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.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

[I had a post here about the debates. It was kind of worthless, so I've pulled it. Not because I said anything problematic; more because I didn't say anything at all, and took a lot of words to say it. Basically, I found it kind of boring. But I was tired. So I don't know. And the post-debate stuff all says Kerry won, so I'll believe them. Kerry wasn't really looking at the camera. But I wasn't really looking at the TV. So I missed Bush rolling his eyes or whatever it is everyone is saying he was doing. Oh well. Maybe the VP debate will be interesting. But see this post for a view of the debate that was not all that dissimilar from mine.]

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

If you couldn't care less who gets the NL Wild Card, you can skip this one.

Okay, okay, so I know I swore off being a Mets fan back at the end of July when they mortgaged their future for some mediocre (and, in one of two cases, pretty darn injured) middle-of-the-rotation pitchers. And I know Scott Kazmir's dominating performances against the Red Sox, and Johnny Damon's recent comment that he doesn't know how anyone could have traded Kazmir, certainly haven't done anything to make me want to come back into the fold. The Mets' late-season swoon made me happy; that they've won a few games recently hasn't. But my newly-adopted San Diego Padres have played themselves just about out of wild card contention (although a miracle could happen -- can Jake Peavy start every game? Please?), the A's are about to blow their shot at the playoffs if they don't start winning some games, and the Cubs -- well, they lost 2 of 3 to the Mets, so clearly they're terrible. So, despite swearing off the Mets, I still read the NY sports sections every morning, and this morning every paper has an article about how the Mets are about to hire Expos GM (and former Assistant GM for the Mets) Omar Minaya to be their head of baseball operations, above current GM Jim Duquette. Come on, Mets, figure this out -- you don't need *more* people making decisions, you need fewer people. Find one person to be GM, fire everyone else, stop having ownership and the players and whoever else is influencing personnel decisions have any say, and trust one smart guy or girl to do his or her job. Maybe it's Minaya. But not if you're not going to fire Duquette, and not if you're going to keep your "superscouts" and not if the owner is still going to get in the way. Maybe it's not Minaya. Minaya doesn't have a great record with the Expos as far as making good trades and growing good minor league prospects -- although he's been hamstrung by MLB owning the Expos and who knows how much of what he did he was forced to do, so I don't really have anything against Minaya... but he doesn't inspire a ton of confidence.... They should have hired Bobby Valentine to manage and run the whole organization. I'm a fan. At least hire him to manage again. Him, or Larry Dierker, or Davey Johnson. Not Jim Fregosi. Not Larry Bowa. Not Gary Carter. Gary Carter? Gary Carter? Come on.

Okay, rant done.
There's no way I believe he actually said any of this stuff, but Mitch has some very clever law firm interview excerpts. (And if he is actually serious, and these exchanges really did happen, then he's (a) having a lot more fun with the process than I did, and (b) going to get a ton of offers, really, or at least one would hope he would.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I just had an interesting discussion with a friend about law firms and the interview process and diversity, basically centered around this question:

Does it matter if, when interviewing with a firm, they make sure you interview with people who are like you (more on what this means in a second; I'm leaving it intentionally broad for now)? And if a firm doesn't normally make the effort to match people up with interviewers who are like them, should they feel obligated to make a special effort when it comes to underrepresented groups, or is that patronizing and stupid?

For me, it really did make a difference in what I thought of firms during the interview process if it seemed like they made an effort to match me up with interviewers who I had something in common with -- who were Jewish, or went to one of the same schools as me, or shared an interest that I'd listed on my resume or expressed in the interview (and of course I had no way of knowing whether a match was intentional or just coincidence -- there isn't a shortage of Jewish lawyers at NY law firms, or people who went to the schools I've gone to -- but I'm going to assume that some firms really did make some sort of effort, however superficial, and some didn't, just for the sake of this discussion). It's not like I automatically had a better connection with these people -- or that I wouldn't necessarily have had a great rapport with people who shared none of my resume-salient attributes -- but just the thought that the firm took some effort to try made a difference. Plus, at least in the case of schools or interests, there was some common ground with which to appreciate the context under which they would say things -- at one firm's callback, I interviewed with 4 people who'd all gone to law school after a fair number of years of working, and went to less highly-regarded schools -- so when they said that working at the firm is so much better than law school was, I couldn't be sure whether they just had a bad law school experience, either because of their school, or just being older than most of the students when they went, or if what they were saying made any sense in my situation. Not that I could've necessarily relied on something someone more similar to me in those respects had said -- and not that I really could have relied on anything people are saying in an interview designed as much to get you to like the firm as it is to see if the firm likes you -- but still, it made me wonder why they'd had me interview with those particular people, and whether I was really learning as much about the firm from them as I might have otherwise.

The context of the discussion I had with my friend was centered more around a situation where, say, an African-American student interviews at a firm that has some African-American attorneys, but doesn't end up meeting any of them in the process. Is that a bad thing? On the one hand, of course just because two people are black doesn't mean they'll necessarily have anything in common. But on the other hand, diversity at a lot of these law firms is not that great, and I would think it's important to get to meet and talk to people who may have something useful to share about diversity at the firm, just given that if you have no other characteristics to go on when matching people up for interviews, why not? I mean, if I'm being honest with myself, even though I'm not particularly religiously observant, it would bother me if I went through an interview process and didn't encounter any Jewish lawyers. I'd wonder if the firm wasn't welcoming, for whatever reason -- some firms have a history, albeit from a few generations ago, of not being particularly welcoming. I can't imagine people who are Hispanic, or Asian-American, or African-American, or female, or gay or lesbian, or interested in pro bono opportunities, or married, or older, or younger, or from a good school, or from a lousy school, or from a big city, or from another country -- or pretty much anything -- don't feel the same way to some degree or another. Obviously to different degrees. And obviously being interested in pro bono opportunities is a much more job-salient characteristic than being Asian-American, and obviously there's no history of discriminating against people from cities like there might be in other cases, but, all else being equal, it would seem pretty stupid for a firm to not make the effort to let you meet people who might be people you might be particularly interested in meeting, and race and gender and school and age and marital status might be proxies for that, as good as the firm can do.

I agreed with my friend that at some point it seems over the top. If there are 5 Hispanic lawyers at a firm of 100, and you're Hispanic, and you meet 5 people in your interviews, if the only people you meet are the 5 Hispanic lawyers, is it too much? But is zero too few? I had a set of interviews at one firm where 3 of the 4 people I met with were Asian-American. The firm was not particularly diverse in that respect; there were not too many more Asian-American lawyers. It crossed my mind that maybe I got mixed up with someone else's schedule. I'm sure it was just a coincidence. But it at least entered my mind. And maybe it shouldn't have and I was just over-thinking. If a female student interviews with 5 men, is that bad? Should the firm make an effort to make sure she gets to talk to at least one woman? I'd think maybe they should, even though there won't necessarily be anything in common, maybe there will be.

Here's where my friend and I disagreed -- he said that if a firm isn't making any efforts normally to match people up in the interviews with people in any way like them -- that it's all just random -- he doesn't think they should then make a special effort for underrepresented groups like women or African-Americans. I said I think they should, even if just because the odds mean that if I go interview and it's done randomly, I'll probably meet at least one other white male. But that means, that for whatever it's worth, and it might not be worth anything, I'll have a better chance of meeting someone who shares my salient characteristics than someone in an underrepresented group. So they should make an effort. Even if just to show they're conscious of it, and they're trying.

Of course, none of this addresses the bigger problem, which is that a lot of these firms are woefully undiverse places, and that's really frustrating and disappointing. I think they all pay lip service to the concept of diversity, and of course it's hard to change things since the pool of students the firms have to choose from is also not as diverse as it could be, but that's the problem a lot more than who people are meeting during their interviews. This is pretty trivial, in comparison. But still, an interesting discussion. And I may be totally off the mark. I'd love to hear other people's thoughts, and I'll gladly post anything people send me in response that seems interesting and that they want posted.

Monday, September 27, 2004

So... Conan O'Brien is taking over for Jay Leno in 2009. I've got a sneak peek at some of his monologue for the first night of his new broadcast.

"The War in Iraq continued today with more of the latest in holographic missile technology. Secretary of Defense Justin Timberlake has ordered continuing strikes on the Iraqi capital."

"The number one TV show in the country last night, once again, was the season premiere of 'Joey," now in its 6th season. What's that? Oh, I'm sorry, that's been off the air for five-and-a-half years. The actual number one TV show was the newest reality show from Fox, 'Who wants to eat his brother's internal organs?'"

"The Mets will once again finish the season in last place. This is not a joke."

"Bush and Clinton were seen at lunch today mending the wounds from their 2008 Presidential contest. Jeb and Hillary, that is."

"Michael Jordan is reportedly interested in making another comeback. Again, not a joke."

"Global warming. Wow. Hot today."

"Isn't one of the Supreme Court justices going to die already?"

"Did anyone see those 'Swift Boat Veterans for Michael Jackson' ads last night? They're really keeping busy, aren't they?"

Sunday, September 26, 2004

There’s an issue of the “Harvard Law Bulletin” in the student center that I just got around to reading. It’s got a bizarre drawing on the cover of a woman wearing headphones connected to an IPod she’s holding in one hand, and in the other hand she has a laptop computer – with a cord attached. The drawing makes it look like she’s moving. But how far can she get if the laptop has a cord attached? Did they need to include the cord so that people would be sure it’s a laptop and not an ugly black purse? Maybe they just could have written “Dell” on it and it would have been clear without the cord.

