I started my final year of law school last week. It made me reflect on what I’ve learned about being obnoxious in class. Doing any of things listed below puts you at risk of being viewed as inconsiderate and called a “douche” by your fellow law students.
10. Forget to Mute your Laptop Before Leaving the House.
No one wants to hear that your “file’s done” or that you have a new message or email. It’s also generally annoying to hear the standard sounds your computer makes when you first turn it on.
9. Print a Ton of Documents at the Library and Forget to Pick Them Up from the Printer.
It is one thing to occasionally forget to pick up a single-page print out from the printer, and another to print hundreds of pages and forget to pick them up. Making your fellow classmates sort through the stack of papers on the printer to get to their print out is bad form.
8. Type Loudly.
This behavior received the most complaints. Don’t pound the keys of your laptop, or worse, type with long, acrylic, or press-on fingernails that make a loud “click” every time you touch a key. Women are usually the culprits, and they are usually oblivious to how much they irritate everyone around them.
7. Be Needlessly Competitive with your Classmates. Take Advantage of Every Opportunity to Show Them that You are Smarter than They Are.
You’re in law school. Congratulations – you’ve already proven that you’re smart.
6. Come to Class Drunk.
If you decide to have a liquid lunch or to blow off steam by heading to the bar after a stressful morning midterm, don’t come back to class in the afternoon. Just stay at the bar.
5. Talk About Grades.
Rule #1 at law school is, “Never discuss grades.” This rule extends to discussions about class rank and how well you think you did on exams. When the final is over, don’t talk about it. Move on to preparing for the next test or better yet, talk about anything that’s not related to law school.
4. Be Late to Class.
This is particularly bothersome at my school because every classroom is set up with the door at the front of the room. Watching and listening to you walk through the room and set up your laptop is distracting. It’s ok to be late if you have a good reason, but these instances should be few and far between.
3. Make Argumentative and Irrelevant Statements during Class Discussions.
Every class has at least one of these guys. Don’t be that guy.
2. Monopolize the Professor’s Time the Week Before a Paper is Due.
When I was a 1L, my professor had very few office hours during the week before our first memo was due. One day, the first person in line used up 45 of the 90 minutes he had for office hours that day. By the time she was done, there were 11 of us waiting – not cool! I don’t think she meant to be that inconsiderate, but she definitely earned the reputation that day.
1. Talk Excessively and Loudly in the Library.
The library becomes a second home to a lot of law kids, but that doesn’t give you permission to treat it as such. It’s still a library and people are trying to work. Talking at what would otherwise be a normal volume is too loud. Take your conversations outside – and I mean outside the entire building. If you’re talking in the lobby, we can still hear you. Don’t think that getting a study room is an acceptable alternative because the walls aren’t soundproof.