So there’s a Terry Pratchett novel out there called “Monstrous Regiment.” In it a poor, misguided country seeks out war with all of its neighbors in the pursuit of satisfying a dead, lunatic god. Over decades of such warfare, the country’s young men have been depleted, leaving only the women, children, old men, and wounded to manage the insanity that is their nation. Against this backdrop a group of women dress as men and enlist in the army, each for their own reasons, and begin to face the hilarious hardships of a fantasy soldier’s life, all under the tutelage and protection of the rotund, infamous, and clever Sergeant Jackrum, who bellows often (and inaccurately) to his troops “You are my little lads, and I will protect you!”
Imagine that I’m your Sergeant Jackrum today here on Lawyers & Liquor, dear reader, as we move just a bit closer to the mess that is the bar exam. In less than 24 hours some of you will be in the convention halls and hotel meeting spaces of whatever city is close enough to your home for it to make sense, working feverishly on the single two day brain dump of legal knowledge that determines whether or not you have the minimal competence to practice law in your chosen jurisdiction. You, along with hundreds of others who are sweating through their pajama pants and t-shirt or, if you’re in Virginia, the full-fucking-suit they make you wear to take the exam, will be engaging in a rite of passage for the entry into the profession of law, one that your entire legal career of doing absolutely nothing that actually resembles the practice of law has led up to.
A pass, which you won’t know about for months, welcomes you with open arms into a profession that will remind you repeatedly that you are a worthless and stupid piece of shit because you have absolutely no training in how to actually practice law. A failure will send you back to the unwashed masses of humanity that don’t know a tort from a tart, unable to append the word “Esquire” to your name for the very brief period of time anyone that meets you will treat it as acceptable. It is, in every sense of the word, the last bar to practice (get it? I’m so fucking clever today), and while some of you will rise from the ashes of the social lives and mental health that you have left behind you like a seriously disturbed phoenix, others among you will know the horror that is a six figure student loan debt and absolutely no job prospects. I’m certain all of you are just relaxed as shit right now, correct?
But have no fear, my little juris dickheads, for you are my little lads and I will protect you. Mainly by knocking some oft-repeated and rarely heeded advice into your fucking heads.