I didn’t want it to happen, but it did.

At the start of this first week of law school, I was too terrified to speak up in class. Over the course of the week, however, I evolved from thinking about raising my hand to actually raising it above my head to reluctantly volunteer information.

That’s not necessarily a good thing.

Before I started school, I vowed that I would quash my Steve Urkel or Hermione Granger-like tendencies to raise my hand whenever the professor raised a question.

I vowed this not as a strategic move, but rather as a way to stop myself from buying into the mindset that I had to show my legal prowess in class in order to establish my place in the 1L pack.

I didn’t want to be one of those people who strutted around making their legal pecs dance in order to “sound smart”, because, honestly, even as a 1L I know that what matters the most is how one performs on that final exam and not how much of a wunderkind your classmates or even your professors think you are.

Those thoughts went out the door when I saw how eager some of my fellow classmates were to unzip their legal zippers and lay out their legal junk on the table to measure whose just happened to be bigger.

“Oh yeah? Take a look at this!”

I can’t attest to what my fellow classmates were thinking, but I think I know why I bought into the temptation to show just how big my law balls are.

Many of us 1Ls are accomplished enough that, when we go into law school, we know what it’s like to be the big, um, fish in each of respective disciplines. It’s only in law school that we learn just how small we are.

We feel compelled to perform and posture because of feelings of inadequacy, that maybe we’re not as smart as we thought we were, that maybe we’re not cut out for law school.

Let’s call it the 1L Napoleon Complex.

I have to keep reminding myself of that old adage that size doesn’t matter. It’s what you do with it that counts.

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3 Responses to Does size really matter in law school?

  1. E Hunt says:

    It’s not the size of the wave, it’s the motion of the ocean. :)

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