Monday, November 22, 2004

Huh? What Was The Question Again?

Apparently, the focus has shifted in classes from the professors1, to Spider Solitaire and FreeCell, and now to the Helicopter Game on which I don't completely get, because it isn't that fun of a game. I think the only reason it appeals to law school students is because of their Type A Personalities that must compete, COMPETE, even if it is just with yourself to get a better score.

I think that has been my favorite part about classes... if you're paying attention (which obviously most people aren't), you can pinpoint the exact moment when people think the class has become too boring. All you have to do is look for the "green felt" of a Spider Solitaire Game, or the Helicopter sliding along the tunnel, then you know class is going slow.

1If it was ever on them in the first place?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

That's What Dreams Are Made Of

I'm waaaaayyyyy behind on my outlining for finals, so last night I was up late outlining and reviewing Torts. Unfortunately, the side effect of studying Torts until late at night is that when you sleep, you have very vivid and generally violent dreams. I had dreams that I was being battered, that my wife experienced severe emotional distress because of it, that I was falsely imprisoning someone, but I was privileged to do so, and that my neighbor was setting up a spring gun "shotgun trap" at an abandoned farm house in Iowa that blew some guys leg clean away.

The worst thing about these dreams wasn't their macabre subject matter, but the fact that I was actually analyzing the stupid torts and defenses in my dream. So not only was I dreaming that I was getting battered by some random stranger, but in my dream I was thinking "Does this perpatrator have the necessary intent... Is he swinging that Louisville Slugger for the purpose of causing a harmful or offensive contact with my person or did he know to a substantial certainty that such contact would occur, and thus it is a battery? Or is he just carelessly taking a Sammy Sosa stance and swinging the bat in an area that just happens to be occupied by my head, in which case it is only negligence?"

It's seeping into my dreams now! Arggh!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Rock On!

"Don't Stop Believing" by Journey is one of the awesomist1 songs ever! It's also one of the suckiest. How is that possible? Anyway, it's awesomness is only increased when you are listening to it while rewriting a memo for Legal Writing. Man, you haven't lived until you've listened to Glam Rock/Hair Bands while you are writing about contract satisfaction clauses. *I'm on a midnight train going... Aaaa-Neeee-Whereeeeeee!*

As you can see, it also makes you a little loopy. C'est la vie! Viva la law... er something.

Sorry for the lack of posts... I was told my a classmate that I need to write more funny stuff on here so she has stuff to read during Torts2. Too much pressure!... now I have to make someone else laugh besides myself. Alright, back to the memo, since I'm almost done. Joy!

1It's soooo awesome that you can make up brand new adjectives to desribe its awesomeasity... or scrumtrulescence.
2That's right... I have a regular reader besides my wife.

Monday, November 15, 2004


I haven't read the story... but here is an unfortunately worded link headline on (not the headline on the actual article... but the headline on's homepage), Cheney has cold: heart is fine.

If you're like me, and you believe The Onion and The Daily Show are the only "true" sources of news... you read this as "Cheney has cold heart, is fine." which is, of course absurd. wouldn't admit that Cheney has a cold heart would they? And they certainly wouldn't insinuate that he is so attractive to be considered fine? Surely not. But that doesn't mean I didn't start laughing when I saw it.

Update: The link headline got pushed to the Politics page because of the resignation blooletting of Powell and 3 other cabinet members that is occuring in the Bush administration.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Law School Dropout

"...No graduation day for you."
Beauty School Dropout - Grease

Earlier this week, I learned that we had the first confirmed dropout in our section. I knew this was inevitable, but I didn't think this would bother me as much as it did. The guy said that he decided to quit because he didn't like where law school was leading him. I can respect this decision, but it really bothers me that because of the way law school is set up this person has decided to abandon the reasons he went there in the first place.

This is just a guess, but I'm betting that the drudgery of law school1 led him to believe that this is what all law practice is going to be like2... and that is just sad. I think the reason this bothered me so much is our dropout was one of the truly unique people in our class. I pictured him as a public defender or a working for a public interest non-profit organization fighting injustice in the world. It wasn't like we lost one of those arrogant pricks (you know the type, the guy who wore a tie during orientation, tells you about how great of a lawyer his daddy is, and at the begining of the semester told you that he is going to be first in the class) who you knew was going to become a cookie-cutter corporate attorney. In other words, I think when this guy decided that law school was not for him the profession was damaged because we didn't just lose another lawyer.

I hope this is only one of a few disappointments from law school, instead of one of many.

1And despite what some 1L's tell you (especially in the first month or so) law school has more than its fair share of drudge work.
2That isn't to say that law practice won't have its share of drudgery, but there is more to it than that.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Ahh Irony... A Britney "Best Of"

In an effort to get back to what is really important for America after the whole election... thing, today I am going to write about what is really important... pop music.
All I can say is, wow... what a sad statement for our society that Britney Spears1 is putting out a "best of" anything. If this is the best she can do... then she needs to pack it up and start making her white-trash family with her already white-trash hubby.

