For those readers not at my law school, a fire alarm went off at the school yesterday--during my 1L Contracts final exam, no less. As if law school is not stressful enough. Fortunately it was a false alarm, and was not a prank, either. Once the alarm passed, everybody got extra time to get back in the groove of answering the exam.
Law school can be so all-consuming that your priorities get a bit skewed. When an alarm goes off, you are concerned about losing your work, not losing your skin. Or perhaps you begin to wonder whether a felony or a tort has been committed. How's that for "thinking like a lawyer"?
From my days in the practice of law, I can say that such skewing occurs there too, especially when you are billing by the hour. "That fire alarm took 0.4 hours of my day," people would say. And I have known attorneys to not evacuate a building because they were too busy. In fact, I believe I did that once or twice myself. Skewing indeed.
Even on 9/11 in DC, some people stayed in the office well after it became clear what was going on. That time, though, I did not.