Thursday, August 31, 2006

You Know Law School Sucks When . . .

You do briefs over breakfast.

Like most other red blooded Americans, I take my breakfast time seriously. I have more important things to do like . . .

Watch TV

I usually wake up turn on CNN, Fox, or MSNBC. After realizing that they are hyping up stories beyond the proportionate level of importance, there is another important task watching reruns and bad day time television. Saved By the Bell and other educational programs on how to properly slack, The Practice and other law shows that are unrealistic, Dawson’s Creek and other like soap operas, Montel, Maury, Tyra Springer, and Oprah, Judge Judy, Jean-Luc saving the galaxy on from Klingons, Ferengis, and Borg on Star Trek: the Next Generation, bad comedy routines on comedy central, and the worst movies in HBO’s rotation.

Law School is ruining this perfect opportunity to enhance my intelligence with these great ideas of western civilization certainly equivalent to Plato, Nietzsche, and Shakespeare. Oh wait, I don’t have a TV yet, due to lacking funds and time. So here I am briefing my cases that I probably should have already done with cheerios, as law school slowly eats away my free time.

Am I bitter of losing my free breakfast time? Of coarse not

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Joining the conspiracy

So I started class this week, my first class was civil procedures. Upon entering the class I was greated with the phrase "Welcome to the conspiracy!" I was told that I was joining a profession. Our professor then continued to explain to us that all a profession is, is one giant conspiracy against lay people. A profession is something full of esoteric knowledge that serves no other point than to keep lay-people from understanding what was going on. I was told civil procedures is that esoteric knowledge and that I had a whole semester to look forward to learning this knowledge.

Let me tell you .... it feels great to be part of a conspiracy. Esoteric knowledge here I come!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Mr. Question Guy

Mr. Question guy is usually not the smartest or dumbest guy in the class, but studies more than most. He/She (although I have seen more guys) is intent on proving their intellect to their peers and professors, so they decide that they are going to ask irrelevant questions in class. These questions are usually highly specific in topic and have very little interest to most people in the class. Even worse, sometimes they ask questions that they already know the answer to, in order to appear more intelligent. I see through it and I bet most other students do, too. But, Mr. Question Guy is generally nice and friendly, just lacking in social skills. In order to show that I have no ill will and only want to help both you and the rest of the class here is my letter to Mr. Question Guy.

Dear Mr. Question Guy,

Congratulations on getting into law school and having great study habits. There are a few issues that we your class mates would like to share with you. First, the professor is not talking specifically to you, but the entire class. When you raise your hand every 5 minutes you look like that third grade kid that your elementary school teacher is desperately trying not to call on. This does not impress your professors or your fellow students. You don’t need to answer each question or pose specific new questions to every issue, we know you are intelligent and study. Do ask questions that are on topic and insightful. Also, make sure all of your questions are of interest to the majority of people in the class. Diligently try to avoid asking personal interest questions during class. There is a perfectly suitable time to ask these questions; before or after class. I ask questions after class, too. Give others a chance to answer some questions. Do not ask questions that you already know the answer to, this is heavily annoying. Do present your opinion on issues when relevant. Don’t act like an arrogant prick; you are not smarter than everyone because you raise your hand. The only advantage is that you save yourself a few reps on the weights at the gym. Do go to the gym, it will get your mind off law school for a little while. Use your discretion in asking questions, with respect to the size of the class. You can ask more questions in a class of 20 then in a class of 200. In case this is too general I will make this into a statute so that you can better understand.

Law school statue of how not to be Mr. Question Guy:

“Do not ask questions, unless they are both insightful and you have not asked a reasonably large amount of questions during the class. Ask questions after class if they are not relevant to everyone else and don’t ask frivolous questions to prove your intelligence. Avoid asking questions at the end of class, ask them after class instead. Don’t act like a prick. In general, use discretion when raising your hand.”

I hope this will be sufficient to help you. We can provide common law cases to help define ambiguities in this statute if necessary. Please don’t look up every word 5 times and ask useless questions about this statue it goes against the point. You know what it means.


Your Fellow Concerned Law Students who want to help you avoid being Mr. Question Guy

Monday, August 14, 2006

The First Week

On the first day of class I stroll in a minute late and sit in the last row. I figured the professor would be giving a speech about the honor and glory of the law, something between Braveheart’s ‘Sons of Scottland’ speech and Any Given Sunday’s ‘Inches’ speech. Explaining how we had made such a respectable choice and the great many possibilities that lie ahead.

I was wrong.

