Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Confessions of a (point) whore

I am a big fan of Westlaw. One reason are the points.

I confess: It gives you 10 points daily for any research activity so every day I go onto Westlaw and type in the word "appeal" in Blacks Law Dictionary. I sign out and play the Trivia game, which gives me 15 more points. 25 total points accumulated in 30 seconds. Sweet deal.

25 points daily x 365 days a year = I'm not sure how many points annually. (I'm not too mathematically inclined, and that's why I'm in law school) But I'm sure that's a lot.

I guess that makes me a huge point whore.

[EDIT: As pointed out by Lioness, my math was off. So it would be 25 points x 5 days/week x 52 weeks/yr. Still equals lots of points.]

Monday, October 30, 2006

Quotes of the day

Law school professor quotes:

"Delaware is a giant cesspool and a big toll booth."

"Do you really want me to explain loss of consortium? Let's put it this way, the law greatly favors marital sexual relations."

Non-law school quotes:

"You made my day!"
-Camden N.J. Mayor Gwendolyn Faison when she learned that her city no longer topped the most-dangerous list, 2nd this year to St. Louis.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Things not to say

The Dean has a lunch weekly where he brings in an accomplished alum and invites students to come and mingle. At a recent one, here is an overheard conversation between the alum and a 22 year old, straight out of college 1L.

Alum: So, what kind of law are you interested in?
1L: I'm really interested in mergers and acquisitions.
Alum: Really, that's interesting. I used do that kind of work earlier in my career.
1L: Wow, that's exactly what I would like to do.
Alum: What exactly do you find interesting about doing mergers? Do you have any business experience?
1L: No, but I just find the topic in general very interesting.
Alum: Have you talked to any M&A lawyers about their work?
1L: What's M&A?

I was standing in the circle and I laughed so hard inside I thought I was just going to loose it. But, being the calm and composed Fox, I managed to hold it, and betrayed at most a smirk.

Why this incident was very telling: Here you have a straight right out of college undergrad (most likely a poli sci or a history major) with no prior business experience being interested in a specialized area of corporate law. Yet he/she has no idea about what it entails or anything about the subject, and is only interested in it because he/she undoubtedly read about mergers in some survey that lists the average salary of lawyers specializing in M&A. He/she could not say anything about the topic except that he finds the "topic in general very interesting." And he/she just looked like an ass in front of a big-name alum and the Dean himself.

I challenge anyone to find a fresh liberal arts right out of undergrad 1L who has a true interest in corporate Sarbanes-Oxley compliance work. 30 year old former investment banker I can understand, but not Joe Fratboy from suburbia.

I think this is the big problem with BigLaw. Stories abound about associates who hate the work and are there only for the money. My guess is that these associates are cut from the same cloth as the aforementioned 1L. Note: I'm not anti-BigLaw per se as I am anti-BigLaw for people whose only interest in it derives from financial considerations. Once in a while you will hear stories of people who love it at BigLaw, and my guess is that they have a real interest in their area of practice and had some substantive work experience in it before law school.

Food for thought.

Ad hominem

I usually try not to get political in these posts, but to say, as Rush Limbaugh and other Conservative right-wing extremists have said, that Michael J. Fox was faking and/or exaggerating his symptoms, is downright not compassionate conservatism.

Also, can anyone say ad hominem? (no pun intended)

Friday, October 27, 2006

I attract crazies

As per my usual custom, I went out last night to a pre-Halloween party with TheLadyFriend. It was fun, and as I was ready to leave, two very drunk female law students came up to me.

#1: (slurred) We should totally have a threesome tonight
Me: Um...
#2: (even more slurred) Yeah totally, that would be sooo hot.
#1: How about it?
Me: Um, I'm not...[I get interrupted]
#2: Oh, my....[bends forward, heaves, and throws up on me]

Naturally, I did not have a threesome last night and went home smelling of fruity girly drinks (at least she didn't eat beforehand). Nothing was going to happen last night, for they violated three central rules in my book:
a) I don't poop where I sleep (like the law, this is the default rule but has a few exceptions)
b) females who can't hold their liquor = unattractive in my book
c) most importantly, throwing up on me is not a good way to earn TheFox's good graces, regardless of drunken threesome or not.

