TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Missouri, Pepperdine 1Ls Play Division I Basketball

Aldridge 4St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Juggling Basketball, Law School Is Quite a Feat:

Even Wonder Woman wonders how she does it.

Lauren Aldridge is the starting point guard for Mizzou’s women’s basketball team.

Lauren Aldridge is a first-year student at Mizzou’s law school.

It’s mind-boggling to think she has the energy to do both of these, considering people push themselves to unfathomable limits to succeed at just one of them. But there’s a superhuman in Columbia, practicing on the court and for court, while showing young people that when someone says “follow your dreams,” it really can be plural. ...

Aldridge wakes up at 6 a.m., eats breakfast and starts studying. She’ll have class, sneak in some reading, have class, sneak in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, have class, “and then sprint to the parking garage and get to practice by 3:30.”

After practice, she’ll devour dinner and study until around midnight.

“The sheer commitment to school and basketball that Lauren must have in order to succeed at both is remarkable,” said Washington U. law alum Tom Smallwood, a lawyer at Stinson Leonard Street LLP and one-time Mizzou undergraduate. “You have to be very regimented to do well in law school. It’s basically a full-time job. Especially in your first or ‘1L’ year, when you are learning the language of the law and trying to put together a bunch of abstract ideas you glean from a couple of thousand pages of reading. ...

Often her 1L classmates will be at the games, as well, supporting Aldridge while holding up signs, such as, “No. 5 is 1L of a player” or “No. 5 is layin’ down the law!” They’ll occasionally hoist a sign with some clever legal jargon for an audience of one. For instance, there’s a form of negligence called “res ipsa loquitur,” which means “the thing speaks for itself.” So a law student will hold up a sign that says “Tres ipsa loquitur,” as in — the 3-pointers speak for themselves. ...

“Going to law school while playing Division I basketball is a feat of time management, sure, but the real challenge of doing both is deeper than that,” said the New York Times bestselling author Kate Fagan, who played college basketball at Colorado. “Every basketball player I know prioritizes the game; every law student I know, prioritizes the law. So while basketball is certainly time consuming, it also quickly zaps creativity and emotional energy — processing new plays, connecting with teammates, managing coaching interactions. To then, at night, have the resources left over to explore an entirely different discipline, a discipline that each of your classmates is focusing solely on, well, that’s truly amazing.”

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