Hey Britney! "Best of" albums are for artists who have been around for longer than five years! Or at least for artists who have put out some truly kick ass music! Ex Mouseketeers don't count!2 Wow, I don't know where that rage came from... I guess law school is getting to me.

1 I'm sorry, Britney Federline... or is that marriage already over?
2Well, maybe they do if they are JT (that's Justin Timberlake to you) or Christina.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Moving On Up?

My school has a free blogging service which uses Typepad, and I'm thinking of migrating over. The problem is, the URL of my blog would include my username at school, which would mean I wouldn't be completely anonymous (probably already destroyed, because I don't exactly try to be too secretive). That wouldn't be too big of a deal I guess... I would just have to be sure not to make too much fun of my fellow students (who beg to be made fun of sometimes), my professors (ditto), and the administration of the school (DITTO!). So those of you who were smart and remained un-anonymous (nonymous?) or were "outed", do you feel constrained... do people take you to task for your blog... any negative side effects?

Also, would it be worth switching? I know Blogger is limited, but it has served its purpose well. Thanks for your help, in advance.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Burn Out

Damn... I've been out of school for so long, I've forgotten how to re-energize when you are starting to burn out. When I was working you didn't get a break, like you do with school, but if you were started to get burned out, and if it was possible, you'd leave work early one evening. Plus, for the most part, you aren't working evenings or weekends (like we pretty much have to study evenings and at least a little bit on weekends), so you do get evenings to recharge a little and weekends to recharge a lot.

So what do I do? Well, there's Bar Review1 tonight. But I've kind of fallen out of the drinking scene... particular the drinking to get drunk scene (but wait until my last final is completed this semester... then you'll see some drunkedness... it'll be hilarious). Any other suggestions? I can't believe I have to even think about this. Stupid law school.

1"What's bar review?" said the pre-1L in the back row. Well, "Bar Review" is a rotating tour of local alcohol-serving establishments in order for stress out law students to get sloppy at least one weeknight a week.

No More Politics (Yeah, Right)

This blog has strayed wildly from its stated purpose of writing about my law school experience, and instead has become more a blog about whatever strikes my fancy1, which, as you have probably noticed, has been politics and the recent election (*sigh*). So, hopefully this will be my last post about politics... at least until the mid-term elections.

I'll start with the most useless poll statistic ever, from "Just over half -- 51 percent -- of respondents said they were pleased with the outcome of the presidential election." Hmm... what was the percentage that Bush got in the election? Why, it's 51%! Did CNN really need to spend money on a poll to determine that one day after the election, the same percentage of people are happy with the result as voted for the winner? Der!

Also from the CNN article "80 percent of respondents agreed with Kerry's decision to concede the election." This is something I actually agree with. Sure it might have been mathematically possible for the provisional and absentee ballots to push Kerry over the top, but it wasn't realistically possible. It was also mathematically possible for me to get into Harvard or Yale Law School, but it was only really possible if I had a father (or mother, or grandparent) who donated large chunks of money to the endowments or was a senator, or prominent, politically connected member of a rich oil family (no wait, that's if I wanted to get into Yale undergrad or Harvard Business school... sorry, my bad). And I don't think it would be worth it for the country to go through another recount and inevitable court challenge over the possibility that Kerry could take over Ohio... especially since he still wouldn't have won the popular vote, and I'm sure that would have gone over well in GOP land (probably about as well as it went over in Dem land in 2000).

Finally, the article says that 38% of people were upset with the election's outcome. I was one of them. But I suspect I am upset for different reasons than many democrats (I'm assuming they are democrats) in that 38%. Sure I'm upset because the candidate I felt was better didn't prevail... but I can get past that (I have no choice, I have to get past that... Bush won, and will remain President, that's that). But what I am really upset about is:
1) The Democrats did not effectively convey the problems with Bush (they tried... but they sounded like attacks always sound in elections, mean spirited and hollow) and the advantages of Kerry (again, they tried... but they were caught in the mudslinging game and were having to spend more time defending against ridiculous GOP attacks than in promoting Kerry's strengths, which despite what the Bush campaign told you, are legion). We will be hearing for months about how the Dems screwed this campaign up. But I think the biggest reason is we couldn't convey to the average, undecided American what seems obvious and apparent to me and my Democratic friends2. If anything good comes out of this election for Democrats, it will be learning that we really are out of touch with a large portion of America (so are the Republicans... but I don't care if they learn their lesson).
2) Once again many Americans chose style3 over substance4. I am sure that many, many people voted for Bush because they truly believe that Bush has superior policies. I am not talking about these people. I am talking about the people, whether they ended up voting for Bush or Kerry, who didn't really think about the election, but rather believed the attack ads, or voted because they thought one of the candidates connected with them better. I have, and always will, think this is the worst reason to vote for a president5. Would the absence of this unthinking public, or their choosing a candidate based on real information rather than "I like him" have made a difference in this election. I don't really know. I would like to think so... but I really would have liked to have found out.

