Rohit's Realm

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September 30, 2007

Why More Douchebaggery is Better (for Law Students)

The first week of law school has come and gone, and with it, the requisite amount of reading, (case) briefing, and of course, (binge) drinking. Having previously heard the absolute worst about law students in general, and those at Chicago Law in particular, I must say that I have been rather pleasantly surprised by the low levels of douchebaggery that most of my fellow classmates have hitherto demonstrated.

Ostensibly this is a good thing: in a world full of douchebags, and in a profession teeming with them, there is hardly a need for elite law schools to respond to this most severe of societal problems by producing even more pretentious, elitist, heartless, soulless, self-absorbed, self-entitled, self-loathing (and sometimes, self-destructive) assholes,1 potentially sporting the 10° hat tilt and one (or more!) popped collars. And yet, therein lies the problem: with the exception of the 10° hat tilt and popped collar(s), I have just described myself. Which brings me to my point: perhaps douchebaggery is not a product of a law school education, but a necessary (yet clearly not sufficient) quality for admission. And in that scenario, I would argue that more exposure to douchebaggery is actually better for augmenting one's career prospects. The remainder of this article will lay out why this might indeed be the case.

Does Law School Cause Douchebaggery?

First and foremost is the question of causation, i.e., does a law school education cause one to become a douchebag, or does law school simply attract a bunch of people who are already douchebags. Most people, I suspect, believe the former—that there is something intrinsically demonic about law school that it makes otherwise intelligent, well-intentioned citizens become the scourge of society that most lawyers invariably are; my own intuition (and personal example) says otherwise.

Though I have often provided a slew of different answers to questions about my own decision to apply to law school, a reasonable summarization of all those disparate responses might be as follows: Since graduating from college, I have been sustained by only one singular purpose in life, which is to be the biggest corporate douchebag that I could be. With law school, I found a means of attaining levels of douchebaggery that I likely would not have achieved had I remained in consulting. In other words, my quest to climb the douchebag ladder led me to law school, suggesting that those who think otherwise might simply be lured in by a cum hoc, ergo propter hoc logical fallacy (Rohit goes to law school; Rohit is a douchebag; therefore, law school caused Rohit to become a douchebag).

A much more reasonable explanation is that douchebags simply self-select the legal profession, suggesting there is something intrinsic about being a lawyer that appeals to those who we would normally characterize as being douches.2 What that aspect is per se need not necessarily be determined for us to move on; all we require is the knowledge that there is some such quality that attracts douchebags to the law like flies to shit.

Why More Douchebaggery is Better

Assuming the above to be true, i.e., there is some indeterminate quality of the legal profession that cause douchebags to disproportionately pursue a career in that field, it then becomes quite clear why law students might actually want more, not less douchebags as their classmates. If law is a profession composed of people more inclined than the general populace to express douchebagesque tendencies, then it, as a profession, is inevitably swayed by the all-encompassing subculture of douchebaggery. This subculture—one which I assume most non-'bags are not familiar with—will nevertheless influence law students in their future careers. One cannot help but assume that in the subculture of douchebaggery, only the douchiest of individuals rise to the top. (I believe the concept is more generally known in corporate America as shit floats to the top. I do not make any representations herein about this phenomenon.)

As such, if your goal is to attain inordinate amounts of wealth and power relative to and at the expense of all those around you (as it should be for any good young capitalist), and if your chosen profession is the law, it is unequivocally in your interest to be a douche—and a big one at that. And while I cannot say this for certain, I am rather confident that hanging out with lots of douchebags will inevitably make you a bigger one yourself; the desire for acceptance is almost certain to force most people to adopt the traits of the majority of their peers, thereby succumbing to the when in Rome... principle.

Consequently, the presence of more douchebags in one's law school will augment one's own douchiness proportionally, and analogously, the presence of less, while perhaps better for one's mental stability, will certainly do no one any favors with respect to career prospects.

So, for all you dear readers who may be in law school, or considering it, and especially any of my classmates who have made the serious error of finding my site, go forth and be the douchiest you can be: tilt your hat 10° off-center; ask terribly contrived questions (or better yet, make asinine statements) at least twice a day in every class; argue with the professor over trivialities; and for the love of all that is holy, don't forget to be an asshole to everyone around you. My future success—as well as yours—depends on it.

1 For a discussion about the miserable condition in which most lawyers find themselves, see, e.g., Patrick J. Schiltz, On Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession, 52 Vand. L. Rev. 871 (1999). (The aforementioned law review article can be found here.)
2 This also presents the interesting aside of whether douchebaggery is an innate quality, or one that can be acquired, but I defer rigorous discussion on this subject to a later time.


Genius! I sense a law review article in your future.

Seriously, Rohit--are you currently working on a novel/s or submitting shorts for publication?

Just found your site and would be really interested in reading some fiction from you.

Douchebag or not, you're one heck of an interesting guy, I must say.

The question I submit to you is this: can women be douchebags? And if not, what of the females in your class, and in law schools everywhere? In other words, what's the equivalent of the 10 degree hat tilt for women?

I think you need to pursue this topic in your next post.

As you've officially been inaugurated into law school, I believe its time someone changed their site's tagline.

The above comments leaves itself wide open for a number of unsavory and rather juvenile remarks, all of which I will refrain from making here ;-)

Love the theory, by the way.

Glad to see you're not having much trouble with all that law and economics stuff. I hear Chicago Law is really big on it.

And for what it's worth, I have PLENTY of girls in my law school class who would have to be described as douchebags, if it didn't sound so awkward. As Katie said above, you really should write about this terminology issue next.

Bradley, in short, no. I've recently thought about getting into it, and even formulated some stories, but it's a lot harder than blogging and my time is limited.

Katie and Jenny, I need some more data before I can properly comment. This topic will have to be deferred.

A Reader, duly noted.

Josh, thanks for not diluting the faux intellectualism of Rohit's Realm! Many idiots who have previously commented could learn from your self-restraint. And if you're still pursuing the law, I'm sure you'll be exposed to the douchebags soon enough. Ha!

hey new readers! too bad they're all douche bags.

Rohit, I think if I ever met you in real life, I would hate your guts. But I do love the way you write ;)


This article is ON POINT!

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