Why do these things happen to me?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bluebook of crap

I officially hate the Bluebook. I hate everything about it. And this is surprising coming from a former English major, someone you think would be concerned with style.

I'm on one of the dozen journals here at UCLA and I have had to learn it for my job as a 1L cite checking slave. I personally don't mind the finding and pulling the reporters from the shelves. What I can't stand is the cite-checking bit. I really don't understand how the authors who get published in the UCLA journals (basically law school professors around the country, and one of the requirements to be a law professor I hear is to have been on law review while in law school, and hence you would think they would know the Bluebook inside and out) actually don't know how to cite. They now rely on us the cite-checking drones to so their dirty work for them.

And then, we have to use the Bluebook for our legal memos. Points are deducted if you cite cases wrong. Points deducted if you don't use supra correctly. Points if you have only one space instead of two. Do I really want to join a profession where people are way too anal-retentive that they care about how many spaces I use and the appropriateness of a comma versus a colon?

Bluebook is another reason why Harvard is evil. It's published by the Harvard Law Review and my $24.95 I paid for my Bluebook goes right into their already fat pockets.

And here's the kicker: the Bluebook is at times inconsistent and will say something in one part and then say something else in another part. When I told my writing teacher this, I was told that people who find errors write a note to the people over at Harvard, and for my efforts, I would be rewarded with a free Bluebook when the next edition comes out. Excuse me while I go ahead and jump for joy.

OK, that's my rant. I figured I haven't written about "real" law school for a while.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Give me something good to eat

I stopped off today in the Halloween store in Westwood, and I got myself my Halloween costume. While I was browsing the store, I found the chick-magnet costume hilarious. I'm not going to say what I'm going to be, but I spent much time agonizing over the choices, I got something that was quite original, and it is sure to impress and amuse people.

It's sad how life-sucking law school is when I've been looking forward towards Halloween for months (the other long-yearned for moment is the minute after finals when I get to heave all my law-related books into the dumpster).

One observation though: Halloween is definitely much less constrained for a guy than it is for a girl (like many things in life, feminists will argue, a point I actually agree with). Why? I would say that 90% of the women's costume in stock were of the sexy schoolgirl/witch/devil/buxom pirate wench variety. But I guess supply follows demand rather than the other way around, since it is the one day of the year (pimps and ho's parties excluded) where girls can have a legitimate excuse to get all slutted out. For loyal readers, you should recognize the familiar theme of my distaste for pretense, but for once, I'm not going to complain about slutted-out girls. Pretty shocking I know.

I'm sooo excited for trick-o-treat day though I still feel like crap.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bring me some chicken soup

In law school, people spend lots of time around everyone else, cooped up in the same classes in the same building. The inevitable is sure to come around to everyone..the infamous law school bug. That's when everyone in the school gets sick at the same time.

The bug is striking me now, even though I haven't made out with anyone at the law school (at least not recently). I guess sitting within a 10-foot radius of people sneezing and coughing 1Ls will strike even the heartiest of individuals, including The Fox.

I just got back from student health (The Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center if you want to be formal). I had heard stories from friends about how the doctors there were "inquisitive" and I got to experience it first hand today. (A female 1L had a skin infection and was asked if she was pregnant and another 1L girl went for a sprained ankle and was asked is she had unprotected sex recently.)

I tell the doctor that I'm coughing and that I have a sore throat. He proceeds to ask me about my sexual history and then give me a hernia test. I personally don't mind telling people about my past or have someone grope the family jewels, but I really don't see the point about how my cough could be associated in any way with having a tear in my abdominal wall or how it could be associated with my romantic conquests, but hey, whatever floats your boat Doc. I guess this is what I get for my $500/semester graduate student health insurance.

The doctor prescribes me some medicine, and I fill it in at the in-house pharmacy. There is a huge line and I wait a while. The girl in front of me reaches the counter and says in a hushed voice: "I need a refill on my birth control." I guess she was trying to be modest, but I found this amusing, since a) you're talking to The Fox, who has few limits, b) I'm never going to see this girl again, and c) I just want my drugs and get out of there.

