5 Downsides to Thanksgiving Break

With Thanksgiving break approaching, law students everywhere are looking forward to going home, spending time with friends and family. There’s an abundance of things to be thankful for during any break from school, not the least of which is not being in class. But, there are some other not-so-awesome aspects of break.  In the spirit of the season and being a student, here are some things most law students won’t be thankful for this upcoming break.

  1. The person who can’t remember what year in school you are. “Did you just start this year?” “2 years ago?” “Are you still even in school?” They have no idea. They won’t remember when you tell them this year either, so you might as well prepare a sound bite now to use during Thanksgiving break and again at the end of the semester break. The worst variety of this person is the one who thinks you’re still in undergrad, especially if you’re not a 1L or took time off between undergrad and law school.  There is more of a chance you’ll remember everything you want to on a final exam than there is that they will ever retain information about your academic progress, so don’t hold your breath.
  2. The person who does know what year in school you are but thinks its L3 instead of 1L. This is forgivable if you’re a first semester 1L, but after that, the people who interact with you regularly should have a better idea. If you’re like me, you have no idea what this person says after, “How’s L3 going?” because you’re so distracted by the mental image of Squints making mental L7 Weenie jokes.
  3. People from high school. Maybe you still have a few high school friends you hang out with on occasion, and those people are great. The others, though? The ones who you haven’t intentionally seen since graduation? They come out of the woodwork on holiday breaks and immediately after gushing, “Oh, heyyyy!!! I haven’t seen you in for-ev-er! What have you been up to?” they want your legal opinion on something, and there’s a 50/50 chance that something is a DUI.
  4. People who make lawyer jokes. They’ve got a bad lawyer joke for everything from ethics to . . . well, actually, most of the jokes are about ethics. And there isn’t a single one that’s funny or original. It’s one of the few attempts at humor more annoying than when law school text book authors trying to be humorous in the text between cases. Can’t we just skip this part of our conversation and get on to something else?
  5. People who ask what you plan on doing after graduation/what you want to specialize in/how law school is going. The worst thing about these people is that they’re typically well intentioned. They’re interested. They’re trying. They want to make conversation. And it makes me cringe, every time. I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy and make them wish they hadn’t asked, especially when they’re trying so hard to be nice. How do you reply to this kindly and appropriately? I don’t know; it’s still a struggle for me and it’s my third year. What I do know: on this break, I don’t want to think about law school at all.

Possibly the worst part about a 3L’s Thanksgiving break is the realization that it’s the end of getting Thanksgiving law school breaks. Yes, law school sucks, but it at least gives you a full week off for Thanksgiving, something not found in full-time employment.