What type of people are law students?

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totoro
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What type of people are law students?

Postby totoro » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:51 pm

Hi this is an honest question and it'd be great if anyone could help me out!

I'm asking this because I visited a t14 school last week and was honestly disappointed. I'm wondering if this is just my too speedy (and erroneous) judgment or if it's actually what going to a t14 is like. I prefer not to call it out but it's solidly in the t14 and it has a reputation for being more collegial. I was expecting to meet people I would fit with but I had a hard time seeing myself there. I spent one day there - talked to about 10 people in depth, sat in a large class of one 1L section, and watched a lot of other students milling around. Everyone was nice and everyone was enthusiastic about their school, so that wasn't the problem. It's hard to explain but most people were slightly irritating to get socialize with; they were not very down-to-earth, more high-strung, pretty intense about classes, super Biglaw focused, and not openly competitive with each other but you can tell that they love to "win." They seemed very social, but social in a manner that can rub you the wrong way (i.e. constantly talking about their interviews and summer offers). From my cursory impression people seemed less diverse in their personality types; i.e. I felt like there was a certain personality that the school attracted. This is all from my cursory impression from visiting but are most 1L students like this?

FWIW the types of people I befriended in college were more down-to-earth, real, laid back, and culturally aware. Do these types of people disappear at the top law schools??

(Sorry, I know these are sweeping generalizations... but I'm just wondering if this is the general atmosphere at most t14 schools in your experience. I'm worried about fitting in)
Last edited by totoro on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ph14
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby ph14 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:54 pm

totoro wrote:Hi this is an honest question and it'd be great if anyone could help me out!

I'm asking this because I visited a t14 school last week and was honestly disappointed. I'm wondering if this is just my too speedy (and erroneous) judgment or if it's actually what going to a t14 is like. I prefer not to call it out but it's solidly in the t14 and it has a reputation for being more collegial. I was expecting to meet people I would fit with but I had a hard time seeing myself there. I spent one day there - talked to about 10 people in depth, sat in a large class of one 1L section, and watched a lot of other students milling around. Everyone was nice and everyone was enthusiastic about their school, so that wasn't the problem. It's hard to explain but most people were slightly irritating to get socialize with; they were not very down-to-earth, more high-strung, pretty intense about classes, super Biglaw focused, and not openly competitive with each other but you can tell that they love to "win." They seemed very social, but social in a manner that can rub you the wrong way (i.e. constantly talking about their interviews and summer offers). From my cursory impression people seemed less diverse in their personality types; i.e. I felt like there was a certain personality that the school attracted. This is all from my cursory impression from visiting but are most 1L students like this?

FWIW I'm more of a science personality, and the types of people I befriended in college were science and international students, who I felt were much more "like me." I was hoping to meet people in law school who are down-to-earth, real, laid back, and culturally aware. Do these types of people disappear at the top law schools??

(Sorry, I know these are sweeping generalizations... but I'm just wondering if this is the general atmosphere at most t14 schools in your experience. I'm worried about fitting in)


It's a professional school, not undergrad. It's certainly different.

totoro
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby totoro » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:58 pm

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Last edited by totoro on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ph14
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby ph14 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:00 pm

totoro wrote:I agree and I do expect that, though still I was kind of surprised by the singular "law personality" types. I guess my question is if you're a science person, would you have a hard time being happy (in the social aspect of law school)?


It depends. How important is socializing to you? How big is your school? I'm sure you would be able to make some friends and enjoy yourself no matter what school you attend, especially if it is a medium or large sized school. And if you really want to be a lawyer are you going to let the fact that law school attracts certain types of people stop you?

My school is big. I can find any type of person/group that I could be interested in pretty much. I know there is a decently sized group of people that are interested in issues of science and technology as relates to law. And that can't be unique to my school.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:14 pm

You have described "the type," unfortunately. The kind of people you describe seem to be bizarrely prevalent at pretty much all law schools. The good news is that they might be the single largest "kind" of person you encounter, but there's room for all sorts. Keep in mind that the kind of person you're describing is the sort to make themselves more visible, more likely to seek out a prospective student and chat them up about how great their school (and, by extension, they) are, etc. The people you will like are probably by definition less likely to want to give you a hard sell on their law school, and so they're harder to suss out when you're visiting a school, but they still exist.

guinness1547
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby guinness1547 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:15 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:You have described "the type," unfortunately. The kind of people you describe seem to be bizarrely prevalent at pretty much all law schools. The good news is that they might be the single largest "kind" of person you encounter, but there's room for all sorts. Keep in mind that the kind of person you're describing is the sort to make themselves more visible, more likely to seek out a prospective student and chat them up about how great their school (and, by extension, they) are, etc. The people you will like are probably by definition less likely to want to give you a hard sell on their law school, and so they're harder to suss out when you're visiting a school, but they still exist.


