There is a legal doctrine from tort law, delightfully called “frolic and detour.” Frolic and detour sets certain limits to when an employer can be held liable for an employee’s conduct. Imagine you’re a FedEx driver out on your route when you pull into a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot to grab a coffee and you accidentally hit someone’s car. The coffee run was a reasonable bit of self-care, something most employers should expect their perennially sleep-deprived workers to do. And it was a quick and slight divergence from your work-prescribed route. So the odds are that the courts would see it as just a detour and FedEx will still be liable for the accident. But what if you take a break and head south out of Boston until you get to your favorite coffee shop in Panama City? In the eyes of the law, you’re on a frolic and FedEx is off the hook if you get into a fender bender on your way through Mexico.
I love to plan ahead. Predictable structure gives me a sense of peace unachievable even through the best vinyasa practice. But during my first couple years of law school, an important part of why I’m here has been mostly absent from my obsessive planning. For those of us hoping to practice at some point after graduation, we have to pass the bar.
It’s been easy to push thoughts of the notoriously difficult test aside with classes, exams, papers, law review, externships and clinics taking up so much time and mental space. But whether we are consciously aware of it or not, the bar is there, hanging over everything else that we do in law school. Are there things I should have been doing to prepare, even during my 1L year?
Editor’s Note: One of my very favorite parts of attending BC Law is the constant interaction with classmates who push you to be better. They motivate you to set goals that would have seemed unthinkable on the first day of 1L year, and inspire you to exceed even those heightened aspirations. Although she would never admit it herself, Lainey Sullivan is the living, breathing embodiment of this type of BC student. I reached out to Lainey and asked if she had the time to write a brief welcome letter to next year’s incoming students, and what she sent back blew me away. Per usual. Without further ado, I am very pleased to present…
Why I Will Miss BC Law and Why You Shouldn’t Miss the Chance to Be an Eagle
By Lainey Sullivan, President, Boston College Law Students Association