Everything in Life I Learned from TV

2L year is well underway and all I want to do is watch TV. If you’re like me and have a poor ratio of motivation to workload, you might justify your assiduous non-working by telling yourself that the culture you consume is actually educational. I do this all the time. For example:

The Good Wife, a.k.a. studying. This is an obvious one. The show is about the law. How else would you figure out the differences in procedural rules between federal court and military court-martial? And the delicious law firm atmosphere! If you’re a 2L like me, headed off to a summer associate position, this show is your primer on law firm politics. “A students make great professors, B students make great judges, C students make partner.” See? There’s a good reason for not studying! Also, apparently it’s really good for your career to make friends with the firm’s investigator. Never would have known that without TV.

Judge Judy, a.k.a. Ames. Okay, I know what you are thinking. Judge Judy is not actually a judge. But she seems to have a ton of power in her domain, and that doesn’t seem so unrealistic to me. But here’s the important thing that Judge Judy teaches you—other than the old adage of never lending money to friends—she teaches you about presentation. Lack of eye contact, evasive answers, mumbling, even slouching—Judge Judy is on top of that stuff. When the judge asks you a direct question, you answer it. No excuses, no qualifications, no answering the question you wish she’d asked. That’s me preparing for oral arguments.

Football, a.k.a. extracurriculars. Instead of bonding over how much unpaid labor you do for the various extracurricular activities you are involved in, just pay attention to sports. A lot of bonding can happen over injustice on the field. I miss the replacement refs.

Jeopardy, a.k.a. how to pay off my loans. It’s always good to know your options. Call it an exit strategy. Or a “what will I do if the economy tanks” contingency plan. On a ranking of people walking around with a lot of useless information in their heads, law students are likely at the top of that list. What else would you do with all that trivia?

And I haven’t even named many of the usual suspects—lawyer shows like Law & Order (whatever iteration is currently on the air), Suits, Scandal, or our newest freshman entry, Made in Jersey. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of “work” to do.

Geng Chen is a 2L. Her column runs every other Monday.

The views in opinion editorials, columns, and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of The Record.

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