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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Time to start studying for exams. Tests on the 16th, 19th, and 21st. Too much time that I can't really get motivated yet. But I should. Soon.

American Idol update: I think it's Joshua Gracin's turn to get voted off on tomorrow night's show, after a lackluster performance this evening.

Monday, April 28, 2003

A couple of soon-to-be 1Ls recently sent me some questions via e-mail. Thought I'd post some of the answers, slightly edited, since someone reading might find them helpful. If anyone reading has other questions, I'm more than happy to answer (e-mail me)... anything to distract me from my schoolwork. :)

1. Do professors really call on people randomly?!

Professor styles differ, but all of my first-year professors have, to some extent, called on people randomly. And it's nowhere near as bad as it sounds. (1) It doesn't count at all in your grade -- the grade is based only on the exam, which, at least here, is graded without them knowing whose paper it is (we use code numbers), and (2) when everyone's at risk of being called on, they're too worried they'll be next and thinking of their own answers to actually listen to yours -- no one remembers "how you did," and no one cares, because even if you mess up, they'll mess up eventually too.

It's not a big deal. That said, I had one professor who was a master of this calling-on-people stuff, and got to about 50 of us every day in an hour and a half. And, although it sounds like torture -- and I am not a person who generally talks in class at all -- it was my favorite class because it was so intense, and time moved so quickly, it was like an event, she was so entertaining, just to watch her
"manage" the room of 80 students. Amazing. And the less interesting classes, to me, have tended to be those that rely mostly on volunteers -- many professors do this, but will also assign a group of students to each day, as being the ones "at risk" of being called on; so when you know it's your day, you read more carefully. I find this ends up being a somewhat less effective method of getting students to do the reading, because it encourages everyone to be less prepared when it's not their day. So, yeah, they call on us randomly, but it's really no big deal. By day two, it won't even be a concern.

2. How all-consuming is law school?

Personally, I find it more similar to undergrad than I expected. There are definitely people here who do nothing but go to class, study, and perhaps do some footnote-checking for a law journal a handful of hours each semester. There are people I see in the library every time I go (which is not that often, and at random enough times that they wouldn't always be there, unless they're always there). But I honestly don't know what they're spending all that time doing, and I'm certain that whatever's making them devote so much time to studying is in their own heads -- they're the ones responsible for their work-life balance, and it's not the inevitable result of the workload. On the flip side of the spectrum, there are lots of people for whom law school, like undergrad was, is a lot more than just classes and studying. I've had three-hour lunches with classmates in the middle of the week, with nobody running off to study, I know people who leave campus almost every weekend and visit friends or significant others or go skiing or any number of other things, without their work suffering. I do lots of extracurriculars, I hang out with friends, I do my reading, I watch TV, I don't feel stressed, and I don't feel pressed for time much. So it's definitely possible to have a life, and not be neglecting your classwork in the process.

3. Do law students love learning the law, or are they just there to get a job?

I may be the wrong person to answer this question, since there are lots of people who "love the law" more than me. That said, there's no doubt that classes are generally interesting, some more so than others, but they're not bad. And there are lots of students who get really into this stuff, and are really invested in the material and invested in the class discussion. A good amount of people here are excited and invigorated and motivated by what we're learning, and talk about it outside of class, and talk about it with our professors, and get a lot out of it, and are not just passing time to get the degree. In fact, I don't know anyone who genuinely dislikes it, and isn't at least interested -- if not completely personally invested -- in what we're learning. I go to class every day. Most people do. I do the reading. Most people do. I'm learning stuff. Most people are. If you're worried that people treat this as a necessary evil on the way to their comfortable law firm jobs, that's not what I've seen here. That said, second and third year may be different, once many people have job offers and are looking past law school toward their careers ahead, as opposed to first year. Although I hope that's not the case.

4. Are faculty accessible?

I've actually been pleasantly surprised at how accessible the faculty have been. They all seem to have been ordered by the administration to take the 1Ls out to lunch in small groups -- so that's been nice, getting a meal with each professor at some point in the semester, in a group of 6 (some of them even paid). And they have office hours, and they're eager to talk to students. Personally, I'm not very aggressive, and I really don't seek out the professors like some students do -- going up to them after class with questions, asking them if they need research assistants, etc. But some people do. The professors are eager to get to know students. Of all the concerns you might have about law school, this really should not be one of them.

5. Is law school super-competitive?

Everyone with a Harvard Law School degree will do fine, or at least that's what they keep telling us. So there really doesn't seem to be that much overt competition. And because the entire grade in each class is based on a final exam, graded blindly by the professor (you use a number, not your name) and often with so much room for different answers that it seems kind of hard to weigh one exam against another, a lot of people feel that their grades are somewhat arbitrary and aren't really a true reflection of anything. I'm not sure I agree with that -- but it is hard to get too worked up when you're not really sure the questions the professor will ask will be representative of the course in the first place. So, it's easy to rationalize that a bad grade isn't indicative of anything. Even though I think that's more of a rationalization that the complete truth.

That said, there is a mandatory 1L curve in each of our classes, centered apparently somewhere between B and B+. Which disappointed a lot of people after we got first semester grades because they expected all As, and also made some people happy because they didn't get anything below a B-minus. Bottom line: hasn't been ultra-competitive, and maybe in part because this is Harvard and not Joe's Law School & Tackle Shop, people are less worried, because we know we'll all do fine regardless.

6. Are students connected at all to the world at large?

I think this depends a lot on the student. There are people here who never leave Cambridge, and probably rarely leave the law school campus. There are also people here who are almost like commuter students, and go to class but live complete lives outside of the law school. Because Boston is just a 20-minute subway ride away, there are options -- you're not trapped here, unless you want to be. But lots of people want to be.

