Saturday, May 09, 2009

Nothing new or interesting here.

Just the shriveled remains of something that used to pass as a law student blog.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The End

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This is not a comeback, but merely an epilogue to the blog, to inform you that I survived my summer at the alcohol-imbibing summer camp. And to let you know that all of my predictions in my last post have come true.

1. I had a great 12 weeks and did not do anything stupid at summer camp (at least nothing that got back to the partnership or the recruiting department). It seems that WORM, the sponsors of the summer camp, liked me enough to give me the wonderful opportunity to come back after graduation to bill 2000+ hours a year so as to help finance 2L summer camp in the future. Which I will not be taking (at least not immediately).

2. I will be clerking post-graduation for the Hon. Lifetime Appointment, someone smart enough and/or politically connected enough to earn him/herself a spot on the federal bench. He/she was also smart enough to be a so-called "off-program" judge who hires law clerks before the official process. I attribute my good fortune of being able to avoid the awful mess that is OSCAR to a combination of people skills, a decent golf game, and a lot of luck. Did I mention that I briefly dated in college his/her daughter, something I found out only by looking at family photos in the judge's chambers?

3. I am in school 2 days a week, and am having a blast as a 3L. I can't say that I will miss law school, but I will definitely miss life as a 3L. Life is good.

4. Advice to all the new 1Ls: the ONLY thing you should focus on this year is your grades. Whether you earn them by cramming every night in the library or by sleeping with your professors, getting good grades should be your sole focus. Journals, professor recommendations, and extracurricular activities are all meaningless without grades. Even if you don't want to work for a big law firm, good grades will provide you with something even more valuable: choices.

With that, I bid you farewell.

Monday, March 31, 2008

I say high, you say low

I've always had an inherently rebellious streak in me.

When I was 9, I opened one of those little packets that protect things against humidity. Because the packet said "do not eat," I ate it. I was fine.

When I was 16, I bleached my hair. When my parents told me to get rid of it, I shaved my head. When my parents got pissed about that, I told them that I merely did what I was told.

My rebelliousness has also led me to eschew labels. I'm the same guy who has voted for both the Governator and Barack Obama. And think that Coastkeeper is a great organization but drives a gas-guzzling SUV at the same time. My rebellious attitude of defying convention has also been taken by some in law school as arrogance.

But how rebellious can I be, you ask, if I went to law school because I was just another English major with no employable skills or job prospects, and did what a million other liberal arts kids have done before me? Or went through OCIP merely because it was what everyone else was doing? I'll admit--you've got me there.

But I doubt that many other law students have ever answered an OCIP interview question about his greatest weakness with a response of "cheap beer." (I still got the offer) Or have taken the managing partner of his summer firm out to eat dollar street tacos from a cart in South L.A. Or turned down an offer from Boalt solely because he wanted to be able to surf while in law school.

I did not start this blog to earn money. (I have not earned a cent). Nor did I start this blog to satisfy my inner fame-seeking exhibitionist (I purposely avoid writing about my personal life) or to get laid (I have only hooked up once as a result of this).

If I don't blog for money, sex, or fame, the traditional motivators in life, then why do I do it? I started this blog to poke fun at as well as to criticize mainstream legal education, as an act of rebellion. The same rebelliousness is also why I am calling it quits. Despite a loyal readership base, I feel that that it is time to go out while I'm ahead. Its purpose has been served. Time for a new generation of law school bloggers to step up.

What's next, in my life you ask? I will be spending this summer at White Old Rich & Male. And take the bare minimum of classes and spend as little time as possible in the law school as a 3L. And enjoy life to the fullest as a 3L.

My rebelliousness is also why I will definitely apply for a clerkship after the summer. Not because I necessarily want to clerk, but because I want to show the establishment that a non-Law Review rebellious surfer-type (though admittedly with a good GPA, the ability to chat up just about anyone, and dashingly good looks) can be in the same position to clerk in the highly traditional federal judiciary as my classmates who carefully made sure that they did all the "right" things in law school.

After that, I'll probably go back to WORM to be a document reviewing drone. While I purposely picked WORM because it is known as an overall "fun" firm, I know that my lack of deference to authority and my tendency to resist being told what to do will not do wonders for my longevity in the law, no matter now "fun" the firm. Which is why, probably after two years there, the best decision of my life will be made when I quit/get fired.

