Ignore Law School Etiquette at Your Career Peril

Vol. 42 No. 3

By

G.M. Filisko is a lawyer and freelance writer in Chicago.

Law school is a social and cultural world unto itself. Like all societies and cultures, it has its own set of norms and rules. Understanding and employing proper etiquette will help you succeed.

“We had an incident in a student’s first week at school,” recalled Sarah Zearfoss, senior assistant dean for admissions, financial aid, and career planning at University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. “She was anxious about on-campus interviewing results and had come into the career planning office literally the Monday after interviews had concluded because she hadn’t gotten callbacks.”

It had only been one business day. “But she was undone—completely beside herself—and expressed her anxiety to a counselor by screaming, shouting, and ranting,” Zearfoss continued. “The counselor called the head of the office, who calmed the student down and used that as a teachable moment about what a bad decision it was for students to alienate counselors trying to help them.”

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