First and second year law students are forever reminded of C-R-A-C, but imagine if we applied it outside of the legal writing context…
I definitely CRAC when I meet people. Yes this is kind of like judging a book by it’s cover, but let’s be real! I have to use the clues that you drop here and there to see if you are the type of person that I would align myself with.
Now, don’t get me wrong, 9 times out of 10, I am still a horrible judge of character (or maybe I’m good and most people just suck 🤔), but I do like to use the clues. Here’s an example:
THERE WAS THIS GUY…
[I tend to befriend guys way more than girls simply because girls are more likely to lie and engage in petty, backstabbing behaviors. Guys only really lie to you when you’re dating them 😂. ]
But anyway, there was this guy, and I had already come to the CONCLUSION that he was not the type of person that I would ever be interested in getting to know. I had seen him interact with a couple of people, I paid attention at the moments where he attempted to interact with me, and I had heard him speak in a professional setting.
I learned all that I needed to know by just observing him — he was the type of person who would literally become whoever it was necessary to become to get ahead. This means that he has no sense of who he actually is, has no sense of identity, and is most likely a dishonest person. I deduced all of this by just observing him! And, the conclusion was formed that I did not want to know him!
BUT, THE RULE TELLS US THAT WE ARE TO [AT LEAST] TREAT OTHERS AS THOUGH THEY ARE ALSO HUMAN…
So, in applying that rule, when a situation brought us closer, I allowed it to happen. I befriended him! I went against what my mind had already formed as an opinion about this person, and then completely disregarded it in the name of humanity.
Now, most of the ANALYSIS portion of this post is me getting to know this person and forming a completely new idea about who he is! I spend time with him, I actually consume food in front of him (some of which he cooked!), we go to movies together, we hang out on weekends, we hang out on weekdays. A real bond is forming, and with that, I completely forgot that my analysis has to, in some way relate to/lead to my conclusion (otherwise how did I get there/what am I writing about?!).
Okay, I know I am not the only law student who has ever forgotten, mid-analysis, to either tie in her conclusion, lead to her conclusion clearly, or in some way make it all make sense in terms of her conclusion. I simply can’t be because I’ve seen the papers where we’re either too conclusory (conclude too soon with no analysis) or where we botch our analysis which is essentially the “lead up” to the conclusion.
In this instance, I got so tied up in the analysis section that I completely forgot the conclusion that I had formed by hours of observation! The conclusion that he was going to lead me to via the “getting to know each other” phase was not going to look like what I had already seen from him and concluded.
If you can recall, I had already formed the conclusion that this was a person that would say anything and become anyone to get close to a person/get what he wants/get ahead. So how did I miss it all throughout my ANALYSIS that he was doing this exact same thing to me. 🤷🏾♀️
[Bright side: he wasn’t real so there was no loss]
Conclusion, I CRAC-ed the heck out of that situation, but not even law school can protect you from one who falls victim to the ways of the human. Some are able to fight off all of the ugliness that comes with trying to navigate a world that isn’t easily accepting, or that is so self-absorbed, or greedy really! But, many aren’t able to do this, and I’m realizing that this is something that I will encounter more and more no matter how closed off I attempt to be.
I will always be walking around and observing people — concluding basically. But the human in me is what will give that person a chance to change whatever conclusion I reach (chances are it’ll be a bad one before it’ll be a good one). However, it’s up to them to shape our analysis section.
Be a good person and we can reach a new and better conclusion. Be a garbage person, and I’m going to let my conclusion stick.
See guys, we do use the crap that we learned in law school. 🎓