Why we call it “law school” and not just “uni”

Law students are unbearable. I get it.

Just a bunch of Harvey Specter and Elle Woods wannabes lining up in droves to receive an over priced,  lengthy education only to graduate into an already oversaturated market to fight over remarkably low paying positions with inhuman hours fantasizing that they will be the special one to survive high attrition rates to make partner.

Some may feel a smug sense of superiority over going to law school and won’t let you forget it, either.

Ugh, smug

So why do these unbearable, smug saps call it law school,  and not just uni?

For me, it’s because I’m not just referring to “uni”. I’m being more specific than that. I’m talking about a particular context, a very specific culture. This was the place where we had triumphs and break downs, conflicts and comaraderie. It was seven years of highs and lows, seven years of break throughs, struggles, defeats, frustrations, and despair. Seven years surrounded by peers who were going through the exact same thing. This is what law school means to me:

  • the special seat in the library that you’re unreasonably protective of
  • the dread when you didn’t prepare for a tute
  • the satisfaction of slowly wrapping your mind around a confusing topic
  • that person you’ve seen for the past four years but still don’t know their name
  • the reigning champion of each year whom you and everyone else refers to only by their full name
  • sitting down with a lecturer and being surprised by how helpful they are and their genuine interest in seeing you excel
  • ending events with a rousing rendition of The Horses

There are so, so many more I could give you but I’ll leave it there.

So next time time some smug Harvey Specter/ Elle Woods wannabe drops into a conversation that they went to law school, cut them some slack. Those two words encompass a context and culture that developed them into the person they are, for better or worse. Forgive us, but it was so much more than just a place and to refer to it as “uni” just simply isn’t specific enough.

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