7 Deadly Sins of Law School

Across the country, law students are entering their august institutions. We here at Bitter Lawyer are happy to guide these students through the perils of their epic quest for a J.D. by reposting helpful tidbits provided by those that came before them. Stand on the shoulders of bitter giants, students.

Originally posted: April 10, 2013



Everything has its own special variations on the classic seven deadly sins and law school is no different.  The sins, of course, are always the same, but the manifestations vary.

  1. Lust – The old classics work here, 3Ls trolling the 1L class for students who have fallen into the high-school-ness of Law School and are foolishly hoping to “date up” not understanding that dating a 3L isn’t actually a step up for anyone.  There is, of course, also the entirely bullshit concept of law students “lusting after knowledge/justice,” but the only people trying to sell this second possibility are law school admissions offices.
  2. Gluttony – Alcohol is the obvious answer here, but the sleeper, and real winner, is the unlimited Westlaw/Lexis access doled out to students.  No matter how many shit-show law proms we go to, nothing gets overused nearly as much as our research tools.  As those with jobs lined up will find out soon when their bosses call them in to discuss the newest associate’s research bill.
  3. Greed – Salaries, class rank, networks, take your pick here.  Even the kids who spent years in the Peace Corps and who dream of working for Legal Aid will stress themselves out trying to pick up just one more spot in their class rank.
  4. Sloth – If there’s one thing that a 3L in his last semester knows, it’s the sin of sloth.  Or maybe that’s mostly the result of being forced to help clients through the school’s clinic that any thinking lawyer would have kicked out of the office within five minutes.
  5. Wrath – Don’t worry, those fantasies about waiting outside the law school to shank that notorious gunner are perfectly normal.  Besides, no-one would miss him anyway.  Hell, people might even thank you.  Oh who are we kidding, people will thank you.
  6. Envy – Traditionally this one is about coveting thy neighbor’s ass, which is probably appropriate for that time spent coveting all those 1Ls your 3L friend managed to pull.  Of course, those hours spent hating everyone who has a job lined up and waiting for graduation probably fall into this category too.
  7. Pride – The fundamental sin of every incoming 1L who thinks they’ll be able to save the world once they have their degree.  And still the fundamental sin of every exiting 3L who thinks they’ll buck the odds and have a job that doesn’t leave them depressed and alcoholic.

Post image courtesy of Shutterstock.

  • Hank

    As far As #1 is concerned, Lust, hey, it’s something for the nerdy 1L’s to look forward to. 1L Guys never got any action from the 1L women. They were all busy getting outlines (as well as getting boned) by the 3L guys. So by the time we became 3Ls, we all got the 1Ls. The only thing you have to be careful is that the 1Ls were clean and fresh, because law school and bathing do not go hand in hand.

  • PYB

    I love the gunner hate. It’s so universal. You know why? Because most law students and lawyers suck.