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You know you're a law student when...

Date:23 October 2018
Basically Harvey Specter
Basically Harvey Specter
  • You read so much that you have completely given up reading in your free time

Cases, opinions, articles, and legislation - this is what every law student is dealing with on a daily basis. Reading 1000+ pages for Market Regulation? “No problem”, says the average law student while wiping his tears with Directive 2011/83. The only problem is that you read so much you don’t even bother reading how long to bake your pizza for anymore, let alone anything “fun”.

  • You loved Suits - before you started studying law

Harvey Specter used to be your idol. Living the high-life in a big city while solving spectacular cases was what you used to imagine being a lawyer was like. Then you got into law school and reality hit you hard. Instead of sitting in a penthouse you are sitting in the library trying to figure out what legal definition your cat fits into, all while realizing that your life resembles The Office more than Suits.   

  • You have perfected your color coding skills

Color coding is love. Color coding is life. And you are the master of it. Your case law reader looks more like a rainbow and less like a textbook thanks to your vicious highlighting abilities. Make sure to not ever let anyone tell you that this part is not worth marking.

  • You added Latin to your spoken languages on Facebook

In law school, you discuss inter alia whether obligations erga omnes can essentially be regarded as jus cogens norms or what ex injuria jus non oritur entails. Phrases like Locus standi, prima facie or res judicata belong to your standard vocabulary. Still, you sometimes wonder whether all of this latin is really necessary or if it is just used by lawyers to sound overly fancy and justify that € 250 per hour fee.

  • You’re tired of being asked for free legal advice on weird issues

Friend: “Yo man, what would you say: Could I shave my cat so I can stage it as a Sphynx and auction it on eBay for like 10k?” You: “Sorry mate, really can’t help you with that one, though I think I read something about cats during my property law course” (For more information on this sensitive legal issue contact the author for only 5,99€ per min)

  • You have perfected your skimming skills

The biggest bonus of reading this much? You learn how to read really fast without getting the deeper context while still understanding whether the material is important or not (aka. skimming). 500 pages in 2 days? Mate, you heard of skimming before? Disclaimer: do not try with your mom's texts as you might get into trouble.  

  • Your back hurts from all the books you are carrying around

Others go to the gym to get in shape, you just go to the library. The weight on your shoulders during your studies is not only metaphorical but it’s literally the 25kg backpack that you are carrying around town.   

  • You also discuss legal issues in your free time

A recent, highly-credible poll, has suggested that 84% of people would rather die than talk to a law student for longer than 5 minutes. You may be wondering where this is coming from, and being a law student myself, I am also completely oblivious to why this would be the case. My friend however once gave me the tip to “just quit talking about my studies all the time”. I didn’t really get what he meant though, so I just continued to discuss the implications of Keck and Mithouard.  

  • You are not even sure if you want to become a lawyer after finishing your degree

You have devoted nearly 4 years of your life to master the skill of solving problems for people that they didn't know they had, in a way they don’t understand. However, you also just realized that your future consists of nearly 30 years of dealing with other people's problems. Suddenly you remember that you always wanted to open up your own restaurant, breed your own puppies or save seals in Terschelling.

but continuing law seems to be the responsible thing to do
but continuing law seems to be the responsible thing to do


  • You don’t know if you will finish your degree or if your degree will finish you

(Overacted American voiceover) “Will this motivated young student get all of his credits, pass EU law and Handelsrecht, all while maintaining his social life and getting enough sleep? Or will he instead take the ferry out of law school and become a towel seller in Schiermonnikoog? Find out this, and more, next week on law island!”

About the author

Hey there! My name is Asmo and I’m a Finnish/German student exploring life in the Netherlands. Besides being into photography and politics, I am currently doing my Master's degree in European Law. Oh, and I write blogs as well.


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