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How to NOT lose your family and friends in 10 days or less . . .

By Omolola Oluyemi

I know it is early October, but I cannot help but look forward to the Christmas holiday, or the Thanksgiving Holiday that many of you will be traveling home for. It makes me think back to the last time I went home to California to see my family. During my 1L year, after spending four and a half months at WVU College of Law, I had changed. The change has already begun for the class of 2015 as well. The way you talk and the way you think is very different from how you did two months ago. These changes are harder to notice, especially if you are surrounded by other law student for the majority of the day. But when you are home and around non-law school friends, the difference becomes obvious.

The other day, my friend made a joke about having multiple parties using FRCP 19 and I couldn’t stop laughing for a full minute. This type of joke would not go over well with friends back home. So how does one bring both worlds together?

For me, this may never be possible. As I anticipate going back home in December, I remember my last trip home and some of the lessons I learned from the trip.

1. You know a lot more about the law than you did before, but you don’t have to be a show off

When I last went home, I tried to use contract law to explain to my little sister why I was no longer obligated to do chores in the house. Granted, the textbook explanation of the theory was correct (probably). But what kind of person uses contract law to try to get out of doing chores? A jerk, that’s who. Showing off does not benefit any one. Unless your mother trots you out to recite black letter law to her friends, trying to use legal theory and jargon to get your way with friends and family will probably alienate you from loved ones.

2. You don’t have to explain everything law related you encounter

Like most people I know, I love Law and Order in all its incarnations. Your new legal insight doesn’t mean you have to explain what you learned in Criminal Law during a Law and Order marathon. Believe me, this gets annoying fast. I was actually asked to leave the room 3 episodes into a Law and Order: SVU marathon. Also, inserting random facts about Tort law into conversation does not work. It creates confusion and animosity if you do it often enough.

3. Enjoy the break

For the love of all that is precious, enjoy your break. The break is four weeks long. Four straight weeks of not having to read case law. Four straight weeks of staying up late because you want to and not because you need to. Four straight weeks of not reading in lawbrary or “minding the construction”. Enjoy the fact that you’re amongst friends and family. Especially for 1Ls because second semester is harder than the first.

In sum, don’t be a jerk. In the one semester you have spent here at WVU Law, you have become smarter. You know it, your professors know it, and your peers know it. The occasional legal tidbit to the masses should be enough to show your new legal acumen and still remain likeable.

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