Dating Lessons I’ve Learned from Law School

BY KATIE MAPES

Not being married, engaged, or in possession of a serious boyfriend, I naturally live a fast paced Sex and the City lifestyle. Well, minus the cosmopolitans, the fabulously wealthy boyfriends, and the shoes priced at roughly the GDP of Mongolia. But that’s not the point. The point is that, as a single girl in law school, and I imagine this applies to you single men out there too, I’ve naturally been forced to multitask and to combine the personal and the professional. After only five weeks, my life has been revolutionized. Who knew the ABA mandated 1L curriculum provided so many lessons for the lovelorn?

Contracts: We all know you can’t buy love. But before law school, who knew that love and affection weren’t sufficient consideration for a contract? Or that bribing someone to marry you is only binding if it’s in writing? That’s right; if there’s one dating lesson law school has taught us, it’s to insist on a cold, hard contract, preferably accompanied by cold hard cash. And you can fill in your own innuendo there.

So, I can hear you asking, what happens if I meet a cute guy at a bar, have a few drinks, and then somehow wake up next to him the next morning with no idea how I got there and also realize I’ve signed a document promising to sell him my house and possibly my first born child, but my breath smells in the morning and I don’t have any breath mints? Is it enforceable and can I run to CVS and back before he notices? I don’t have an answer to that question. But given the rate at which we’re running through whacky hypotheticals, I can promise you one by Tuesday, at the latest.

Civil Procedure: Remember the Rules Guide for Dating? Commonly known just as The Rules, Rules girls were urged to pique a man’s interest by only returning one in three phone calls and never scheduling a Saturday night date later than Wednesday. Eventually, the fad died down, The Rules fell off the bestseller list, and the Rules girls became Atkins dieters instead. But watch out guys, there’s a new set of Rules in town. That’s right, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, amended!

You no longer have to wait a week before calling your date back, but under Rule 31 you do have to answer any interrogatories within thirty days. Just remember, ladies. Next time your date asks you for a Rule 36 admission that he’s good in bed, the correct answer is “Objection!” But if things go well, there’s no reason why you can’t serve him with a Rule 30 on the third date. And because my mother reads this, I’ll let you look that one up on your own.

Property: So you’re adversely possessing your next door neighbor’s bed, and… wait, I ran adverse possession into the ground last week? Okay, I’ve got nothing.

Fortunately, thanks to the renowned Judge Posner and his opinion in Desnick v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. [44 F.3d 1345 (7th Cir. 1995)] I don’t have to. Let’s end this with some sound dating advice for the guys out there, courtesy of Judge Posner and the Seventh Circuit.

“The Restatement gives the example of a man who obtains consent to sexual intercourse by promising a woman $100, yet (unbeknownst to her, of course) he pays her with a counterfeit bill and intended to do so from the start. The man is not guilty of battery, even though unconsented-to sexual intercourse is a battery.”

No wonder girls think law students are a catch! And to think I haven’t even taken Criminal Law yet. I have, however, decided to quit studying at the Hark and start studying at the med school.

Katie Mapes, 1L, is more than a little frightened that she remembers so much about 90s dating fads.

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