Thursday, April 06, 2006

When Worlds Collide

The latest inductees to "Bench & Bar" (one of the more prestigious "honor societies" here at the law school) were announced yesterday. While I don't personally fool around with such things, I couldn't help but notice that a number of my fellow Law Review monkeys were counted among the new membership. No surprise there, but the really interesting thing was that many of the fellow inductees were about as far removed from the LR set as you can possibly be w/o failing out of school.

Now, I know that LR is not necessarily the measure of how good/smart/successful a person is as a law student-but we all have to admit that the majority of the really successful law students are on LR (or some other journal). These are the same students that usually get selected for the honor societies. Hence my curiosity when I noticed the atypically diverse membership of Bench & Bar.

As it turns out, B&B admission is based on an elaborate point system designed to quantify how "involved" an applicant is at the law school. Involvement can obviously come in many forms. For example, one would earn copious points for being elected EIC, landing a spot on the moot court board, and earning "best paper" in Biz Org (or any other class). In all likelihood, these points would be enough to get onto B&B. However, there are other ways to get points. For example, points are also given for holding office in the SBA (see "the hangover", in comments), participating on the homecoming committee, and playing in the semi-annual poker tournament held at a bar downtown. Thus, it is quite possible to earn sufficient B&B points w/o ever coming close to the LR crowd.

The result is a very bipolar demographic. It seems that the only people excluded from this group are the normal students that neither invest all their time in a geeky pursuit like LR or Moot Court nor waste all their time piddling around in the SBA or other similarly flacid student organizations. In fact, if you diagrammed the continuum of law student types, you would see that B&B accepts members from both polar extremes, and no one in between. That's right - on the far right you have the LR super-dorks that earned their B&B points by getting elected to the managing board, and on the far left, you have the SBA senators who earned their points by posting campaign posters sporting photos of themselves passed out drunk at a keg party (not that that never happens at a LR party - we just don't brag about it...).

I can only imagine that the induction ceremony will be sort of like a scene from Animal House, where Bluto has lunch with the Omega crowd and sprays them with mashed potatoes.

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