The school provides ways to be connected to the outside world in an academic setting too -- there are clinical courses that allow people to work with real clients and get hands-on experience as a lawyer, there are student organizations like the Legal Aid Bureau that do the same, there are organized social outings in Boston, I know people who do things completely unrelated to school... there's definitely a way to be connected to the world at large.
Waddling Thunder responds to my response to his response to my post about LSAT prep courses being a waste of time and money. I think we agree completely. Only quibble I've got with his latest post is the last line, and it's more a quibble with my original post than with his post -- his post makes it seem like I think people who are scoring below 160 should in fact take a course. I really don't. Practice tests (real questions! not fake test-prep-company-written ones!) are the way to go. If you don't have the willpower to take some LSAT practice tests without an underpaid prep-course instructor forcing you too, is law school really the place for you? And, just to clarify, I never actually taught a prep-course. I did the training but it was too late in the cycle for me to teach a whole course before law school started last fall... but it was still interesting to go through the process and see the materials they use and strategies they teach.
As possibly the only 20-something straight male in the country who watches Everwood (Mondays at 9pm eastern on the WB) and thinks it's an awfully well-written, quality TV show, I feel obligated to link to an article about it. Courtesy of TV Tattle, a tremendous place to waste a half hour reading about TV shows.
Waddling Thunder responds to my post about LSAT prep courses being a waste of time and money (you'll have to scroll down a bit). Says he skipped a logic game and things turned out fine. I'm a bit impressed, actually, because it probably means he got most everything else right, since he got into Harvard. But just because there's a data point against it won't get me to give up my point so easily -- I still think it's generally unwise to rely on a strategy that involves your skipping a handful of questions, thus ensuring no points for them. And that it's reasonable to say that strategies that encourage going into the exam planning to skip chunks of the exam are strategies generally designed not for people scoring at the higher end of the scale. That said, if Waddling Thunder did in fact go into the exam with the intention of skipping a logic game, my question would be whether that strategy was formed after taking a bunch of practice tests and figuring out that, for him, it was the right strategy, or whether he took a prep course and blindly accepted their test-taking methods. The former seems perfectly sensible. The latter seems less so. Not a real powerful or revolutionary point I'm trying to make here, just warning that if you want to score a 180, or something close, the market-leading test prep courses may not be the right way to go to help you get there.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

I have 930 Lexis points. This other 1L blogger has 4,050. But she says she logs on every day. I only log on when I have legal research to do. 650 points buys a $10 certificate to your choice of chain stores, like Barnes and Noble and Pizza Hut. So I've done about $15 of Lexis surfing. I only have 380 Westlaw points. That other 1l blogger has 3,005. I guess I don't do very much legal research.

What a stupid way to make people use your product unnecessarily. I use these things when I have a reason to, not for free gift certificates. Is there any good argument for giving away prizes? I'm going to use Lexis anyway if I need to do legal research. Nonsense.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

“Happy Passover. Here’s some raisins.”

I thought I’d devote a few hundred words to mentioning the cafeteria’s ridiculous Passover provisions this week: a table with matzoh, beets, raisins, and hardboiled eggs for 29 cents an ounce. Because if there were ever 4 ingredients you could put together to make a nourishing and delicious meal, it’s matzoh, beets, raisins, and hardboiled eggs. Could they come up with nothing else that’s got no bread in it? Are raisins and beets really traditional Jewish foods? I mean, it wasn’t ham, but still. And, even more absurd, how did they decorate the Passover table? Wrapped in a napkin, a big loaf of challah. That’s bread, for the unfamiliar. Exactly what we can’t eat on Passover. But it’s Jewish, so it’s good enough. Maybe they should have thrown a Torah on the table too. Because that’s Jewish. And some foreskin. Bread is absolutely the last thing that ought to be decorating the Passover table. You would think they would have realized that when they were having trouble finding the challah at the supermarket. One employee, at the supermarket: “Okay, I’ve got the beets and the raisins. Have you found the challah yet?” Other guy: “No, I don’t see it anywhere. It’s not in the aisle with the matzoh and the fourteen flavors of macaroons.” “Come on, it’s got to be here somewhere. Look for some dude not eating pork. He’ll know.” “Let’s just go to the Italian bakery and get one.” “Good idea.”
“Town Meeting, A Summary"

I went to Dean-designate (I’m borrowing that term from the law school newspaper I’m thinking there’s probably something less clumsy, but for now, I’m cool with it) Kagan’s town meeting this past Thursday, and was surprised at how few people were there. Maybe 40. I thought it’d be packed. It makes me wonder how few people go to all of the events I’m not even a little bit interested in attending. Lectures by marginally-famous alums, career services’ “introduction to cufflinks” workshops, Bar-Bri propaganda festivals, free salad from the animal rights folks... is it different people who go to each of these events, who fall in the narrow band of people actually interested, or is there a core group of two dozen or so – the Committee on Just Showing Up – that just attend everything? Truth is I only went because I thought it would give me some material for this week’s column. Not because I had any questions I was dying to ask about the curriculum, the possible move to Allston, the JAG recruiting policy, or the maltreatment of LL.M.s and S.J.D.s. Microsoft Word’s spell check wants me to replace “LL.M.s” with “llamas.” That may not be such a bad idea. I like llamas. They’re friendly. And don’t raise their hands nearly as much in class as LL.M.s.

The town meeting was interesting. Kagan’s pretty quick. Not afraid to give direct and reasonable answers even to indirect and unreasonable questions. It seemed like most people there had some sort of very narrow agenda they were hoping to promote. “With the growing number of students at the law school who are pregnant with Siamese twins,” one girl didn’t ask, but might have, “are there any plans to include Siamese twin separation in the student health care plan, or build new seats in the classrooms to accommodate Siamese twins who come with their mothers to class and both want to plug into the Internet at the same time, but surf different sites?”

One student asked why we don’t ban law firms from recruiting on campus, since it disrupts the 2L fall semester pretty severely. Kagan responded that it might create some competitive disadvantage if firms could recruit elsewhere but not here, and that students actually do in some cases want these law firm jobs, and for valid reasons. Her answer was interrupted by a small skywriting airplane flying through Austin East classroom, writing “Dean Kagan’s Town Meeting, sponsored by your friends at Skadden” in chalk, and dropping those funky three-sided highlighters on the crowd. If I was the one responding to that question, I might have answered that we don’t ban classes, even though they disrupt the semester pretty severely. And we don’t ban exams, even though they totally mess up the holidays.

Another student asked if Kagan had any ideas for increasing school spirit, like giving away free t-shirts to 1Ls. I like that idea. Who wouldn’t like a free t-shirt? It wouldn’t even have to cost Harvard anything. It could be the 1L Harvard t-shirt, courtesy of Lexis, Westlaw, Fleet Bank, and Bar-Bri, covered with lots of fun logos and a coupon for $10 off the HLS yearbook if you act now, and $20 off your bar review class if you acted ten minutes ago.

Kagan had a great response to a couple of questions that I want to steal for my own use in class. “I’m not entirely familiar with that issue,” she would say, “but it sounds like you are, and if you write up a memo for me, I’d love to take a look.” I’m going to say that next time I get asked a question in Property. “I’m not entirely familiar with regulatory takings, Professor, but it sounds like you are....” And, since grading’s blind, what can they do?