I'm heating up some chicken soup now, and will be taking a nap the rest of the afternoon.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Being studious

Weather right now, according to weather.com
Houston: 69
San Francisco: 63
Chicago: 41
New York: 60
Boston: 52
DC: 61

LA: 85

I am currently sitting at the beach. It is October 22, and I am at the beach, working on my CivPro outline and doing some reading. There is wireless on the beach as well. With Sunday traffic, the beach is a 5 minute drive from my house. There are lots of people here too. And lots of girls who distract me from my reading.

I live a tough life.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

My fifth grade sense of humor

At the gym today...
Two strangers working out next to each other.

Person 1's T-shirt: "Bruins are forever, but a Trojan is only good once."

Person 2's T-shirt: "I always keep my Trojans close."

Friday, October 20, 2006

"All morons hate it when you call them a moron"

Yesterday was Thursday, the usual night of law school debauchery. I went out and I almost got into a fight with a 1L.

I was sitting around talking to some people, and I did have some alcohol in my system by this point. There was a 1L near me, and he normally in law school is as straight-edge as they come...dressed well and polite. But last night, he got drunk and started saying some things involving women and racial minorities that shocked even me. I will not repeat these things here, but it is suffice to say that he believes that women serve only one purpose, and that there is no use for minorities. I told him to can it, and had I not been worried about how me punching out a fellow law student would look when I'm sitting for the Bar, I would have totally decked him. At least now, I, along with the bunch of law students who heard him, know who he really is, despite his appearances otherwise.

I've written about this previously. Some people get on me for instinctively shooting from the hip. But I think that shooting from the hip is much better than pretending to be someone you're not.

P.S. 100 bonus points for you in my book if you know what 20th century novel, standard in high school curriculums across the country, the title of the post is from.

Sense and sensibilities

So, after the facts are out, here's my take on the whole Moot Court thing.

Do I think Moot Court intended to be racist?

Do I think Moot Court tried (but failed miserably) to be funny?

Do I think Moot Court was wrong nonetheless?

The original problem, as posted my matthewb, shows a amateurish attempt to be funny, but they totally misjudged that the problem would be offensive. The Moot Court executive board is composed of 3Ls, and the problem showed a lack of professional judgment that they will need in their high powered litigation firms that many will undoubtedly join in less than a year. I'm a firm believer in personal responsibility, so to be negligent in writing up a problem and not thinking about the potential reaction it would cause is unbecoming of any responsible adult.

Even if the harm was unintentional, the Moot Court offended common sensibilities by using typical stereotypes of Mexicans, a bad situation anywhere, but compounded by doing so in a state where Mexicans will soon constitute an absolute majority.

I'm glad that Moot Court apologized and revised the fall problem. Again, I think that the whole uproar here was caused largely by the Dean for informing all 1,000 students about it--but I understand that it was the politically correct thing to do and for the need of the Dean to cover his own rear end.

I'm also grateful that UCLA is still more laid back than most schools, and most people here just gave a shrug to the entire situation. The few vocal ones have calmed down, and I'm happy we're back to laid-back SoCal sensibilities, and that a UT-like reaction has not occurred,

Concluding thought...
So, after the offending 3L Moot Court executive board realized that their problem set caused problems--after they were called out by students, faculty, and the Dean himself--what do you think was their immediate first reaction?

Was it "Oh, geez, I'm so sorry that I've offended people with these insensitive remarks. How do I go about making amends"?

Or was their immediate gut reaction, "Crap, I hope my 2L summer employer doesn't find out about this and revoke their offer?"

Quote of the day

[1L #1]: Perhaps you should ask [Prof] to hook you up with [hot girl].
[1L #2]: The day I need [Prof's] help in getting a girl, I might as well move to a monastery and become a monk.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The original

The original, offending Moot Court problem has been posted on matthewb. Since all the facts are out now, I will do a commentary on my take of the whole situation later on today.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Can't we all just get along?

So the situation here escalated a little bit today. People are getting a little bit more belligerent, and I think this was a whole Dean-induced blowup. Without the email to the entire school, some of us (including me) would not have known about the whole thing, and it's gotten bigger as a result of him bringing it up. I do understand why he had to address it though as part of his "deanly" duties.

