It’s a weird day when you wake up in the morning with “No Diggity” stuck in your head and the only thing you’re sure of in life is that Civil Procedure will probably be the death of you.
Helloooo, last Tuesday!
While I struggled with trying to memorize Dr. Dre’s opening verse to the song (still can’t do it, I’m a failure and ashamed of myself), I also grappled with what we’ve studied so far in Civ Pro. When you’re in law school, it’s easy to forget that all of the rules, cases, and procedure you’re learning come to fruition in an argument that could potentially end up in the hands of a jury. In that type of situation, it’s not only the strength of your case that determines the outcome of your client – there are a multitude of factors that influence a jury, and sometimes cases are decided against the blatant weight of evidence in support of one of the parties.
You can try as hard as you can to push your case and make your point, but at the end of the day, most of the decision boils down to the opinions of twelve strangers who have to take everything you say at face value. While you do your best to create an argument that they can’t contradict, they’re still going to make their own decision. Although you have the opportunity to point the jury in your direction, you can’t gain absolute control over the opinions of other people. That’s not the way society functions.
The same can be said about interactions outside of the courtroom, particularly in real-world social situations. Being almost twelve weeks into law school, it’s easy to get caught up in the closed-off, high-stress environment. Essentially, it’s like high school…but with significantly less acne and punk music, and much more reading (and whiskey). I had dinner with a good friend last night, and she said something so plainly brilliant about law school life: it’s silly to try to please everyone all the time. There’s very little to be gained from simply trying to make everyone happy, because at the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their own opinions – even if they’re about you. You can’t ensure that all 196 of your classmates are going to be content, and more than that, it’s not your obligation to do so. You’re going to run yourself dry if you try to fix everybody.
Regardless of everything you’ve brought to the table, sometimes you aren’t going to click with a few people. And that’s more than okay; that’s the way that social interactions play out. Your social A-game might help you charm 75% of the party, and it’s futile to wonder what hasn’t worked. Sometimes others, for whatever reason, aren’t going to mesh with you, and it’s important to realize that you’re not expected to try to change that. What matters is that you’ve been your own best, you’ve tried your hardest, and you’re happy with what you’ve laid out to be seen and judged upon.
Sometimes people, like a jury, behave in bizarre and unexpected ways. You don’t know which direction the pendulum is going to swing until the verdict is announced. You’ve put your case out there, and the jury has spoken.The best you can do is leave them thinking that you’re in the right, that you’ve done the best that you can, and that there can’t be any doubt – no diggity, if you will – that you’ve laid a good argument on the table.
(Yo Dre, drop the verse.)