Middle child syndrome is the belief that middle children are excluded, ignored, or even outright neglected because of their birth order. Traditional American law schools, just like many families, are comprised of several “children,” or more accurately stated, groupings of children consisting of 1L, 2L, and 3L students. The unspoken (or at least not very often spoken) truth about law schools is that the proverbial middle children, the 2Ls, have to a degree been excluded, ignored, or even outright neglected by the legal academy. While there is a body of research dedicated to children's personality traits based upon birth order,2 this article speaks to the treatment law school 2Ls as middle children are subjected to, whether it be actual or merely perceived.
Eurilynne A. Williams, Defying Middle Child Syndrome: A Proposal for Achieving Bar Success by Reimagining the 2L Experience, Learning Curve, Winter/Spring 2022, at 30.