One student asked why some professors seem to have lots of money to take students to lunch, and others never seem to have any. At first puzzled by the question, Kagan revealed that professors have fairly flexible accounts – they can take money from their “books” or “research assistants” fund and move it to their “student entertainment” fund, or vice versa, so professors really can choose how to prioritize, and whether or not we’re worth free meals or not. So, basically, whenever you hear that one of your classmates is doing work for your professor, it means he’s basically stealing food right out of your mouth. Damn law students.

One person wanted to know why we don’t have a campus-wide bonfire and burn down the Gropius dormitory complex. Or something like that. Kagan said we can’t because it’s an architectural landmark. That’s the problem with hiring famous architects and getting them really drunk. But she said we could perhaps gut the buildings, turn them into office space, and build some fancy dorms across the river. How low on the totem pole would you have to be to get an office in Gropius? “I’m sorry, I can’t meet with both of you at once. All three of us can’t fit in my office.” “Hand that to my secretary on the way out. She’s in the room at the end of the hall, the second stall from the left. Just knock if the latch is closed.”

900 words later, I’m glad I went to the town meeting. I got to participate in Kagan’s “thumbs up / thumbs down” vote on the FYL program, got to hear what’s on the minds of some fellow students, and got the opportunity to see who I should avoid if I ever have anything nice to say about the curriculum, JAG recruiting, the move to Allston, Gropius, stingy professors, and on-campus recruiting. But now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a memo to write in favor of creating a casebook-free campus. Dean Kagan’s not entirely familiar with the issue, but would love to hear my thoughts.
A post on another weblog urging law students-to-be not to waste their $1000 on an LSAT prep course but instead buy some books and take some practice tests. I couldn't agree more. I didn't take a prep course, but I did train to teach the LSAT for one of the major test prep companies -- and finished training feeling very glad I hadn't wasted my money on a useless twelve weeks of classes. For people scoring on the high end of the LSAT scale and get into a top school -- the course isn't even designed for you. They advise things like skipping a logic game because you'll "surely" run out of time, or outlining each reading comprehension passgae in detail "because it's hard to remember what you read as you go along." Um, if you need to skip a logic game or else you're gonna run out of time, maybe instead of accepting that and knocking a bunch of points off your score automatically, you should just practice more logic games. Practice on real tests from years past, under timed conditions, check your answers -- and you should eventually start to recognize what the test-makers are going for, and the right answers should become easier and easier to see. The prep courses are taught by a script, and not a very good script. It's designed for people who don't have the willpower to make themselves take practice tests -- not a good sign, if you want to be a law student, actually -- and who can't learn out of a book (again, not a good sign if you want to be a law student).

Friday, April 25, 2003

An article in the Harvard Crimson about Dean-designate Kagan's town meeting I wrote about yesterday.

I was talking to a few of my friends over dinner tonight and the topic of law students as extroverts or introverts came up. I was surprised that they disagreed with my opinion that the majority of students here are extroverts. They insisted that many people here are actually very inwardly focused -- very into themselves, their own thoughts, their own feelings -- and not into really genuinely interacting with and feeding off of the people around them, thus making them introverts. My train of reasoning had been that many people here seem overtly outgoing, shaking people's hands, aggressively dominating conversations, trying to be the center of attention. Which seems extroverted. I think maybe we're all right and that somehow these law students who have these traits have co-opted the worst of extroversion and introversion into a unique and particularly irritating personality. :) (Of course, this doesn't apply to plenty of people here, perhaps even most. Just something I've noticed in more people than I'd like...)

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I went to a "law school town meeting" hosted by the new Dean (Prof. Elena Kagan -- appointed a few weeks ago to take office this summer), designed to give students an opportunity to ask questions and share their views on issues facing the law school. Lots of questions about improving the curriculum -- people want more international law and environmental law professors, more opportunities for clinical work and "experiential learning," which I guess means doing real stuff instead of sitting in the classroom, more writing, less emphasis on just having one exam at the end of the semester to determine the whole grade, a revamp of the first year writing workshop program.... Other issues discussed were the law school's possible move across the river to Allston, creating more school spirit (one student suggested that for all the money we pay in tuition we ought to at least get a free t-shirt), improving the older buildings and dormitories, and making sure students are aware of non-corporate legal careers. Prof. Kagan's broad overriding vision seemed to be one of engagement -- how she can get the students to engage in classes and learning and the intellectual atmosphere of the law school, and how she can get faculty to engage in teaching... not a bad vision overall. Glad I went. Was surprising poorly attended, I thought... maybe 40 people there to hear what the new Dean has to say... I guess people aren't fully engaged quite yet....

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

There's an organization on campus, the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) that had a veggie food fair today of some sort. I can't help but think that that's a perfectly good waste of an acronym, when only a few letters changed and they could really have something cute going on. Student Animal Legal Advocacy Defense veggie food fair. SALAD. Wouldn't that work better?
Have to rank courses for course selection next semester. Trying to outsmart the course registration system by ranking in such a way that I take advantage of the peculiar details of the computer algorithm. They gave us the details. They're funny if I exaggerate a bit. So here goes:

1. Randomize students
2. Try to enroll first student in student's first choice.
3. System crash. Start over.
4. Randomize students
5. Enroll first student in second students' first choice and second student in first student's third choice.
6. Check for time conflict. Enroll fourth student in three classes that all meet at the same time.
7. Check year and credit limits. Ignore them.
8. Check whether the course is full. If so, kick out random student and replace with student who doesn't even want the class.
9. Re-randomize students
10. System crash. Start over.
11. Note that rising 3Ls have priority over all courses over sinking 3Ls and unleavened 2Ls.
12. Enroll sixth student in eigth student's ninth choice.
13. Carry the 4 to the next column and add 7.
14. Artichoke.
15. As a consoloation, place the "bumpee" next on the priority list for that course and attempt to enroll the bumpee in his or her next choice using the tests above.
16. If the course is full with no eligible bumpee, add the student to the priority list and go on to the student's next choice until the student has been enrolled in a course.
17. Re-randomize students.
18. Repeat all steps.

6 of these steps are real. 12 are not. Can you guess which 6?

The Gonzaga Law newspaper linked to one of my newspaper columns. Cool beans.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Funny, funny, funny ESPN column about today's Boston Marathon. I've never before linked to someone and called their article "funny, funny, funny," usually because (1) it makes me feel bad to think that other people can write funny too, and (2) most articles, even those that are trying to be, (a) really aren't funny, (b) certainly aren't funny, funny, and (c) can't possibly be funny, funny, funny.

I especially like where he uses the word "defecating." That's always worth an extra funny.

Not that I really ought to compete with "funny, funny, funny" Bill Simmons of and Jimmy Kimmel Live (which, the one time I've seen it, was definitely not funny, funny, funny), but here's my comment about the Boston marathon:

Why are all the famous marathons -- Boston and New York are the only marathons I can think of, so that's the entirety of the "all the famous marathons" group to which I refer -- held in cold cities? I'd much rather see a Dallas marathon, where if you do it in the winter, it's pleasant outside, and if you do it in the summer, you have the added bonus of ending the sport of competitive running because all of the runners will die of heatstroke. Would there be a better evening news headline than "Dallas marathon ends with four thousand dead, no winner"?

Sunday, April 20, 2003

An article in the NY Times about what seems like it could possibly be the biggest threat to law student productivity since, I don't know, spider solitaire. You'll just have to click to find out what I'm talking about. There are days when I think having one of these would be cool, but then I realize that there's really nothing lacking in my life not having one, and that one would only bring more distractions to my life. So I'm glad they're too expensive for me to really contemplate buying anyway.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

“Advice We Wish We Had”
(most of a column to be hopefully published in next week's newspaper)

With the first year of law school coming to a close, it seems to be the perfect time to look back on the 1L experience and reflect. Eight months ago, my classmates and I arrived on campus, armed with dog-eared copies of Scott Turow’s One-L, resumes-in-progress with a few lines of blank space under “Law School” waiting to be filled in, and lots of expectations. Have our expectations been met? I think the answer’s probably different for everyone. But I think we can all agree that there’s a set of things we know now that we wished someone had told us back then, on the first day of orientation. I’ve come up with a few such pearls of wisdom about the first year of law school:

Pack your sweaters: you’ll need them here in Boston. And your earmuffs, gloves and hat. And a portable space heater. And a snow shovel. And pajamas with feet. And, not that it’s really relevant for this paragraph, but before I forget, a plunger.

Lexis is better than Westlaw. I mean Westlaw is better than Lexis. I mean don’t bother buying any highlighters, because they’ll give you more than you’ll ever need. Don’t buy a coffee mug, yo-yo, miniature garbage pail basketball set, bouncing light-up ball, stale tootsie roll candies, fake velvet pen case or pocket-sized Constitution either. They’ll give those to you too.

The refrigerator’s not necessary. As long as you can make a meal out of chicken on a stick, miniature spinach pies, potato puffs and tiny hot dogs, and don’t mind putting on a button-down shirt and schmoozing it up with recruiters from a gaggle of interchangeable law firms, you can eat free every night.

Invest in a quality screensaver. Sometimes you need something more exciting than the Windows logo to jar you out of the occasional mind-stupor and remind you that you haven’t touched the keyboard in ten minutes, while the professor’s been talking all this time about what’s going to be on the exam.

The summer job search has already begun. Imagine how much more relaxing the winter would have been if only we’d spent all of last summer, before starting law school, looking for the next summer’s job. We could have beaten everyone else by five months and come to school relaxed and undistracted, avoiding hundreds of hours of lectures, panels, forums, information sessions, advising appointments, meetings, orientations, workshops, cocktail parties and clambakes, all devoted to making sure all the bullets lined up straight on our resumes.

Subciting isn’t fun. I remember going to the journals fair in the fall and thinking about how much fun looking up footnotes in the Bluebook sounded like it would be. So I was definitely in for a shock when I realized it’s really not a particularly enjoyable way to spend a Saturday. If only someone had told me.

No one will remember if you give a dumb answer when a professor calls on you. However, if you do it twice, everyone will remember. And laugh at you. For a long, long time.

There are normal people here. Somewhere. I’m sure everyone had that moment during the first week of school when they looked around and wondered why everyone seemed so strange, and where all the normal people were. Hopefully, most people wonder about that less often by now, and not simply because all of the people wondering have now become strange. If you can follow my logic here, clearly you’re not one of the normal people I’m talking about.

And, finally, you will survive. We all have. Except for those who haven’t. But they’re surely not reading this, so they don’t count. Eight months, approximately five hundred hours of class (you mean we could have done this all in three weeks if we didn’t sleep?), perhaps three hundred thousand pages of reading... and we’re almost there. We’re almost 2Ls. Just some pesky exams standing in our way.

Friday, April 18, 2003

(to the tune of "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard")

"Me And The Registrar Down By The Wait List"

I filled out the courses I wanted to get
And I clicked to submit my choices
But then I had a bad dream that I'd made a mistake
And I started hearing frightening voices
Take transactional law
And international law
Constitutional law
Corporational law

See my form was all done with the ones I thought fun
Nothing that was filled with rigor
A history class, and stuff that's graded fail/pass
Not the stuff that makes your job chances bigger
So I'm on my way
I don't know what I'm taking
I'm on my way

I'm changing my classes
I don't know to what
Goodbye to sports law, so long entertainment
Now it's me and the registrar down by the wait list
Me and the registrar down by the wait list
Me and the registrar down by the wait list

In these couple of days the empty slots gone away
And I don't know where there's any space
To grab a tax law that's good, or maybe two if I could
Cause I've got to win the recruiting rat race
Is accounting full?
I don't know what I'm taking
How's litigation look?

A seminar's gotta fit
But I don't know where
Goodbye to food law and negotiation
See me and the registrar down by the wait list
Now it's me and the registrar down by the wait list
Me and the registrar down by the wait list

Thursday, April 17, 2003

From a post about Harvard on the Princeton Review law school message boards:

"Most students eat dinner in their rooms"

Is that really true? I guess it could be... but am I unusual in that I feel like a complete social reject if I'm forced to eat dinner alone in my room? I'll do anything to avoid eating dinner alone in my room. I'll go to the cafeteria, even though for dinner it just serves the same day's lunch (not kidding! I swear!), just because I know I'll see at least someone from my section there to eat with. I'll wait until right before a meeting / rehearsal / activity to get dinner and take it with me over there. I'll make up an errand to go do that'll force me to just grab something quick on the way back. A few times I've gone to the library with the express purpose of finding someone I know who hasn't eaten yet. And I've been successful each time. Am I unusual in that eating dinner alone bothers me? (The implicit message here: if anyone I know is reading this and wants to grab dinner, anytime, just let me know...)
Happy Passover. Also, to any Canadian readers of my weblog, please don't breathe on the screen for fear of my contracting SARS.
The Law School newspaper's anonymous commentor on law school life, Fenno, has seen fit to include me in his (or her) column this week. Lucky me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

The Student Organization Election Primer: How to become President of the Federalist Society, the Ballroom Dance Society, or anything in between. Five steps to winning an election.

I'm trying here to straddle the line between funny and serious...

Step One. Find a large organization where lots of people are eligible to vote in elections, yet only a handful ever do anything besides show up for free food. Journals are especially good at this stuff. Boring activities too, that look good on a resume. People show up, get on an e-mail list, write it on their resume, and then stop going. Rabid political organizations of either end of the spectrum probably don't get points here.

