Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dragon Slaying

Law is a very serious profession. I admire the law’s diligence and commitment, but many times law is unnecessarily serious. Sometimes you need to laugh at life because were human. Human life is full of absurdity; we should not take it too seriously.

The Career Service Office at my school required all 1Ls to turn in a resume. Despite turning in a resume, fairly recently in our applications, the school wanted a new resume in “law school format”. The school did not want us to expand on our college experiences, only our professional experience. Since I graduated fairly recently my resume was very small and looked pathetic.

If there was any reason why I would need a resume, I would have taken it seriously. If I planned on turning the resume in soon, I would take it seriously. But since the resume did not count and was useless, I decided comedy was appropriate way to poke fun.

So I made a resume 20 minutes before it’s due. At the bottom where you put interests, I listed:

Philosophy, Partying, Long Walks on the Beach, and Dragon Slaying.

Everyone likes dragon slaying, right?

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of showing others the resume. Everyone had the exact same reaction: Laughing for a minute, then lecturing me on how I need to grow up and take school more seriously. Ordinarily I wouldn’t pay attention to this, but in a moment of stress and weakness of will, I removed the humor.

Apparently law school, not only makes you over serious and competitive, but makes you lose your balls, too.

If I ever see a resume like mine, at least I would know there a real person. There is no good reason why law school shouldn’t be occasionally comedic. I am tired of the seriousness and intensity. I want a law school that’s human.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lawyer/Student Reception

Earlier in the week I went to a lawyer/student reception hosted by a a club I'm in at my school in conjunction with a large firm in my city.

Most of it was useless, although the free food and drinks were very nice. Two statements made by the discussion panel really hit home for me though.

Hiring Partner of Hosting Firm: You're all law students so I figure most of you are type A personalities. (One of the man reasons I hate my fellow law students is that they're prickish type A's as opposed to the stoic confident type A's. Damn you people!)

Non-Profit Lawyer: If you think that you want to do some sort of non-profit work or small firm work, but want to work in biglaw for a few years to gain experience, when you get your first big paycheck, DO NOT GO OUT AND BUY A MERCEDES! I know far too many people who wanted to leave biglaw, but now can't afford to take the pay-cut.
(Seems pretty straightforward, but I guess those smart lawyer types aren't very good at handling finances)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What was I thinking . . .

So I got a good idea. Why don’t we take a bunch of students, all from the top of their universities and put them in a giant competition with each other. The stakes, let’s set it at something high, lets say, prospects of having a successful career. They should be on a curve, meaning one doing better means another has to do worse. Let’s make it more interesting by not explaining the rules or giving the students any feedback on how they are doing relative to each other or how to do well in the competition. Success is met with more intense work from your adversaries. All of which constantly put pressure on everyone else. Additionally, In order to compete, you will need to study at least a modest, 8 hours a day. People begin to plan their entire schedule around the competition. They allocate more and more time into the competition. What if you just study occasionally? Well then you will probably lose. What if you value things other than the competition? You will lose. Any value for comedy? No. Any value for your humanity? No. Any excuses ever? No. This sounds like a great idea!!! People should sign right up.

Are you freaking kidding me?

This is insane. I want to . . .


People may be nice outside of law school, but when people walk between the walls they are competitive assholes.

How does everyone buy into this bullshit?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More Funny Quotes

“The penalty for throwing Barbies is not in Rule 11”

“A kiss is a form of battery”

“If the beans that the young Jack purchased from the crafty old man in the fairy tale ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ had been worthless rather than magical, it would have been only fair to allow Jack to disaffirm the bargain and reclaim the cow” – from Kiefer v. Fred Howe Motors

“If you had a civil rights case in 1960’s Mississippi would you rather be in federal or state court? If you don’t know the answer to this, you don’t belong in this life.”

On why punctuation matters:

“Woman! Without her, man would be nothing.”

“Woman, without her man, would be nothing.”

Friday, October 20, 2006

Such a great day

I slept though my one class today. That was great, I really needed the rest. Who needs to go to Torts anyways?

My study group called me after class to see if I was coming to our weekly review session. I asked them what we would be going over today, and they said they wanted to compare outlines for a few classes. Since I haven't even started thinking about outlines yet, I opted to go back to bed, where I stayed until about 5pm. Can every Friday be like this?

