Saturday, April 28, 2007

Last post before finals

The most recent rumor that has been spreading high-school style around here is that one of the junior faculty members who some 1Ls had this year will be leaving soon (the circumstances are unclear, but it probably has something to do with his/her lack of publishing). From those who've had him/her, I hear that many 1Ls thought he/she was a pretty good professor.

While of course teaching is important, so too is publishing for any big name law school. Nor is it really the place for students to second-guess administrative decisions, as long as the decisions are rational and not based on animus (RBT!).

The way I see the story as it was told to me is that I'm sure the professor knew what he/she was getting into when he/she took a job here, and knew the requirements for tenure. That he/she did not follow the requirements can not be blamed on the school. The analogy is when someone goes to a big firm and knows the billable requirements. But when he gets there, he decides that he will only bill 1/2 the required hours. When he gets in trouble for the lack of billing, one of the defenses is that he had great rapport with the clients.

Rankings, whether rightly or wrongly, are big for law schools, and faculty prestige is one major component in determining one's rank, and generally the more one's professors publish, the higher the rank. Rather than questioning the unfairness of the situation, the 1Ls should ask "would I still go to school here if the rankings were suddenly to drop?"

Instead of directing ire at the Dean, they should make a campaign to USNWR to incorporate faculty teaching as a component in calculating rank. That's the only real way you'll get schools to value teaching as much as they do publishing.


A new admit found my blog, and had some questions for me. He couldn't make to new admit weekend, and he couldn't really find that much info about the school in any of the online discussion forums.

I thought about his question. I remember when I was applying last year, I too didn't find that much info online about UCLA. On the usual discussion forums, there were lots of posts devoted to other schools. And with a combined student body of 1,000 it obviously isn't because we're a small school. (See some trouble a Boalt student got into recently by posting online.)

I think my answer to the question after having been here a year is that overall we enjoy school here not to gripe about it; and when we do gripe, we don't do it stuck indoors behind a computer screen.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

That time of the year

Done with classes, doing the last minute cramming before finals. Don't expect much posting from me between now and 5/14.

Law review results also came back:
To those of you who made it on and are sincerely interested in the intellectual pursuit of law (I suspect about 3 of you): I congratulate you and hope that law review provides you with intellectual stimulation you are looking for.

To those of you who made it on and are doing so solely for resume and prestige value (I suspect the other 30): enjoy the additional 20 hours a week of citechecking, plus trying to keep up the GPA.

To those who didn't make it on: nothing about you has changed, and you gave the writeon process your best shot. This does not diminish your abilities as a person or your potential as a lawyer. There's lots of other extracurricular opportunities in the other 12 journals here and countless other organizations and clinics that you can contribute substantively to. Limit the writeon to its facts: it tested your ability to write in six days, and not your writing overall. Like firms, law review has no inherent prestige, but rather, only the prestige that we give it. Construct your law career based on what you want, and not be miserable doing something you don't like doing (see infra).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Another one bites the dust

Someone I know up until yesterday was working as a Biglaw associate. Yesterday, he quit. And he sent a bunch of us the following email.

I made $140,000 last year. I billed 2,100 hours. That comes out to $66.66/hr (Do you think this number is a coincidence?) In addition to billing, I was probably in the office an additional 700 hours in non-billables. So, $140K/2800 comes to exactly $50/hr.

A list of other jobs where people earn more than $50/hr:
1. Doctors (except lawyers are bad at science, can't stand the sight of blood, and many of us are failed pre-meds in the first place)
2. I-bankers (except lawyers are bad at math, which is why we're lawyers and not I-bankers)
3. Strippers, male and female (except most lawyers are ugly, and couldn't have a successful career stripping)
4. Crack whores (except lawyers feel they're too good to be screwed by anyone, which is why we only let ourselves be screwed by partners and clients)
5. Contractors in Iraq (except lawyers don't like to be shot at and would wet their pants if they were airdropped into Iraq)
6. Waiters at good restaurants (except lawyers feel we're too good to be taking orders from strangers and will only do so from partners and S&M dominatrixes)
7. Plumbers (I paid $200 for a plumber to spend 15 minutes to unclog my sink--lawyers feel that we're too good to be doing menial jobs with our hands that don't involve jerking off in the firm bathroom)
8. Working for google (except most of us weren't technical majors and instead were English majors, which is why we're not working for google now)
9. Drug dealers (except most of us have a nasty coke habit we can't break and would snort away all our merchandise to be a good dealer)
10. Law firm clients.

Anyway, I just quit. And lots of the other associates were jealous. If a partner at WLRK, the biggest baddest firm in the universe, recently quit to become a social worker, you know that I'm not making that bad a choice.

He is on a flight right now to Peru. Anyway, I found his email to be encouraging advice for law students who are now in the midst of finals, as we get a glimpse of the light awaiting all of us at the end of the law school tunnel.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Quote of the day

"It'd be so much easier if I could just sleep with the professor like I did in college. Damn anonymous grading."

-stressed out (but opportunistic) 1L

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Sorry for the lack of posts, but the end of classes and the beginning of finals is among us, and I need to learn the law so that I don't fail out of law school (OK, due to grade inflation no one fails out here, and instead gets a C+). This is after all, a law school blog, and it wouldn't be much of a blog if I fail out of school.

Doing my studying, I am eating a pack of trail mix. According to the packaging, the product is a product of "USA and/or Canada and/or Argentina and/or Brazil and/or India and/or Africa and/or Australia."

1. How can a manufacturer not know where their product is from?
2. I'm glad to know that my trail mix is from the country of Africa.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


So far up to now, my perceptions of other people are based on what they say in class. If someone consistently passes, I figure they're just not the brightest bulb in the barrel and/or just lazy. The people who consistently say some smart things lead me to view them as the next Learned Hand.

But recently, there has been a spate of oral arguments, mock trials, moot court, and other related oral advocacy things here at school that has definitely led me to see some people in a different light. Some people who don't say the smartest things in class have redeemed themselves by being to kick the butt of people in oral advocacy.

What's the scariest word to a HLS educated, Order of the Coif, Law Review Editor-in-chief, SCOTUS clerk and legal posterboy?


Specifically, a jury trial.

Even more specifically, trial with a jury of your peers.

Because at least in LA, NY, DC, and most other places in America, a jury of your peers consists of black/brown/poor/hates lawyers/couldn't make an excuse to get excused from jury duty, and stories abound of smooth-talking lawyers from unaccredited law schools (or better yet, one who didn't even go to law school--in CA, you can become a lawyer if you do a kind of apprenticeship and then take the bar) kicking the butt of the legal posterboy.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Car update

So, the BBB figured out that it was probably cheaper and less of a hassle to settle with me than deal with the insurance company and explain to them how she was talking on a cell phone, did not spot a red light, and did not see a stopped car in front of her.

So, I did what any good honest lawyer-in-training would do and went to the nearest car body shop to get an estimate. Of course, given UCLA's location, the nearest car body shop happened to be close to Bel Air, and the resulting estimate defiantly included the expected Bel Air markup.

And BBB just wrote me a check to cover the estimate. I guess I'll have to fix my brake light. But I'm going to 1) fix my brake light at a much cheaper mechanic and 2) leave the dent in the bumper there.

And I'm going to take the differential and spend it on something that gives me more joy than having a new bumper: Alcohol.

I hope I get hit next time by a Ferrari (a.k.a. car for people with a small insecurity). I wonder what I'll get as a settlement for that.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Another first today since law school...

I was driving my [name of cheap car] today as any good Californian does to go anywhere...whether it be to the supermarket or down the block to the In-N-Out. I'm sitting at a stop light rocking out to Chris Daughtry (that was what the radio station happened to be playing, I swear), when I hear a screech and feel my car jolt. That's right, someone just rear-ended me. And they just rear-ended a law student. Waited for the CHP to come to do a report and traded the insurance info. We'll see how it turns out. Don't worry though, my car is fine, with only a dent in the rear bumper and a busted tail-light, while the other car had worse damage than mine.

I was taught to drive a long time ago back in [hometown] (that's for you, L.Z.) by a rather crude uncle. His first lesson to me, given to me before even buckling my seat belt, was that there's three kinds of drivers you can't trust. "Black cars, BMWs, and blondes" as he eloquently, yet crudely, said. The three Bs as he used to call them.

And guess who hit me today....

A typical L.A. blonde lady driving a black BMW. While talking on a cell phone. I kid you not.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Dear firms:

The Starbucks cards I got during recruiting season have been depleted. Please put more in my mailbox. And not fancy highlighter-pen combos as they don't interest me. Starbucks cards are the way to my heart.


Sunday, April 08, 2007


I just got an email from the "Customer Service Manager" (i.e. Paula Pepper--inside reference only UCLA 1Ls will get) apologizing for the "technical delay" that occurred during the processing of my refund, and offering me a discount on my next purchase. Funny how technical delays coincidentally get fixed the same time a formal sounding legal threat is issued.

But that's the way the world works I guess. I'm in law school so that I can provide $350/hr legal help to millionaires and billionaires draft threatening letters and motions, and those (a.k.a most everyone else) who can't afford my $350/hr legal advice will have to wait around hoping that the technical delays resolve themselves.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Return on investment

The second time law school has paid off. See instance #1 here.

I recently bought something online and I decided to return it. I followed through on my part, but the company was not being very responsive and violated the refund terms of their sales agreement.

So, I wrote them a formal-sounding email. As opposed to my encounter with the California Highway Patrol where I attempted to apply principles of Con Law that I hadn't yet learned, I actually knew stuff about contracts. The email used fancy lawyer words like "breach", "violation", "goodwill", "bad faith", and threatening a lawsuit for "compensatory and punitive damages unless there is a prompt resolution of this matter." And I made sure to sign the email indicating my educational status and sent it from my law school email account.

And surprise surprise, I got a refund the very next day.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Best $3 ever spent

In elementary school, the best $3 I ever spent was on 8 packs of "quarter waters" (25¢ drinks made solely of sugar and artificial flavoring) and 20 pieces of 5¢ Bazooka Joe chewing gum. Drink and chew all of them together and you get a great sugar high.

In high school, the best $3 I ever spent was to put it in a pool to convince someone in the class to streak the school.

In college, the best $3 I ever spent was to buy a 40 on my way to class in order to cure me of the worst hangover I ever had. Hangovers happen when the body lacks alcohol and the best cure is to drink some more.

In law school, the best $3 I ever spent was for six balls to dunk one of my professors. He volunteered himself for the dunk tank today at the Spring Carnival, and there is no better feeling than dunking twice your trash-talking law school professor.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reason #263

Why law school is like high school...

(Something I've seen a lot of at school, and to my knowledge, none of the law school blogging community has written about, and I suspect this is not a situation unique to Westwood.)

The upperclassmen boys being with the 1L girls, while 1L boys aren't with upperclasswomen girls. Why is this? The classic reason in high school was that the upperclassmen boys were more mature than the underclassmen boys, and we all know that girls mature faster than boys. But in law school? I might be wrong, but I assume that the maturity level of 1Ls boys don't differ that greatly from the maturity level of 2L boys. Perhaps our social upbringing has ingrained into us the need for "lower" girls to date "upper" guys. (I've got a few of my own theories on why this is the case.)

Given the case, at least the 1L boys shouldn't feel as guilty and 1L girls shouldn't give 1L boys as much crap about checking out the pre-frosh 0Ls.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Useful email

From: "LSAC Candidate Services"
To: "The Fox"
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2007 17:21:09
Subject:A Message from Law School Deans
Please do not reply to this email. E-mail sent to this address cannot be answered.
Please contact us with your comments, questions, or concerns at
To Law school Applicants:

For more than a decade, the deans of more than 90% of American Bar Association-approved law schools have been offering advice about the shortcomings of numerical ranking schemes. Their most recent statement to law school applicants can be found at the LSAC website.

- - -

My thoughts:
1. Thanks. I'll take that into account when I apply to law school.
2. So 10% of deans like numerical rankings?
3. If the deans are so against rankings, make a blanket rule prohibiting schools from participating, and your problem will be solved.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Carraways and the Buchanans

While spring break occurred, some mighty important news transpired that affect all decisions made at every law school throughout the country. No, there was not another Supreme Court nomination. Nor did the ABA come out with any new guidelines.

Instead, the annual USNWR Rankings came out. Make no mistake about it, these rankings affect everything from faculty hiring to alumni donations to admissions decisions.

UCLA stayed at #15. No surprise. Same as last year.

Anyone reading this should know what the letters T14 stand for. And there's lots of talk about when the T14 will be broken up by the inclusion of one of the upstart law schools. Indeed, this year Georgetown and UCLA were separated by the smallest margin ever, and there is definitely a large segment of the school that thinks that it is inevitable that we will be up there soon. Regardless of whether we make it or not, obsession over being 14/15 is a waste of time.

If we make 14: It's the whole East Egg/West Egg situation played over again. Being ranked #14 won't make the East Eggers accept the West Eggers, as we will never be accepted as part of the 'old money elite' and will always be viewed of as the 'upstart' law school (we are the youngest law school by far among the top 30 schools in the country). We will forever be viewed as the school that focuses on entertainment law and not highbrow constitutional issues, and will simply be viewed as a non-T14er just sharing the same space as the T14 in a magazine column.

Personally, this is why, regardless what the magazine says, I don't believe that we will ever break the figurative T14. Because even if we do, people will simply eject us and Georgetown, and consider the "elite" to consist of only 13 schools.

But hey, USNWR has got to sell magazines, and drastically altering the status quo that has existed for the last twenty years and admit a upstart newcomer to fashionable East Egg will definitely help it sell.

P.S. 100 bonus points for who first identifies the reference in the title.


I know I'm back in L.A. when less than 2 hours after coming back, I see a car accident. Between a Lamborghini. And a Porsche.

How many other places in the U.S. have:
a) even a Lamborghini and a Porsche registered in town?
b) enough of them so as to make an accident probable?
c) people who can't drive/are careless enough with their 6-figure sports cars?

Anyway, good to be back.