Law: “Turning it Off”

February 4, 2008

Today was one of the holyist days in sports:  Super Bowl Sunday.  In the spirit of this great day, I opted to sleep in…..till 1 PM.  I then did a little homework, lounged around, and watched part of Oceans 12 before going to the Super Bowl event I opted to attend.

Somewhere near the beginning/middle of Ocean’s 12, Danny makes a comment that he “just can’t turn it off” and that “he is always seeing the angles.”  When I heard this, I realized that this was the best articulation of what I find most annoying about being a law student.  Earlier one this blog I commented on a similar idea, but Danny’s comment really hit it home for me:  The reason I get annoyed with my head is because I can’t turn being a law student off.  In and of itself I guess this isn’t a problem, except that sometimes being  a law student is really really annoying.

I suppose everybody has this to some extent.  Danny noted that con-men do, I’ve talked to former members of the military that express the same view (they can’t help but act consistent with their training), and I have met many many salesmen that always notice what X you have (X being whatever they sell).  So why should it suprise me that law students do the same thing?

Its not just the analytical method and the way we think, that I actually like and find useful.   Athough “thinking like a lawyer” may be annoying to some, I really dont see the issue with it….. so you are more careful to say what you mean, and you split issues into smaller points of coflict.  Who cares?

What I find annoying, is the random stuff that is poured into our heads.  Everything we do has to deal with names and facts.  Most of human interaction is about names and stories.  Do you know how hard it is to go through a full week without something reminding you of some case or opinion you read in school? 

I’ll give an example.  Today I go visit espn.com and I’m reading an article entitled “Easterbrook:  Why Spygate Loomed”.  Of course the first thing in my head was “what on earth did judgeEasterbrook have to say about football.” I quickly click on the link and before the page loads I realize I’m an idiot and this wasn’t going to be Judge Easterbrook.  I was saddened by the fact that I saw the name of a 7th Circuit Judge and immediately assumed it was he same guy instead of GREG Easterbrook who I actually enjoy as an ESPN columnist.  God I felt like a tool.

Anyway, after much deliberation, I still feel like a tool, but at least I kind of get it.  There is so much random, worthless, B.S. floating around in my head and every once in a while my brain makes a connection.  When I notice, its almost always a very irrelevant connection, and then I feel wierd. 

On the plus side, I don’t share these connections outloud, so I’m better than the dbag gunners….. at least that’s what I tell myself.

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