Who’s in your class?
From the ever-enthusiastic gunner to the silent yet brilliant student, there are seven types of law students you’re guaranteed to meet over the course of your law school journey.
Law school is a bit like a box of chocolate. Amidst the unexpected fillings and exotic flavors, there are always those signature chocolates—the timeless classics that everyone quickly recognizes.
Just as you can count on finding the velvety caramel or the crunchy hazelnut praline, there are certain personalities in law school that are unmistakably present, year after year.
Let’s take a tongue-in-cheek look at the types of people you’ll meet during your legal education.
Ah, the “gunner.” Recognizable from day one. They’re the first to raise their hand, correct their fellow classmates, and even correct—or at least attempt to correct—their professors.
Their preparation is exemplary. They’ve not only read the day’s assignment but the next day’s as well, and they’re not shy about letting you know this.
Although gunners are often the subject of eye-rolls, there’s something to be learned from their enthusiasm and dedication. Some gunners even manage to grow, like acremonium, on their fellow classmates.
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The secretly smart one
They sit at the back, never voluntarily contribute in class, and give off the “just-here-to-pass” vibe. Yet, when students are selected for law review, their name is inevitably called.
The “secretly smart” student is the ninja of academia. If you’re lucky enough to get to know them, you’ll likely find that, in addition to being super smart, they’re often humble and have unusual interests beyond the law school walls.
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Then there’s the politician—always running for, well, it’s not entirely clear what they’re running for.
This student is the master of networking, charming their way close to professors, students, and guest lecturers. Often seen leading student associations, organizing events, or rallying students for a cause, their ambition is unmistakable.
Walk through the law school halls and you’ll likely see the politician talking to everyone. Their every move seems scripted for a campaign ad and when they’re called on in class? Well, they sound like they’re delivering a speech for a national audience.
Often slightly older than the average law student, they’ve had a previous career—possibly related to law. They offer a unique perspective, if you could only manage to get past their this-isn’t-my-first-rodeo attitude.
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The anxious overthinker
Fumbling a bag full of highlighters, an overmarked calendar, and having a habit of creating summaries of summaries, the overthinker is perpetually worried. “Did I interpret that case correctly?” “What if I’m the only one who didn’t understand today’s class?” They often underestimate their own capabilities, produce outlines that span hundreds of pages, and devise contingency plans for their contingency plans.
While the anxious overthinker might not be the best company right before a test, taking the time to get to know them often reveals an individual who is intelligent, humble, and generous.
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More acquainted with the latest gossip than the latest legal development, this person knows everyone and attends every event. If you’re wondering where the next study group or meeting is, they’re your go-to. They know who dated who, who’s dating who, and who will be dating who.
While the social butterfly might seem more into the social aspect than the academic side of law school, don’t be fooled. They often possess extensive networking, which, as every law student will soon learn, can be just as valuable as a solid GPA.
In an environment dominated by textbooks, highlighters, and handwritten notes, enter the techie. While others rely on time-tested methods, this student has the latest digital tool for everything. From using advanced note-taking apps to harnessing Chat GPT, they’re the go-to person if you’re struggling with that new legal software or want recommendations for the best digital tools to streamline your study process.
Just be prepared, the techie is convinced technology makes everything better.
Law school is a melting pot of personalities. Each of these archetypes, whether they make you laugh, sigh, or roll your eyes, contributes to the rich tapestry of your academic experience. Keep in mind that every individual you encounter in law school offers a new perspective, a potential partnership, or a valuable lesson. The key to thriving in law school isn’t just understanding the law but understanding and leveraging the vast human resources around you.