Ten stereotypes you’re likely to meet in law school


GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

CAUTION: This article contains stereotypes and is not intended to be taken (all that) seriously.

But having said that, if you’ve made it through your first year of law school you’ll likely have met someone on campus who fits the mold.

The Gunner

This is the person who aims for the straight A’s. If they get to pick their seat then you’ll see them stationed front and center, likely with their hand up. As a 2L they’ve probably made it onto law review, and all the other prestigious groups at your law school. They show up to class early, prepared, and with a working outline. When finals season starts to roll around they’re the ones who whip out their flashcards weeks before anyone else.

The Involved One

This is the student who seems to do so much that you have to question when they have time to sleep. Not only are they taking a full course load, but they’re actively completing pro bono hours, researching for a professor, and attending events. They’re also a board member of every single student association. Also, they are likely the person who lights up your Facebook feed the most with invites to student events and is running for class president (as if they’re not doing enough already).

The Frat Bro & Sorority Sister

They still like to travel in packs and look like a more polished version of the Greek life members we all remember from undergrad. They attend every single bar review and normally host the pre-game before any and all major events. They’re not afraid to come to school slightly hungover if it means they had a good time … it’s all about making those memories!

The Activist

You’ll find these students roaming the halls wearing political statement T-shirts. They fill the ranks of student organizations dealing with social change, affinity relations, and other important topics. They likely had a lot to say in Constitutional law, and are continuing to take topical courses in areas of social importance. They’re edgy and not afraid to call a professor (or fellow student) out if they think the wrong stance is being advocated for, or if a topic is being undervalued.

The Parent / Spouse

A little older than the average law student, this individual heads home after class to join their family. They’ll likely show you photos of their kid(s) on their phone, and seem to bond well with the professors. They don’t come out to many events. When they do it’s normally the family-friendly ones hosted by the law school. You question how they manage to juggle the responsibilities of home life and law school. Yet, they always seem to have it surprisingly together.

The “slacker”

You never see them actually doing school work, in fact, you’re not sure if they even bought the case books. They show up to class and spend half the time on their phone or browsing through Facebook on their laptop. In between classes they can be found sitting in the common spaces chatting with friends, seemingly without a care in the world. Who knows if they even know where the library is?! At the same time, you’re pretty sure they’re a low key genius.

The Secret Gunner

Not to be confused with the slacker. This individual comes to class bragging about how they didn’t do the reading, and yet magically has all the answers when called upon. You never actually see them in the library or doing work, but if you’re in their friend group then you know they spend half the night prepping for class the next morning. They’ll pretend they don’t care about grades when in reality they really, REALLY do.

The Philosopher

You know they studied philosophy because they make it a point to tell you. Somehow they try to introduce philosophical concepts into every question and debate, resulting in long-winded stories that leave the rest of us questioning what is going on. They’ve likely enrolled in a number of seminars, and maybe an independent study. They seem super intelligent, but also you’re not sure if they want to be a professor or a lawyer.

The Fed Soc Member

They’re conservative and proud of it (no judgment). They host weekly events, and poster around the school and on the social media sites constantly. They like to engage in controversial subjects at the bar, and usually, like to hang out with their own. They’re also big into networking and seem to have connections everywhere.

The Eternally Stressed One

You’ve likely seen them crying in the halls as a 1L, maybe as a 2L too. They never seem to be standing on steady ground and always appear to be rushing through the halls like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Often they’re in loungewear and look like they haven’t slept in a few days. They’re the one who is constantly texting you to make sure the group project is going to be done on time, or triple checking the due date for your final paper. During exam time they really seem to break down, and you’ll often find them pacing about the library at all hours of the day.

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