So, there are basically two arguments floating around. I'm not going to address specifics since I don't know the entire story, but just assorted bits and pieces of hearsay. From my understanding, today an anonymous person wrote a letter to some minority leaders/SBA basically saying for them to not make a big deal of the whole thing since it wasn't a big deal. And then of course, the minorities are not happy about the whole thing. And then there are the majority of the students who could care less either way just standing around watching this all occur.

Here I was thinking that moving to laid back Southern California would get me away from the craziness of the real world...

So, the school is currently divided (of those with an opinion) into the "Here they go again those Mexicans complaining and making a big deal" camp and the (multi-racial) "It is a big deal" camp. At least going to a school without AA, there is not the whole "you don't really deserve to be here like the rest of us" argument that will invariably be invoked in these types of situations by the unfortunate few.

And here's the best part...the argument is currently being played out on a blackboard. I will try to take a picture of it tomorrow if it is still up. Here at school, there's a blackboard near the main entrance that students use to announce events and post lost and found items. So, there is an argument going back and forth by anonymous individuals on a board. Sound familiar anyone?

I guess this can be expected placing a group of argumentative, opinionated, and (mildly) socially awkward people in a high school setting. Add a dash of rumor, conjecture, and gossip, and you have the uniquely American thing called law school.

[UPDATE: Thanks to the law student who graciously took a picture and sent it to me. Much obliged--you know who you are.]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Deja vu

Perhaps Texas and UCLA aren't so different after all.

The following is an excerpt of an email sent yesterday to all students by the Dean:

Dear Members of the UCLA Law Community:

One of the great strengths of our school is our diversity. Within our extraordinary student body and faculty are men and women from a variety of races, ethnicities, nationalities, income groups, religions, sexual orientations and ideological perspectives. One of the principal benefits of diversity is the opportunity for us to learn from each other. Part of this education is learning to see the world through another's eyes. This understanding of different viewpoints and perspectives is important for one to become an excellent lawyer; it is also important to become a good person.

Given our diversity, it is an unfortunate reality that from time to time members of our community will say or do things that will unintentionally offend or hurt one another. In the past week, we have experienced one such incident when the Moot Court Board created an exercise that included racial stereotypes and then compounded the problem by using a jocular tone. Understandably, many students were deeply offended that a formal law school academic activity would include undeniably offensive stereotypes.

Based upon our conversations with members of the Moot Court Board, I am convinced that there was no intent on the part of the Board to offend or belittle our students of Mexican heritage. I also believe that members of the Moot Court Board now understand and feel deeply sorry about the hurt that they have caused to their classmates. Indeed, to avoid this sort of situation from recurring, the Moot Court Board has suggested and I have agreed that future exercises will be read by a faculty advisor.

The facts are pretty clear. In some ways I guess this was less of a misfeasance (in torts speak) than what happened at UT. But in other ways, this was more of a problem, since this was done by the Moot Court, the most prestigious organization this side of Law Review, and Moot Court supposedly represents the school.

[You can see the (revised) Moot Court problem that caused all this mess here.]

Anyway, I just thought that it was amusing/troubling that something of a racially insensitive nature happened at two law schools a spot apart in the rankings and a week apart in time.

Quote of the Day

[Prof X]: "7-11s are different from restaurants because people who go to them go to buy 6-packs, and they go to them with several already in their body. But I wouldn't know myself."

Monday, October 16, 2006

I pass

Sorry for the lack of updates, but life has been busy. I've been working for the last two days on my legal memo, even though it is ungraded, but the professor wants a good-faith effort or else he will take points off the graded memo.

Today, I did what no one in my small section has done (Here at UCLA, we have two big section classes, a small section class, and the writing class). Because I had been working on my memo, I neglected to do the reading for my substantive classes. I was cold-called on today, and I said "I pass." Silence filled the room, as none of the 25 people in the small section had uttered those words in two months. I guess my section is just really studious, or they're pretty good at BS-ing their way through. The professor said "OK" and called on someone else.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The dark side

I've been here in LA for over two months now, and last night, I finally went over to the other school on the other side of town. I drove down with TheLadyFriend for an event.

The University of Spoiled Children wasn't as scary as people here in Westwood portray it to be, and I actually had fun. But I definitely still prefer Westwood.

And, yesterday was the first rainy day in two and a half months. I've been so spoiled being here that I almost forgot how to drive in the rain.

Friday, October 13, 2006


So here’s the promised piece on Proposition 209. For those of you who don’t know what it is, here’s a brief summary. Around 10 years, a measure was put on the ballot to end discrimination in CA public schools based mainly on ethnicity. Sounds good, you might think, to prohibit discrimination. Except the intended target was the UC system and to bar affirmative action in admissions. Everyone should be judged on their merits, went the argument. The proposition passed, and the UC system has since been prohibited from using affirmative action for admissions purposes. (UCLAW professor Eugene Volokh served as legal advisor to the drafters of 209.)

The result: minority enrollment in the UC system has gone down significantly and the majority of the students in the UC system are 1) Asians and 2) Whites. And law school at UCLA, the great majority of students look and act like me. (Last year, there was one black female in the entire law entering class.)

I have both positive and negative opinions about Prop. 209.

The Good:
Proposition 209 was democracy in action. A group of people saw something they didn’t like and worked to put the measure on the ballot. A subsequent majority of the voting population passed the bill, and hence democracy in action. I support 209 in so much as it fosters democratic principles.

The Bad:
The UC system is a public institution, and it should serve and reflect the public. (DUH!) Except the public in the State of California is 55% minority, and the UC system does not reflect the racial diversity of the people it serves.

Personally, my biggest problem with UCLAW is the lack of ethnic diversity. Most students here are white and come from (upper) middle-class families. I understand the argument that law school is in many ways self-selecting, and simply more white students apply to law schools. Fine. But, 209 has done the disservice of causing UCLAW to be way too homogeneous. Think about it: diversity (racial, political, social, etc) is inherently a good thing, and would you want to go to a school where everyone looked, acted, and thought like you? [BigNameUndergrad] was much more diverse, and I miss that component very much.

So, we are in law school and what do lawyers do when they see a law they don’t like? They either seek (1) to overturn it, or if not (2) to find loopholes around it, while still following the letter of the law. Berkeley and UCLA are the UC’s flagship campuses, and what we do, others follow. Boalt, instead of using race, has begun to use “socioeconomic” factors as an element in its admissions process, under the assumption that the poorer area you are from, the higher the chances of you being a minority. If your application states that you live in zip 90220 (South Central LA) and/or you went to high school with sub-50% graduation rate, chances are you are an underrepresented minority. And if your application states that you live in zip 90272 (Pacific Palisades) and/or went to a high school where 95+% went on to four-year colleges, you are most likely not an underrepresented minority. Through using this process, Boalt has become much more diverse while at the same time following the letter of 209. As much as 209’s writers hate it, there’s really nothing they can do (there are some whites in South Central LA), and a law prohibiting discrimination on socioeconomic factors would never pass.

UCLA has resisted doing that for a couple of reasons. The most cynical: UCLAW has jumped in the ratings, and eliminating the use of affirmative action has caused the overall GPA and LSATs to increase, and subsequently raising its all-important US News Ranking, in its futile quest to catch up to Boalt. But luckily, there has been enough outrage and protest at UCLAW recently that chances are, it will soon move towards the “comprehensive review” of Boalt.

One more bit of criticism of proponents of 209: They don’t like affirmative action, yet argue something strangely similar to affirmative action with regards to Asians. The undergrad populations at UCLA and Berkeley are both 50+% Asian, even though they represent only 12% of the general CA population. There are arguments that meritocracy should not be the only admissions factor for Asians, that there should be limits on Asian enrollments to avoid overrepresentation, and for the need of the UC system to reflect the CA population. Hypocritical argument, anyone? I'll give you a gold star if you spot it.

[Update: Based on some inside info, apparently 60% of applicants to UCLAW are admitted on numbers alone (LSAT+GPA) and only 40% actally gets sent to readers]

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Most memorable cases of all time

Lynch v. Rosenthal
396 S.W.2d 272 (Mo.App. 1965)
"Dr. Lytton, a qualified child psychiatrist, was a witness for plaintiff...that there are three classifications of subnormal mentality, to-wit: moron, low moron, and idiot; that plaintiff is a low moron; that the extent of his mental incapacity would be apparent to any normal person who might live around him."

U. S. ex rel. Mayo v. Satan and his Staff
54 F.R.D. 282 (W.D.Pa., 1971)
"[Plaintiff] alleges that Satan has on numerous occasions caused plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will of plaintiff, that Satan has placed deliberate obstacles in his path and has caused plaintiff's downfall...We question whether plaintiff may obtain personal jurisdiction over the defendant in this judicial district."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Where this goes I'm not sure

So, for those of you keeping track of my life outside of law school, I have begun to see a waitress from a local establishment on a semi-regular, yet non-exclusive basis. She, like perhaps most people working in the service industry in LA, is trying to get into acting. She recently graduated from a prestigious East Coast school and is smart, fun to be around, and understands the hectic life of a law student.

And she is good at some other things too.

Quote of the day

[Prof X]: "So you are a client and your opposing counsel is from...what is the best law firm you can think of?...let’s call it Big, White, and Rich, LLP."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

From the readers

Email from a reader:

“You’ve caused quite a stir among some of us in the 1L class with your blog. You do a good job of chronicling life here at UCLA law…So, who exactly are you?”


Come on, now. You’re going to have to do a lot better than that if you are to find out who I am. (Contrary to some things you might read on this blog, I’m not that easy). I’m not adverse to having people find me out, as I see it happening eventually, but they’re going to have to do their share of detective work and/or stalking to find me. I give enough hints and by putting everything together piece by piece, I'm sure one can slowly figure me out.

To the 1L who sent me this email: I know who you are, and I know you know who I am. Beyond that, you’ll have to use your sleuthing skills to find out who I am. Wasn’t my previous hint enough? Just look for a white, average, heterosexual, middle class male who looks 68% like Tom Hanks and 59% like Justin Timberlake. Shouldn’t be too hard.

I’ll give you two more hints, personality-wise.
1. Like all bloggers, I’m at heart an introvert. I do play the whole socializing bit and the whole networking thing that law students are taught, but at the end of the day, I’m value my alone-time. Bloggers, by definition, feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts with the computer.
2. While some of my exploits are exciting and some of my opinions are perhaps controversial, I don’t think I’m that different from everyone else. Most law students I’m sure have just as crazy if not crazier exploits and opinions, but are too embarrassed/modest/PC to share them. I’m no different than most, except that I’m completely honest about everything.

OK, that’s all the freebies I am going to give. You will have to do your detective work to find out the rest.

Quote of the day

[Prof X]: “Discovery is like sex. You can talk all about it until you are blue in the face, but the only way to really learn about it is by actually doing it.”

Following Harvard

Sorry for the lack of updates, but I've been swamped trying to catch up with the work I ignored this weekend when I went home.

But here's an interesting NYT article: Harvard Law Decides to Steep Students in 21st-Century Issues

Basically, Harvard Law is going to change its curriculum and shrink the contracts/civ pro/etc traditional 1st year curriculum and add classes on international law, legislation, and problem solving. It is good development I think, since the law school curriculum has been pretty much unchanged for many years, and needs to change with the times. And because Harvard is the arbiter of legal education, law schools generally follow Harvard's lead.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A former life revisited

So, I left for [hometown] Friday after class and it helped me clear my head. Two and a half days where I turned my cell phone off and two and a half days of absolutely no law school related stuff. I don't really go back to hometown much- maybe once a year at the most, but I loved absolutely every moment of it.

Back in [hometown], I saw lots of people from my previous life, and it was great. I saw my high school sweetheart (everyone has a particular fondness for their high school gf/bf). She is currently married and has a kid, and that made our time together totally not weird. In high school, I was an athlete and she was a cheerleader (I know, a rare combination), but for various reasons, she didn't/couldn't leave after graduation whereas I was lucky and/or talented enough to leave hometown for [BigNameUndergrad]. It's amazing to see how our paths have diverged simply from this experience alone, and it was great catching up with someone who I cared for at one point and who I hadn't seen since the summer of my freshman year in college.

