Saturday, October 07, 2006

Foreign LL.M.s: Smarter, more attractive, and having more fun than you, too.

This column originally appeared in the Georgetown Law Weekly, Vol. 43 No. 3 on October 13, 2006.

The biggest conundrum you will face here at the law school is not whether or not you should take Tax II (you should not), not whether or not you should accept that job offer with the firm that requires 23,500 hours billable a year (you should, then film your quitting speech). The biggest boondoggle is how much you choose to get to know the foreign LL.M. students.

Why should you try and hang out with foreign LLMs? You have plenty of friends already, and most of them don't hold you personally responsible for the ludicrous actions of President Bush. You're comfortable, and you don't really need to add more complication to your life. If you are like the typical American in her or his mid-twenties, you already have the following:

-Two (2) Parents.
-One (1) Step-parent.
-One-point-three (1.3) Siblings, at least one of which is trying to stop using drugs.
-Two (2) close friends from college.
-Two (2) friends from college whom you actually dislike but you have to see sometimes because they now live in the same town as your parents.
-One (1) ex that you would like to begin dating again if you could.
-One (1) ex that would like to being dating you again if they could.
-One (1) pet that you left with your parents, or, if you are Asian, an elderly relative.
-Twelve (12) "close friends" here at law school, which actually consists of five people you will stop talking to by your third year, four people with whom you will try unsuccessfully to hook-up, and three people you only know from IMs and Facebook.

That seems, to you, like plenty of people in your circle. I urge you, urge urge urge, to broaden your horizons. There is a wealth of untapped experience here, and it comes in the form of the foreign LL.M.s. The LL.M.s are ALREADY lawyers, so you can rest assured that they already know how stupid you are as a J.D. student. You don't have to fake intelligence like you do with your other friends, and you don't have to pretend like you know what do do about their landlord problems. Also, every LL.M. is hot. Every single one. Why? The reason is that there is a definite association of "foreign" with "hot." If you have a non-American accent, you can immediately seem at LEAST 15% above your normal attractiveness level, and that is the minimum. Canadians, for example, seem 15% above their objective attractiveness level. French people are 30% above, while French Canadiens are 20% above (it would be 25%, but there is an 5% penalty for Avril Lavigne marrying the fugly primate-dude from Sum 41).

The foreign LL.M.s are also much, much smarter than you. While YOU can barely speak English without dropping an F-bomb or dangling participle into every sentence, the foreign LL.M.s speak grammatically correct English in addition to their native language. While you absorbed your knowledge of the English language from Jeff Foxworthy DVDs and Nelly albums, the foreign LLMs were studying proper grammar, vocabulary, and relatively little porn dialogue. They probably also speak many more languages, especially if they're Swiss or West African. By the end of their LL.M. year, they will have gleaned a proficiency in another seven or eight languages, too, thanks to their classmates. In fact, by the end of their year here, many foreign LL.M.s no longer speak one discrete language; they instead speak a conglomerate pidgin of French, Spanish, English, German, Urdu, and Hindi, with up to five Filipino words (all curses). The guy who invented Esperanto did it in Washington, D.C., while trying to hit on a Venezuelan LL.M.

Speaking of dating, there is a significant advantage to dating an LL.M.: they will leave within a year. There messiness of "where do we go from here?" is alleviated because whomever you date will have to leave in eight months to take a job in Brussels, Jarkarta, Narnia, Waterdeep, etc.

You: "Baby, after you get your degree, where do you see yourself going to?"
LL.M.: "I think you mean to say, 'To where do you see yourself going?' Your English is very bad, lazy American middle-class student."

The number one complaint by the foreign LL.M.s every year is that they do not know many American J.D. students. The number two complaint is that our beer tastes like it came from a stadium trough, but that is a story for another time. (To my foreign friends: please do no blame us for the current administration or the beer. We did not elect either of them.) You should get to know the other students who share your classes, your school, your bathrooms. They're great people, and I guarantee you the stories you hear will be better than anything "Glen," the guy who sat next to you in torts, has to say. The next time you spot a group of LL.M.s (the proper term is a "murder" of LL.M.s), stop by and introduce yourself.

One caveat, however: do NOT date the taxation LL.M.s.

The author wanted this to run last week, but he turned it in two days after the paper had been printed. It can also be found online at The author can be found napping in the first floor of Hotung, or at paleobiology(at)


Blogger Lyco said...

Your information, Ron Jeremy has quite the vocabulary for.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Paleobiology said...

That is true. I never learned the second definition of "Whiplash" until I saw some of his work.

8:16 PM  
Blogger hsuper said...

the reason i love mark is because one of the places that LLMs go to is "Waterdeep"

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Tija said...

Wow, this was wonderful to read, especially because it makes me feel a lot better about my reasons for wanting to expatriate. Does the 15%-over-actual-attractiveness rule work if you go to THEIR country?

11:45 AM  

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