My inner beach bum will then probably take over, when I move to the beach and start a surf school. (What's scary is that I will not be the first biglaw turned surf school owner UCLA Law has produced--but this should come as no surprise given who and where we are.) I will then also get my chance to write the next great American novel, something I have always wanted to attempt. Maybe I'll set up a small legal practice for locals on the side, run out of my beach bungalow/surf school. The greatest part: even after my detour into the formal world of the law, I will not even be 30, and have my entire life in front of me.

Everyone knows that lawyers are generally a risk-adverse bunch who are envious of bankers. Most will roll their eyes at my life plan and scoff at how unrealistic it is or how I'm an idealist. But I'm rebellious enough where I don't care what others, especially lawyers, think of me. At the end of the day, I don't measure personal success via a 7-series or a S-class sitting in my Pacific Palisades driveway. I am not afraid of falling off the "track" simply because I was never on the "track" to begin with.

And I'm comfortable with not getting a secure paycheck if what I get in exchange is the freedom to be my own boss and having the the rush of being solely dependent on myself. And it gives me great comfort knowing how many lawyers will be secretly jealous of my plan, but cannot imagine doing the same because "they're too afraid to" or "they can't afford to."

So, with that, I am officially hanging up my spurs. I had fun. I hope that you did as well.

Given that this is L.A., it would only be appropriate to end with a movie quote. The last scene from The Sum of All Fears.

Grushkov: "I will miss terribly my conversations with Cabot. Perhaps from time to time, we can talk."
Ryan: "I would like that."

Friday, March 28, 2008

One down

So, apparently, the new US News law school rankings have been leaked. Undoubtedly, there are some people angry that UCLA fell a spot to #16, overtaken by Vandy. Others will be disappointed that we did not crack the mythical "t14." Especially given the efforts that the school and the Dean has made to increase its rankings.

I might be in the distinct minority at the school, but I really don't care that much for its absolute rank--whether UCLA is ranked 14 or 16 or 20. As long as it is the highest-ranked school in Southern California and as long as it is ranked higher than USC, I'll be a happy man.


Email from a reader:
"Just wanted to let you know that you look so scrumptious. Your lady friend as well ;)"

Umm, thanks? I've never been called scrumptious before.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I am on spring break

I'm currently south of the border with TheLadyFriend, some of her friends from college, and some of my friends from college. And no law students.

See you all soon. Be well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The hardest part

Law school is an institution that is heavy on normative influences. Why? Because it is preparing you for the practice of law, a very normative institution that emphasizes propriety and decorum. Which is why there is a desire and a trend in law school to conform to what everyone else is doing. To conform to how everyone else acts. To conform to how everyone else dresses. To conform to how everyone else speaks. Students who come in with varying interests and public interest orientations are channeled and molded on the singular path to jobs as document reviewers and due diligence checkers at big law firms.

But we can't be blamed, can we? Lots of us were probably nerdy in high school and our parents pushed us to achieve so that we could attend the best colleges. In college, after realizing that we are scared by numbers and that we're queasy at the sight of blood, we decided to go to law school. That we are at UCLA tells us that we did pretty well in college and that we spent $1,300 on the right LSAT prep class. In short, we've been guided along the normalizing path since we were all pimple-faced, braces-sporting teenagers.

And now in law school, we shed our personalities and our passions, so that we can become what we think the legal profession expects us to be. We're taught that we need to learn to think like a lawyer. That we need to participate in a student clinic to show our interest in public service. That we need to get to know our professors for references. That we need to do Moot Court. That we need to do Law Review. That we need to apply for clerkships. And that the true geniuses in our class will become law professors. (As a completely unrelated aside, most of my non-law school friends tell me that law students are boring.)

I'm about to set off for a 10-day Spring Break, just as I did last year. I know that most of you are all already committed to torturing yourself for Spring Break. I know that there's a part of you that wants to say "screw it" to "doing what everyone else is doing" but cannot do so because you are simply "too afraid to." I don't ask much--I merely ask you to, probably for the first time ever in your lives, do what you want and not to do what you think others expect of you.