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New Law School Rankings! Based on…Social Lives?

At first blush, most of you wouldn’t exactly consider law school and social life being in the same sentence, let alone the same physical space. After all, law school is meant to be the abandonment of all things social, forsaking fun for long evenings spent poring over casebooks and briefs. And yet, decided it’d be a good idea to rank the Top Law Schools for Social Life based on how easy it is for students to meet people, make friends, and date.

A ranking like this begs the question: How much meeting people, making friends, and dating can or should one do during law school? The answer, as you’ll learn in law school, is that it depends (always). When in law school, your colleagues become your social group almost solely by virtue of the fact that you spend the better chunk of your waking hours with them. In such a circumstance, being able to meet people is likely a good thing. Being able to make friends with them is an even better thing. A lot of folks will enter law school in unfamiliar environs and making friends can help ease that transition. The people you meet will end up in your study groups, they’ll go to bar review with you, they’ll go to the gym with you, they’ll share notes with you, etc.

Dating at law school is a completely different ball of wax. Bear in mind that “dating” in this case includes hanging out during daylight hours. Random hookups belong in their own category and have the same pitfalls no matter where you find yourself. As far as “dating” in law school goes, I’ll grant you the fact that dating outside your immediate social circle can be difficult with very limited time. That said, there are two usual outcomes to law school dating. In the first outcome, your relationship weathers the storm that is law school and you graduate with your sanity intact. In the second outcome, you have a horrible breakup and then you have to see each other five days a week for the next two-plus years. Less than ideal. I’m willing to bet the latter happens with just a tad more frequency.

Having a social life at law school is a great thing. Friends are fantastic and necessary. But if you’re looking for a date, look outside the pool of people you have to see every day. You’re only half a step from dating someone at work, which we know always ends well.