And other fun stuff you should probably save for after law school

There are a few things that professors will tell you not to do when you are in law school: don’t get married, don’t have a baby, or don’t rob banks.

Crazy, right? I mean, how are we supposed to live?

Thankfully, my experience in these endeavors is limited. And the statute of limitations hasn’t run yet, so…

I’ll just stick to my story here.

At the tender age of 33, I went back to college. Before that, I’d been preaching for small churches and wanted to get away from all the legalism I had encountered.

So, I went to law school…

Anyway, my bride and I found ourselves at the University of Arkansas where one of the benefits of attending is free health care. Well, it’s only free if you don’t count the scores of Arkansans whose involuntary taxes contributed to the costs.

Thank you fine Arkansas taxpayers for your generosity!

One of the riders to that health insurance was that pregnancy was covered. For some reason, I think this was a popular addition.

We already had an 18-month-old girl when I started law school. But my wife wanted two girls, not one. And she wanted them to be about the same distance apart in age as she was from her sister.

Law school is stressful enough so don’t complicate it by doing more stressful stuff, which is apparently why we decided to have a baby in my second year of law school. I even missed a final exam to welcome our second girl into the world.

Some classmates got married, others took up drinking heavily.

At the appropriate time, we went to the university health clinic for a pregnancy test.

When anyone walked into the campus medical clinic in Fayetteville, he or she would have been greeted by a life-size Barbie doll staring at sick students like a crazed zombie.

Let me say that again: A life-sized Barbie doll. Well over 6 feet tall.

I understand the point they were trying to make by demonstrating the unhealthy body image Mattel portrays to little girls, but, this Barbie was creepy.

I don’t know if it is still there but it was not very appealing, unlike the Mattel Russian Barbie I had purchased for my bride. Which was proportional and pretty and stayed that way until one of our girls gave her a hair-cut years later.

We had a high degree of certainty that my bride was pregnant. But we also had to get the official pregnancy test from the clinic so some insurance officials could make a car or house payment that month.

Several minutes later a young woman sits down in front of us with a stern look on her face.

I could tell she didn’t want to tell us the results of her findings.

Tell us the news, I thought.

“Well,” she began. She was nervous.

“The results are back and, well… Well, um…”

Come on, say it.

“You’re pregnant.”

(Actually, only one of us was…)

But we both breathed a sigh of relief and happiness.

The worker, for a nano-second, was confused but then sensed our happiness and also breathed a sigh of relief.

“Oh, that is so great.”

She was visibly relieved to see that we were both happy.

I know this kind of news isn’t always met with happiness.

I wouldn’t want her job.

We said thank you to the nice clinic worker and goodbye to the creepy gigantic Barbie. Then we left the clinic and went shopping for diapers and baby clothes with crisp new money that a nice, but frightened-looking, bank teller handed me earlier.


Paul Swann is a dad, husband to a Russian Princess, lawyer, legal instructor, writer and occasional guitar player. He spends his time in Arkansas with his aforementioned Princess Bride, Two Stunning Daughters, and two ne'er-do-well dogs. You may find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even his Medium Page.