Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Nightmare on Memo Street (Pt. 1)

Most 1Ls have a memo due sometime during the first semester. Unfortunately law school has this idea that you should be doing some of your work without the use of LEXIS and WESTLAW. This is a rather dumb idea, since we will almost always be using them in the real world and when we aren’t, my 5th grade library skills will probably do the trick.

Luckily for me I am a slacker. Sometime before the final weekend to work on the memo we got access to LEXIS and WESTLAW. My writing teacher figured everyone was basically done with their research anyway. Not me, I hadn’t really started and this was rather awesome! I didn’t have to do book research.

This is where the good part of my story ends. Since I had not started the memo the weekend before it is due I decided that it’s probably not a good idea to get wasted and go out. As you will find out I should have. I worked diligently and was making a lot of progress; I would even say the memo was good. AND then it happened, the memo writer’s worst nightmare:

I went into my writing professor’s office hours the day before the memo was due. I had some trivial questions. But then I asked her a content based question. In responding to my question, she revealed that I put the central balancing test in the wrong part of the statute and that I would probably do better if I started over to fix the mistake. I still disagree with her opinion and think it makes far less sense than mine, but since SOME of the courts agreed with her and SHE was grading my paper, I decided that at 3:00 p.m. the day before the paper was due, I needed to scrap most of the memo and start over.

THIS SUCKED BALLS. I do not recommend writing a ten page research paper in less than a day, especially when you need to redo the research.

I scramble to get the new cases together and start writing. I can’t honestly say this was my best work, but I needed to write something. Around 10:00 p.m., I have about six pages and decide that I need more cases. So I sign on to LEXISNEXIS on my laptop and find that LEXIS isn’t working. I try another computer in the library; LEXIS doesn’t work at this computer either. After consulting with some friends I realize LEXIS is down. Luckily LEXIS has a 24 hour support network. So I call them and they have no idea what’s going on. After being reconnected and trying get them to fix their service for 45 minutes, they tell me if I leave the library and go home LEXIS should work. I tell them that I will and not to worry about calling me about the library network.

I go home and finish the rest of the content without editing or putting the citations in. It’s 4:00 a.m. and I can’t think anymore. I decide to take a 2 hour nap and finish before it’s due at 10:30 a.m. the next day. I set two alarms and go to bed (sleeping through one, which I have done before, would be disastrous). Around 5:00 a.m., I get a call. WHO CALLS AT 5:00 AM? LEXISNEXIS of course, to tell me the library is now working. My two hours of sleep interrupted.

I woke up at 6:00 and put the citations in and edited to the best of my abilities before the memo was due. This was not my finest hour, but at least I had something that I could turn in. I thought the nightmare had ended, but the Nightmare on Memo Street continues with the revision . . .

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Proximate Cause and Pleading

Two topics that would usually lead to an extremely boring post. But my Torts and CivPro teacher decided to make things more interesting.

On Proximate Cause:

I always enjoy a fun poke at evangelical religion. This one was great.

“Proximate Cause can best be explained like this: Everything is not Eve’s fault. She may have had the apple, but at a certain point we decide that the cause is too remote and we should take responsibility for our own actions.”

On Pleading:

“Early English pleading is like the Arabian Tales, you have to say the magic words, like ‘Open Sesame’, to get into court. They knew that failing to pay your loan was not disturbing the order of the King; they knew it sounded ridiculous, but without proclaiming the writ you couldn’t get into court. Nothing, really, has changed”

Friday, November 17, 2006

Last Legal Writing of the semester

Yesterday was my last legal writing class of the semester. I'm so excited to be done with that class for now. If I had to worry about writing my final memo and prepping for finals at the sametime I think I might have started freaking out for the first time this year. Luckily they were nice to us. Thank you law school for being considerate for once.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Last Resort to Avoid Participation

It is commonly accepted that if you are called on in class there is nothing you can do. There has only been one try in law school history, to my knowledge, that has ever been successful after a teacher insisted on participation. Dan’s attempt to avoid class participation, although noble, resulted in the loss of using his laptop. This resulted in Dan not having a computer to avoid his writing professor’s wonderful teaching ability. But one monotone Yale law school valedictorian was able to do it, his name . . .

Bueller . . . Bueller

is Ben Stein. (This story comes via my Civ Pro teacher that went to Yale with him)

“Mr. Stein will you please explain the facts of case Slacker v. Gunner?”

::monotone voice:: “I didn’t do the reading”

“That’s ok, I will give you the facts and you can tell me your opinion”

“I really don’t wanna”

“This is law school, you don’t have a choice”

::still monotone:: “I don’t wanna, I am not going to”

::slightly raised voice:: “Mr. Stein”

“I am gonna take off my clothes, if you keep calling on me.”

::he proceeds to strip:: This makes the class rather awkward and the teacher moves on to someone else. Mr. Stein escaped participation unscratched. This act of brilliance makes up for the fact that you are a Nixon supporter and conservative views bares no resemblance to your people’s values. You are a hero for us all; no wonder why you graduated valedictorian from the best law school in the country.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What a worthless week

I'd love to have something that was ever so funny/witty about things that happened at law school this week, but I opted to sleep through pretty much all of my classes except for CivPro so ... I have nothing interesting to report.

That is all.

I love sleep :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

E-mail Conversation

Bill Clinton spoke at my school today. He is the most charismatic and persuasive person I have ever heard. His ability to relate to his audience and stick just to the facts is incredible. I will write more on his jokes later. This E-mail conversation between me and my Civ Pro teacher made my day.

"I wanted to let you know that I am going to be missing class today (11/2) to go see the Bill Clinton speech. . . (other letter formalities)"

Civ Pro teachers reponse:
"Invite him back to class with you. We were at Yale together and I know him."

CivPro teacher is awesome.