Alex F.

September 21, 2006

Alex is a 29 year-old third-year law student at a law school in the south. The interview was conducted on September 19, 2006.
10:17 PM
IMInterview: hi
AF: hi
IMInterview: ready?
AF: ready
IMInterview: lawyers: good or evil?
AF: on the whole good
IMInterview: what inspired you to go to law school?
AF: I knew that I always wanted to be a lawyer, but after a succession of jobs i knew that it would be the only way that I would be able to have a job that was interesting
IMInterview: why didn’t you start off in law school?
AF: I was burnt out from studying in college and felt that the time wasn’t right-I needed more time to understand what type of law i wanted to practice
IMInterview: what type of law is that?
AF: i initially thought i would practice labor law but now i probably will be involved with real estate transactions or with land use/zoning
IMInterview: how will your perspective of law have changed by the time you graduate?
AF: when you first go to law school you think that the law is basically about finding a relevant law written down somewhere and learning it and then reciting it to clients, but it’s really way more complex
IMInterview: how so?
AF: there might be different statutes or the courts may not have even dealt with this issue-so as a lawyer you have to try to figure out what is the purpose behind a law and how it applies or doesn’t apply to your client
AF: or what laws are analogous to the situation in which your client is facing
IMInterview: what is the best reason to go to law school?
AF: the best way to answer that is by saying what are the wrong reasons: ego, parents forcing you to go, waiting for a better job market,
AF: in order for you to get past the first year
AF: you are really going to have to want it in your gut
IMInterview: is the first year much different than other years?
AF: absolutely
AF: the first year is totally different than the 2nd or 3rd years
IMInterview: harder?
AF: the 1st year is basically the school doing everything it can to try to make you crazy and quit
IMInterview: haha why?
AF: multiple reasons 1) no one knows what an exam is like-so you don’t know how to prepare for it 2) the curve forces everybody to study all the time-and creates competition between classmates 3) the work load is intense-i took a total of 1 day of from august 18 to december 18 of my first semester
AF: off
IMInterview: how is it structured differently from college?
AF: college has multiple tests, quizes, papers before the final exam so you can troubleshoot along the way-law school is 1 final which your whole grade relies upon
IMInterview: sound intense . . .
AF: law school exams are tricky bec. they require that you not only understand the material
AF: but also to be able to apply it to new situations
AF: whereas, college exams are much simpler and you can get by using route memorization
IMInterview: what are the other students like?
AF: what do you mean?
IMInterview: how’s the atmosphere?
AF: everybody always says this but its true–law school is basically like high school
IMInterview: more so than like college?
AF: absolutely-everyone knows everything about each other-its a very small environment – and you spend your whole first year together in the same classes
IMInterview: is that good or bad?
AF: its good in that for the rest of your life you will always know and trust those who you went through the experience with and you have grown to be friends with
AF: its bad if you have behaved in a manner that puts people off or if you don’t play well with others, people will always, and I STRESS this, always, remember
IMInterview: what would the other students be doing if they weren’t going to be lawyers?
AF: my guess is that you would have some professors, some investment bankers (for those who could do math), english teachers, Public relations, diplomats, basically anything
IMInterview: what would you be doing?
AF: I would have wound up being a real estate investor
IMInterview: are there too many lawyers?
AF: i am not in the job market yet so I have no real experience to speak of-but I think yes there are too many
IMInterview: but not too many good ones?
AF: The lawyers that I have met through my summer internships have been amazingly talented–everyday in law school I am continually impressed with how very smart my classmates are…so I think in terms of quality there are a lot of great lawyers
IMInterview: and you will hopefully be one of them. thanks for the interview!
AF: thank you