In any case, the second half of the magazine contains “Class Notes,” like probably all alumni magazines do, with brief paragraphs about what graduates are doing now, based on the information people sent in. I notice a lot of alumni are lawyers who just made partner. And many have written books. Some have recently gotten married or had children. A handful just got elected chairman of something. I suppose the ones doing other things don’t bother to write in.

1952. “I just had a mole removed from the side of my face,” writes C. William Watson. “It was about four millimeters in diameter, and had become somewhat infected. My doctor felt concerned that it might be cancerous. It turns out it wasn’t, but I’m still glad to be rid of it. I’m recovering well at home in Fort Lauderdale. My cat recently died. I forgot to pay my cable bill last month. I need new dentures.”

1965. Harold Boggs, having run through his retirement savings, has gone back to work as a crane operator for a local construction company.

1968. The Rhode Island Bar Association has recently disciplined Judge Thomas W. Penfield of the Family Court for taking a bribe in a divorce action. Judge Penfield granted custody of three children to their father, who suffers from an addiction to Starbucks double-shot beverages, in exchange for coupons for fourteen free pizza pies from the local Domino’s franchise. The terms of the Bar Association’s punishment have not been disclosed.

1972. Harold F. Rudson, Jr. recently tried to kill himself, but failed.

1973. “I had the good fortune to meet up with some of my classmates at a recent anger management class I’ve been forced to take due to an unfortunate incident last year,” writes G. Michael Sunderberg. “Richard LeMardigras is doing well despite his incarceration, Franklin Donaldson has recently settled in a new neighborhood after being forced to move due to his inclusion on a local list of sex offenders, Arnold Blusterberg is almost finished paying back the government, and good ol’ Tad Smith is no longer under house arrest.”

1978. Harvey L. Sanderson was just elected to the board of his local homeowners association, where he will proceed to force everyone to paint their homes the same shade of eggshell, remove their curtains, and pay an exorbitant amount in monthly dues.

1980. Burt Cooper has been having trouble seeing lately. He’s worried it might be time for bifocals. His children are pushing him to give up the car keys until he sees a doctor.

1983. The newest member of the “Don’t Accept Checks From These People” list at the local grocery store is Janet V. Wilson, who overdrew her account last Wednesday.

1988. “I have just realized I should have gone to medical school instead of law school,” writes Benjamin L. Underwood. “But luckily I only have fifteen or twenty more years until I can retire. I should also probably tell my wife I don’t love her anymore, but I don’t have the heart.”

1991. W. Arthur Jackson was recently deposed as chairman of the American Estate Planning Association after a bitter defeat in the organization’s 2004 elections. He is inconsolable, and will spend at least two weeks on the couch watching daytime television and eating Ring Dings.

1994. Kevin D. Andrews was nominated as associate justice of the South Carolina Land Court. During his confirmation hearings, it was discovered he killed a young woman just last month and buried her on the side of the road. He begins his new post in early October.

1998. Sarah Balderson can’t believe she’s still paying back her loans.

2001. “I didn’t make the billable hours requirement at my firm,” writes Steve Petrovich, “so I didn’t get a bonus. It’s also been pretty embarrassing to walk down the hall lately after my defeat in the firm’s intramural dodgeball championship where I accidentally pegged my own teammate with the ball to make the final kill for the opposition.”

2003. “I want to have children,” writes Margaret Yancy, “but first I need to find a husband.”

2004. James P. Rogers just found out he failed the bar.
Can we elect Teresa Heinz Kerry President instead? (Link is to a fascinating New Yorker profile; thanks to Chris for flagging it. Really, if she was allowed to run, and was running, against her husband, she'd be the one who'd get my vote.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

New York Times Magazine article this week about political weblogs. Stuff I don't read, mostly. Wonkette, Daily Kos, Joshua Micah Marshall, Pandagon. Pandagon is good stuff. I'm happy when they get publicity because they come across as nice guys on their blog. Wonkette comes off pretty poorly in the article; Marshall comes off pretty well. In any case, it's a good read. I don't know what else to say about it. I could make a nice segue into something about what happens to blogs as they become more mainstream and a handful of people are actually making real money from them. I could probably sign up for Google ads and make $10 a month or something I guess. :) I got as far as taking the "virtual tour" on Google ads a few weeks ago. Seemed like too much of a hassle for a half-cent every time someone clicks on something.

[This is the part of the post where I make it all about me, so if you don't really care what's going on inside my head, you're free to scroll down to the next post and skip this one.]

Part of me hates reading these articles, because they make me ask myself what the heck I'm doing with this weblog and what it's for. And I don't know the answer. Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago, and, without really thinking, here's what I said: my weblog puts my writing out there. That's why I do it. Because if I'm going to write stuff, I may as well put it in a position to be found. So if I'm meant to be found -- if someone's meant to read my stuff, like my stuff, and decide I can somehow help them, in something they're doing, who knows what -- I mean, you think I can do something for you, I have bandwidth, tell me, I'm terrible at saying no -- then I'm here. I am not hard to find. If the fates want me to succeed -- if the fates are sending opportunities out looking for me -- this makes it very easy for them to find me. Much easier than if I wrote every day in a diary and locked in inside a drawer. No one's finding that.

Ok, so I said something like that, and then I looked at it from the other direction. If I'm not meant to do this -- if I'm supposed to go work at a law firm and cry myself to sleep every night, and I'm not meant to somehow stumble into some writing-related gig that'll give me a reason not to impale myself with a letter opener one day over a stack of thousand-page contracts, then is it still worth it? Well, sure it is. This is fun. I like getting e-mails from people who like what I write. I even like getting e-mails from people who hate what I write. I like feeling like I'm part of some weblog community of like-minded people. I like having somewhere to put my thoughts and ideas. Every time I think about taking a break from doing this, the break lasts fifteen seconds, because I'm going to think of stuff to write anyway, and so what do I have to lose by posting it? Why should I just let it sit there. People don't want to read it, you won't. It feels more productive than watching TV. Much more productive. Even if it's not, and I'm just kidding myself.

And the thought that ten seconds after I press "publish," someone can read whatever I've written and have a reaction, any reaction, or even no reaction at all, is pretty cool. That any moment of any day something good could happen from all this, even if it never does -- to me that feels somehow comforting. I don't know why.

See, I warned you. :) Okay, enough in my head. Back to being funny. If the fates decide that's what I'm supposed to be tonight.
Why do hurricanes get names, but earthquakes don't?

Actually, why do hurricanes get names, but nothing else does? Doesn't every disaster deserve a name?

"I've got a terrible cold."
"Yeah, Olga's been going around this season."
"No, it's not Olga. I dealt with her last week. This is Pauline, I think."
"They say Rhonda the Plague may be heading our way on Friday."
"That's terrible."

And not even natural disasters. Why can't we name all sorts of bad things that happen to us?

"Tina is only a few weeks away."
"Oh, you mean the final exam?"
"No, I mean my friend Tina, coming to visit."
"Oh. But also the final exam, right?"
"Yeah. And the hurricane."
"It sure gets confusing when everything that happens in our lives gets a name."
"Yes, it's unfortunate that way. It was easier when it was just hurricanes."

And I guess that's the problem. It would get too confusing. But then why even name hurricanes? Why not just say there's a hurricane coming? It's not like we're ever talking about 6 of them at once and can't keep track. One comes, it goes away, we don't have to refer to it anymore. What makes hurricanes more special? Aren't tornadoes just as bad? But no one says Tornado Jack just hit down in Kansas, unless some guy named Jack went to Kansas and messed up someone's living room.

I don't get it.
I have an opinion on a real issue of some consequence. Regular readers will realize this is unusual. Usually I only have opinions on issues of no consequence. I have one of those this evening too. "Shaun of the Dead" is not a very good movie, but it is not as bad as I feared it might be. It's more graphic than a comedy should be, and a little less funny.

But the real issue I have an opinion on requires some backstory.

A few weeks ago, Harvard Law Prof. Charles Ogletree issued an apology regarding his latest book, "All Deliberate Speed." The apology reads in large part (and I probably shouldn't quote so substantially, but I want to make sure I don't mischaracterize anything):

I write to express my profound apologies for serious errors I made during the final days of the research and production process for my recent book -- errors which resulted in several paragraphs from another book appearing in my own, without quotation marks or other attribution. The errors were avoidable and preventable, and I take full and complete responsibility for them.

During the final stages of the preparation of my book, material from Professor Jack Balkin's book, What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said (NYU Press, 2001), was inserted in a draft section of the book by one of my assistants for the purpose of being reviewed, researched, and summarized by another research assistant with proper attribution to Professor Balkin.... Unfortunately, the second assistant, under the pressure of meeting a deadline, inadvertently deleted this attribution and edited the text as though it had been written by me. The second assistant then sent a revised draft to the publisher, compiled from sections of a number of my previous drafts, which included the material from Professor Balkin's book, without identification or attribution. When I reviewed the revised draft I did not realize that this material was authored by Professor Balkin....

I made a serious mistake during the editorial process of completing this book, and delegated too much responsibility to others during the final editing process. I was negligent in not overseeing more carefully the final product that carries my name....

Lawrence Velvel, Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law, reacted on his weblog (and, again, I apologize for quoting a passage of substantial length, but I'm trying not to distort anything):

[T]o me the entire incident further stimulates longstanding concern about, and may in fact reflect, forms of corrupt conduct that have become pervasive in America today. Not just pervasive in academia. Pervasive in America....

What [Ogletree's] two assistants were doing sounds awfully much as if they were writing the book, or at least some parts of it.... Yet only Ogletree’s name appears as the author....

Ogletree doesn’t say "When I reviewed the revised draft, I did not realize that I was not the author of this material." Such a statement would of course imply that he was the author of the rest of the material in the book. But rather than say that, Ogletree said "When I reviewed the revised draft I did not realize that this material was authored by Professor Balkin." (Emphasis added.) Well, how in hell was Ogletree supposed to know that Balkin authored the material (unless Ogletree is claiming that he read Balkin’s book and has a near photographic memory)? Ogletree’s wording smacks of being too clever by half. It smacks of wanting to cover up the fact that he knew and expected that parts of his book were written by others -- by assistants -- and that the problem here was that he assumed the six paragraphs had been written by an assistant while being unaware that they had actually been written by someone wholly unconnected with him. I cannot say whether this logic is true in fact, but it is certainly plausible, and it further stokes the question of who did write portions of this book....

Shortly after the incident, I happened to get access to the e-mail account for the Harvard Law School newspaper, because I'm editing the opinion section. I noticed that some person or organization calling him/her/itself "OgletreeSkeptics" had been sending out "updates" with every news article that mentions the incident. It seems a little obsessive to me, but who doesn't need more articles to read, right? :) Tonight I was copied on an e-mail they sent to the Record's editor that linked to a Weekly Standard article that points out some questionable borrowing by Harvard Law Prof. Laurence Tribe in a book from almost twenty years ago. "OgletreeSkeptics" says in its e-mail, "This is now the third instance of plagiarism by a Harvard Law School professor uncovered in the past year. If that doesn't draw further attention to these issues, nothing will."

Part of why I've extensively quoted from Ogletree and Velvel is because I'm writing this post to say I've written something about this issue, and just put it out there. Because anything I might have to say on the matter is uninformed and unimportant. My opinion is meaningless. But here it is anyway, just so I can say I've written something about it. I feel bad for Prof. Ogletree. And I don't know Prof. Ogletree at all (although I've heard really excellent things about his classes and his teaching, so I'm probably more sympathetic than if I'd heard he was an unpleasant jerk who didn't care about his students). But I feel bad for him because the sense I get is that what he did is something everyone does, and he just got unlucky enough to have research assistants who accidentally messed up and screwed him over. This is bad for academia; it says bad things about the way people write books today; but I think OgletreeSkeptics ought to change its name to AuthorSkeptics and instead of trying to create some momentum around attacking Ogletree, perhaps create some momentum around trying to change the way the industry works, if this is the way the industry works.

I think Velvel is right that Ogletree's assistants probably did a substantial deal more than assistants might do in a world with the highest standards of honesty and integrity. But I think Velvel's wrong to say that it means Ogletree wasn't competent and diligent (which he says in a part I didn't excerpt above), at least given the world in which he works. Well, maybe not. I think he's wrong to say Ogletree wasn't competent and diligent without saying that it probably means everyone else isn't competent and diligent either, and Ogletree just got unlucky.

And here's the problem I see: whether or not I'm right about this being a problem throughout academia and the larger world beyond it, it's not an unreasonable conclusion to draw. And what this means is that if there are professors acting with integrity, and having research assistants assist with research instead of actually writing their books, they get hurt by the implication that there's dishonest stuff going on everywhere. So people start to doubt even the "good eggs," and their reputations get hurt. This is bad. This is bad because it'll encourage people who are acting with integrity now to stop acting with integrity, because everyone's going to assume they aren't anyway, so why not cut corners?

So here's what I think. I think we need better rules. I think we, as a society, need to say this is stupid if this is what's happening, and if people aren't writing their own books, we don't like that. And we should somehow institute accountability -- the tricky part, obviously, is how -- and make a book say somewhere on it who actually wrote it. Under penalty of death. :) No, not really under penalty of death. But under some sort of penalty. Like nutritional labels on food. This way we encourage honesty. I don't know that I mind if professors don't write their own books, as long as the books are good. But I want to know who's writing them, and the people who are actually the ones writing them deserve credit, and deserve their names to be out there, in case the books really are good.

Here's part of what makes me think it isn't just academia. I got an e-mail from someone the other day, in response to my column about clerkships, perkships, workships, and jerkships (scroll down a few days if you have no idea what I'm talking about). He gave me permission to quote him:

...[Y]ou missed the key problem with clerking. The "plagiarismship." You bust your ass writing opinions.... Meanwhile "your" judge is lauded as the most prolific federal judge since Posner thanks to your ass-busting.... If others are going to take credit for my work, let it be partners paying me large sums of money and not a $40,000.00 a year pittance....

Obviously what judges do is not the same as what authors and professors do -- hopefully the judges are making the decisions themselves and the clerks are just writing the opinions... although I guess the analogy could be that the professors are telling the assistants what to write about... but judges are paid to judge well, not necessarily to write great opinions (or are they? really, I don't know the answer), but professors *are* paid to write. So it's different? Maybe?

In any case, I feel bad for Prof. Ogletree if it's the case that everyone else is writing their books the same way he wrote his, because he's bearing the brunt of criticism that I think would more justly be directed at the industry as a whole. Which seems like it's in need of some monitoring and disclosure, or academia is basically one big sham. Which maybe it is. But at least we should pretend there's some integrity. Otherwise I'm not sure why I'm spending so much money to be here.

That's all I've got. :)

Friday, September 24, 2004

Okay, this is over the top. From an e-mail from the office of career services:

Week 1 on-campus interviews start Monday. During OCI you will be introduced to some of the most interesting lawyers and employers in the legal profession. You will have the chance to hear about compelling cases, fascinating practices and day-to-day routines. So, try to enjoy the experience, not just the outcome.

Give me a break. I have no problem with interviews. But let's not pretend they're something they're not.
The laundry problem that has vexed mankind (or maybe just me) for generations (or maybe just since I started doing my own laundry, which would be... last week... naw, a bunch of years now, probably coming up on nearly a decade). Anyway. So there's the fitted sheet. And something always gets caught up in the elastic part of the fitted sheet, like the other sheet, or a shirt, or a bucketful of socks. No matter how much attention I pay in the transition from washer to dryer, something ends up there. And gets all balled up and doesn't end up dry. And what do you do with the one wet t-shirt that comes out of the dryer? You don't want to put it in the drawer with the dry things. I sometimes just put it back in the laundry bag for next time, but that seems like a lazy and pathetic solution. So what I want to know is how to avoid the problem in the first place. Is there a special magic word I can say before I put the dryer on? Do they sell anti-fitted-sheet-capture tablets? What's the secret???
Very cool Q&A with the head writer of The Daily Show here on the Washington Post website. I really wish someone on their writing staff, while lamenting his need to find a new writer to replace the one who just died in a tragic accident involving a mountain lion and a steep cliff, would do a google search for "'The Daily Show' and funny Harvard 3L," just to see what he would find, read my weblog, laugh, and e-mail me. Because when I sent them a resume last year, all I got was a form letter back from the Assistant to the Writer's Assistant (really!) thanking me for my interest and hoping I go away. Well, not in those words exactly. But close.

In other news, I'm awfully unproductive today, but my laundry's in the dryer and I've cleaned random papers off my desk and am "ready to do my reading for next week," whatever that means. I'm also "ready to not do my reading for next week," since that's probably a more accurate assessment of what's coming up on my schedule.

Gave "ER" a chance last night to get me hooked. It failed. "Survivor" has me semi-hooked; "The Apprentice" does not. So right now I'm at 3 hours of TV per week: "Everwood," "Jack and Bobby" (but not anymore if this week's episode is not better than last week's), and "Survivor." Wow, that doesn't sound nearly intelligent enough. I should watch some C-Span.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Me, elsewhere: Check out, "the largest collection of legal jobs on Earth," if you're either looking for a job, or you just want to read a piece I wrote for them on casebooks and why law school bookstores are evil.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

It's a farce.

It's all a farce.

Some of my classes are making me wonder exactly what law school's for. And, really, when I think about it, in 2+ years, there really haven't been too many classes that have blown me away. And if it's like that here, then I can't even begin to imagine what it's like elsewhere. (And I know that teaching quality doesn't necessarily correlate with school prestige, but still.)

I know I'm only two weeks into the semester, but I feel like I've taken one of my classes before. Freshman year of college. It was called Introductory Microeconomics back then, and it was expected we'd be able to draw a graph and do some basic algebra. In my class this semester, we spent an hour and a half drawing the graph of what monopoly profits look like. And then the professor read us some past exam questions that were, to put it mildly, not challenging. I know this is law school, not economics grad school, but, come on, let's put some expectations on students, okay? Let's not treat graphs and numbers like something to be scared of and to avoid whenever possible. If someone chooses to take this class -- and no one has to choose it -- how about you give us something real to do? Place an expectation on us that we can learn better than a college freshman. There aren't too many economics classes offered at the law school. Why am I wasting my time taking this class? I want to learn something. I don't want to feel like my freshman year intro economics class was equivalent to a Harvard Law School course. Half the class is econ majors. And it's all in the book anyway. So speed through the basic stuff, tell people to read the book if they need more detail -- instead of just reading the book to us during the class -- and move on to cool new economics stuff. Otherwise it's just filling time and getting me credits for no reason. And I'm certain I'm not alone.

And this isn't the only class. Too many of the classes I've taken and heard about from my classmates are bad. The professors read right from the book, ask basic questions looking for answers taken verbatim from the reading, and basically serve as reading replacements instead of reading supplements. Add some value. Please. They're mostly all very, very smart, very, very capable people. Who are doing less teaching than we're paying for. Everyone knows how to read. We can read the casebook. Tell me something not in the book. Make me think about the material. Challenge me. Engage me. Please.

And it's not all professors. I've had some great ones. Engaging, brilliant, dynamic. But they're the exception, not the rule -- and that's not right. It's not how it should be. It's sad if this is the height of education. Are there no good teachers out there in the world? Are they all trapped at investment banks, consulting practices, and law firms?

I'm being unfair. And I'm not actually upset so much as resigned to this being what it is. To no longer bothering with any expectations. I choose my classes pretty carefully, and try to pick professors I think will be good. The class I'm taking with a professor I've had before is meeting expectations. The others I'm taking are not quite. I don't think it's anything about these classes in particular. It's endemic in the system. There's something making professors not that thrilling. Maybe it's the water. Maybe there are only a few rare people who can actually do this stuff well. Maybe I expect too much.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I went to the Red Sox game tonight. Scoreless for the first 7 1/2 innings, Schilling pitched 8 scoreless, 3 hits, 14 strikeouts, he was amazing. Bottom of the 8th, Red Sox finally get a run. 1-0 going into the ninth. Foulke comes in to close it and gives up a 2-out 2-run homer to Javy Lopez. 2-1 O's. Bottom of the ninth, Red Sox get men on 2nd and 3rd with no one out. Dave "Why am I in the Majors?" McCarty pops up, Johnny Damon strikes out. 2 out, 2 on. O's put in Jorge Julio to replace BJ Ryan. Mark Bellhorn hits a game-winning double. 3-2 Red Sox. Awesome game. Awesome awesome game.

It was "Organ Donation Awareness Night." I swear. First 35,000 fans got a kidney. No, not really. They announced that everyone got organ donation cards on the way in, but we didn't get them, so maybe that part really was just the first 35,000 fans. "And for the fans seated in Section 11, Row C, we're taking your corneas. Sorry." So it was organ donation awareness night... yet the organ still played, like during the 7th inning stretch and everything. I'm using up all of my organ-related material, sorry. "Keep your eye on the ball" takes on whole new meaning in the context of organ donation. "One lucky fan will leave the stadium with a brand new liver." I don't understand some of the promotions and ads at baseball games. Hospitals advertise on the scoreboard. Why? Usually I don't imagine I'll have a choice, and even I do have a choice, why is seeing you at Fenway Park going to make me want to choose you for my appendix-removal needs? Oral-B had an ad. Again, not sure the connection. Avaya, which I believe is a telecommunications service provider that does not offer any direct-to-consumer services, had a bunch of ads. Not sure why they need me to know who they are, and the ads didn't even say what they sold, I just know from before. I'd understand if they advertised TV shows or movies or CDs or stuff like that. But not the Hospital for Joint Diseases (they're on the outfield wall at Shea Stadium -- I thought all diseases were solo; I don't know which are joint. Maybe STDs? Mono?).

Monday, September 20, 2004

Clerkships: The Nine Master Types

1. Perkship. A perkship is what every clerk hopes for: a judge with a penchant for eating in nice restaurants, membership in an exclusive country club, and the desire to make a new friend. "You can use my yacht if you like," says the judge. And then you know you've landed in a perkship of the highest order. Perkships bring the best thing about law firms to the comfort of a judge's chambers. The intellectual stimulation of a clerkship, plus the over-the-top extravagance of corporate life. "I'm going to Bermuda with my judge to research a bit about the law of luxurious beach resorts." And that's how you know you've got a perkship. (Note the subcategory for only the most gastronomically-intense experiences: the Le Cirque-ship.)

2. Jerkship. The judge was nice during the twenty-minute interview it cost you $400 to attend. His current clerk warned you he could be "difficult at times," but you didn't pay much heed. Thirteen hours into your detailed reading of his "clerk's manual," explaining how the paper clip belongs exactly 0.4 inches from the left-hand edge of the paper, and how he likes his sandwiches cut across the diagonal, and how Saturday wasn't a day off when he was a clerk, and it won't be a day off for you, you'll know: it's a jerkship. It's tough to prepare for a jerkship. You never know what's coming next. "Stop whatever you're doing. My dog needs to go for a walk." "I know I told you I'd decided the defendant was guilty. But I've changed my mind. Your 35-page decision memorandum is useless." "You're so pretty for a law student. Come here and give me a nice big hug before you go." Eek. What a jerkship.

3. Workship. "I love the memo, but it would be great if you could back this up with a few dozen more cases, and maybe read every law review article written on the subject and summarize them for me. You think you can do that by this afternoon? Thanks. You're great." Is this really what you signed up for? You wanted to delay the law firm life for another year or two, thought this would be a little less grueling than billing 80 hours a week. But for half the pay you're working twice as hard? Alone, in a dark law library, with only the statutes to entertain you in the bustling downtown Knoxville metropolis, your last choice but your first offer, and so what could you do but spend a year in the exciting home of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame? At least you don't have any time to reflect on your frustrating existence. You're typing another memo. Revising the last one. Alphabetizing the Lexis printouts. Man, this is grueling.

4. Burqship. Your judge won't let you expose your wrists or ankles. He's old-fashioned that way. Put down the veil. Burqship. Most common in the Gulf States. You know which Gulf.

5. Quirkship. So he likes to clip his toenails in chambers and flick them across the room. He plucks his nose hairs one by one and leaves them in a pile on your desk. He uses your letter opener to pick his teeth. He uses your fingers to pick the lint out of his belly button. He likes his t's crossed only on Tuesdays. He can't stand the sound of pages turning. He won't let you flush the toilet. He doesn't like the word "it" to appear in any of his opinions. He stands up only when the clock reads a time that ends with the number "7." He wants you to interview your replacement while you're standing on your head. He thinks it's fun to tape "Kick Me" signs to your back. He brings his pet rat to the office. He eats your leftovers. He's weird. But what else would you expect from someone who's got life tenure to pretty much sit alone in a courtroom with some recent law graduates to do his scutwork. Surely some judges are normal, brilliant, delightful people. And some are presumably strange.

6. Shirkship. "Hey, this judge stuff seems like a good way to postpone the real world for another year. So I guess I'll just send out 250 applications and hope for the best. I thought I had all the bases covered. OCI distributed a PowerPoint last year with all of the details... district courts are hard to get, circuit courts are harder to get, but state supreme courts are the 'courts of last resort' for people like me who want a clerkship anyway. Wait, that's not what they meant? They meant that state supreme courts are the 'courts of last resort' for defendants appealing their cases, not for law students applying for a clerkship? Oh, shoot, no wonder. wow. oh, man, I guess I should have. I'm not going to get a clerkship, am I? Oh, man, I just wanted to have one more year before the end of my childhood. And, wait, clerks do work? What? Are you sure? Oh, no, this isn't looking good...."

7. Merckship. Your judge is on drugs. Well, prescription drugs. But a lot of them.

8. Lurkship. "He's watching over my shoulder...."

9. Captain Kirk-ship. Yeah, I'm stretching the gimmick too far now. This is for when your judge has jurisdiction over space and you write opinions about the Klingons. Yeah, that's it. That's exactly the high note I want to end this on. :)

Rejected 10th category: Smirkships. For judges nominated by President Bush.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

First, there was "Trading Spaces,"
Then, there was "Trading Spouses,"

Now, a reality show especially for the elderly:

"Trading Medications"

Watch senior citizens spend a week taking someone else's pills, and watch the hijinks ensue. Goodbye blood thinner, hello painkillers! Goodbye Lipitor, Hello Viagra! Watch bald men grow stronger bones, and frail women grow hair in places they never thought possible. Trading Medications, this fall on Fox.

And, don't miss the premiere of:

"Trading Toothbrushes"

Saturday, September 18, 2004

See the post below. I can't promise a song parody and then not deliver...

"Clerkin' USA" (to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA")

As all my classmates wait in chambers
Across the USA
D.C. and Guam and Puerto Rico
And Californ-i-a
The circuit courts are more prestigious
But district court's okay
Don't tell the judge he's kinda drooling
Clerkin' USA

You sent out 1400 letters
Personalized a bit
You hoped that someone who liked bocci'd
See yours and say, "that's it!"
Someone who went to the same preschool
As your aunt's valet
Everybody’s gone clerkin’
Clerkin' USA

Just bought a $700 ticket
Get me to New Orleans
Then on a bus to Kansas City
Then flying up to Queens
I'm gonna miss all of my classes
And what's more loans to pay?
Tell the teacher I’m clerkin'
Clerkin' USA

The judge just looked me over
He didn't say a word
He's got three offers on the table
At least that's what I heard
The one I ranked way at the bottom
Loves me -- to my dismay
Is that where I'll be goin' clerkin’
Clerkin' USA

I called the judge I've always dreamed of
Told him I have an hour
Please save me from a year in Boise
You have enormous power
I told him I would buy his lunches
A foot massage each day
And so now I'm going clerkin'
Clerkin' USA

Everybody's goin' clerkin'
Clerkin' USA
A while ago, I wrote a song parody called "Curvin' GPA," to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA." You can find it in the search box at the top of the page, I'm sure. If I didn't mind repeating, I'd be tempted to do one this week called "Clerkin' USA," and I still might. Everyone's all over the place with clerkship interviews. Many of my classmates sent out many, many, many applications, and spent last week hearing back from judges... and will spend this week being judged. From what I hear, this week starts the interviews, and students -- on their own dime: this ain't the law firms -- get to travel across the country for 20 minutes in a meet-and-greet so the judge can decide whether you should get the job, or it should go to one of your 500 classmates with a substantially similar resume. And once you're offered one job, you're pretty much bound to take it -- there's no shopping around or waiting for the best offer: if you applied to the judge, it should mean you want to work for the judge, and so when you get an offer, your process is complete and you cancel the rest of your interviews so that spots open up for others. It's a very different process from the law firm stuff.

In a way I feel like I should have applied for a clerkship, because so many people are doing it, and it's prestigious, and it doesn't sound like a terrible way to spend a year, and it follows you wherever you go... but then I realize I'm getting into the law student herd mentality when I think that way. The truth is that, for me, a clerkship probably isn't something that will get me closer to what I want to end up doing with my life, and I feel like it would just buy me another year to postpone real life -- and while not a bad thing necessarily, I just don't feel like it's the right choice. Plus, you have to live wherever the judge does, and I don't know if there are tons of places I want to spend a year living, especially if there's no greater goal the clerkship would be propelling me toward. But if someone knows they're going to a law firm, or, in contrast, knows they're not and wants to do public interest, or teach, or really do pretty much anything else really law-related, clerkships seem like awesome opportunities and I can hardly think of a reason not to try to get one.

I'm rushing through this post a bit because of this wedding I'm at home for -- mostly I'm posting this as a reminder to myself to actually write something real (or funny) about clerkship stuff, probably ending up with the Clerkin' USA song parody. But I can't say too much, because I'm not going through the process myself and don't know how it really is. Maybe I should've applied for a clerkship. See, there I go again.

Friday, September 17, 2004

In a little while I'm heading down to NY for 48 hours for a friend's wedding. The good thing about being from New York is that I have a free place to stay in New York. Useful.

I'm fighting the urge to take too much stuff with me, like law reading I won't end up doing, or a random extra pair of pants I won't end up wearing, or... well, actually that's about it. The reading mostly. I'll bring a book for the ride. But I don't think it'll be a casebook. Maybe the Japanese Law one, since that's pretty interesting.

Man, this post is boring.

Ten Terrible Reasons To Go To Law School
1. Extra $150,000 and nothing else to do with it
2. Really want to learn how to use online legal research databases
3. Flunked out of medical school
4. Need more debt
5. Uncle is in jail; want to help him get out, despite his guilt
6. All your friends are doing it, except the smart ones
7. Lost a bet
8. Parents really want you to
9. Four graduate degrees aren't enough
10. Love watching "The Practice"

Thursday, September 16, 2004

A post which I want to title: The Post Where I Admit How Little I Really Know About What Lawyers Do and Why We Go To Law School, but I feel like that title would imply much more self-reflection and thoughtfulness than this post, which is really just about choosing classes.

Waddling Thunder has a post where he writes about the classes he's taking this year and says, "after much mental wrestling with such supposed necessities as 'Evidence' and 'Bankruptcy,' I've gone a different route." To which a commenter responds, "That you can get out of lawschool without taking evidence convinces me Harvard is nothing but a festering TTT."

Someone can tell me what TTT means if they like -- I'm assuming it's not a good thing, and feel like it has something to do with "Third-Tier" as in US News rankings, but am not completely confident about that.

I'm not taking Evidence either.

You can actually graduate without taking Constitutional Law, Corporations, or Tax.

(They're all part of the 2L bundle -- a recommended but not required set of classes; I took all 3 of them last year, but mostly by default, since I couldn't come up with any reason *not* to take them.)

I have no idea how wise that is. But I can argue one side of the debate.

We don't learn law in law school; we learn how to think about the law, where to find the law, how to read the law. The law is different in every state anyway. If I want to learn Evidence, I can learn it from a book. (Which is what I'll do for the bar exam anyway.) If you're not going to litigate, you're not going to need to know Evidence anyway. (I don't know if that's true. I'm only guessing. Really.) If I want to know about Wills and Trusts, I can learn it from a book. Etc. What makes law school classes more valuable than a book is the intellectual engagement -- getting to hear a really smart professor talk about stuff, and/or getting to hear reasonably smart classmates talk about stuff. Most of it has seemed to end up being a liberal arts education about the law. We don't learn how to practice. We learn how to think about this stuff, in the context of our legal system, and we get a set of topics for dinner-party conversation. Should the woman who spilled hot coffee on herself have really gotten money from McDonalds? Is the Supreme Court really apolitical? How should we reform our tax system? We become educated and informed and able to engage on issues. So why shouldn't we take classes that (a) we're most interested in, and (b) are taught by professors we think are rock stars? Isn't that the point? The law we can learn from a book. We're smart enough for that.

Now, I won't defend picking classes because they're easy, or picking classes because of when they meet (although I am probably somewhat guilty of that this semester -- I can honestly say that there aren't any classes I'm not taking that I would have taken if they met on different days; but I will honestly admit that I paid more attention to the choices that met on certain days than on others when I was picking them -- to a certain degree. Not at all when I originally picked last spring. Much more so when I was finalizing my schedule this fall. In any event, if I did pick based on that, shame on me and I'm wrong and I should get struck by lightning or something). But I'll absolutely defend picking classes you're interested in even if they're not on the bar exam, and picking classes based on the professor. We have a very precious number of credits to play with -- I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be here and to be getting this education, regardless of what I do or don't end up doing with the degree. It seems silly to waste them on classes where being here adds no value. I can learn Evidence from a book. And, yeah, I can probably learn all of this from a book. But there are professors who add value, and there are subjects that engage me more than others... these are not bad ways to choose classes.

Okay, that's the side of the debate I want to argue. I can see the other side. It probably starts with asking why someone would bother going to law school if they're not going to come out learning the baseline information that would make someone able to give some sort of legal advice. I understand. I just don't want to make that argument.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Twenty Reasons to Drop A Class

1. "I hope you all picked up the casebook and the reading packet. That's going to take us through week two of the class..."
2. "I know the registrar has us down as starting at 8:50 in the morning, but I'm a real morning person, so..."
3. "I hope you've all found your assigned seats. Each day I'll choose one of them at random and place an explosive device underneath. This should keep you awake."
4. "I have three rules in my class. No laptops, and I forgot the other one."
5. "Your exam will take place tomorrow, and it will be comprehensive."
6. "Each of you should plan to be called on at least seventeen times per class, to answer questions I'm confident you won't know the answer to."
7. "I know you may have seen my past course evaluations, but I don't really think there's any way I can do any better than I've done in the past."
8. "They've already told me I'm not getting tenure, and I'm figuring the best way for me to deal with that is to take it out on my students."
9. "Yes, I realize the readings are in German."
10. "The empty seat in the front is for my imaginary friend, Wilbur."
11. "I like to start off each class with a group meditation."
12. "I've never taught this course before, but the Dean thinks that after five or ten years of practice, I'll be almost decent at it."
13. "Each of you will be responsible for a group presentation. You may not collaborate on this project."
14. "This class will be conducted entirely in the nude."
15. "Although the course is only 3 credits, we will actually meet for 6 hours a week and you'll write nine short papers plus two final exams, back-to-back, on Christmas Eve and the following day."
16. "I don't observe daylight savings time. For purposes of this class, you should not either."
17. "My colleagues think I'm crazy for giving so much reading, but I tell them my students are smart enough to handle it."
18. "I apologize in advance for my dissheveled appearance and uncontrollable body odor."
19. "We have a guest lecturer coming next week. He will be speaking for 14 consecutive hours on the Securities Act of 1940."
20. "No one has ever regretted taking my class. Well, no one's ever actually taken my class before. At least not since the incident with the poison dart."
Spam from The Princeton Review:

Harvard Law Students-

[] writing from The Princeton Review! Many of you may have prepared for the LSAT with us, or used our books or website to help you through the application process. Some of you may just know us from our "party school" rankings that you used to choose your undergrad institution...


...Let me also tell you that if you get hired, we will pay you a $50 bounty for every instructor (LSAT or not) you can recruit for us. I earned a few hundred bucks just by sending a mass email to my 1L section!

And I'm sure your section loved you for it!

Look forward to hearing from you!


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I've been slacking on here the last couple days. Sorry about that. All my classes are on Monday and Tuesday and I spent a whole bunch of time the last couple of days trying to figure out Quark to lay out the Opinion section of the law school newspaper for our first issue this week. Which I'm excited about. Tomorrow, without classes, I will have more time to think and reflect and write. I've met a couple of 1Ls so far. I don't feel like a 3L. I don't know what it is. 3Ls are supposed to know what they're talking about. I don't feel like I know what I'm talking about. I mean, I know how to do law school -- I know how to take notes, study for exams, deal with on-campus recruiting, navigate the course selection process, make time for extracurriculars, do journal work, find cheap food (to the extent it exists around here), not get lost. But I don't know that I know any more about why I went to law school than before I got here. I've been in a really good mood since getting back to campus. I haven't been turning on the TV, I haven't been randomly surfing the Internet, I haven't been feeling like I'm wasting large gobs of time doing very little. But, I mean -- wait. If I keep typing, I'm going to type for about an hour and say things I don't know if I'm ready to say. They're not sorted out in my head yet. I know the first two sentences, and after that I don't know what my fingers are going to do. Tomorrow. Let me play around with some thoughts. Tomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Season premiere of Everwood on The WB. I really like Everwood. Making me turn the TV on for the first time since Wednesday.
Best professor quote ever:

"ETS rewards lazy whiz kids and penalizes hard-working drones."

