Note: This serial is fictional.
Fenno had entered law school with so many dreams. As a 0L, he had basked in them, colorful and different, each one vibrant and warm. He would wake up every morning during that lazy summer before 1L and try on a new dream: he was an ambassador to Syria, a BigLaw partner, a senator from Georgia, Vice President of some yet unknown tech company, a Circuit judge, an ACLU attorney…
Today, as he sat in Professor Feldman’s international course, Fenno had not dreams, but a narrow path to trod. Like so many of his peers, he now knew exactly where he was going and how to get there. He would attend EIP that summer. He would summer at a firm after 2L. He would work at that firm after 3L. After that, his life, no longer his own, would be measured in billable hours. At only 25, Fenno had his entire life already unfurled before him, with monotony the price to pay for stability.
For him at least, it was too late to find another path. His grades were too awful for anything more; thoughts of clerkships or the DOJ Honors Program vanished with the now ever-present LP. And although he knew that almost anyone in the world would kill to trade places with him, he was doomed to be forever trapped in rooms filled with people he would kill to trade places with.
Professor Feldman ran his hands through his perfect hair, as he often did, reminding Fenno of his own strange lot in life, to be cast always as the supporting actor, only to illuminate the real star. He imagined that Feldman’s classmates proudly recalled their memories of the genius as a young man. He imagined himself saying the same of Raj, destined for greatness as well, in ten years. Yet what he really wanted was for his turn in the sun, to have those dreams return to invigorate him once more. Instead, he was a train chugging from station to station, stuck on his track alongside wild horses, resigned never to run freely with them.
Fenno looked around his class and saw the two types of people at Harvard Law. There were the brilliant few, the chosen, who, like Feldman and Raj, woke up glistening, every hair in place, spewing genius from every breath. And there were those like him, who, though bright, worked through their to-do lists every day, wondering when their time would come and plodded on, comfortable but unremarkable.
“Fenno” is a fictional serial written by an anonymous law student. The main character is always named Fenno and is always a 1L, but his or her character changes every school year. This installation is part of the series for the 2011 to 2012 School Year entitled “The Uncertain Fenno, 2011 to 2012.”