That’s LAWkward…

Don’t get me wrong, sitting in Barbri (and law school for that matter) ranks up there with sitting in the dentist’s chair as far an entertainment or cruel and unusual punishment goes. But occasionally there is a big of law humor thrown in there to spice things up. And we’re not talking the daily Aggie jokes (sorry ATM friends) that get resounding laughter from everyone but the kids decked out in their undergrad maroon. People make fun of my undergrad too, just roll with it.

But there are the terms in the legal world that you just wonder how someone could ever get up in front of a jury or judge, or Barbri class, and say them with a straight face. And for that record, how could someone actually make that a professional term? What were you THINKING?


So in a joint effort to post, and do a little vocabulary review for the bar, here are the legal terms I will never forget because they make me blush uncontrollably and inappropriately. This is kind of like studying, I swear.

“Attenuation of the taint.” It actually is a phrase dealing with admissibility of illegally obtained evidence, but come ON. Who could stand up in court and actually argue that that should be allowed in court because of your attenuated taint and not smile justttt a little bit?! Geez, I’m smiling and giggling just typing it. That right there might be the sole, main reason I don’t want to ever do criminal law, so I don’t ever have to say that in public and make a fool of myself laughing like a hyena.


“Attractive Nuisance.” Now personally, I would take this as a compliment. I’m just law nerdy enough that this would probably work as a pick-up line on me. In reality, it’s kind of a stupid property doctrine about children wandering on your property and hurting themselves. And pools don’t count. But men, if you’re looking to go after a hot (and naive) 1L, it’s probably a sure thing.

(I really wanted to make these in law school, but apparently they didn’t pass honor code scrutiny. Sexist or something.)

“Touch and concern.” It’s a boring property term about easements and covenents being connected to the land instead of the deeds, but I think it works better as a sleazy pick up line. ‘I’d like to touch and concern your (promised?) land’ could definitely work on some people.


“Dry Hole.” I’m not even going to go there with what comes to your mind. It’s not ok to talk about in a public forum. Awkwardly enough, the actual meaning and what you might be thinking, are pretty similar. A legal dry hole is the oil and has term for drilling a non-producing well…aka a hole, that is dry. And no body gets paid for a dry hole.

He drills. For oil.

“Hung Jury” This make me think of a jury consisting of the cast of Magic Mike. Now THAT would be enough to make me want to he a trial attorney. Not nearly as cool in real life, since it’s actually just 12 bickering angry people who can’t agree enough to come to a verdict and cause you more stress than not by causing a mistrial. I definitely like my vision better.


“Dicta.” Just too obvious. ‘You have a nice dicta.’ Stash that along the lines of cheesy pick up likes that could work on a 1L. It’s like SCOTUS wanted it to be used.


“Penal.” This one speak for itself. The crux of the codified legal system, and a recurrent victim of awkward autocorrect moments for law students everywhere. Try typing, ‘Hey Mom, I’m loving the penal code today.” And don’t check before sending. You can thank me later when you become a damn-you-autocorrect Internet phenomenon.


“Pro Bono.” This one is even more obvious than penal, seriously? It basically means to do something for free. Or for bono. I mean free. Whatever.


“Duty.” What 1L hasn’t gotten a good silly when their over-intense Torts professor started throwing around the term duty? I don’t even know why it’s funny, but it is. Shows how mature we are as baby lawyers.


Try sliding any of those into regular conversation tomorrow. If you can do it with a serious lawyer face, kudos to you, because you friend, are way more mature than 96% of us. I’ll be busy giggling like a silly schoolgirl until I’m about 40. Heck, I might never grow out of it.

Now that I’m thoroughly entertained, I have to go back to Texas Criminal Procedure. (While watching the Bachelorette.) And there’s nothing funny about that. BUT, tomorrow is the last day of Barbri class, so whoohoo! It’s also 3 weeks to the day before the bar exam, so booooo. It’s just me and the penal code tonight, happily ever after.

I’m out. -S


9 thoughts on “That’s LAWkward…

  1. Also noteworthy: The “Seamen” Case in contract law; piercing the corporate veil; back-end amortization of assets; legal documents known as briefs; and Louisiana law’s “bad man taint”

  2. my husband didn’t take crim pro in law school, so when we were doing bar prep and i was telling him about the fruit of the poisonous tree and dissipating the taint he could not stop laughing. lol!

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