The library. Mike is seated at a study carrel. A 1L is in the carrel next to him. Mike is talking to him.
Mike: . . . all law schools smell vaguely of Diet Coke. It gets so that you don’t mind it. That’s the worst thing that I can confess. You know how long it took me to get there? A long time. When you graduate you are going to regret the drinking you don’t do. You think you’re a slacker? I’m going to tell you something: we’re all slackers. You think you’re a hack? So what? You lie awake at night worrying about the honor code . . . ? Get shut of it. Shut it out. You cheated on your law school application? You did it. Live with it. You haven’t been to class since September—so be it. Law school is a meritocracy? May be. And then what? If you think it is, then be that thing. Bad students don’t get jobs? I don’t think so. If you think that, study that way. Some jobs are worse than being unemployed? Yes. And I won’t take them. You ever read a law review article made you feel like you just studied for 12 hours . . . ?
1L: Th—this is the library. Why are you talking to me?
Mike: The great exams that you may have written—what do you remember about them?
Mike: I don’t know. For me, what I’m saying, what it is, it’s probably not the grade. Some girl, putting in her earplugs. Something your laptop did. There was a case you cited . . . or, me, sitting, in the, I’ll tell you: Me, finishing my exam two hours early; I hand the proctor my ScanTron; she touches my finger; my balls feel like casebooks.
1L: C-c-can I please study now? You’re really bothering me.
Mike: And what is it that we’re afraid of? Failing. What else? The library closes. We get sick, my professor lost my exam, the job market collapsed, I got kicked out of law school. What of these happen? None of ’em.
1L: I’m going to call the librarian.
Mike: It’s been a long day. What are you drinking?
Mike: Let’s have another one. My name’s Mike. What’s yours?
1L: James. Why is your hand on my leg?
Mike: James, I’m glad to meet you. I’m glad to meet you, James. I want to show you something. It might mean nothing to you . . . and it might not. I don’t know. I don’t know anymore. (Takes out a small stack of paper and spreads it out on the desk.) What is that? Contracts. The UCC. Contracts. “Contracts. Bullshit.” And maybe that’s true; and that’s what I said. But look here—what is this?
This… is an outline.
Listen to what I’m going to tell you now: