Friday, February 29, 2008

Law Review Is a PAYING JOB?!?

Yesterday, I heard something quite interesting from a friend. Her 3L boyfriend at another public school in this region gets PAID to be a law review editor.

Well, I THINK she meant he's a law review editor. Perhaps I misunderstood what she was talking about.

Can anyone confirm that some student law review editors have paid positions?

Edit: Do the editors who get paid also get credit hours?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stuff Law Students Like: Mullets and Beards

Without a doubt, law school is very taxing upon a law student's free time. Precisely for this reason, a good law students learns to cut corners to save time. A successful law student must be sure to have plenty of time to imbibe in an ice cold Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout or wonderfully translucent Sapphire and tonic.

Saving time becomes particularly important during finals or the second year of law school. A common and well respected time saver is to forgo grooming and grow and exam-bear or a mullet (but, importantly, not both). Nothing says I've been killing a forrest with my WestLaw printing like an old fashion lumber jack beard and a starbuck's non-fat latte. While the beard is the approach commonly practiced by slackers to give the perception of hard work, the mullet is adopted only by the top students for practical purposes. Not only is the mullet a major time saver (and money too- that $16 can be spent on a new pack of highlighters and some nifty brief binding from Kinkos), it is an amazing stress reliever. In law school, much like drinking Sprite on the basketball court, image is everything. One cannot mess up the perfect windblown part of the bangs, on must instead curl throughout the day each side of the mullet much like an old time saloon keeper's pencil thing mustache. The act of curling gives one time to think and process during responding to stressful answers or can give the appearance of abstract thought. Moreover, a mullet is an iconic way to brand oneself- consider it the legal trademark of a top law student.

Think to yourself: fear the mullet. Who comes to mind?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Law School Perversion

I had a great class recently in crim pro. There was a guest speaker who was a DA in a nearby county. He gave a talk entitled "Granny, Fido, and Vagina Barbie: Search and Seizure in Sex Crimes." He detailed three acts so terrible they would make Bob Saget blush (I'm not posting his Aristocrats joke here but you can find it on youtube I'm sure. It will seriously affect the way you watch Full House!).

Things I learned.

1) Never allow your boyfriend to keep naked pictures of you in the same bag he keeps the sex toys used to abuse your grandchild. It or a description of it is admissible under R. Evid. 403.

2) Bestiality has not been against the law in this state since the 1930's. I have no idea how THAT got repealed.

3) Jerry Springer does not have to make crap up.

Bonus points to anyone who goes through one Aristocrats joke and writes out the arrest warrant. I can't believe the stuff I learn in this school. I also can't wait to see what all links to the blog because of this post.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Law Review: Outlook on Another Year as a Peon

One has to wonder what drives law review editors after managing board elections are over.  I'll weigh the pros and cons of currently being a law review junior editor who will not be on next year's managing board.

1.  looks reasonably good on resume
2.  less work than most of the managing board positions
3.  might be able to coerce friends on managing board to give me lots of "Best Editor" awards to fill resume space
4.  knowledge that I will have memorized most of the Bluebook by the time I graduate

1.  doesn't look as good on resume as a managing board position
2.  employers, particularly those familiar with this law review, will interpret "Senior Editor" title as a sign of laziness or intrinsic personality flaw, regardless of the fact that I actively sought a position with more responsibility
3.  10-15 hours of infuriating work most weeks in addition to normal school-related activities (this can be a con because I have reason to believe the work of the positions I wanted is less "infuriating" than the work of a junior/senior editor)
4.  waiting in line for moot court partners who are monopolizing the only two available copiers to reproduce every single sample brief in the library
5.  prospect of Phaedrus telling me to "add authority" next year for the statement "the sky is blue" (or "litigation is expensive," an ADD AUTHORITY gem from my last assignment)
6.  no recognition for the effort I put forth and the damn good work it produces
7.  unproductive (read:  pointless, yet inevitable) feelings of resentment and superiority toward next year's managing board
8.  the reward for doing good work really IS more work (see, e.g., how they managed to stack most of the best junior editors on an assignment involving sources from Texas in the mid-1800s, very few of which are actually accessible to people outside of Wharton County, Texas)
9. knowledge that I will have memorized the Bluebook by the time I graduate (yes, it's also a con)

I really wonder how they motivate those senior editors.  Let's not delude ourselves.  I'm guessing that less than 5% of law review junior editors (or whatever they're called at other schools) actually enjoy the work.  Right now, my only motivations are my personal desire to associate my name with good work, the regret I encounter when I could have done a better job, and the idea that I will get kicked off law review if I stop turning in assignments.  The latter wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that I would have to take it off my resume.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My New Favorite Blog

Although this blog is not serious, it is hilarious!

