Own a copy of Black’s Law Dictionary. This is not for your significant other, in case he/she loses their copy. He/she does not lose anything. No, this is so you can figure out what the hell it means when the law student says, “It’s unconscionable that I would have to do the dishes two nights in a row!” Or when you ask what’s wrong with your sex life and you get the response “res ipsa loquitur.”
Practice not rolling your eyes and gagging when your significant other mentions Supreme Court justices with a familiarity usually reserved for golfing buddies or a whacky uncle. Examples: “Of course Stevens would say that! Classic Stevens!” or “Scalia be tripping!”
Start to enjoy watching Law and Order. While you will rarely get to watch televised entertainment with your significant other (he/she will mostly be reading or drinking or both), if you do, it will probably be L&O or another one hour legal procedural. So if you have an aversion to Sam Waterston, or you dread having that theme song stuck in your head, tough luck. This tip also extends to L&O: LA, L&O: SVU, or any other spin-off currently on the air, streaming, in reruns, or available on DVD.
Start to enjoy “watching” Law and Order. While you will watch Law and Order, you will not be able to actually watch it. Yes, you will see it on your screen but it will be accompanied by a non-stop live commentary track provided by your boyfriend or girlfriend on what the show gets right but mostly what it gets wrong. Nod reverently and occasionally remark about how interesting this all is while thinking to yourself that if the law student talks like this through American Idol, you will stab them.
When arguing, give up. There is no use trying to debate the law student on anything. Even if you’re totally and utterly in the right (especially if you are), the law student will use everything in their power to ruin you, even if it means simply waiting out the debate as long as humanly possible and making the same point over and over. It’s best to roll up in a ball on the ground and be still, like when confronted by a bear, until they stop talking.
Develop a drinking habit. According to the ABA, 15 to 20 percent of lawyers suffer from alcoholism or substance abuse. Law students, always the precocious bunch, start early — before they’re actually attorneys. Drink alongside your guy/gal and you will grow closer as you both destroy your livers. Marvel at their ability to be up bright and early to head toward the library after a serious night of partying while you wallow on the couch, icepack on face, crying and proclaiming you will never drink again.
Don’t get jealous of the professors. When your partner talks about their Wills and Trusts professor like an 11-year-old girl swooning over Justin Bieber, ignore it. Law students develop intense, sometimes inexplicable crushes on their professors who wield so much power and control over their lives. It’s very Stockholm syndrome. When you eventually meet said professor, try not to mention that you don’t get what all the fuss is about this doughy, middle aged man who looks like a semi-famous character actor whose name you can’t place. This will avoid a heated, impassioned debate. See above.
Allow them at least one tear inducing, nervous breakdown a month. Maybe two. Law students exist within a cauldron of pressure and competition. They’re type-A, anal retentive types pitted against other type-A, anal retentive types amidst an unstable, contracting, and unforgiving legal market. In short, shit gets real. So intense freak outs should be allowed or even encouraged to exorcise the crazy away. This will benefit the both of you, and your partner will be forever grateful. After all, you should cut the law student some slack. They’re only human. They’re not lawyers yet.