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March 14, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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A Bit of a Mouthful A Bit of a Mouthful

Cuisine. Food. Things that you put in your mouth. To be honest, there’s not really all that much exciting to say about that when it comes to the law.

We could rant for pages about the internal contradictions inherent in the Food Act 1981 (which, by the way, extends food safety protection laws to all food offered as prizes—so, Red Bull, you’d better be careful). But that’d be really boring. We also can’t rant about our love for cheese, because Ally Garrett did such an impressive job in her column in Issue 01 (it was unbrielievable). So, instead, we are going to attempt to describe to you the cuisine career path of the typical lawyer.

Your culinary base is when you start walking the hallowed halls of Old Government Buildings. We know as much as any other law student that there is a certain amount of hubris to the job. So instead of crummy sandwiches from the back of the shelf in New World, you’re probably clutching on to that overpriced stodgy lunch-thing from Wishbone. Just give it up, you’re not fooling anyone.

But as fun as Lambton cuisine can be, it won’t last very long. Before the humble student knows it, tests are rocketing up, opinions need to be done and Professor David McLauchlan is becoming more incomprehensible by the day (“Today’s law is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper”—what? Although, it is food-related).
So begins your downward spiral.

Very quickly your kitchen becomes the desk you’ve claimed in the Law School Library. As the pressure intensifies your bank balance will reduce (so long, Wishbone), but in spite of that you’ll find yourself insatiably drawn to the pie-cart outside the train station. You’ll buy a sausage roll and chip combo and shamefully slink back to your studies. Oh dear.
But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Your academic year will come to a close, and when it does it’s usually sodden. Not because of the tears of frustration on your academic transcript, but because when things start to wind down, law students like to wind up.

Emily and I still remember our final Crimes Lecture of the year when everyone was swigging from wine bottles hidden under their seats and the lecturer did two tequila shots off her lectern; lemon and salt, the whole shebang.

This pattern of pretence, poverty, and pissed will become a comforting blanket throughout your legal education. And the rumour is that once out in the real world of statements of claim and High Court hearings, things don’t really change all that much. Although, perhaps your legal career is just a longer, stretched-out version of what you’ve already experienced. Starting off at the bottom of the food chain, you’ll just be pleased you got there, and will trade Armani suits off against baked bean dinners. As the middle of your career sets in, the long hours, mental exhaustion and constant work will kill any love of decent food.

But stick with it—because at the end of the long slog is that overflowing pot of grapes at the end of the Wairarapa rainbow.
A Pinot Noir winery. And it’s all for you.

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About the Author ()

Conrad is a very grumpy boy. When he was little he had a curl in the middle of his forehead. When he was good, he was moderately good, but when he was mean he was HORRID. He likes guns, bombs and shooting doves. He can often be found reading books about Mussolini and tank warfare. His greatest dream is to invent an eighteen foot high mechanical spider, which has an antimatter lazer attached to its back.

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