Is "the type" douches?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:23 pm

guinness1547 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:You have described "the type," unfortunately. The kind of people you describe seem to be bizarrely prevalent at pretty much all law schools. The good news is that they might be the single largest "kind" of person you encounter, but there's room for all sorts. Keep in mind that the kind of person you're describing is the sort to make themselves more visible, more likely to seek out a prospective student and chat them up about how great their school (and, by extension, they) are, etc. The people you will like are probably by definition less likely to want to give you a hard sell on their law school, and so they're harder to suss out when you're visiting a school, but they still exist.


Is "the type" douches?

More specifically, type-A humblebraggarts enamored of their own intellect.

totoro
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby totoro » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:26 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
guinness1547 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:You have described "the type," unfortunately. The kind of people you describe seem to be bizarrely prevalent at pretty much all law schools. The good news is that they might be the single largest "kind" of person you encounter, but there's room for all sorts. Keep in mind that the kind of person you're describing is the sort to make themselves more visible, more likely to seek out a prospective student and chat them up about how great their school (and, by extension, they) are, etc. The people you will like are probably by definition less likely to want to give you a hard sell on their law school, and so they're harder to suss out when you're visiting a school, but they still exist.


Is "the type" douches?

More specifically, type-A humblebraggarts enamored of their own intellect.


Lol. Thanks for your reassurance. I was just kinda in shell-shock because other environments I've been in have been much more diverse, never would have guessed before setting foot there that there would be such a dominant atmosphere with those types.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:28 pm

There are some down-to-earth people at law school. If you don't have your heart set on double-digit numbers of friends you'll be fine.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:28 pm

BaiAilian2013 wrote:There are some down-to-earth people at law school. If you don't have your heart set on double-digit numbers of friends you'll be fine.


Damn, thats depressing. 9 friend max.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:30 pm

OP, yes you will be a bit out of your element but you can find people more like you I'm sure.

Professions and fields usually attract certain "types of people." Science is generally a more introverted and less egotistical profession than law, in general, so sure you're bound to see character stratification to some extent across different fields. Wouldn't you kind of expect that?

Anyway, like others have said, the majority isn't the whole anywhere so you'll find people to talk to comfortably.

ETA: Not exactly sure why you're so shocked. If you went to work at a research lab, odds are you wouldn't be amongst a group of big talking, constantly debating, alpha personalities. Folks don't watch politicians, A Few Good Men, and Suits to aspire to being chill and meek. Every field has a type, just find the anomalies.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:36 pm

While I think the "type" is pretty true (and I probably resemble that remark), different schools have very different atmospheres - I visited three schools that were statistically pretty similar and had very different, strong reactions to each. So check out a few more places and figure out whether your negative reaction was to the "type" per se or in part the culture at that school. (I also agree you can find the down-to-earth people everywhere.)

Also, I really don't think the differences the OP described boil down simply to extroverts v. introverts.

totoro
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby totoro » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:44 pm

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Last edited by totoro on Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

totoro
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby totoro » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:47 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:While I think the "type" is pretty true (and I probably resemble that remark), different schools have very different atmospheres - I visited three schools that were statistically pretty similar and had very different, strong reactions to each. So check out a few more places and figure out whether your negative reaction was to the "type" per se or in part the culture at that school. (I also agree you can find the down-to-earth people everywhere.)

Also, I really don't think the differences the OP described boil down simply to extroverts v. introverts.


And thanks A. Nony Mouse! You are right because I have only seen one law school. If anyone has a specific law school suggestion, I'm also all ears :mrgreen:

the lantern
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby the lantern » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:49 pm

Douchey (sp?), entitled, whiny

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suralin
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby suralin » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:55 pm

totoro wrote:
John_rizzy_rawls wrote:OP, yes you will be a bit out of your element but you can find people more like you I'm sure.

Professions and fields usually attract certain "types of people." Science is generally a more introverted and less egotistical profession than law, in general, so sure you're bound to see character stratification to some extent across different fields. Wouldn't you kind of expect that?

