In what is certainly my favorite “news” story of last week, Shaquille O’Neal announced that he is considering going to law school (and is studying for the LSAT already). Unfortunately for the Big Shaqtus, there are a few unique obstacles he may face along the way to earning a J.D. Fortunately for all other prospective LSAT and law students, these obstacles can be a source of inspiration.
How Shaq Going to Law School Should Inspire You I: His Size
On the basketball court, Shaq’s massive physique was a tremendous asset; in an LSAT test center, it would be quite the opposite. To put this in perspective, I am an averagely built, 5’11” male, and I felt cramped by the combination desk/chair at my test center. Mayor McShaq is 7’1” and weighs over 300 pounds, which, in a test center, would look something like this.
To quote Charles Barkley, Shaq might find the situation “turrible.”
How Shaq Going to Law School Should Inspire You II: His Performance Under Pressure
Don’t get me wrong, in a lot of situations Shaq Daddy can perform under pressure. Shooting free throws is not one of them.
Studying for the LSAT and taking law school exams is, sadly, much more akin to shooting from the free throw line than it is to taking a hook shot in the low post. Shooting free throws is a repetitive process that relies more on methodology and form than on spontaneity or brute force. Similarly, performing well on LSAT questions or on legal issues is usually dependent on your understanding and repetition of the methods or cases. As a result, Shaq may find this his biggest weakness as a basketball player translates to his biggest weakness as a law student.
How Shaq Going to Law School Should Inspire You III: His Inability to Deal with “Type A” People
Law school is full of “Type A” people who are hell-bent on achieving ambitious dreams of fame and fortune. If the past is any indicator, The Big Aristotle may not thrive among this people group. Shaq and Kobe Bryant, his former teammate, did not and do not get along. From expletive-ridden raps off the court to clashes on the court, the rift between the men is well documented. Bryant, a consummate competitor and leader, has always tried to bend every aspect of his team to his will—a practice that did not sit well with Shaq. Thus, Shaq, when surrounded by a myriad of competitive and domineering law students, may have some problems.
Now, for those of you who don’t have to deal with these particular roadblocks, the path to your J.D. should seem like a breeze in comparison. Sure, your LSAT testing center conditions might be subpar, but at least the desk won’t stick to you when you stand up!
You may have some trouble with the stress and pressure of the LSAT and law exams, but at least it won’t feel like four hours of “Hack-a-Shaq”!
And you may not deal well with egotistical people, but at least you didn’t have to wear yourself down for almost a decade dealing with the Black Mamba (that’s Kobe’s nickname for you non-basketball people)!