Sometimes sleep is just the most important part of the day (it just so happens that sometimes = most of the time for me).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Emotional Distress

I am another friend of Dan and David's from undergrad. I grew up in Northern California, went to school in Southern California, and this past August I moved to Boston for law school. I've posted some comments around the blogosphere as "Boston Law Student," and I will drop in here from time to time with my own law school experiences.

Striking fear into the hearts of 1Ls everywhere is that dreaded word. Exams. Off in the December distance is this amorphous evil that plagues us all and drives even the most ardent slacker to occasional studiousness. At my law school, exams are not as bad as at Dan's or David's. None of our classes have grades here. Instead we have 'narrative evaluations,"whatever that means.

Anyway, to prepare us for the exams and to give us a taste of what we’ll be up against in a couple of months, today we had a practice torts exam. Now for those of you who don’t know, torts is the section of law that that has to do with most civil lawsuits. People suing for everything from serious injuries to corporate irresponsibility. Cases range from the standard (A sues B for causing an injury to A when B acted negligently and crashed into a building) to the ridiculous (woman goes into a hospital for fertility treatment, and comes out having lost her leg).

Well, we took this exam under the same conditions that we will be under in December. Since I have a laptop, I was going to use it for the exam. I downloaded and installed the software that they assigned. What this does is lock down the computer, only giving access to the current word file to prevent cheating. Sounds like a good policy, right? Everyone has an equal chance and an even playing field. Nice theory, anyway.

So as I'm finishing up, with a few minutes to spare, I add some information to my test at the last second. To make sure everything is ok before I turn it in, I hit the spell check button. I had done this once or twice before as I went through the exam, making sure things were ok as I went. Now I was on my final time. I clear any serious issues and then I can finish up.

So I move the mouse to the toolbar, hit the spell-check button, expecting the window to pop up...

And the screen clears. Suddenly, I’m looking at my computer desktop, and the software is closed. Hmmm. Not good, but probably no big deal. I had been saving early and often in case something like this happens. But to get back into the software, I have to call over one of the technical support guys to log me back in. He comes over, takes a look at my computer, opens the software, and says…uh oh.

So now my mind starts to race. What happened? What’s the problem? What did I do? What did you do? He looks at the computer and tells me what I already know. The file is gone. My exam has disappeared. My computer has eaten my answer.

Well, what am I supposed to do now? Tech guy calls the academic affairs boss into the room. He takes a look at the situation, and wants to schedule some time with me later in the day to retake the exam that I had just spent the last hour working on. Well, as you can probably imagine, this just makes my day. Now those of you who know me well have seen me react badly to similar types of situations, but I’m doing my best to keep my cool and work the problem instead of doing all the evil things to everyone around me that are flashing through my mind.

As calmly as I can, I explain that I follow the "save early, save often" philosophy that comes from years of traumatic experiences with Microsoft Windows products. I know that somewhere, deep in the bowels of my computer’s hard drive, is my exam. I know it is there because it has to be there.

So the tech guys kick it around for a while, look at the places where the file is supposed to be, and have a look of deep sympathy and sorry for me predicament. Finally, boss tech guy comes in and asks to see my computer. Well by now I have told a few of my friends what’s been going on, and they tell a few of their friends, but more on that in a few minutes.

Anyway, head tech guy takes my computer from room to room to hallway to try to get away from crowds of noisy 1Ls relieved over the end of the exam. Naturally, I go with him. He makes a few calls and finally starts opening up hidden files in hidden folders, looking deep into the hard drive in a place that no one would ever have guessed. Finally, he comes to a file that matches what he was told my exam should be named. It looks like it was last changed about the time I last saved, although I can't be sure. I ask to check the file to make sure it is the right one, but of course it is encrypted, so I just have to trust this software (yeah, right) that he has the right file. Anyway, head tech guy takes the file away to get it decrypted, formatted, and sent out for grading. I just hope that it is at least close to the final version that I wanted to put together. That's as good as it is going to get for me on this go around.

Well, after that, we have torts class. Imagine that, torts class after a torts exam. Sounds like fun, right? Well anyway, I go home for a little while after torts for my lunch break, and then come back for afternoon classes. As I'm walking into my classroom, I see a classmate of mine, and we're talking about the exam (of course). His went fine, he’s glad that it is over, regular, expected things.