Oh, class, I missed you.
5 hours of class today. Oh, the grueling life of a law student. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Two notes from the reading for the Japanese Business Law and Taxation class I'll be taking. One from the introduction of the book, co-written by the professor I'll have, which makes me really, really, really excited to take the class:

Each of us teaches an introductory course on Japanese law... We teach it for a simple reason: we find it fun. Why else, after all? We hardly attract crowds large enough to pacify associate deans intent on equalizing bluebooks across the faculty. Instead, we teach other courses to earn the right to teach this one. We hope this book conveys that enthusiasm. ... Professors do not teach Japanese law because they have to; students do not register for it because it is required. Only intellectual fascination justifies the course. We hope you find here a book that fosters that fascination.

And one from one of the articles assigned for the first day, comparing American legal education to Japanese, from former Harvard University President Derek Bok:

Not only does the law absorb many more young people in American than in any other industrialized nation; it attracts an unusually large percentage of the exceptionally gifted. The average College Board scores of the top 2,000 or 3,000 law students easily exceed those of their counterparts entering other graduate schools and occupations, with the possible exception of medicine. The share of all Rhodes scholars who go on to law school has approximated 40% in recent years... [and despite the contention that people with law degrees move to careers in business or public life] roughly three-quarters of all law school graduates are currently practicing their profession.... The net result of these trends is a massive diversion of exceptional talent into pursuits that often add little to the growth of the economy, the pursuit of culture, or the enhancement of the human spirit. I cannot press this point too strongly. As I travel around the country looking at different professions and institutions, I am constantly struck by how complicated many jobs have become, how difficult many institutions are to administer, how pressing are the demands for more creativity and intelligence... the supply of exceptional people is limited. Yet far too many of these rare individuals are becoming lawyers at a time when the country cries out for more talented business executives, more enlightened public servants, more inventive engineers, more able high school principals and teachers.... As the Japanese put it, "Engineers make the pie grow larger; lawyers only decide how to carve it up."

Interesting. And it's from 1983, incidentally. Has it gotten worse since?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The NY Times Magazine has three interesting feature articles this week: the most compelling read for me was the article about integrating disabled children into normal classrooms -- it's really well-written and tugs on all sorts of emotional notes; the article on Donald Trump was a good read; and the Shakespeare article was okay, although I found myself skimming a lot of it.
I saw Vice Presidential daughter Kristin Gore's new novel in a bookstore last week. It looked kind of cute, and I thought maybe I'd get it from the library at some point and check it out. After the New York Times review, I'm not so sure. Maybe still. But it's not the kind of review that makes me want to read the book.

Friday, September 10, 2004

A couple of people have e-mailed me recently to ask whether I think they should put their weblog address on their resume. Thought I'd throw the question out there and see what people's thoughts are. Here's the essence of what I wrote back:

My advice would be not to mention it in your resume. But not because you're necessarily hiding anything, but because I don't know what benefit you'd get from mentioning it.

But let me give you a better answer than that.

1L year, when I was still new at this blogging thing and didn't really think too much about who was reading, I sent some resumes out for summer jobs, mostly because everyone else was, and I didn't really know what I wanted to do... I posted something like, "I just sent about a dozen resumes to places I'm not sure if I really want to work at." Three days later I got an e-mail from an administrator at one of the places I'd sent my resume to that said, "Thanks for your resume. According to your personal web site, it looks like you don't want to work for us. Best of luck in the future." And the initial reaction was, "oh sh** -- what have I done?" And that lasted about 15 seconds, and I realized that she was being totally fair, and that was totally legitimate, and I shouldn't have written that -- and she had every right to read that and be angry at me. So that was a good lesson to learn -- and a fair way to learn it, since I really didn't want to work there, so... well... okay.

Last year during interviews I wrote a lot of posts about interview season but was pretty careful not to mention any firms specifically, and, really, I never felt particularly tempted to since they're all basically the same and I was talking about the interview process, not the individual firms anyway. I didn't say anything about my weblog, but if it had come up I would have discussed it -- my feeling was that since it's not anonymous, it's not like I can "hide" it anyway. And it's right out there in the open on the Internet -- clearly if I felt I didn't want anyone to find it and link it with me, I'd write anonymously. One lawyer at one firm found it -- he googled me, which he told me he did during the interview. I didn't get an offer from that firm, but I have no reason to believe it had anything to do with the weblog -- the interview with that guy went well; some of the other interviews went less well, so I figure it was those -- plus it wasn't like I got an offer every place I interviewed anyway, so I don't feel like I can put the blame on the weblog.

I'm not trying to make enemies. I hope I've been fair with the stuff I've written about this summer -- I think the firm I was at was a fine firm; I'm just not sure working a law firm generally is what I really want to do. But if I was going to work at a law firm, I'd go back to the one I was at. So it's not like they were evil or anything. I liked a lot of the people, I had a comparable experience to everyone else I've talked to who was anywhere else. But, anyway, over the summer, I know some of the other summer associates were reading my weblog -- and I know at least one of the recruiting people knew about it. Someone mentioned it in front of a partner one day by accident too. So I don't know if the firm really ever even thought about it one way or the other, but it's not like they told me to stop writing or anything like that.

But -- they could have. And I think it would have been totally legitimate for them to tell me they were uncomfortable with it and would rather I not write in it. Because even if I hadn't written anything negative about the firm, the potential was there -- in ten seconds I could decide I didn't like something and post about it and hurt the firm. I wouldn't, at least not by design -- but there would be the potential, and I could totally legitimately see that worrying them. Especially before they knew me -- like in an interview. It's one thing for them to decide halfway into the summer that a weblog is something they didn't like the idea of someone having, and have to personally tell me to stop; but it's a lot easier for them to decide after an interview, before they even know if they like you and trust you as a person, that they shouldn't even take the risk this can come back to hurt them.

I also think there's a difference between an anonymous blog and a non-anonymous one. The anonymous ones, to me, are like people are hiding something to begin with -- that if it's found, people will assume it was anonymous for a reason. So I think firms would be more upset to find those. But still -- I'm not sure there's a good reason to volunteer the information, at least not before they get to know you and see you're not going to use your Internet forum badly. They want people who want to practice law -- the weblog shows you like to write, that you think about stuff... maybe a weblog all about issues of law that you'd be working on... but summer associates and young associates don't really need to "think about the law" so much as just understand what the papers have to say and how to read them... so even then... for a clerkship, probably it could be helpful if the blog is good and substantive, I would guess maybe... but for a firm, I'm not sure.

Just my thoughts. I don't know if there's really a right answer or not.
Help Me Decide What Classes to Take!

Okay, here's the deal. I'm on the "admit list" for Family Law, which I waitlisted yesterday. This means I have until 4:00 today to decide whether or not to take it. Because of our slightly awkward system, I have to make the decision before I get to go to the class on Monday. And it means I have to drop some classes in order to potentially pick it up. I can take advantage of the system by picking up Family Law and dropping things I don't think will fill up, so that after I go to all of these classes on Monday, I can make the decision and pick back up the ones I want to take -- but I take the risk that I'm wrong and they fill up before then.

So: you can help me. I've made a survey. It's here. I need at least 7 credits. The 3-credit class I'm sure I'm taking is on the Economic Regulation of Antitrust, which may sound boring to you, but sounds kinda cool to me, and 1L year it was on the blackboard before one of my classes and looked kinda cool, and the professor's supposed to be good, so it's not on the survey. The rest of my schedule is up for grabs. I'm going to end up going to all of these classes on Monday (they all meet Monday-Tuesday -- Yay!) anyway and try to figure it out, and hope that whatever I drop to pick up Family Law doesn't fill up by then, but I figure it can't hurt to get more opinions. So, take the survey if you want. It's one question and will take you 5 seconds. I will close the survey at 4:00 and report the results.

UPDATE: 27 votes in so far. Business Law and Taxation in Japan is winning, and I'm glad. I just went to the bookstore to look at the casebook. It looks really fascinating. And I like the professor. He's funny. And the class is small. And it meets at a good time. So what's not to like? Decided. 100%. I'm taking it. Battling for second place in the survey is Family Law and Regulation of Risk. Which is good, because I just added Family Law and dropped Regulation of Risk. I decided I'd rather take a 4-credit class with a take-home exam than a 3-credit class with a paper. And the Family Law casebook looked interesting, but the first reading for Regulation of Risk didn't. Despite that I've heard good things about one of the two professors teaching the Risk class -- but I figure, it's 2 hours of class time a week, two professors, how much am I really going to get from the professor who I've heard good things about. It appears that few of the people voting like statistics, because Empirical Methods is finding no support. I dropped it too when I picked up Family Law, because I was over the credit maximums. So I think my decisions are all made: Japan, and Family Law win. Keep voting if you want. I'll report the final results at the end of the day.
Mitch beat me to it. HLS business cards. As if most Harvard Law students have any problem at all getting the word "Harvard" into a conversation and need business cards to help them out. Okay, let me take this seriously for a second. I suppose there are occasional instances where I want to give my e-mail address to someone, or my phone number, or my weblog address. Perhaps a pre-printed slip of paper would be useful. I can't really think of an instance where I would have used one if I had them, but I can pretend. Say I wander into some sort of let-us-pay-you-to-write-stuff job fair by accident and the editor of Random-Thoughts-From-Law-Students'-Minds Magazine wants to run a column of mine but he needs me to give him my e-mail address and phone number, and neither of us has a pen. Then maybe. Although I could probably just borrow a pen from someone. Aside from the mental image of handing someone a business card that says "Harvard Law Student" on it -- which is a cringeworthy mental image, of course -- it's the notion that most of the people I would be dealing with I imagine don't have an infrastructure for dealing with business cards. If someone hands me a business card, I'm most likely to throw it in a drawer somewhere and never look at it again. It's not how I store information. But maybe this all doesn't make sense to me because I'm not really a typical law student. Maybe if I went to a legal job fair, or -- what else do lawyers do -- uh, maybe if I found myself at the scene of a school bus accident, and I wanted all of the injured children to have their parents call me so I can give them some no-strings-attached advice about their rights in the legal system, then, perhaps, I might need a business card. Maybe if I encountered a potential client on the street, and, again, I had no pen and wanted to look like a jackass, then, maybe, I'd need a business card. It's very hard for me to get the mental image out of my mind though, that even if this was a useful thing to have, which I'm still not so sure it is, I would look like there was something mentally wrong with me if I were to carry around a stack of business cards that announce I'm a Harvard Law student and give them to people. Any benefit they would have in terms of giving someone information about me would be more than mitigated, I think, by how pompous and ridiculous it seems.