Apparently, my visit was a big deal for lots of people, and "[WOTF] is coming back home" was the talk of the neighborhood. I saw other old childhood friends, the majority of whom are working dead end jobs or barely scraping by, and many people kept remarking how I "made it." ("I can't believe old [my name] boy is at law school at UC-f---ing-LA" was a line I heard probably a dozen times this weekend.) It reminded me again of how far I've come in the six years since graduation from [Hometown] High School. While there's no way I would go back to [hometown] after law school, the trip reminded me that [hometown] will always be a part of me.

It was almost like the experience in Sweet Home Alabama, the chick flick I was once made me watch. Except for the whole Alabama thing.

So, that's my sappy story of going home. A weekend of no casebooks or outlines or briefs (or blogging for that matter) was great for my mental sanity.

And now back to law school reality.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


1. Quote of the day:
[Prof X]: "The lesson of the case is, don't take cocaine."

2. Baseball playoffs have been crazy so far. For those of you who haven't seen the LA double play against the Mets where two runners get tagged out at home plate on the same play, I highly suggest you look at it. Very entertaining. It has been replayed over and over again here in LA.

3. I'm heading off this weekend to [hometown], so I might be taking a blogging sabbatical. I need to take a break from law school, and what better way than going back home to my room that hasn't changed in 15 years. Back to a time where life was simpler, where I would have cookies and milk in my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one-piece pajamas and then head off to bed and have my mommy wake me up to go to school.

4. I'm off to bar review...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The reasons

After thinking it through, I think I have narrowed down the three reasons why my current relationship status is "It's complicated."

1. I've never had much trouble before law school in the relationship department but I never was the alpha male either. But the self-selection of the guys who go to law school has suddenly eliminated many of the alphas. Gone are: 1. guys who, while cute and funny, (to put it kindly) do not have the intellectual stamina for law school, 2. the varsity athletes in college who have now gone on to professional sports, 3. the other charismatic ones who go into the entertainment industry, and 4. the trust fund babies who don't need to go to school any more. And given the lack of social skills of many law students, my ability to make conversation, be (mildly) funny, and my in general being fun to be around is suddenly at a much higher premium than it was before.

2. Apparently, solely based on my status as a law student, re: the general public, I'm now what nice, doting grandmothers would consider a "good catch." (A grandma sitting next to me on the bus seriously tried to set me up with her granddaughter) So, in relation to the general public and the many cute undergrads here, law students (like med students) are a more prized commodity. Girls who wouldn't give this regular, white, middle-class, recovering frat guy the time of day before suddenly pay more attention, especially in light of (1).

3. For various reasons and also based on my recent history, I'm relationship adverse, at least in the traditional 'boy meets girl, boy dates girl, boy marries girl' sense.

So, hence my situation.

Clickers are fun.

For those of you who think state schools lack in resources compared to private schools, you will surely reconsider those views after this post. Sure, the law school isn't as fancy schmancy as other schools and that many fixtures in the building predate the Korean War. But we have something that many law schools don't have.


That's right. Or, as the manufacturer calls them, Personal Response Systems, kind of like the thing used on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for those ask the audience question. These clickers, as we call them, allow us to interact with the teacher.

I got mine for torts. And it works like this. Professor spends 10 minutes in class giving us multiple choice questions. We type in what our answer is, and the click transmits it to the teacher's computer, and the professor can see what we thought the correct answer to be and projects it for everyone to see (and guess who was the single student who choose B when everyone else choose C). For any of you looking for a break from the cold calling and the Socratic method, the Clicker will do wonders to brighten up the class [Sorry if I'm not doing a good job describing these clickers, but they're fun to use]

But knowing me, I will probably loose my clicker. Then, I will go from owing $40,000 to owing $40,050. And I will be sad by not being able to participate in the daily "Ask the 1Ls" segment of the show Tort Cases: Where Everyone Looses an Eye.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It's complicated

I've just changed my relationship status on facebook to It's Complicated because that's exactly how it is. Everyone who spoke at orientation who said that you will meet your future spouse at law school: you would not want to use me as your rule proof (more stuff I'm learning in law school!)