Step Two. Find a way to stand out in some way. Volunteer to do something terribly unenjoyable, like vacuuming the office, or organizing the minutes from past meetings, or repainting the walls. This ensures you get comments at elections like, "She's really dedicated. She even volunteered to mop up the urine after that unfortunate incident with the goat."

Step Three. Suck up to the person who currently has the job you want. "Madam President, do you need someone to help you change the bandage on your wound? I'd be happy to help. We've got so much in common, like our two eyes, ten fingers, and love for this wonderful organization you do such a good job of heading up. Wouldn't it be great if your legacy could continue with the next President being as dedicated as you. But not nearly as pretty, of course."

Step Four. Drag people to elections. Swallow your pride and beg your friends -- who should all be members of this large and relatively useless organization, even if they do nothing for it -- to come to elections and vote for you. If they're good friends, you might even get them to say ridiculously nice things about you that, while not actually lies, could be construed as somewhat misleading. Like, "Every time I was in the office, she was there doing work," from a friend who has never actually been to the office. Or, "I was impressed that she never wanted any credit for that great job she did licking the paper plates clean after the banquet. I didn't even know about it until she sent out that e-mail to the entire organization where she just happened to inadvertently mention it in bold letters."

Step Five. Make friends with the vote counter. There's no easier way to win an election than to make sure the vote counter's on your side and relatively unencumbered by principles of democracy. "It's not fair that all of these people who never show up to meetings get to vote," you can say if your opponent has somehow done a better job on step four than you have. "It's your duty as outgoing president / randomly-chose upperclassman / former aide to a member of the Senate Ethics committee to make sure the election isn't decided by people who don't care about the future of the organization. Think about the consequences."
Waddling Thunder with a reaction to my thoughts about the Public Interest Auction. He says that what disturned him most was that they called the student-helpers "volunteers" when in fact we were compelled to help if we wanted to receive public interest funding. Fair point. I just hadn't thought of it before. Seems like a bunch of stuff at law school is voluntary without really being voluntary, like working for a journal (everyone does it). Actually, that's the only other example I can think of. I could say "ending up at a law firm," or at least "looking for a law firm job," but I might be overstating things. I could also say "going to class," but that really is voluntary, and, judging by the attendance in some of my classes lately, not a voluntary opportunity that's taken advantage of particularly often.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Coming this evening, to a weblog near you, The Student Organization Election Primer: How to become President of the Federalist Society, the Ballroom Dance Society, or anything in between (sponsored by Jeremy's Weblog in conjunction with the League of Women Voters, the Commission on Presidential Debates, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and Viewers Like You).
Another 1L, at the University of Chicago, posted a comment about my criticism of the public interest auction from a few days back. (You'll have to scroll a bit on his blog -- it's his bottommost entry on the 13th) He doesn't think buying access to professors is such a big deal:

"First, exams in all the 1L classes, and in most other large classes, are graded anonymously.... Second, professors are already so accessible here, it doesn't seem like one would need this method of access. I think the novelty of the auction isn't so much the opportunity to see professors outside of class; it's the opportunity to see them while riding a ferris wheel or tasting various scotches. Which just doesn't seem to me to be that big a deal."

And, actually, he's probably right. It's not that big of a deal. I don't genuinely believe that it affects grades at all. Or that professors aren't otherwise accessible. It's not earth-shattering, I'm not calling the ABA to take away Harvard's accreditation, but it's just gray enough that I felt compelled to write about it. And that I felt compelled to think about it. Does it really matter? Not so much. Does it make me a little uncomfortable? Yeah.

Another 1L, late Monday night, also poses the question to fellow 1Ls, "Are you having fun? Do you like it?" I hope it comes in my writing here that, personally, yeah, I do. Better than I ever expected. Of course, most of that is because of extracurriculars that aren't so much related to the law (plus the T1 Internet connection... kidding?), but still, classes are sometimes cool too.
Waddling Thunder, who, by the way, has just revealed himself to be a Harvard student, breaking his anonymity regarding which school he was at (I kept his secret well, didn't I? Kind of figured it out when everything he was experiencing seemed to happen at his school the same exact day as it happened to me.), posted Monday about the meeting for prospective applicants to the Law Review (the Law Review has a week-long competition after school ends in the spring, and the results of that, combined with our grades and a dash a magic fairy dust, determines who gets to spend the bulk of their remaining law school hours in the library looking up footnotes). Apparently the competition requires an average of 9-10 hours a day of work. From what I hear, sounds kind of like what being on Law Review requires. Talking to one of my friends on law review -- I must be a truly valued friend; he actually left the library to eat a meal with me; I'm kidding of course; Sort of -- he said I probably wouldn't have to drop all of my other activities to do law review. Just most of them. Nothing about law review sounds fun except the part about putting it on your resume. And for people who strive to be Supreme Court justices -- or Supreme Court clerks, I guess, or Harvard professors -- it truly is valuable, and probably worth it. For the rest of us, I don't know. I think the Harvard Law School name may be enough, without Law Review there too. My resume will survive... I hope...
At Kinko's today (actually, I guess that would be yesterday... missed another day... by mere minutes...), making photocopies of a flyer for the a cappella concert my group has next week:

WOMAN BEHIND ME IN LINE: You getting colored paper for that?
ME: Yeah
WOMAN: What color were you thinking?
ME: Ultra Lemon
WOMAN: Yes, that's a nice color. A litle acidic, though.
ME: Oh.
WOMAN: I was looking at your flyer. I think Sun Yellow might be better. You see, I'm a painter, and I know about colors and these things. Sun Yellow is a very warm color. Is your singing group co-ed?
ME: Yeah.
WOMAN: Yeah, Sun Yellow is a very androgynous color too. I think you should go with Sun Yellow.

I used Sun Yellow. The flyers look very nice.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

"Your Lecture is a Slumberland"

(to the tune of "Your Body Is A Wonderland")

One in the afternoon
A room for ninety-two
One case is left to do
Your mouth moves but
I'm not hearing you

One yawn for every line of
Your lecture dry as sand
One snore in every row and
My eyes are both closed

'Cause if you want us
To listen
You gotta say something
Worth listening
Take all your big words
Forget 'em
Feels like we've been here a while

Your lecture is a slumberland
Your lecture is a slumberland (My laptop's off)
Your lecture is a slumberland

Something 'bout the cadence of the words you say
It's something 'bout the subject or perhaps the time of day
You start to talk, I'm drowsy
Take volunteers, I'm sleeping
I hope you never call on me
Cause my eyes I'll be keeping... closed...

