The interesting thing about being a 2L, the middle child of the law school hierarchy, is witnessing first hand the stratification between years. I think this tension comes out especially around Spring Break.
1Ls are envious of 2Ls and 3Ls because upper-level students do not have to endure the rite-of-passage (or what others like to call "Hell Week") known as the short-write on competition. I have talked to many 1Ls who told me to have fun on their trip while they read through 500 pages of material to write a 10 page paper that they hope will be good enough to make a journal.
Many 2Ls think that 1Ls are obnoxious because they talk loudly in the library, clog up the printers with their legal rhetoric assignments, and stress out about everything. Never mind that we were exactly the same way a year ago. However, we are also envious of 3Ls, who are weeks away from being done with law school and have fancy bar trips planned.
Finally, the 3Ls. I am not there yet, but most of them do not seem to care about 1Ls or 2Ls. They are over school, and are either worried about finding a job or planning their bar trip. And whether or not they will have a large income coming in after graduation, they're going somewhere for their last spring break, ever.
It is interesting to see attitudes change between years. It is as though we all got an automatic promotion just for surviving another year, and suddenly we look down at the people below us-- even if they may actually be older, hold more degrees, or have more responsibilities in life (i.e. children).
But if there's anything that bring all years of law school together, it is mutual disdain of undergrad students. Going around talking about how wasted they got last weekend or complaining about writing a 5 page paper. They don't know work!
. . . ok, maybe we are just a little jealous.