Like many venerable schools of law, ours is concerned about our ability to practice in the real world. Apparently, they got sick of graduating a bunch of idiots that ruined the school’s excellent reputation, by greeting clients by saying “How’s it hanging, bro?” Or at least that’s my interpretation of what’s happening here.
And so, enter the role play exercises. The school assigns a scenario, and then, you and a fellow student play this scenario out in front of a professor, who gives helpful critiques. For example: don’t tell your client that “It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere, amiright?” before pouring fake martinis.
This can be an excellent activity. Unless you’re role playing an attorney, while your partner role plays an idiot. Perhaps an idiot who totally forgot why they came in for legal advice. Or who forgets to mention that the incident they came in to discuss resulted in their paralysis. Or they were shot by a neighbor and forgot who shot them. Role play calling the police, bitches.
Alternatively, if you, as the lawyer, forgets who your client is, and starts discussing a totally different matter, one that was on the sheet but not assigned to you, it creates a significant amount of consternation as your “client” tries to figure out exactly what the right response is when you assume they are a world class football player, but they are, instead, a little boy who fell down a well.
The best part of this activity, is imagining all of our very mature and grown up profs sitting around coming up with these scenarios.
Was it Professor Excellent Hair who came up with the back story for scenario A, where a college football player moved from Seattle to Colorado to focus on becoming an environmental lawyer after hiking the hills of Washington state?
Did Professor Awesome Bow Tie decide that little Timmy was chasing his remote controlled truck straight into an uncovered well?
Did Professor Knitted Vest create the backstory for the troubled teen who’d been sent to live his grandparents? I don’t know about your venerable institute, but at mine, someone has put a hell of a lot of thought into this irrelevant back story.
And the best part of the backstory? Only one member of the partnership knows it. And so, you may be sitting there, listening to your “client” talk at length about the importance of their new life goal of underwater basket weaving, wondering exactly why your partner is babbling on about this bizarre irrelevant detail and deciding that they are, in fact, a pathological liar who is enjoying snaring you in this sophisticated web of irrelevance. At which point in time, your interview becomes adversarial and a little bit insane.
And that is why role play is best left for sexxxy-time.