Monday, January 31, 2005

Maturity... It's Overated*

So, I'm reading a case about a statute where protestors can't approach patients within 100 feet of the door of a health-care facility (obviously trying to stop, among other things, harrassing abortion protestors at abortion clinics), and Justice Stevens says that the statute "takes a prophylactic approach" to preventing harrasing patients1. This immediately created the image in my mind of the abortion protestors being required to wear full body condoms (a la' "The Naked Gun"). The second wildly mature thought that entered my head was that "If the patients had taken a prophylactic approach, they wouldn't have to go to the clinic."

How can I be old enough to be in law school?

*You poopy-head
1Don't believe me, check it out at 530 U.S. 703, 729. Prophylactic is used not once, not twice, but thrice.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Job Search Update

I have a couple pieces of news regarding my job search. First, I've received a few more "We aren't hiring 1Ls" or "We aren't hiring very many 1Ls" rejection letters... But, yesterday, I also received a "non-rejection" letter. This particular firm isn't making any hiring decisions right now, but they are going to be hiring summer law clerks starting in the spring, and they want me to get back to them then. Although they did use the oft-used "we were very impressed with your resume/qualifications/head shot1," which smacks of form letter, it was accompanied by the statement "please contact us again this spring if you don't already have a job." I think they might actually be marginally sincere. We'll see.

The other news is that I spoke to my old boss yesterday, and he suggested that I consider starting my own patent agent mini-firm2 as a way of earning a little income during law school and keeping my patent-writin' chops up3. He even had a potential referral for me so I wouldn't have to start out trying to hustle for clients. I really don't know what to think about this suggestion. Part of me thinks it is a great idea because I could earn a fairly decent income without a huge time commitment4, but I would still have to make sure that it didn't interfere with law school. I'm going to law school to acquire the skills5 to be a lawyer, not to do exactly what I was doing in my old job, and if this took too much time away it might screw law school up, and tempt me to just quit completely.

Also, I don't know if I have the entrepreneurial spirit necessary to start my own business, at least not at this point in my life. And, I'm not sure that I have the resources to pull it off (I mean, I have the mental resources and experience, but not the capital). I don't really need much more than a computer, a printer, a phone, and access to a post office to do the work. But, there are other issues... like setting up a system to keep track of docketing, accounting, etc. Plus, I would probably have to get some kind of Malpractice Insurance6, which I'm guessing ain't cheap. Now that I think about it more and more, it may not be a good idea. Anybody else have any thoughts?

More later.

1What, you don't send in a head shot? How else do you get the hiring partner to say "God damn... he's smokin', we must hire him!"?
2Which, because it is referring to starting a law firm, must, by Federal Law, be referred to as "hanging out my own shingle."
3There's a chance that he may not have used this exact phrase
4Just as an example, if I only wrote one patent every other month, I potentially could earn half my salary that I earn at my old job, which is nothing to sneeze at.
5Actually, mostly just for the piece of paper that says "JD"
6Capital "M," Capital "I" for extra menace

Sad, Or Just Funny?

A description of a particularly weird case in my Criminal Law book has a footnote "link" to the CourtTV website. I think that's pretty funny. What's next? A link to an Ally McBeal fansite in Civil Procedure books... or streaming videa of old Perry Mason episodes?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I Don't Know and I Don't Care

Recently, I've been experience an extreme sense of apathy regarding law school. I still go to classes, and do the readings and everything... but I really don't care. I don't know if this is a temporary phenomenon1, or if this will be a permanent fixture, at least throughout this semester. I know part of it has to do with the fact that the novelty of law school has worn off... and another part has to do with finding my classes much less interesting this semester2. It also might be because classmates are much less animated in class nowadays3. I wouldn't care (no pun intended), except that I feel like I'm walking around with a permanent blank face and that I don't smile anymore. I like to smile. :) There, I feel better already. Well, I think this post has sufficiently trailed off into non-sensicalness... cheers. Enjoy the rest of your week.

