Another non-lawyer has gone undercover as a law student — and shock horror, he hates it too

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By Katie King on

A fedora-wearing law student was the final straw


An English student has gone undercover to experience the full-throttle of a day in the life of a law student — and now he understands why we all have “broken souls”.

Last month, two Bristol University students went head-to-head to find out whether law or medicine was the hardest degree subject — and law came out on top.

And now is the turn of Colm Smyth — a Queen’s University Belfast student studying English lit with creative writing — who braved the unenviable life of a law student for one day, just to see what it was like.

Disguised as an inconspicuous law student wearing a Hogwarts scarf, Smyth and his sidekick “Jennifer” headed to a 10am lecture. Just like our Bristol student, he could sniff out lawyers’ Hunger Games mentality from a mile-off. Writing in The Tab, he reflects:

As it turns out, a day in the life of a law student is cattier than a ninety-year-old woman’s living room.

But, unlike our Bristol trooper, Smyth didn’t even make it through the lecture — or stick around long enough to see it start. Appalled by one lawyer’s fedora hat, he says:

We abruptly bailed on the lecture at 9:59 with one minute to go. Jennifer claimed she was ‘suffocating under the weight of everyone’s egos.’ As was I.

Dramatic, maybe — but the arrogance of law students seems so strong even the culprits are done trying to hide it.

Another lawyer stereotype that proves all too true in Smyth’s experience is that we’re motivated by money and money alone. Speaking to another law student, Corey McFarland, Smyth says:

I asked Corey how long he’s been interested in law. He shrugged, ‘when I found out you could make loads of money off it’.

But it’s his conversation with Stephanie Lindsay, another law student, that proves most enlightening.

Law students are feeling so run down by their work, they’ve resorted to penning aggressive, and somewhat unsettling, notes to vent their utter anguish.


On the way to the SU for a “classic essay writing and chill” session, the conversation centred on “how much my new friends wanted to die, how much they hate law, how controlling the essay was”.

But, in classic law student style, Smyth notes that complaining was aplenty, but little to no work was actually done:

Work effort? Around two per cent. Banter? Around 98 per cent.

Reflecting on his “soul-destroying” experience, he says:

So what did I learn spending a day as a law student? Well, the subject itself makes its students want to eat glass. The amount of motivation to conduct any sort of work effort is practically nonexistent.

Judging by the article, Smyth and his depressed law student buddies are only in their first year — so we wonder how they’ll fair up against the dreaded Vandervell litigation.