Enough said. I will not bore you with the details.

I am sometimes jealous of Lily over at LSV.

Reason #512 why I don't like Bush

President Dubya is in town today for four hours to attend some Republican fundraisers in Bel Air, basically in UCLA's neighborhood. Traffic in LA is bad enough already and his trip only made everything 100 times worse.

The drive from school to my house, a 1.5 mile drive, took 45 minutes today. Sitting in traffic for that long really made me dislike him even more.

Quotes of the day

[Prof X]: "I went to Yale so I don't know the law. I didn't go to Contracts or Torts either. But they still passed me."

"One day, I'm going to walk into class and talk about O.J. Simpson and I'll get blank looks. That's when I'll retire."

"Why will I never be a president of a university? Because the first thing I would do would be to cancel the football team and make it intramural."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Yeah, I'm smart

Today I woke up for my 9:00 class as usual. I'm sitting in the room wondering why no one is there. 9:00 passed, and I'm still the only one sitting there.

Apparently, today was Yom Kippur, and the 9:00 professor is Jewish and had cancelled class. And apparently he had made many announcements during the week about it, but I happened to miss all of them.

Tarnished Yankees

So, in light of what happened yesterday with the revealing of Clemens and Pettitte as "performance-enhancing drug" users, my opinion of the Yankees dynasty has definitely dimmed. Of the players on the Yankees teams, Clemens, Pettitte, Grimsley, Giambi, and Sheffield are all now linked to aforementioned drugs. That has to be a record of players on any one team. Makes you wonder how many of those AL championships and World Series were won as a result of cheating.

Baseball playoffs are still starting tomorrow, and I still think the Yankees have a good team. They have simply lost my respect a little bit. A series of current and former players linked to drugs. A manager (although great) who at the very least tolerated it, if not promoted it. A manager who defended Clemens after beaning Piazza in the head for hitting too many home runs off of him and subsequently throwing a shattered bat at him. A former Yankees trainer who has been linked to the Clemens and Pettitte scandals.

But anyway, playoffs are beginning tomorrow. I am excited.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

SoCal Law Schools

So, I was ran into someone last night who had come to the bar after taking her LSAT that morning. And being the nice guy that I am, with no ulterior motive whatsoever, I talked to her about Southern California law schools. Here is a brief overview for any prelaws out there reading this:

In SoCal, there are basically two top law schools: UCLA and USC.

UCLA is better in three main regards:
a) it's the highest ranked school in LA/SD
b) it's cheaper
c) it's in a better neighborhood

I will admit that USC has a better alumni network, but I'm not sure it's worth paying $11,000 more.

After that, there is Loyola, Pepperdine, and SD, all of which are solid law schools that will land you a decent law gig in SoCal. You're going to work a bit harder to get jobs, but they're respectable schools.

Then below them are various third and fourth tier schools that I would recommend against if at all possible, even if they are offering you fat scholarships. If those are your only options, I would focus on retaking and kicking butt on the LSAT. The decks are staked against you should you do wind up going to any one of them.

Below them are a scary bunch on non-accredited law schools (i.e. People's College of Law). DO NOT, UNDER ABSOLUTELY ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, GO TO THEM. These schools exist because California, unlike most other states, allow graduates from non-ABA accredited schools to sit for the bar. Few graduates from these schools pass the CA bar (Current LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a proud PCL graduate and has failed the CA bar four times), and those who pass basically wind up hanging up their own shingle. If these schools are your only options, study, study, and study some more and retake the LSAT. You will be much happier.

I am shocked

So, there is word out that Roger Clemens used "performance enhancing drugs."

If this were true, I would be absolutely stunned. Are you telling me that a 44 year old pitcher doesn't throw heat naturally? That, simply because of his intense workouts, he has been able to do what no other 40+ year old pitcher has done in the history of baseball? That, by defying the laws of physiology, he has been able to throw faster as he grew older? That his fellow Texan and workout buddy, Andy Pettitte, just happened to be implicated as well?

Absolutely shocking.