Monday, February 12, 2007

Shoot to Kill

Law school, being like high school, has its own unique set of social norms. Many are axiomatic: Don't sleep with your classmates. Or with your professors, for that matter. Don't say things that you don't want everyone else to know (because they will find out). Just generally, don't act like a jackass.

The most important social norm in law school is obvious to those of us on the "inside," but completely foreign to everyone else: Don't be a gunner. As a matter of fact, this unspoken rule is so painfully obvious that I was hesitant to even rehash it here.

Gunners are those assholes who raise their hands in class and talk just to hear themselves and prove how smart they are and how, as a matter of fact, they are that much smarter than you. They want to flex their intellectual muscle. This is probably an effort to make up for their microscopic penises, being that a good 95% of the gunners in law school are males. First year professors are not friendly to the ego, and as such, generally beat the gunner-ness out of them by the end of first year (or first semester, if they're really good).

But sometimes people slip under the radar and continue to act like asshats well after first year, entirely oblivious to the fact that they are subject to the hatred and vitriol of an entire class. While I thought I'd escaped most of the gunners long ago, I was rudely informed otherwise this semester - a semester where my patience is thin and my tolerance for bullshit even thinner.

I'm lucky enough to have in my 16-person Copyright class a 2L gunner of epic proportions. Affectionately known by his class as the 43L, the Copyright Gunner has a Ph.D. in Asshattery and loves parading his irrelevant knowledge and high-horse attitude before the class on a regular basis.

Not only does he interrupt both classmates and the professor on a regular basis, but his holier-than-thou attitude makes me roll my eyes so hard I end up with a headache by the time class is over. Example:

Prof. Copyright: Okay, I'll raise my hand too since I've done it, so don't feel like you're incriminating yourself or anything: Who in here has committed copyright infringement?

[Entire class, save the 43L, raises their hands.]

Prof. Copyright, to 43L: Come on, you've never committed copyright infringement?
43L: No, I haven't.

[Commence eye-rolling.]

Prof. Copyright: Never?
43L: No. I've copied articles for educational purposes, but as an author, I would never commit copyright infringement.

[Oh, barf.]

Prof. Copyright (who is incidentally a well-published author and academic), smirking: Well, I'm an author, too. But that doesn't mean I have never infringed a copyright.

You get the picture. Many of his comments also begin with the preamble, "In my experience..." or "If I may..."

I swear, before this semester is over, I am going to snap. I'm going to duct tape his mouth shut and beat him over the head with my Copyright book. Infringe that, asshole.

Lesson to be learned, kids: Don't. Be. A. Gunner.


angela said...

There is this one gunner in my section that everyone pretty much hates, yet he has no idea why he has no friends, lol.

buffalodawg said...

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Law School Transplant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Law School Transplant said...

Angela - Yep, that's usually how it works. There was a terrible gunner my 1L year that the class absolutely despised. Yet when informed of how annoying it was when he jeopardized class time, he insisted that he was entitled to have his questions answered. Hello, office hours? Asshat.

Buffalodawg - Duly noted and changed. Thanks for the head's up. Don't blame you for changing it, seeing as how employers are now regularly Googling their interviewees to dig up dirt. As such, I try my best to keep myself relatively anonymous and in fact regularly Google myself to see if my blog comes up. So far, I'm safe.

buffalodawg said...

I think 43L was a guest speaker in my torts class last semester. I feel your pain.

Law School Transplant said...

Just pray you don't end up in a class with him next semester. If you are unlucky enough to, then drop immediately.

k said...

LST, I think you'll enjoy this.

BabyBarista said...

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jack said...

yeah, that guy sits 3rd row center in all of my classes. although he's known as "professor in terms of" around here, because, well, that's how he starts every friggin’ question.

thanks for the break from my MSJ.