Hopefully the next four years will be better than the last four. I'm looking forward to the Bush (Jeb)-Powell vs. Clinton (Hillary)-Obama race of 2008. Good times.

P.S. Sorry about all the footnotes6.

1Is that even a phrase? And if so, is it a phrase that heterosexual men have generally used since 1884?
2 Which is that Bush has made the economy worse for middle-class and poor Americans and he has mortgaged much of our economic future with his tax cuts, and he has made the world, or at least America, less safe with the mismanagement of the war on terror, so that we now have more terrorists pissed at us than before Iraq
3If you can call what Bush has "style"
4If you can call what Kerry has "substance"
5The second worst is you like their hair, third worse is because you like the "cut of their jib," and fourth worse is "eeny meeny miney mo... I voted for 'Mo'"
6Oops! I did it again... there's another one

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


That is all.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Today is November 1, and in 1L land that means it is the first day that career services can officially talk to us (I'm not really sure who says so... but that's the rule)... because of this, instead of sitting in the library finishing up my reading for the week so that I can work on my open memo without large amounts of stress, I am forced to sit through this 2-hour monstrosity of Career Services indoctrination1. Luckily, I have no shame in being a bad audience member and using this time to outline or even read2.

Part of this job extravaganza was a panel of 2L's talking about what they did last summer. Here is a breakdown of these people:
- Didn't do anything guy - this is the guy who for whatever reason didn't really try to get a legal job for the summer, and instead traveled around Europe. While I have loads of jealousy of this guy... I know that this isn't realistic, or smart
- Job in big firm woman - this is the lucky woman who got a paying clerkship in one of the BigLaw firms here in Minneapolis3... this is the person that everyone admires and hates at the same time
- Took some classes guy - He couldn't get a full time job (not unprecedented, so no judgment against him), so he took classes over the summer instead.
- Save the world woman - there were actually two of these (both women), one who wanted to work in non-profit environmental law and one who worked for a California state representative who did work in human trafficking (at least I think that is what she said). I have no problem with this kind of person... but I also can't hear them speak without my eyes involuntarily rolling up into my head
- Just happened to get a job guy - this is the guy who put all his eggs in one basket, sent out like one resume and hit the jackpot. I would have been jealous, but it was a job that didn't sound interesting to me (a clerk with a U.S. Attorney in Fargo, N.D.)
- Legal research for professor girl/guy - there were a few of these. This seems to be the default. Cheap labor to fuel the professor's academic careers.

Update: Immediately after leaving the presentation, I actually saw a line of people to sign up for the Career Services 1-on-1 counseling. I'm not saying this counseling isn't important (in fact, it would be infinitely more useful than this presentation) but I don't think you need to rush to sign up for slots, when there are more then enough slots for every 1L. I just don't understand some people.

Update 2: Matt had a similar experience at SLU... only those lucky bastards got free food! I had to bring in my own lunch (read: leftover Halloween candy [Mmmmm... candy]). Well crap, My school sucks.

Update 3: FalconRed had yet another similar experience in NY... only he got free wine and cheese. Damn, for a top 20 school, Minnesota can be cheap sometimes. Also, Falcon got an iPod... I am so jealous... Oh yes, it will be mine!

1Which in turn means that I have that much less time to finish my reading and memo. Thanks for removing my stress.
2And a quick glance around the room confirms that I am not the only such student.
3BigLaw here in Minneapolis is not the same as BigLaw in NYC, L.A., Chicago, D.C, etc. but there are still some pretty big law firms here

A Giant Speaks

"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton

Although "giant" may be a stretch in describing Mike at Wings & Vodka (giant in the blawging world sure, but I don't know how giant in law school studies), I think it is important to listen to our law school "elders" when they give us advice (we are free to disregard it, but we should listen first). Anyway, Mike took a break from his normal hilarity to give some advice on studying for finals.
What I suggest is this: Pick one class, right now, that you're going to freak out about the least. Torts is good for this, criminal law is better. Both lend themselves to issuespotters that rely a lot more on in-exam performance than acquired knowledge of cases and concepts. Tell yourself that you're going to finish the basic reading for that class, but that you're going to limit your extra prep to the two or three days before the exam. Then use that extra time to read two novels. Fiction is good for this, science fiction is better. Read whenever you feel like you're starting to freak out, whenever you feel like exams may determine your worth as a human being. Do this, and I guarantee you'll lower your stress level by some significant percentage. Something like seven. Seven percent.

I like this advice. I'm not sure I'll follow it, mostly because I think fear will set in (like it has to just about every law student since the beginning of the Socratic Method). But we'll see.

Benefits of Homeownership

We learned one of the unsung benefits of homeownership last night... extra Halloween candy. We didn't know how many kids to expect because it is our first year in this house, and because our neighborhood is mostly young people who don't have kids... but we didn't want to have too little candy. Long story short, we ended up with a lot of extra candy.

I don't know why mortgage companies and real estate brokerages don't sell this aspect of homeownership more. It seems to me like it belongs right up there with "Stop giving money to your landlord... give it to YOURSELF!" I guess I'll never understand business.