Check out:

Standing Still at Concerts


Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops

Knowing What's Best for Poor People

But perhaps the one main reason why white people love lawyers is the sense that they are giving back to the community. Most white people major in the arts, and law school is pretty much the only option for anyone with a BA that wants a decent paying job. Basically this love of the law is keeping the demand for lawyers much higher than it should be. So paying lawyer fees to settle the smallest problem, is the white person equivalent of Warrick Dunn building homes for low income families.

MY FAVORITE Arts Degrees
These degrees enable white people to spend four yeas of their lives reading books, writing papers and feeling great about themselves. It is a known fact that Arts students firmly believe that they are doing you/society a favor by not getting a job and reading Proust. They use this to protest for reduced tuition, more money for the arts, and special reduced student rates on things like bus passes.

But what about the white people who study Science, Engineering or Business? Unless they become doctors, they essentially lose white person status (and can only be regained by working at a non-profit).

So why would white people spend all that time studying and working to get into college if they are just going to read books that they might have read in their free time? Because white people have it made. They can take that degree and easily parlay it into a non profit job, an art gallery job, or work in publishing. If the pay is low, no problem, their parents will happily help out with rent until they magically start making six figures or non-magically turn 40.

White people can also take that degree and go to graduate school (future post) and eventually become a professor or adjunct professor where they will still require parental support.

If they are REALLY ambitious and need to make money, they can take that degree and go to Law School.

Con Law by Hank Hill

Those technicalities have a name. They're called, The Bill of Rights.

-Hank Hill

Good and Bad of Moot Court

So the guys who run our moot court have decided there is absolutely no score sharing allowed. I think their idea is that people at the bottom won't give up if they think everyone else is doing poorly too. But what about people, like me, El Guapo, who have a sick competitive streak? I don't think I'm doing poorly but I would like to know what "average" is and what the top third to quarter are getting. If I knew, for example, that I was one of the best 5-6 oralists and all I needed was a 4 point average jump to be the best, I would be working my tail off. As it is, I don't feel the need to get much better.

Oh, and the briefs scores won't be announced until they announce best brief in a month and a half. Have I been eliminated already? I just wish I had some way of knowing how I'm doing...

Monday, February 11, 2008

An Open Letter

Dear [Friend and Fellow Aspiring Law Review Managing Board Member]:

We have been friends for a little more than one year.  While we are not the closest of friends, I would like to think that we enjoy spending time around each other (usually in a large group).  I also think we respect each other enough to avoid actions that could adversely impact the other party's resume.

I noticed that you have recently signed up to run for one of the same law review managing board positions as me.  While there is no limit to the number of positions for which each individual may run, I wish you would have considered the potential impact of your decision to run for this particular position.  

The potential result is that neither of us will get elected to the position.  This explanation will be easier to read in the following list form:
1.  Law review elections are likely to be a giant orgy of popularity contests akin to junior high SGA elections.  
2.  Several of our mutual friends are on law review, and they probably form a sufficient voting block to get someone from the group elected to almost any position on the managing board even if they don't discuss their votes in advance.

By the third step, even someone without the slightest knowledge of who we are (or perhaps someone who deludes himself into thinking the junior editors will generally vote for the "best" candidates, not their friends) should see where this is going.  

Technically, we are not allowed to campaign or form voting agreements, and I am not suggesting that we should have done either of those things.  However, I had the forethought to avoid running for another position for which you were already signed up because I did not want to split our group's votes.  I just wish you would have taken the same consideration for me as I had for you when I decided not to run for the other position in question.  

Some people would call this "gamesmanship" with all the accompanying negative connotations, but I call it common sense in this particular set of circumstances.  I don't think there is anything dubious or dirty about not wanting to split the votes of our friends.  I am particularly qualified for this position, perhaps more qualified than the other candidates and definitely more qualified than I am for any other position, and I will be very disappointed if neither of us gets elected.  I am not angry at you for running, as it is your privilege as a junior editor to run for whatever positions you want, but it would have been nice if you had chosen one for which I am not running.

