July 20, 2013

"I didn’t go to Thailand, but the summer that I took the bar I did all my studying by the pool."

Writes Instapundit:
I was set to clerk afterward at the Sixth Circut [sic] with a friend from law school who was black, and my goal was to be darker than her when I started. I succeeded — and that was the last really serious tan I had. Subsequent summers in law practice weren’t congenial to tanning; I couldn’t do all that work beside the pool...
He's commenting on a NYT article about the law school graduates who study for the bar and simultaneously vacation.

After all the money spent going to law school and all the pressure in the job market, who can take a vacation? I understand how grads who are going to clerk have a time slot when they can relocate, but where does the money come from? Instapundit frequently writes about "the law school bubble," but that's eclipsed here for a story about racial healing and premarital friendship. The NYT loves to urge its readers to angst over the struggles of the less-than-affluent, but that alternates with stories about privileged persons engaging in some activity that can be perceived as trendy or at least a trend.

I've had far too many free summers to feel envious of those who managed to combine summer vacationing and studying for the bar, but I do vividly remember my time studying in the summer of 1981. I wouldn't have wanted to read those bar review outline books out in the sun. Even if the sunblock available at the time were as good as it is today — and it was not — I've never liked reading in the glaring sunlight, perhaps precisely because getting a tan was never something I could possibly do, unless you count the broken-up tan called freckles.

And quite beyond that, I'd had a baby, my first, in March of that year, and the bodily imperative was not tanning/freckling, but breastfeeding. I enjoyed the post-law-school calm of memorizing the black-letter law that was confidently outlined in those bar-review books. It was so refreshingly different from the complexities of the law-school classroom, and everything was different with a baby. It was nice to get away from the apartment — we lived here — for a few hours to attend the lectures — which were shown in videotape in some big classroom somewhere on the NYU campus. There was no swimming pool, but I self-drenched with milk. There was always that pressure — do you know how it feels? — to get back home, to my baby and to my husband, who had the baby but not the breasts.

Oh! The strange rigors of the summer of 1981.