Law in Contemporary Society
I guess this post will be syndicated among various LawContempSoc veterans of the Class of 2012? Hello, Class of 2012. I took this class three years ago. I am a member of the Class of 2010 who will graduate (strangely) this December. With graduation a month away, I've been reflecting on this class's continued influence on my life.

Messages from this class have followed me constantly. Nevertheless, I feel uncertain about what that influence amounts to. I came to law school with the figurative "eggshell skull" -- a head full of insecurities which were bound to affect my law school performance under any conditions. I was predisposed to make the decisions I made -- to disdain professors and peers and professionals for inscrutable reasons.

Likewise, I chose how often I would go to class, how much to read, how much to prepare for exams, etc. Believing that "grades do not matter," and acting on it, was something I fell into easily, and of my own accord.

But now that I have those grades -- three years of terrible grades, which put me among the lowest percentiles of my class -- I can at least say that I was wrong.

Grades, apparently, do matter. My grades foreclose me from countless paths that would have appealed to me -- clerkships, academia, additional graduate school, government, nonprofits, and--yes--private practice. Grades, apparently, do matter -- at least to the extent that I aspire to be comfortable (i.e., not afflicted -- either by virtue of my circumstances, or by people who see that I'm comfortable). At least to the extent that I absorb my society's definitions of success and failure. At least to the extent that I will always regret a graduate school experience that was a waste of time, money, and opportunities.

"Modern Legal Magic" is still a great essay. In light of it, I acknowledge that grades do not "matter," in the sense that a witness's perjured testimony that you murdered somebody does not matter. But in the sense that jurors will nevertheless rely on heuristics to compensate for imperfect information in deciding whether to sentence you to death, grades apparently matter.

-- AndrewGradman - 14 Nov 2010


Webs Webs

r3 - 13 Jan 2012 - 21:59:58 - IanSullivan
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM