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Legally Blonde v. The Real Law School Experience

Feb 8, 2021

I polled some of my dearest friends for pop culture references that would be intriguing in a blog post. I only got one reply. It must be tough for normal people to think of anything on Earth they want to hear from a lawyer. Most people wisely avoid us.

The one reply I did receive was brilliant.  It was a request that I write about the hit movie/Broadway musical, Legally Blonde.

Lawyers have a great time talking about that movie. It is so funny. And accurate. And absurd. And sexist. And entertaining. Above all else, it is endearing.

Is it accurate to my law school experience? Naw. Kind of. Maybe a little. In some ways, maybe a lot.

What Legally Blonde Got Right

I can only speak from my personal experience. I think I can say with certainty that no one in my law school class submitted a video essay staged on a pool floatie. No one had a purse-sized chihuahua in class. Though I wish that one was accurate. That would have been amazing.

What was most accurate to my experience was the palpable sense of self-worship Elle Woods encounters at Harvard Law School. I’d heard that I would not acquire many, if any, practical skills to apply to my legal career. I expected that reality and I found it.

But Elle’s first few classes where she is in a room of 80 students and the ego in the room is palpable? They nailed it. Everyone in there was once an accomplished college student. Many are recent college graduates with enough cords in their graduation pictures to rig a sailboat. And most are trying to conceal their terror at being called on.

I was not a cool kid in law school. I was openly terrified. But I saw looking silly in class as a lesser evil to maintaining the status quo. My hand was always in the air so I could ask the tough questions. The ones that make people squirm such as, “Who benefits from that law? Just lawyers?” And, “Why don’t laws reward people for being decent rather than punish people for being human?”

In my first week of law school, I walked out of class crying because a classmate essentially said, in front of all 80 of us, that I was wasting her tuition money by asking so many questions about how ethics can and should apply to black letter law.

In another instance, someone audibly coughed “context” when I raised my hand and stated a creative observation about the case were studying. I kept raising my hand. Fearless. Oh yeah – and at graduation, I bit it and fell in front of the professor who was trying to hood me. I recovered nicely. My law school dean described it as my “characteristic cheerful resilience.”

Unapologetically Me (And Here For My Clients)

A dear friend and classmate told me she admired that I am “unapologetically Martha Therres all the time.” I chuckled and told her I am hardly unapologetic about it. I’m just not skillful enough to even pretend to be anyone else for a few minutes. Sometimes I still wish I was cool.

But that genuine commitment to being my authentic self in all situations – even when it is scary? THAT is exactly why my clients hire me and why they like working with me. You will feel comfortable when you first speak with me. Much more than you anticipated when you made an appointment with a lawyer. That’s because I am not your average lawyer.

I will not talk down to you. And I never practice law above you. I am always beside you and in front of you. I am confident, competent. And fearless.

About Martha Therres, PLLC

Martha is a jiu-jitsu-practicing, crochet-rocking mother of two awesome boys and four cuddly pets. She is also the founder of Therres Law Office.

Martha is proud to say that she has experience as both a lawyer and as a client. Whatever you’re going through, she has likely experienced something similar. She will get it.

When you work with Martha, you’re not getting an attorney who will stoke flames to collect more fees from you. She truly wants what’s best for your family.

Negotiating a path to move you forward into your new life is something she’ll handle as if it was her own family. After all, it WAS her own family at one point. She is passionate, ethical, trustworthy, and knows that family law is not just her career. It’s her life force.

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