April 21, 2004


I spent last night and half of today rationalizing my loss of moot court. I'd have more time for OCI and a journal (if I managed to get on one). I could do an externship or clinic second semester without worrying about conflicts. I wouldn't be stressed about time-management. I could still take an advanced moot court skills course and get more experience. Add that to what looks like a pretty friendly schedule for next year (I pick my final classes tomorrow) and I wasn't too upset. Sure, I felt rejected, but really, there's not enough time in law school to do everything and not being on a moot court team left time for other activities (like an externship or clinic) that really interested me.

On the drive home from class, my phone rang.

-Hi, this is so-and-so from the moot court department. I'm calling to Congratulate you. We'd like to offer you a place on a team.
-Hi. I'm sorry. I was just convinced that I hadn't been chosen for a team, so I'm a little surprised to hear from you.
-Oh, no. You've got a spot if you want it. Are you interested?
-Yes. Of course.

And that was that.

My reaction was much more complicated than it would have been yesterday. I'm not convinced that moot court is the greatest thing I could possibly do in law school anymore. Obviously, I'm still excited about the opportunity. But I'm much more aware of the downsides than I was before. I'm particularly bummed about the loss of winter and spring break which I was using to console myself with promises of fabulous travel. I'm also scared that I'll commit to moot court and a journal, if one will take me, and then my second year will be a hellish marathon of work devoid of a social life.

Yes, I'm excited, happy, and grateful. But those emotions are swimming amonst my frustration. I assume that several of the people I bonded with today over our rejections and how we still hadn't heard anything are going to have to go through another round of what I went through yesterday. It seems completely unnecessary.

What's wrong with a synchronous and silent email notification at 6 PM? Personally, I would have rather been told that I was not a first choice so I could honestly congratulate my friends on their success without anxiously wondering with each classmate's cell phone ring, "But what about me?" In a hyper-competitive environment, selectively notifying people one at a time breeds frustration and disappointment. I'd rather know I was on a waiting list and find out good news later than assume the worst.

And, of course, I'm sad that I assumed the worst. I bought and paid for the typical negative effects of law school yesterday. Despite the best efforts of the hope in the corner of my head, I believed in rejection. When classmate after classmate got the call, I just couldn't keep up the good mental fight and question what seemed irrational to me. By late last night, I knew I hadn't been selected. There was plenty of time for them to call everyone, so they must have done so. I believed I wasn't good enough and they didn't want me because of a flaw in my skills, or my grades, or even worse, they just plain didn't like me. In bits, this kind of introspection is good because it builds character. But methinks there's too much of it in law school. I wish that career centers, extra curricular activities, and the things that are supposed to be the support structures of school would take a little more care not to stoke the ego-killing fires, particularly when it would be more efficient than what must have been close to 100 games of phone tag.

However, lest it appear that I am complaining when I should be happy, let me assure you. I am ecstatic and grateful.


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