But maybe I'm just wrong. Maybe I see business cards as something different than what they really are, and there's really no social connotation at all other than, "here's an easy way for you to have my e-mail address at your fingertips." It's possible Mitch and I are just strange. And will find our lack of business contacts crippling in the near future because we don't have preprinted cards that announce how high our law school is ranked in the US News Rankings.
Anyone happen to know of a website that lists corrupt/bad/ evil judges, or links to articles about them, or something like that? I'm finding a lot with Lexis searches, but just wondering if there's a resource out there I don't know about. It's for a thing I'm doing.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Someone just found my blog with the google search, "desperate to go to the toilet." I think that's funny.

(Here's my advice: Get off the Internet. Find a toilet. My blog will still be here when you get back.)
From the office of career services:

Headhunters from six major markets talk candidly about firms, job prospects, hot and cold practice areas, and other important regional topics. These recruiters are among the most knowledgeable and experienced in the country and are here to share their insights with you.

I've been able to get my hands on a top-secret transcript of one of the sessions.

"Firms in Chicago are looking for a special type of student. A Chicago type of student. Firms in Chicago especially are looking for students with good grades, law review membership, good interview skills. Specifically Chicago firms."

"In Chicago, it's especially important to research the firm before the interview. Chicago associates and partners are looking especially for that. It's the kind of thing that's important in Chicago."

"You're going to want to dress a certain way to impress the lawyers in Chicago. In Chicago, lawyers wear suits to their interviews. It's a Chicago thing, and if you're looking to work in Chicago, it's something you should definitely pay attention to."

"The type of attorneys firms in Chicago are looking for are the ones who want to do corporate transactional work, or litigation work. Those are the areas that these Chicago firms have specific openings in. So it's important to keep that in mind."

"Chicago firms, more than anything else, want good students who are going to work hard and produce quality work product. It's something that makes Chicago firms stand out from firms in other cities. It's a special Chicago kind of attribute."

"One of the most important things, if you're looking to work in Chicago, is to show up to the interview on time."

"Resumes in Chicago are typically printed on white paper, with black ink, on one side of the page only. In Chicago."

"Lawyers in Chicago tend to work full days, from morning until evening. Keep that in mind."

"For a Chicago firm, it's never a good idea to spit on the interviewer. You'll want to remember that for those interviews you end up with that are with Chicago firms, because it's just another one of those special Chicago things that I've been talking about."

"Firms in Chicago place a special reliance on the use of the phone and of e-mail for communication purposes."

"A summer spent in Chicago will typically involve Chicago-style summer associate tasks, like legal research, writing memos, and an assortment of summer events. Those are just some of the uniquely Chicago-style things you'll do during a summer in Chicago. As you can see, it's different in Chicago in a lot of ways."

"No, a Chicago-style hot dog is pretty much the same thing as anywhere else."
Field Guide to the Corporate Lawyer

Genus: Corporaticus
Species: Firmicum

Plumage: Dark colors, but never black. Members of the species see just two colors: navy blue, and charcoal gray. Other colors hurt their eyes and provoke startled reactions. Occasional outbursts of creativity are expressed through neckwear, becoming increasingly less common except among the older or more risk-averse members of the species, who will uniformly favor neckwear with inoffensive patterns or stripes. Some younger, rebellious members of the species have experimented with replacing the traditional white shirts with various shades of blue, but are having trouble making the trend stick among the elders of the tribe. Cufflinks are always gold. Shoes are always shined. Hair is always kempt. Jewelry is verboten among the men, but women are encouraged to wear hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gemstones on their body at all times, as a demonstration of wealth and vigor.

Habitat: Office buildings, usually in offices with windows. Members of the species have a complicated relationship with the outside world. They want to see it, but never actually feel it. Windows never open in the natural habitats, but are seen as a sign of power. They never go outside, but want to view the outside world as spectators. Similarly, they have a complicated relationship with their close relatives. They enjoy placing photographs of them in picture frames throughout their habitats, but refrain from encountering them in the flesh. No habitat is complete with a personal computing device, as well as a miniature version for the pocket. Electronic interaction is the preferred method of communication, even in situations of close physical proximity between the communicating parties. Habitats also include a great deal of paper. We believe they must eat it for fuel. Despite spending the vast majority of their waking hours in their primary habitat, they often own many others which are never, ever used, despite being lavishly furnished and often in lovely communities filled with related species Doctoricus Medicinus, Bankron Investamenticus, Consultorium Managementum and Familial Inheritancementacem.

Feeding Habits: Members of the species feed in two ways. The usual modus operandi is to remain in their habitats during feeding, requiring members of a related species (Delivericus Asiatic) to bring nourishment to them in brown bags and paper containers. However, when they do choose to leave their habitats they flock to the most well-adorned and lavish emporiums of food to be found in the area. They are especially adept at calculating exactly how much food to order so as to stay under a pre-assigned maximum reimbursable food cost by as few cents as possible. It is an extraordinary skill.

Courtship Behavior: Lately, mostly with their personal computing devices. Also, Escortum Highclassicum.

Mating Call: The sound of money coming out of an Automatic Teller Machine.

Child Rearing: Corporaticus Firmicum are unique in that they bear children but engage in no nurturing behavior and in fact often abandon their offspring for more time spent in their primary habitats. Offspring often end up bearing the cost of this behavior by mutating into Spoiledem Braticus or Dealeramici Cocainem.

Physical Activities: None. They ride in motorized vehicles under normal circumstances, usually black. It is not known if the legs of members of the species are in fact functional or serve only to balance weight when the sit in their leather desk chairs.

Leisure Time: None. Corporaticus Firmicum survive without a need for leisure, much as birds survive without a need for gills. The concept is foreign to the species, the situation rarely contemplated.

Field Notes: Do not approach a member of the species in the wild unless you are specifically summoned to a habitat. They could be dangerous, or at least call the cops on you.

Subspecies: Transacticus, Litigatorium
Classes start today (finally -- everyone else has been back in school for weeks now). I just filled out an add/drop form to switch around my schedule a little bit. I'm going to a class this morning that I will have just dropped. But I'm going in case it's really neat and I decide I want to pick it back up. Or if one of the classes I picked up is really un-neat and I decide I want to drop it. I've also wait-listed for a class, but I think I have a good chance of getting in, since this is the first day we can wait-list, and there's no wait list for the class yet, so I'll be near the top. This means that on Monday, I will be going to 5 classes. I won't take more than 4 of them, and if I get into the 4-credit class off of the wait list and decide I like it, and like it better than the 2 3-credit classes I'm adding today, then I can drop both of them and just take the 3 classes on Monday-Tuesday, and that would be enough. Or, I can keep one of the 3-credit classes and the 4-credit class, and drop one of the two classes I've kept so far, if it turns out I don't like one of them. So, there are a bunch of ways I can end up with only Monday-Tuesday classes, but if I like this Thursday-Friday class I'm going to this morning better than some of the Monday-Tuesday classes I'll try out on Monday, then I may stick with it despite the days it meets. :) In any case, this is more about my schedule than even *I* need to know, so I'll stop now.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The great thing about the Internet is that there's enough people out there writing stuff that eventually you can find someone who says exactly the right thing to make your point for you, better than you could make it yourself.

I linked a few posts ago to Rob Neyer's piece on the corrupt user review system. There's a baseball message board website, Baseball Primer, that has discussion threads on articles about baseball from around the web. It's a great site. A really great site.

Anyway, the thread on Neyer's piece that I linked to devolved, coincidentally enough, into a discussion about law schools and law students -- you can read the thread starting here and scroll down to comment 68 to see where the law school stuff begins.

If you scroll to comment 98, you'll find this:

Summering in NYC was one of the true highlights of my life. Nonstop drinking and partying, very little responsibility, and enough disposable income to make you really dangerous.

This is great. In less than 30 words, this quote captures what frustrated me most about the summer. For too many people, this really *was* one of the highlights of their lives. Too many associates told us to cherish the summer, because it doesn't get any better than this. That it's all downhill from here. That it was the best time of their lives.... And that's great. But it's not me. Nonstop drinking and partying, very little responsibility, and enough disposable income to make you really dangerous just isn't all that thrilling to me, and it's not going to be all that thrilling to the people I want to be around. If this is all that there is -- if we can't aspire to something more fulfilling than this as a highlight of our lives -- then why bother? I want to do something better than this. I want my life to mean more than this. Nonstop drinking and partying, very little responsibility, and enough disposable income to make me really dangerous sounds pretty empty to me. And if that's one of the true highlights of my life... then what a sad life I've lived. And if the ethic in the industry is that this is the highlight of a young lawyer's life, then... well... I don't know.

