As I await my graduation from Law school, which is supposed to happen within 2 months, I look back at the memorable journey which started with me having no idea what in the world a “plaintiff” was. By twist of fate, and a considerable amount of manipulation from my mother, I got enrolled to study LLB. This year, some of you weak and impressionable souls will end up choosing Law either for the prospect of a Lawyer's bank account or to please your parents or due to your long-standing unrealistic delusion of changing our judicial system. This is what you should know:
1. Get ready to be shamed by your parents' colleagues, your extended family since you have voluntarily chosen the path of dishonesty, exploitation and bribery. They will tell you how despicable each and every lawyer is, to the extent that you will cry yourself to sleep. But that's only for the first two months. Then you will develop a skin thicker than a semi-extinct breed of rhino.
2. The same people will ask you for free legal advice in a few months, even though you will have barely learned anything about how to save their land from you-know-who.
3. In the wake of a well-known case, some of you pompous know-it-alls will feel like showing off your understanding of legal principles by calling out non-lawyers on social media. You will cite 101 sources as to why not adding “alleged” before “rapist” is singlehandedly ruining our country.
4. Get ready to memorise case names like C-120/78 Rewe-Zentrale AG v Bundesmonopolverwaltung fur Branntwein which you will forget within a day of spilling it out at your exam. Some will be audacious enough to use case reference and Latin terms like “prima facie” and “inter alia” in their regular conversation, don't be that person simply because nobody cares. Your nights will consist of reading judgments stretching 63 pages which could easily have been finished within 2 pages. On nights like these remind yourself of your friends studying medicine. They clearly are worse off than you.
5. Please do not refer to yourself as “lawyer in the making” or add in your bio, “trust me, I am a lawyer”. All you are is a newbie with a good chance of dropping out by the third semester. The only time it is acceptable to tell people that you are a law student is when you are asked about your field of study.
6. As you will soon begin to argue with legal connotation, you will be termed “jhograte”, “torkobaaj” and “beyadob” by your parents. They will announce how they should never have let you study law. Why couldn't they have realised it earlier?
You will go through a psychological transformation and learn to think logically. You will never be a layman again. No matter why you opted to study it, realise the sanctity of the profession. Above all, remember that there is no dramatic background music playing in real life while you prosecute high-profile criminals like in Suits or Boston Legal. All the constant vigilance you will need will be to avoid paan er pik at Judge Court in Old Dhaka. Despite it all, you are in for an objectively life-changing journey, my reasonable and prudent friend.
Anupoma Joyeeta Joyee is a perpetually sleepy Law student who emotionally identifies with ducks and occasionally sets out on writing sprees. Feel free to rant to her at firstname.lastname@example.org