The professor was already digging into the details of the assigned reading. Cut and dry. The prof. was more entertaining, then I had expected, to his benefit, and I respected his no B.S. attitude.

There was one other thing that I noticed as I scanned the room. There was only one person in the entire class that did not have a laptop or notebook in front of him/her. Yes, ladies and gents, it was me, your local slacker-at-law. It had yet to be a full minute in law school and I was already late and behind.

Throughout the week I learned people actually seemed to be studying frequently. I am not accustomed to studying regularly, since I was able to get away with very little in undergrad. But I decided I should probably catch up and invested in a notebook (my laptop is in the mail). So I did the reading till I understood what was going on. But fear not fellow slackers of the world, the next night I was out and about hitting the bars.

Figuring that I needed to redeem myself for showing up unprepared to the first class, I showed up to class the next morning at 8 o’ clock, after the night at the bars. The other law students that I went out with did not show up. Mom would be proud. I hope this redeems me to the karma police of legal studying.

So come Friday, there was once again only one person in the classroom with no notebook or laptop. I figured I don’t really take notes on most of this stuff anyway. I had already read the case and understood it. I don’t understand the people who frivolously scribble every detail down. If something is important I am all for studying and putting in what is necessary to meet your goal, but people just act out of fear, nerdiness, or their love to flaunt their intelligence and hear their own voice. The one’s that love to hear their own voice are the worst, more about them later.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Why I'm going to law school

Greetings from the other Slacker of Slacker & Slacker LLP. I'm Dan, and I went to undergrad with David. We're both great at slacking, hopefully we'll both be great at law school.

My journey to law school took a much different path than David's. It was never my intention to go. All I wanted to do was be a video game designer. I slacked through undergrad, doing just the bare minimum (less than that in some cases), played video games all day, smoked a lot of pot, and somehow managed to graduate. My amazing GPA was under a 3.0, and I actually had to stick around an extra year due to my extraordinary slacking abilities. And no I didn't graduate with multiple majors or anything crazy like that. I took 5 years to get a single B.S. It would have been four, but the last class of my fourth year I slacked so damn well that I didn't bother reading the syllabus for the class until well after the drop deadline. Upon reading the syllabus I learned that section attendance was mandatory and actually counted towards my grade. Now in true slacker style, I had never been to section. I didn't even know who my TA was, so I couldn't e-mail anyone to ask how to get around this requirement. Yadda yadda yadda I failed and had to stay an extra year. The class was the last in a sequence and was only ever offered during Spring quarters. So I spent fall and winter bumming around, and then finished up in the Spring. Luckily the law school I had been accepted to the year before was kind enough to defer my admissions so I didn't have to reapply. Avoiding extra work though deferment. Yay!

Now how did someone that never went to class, that never thought about going to law school, and had never taking a polisci/law course at all decide to go to law school? Free food! I was hanging around campus one day (a rare thing for me, I normally avoided campus at all costs) and Kaplan was sponsoring a free LSAT test. One of those take a test, see how you did, now pay us to do better things, and they included free food for all test takers. Now I had just smoked, and was really hungry. Not one to pass up free food even if it requires a little bit of work (Free food is one of the rare things that will stop be from slacking) I decided to take the test. I did surprisingly well for someone who'd never seen an LSAT before in their life. I ended up taking the real LSAT a year later and then applied to law schools.

The hardest thing about applying was getting letters of req. For someone who never goes to class, it ended up being really hard finding professors that remembered me, and would write a letter. Although seeing how huge classes are at UC schools, I'm not sure it would have been easier if I had gone to class.

So now I'm getting ready to go to law school. I'm going for a duel degree - j.d and a masters in computer science so I can hopefully get into software patents or preferably something involved with setting technology law policy (I'd love to work for the EFF). At the very least if I hate law school, I can drop out and keep doing my masters program. How will my slacker-self adjust to a setting like law school? Hopefully very well. Everyone says law school is like high school, and if there's one thing high school has a lot of, it's gossip. And the only thing besides free food that will stop me from slacking is gossip. People say I'm exactly like a high school girl. I love gossip. I spread it, I hear it, I find it, I make it up, I devour it where ever it is. And if I'm about to put myself in an environment that supports gossip and high schoolish behavior, then maybe I'll be involved enough to actually go to class and learn. Only time will tell.

Enough of this long boring introductory post. I start class in two weeks (poor David started already) and will post more entertaining things then.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Why I am Going to Law School

Welcome to Slacker and Slacker LLP home of great tales of slacking in Law School.

