Dourness in law starts in 1L?

“[T]he law, like any other field, is little more than the people who live it, and that lawyers – as well as the law they make and practice – are significantly affected by the way they were first received into the profession. If I am right about that, then the first-year experience should be of interest to everyone, for it bears on the law that bounds and guides our whole society.” (Turow 1977, xiii)

What an interesting thing to say in this book. Presumably people interested in going to law school will already be sold on reading this book, but this quotation is a call for a larger study, a call for a larger audience than potential law school students.

I do believe there is some accuracy to Turow’s description of the moods of the legal workers. Although the purpose of the law is to create a regimented system which excises mood and bias rendering an objective result, we all know that does not happen. It seems the danger of the Turow comment is in the solutions: 1. more rules do not remove the dourness from legal workers and 2. making first year curriculums less intense, less dour, fails to remove all but the best and the brightest. Law school should be hard precisely because it binds “and guides our whole society.” Is there a way out? I am not sure. Does there need to be a way out? I am also unsure, but I am tempted to say no. This is a guiding question of my intellectual curiosity.

Works Cited

Turow, Scott. (1977). One L. NY: Warner Books.

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