To honor the month of love, I thought I’d offer a few perspectives on surviving law school with your relationship intact.
Being a law student is tough enough; add in your significant other and things can get a bit crazy.
Each client paid five dollars and answered more than a hundred multiple-choice questions. (A previous installment had been about a singles bar—Maxwell’s Plum, on the Upper East Side, one of the first that so-called “respectable” single women could patronize on their own.) She had planned to interview Altfest, but he was out of the office, and she ended up talking to Ross.
One section asked subjects to choose from a list of “dislikes”: “1. The batteries died on her tape recorder, so they made a date to finish the interview later that week, which turned into dinner for two. Looking back now, he says that he considered computer dating to be little more than a gimmick and a fad.
The thing that makes law students challenging to date is not the person, it’s what law school practically force them to become.
The law student-part of them takes over everything else in their lives; it’s so overwhelming to some that normally, statistics say, law school population drops by more than half from first year to their senior year.
In the fall of 1964, on a visit to the World’s Fair, in Queens, Lewis Altfest, a twenty-five-year-old accountant, came upon an open-air display called the Parker Pen Pavilion, where a giant computer clicked and whirred at the job of selecting foreign pen pals for curious pavilion visitors. Within a year, more than five thousand subscribers had signed on. It would invite dozens of matched couples to singles parties, knowing that people might be more comfortable in a group setting. They wound up in the pages of the New York subscriber.
You filled out a questionnaire, fed it into the machine, and almost instantly received a card with the name and address of a like-minded participant in some far-flung locale—your ideal match. He called up his friend Robert Ross, a programmer at I. M., and they began considering ways to adapt this approach to find matches closer to home. “This loser happens to be a talented fashion illustrator for one of New York’s largest advertising agencies.
We spent our weekends surfing in New Hampshire and exploring our new city. Then reality hit the fan and things went downhill…fast.
Homecooked dinners became rare, weekend trips non-existent, and our free time mostly consisted of him watching TV while I poured over torts and civ pro. From the law student perspective, many expressed additional stress, frustration, and even guilt about not being able to spend quality time with their significant others.
Almost all mentioned the TV watching/studying combo.
As in sleep-deprived, stress-eating, all-nighters-at-the-library crazy. My boyfriend and I were dating before I started law school, so we had a pretty firm foundation before the madness of 1L started.
We moved in together just before I started school and the first two months were absolute bliss.