After hearing from many people that law school is a horrible life decision, the first question you should ask is: why would a slacker ever want to go to law school, face three hard years of school, and a difficult legal world after?

I am still trying to figure out the answer myself. But here is my best shot. It all started out on a weekend at the end of my junior year of college when I was visiting home. My Dad offered to take me out to ‘Olive Garden’ and I thought 'Sweet, good Italian food, what a fun dinner this will be'. I was wrong.

During dinner sometime my Dad asked me 'So what's it going to be Business, Law, or Medicine?’ After briefly entertaining the idea of getting a PhD in philosophy (running around cold and hungry on the street rambling incoherently about Nietzsche and Kant did not sound appealing) I told my dad that I was not interested in going into the business world, like him, and I don't like blood. The next day my Dad enrolled me in an LSAT class.

I figured I am passionate about philosophy and law is like philosophy in that it has a lot of arguments. So I figured this could work out. But, I really didn't think about it, too much. Like any other healthy third year in college I was too busy thinking about parties and girls. My furthest extent of being productive was useless philosophy debates at 3 in the morning, but I was certainly not worrying about the future.

Maybe I should have realized it is a sign not to go to law school after I only answered 7 questions in an LSAT section after I panicked, or the fact that the LSAC gave me the Sabbath test by accident (which has a harder curve and gives you a lower score), or the fact that I regularly scored in the low 170s on my practice tests, yet somehow scored less on the real test, but I had set my mind on going to law school and I am one stubborn kid when I set my mind to something.

Next you would think that my adventures visiting schools would deter me. But I sure am stubborn. I found myself in one of America’s finest cities that offered me a lot of scholarship money. There was this cute girl that I had stricken up a conversation with and was getting rather friendly. We were in the back of the crowded auditorium and she asked me who I was here with. I was baffled and thought this was an obvious question, but responded 'just myself'. I have never seen a girl seemed more turned on, that quickly, from such a short statement. She was twirling her hair rapidly, and her eyes look like Bambi’s, as she responded 'Oh my God, you are so mature'. Ordinarily this would be a great thing. But I was in a crowded auditorium, and my plane leaved in a couple hours for the next school. In any other venue it would have been a done deal, but being in a crowded law school auditorium ruined it. This left me frustrated

Next I found myself in another of America’s fine cities. This one is far colder, denser, with very few attractive women. This city looked like where they send all the failures of Jenny Craig. After arriving in this city and being unhappy over the events of the other girl, I decided to hit the bars. So I mistakenly had the great idea of walking 9 streets to save the money on the taxi. What a horrible idea! I began to walk when I ran into a lady begging for money on the street. I felt bad and gave her the change in my pocket. Next I heard something rather shocking. 'Sir, I want a sandwich. Can you buy me a sandwich?' I told her I did not have any more money, but she didn't buy this. She decided to follow me for 4 blocks asking me for a sandwich after I was no longer talking with her. I feel real bad for people in that situation, I really do, but I was seriously freaked out. A bum was chasing me around for a Freakin’ sandwich! I was happy when the bum left me alone, until I saw what appeared to be a body bag next to a steaming sewer. I am almost positive this was a bum sleeping, who wrapped up in a blanket, but in the event this was a dead person I decided to get a cab for the last two blocks. By this time I am somewhat traumatized, it is sad that some people have to live like this. On the Brightside I rocked the bar/club and the waitress was getting me free drinks. She said I was charming. Who am I to argue?

I didn’t ultimately decide to go to either one of those schools, but the decision between the three schools I was deciding between was difficult. After I feared that I may drive Dan and some of my other friends insane if they had to listen to me debate between the schools any longer, I made a decision. When I went to my e-mail to withdraw from the other two schools, I received an email from another school which I was on the waitlist, admitting me. This further extended the process, and seemed that the process was taunting me. I ultimately kept with my original decision.

So after this grueling process and hearing why not to go to school, why am I going? Well at the moment I don’t have any other ideas. But for fear of ending up as one of the Barely Legal: The Blog reasons not to attend law school, here is my best shot at a better one.

I find the law and its implications interesting. Although, I am sure I will have many thankless and useless billable hours in the future, dealing with legal issues interests me. If there is someway that I could further justice or improve society it will be worth it to me. I am sure most cases I will deal with, especially at the beginning, will be uninteresting. But every now and again, rarely, I will get to work on some interesting legal issues and make my small contribution in helping the legal process and improving lives. I would still rather talk about philosophy over law, but they don’t get billable hours. My head may like philosophy more, but my wallet is a fan of billable hours.