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.

Monday, March 22, 2004

"I'm sorry, I don't have time to help you plan that useless event that no one's going to come to. I have to write my 3L paper."

For 3Ls, this is the Season of Final Hurdles in the long march to graduation. Everyone here, in order to graduate, needs to write a 3L paper, something of some length, with a faculty advisor, that is somehow about the law. The obstacles up to this point for 3Ls, before they reach the time of 3L paper writing, have certainly been steep: avoiding the risk of completely falling off the curve and failing all of one's classes; committing some sort of crime heinous enough to get one suspended or expelled; showing up to registration at the right time; not making the proctors mad; paying library fines; avoiding the poisonous cafeteria food; not getting in the way of some particularly driven student who will do 'whatever it takes' to get what he or she wants; steering clear of the runaway snow plows; taking study breaks to drink plenty of vitamin C so as to avoid contracting scurvy; leaving the buildings during fire drills; not getting caught in any automatic handicapped-accessible doors; taking advantage of health services' fine medical care; and not wearing a Yale sweatshirt at football games.

Other than that, it's been pretty smooth sailing for 3Ls up until now, but suddenly things have changed. No more six-day weekends on a ski trip, or seventy-two-hour Playstation marathons; no more willingness to take a spur-of-the-moment cross-country road trip; no more five-hour lunches; no more sixteen-hour naps; no more can they say, "Library? I don't even know where the library is!" Because now they have to write 3L papers, those rigorous research-intensive sophisticated and scholarly explorations of areas of law heretofore poorly understood and barely analyzed. Yes, each class of 550 Harvard Law students produces 550 extraordinary works of scholarship, each fit to be published in whichever journal pays the most (they do pay, right?) and whichever editor-in-chief agrees to pass along the most useful stock tips (perhaps I have not been paying good enough attention in corporations class to know that this might not exactly be a perfectly legal form of payment). Well, not quite. I have it on notice that there are 3Ls across the campus, blending into classrooms and extracurricular activities, who are in fact writing papers that seem, well, less than rigorous.

My top-notch team of investigative interns have uncovered the following 3L paper topics that I believe are worth sharing, in the hope that the students responsible will step forward and acknowledge the lack of serious purpose with which they are undertaking this extraordinary final step in the path toward becoming a lawyer:

>>"Eighteen Thousand Words That Rhyme With Tax"
>>"Haiku About Venue Rules"
>>"A Diorama of the O.J. Simpson Trial, complete with fake-blood"
>>"Collage of Pictures of Justice Scalia in Various States of Undress"
>>"A Collection of Short Stories About Prison Rape"
>>"A Short Guide To Eating Your Way Through Law School"
>>"The Martha Stewart Case: An Analysis Through Flower Arrangements"
>>"The Federal Rules of Evidence: A Modern Dance Exploration"
>>"Environmental Law (as expressed through a bunch of cups of dirt)"
>>"The Influence of Property Law in Jackson Pollock's Art"
>>"The Rule of Perpetuities: Examples and Explanations in Pig Latin"
>>"These Forty Blank Pages Represent The Rights of Criminals in our Corrupt Legal System"

Clearly, we need reform :)