Law School v. Basic Training

In August of 1996 I arrived in San Antonio Texas for USAF Basic Military Training.  I had no idea what was going to happen but the stories and the movies were enough to scare me.  Me and about 40 other men arrived at the same time (intentional on the USAF’s part) and within seconds of arrival we were all being screamed at…no one at law school has screamed at me…yet.

As we progressed in our training we learned a whole new vocabulary…for my military folks….remember the days before you knew the meaning of:

  • Military Bearing
  • Lock-it Up
  • Recycled (not the recycling you do at home!)
  • AWOL
  • Hospital Corners
  • Reveille

(oh the list could go on for days!)

Well, as a law student I am at again…I mean who really knows the meaning of:

  • Chattel
  • Certiorari
  • Codification
  • Lexisnexis
  • Respondeat Superior

(Again, the list could go on for days!)

I’m learning, just as in BMT, that you actually do begin to pick up on this stuff after total immersion…

In BMT we were not shocked to learn that the Instructors were little concerned with our “free time.”  It seemed like they had us moving from sunrise until sunset…and then beyond…free time did not happen real often…

Well it would seem military instructors and law school professors share this view concerning their trainee’s free time…we have very little…and when you get a little free time you just want to zone out and do nothing productive, all the while feeling like you should be….briefing a case, reading, outlining, at the library, with a study group, reading, reviewing or…reading!

I remember the first meal I had in Air Force BMT…no I don’t actually remember “what” we ate, I just remember the experience…go through the line, without talking…carrying your food in a proficient military manner…standing at your table at attention until the entire table is present….sitting down in unison…and then…EAT, EAT, EAT…and as quickly as you sat down the Instructors were yelling for you to get up! (for those of you who have eaten with me know this is a habit, or corruption, I have maintained.)

At law school you go to get lunch…take a book to read…sit down and EAT, EAT, EAT…and as quickly as you started, you are done, because you have cases to brief before your next class…

There are many other similarities but I will stop with these few…why?  Because the whole time I have been typing this I have felt like I should be ….briefing a case, reading, outlining, at the library, with a study group, reading, reviewing or…reading……..briefing a case, reading, outlining, at the library, with a study group, reading, reviewing or…reading…

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