You want words?
I'll fake it
I didn't hear students
Say it
Take all your doctrine
Forget it
Feels like we've been here a while

Your lecture is a slumberland
Your lecture is a slumberland (My laptop's off)
Your lecture is a slumberland

Damn casebooks
You frustrate me
And then you talk you talk you talk
Maybe I shouldn't take a Sudafed

Your lecture is a slumberland
Your lecture is a slumberland (My laptop's off)
Your lecture is a slumberland
Your lecture is a slumberland

Saturday, April 12, 2003

I've turned my thoughts about the recent public interest auction (see Thursday) into 800 words I'll probably regret.

"Going Once, Going Twice, Sold"

"Item #721. An A in Professor Tribe's Con Law class. Enjoy the guarantee of an A, without having to take the exam. Yours, if you're the highest bidder." "Item #462. Your third-year paper written by Alan Dershowitz, and guaranteed publication in the Harvard Law Review." "Item #684. Supreme Court Clerkship. Donated by Justice Anthony Kennedy."

No, these weren't actually items up for bid at last week's public interest auction. But are they really as far from reality as they ought to be? Something bothered me about access to professors - lunch, dinner, a hike in the woods - being auctioned off to the highest bidder. I think it's great that the faculty is willing and oftentimes eager to have lunch with students, and the opportunity to interact with our professors is part of what makes the law school experience worth the tuition. But it disturbs me that additional access can be bought... if the price is right. It's unfair to students who don't want to pay that their classmates can get something that's valuable not in the same way that a sweet potato pie, an autographed picture of the cast of "Everybody Loves Raymond" or, in the case of Lambda's donation, a brand new vibrator is. Access to professors is part of why we're here, and creating an imbalance of access, and allowing it to be bought and sold, really does disturb me.

Many professors post on a discussion board or e-mail out to the entire class the answers to questions that students ask. One of my professors last semester stopped office hours after classes ended and would only take questions about the exam via e-mail, with answers mailed to the entire class, precisely to make sure that access was completely equal. Being able to pay for more begins to destroy the integrity of the professor-student relationship. And besides, something feels dirty about having lunch with a professor - or with anyone, really - just because you've won it at an auction. "I paid for this conversation, Professor," I could picture someone saying - or at least thinking - "and you're just not being interesting enough. Stop with the stories about your clerkship and start talking about the Tax exam - or I want my money back." But, you know, it's for a good cause, so maybe it's okay.

But is it really? "Harvard Law School is having a charity auction?" someone from, say, the American Cancer Society might ask. "That's fantastic. Who are they donating the proceeds to?" "Uh... Harvard Law School." "Oh." While I have no reason not to believe that the money raised in the auction does in fact go towards giving students working in public interest this summer a stipend (or "small tuition reimbursement in exchange for actually helping people"), is it really the case that without this money, Harvard couldn't afford it? Look at the endowment. This is not a needy institution, desperate for the proceeds from an hour of babysitting and a tray of homemade manicotti to pay the bills. It's in Harvard's best interest to make public interest work possible for students - for public relations, to be able to recruit a broad range of students including those who want to practice public interest and not just corporate law, to ensure continued institutional connections with public interest organizations... it's not hard to argue that the benefits exceed the costs... and I have a hard time believing that if the public interest auction proved to be a fundraising failure one year, Harvard would simply end summer public interest funding outright. All of this energy, and all of this goodwill. All of this money raised, and for who? So that Harvard can save a couple hundred thousand dollars?

Then again, who's really bearing the costs? It's the winning bidders. In effect, the students with disposable income are subsidizing their fellow students' summers. It's a massive wealth redistribution scheme, from rich to less rich, hampered only by the transactions costs of actually planning and holding the auction. Why bother with the auction at all if what we're trying to do is make the students with firm jobs kick in a few hundred dollars to subsidize public interest? Why not just impose a tax? I think I'm kidding, but I'm really not sure.

I hate to criticize something that, at first glance, sounds like a great idea. And I know it's well-intentioned. But all of this energy spent on transferring wealth, helping save Harvard some money, and bastardizing the professor-student relationship makes me a little queasy. But, of course, it's nothing that a strawberry cream cheese pie, homemade pierogi, a Westlaw gift basket and a Soviet navy hat pin won't cure.... And, please, don't get me started on the ethics of serving free beer right before people go to bid....

Friday, April 11, 2003

The New York Times magazine, again with something worth reading. Unemployed Executives. It's more interesting than it sounds. All about high-level executives who can't find jobs after being laid off. Scary stuff. Almost makes me want to go work for a law firm, just so I have some protection against ever ending up in this situation. Almost. But not quite.
I think Monday April 7th's post on Janeway Speaks, another weblog of a 1L somewhere, illustrates some point I was making a few weeks ago. She writes about having been in law school for two semesters and just now joining her first non-law-related activity. And that even though her classmates think that's weird, she thinks it's okay.

Well, of course it's okay! I can't for the life of me figure out why it's such a big deal. Why people think it's odd for a law student to be involved in activities that may not be directly related to the law. We're smart people, we have other interests. Yet, on this campus, I know lots of people who don't do very much at all outside of class. I heard one person comment, upon seeing someone else putting up flyers for some event or another, "what are all these activities people do where they have to put up flyers? I don't do anything." So do something. Nobody's stopping you.

I don't know what my point is other than to say that people not taking advantage of the multitude of activities there are to do are only decreasing the competition for the rest of us and robbing themselves of something to do besides watch TV and read casebooks.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

This evening is the annual public interest auction here at Harvard. See, the school provides a stipend ($3600) to students who spend their summers working in a public interest job, as incentive to not necessarily go the much-more-lucrative corporate route because you need to earn some money. The auction is set up to help raise the money that Harvard will use to pay these stipends. Maybe I'm a moron, but I find a few things about this to be completely baffling:

1. Calling the $3600 a summer stipend is a public relations ploy. We pay them a lot more than $3600 to come to school. I'd feel much less dirty calling it a small tuition reimbursement in exchange for spending your summer helping people instead of helping corporate law firms, frankly.

2. The notion that Harvard Law School can't afford this money without holding a charity auction is absurd. And probably insulting to actual charities, which could benefit from the money earned a lot more than Harvard Law School needs to. It's a law school fundraiser more than it is a public interest auction -- it's to Harvard's advantage to fund people who aren't getting paid for the summer and doing public interest work because it helps them get public interest-oriented students and build up goodwill; but having to raise money to do it sort of defeats the purpose.