Anyway, like others have said, the majority isn't the whole anywhere so you'll find people to talk to comfortably.

ETA: Not exactly sure why you're so shocked. If you went to work at a research lab, odds are you wouldn't be amongst a group of big talking, constantly debating, alpha personalities. Folks don't watch politicians, A Few Good Men, and Suits to aspire to being chill and meek. Every field has a type, just find the anomalies.


Haha, I guess just not to that extent? I didn't anticipate that it'd be quite as self-selecting - like 60-80% of the people that I saw seemed to fit that description.

And yeah, to answer someone's earlier post, the social aspect of law school is very important to me. I'm choosing law school like college and want to be in a place I can enjoy for three years. I know I might get flamed for this, since I know most people choose school based on prestige/jerb/biglaw opp/COA/scholly. But money is not that big of a concern to me, neither is biglaw, and neither is being a lawyer specifically, I just want to be in a capacity where I can help the world and work on important issues, and also not hate the next three years of my life. Thus, social aspect becomes more important to choosing a school. Where are these people... seriously? Engineering? Med school? Working on a physics PhD? FWIW many of the med school students from top schools I've met seem equally competitive/intense so maybe part of it is going to a top school.


Uhh, the schools where you'll even have a chance to "help the world and work on important issues" are precisely the schools that are prestigious and offer the best employment/BigLaw prospects.

totoro
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby totoro » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:01 pm

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Last edited by totoro on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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suralin
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby suralin » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:09 pm

totoro wrote:
Suralin wrote:Uhh, the schools where you'll even have a chance to "help the world and work on important issues" are precisely the schools that are prestigious and offer the best employment/BigLaw prospects.


I know :oops: so I'm mostly looking at T14 schools right now (I also don't want to waste my 170 on a lower school if that means I'm sacrificing national job mobility). But I'm not sure how different socially the environment is among the different T14's. I'll go to most inclusive/friendly one that admits me, I guess : )


Ah okay, I mistook what you were saying then. It sounded like you were paying more attention to sociability than employment prospects (e.g., T30 over T14 because the former's more collegial), but as long as you mostly look at schools where their placement stats are relatively close (e.g., T14) there's no problem in having "fit" be a differentiating factor.

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UnamSanctam
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby UnamSanctam » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:29 am

If it was Michigan, feel free to PM me. If it was Penn or NYU, I'm of no use.

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cinephile
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby cinephile » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:32 am

People who've given up on their dreams.

No, but seriously, there are a variety of types. The ones who just want to make their families happy, the ones who want biglaw and actually know what that entails, the public interest save-the-world types, the burnouts, the nerds, the federalists. You know?

totoro
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby totoro » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:55 am

UnamSanctam wrote:If it was Michigan, feel free to PM me. If it was Penn or NYU, I'm of no use.


heh haven't been to Michigan, though I PM'ed you anyway. I don't mind telling people what school it is except for people at that school, since some of them know me on here.

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Tom Joad
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby Tom Joad » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:18 am

Lemme know the school man.

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Nelson
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby Nelson » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:21 am

totoro wrote:I spent one day there - talked to about 10 people in depth

totoro wrote:I was hoping to meet people in law school who are down-to-earth, real, laid back, and culturally aware. Do these types of people disappear at the top law schools??

Less type A people tend to be more likely to keep their head down and not go out of their way to chat up prospectives. There are definitely people in every law school who don't fit the type you described but they aren't as likely to volunteer to talk to 0Ls and the administration wants you to meet the most enthusiastic boosters for the school.

totoro
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby totoro » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:47 am

I appreciate all your replies guys! Thank you. You're right that there's some self-selection with the type of people who would talk to prospective students. But I think that was only part of it since I have at least a couple good friends there, so I was pretty "on the inside". I think I was able to get a relatively accurate impression.. as accurate as it could be for the time I was there at least.

This is just another moment I thought of, but I also had lunch with some current students, and they were calling out the gunners in the class, but one person reassured me "don't worry, those people are few and far between, there's like one gunner per section." But I was looking around me, and a majority of those people, by my definition, I would consider gunners :shock: It was weird because everyone was nice so I can't call them mean, but at the same time, they were not that "nice"... you know what I mean? lol.

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BuckinghamB
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Re: What type of people are law students?

Postby BuckinghamB » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:44 am

Feel free to PM me, too. Another perspective from Mich if that's the school you're concerned about.




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