Ask Miss B. Havior
Fall semester is always a crazy time here at GW Law. 1Ls are adapting to the mind-crushing tedium of briefing civil procedure cases and worrying about grades, 2Ls are worrying about grades and hustling for jobs as energetically as certain ladies on U Street, and 3Ls are making those big, life-changing decisions that are usually reserved for when your girlfriend suddenly gets nauseous in the morning and has strange cravings for watermelon. You know what I'm talking about. Read on for this week's delicate question:
Dear Miss B. Havior,
I'm a 2L, and as if trying to make friends in law school wasn't hard enough during 1L year, now I'm afraid I'm going to lose all my friends this semester (not counting that one backstabbing gunner that only pretended to be my friend to get my Property notes). Basically, I've got an offer for the summer and they don't. It makes it really weird because I don't know what I'm supposed to do or how to act. It would be really helpful too if I could talk to someone about FRP and everything. Help!
-$50k Tuition Doesn't Buy Friends Too
Dear Buy Your Friends:
Law school is full of awkward situations just like this. Don't worry, it's only preparing you for a lifetime of similar awkward situations at law firms or any other workplace full of highly competitive and ambitious nerdy people-only they call it "office politics" then.
First, be normal. Acting weird just makes it weird. Your friends are still your friends, but now you and they are going to have to really focus on those qualities that are often lacking in law school: tact, manners, and "playing nice." On your part, don't brag or show off in front of your friends (or anyone else for that matter). Nobody likes that guy. However, if someone actually comes right out and asks you about the summer, just be honest. You should be proud of all your hard work and getting an offer, and if your classmates are true friends, they should be happy for you too. Everyone gets jealous, but people should be able to control any urges to be petty or belittling (read: talking smack).
You also need to remember to not be a jerk and control your budding Napoleonic complex about your inner greatness and superiority. Megalomania is a common and unattractive affliction among law students. News flash: you're not that great. For all the inevitable haters-don't hate the playa, hate the game. And it's not zero sum. There are jobs out there for everyone, and there's no need to feel like someone that got a job took it away from you. Put away that voodoo doll and think about what you can do to get your own offer.
Second, besides yours truly, there are plenty of people to talk to about your career options. You can always talk to your CDO counselor. Try talking to a professor or your Dean's Fellow, or your GW Law mentor. After all, that's what they're there for. You can also talk to any friends you have that are associates, or parents' friends that are partners, or just about anyone that is already a lawyer (any kind of lawyer, not just one at a firm). They will be more than happy to talk to you about FRP because they went through it too. Last but not least, don't forget you can talk to anyone you think has plain old common sense and good judgment: your friends from college, your brothers or sisters, your parents, the security guards, cute barista at Starbucks, etc. Sometimes it helps to get a fresh outside perspective from someone totally outside the legal profession. Plus, they're more likely to be normal anyway.
Miss B. Havior
Darlings, that's it for this week. Remember to play nice with all the other kids-if you don't have anything nice to say, it's better to not say anything at all. Don't forget to send all your career questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "MISS B. HAVIOR." And with that... Miss B. Havior out.