Guy Fawkes

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Free at Last

For the first time in three weeks, my life is good!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Motivational Thought

There's a light at the end of the tunnel,
Lord I hope it ain't no train.

-Lewis Grizzard

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Effective Immediately

Dear Registrar, Law Review, and Moot Court,

In an act of sacrifice and remembrance of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, Noah spent on the ark, Moses spent on Mt. Sinai, Elijah spent walking to Mount Horeb, I will be abstaining from Moot Court and Law Review until the Easter feast. This is all because these things take up most of my time and it is less time to reflect upon religious matters (you know, the whole reasoning behind Lent). You may point out that I am not giving up school. Well, this is much like the practice that meat, eggs and dairy products are generally proscribed, but fish isn't. Aquinas reasoned that they afford greater pleasure as food [than fish], and greater nourishment to the human body, so that from their consumption there results a greater surplus available for seminal matter, which when abundant becomes a great incentive to lust. (Summa Q147). Law Review and Moot Court afford greater pleasure and greater nourishment to my resume, therefore an incentive to lust.

I understand this may put you in a bind. Too bad. You are a state law school and cannot impose on my religious views. Please do not take any discriminatory or retaliatory action against me. See Good News Club v. Milford Central School, 533 U.S. 98 (2001).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fingers of Fire

A local restaurant serves what they call "fingers of fire," which are basically chicken fingers with some (extremely mild) hot sauce poured over them.

Tonight, my fingers are ON fire, which is probably the result of cutting up three fresh jalapeno peppers about half an hour ago. I've washed my hands at least four times, but nothing helps. I'm just glad I haven't taken a piss.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I Gave My Verbal To Harvard

This is too good to be true, this kid is my hero. From ESPN

It looked like an American dream come true, but now somebody's going to experience a nightmare.

Students, television and newsprint reporters packed the gym at Fernley (Nev.) High School to hear offensive lineman Kevin Hart give a verbal commitment to play football at the University of California. He chose Cal over Oregon.

"They really sold me," Hart said, according to USA Today. "Coach [Jeff] Tedford and I talked a lot, and the fact that the head coach did most of the recruiting of me kind of gave me the real personal experience."

The only problem … neither Cal nor Oregon recruited Hart.

Now, it's a "law enforcement investigation," said Fernley football coach Mark Hodges, according to the newspaper.

"This is involving law enforcement and may involve other departments, other than the NCAA, that are bigger than local," Hodges told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "I would love to tell you everything I know, but I can't at this time and I'm not even sure what I know."

It was unclear whether Hart was duped by persons impersonating recruiters or if he was staging a hoax himself.

In a blog for the Reno newspaper, reporter Chris Gabel wrote: "But, I am told, the ending is not going to be pretty. Not for the kid, coach, school or town."

In a press release from the Lyon County (Nev.) school district, superintendent Nat Lommori and associate superintendent Teri White said that the incident is under investigation.

"Although only in a preliminary stage, the district's investigation to date has been unable to verify that Kevin Hart was ever offered an athletic scholarship or letter of intent to play football by the University of California, University of Oregon, University of Nevada, Washington University or Oklahoma State University. … The district will continue it's investigation into these serious allegations and will provide additional details, to the extent it is permitted to do so by law, in the future."

Evaluating the semester

Grade Distributions came out recently (the registrar prints out a sheet of how many people go what grade in each class). While my overall GPA and class rank for the fall semester was exceptional, my performances in my classes was pretty poor. Honestly, I got one of the lowest grades in one class. While I would like to attribute my performance to a number of distractions (interviews, law review, football, etc.), truth is that the buck stops here so to speak. Somehow, I was at the top of the middle of the curve in every class (with one or two exceptions). Again, I would like to attribute this to many factors: taking classes I wasn't interested in because they have a high grade distribution, taking 16 hours, having classes where everyone was in the top 10% of their class, the professor's vision problems while grading my paper, etc. I don't think I can do that. Truth is, I dropped the ball. Fact is, despite my overall poor performance (in my Type A opinion), I somehow managed to be at the very top of the class right at the benchmark number. What does this say? Frankly, it says that there is a good deal of gamesmanship in being at the top of your class. I think, after all, taking classes that did not interest me because they had a high grade distribution paid off. Even though it may have lowered my performance (maybe), that lowered performance was still better than most of the law school. I wonder why everyone hasn't caught on to this? I've heard a lot of "this is a BAR class." To me, that translates to "this is a low curve class." Then again, I think I have the determination and independence to learn BAR material in a bar prep course (as most professors have told me to do- that is, instead of taking BAR classes for the sake of taking BAR classes).