3. In actuality, this is a wealth redistribution scheme. Students with money bid on the items. The money then goes to students without money. It's tax and transfer. That actually may be a good thing, but if I had any money to bid on these things, I'd basically be paying to fund a classmate's summer. Which sounds weird.

Anyway, it's actually a really big event. Students, faculty, corporations, and famous people donate stuff. Signed footballs, homemade cakes and cookies, etc. Most of this stuff I'm cool with -- I think it's perfectly legitimate for a student to bake a cake for the auction to help raise money for public interest funding, or to donate an hour of golf lessons, an hour of babysitting, all sorts of personal services that students donate to be auctioned off. What disturbs me -- and it bothers me more and more each time I think about it -- are the faculty donations. Lunch for you and 5 friends with a professor, home-cooked meal at another professor's house, poker game with a professor, hike in the woods with a professor. One professor will go up to the parents of the highest bidder at graduation and tell them that their child was the best student he ever had. That last one I'm sure isn't taken completely seriously and probably doesn't actually trigger in practice the ethical issues it sounds like it might, but the rest of them bother me because they're having students pay for access to professors. The students with the most money get to literally buy a professor's time. Does no one else find this extraordinarily disturbing? We're here in no small part because of the faculty Harvard has -- for the opportunity to learn from these brilliant, accomplished people. We pay thousands of dollars in tuition for the privilege. The thought that students can buy greater access to their professors is astonishing to me. And incredibly awkward. I don't want a professor having lunch with me because I've paid for the privilege. To think that the lunchtime conversation at the rent-a-meal the professor sees as obligatory because I was the highest bidder makes me angry. Yes, our tuition pays for access, and yes, professors probably wouldn't have office hours if they weren't getting paid a salary, but that's all kind of indirect. To create a direct commodification of the relationship -- you give money for access? I'm doing a bad job putting this into good words that are actually creating a persuasive argument -- I know there's some more powerful rhetoric I'm just not coming up with right now -- but this makes sense, doesn't it? It's a profound perversion of the teacher-student relationship to allow -- encourage! -- professors to sell their time to the highest bidding student, and allow students to buy greater access to faculty. I don't think the fact it's for a "worthy cause" -- if I can even accept that funding Harvard Law School's summer stipends is a worthy cause -- even comes close to justifying it. Do the winners really feel comfortable with the results? Sure, you get to have dinner at the professor's house. But not because she wants you there. Because you paid for it. Thrilling.
The moot court program here is called Ames. So, as promised, to the tune of the Backstreet Boys' "Quit Playing Games With My Heart," here's "I'm Losing Ames From The Start."

Judges... Ooh...
As I start to talk, I see
Your honors don't agree with me
My standard of review's all wrong
And your questions worse than I thought they'd be

And now I wish I could, turn back time
Impossible as it may seem
So I could read the facts, again, and the cases
I'm Losing Ames From The Start

I'm Losing Ames From The Start
I guess I'm just not that smart
I'm Losing Ames From The Start
I'm arguing the wrong part
My suit is falling apart
The judges just heard me fart [..rhymes are hard...]
I'm Losing Ames From The Start

I wrote my brief, but then
The details have escaped my head
Now they've got me pinned, to the wall
Any answer that I give, I am dead

And now I wish I could, turn back time
Impossible as it may seem
So I could try again, with a clue, maybe
I'm Losing Ames From The Start

I'm Losing Ames From The Start
I guess I'm just not that smart
I'm Losing Ames From The Start
I'm arguing the wrong part
My suit is falling apart
The judges just heard me fart
I'm Losing Ames From The Start

I'm losing Ames, baby, baby
The judges that I had were so strong
Their questions could go on, forever
Oh baby, baby
Argument is wrong, 15 minutes seemed so long

Baby, ooh..
I'm losing Ames...
Na, na, na... judges
Na na na na na naaah
Where did the night go? Apologies for missing a day. Copyediting for the newspaper, a cappella rehearsal, more copyediting for the newspaper, and an inbox full of waiting-for-replies e-mails when I returned to my room. The Backstreet Boys song parody promised yesterday, which I know at least two people are anxiously awaiting, will hopefully magically appear shortly after lunchtime... :)

I'll also say more about moot court and course selection soon. In the meantime, check out Greg Lipper's Harvard Law Record column from tomorrow's newspaper, which has a nice comment about my columns. I don't know Greg, and I'm sure he doesn't read my weblog, but just in case, I do appreciate the compliment.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Had my moot court oral argument this evening. Went okay. Found out my opponents read my weblog. :) They knew what my first sentence was going to be (see below). I'm glad I didn't get too concerned about this or it would have been anti-climactic.

I really want to write a song parody about it. The moot court program here is called Ames. So, to the tune of the Backstreet Boys' "Quit Playing Games With My Heart," something like "I'm Losing Ames From The Start." Look for it tomorrow.

That's all for tonight... going to watch the episode of American Idol I taped and then off to sleep...

Monday, April 07, 2003

In torts class, we've been talking about negligence. Hence, a song.

(to the tune of "Happiness" from "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown")


Is driving too quickly
Playing with firearms
Getting pets drunk

Is inciting pitbulls
Locking small children into your trunk

Negligence is keeping your gun closet door unlocked
And loaded, labeled "guns," and fully stocked

Is pizza with razors
French fries with hemlock
Keeping milk warm

Is an icy sidewalk
Cutting a ship loose during a storm

Negligence is tripping the elderly 'cause you can
Not acting like a reasonable man

Is an open fire,
A pet piranha too
Oh negligence is anything a prudent careful man
Would not do

Is a leaky faucet
Exposed asbestos
Spreading your lice

Negligence is eight-year-old kids flying private planes
and throwing broken glass from moving trains

Is "oops, I didn't mean that,
I should've checked that thing
For negligence, when people are, the victims of your acts
The suits they'll bring.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

An article from the New Yorker about college admissions.

Saturday, April 05, 2003

"It's Time for Course Selection!"

It's time for course selection! And boy, am I excited! Of course, before I can begin to choose my courses, I need to carefully read all of the materials they've given us. Let's see... there's the purple book that lists the courses alphabetically by course name, the green book that talks about the visiting professors and lists their courses alphabetically by professor name, the other purple book that groups the courses into categories and discusses each of them, but in different words than the first purple book, the pamphlet - a lighter green than the green book - that groups the courses into a different set of categories but doesn't really discuss them, and, finally, the white and red book about clinicals - oh, wait, there's a second red and white book inside the first book (sneaky!) - that only talks about some courses, and repeats only a selection of the instructions from the purple book.

