Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

I just found out that the law firm whose name is spelled "Dechert" is actually pronounced as if the h was a k. Deckert. Emphasis on syllable 1. What's up with these French names being completely Americanized in their pronunciations? Debevoise too is pronounced like it reads. "S" included. I guess they figure lawyers just aren't bright enough to deal.

Things I need to remember to do before my first class of the year (my first class of the year!) tomorrow:

1. Go to the bathroom
2. Turn the sound off on my laptop
3. Turn off my cell phone!!
4. Eat breakfast
5. Find a good seat...
6. ...hopefully next to someone who know...
7. ...but who isn't going to spend all class trying to whisper stuff to me...
8. ...because that's annoying.
9. Adjust my seat height
10. Pray not to be called on

I wonder if there are 2L and 3L gunners, or if they go away after a summer to reflect on their 1L year. I bet there probably are, and it's probably the same people. If I was a professor, I'd cut that gunner impulse off pretty quickly by just refusing to acknowledge someone's hand more than once or twice a class. You can talk a couple of times, but then you're done. Give other people a chance, stop monopolizing, if you have question sbeyond one or two, send an e-mail, ask your classmates, come to office hours. Use your two turns wisely and you'll be fine. No raising your hand while other people are talking, no audible sighs when someone messes up, no waving hands around in the air like you're a windmill. Alternative plan: you speak four times in a class and that class becomes yours. You get every question from there on in, like it or not. Third plan: anybody who starts a sentence with the words, "Isn't it true..." gets a bullet through the head from the snipers on the rafters. Same for "What if...." No good question -- from a student, I mean -- ever starts with "what if...." It's always "What if it wasn't really a human who started the fire, but a very smart polar bear?" or "What if the jail fell down?" or "What if the contract was signed in invisible ink?" You're changing the rules. It's not a contest to see what the most obscure rule you find is, or a contest to test how much of the minutiae the professor knows. The only way these things should be allowed is if they can be actually acted out in class. You want to ask about a spaceship crashing on the highway? Fine. All you need to do is have a spaceship crash into the classroom, and that question is totally fair game. A botched surgery that yields a man with three legs? In bounds, if you bring in the three-legged man. The polar bear starting a fire? Steal him from the zoo if you have to.

Things people shouldn't start questions with:
1. "I know this is obvious, but..."
2. "In my experience..."
3. "According to this other thing I read..."
4. "But where I come from..."
5. "I hate to interrupt, but..."
6. "Is it not the case that..."
7. "I feel compelled to jump in here..."
8. "I know this probably isn't relevant, but..."
9. "I don't mean to take us off course, but..."
10. "Can I just add something else here..."