I'm a bit down, but I really shouldn't be. I expect better of myself and seeing how I did in each class really made me contrite. Last thing I need is a downer right now. There's law review, moot court is kicking my ass and writing my name on the board, I'm a research assistant for a prof. who is "loan sharking" me for more research, and I took an outside commitment to research and edit a Thompson West Treatise, oh yeah- there is still the law review comment which is too promising to give up on. I will finish all of this by March 14. But, that will have me ripe for studying for finals and right now my class preparation is Zero. I'm screwed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Motivational Thought

Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.

- Tom Lehrer

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Law Review

I am doing a statute analysis project for law review. Going to the state law school, I relied on the law review once or twice as a clerk last summer. I thought the statute review had some authority to it as a secondary source.

Now I know it was done by some poor sucker who would rather be watching the Super Bowl.

Between moot court and law review doubling up on me, I am starting to forget what my wife and my real textbooks look like...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Great Moments in Judicial Opinions

I want to start a new regular section on funny comments in actual cases by the judge. Maybe someone can suggest a great title.

I got the idea when I was reading through a case for my moot court brief, as a general rule, it is never a good thing when the judge says this about your argument,
We were not impressed
(citation withheld until after the moot court competition)

Here is the inaugural quote:
The trial transcript quotes Ms. Hayden as saying Murphy called her a snitch bitch 'hoe.' A 'hoe,' of course, is a tool used for weeding and gardening. ... We have taken the liberty of changing 'hoe' to 'ho,' a staple of rap music vernacular as, for example, when Ludacris raps, 'You doin' ho activities with ho tendencies.
United States v. Murphy, 406 F.3d 857, 859 n.1 (7th Cir. 2005).

All Politics is Local

If there is one thing law school has done, it has given me a distaste for politics. For example, Huckabee and Obama both made a recent campaign stop in my state. A student looking to carpool to the event sent out an email and a quick description of Huckabee as "former Arkansas governor and all-around good ol' boy." (Please note that this email came from our resident foreign named yankee who wears red cowboy boots who wouldn't know Jim Crow if he were having grits with him at a cafe counter- this is neither a criticism or defense of that person, rather it is context) Immediately, as if HuckabeeSupporter had dropped the "You People"-Bomb, another student of African American sent out an email saying "Please explain what good ol boy means." Oh snap!

All of this is to demonstrate the point that politics comes down to voting to the person most like you: look at the polls Women for Clinton, Blacks for Obama, and Good Ole Boys for Huck.

A buddy of mine and I were mourning the departure of our two individual candidates from the Presidential race earlier this week when out of nowhere a fellow student took offense when she overheard that I strongly supported Edwards. This student, who I did not know, approached me and shouted "Vote Obama or Die, Don't be racist vote for Obama!"

I intervene the story for more context: I've got a very multi-cultural friend base. If you were to look at the picture of my group of friends (when we are all together and home for the summer) we are stereotypically diverse enough to be in a high school text book- except we are still trying to recruit the Hispanic in a wheelchair. The point is, despite all presumptions about me due to my Southern Heritage, race is not a major issue to me in politics; especially when I am left without a candidate to support and would likely swing to anyone who took on some major issue which I feel strongly about.

I asked the rude student why that student supported Obama. The student replied with the television buzz word "Change." Upon further prodding, I could not get a substantiated reason as to why that student supported Obama- yet, I was the one presumed to base my electoral decision on race. My retort was, "When is Obama going to acknowledge the Sudanese crisis?" I then asked the student if that student or anyone the student knew had made any affirmative statement/action on Darfur (petition, WWJD-esque bracelet, t-shirt, rally, attend a lecture, anything). The student replied, "What's Darfur?"

It was exactly then that I realized every Darfur activist I know is white. Where is the NAACP or Al Sharpton on the Save Darfur Board of Directors? When will Black America step up in the activist efforts to save Darfur?

The Disclaimer Required since I am an Anglo American Protestant Male: I am in no way making a derogatory statement toward any group. I am, merely, engaging in an intellectual, thoughtful, open-minded, and embracing discussion in an effort to help a people to which I have no connection other than compassion.

And if you are curious, my other issue: Stem cell research. What happened to it? Why is it no longer at the forefront of the presidential debates?