Okay, twenty-seven hours later. I've read all the books. Am I ready to choose courses? Nope, not yet. Page vii of the purple book: "Detailed information on the requirements of the J.D. Degree may be found on pp. 202-205 of the 2002-03 Catalog." Okay, so I have to read that too. Page ix: "Maximum and minimum credit requirements are set out in the Catalog...." No page reference. Gotta read the whole book.

Twelve hours later. Okay, ready to choose courses? Nope. Page x: "This is a brief introduction to cross-registration. Review all cross-registration information in the HLS Catalog and in the Cross-Registration Memorandum, Calendar, and How to Complete the Cross-Registration Petition, all available at" Good thing I read the seventeen books the office of information technology gave out at orientation and so I've got a working Internet connection.

Two hours later. Now? Not yet. Page xi: "On September 12, 1975, the Dean prepared a statement about the student-faculty consultation with respect to the written work requirement. This statement is available in the Registrar's Office and second-year, third-year, and graduate students should familiarize themselves with it." Damn, it's the weekend. Registrar's office isn't open.

Monday morning. Okay, read the statement. Can I please choose courses now? Well, maybe. What do I want to take in the fall? Well, I hear Prof. Tribe is great. So I'll sign up for his bundle. He teaches in the spring. And that would mean my Tax course would be in the fall, timeslot G. And I really want to take bankruptcy. And that's in timeslot... G. Okay, well, everyone says Admin Law is a good class to take. Timeslot G. Copyright sounds interesting. It's in timeslot G. Entertainment, Media, and the Law? Yep, G. I really hear good things about Tribe. So maybe I should sign up for his fall course too. Constitution at War. But that probably requires Con Law first. Yeah. And besides, it's in timeslot G. How about International Law? Timeslot C! Finally! Let me just check the bundle again... when's the corporations course? Oh, it's timeslot C. Uhh... perfect. Maybe I'll sign up for Comparative Law. Because there's no C or G in its timeslot, TBA.

How about a clinical? Better read the procedures and rules. Page 5 of the white and red booklet where the red stripe is above the gray stripe (as distinguished from the companion booklet, where the gray stripe is above the red stripe): "In addition to this booklet, the Preliminary Registration Bulletin, the Law School Catalog and the HLS Adviser contain important information about the clinical program." The Adviser? More reading! And I can't be the only person just a little bit bothered by the lack of consistency between these booklets regarding the use of the serial comma. The purple book? Serial commas all over the place. The clinical book? Nowhere to be found. Maybe someone forgot to read the Dean's statement from July 14, 1854 regarding the use of the serial comma in registration materials.

Okay, courses chosen. Time to fill out the worksheet on the last page of the purple book. "J.D. students are advised to list all 31 course choices to maximize their chances for a full schedule." Thirty-one? Wow. The first thirty I'm excited about, but if I get my thirty-first choice, I'm really screwed. I know it sounds fascinating - Policy Issues in Tax System Redesign Reading Group - but still, it does conflict with my twenty-eighth choice, Trade and Competition: Irrevocable Objectives in the Context of Developing Societies Seminar, so I don't know what I'd do.

Actually, I may just need to wait. Page v of the purple book: "Since changes sometimes occur over the summer, students should review... the 2003-2004 Catalog, as well as the updated information in the fall Registration Adviser." More reading! Yippee!

Friday, April 04, 2003

What if professors only got tenure if lots of students signed up for their courses? Might they sing a song like this?

To the tune of "Be Our Guest" from "Beauty and the Beast"

"Choose my Class"

Choose my class!
Choose my class!
And I promise you will pass
Large enrollments get me tenure, please
Oh it'll be a gas

Come sign up
Here I am
And I'll cancel the exam
Skip the plaintiffs
And defendants
I won't even take attendance

I will dance
I will sing
For the stuff tenure will bring
So please come and help me reach critical mass

Go on and rank my course
I promise no remorse
Choose my class!
Choose my class!
Choose my class!

Want free food?
And free beer?
You sign up, I'll have them here
Need a break? I can make
Required readings disappear

I want you
And your friends
All before the sign-up ends
Won't be gloomy, no complaining
Cancel classes when it's raining

I tell jokes
I do tricks
Won't you help me with this fix
I need monster-sized enrollment
So I stay

And when I call on you
I don't care what you do
Choose my class!
And you'll pass
All the students I'll amass
Choose my class!
Choose my class!
Choose my class!
Just spent the last few hours looking at course choices for next year. Here's what I'm thinking:

Constitutional Law
Economics of Regulation and Antitrust
Seminar on Law and Literature
1-Credit Pass-Fail Accounting Class

WINTER (we have this strange little 3-week winter term, where you take one class that meets for a whole bunch of hours every day)
Food and Drug Law OR Psychiatry and the Law OR Secure Transactions

Communications Law
[and one more course to be determined, possibly Corporations]

A heavy fall, a lighter spring... but just because there's more stuff that interests me in the fall... recognizing that Fall Recruiting may mean that having a heavier program that semester will come back to haunt me.

Coming tomorrow: something funny about course selection, hopefully in the form of an 800-word newspaper column

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Preparing for my moot court oral argument.

"Your honor, the defendant corporation posted on its website an article concerning the Texas activities of a Texas resident, relying in part on a Texas source, and anticipating possible harm to be felt in Texas. Given these facts, it makes little sense not to allow Texas to exert jurisdiction."

That's my first two sentences. Wouldn't you rule in my favor?
My grandmother just told me on the phone that she's paying someone $10 to pray for a cousin of hers who's got cancer. Apparently, her friend "uses this prayer guy" and knows some people who've gotten better. For $10, he'll pray twice a week -- she got Thursday and Saturday. Apparently those days are less popular. (And, no, my grandmother isn't crazy... I hope.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Fourteen courses being offered next year I have no interest in taking (in alphabetical order)

1. Advanced Issues in Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization Reading Group
2. Asian Securities Markets and Securities Regulation
3. Civil Procedure: Advanced
4. Criminal Procedure Advanced: The Adjudicative Process
5. Employment Discrimination Law
6. Human Rights Research Seminar
7. International and Comparative Insolvency Law
8. Law and Religion in India Seminar
9. Legal Research: Advanced
10. Pension Law
11. Policy Issues in Tax System Redesign Reading Group
12. Prisons Seminar
13. Taxation: International Aspects of U.S. Income Taxation
14. Trade and Competition: Irrevocable Objectives in the Context of Developing Societies Seminar
Funny April Fools stuff: Spoof of ABC's Reality TV Lineup

Coming later: something about choosing courses for next year, now that we've been given a half-dozen booklets about what we can take and how many credits they're worth... too many choices....
Red Sox v. Devil Rays, 15th inning. Watching the rest of this game is going to put me to sleep.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Happy April Fools Day.