Then he asks me how mine was. I start to tell him. Well, I was just finishing when I hit the spellchecker and it crashed. He interrupts my at that point. "That was you?!" he says. Apparently, my story is spreading. I told a few people while they were working on my computer. They told a few people this story from the exam. And they told a few people.

Now I won't pretend to know how David felt getting grilled by his contracts professor. I've given some right answers and I've given some wrong answers in my two months here, but I've never had a long face off in any of my classes. But I do have some idea what its like to go into a room and have people talking about what happened to you. Not the greatest experience of my life, but at least its making a fun story for my friends.

I'm trying my best to not be a slacker in law school. Days like today don't make it easy.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Good Ol' Merriam-Webster


Pronunciation: 'mi-z&-rE

1. A constant emotional state in law school. Especially when writing a lengthy open memo over the weekend.

2. Not going out on a Saturday night because you have to work on a lengthy open memo. Waking up the next morning and not watching any Sunday football because you are so far behind on the memo.

Maybe slacking and getting a bad start is not always a good idea. Am I bitter? You bet.


Pronunciation: 'hel
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English

1. a synonym for law school.

2. A subject of much scholarship to whether this place is actually better than law school. Most scholars find this subject highly debatable. (more to come in a following post)

I find the subject of law school interesting and am excited to be a lawyer, but the working conditions demanded border on inhumane.

Friday, October 13, 2006

2 complaints for today

Well ... I guess technically it's only one complaint for today, and another complaint about yesterday, but that's just being picky.

First off, it snowed yesterday! WTF!? Frozen water ... falling from the sky ... and I'm not on top of a mountain with a snowboard strapped to my feet. This is not ok. Snow belongs at vacation destinations, not on the city streets ffs. I was just trying to enjoy a nice lunch in the sukkah ontop of my law school building, and it starts snowing! I thought I'd have a little more time here before that started. Oh well, hopefully it won't be doing it again soon.

Second, I've decided why it is I hate law school. It's not the actual school, its not the amount of work, its not the professor's grilling you; that's all things I can handle, I knew I'd signed up for coming into this mess. The longer I'm here, the more I realize, it's the other students that I hate, not the school.

Today the professor was talking about some theory of duty in torts, and he asked "Does anyone disagree with this?" One person raised their hand, and when called on answered "I agree with it because ..."

PUT YOUR DAMN HAND DOWN AND SHUT THE FUCK UP. He did not ask if anyone agreed, he asked if anyone disagreed. You do not disagree so don't answer the damn question.

Uuuugh. Law school is like high school, but not all of that bothers me. Cliques are fine, gossipy as fuck is fine, its the small amount of people that's the problem for me. Looking back to high school I referred to a lot of people as situational friends. You really didn't have that much in common with people other than the fact you were in the same place at the same time with a limited amount of people. Sure you were "friends" when you where in school, but outside of it? You're completely different people. The same thing is true in law school for me. Yes there are a few really cool people that I enjoy hanging out with, but for the most part, if I wasn't in class with you, I probably would never want to talk to you; but now for some reason we go out to bars together? Ugh ....

I need to meet people that aren't law students. I hate these people.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hand Written Notes

I received an e-mail early in the week from the head of the Legal Writing department at my school. I got the pleasure of having a meeting with her to "discuss my participation in TBLWP's class". That was exciting. For this point on I am officially banned from using my laptop during Legal Writing. I must hand-take all my notes for the rest of the semester in the hope that I will stop goofing off online. BASTARDS!!

On the plus side, after my meeting with the head of the department I went to TBLWP's office hours and explained to him why I found the course so boring (his teaching style being a huge part of it), and this morning in class he devoted a section of time to "frustrations about legal writing" and he spoke about himself. He even tried to be funnier and more engaging. Hopefully this trend will continue. Unfortunently, if it does, I'll still be taking notes by hand.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I think I may have made a mistake

So this week's legal writing, was just as boring as last weeks. I don't think it could ever be interesting. Useful? Maybe ... But interesting? Never.

I'm hoping it'll get more interesting next semester when we move on to IP specific issues, but that's just getting this post sidetracked.

So I'm sitting in class, the Prof is done talking for the day, and once again it's work silently by yourself time! (I thought law school was supposed to be like High School, not like elementary? WTF?)

The Prof hands out the non-graded/non-handed in worksheet for the day, looks straight at me and goes "Mr. Slacker, I WILL be expecting your participation today."

Damnit! What did I get myself involved in?