actually merits vomit-inducing stress, but because everyone thinks it should. It makes lawyers feel nobler to think they suffered during law school, and, of course, it also contributes to the great public respect accorded the legal profession. During the second year, as you start job hunting, we’ll tell you that you need law review, moot court, mock trial, clubs, all As, intimate relationships with five or more professors, and a well-connected parent — and that if you don’t have these things, well, have fun staffing the West on-call attorney line. If you’re feeling stressed out or bored, there are about five zillion clubs at this law school, each with three members (President, Vice President, and Co-President — it’s all about the resum�). If you can’t find your niche here, you’re really a loser. All the clubs have correctly observed that the only way you can get people to come to a lunchtime panel on the “International Free Speech Implications of the Assault Tort: An Analysis of Online Gambling” is to offer free pizza or sandwiches. If you play it right, you can get a free lunch every day for three years. (Learning to fake a heart attack to avoid the actual panel is an essential skill.) All this means having to feign an interest in the Women’s Lacrosse Agents Law Society or the Law Students for Perot ’00 Association. Suck it up and join the Free Love Law Society, because delivered pizza beats the hell out of the swill they dish out in the school cafeteria. You’ll be paying $35,000 a year to attend this law school, yet, for some reason, there will never be enough computers in the computer lab, and half of the ones that do exist will not work. And here’s a little pointer: if you need to print something, just go straight to Kinko’s. The odds that even one printer works are next to nothing, and even if they work, someone’s probably busy printing that 11,000-page torts outline. And even though you pay $35,000 a year, we’re still going to charge you for printing. Speaking of $35,000 a year, we might as well get it out in the open: we’re totally ripping you off, and to make it worse, our financial aid office is in the “Guiness Book of World Records” as the least efficient operation on the face of the planet. It’s silly for you to act as though you’re entitled to the $35,000 that you’ve borrowed — financial aid will get it to you when they get around to it, which may be November. We operate on the assumption that everyone here is supported by rich parents, as shown by our requirement that you give us your parents’ financial information even if you’re 54 years old and married. We don’t really care if you can’t make the rent in September and October — just ask your parents for more money! And when you do have a balance in your school account, we won’t forward the money directly to you — you have to fill out a slip to request your own money. But there’s a way to avoid these problems: apply now for next school year, and there’s an outside chance you might actually see your money before you die. In closing, we look forward to seeing you at orientation, where you’ll be forced to sit through mock classes and silly skits by your peers and the faculty. There will also be a six-hour session where you wait in line for your photo IDs. Hey, it’s good practice for the financial aid office. Sincerely, The Administration of Your New Law School Chris Clayton begins his third year of law school in the fall.

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