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Law School Dating: High School All Over Again

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Law Dating: High School All Over Again

Maybe you were the assiduous loner in college, spending all your waking hours trying to make the Dean’s List. Maybe you became so ensconced in LSAT study that your relationship disintegrated. Maybe you have personal hygiene “issues.” Whatever the case may be, you’re heading into law school next year without a significant other. You may think that law school is your big chance at a fresh dating start. New city, new people, so on and so forth. Let’s examine the pros and cons of your approach, and intra-law school dating in general.

Pro: You see your partner all the time.

You have classes together. You have lunch together. You study together. You pass each other in the hall. You take the same bus to campus. Unlike many in law school, being a law student will mean you see more of your partner. Yay!

Con: You see your partner all the (f*%king) time!

You can’t avoid your relationship. You’re forced by your schedule to see this person every, single, day. You couldn’t get space if you wanted to. You’re not known as “John” and “Jenny” anymore. You’ve now become “Johnnifer.” Eek. No bueno.

Pro: Your partner “gets” you.

No need to explain when you choose outlining instead of dinner. No need to explain your crappy law school humor. No need to explain the meanings of the obscure Latinate phrases that have crept into your everyday vocabulary (“I thought we said we had an open relationship. You can’t get mad at me ex post facto. Sleeping with other people is not malum in se.”).

Con: Law school is like high school.

College is like living in a big city. You can live in relative anonymity if you so choose. It’s easy to hide in the crowd when you want to. There is less gossip and less stupidity because there are just too damn many people to bother (with the greek system often being a notable exception).

But law school shrinks your peer group from around 15,000 down to around 500. Now you’ve gone from a big city to a small town. Maybe you have a town drunk. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a stoplight. Either way, everyone knows everyone else’s business. After all, one does need a distraction from Property and Torts every now and again. Nothing fits that bill quite like juicy gossip. When you get into a relationship, people will talk. When you break up (for the third time), people will talk. When you throw your textbooks at each other, people will talk.

My advice? Avoid that whole mess and prey on those unsuspecting business school and medical students. You won’t be the victim of forced interaction, nor will you be grist for the rumor mill.

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