I know there's a flip side. I know I'm overthinking it. I know they're just trying to make it fun for us, and the intentions are not bad ones, and it's a nice experience to have, and we should be thankful and just accept it... I should appreciate it more. I do appreciate it. It just feels empty to me. I know it doesn't to everyone. And that's fine. But what can I do?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Someone who isn't me came up with an idea for a weekly feature in the law school newspaper that I'll probably take to the editor, since I think it's pretty cool. Basically just a quick Q&A with a professor or administrator, nothing too weighty, nothing particularly revelatory or scandalous, but just stuff that it would be interesting to read about. I'm pasting below my list of ideas for questions, but the reason I'm posting is to see what other people can come up with -- what do you think would be cool to find out about a professor? I'll post the ones I think are interesting, and then hopefully actually get to use them, assuming professors are willing to do this. I honestly don't know how big of an assumption that is.

Favorite class to teach
Favorite city or country they've visited
Favorite place to eat in the area
Hardest thing about being a professor
Guilty pleasures
Favorite TV show / movie
Last book they've read
Job they'd like to have if they weren't a law professor
Building on campus they'd most like to see renovated
Favorite spot on campus
Electronic gadget they wish existed but doesn't yet
Factoids from the 1L Facebook:

Most represented schools:

Harvard - 83(!)
Yale - 39
Stanford - 33
Princeton - 22
Brown - 18
Georgetown - 16
Columbia - 15
Cornell - 15
Dartmouth - 15
Duke - 15
U Penn - 14
Berkeley - 12
UT Austin - 12

Most common first names:

John - 12
Michael - 11
James - 10
Daniel - 9
David - 9
Elizabeth - 9
Matthew - 9
Andrew - 8
Sarah - 7 (+2 Sara)
Adam - 6
Christopher - 6
Jessica - 6
Joshua - 6
Lauren - 6
Rachel - 6
Jason - 5
Jennifer - 5
Ryan - 5
Amanda - 4
Mark - 4 (+1 Marc)
Noah - 4
Robert - 4

States least represented:

Alaska - 0
Idaho -0
Iowa - 0
Maine - 0
Nebraska -0
Nevada - 0
Wyoming - 0
Delaware - 1
Hawaii - 1
Kansas - 1
Mississippi - 1
New Mexico - 1
South Dakota - 1
West Virginia - 1
Montana - 2
North Dakota - 2
Oklahoma - 2

Countries represented: Australia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea

Planets most represented:

Earth - ~550
Jupiter - 0
Mars - 0
Mercury - 0
Neptune - 0
Pluto - 0
Saturn - 0
Uranus - 0
Venus - 0

Most common suffixes:

III - 3
Jr. - 3
II - 2
IV - 1
XIX - 0
Esq. - 0
Registered Sex Offender - ??

Names least represented:

Dentyne - 0
Hammurabi - 0
Zeus - 0
XQGS49T - 0, although could be someone's Lexis password
You with the high LSAT score - 0, although could be more than one person's nickname

Hottest pictures:

1. Page 9, row 3, number 2
2. Page 15, row 6, number 3
3. Page 27, row 2, numbers 5-7
4. Page 30, row 1, the empty space between numbers 1 and 2
5. Page 32
6. Fourth picture down on the "Errata" insert
7. Back cover
This is fascinating if you like baseball, or you like books, and not necessarily both. It's a piece by ESPN's Rob Neyer about a review he posted on Amazon of a book he didn't like, and the aftermath of it. It's like the dark underbelly of the Amazon review system, combined with the dark underbelly of the Newsday sports section, combined with the dark underbelly of the author of what's apparently a pretty crappy new baseball book. Rob Neyer is on the short list of writers who it actually makes me excited to see they've written more stuff I can read. Him, Bill Bryson, Paul Collins, and if I expand to TV stuff, Aaron Sorkin and perhaps Greg Berlanti, who created Everwood and now that new WB show Jack & Bobby that I wrote about last week, but he also worked on Dawson's Creek, and so I'm reluctant to really put him on this list. I'm sure there are a few more, but I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head.
Notes on being back at school:

1. If you sublet an apartment for the summer, please don't leave food in the refrigerator. Especially not weird food, like a tupperware container with some sort of cabbage and tofu stew inside, or at least that's what it looked like. Also half-empty jars of pickles, loose unwrapped sticks of butter, or some raw meat in the freezer. Also, don't turn the thermostat up to 90.

2. The renovated student center is reasonably nice, it looks like. New mailboxes, everything's clean, not blowing me away, but a totally reasonable renovation.

3. One of my classes has no books in the bookstore, and no packets in the place we get reading packets. Hmmm.

4. I forgot I'd left some clothes here, and so now I have marginally too many shirts and stuff like that. I forgot I'd brought my towels home, so now I have one. I seem to have left a CD in the discman I left at home, but brought the case. I have a random wire that doesn't seem to belong to anything electronic I have. I can't remember which set of sheets I stripped from the bed the day I left and threw in my closet, and which set is clean. I have no idea what happened to the 50+ garbage bags I thought I had (but maybe I was wrong). I have no idea why I kept my Tax reading packet and didn't just toss it last spring, but it's tossed now.

5. The 1L facebook is always an interesting read. Aside from people I've exchanged e-mails with because of the weblog, and 1 person I know I was in a class with during undergrad but I'm sure she has no idea who I am, I don't know any 1Ls. I thought perhaps I'd randomly know one or two, just from somewhere, but I guess not.

More on the 1L facebook in a subsequent post.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Waddling Thunder has some advice for the 2L job search, and I don't know how I feel about it. He writes:

My instinct was to act [non-confrontational and polite] with law firms doing on-campus interviewing last year - to treat the representatives of law firms the way I treat people. Unfortunately, that was a mistake...

[Students have leverage and it] has to be used shamelessly. ... [I]f there's anything bothering you about a firm, or that interests you, or that you particularly want, you simply have to ask, and refuse to be fobbed off. Concerned that the firm's foreign office is s relatively stand alone former European firm, where you'll never work? Ask for them to send you there while you "decide". Does you firm balk at letting you split your summer with a public interest job you also want to try? Tell them that you're doing it - not imperiously, not arrogantly, but in a way that makes clear that this is what you want to do. Do you need some time off to do something over the summer, like, say, see your wife or girlfriend? Just tell them about it. It's important to you, and you'll be surprised how quickly they accede.

Good Jeremy: "No, no, no, no, no. This is terrible advice. This is what's wrong with the world today. People are too self-interested, looking for any angle they can get. A lot of people are sort of jackasses. This advice tells people to act like jackasses. Why do we want more jackasses?"

Evil Jeremy: "But WT is right. Law firms want students, they need students. We do have leverage. They probably *would* bend over backwards to accommodate demands that are, well, demanding. Why shouldn't law students take advantage any way they can? After all, it's not like the firms are so good and wholesome either."

Good Jeremy: "But even if you can get away with demanding demands -- sorry to steal your adjective there -- it really doesn't mean you have to. If you're measuring your own personal integrity against the integrity of a corporate law firm... well, it's kind of like measuring your IQ against the foliage. Do you really want to be the kind of person who fights for every last entitlement and works to procure every possible advantage?"

Evil Jeremy: "Actually, I do. Why not? Why shouldn't I get away with as much as I can? And it's not like I'm making the firm do anything -- they can choose whether or not to accommodate my request; WT is just saying it can't hurt to ask. If it's important to me to see the overseas office, what's wrong with asking for a trip there?"

Good Jeremy: "You'd be taking advantage."

Evil Jeremy: "And they're not taking advantage of me?"

Good Jeremy: "I guess... I mean... I don't know. It *sounds* like icky advice, but you're doing a much better job defending it than I'm doing articulating why. I guess you win this round, Evil Jeremy."

Evil Jeremy: "Perhaps I do, but, as a side benefit, I think you've helped me create a pretty interesting literary device that we could probably use more often, or at least until the gimmick wears thin."

Good Jeremy: "You may be right. Tune in next time, when Good Jeremy and Evil Jeremy battle the dilemma of whether or not to go to class on the Jewish Holidays even if you're not going to synagogue...."

Evil Jeremy: "Religion? Aw, man. I've got to go rent The Passion of the Christ."

Good Jeremy: "I really don't think that's worth seeing, frankly. Although the South Park spoof was pretty funny."

Evil Jeremy: "You like South Park?"

Good Jeremy: "Sure."

Evil Jeremy: "You need to work on your character development."
For no reason at all, excerpts from e-mails I have recently received in my law school account:

"Your 2005 Class Marshals invite you to an afternoon of eating and fun as we register for class!"

"If you have a disc, please bring it along."

"I was cleaning out my e-mails and came upon this from a year ago."

"I just returned from China last night."

"Most incomprehensible five pages I've read in a long time." Ed. note: does not refer to my weblog.

"I spoke with the mailman earlier in the Summer and I was told that their decision to place mail in a box is solely predicated on the names that can be read on the inside of the box."

"I'm actually in town now, and decided not to burden my soul with law review, so I'm free whenever."

"Think of it as helping me get rid of otherwise fattening sweets."

"If a medical or emergency situation may keep you away from Cambridge on that date, you should contact the Dean of Students office at []."

"I am still waiting to here about a location."