1I sure hope so.
2More on this later, but for now I'll just say that I find Criminal Law terminally boring (partly subject matter, mostly because of the professor), and Property to be merely useless (but very entertaining/scary thanks to the professor).
3As an example, my classmates and I have more fun in an IM chat than paying attention and participating in class.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

You Sick Bastard

I love how I felt great throughout the entire semester break (except for a little cold right after Christmas... but I'm guessing that's mostly because of finals), and it takes me less than a week to get sick again (actually it took less than and day because I was starting to get a cough on the evening before the first day of classes). Now, because I feel sick, it is harder to concentrate and study, so instead of being ahead and comfortable during my second semester in law school, I am stressed and sick and not getting enough sleep. Nice.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Grades Torture

I think posting grades online is evil. It creates a race of mindless grade-checkers who must look online every few minutes to see if another grade has been posted. It is particularly cruel when, like Minnesota, they don't post all the grades at once, but rather post them as the grades come in from professors. No matter what grades you get, you die a thousand deaths until that last grade is posted.

For example, my first grade was in Torts, and I was pretty happy with it. But, because I still had three grades left to be posted, all I could think was "So I will have one good grade, and three horrible ones, and will still be in the bottom quarter and will never get a job and I should have never stopped working to come to law school." That is what happens when the grade is good. You just think your other grades must suck to drag you down.

But, when your grade is bad (or at least not as good as you'd hoped, like my Civ Pro grade), do you think, "Well, I'm sure my other grades will be good to bring me back up"? NO! You think "Great, now ALL my grades are going to be bad, and I'm going to have to be a volunteer public interest lawyer for two years just to get enough experience to maybe get hired for a low paying job1."

1 I in no way mean to insinuate that public interest law is a bad place to work, or that only poor law students end up working there... but for the purposes of this horror fantasy "volunteer (i.e. unpaid) public interest" was, financially speaking, about the worst job I could think of.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

... Strike Seven

I received my seventh rejection letter regarding my recent resume mailings for a summer clerkship. So far, all but one of the rejections have been from firms saying they aren't hiring 1L's, so they aren't *real* rejections.1 But I do have a couple outs now (going back to my stupid baseball analogy), and unless the heart of my order produces, I'm going be out of luck for this summer... then I'll have to scramble for doing slave labor2 for a law professor part time and falling back on being a waiter [*Shiver*] to pay the bills.

1 Seriously... they aren't real rejections. Stop laughing! Don't trample on my dreams!
2 Research! I mean legal research.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Beware the Beast

I am genuinely frightened of my Property professor... and she is this tiny, little old lady. I don't want to alarm anyone, but I think she is the little girl from "The Exorcist," but all grown up and without the exorcism.

Time to study Property. THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A Few Of My Favorite Words

I have a new favorite word thanks to our Con Law discussion regarding freedom of speech in schools. Inculcate1.

This is just one of the many words that are used in the legal profession to make lawyers, law professors, and now law students sound smarter and more important than they are.

My other favorite. Instrumentality. A six-syllable way of saying "instrument", which is itself a three-syllable way of saying "thing" or "that"2.

This is what I do instead of finishing my Property assignment at 10:30 at night. Did I learn nothing from last semester?

1Which, as you may recall is fancy-pants talk for "teach," or more cynically "indoctrinate."
2If you want to sound smarter, adding syllables is a great method. Try it. It also works for "utilize" instead of "use," or "impracticable" in place of "impractical," or the slightly more colloquial "that s**t ain't gonna work"

One Grade In

Back to the grind. Today is the first day of our second semester. I am actually prepared. However, I stupidly did not bring books for any of my other classes (which I have reading assignments for), so I have nothing to do before class, and this evening will be spent trying to read four assignments for tomorrow.

In other "news," one of my grades have been posted, for Torts. Thankfully, it isn't quite like my dream. In fact, I did quite well. Not awesome, but I'll take it. Supposedly I'll have at least one more in by the end of the week (Constitutional Law), then I get to play the waiting game for Civ Pro and Contracts (which I think will be my worst two grades... {knock on wood}). Yea, I love being judged!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Strike One... Strike Two...

I received two rejection letters in the mail today... just 3 short days after sending out resumes and cover letters to those firms, so I'm already behind in the count. Oh well, hopefully I can foul a couple off before bunting my way into an interview. I just need to get on base... heck, I'd even take a wild pitch or a passed ball1.

Crap, I see the firms are bringing in their All-Star relief pitcher to mow me down.

1In this metephor, a wild pitch is a hiring manager letting me have an interview as a goof, and a passed ball is a hiring manager giving me an interview by mistake.

Fricken' Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

It is finally Minnesota-like out. Today, it got down to 5 below zero, and I got to walk around in it. I had to go down to the law school and buy one of my textbooks (I got the rest at Barnes & Noble and saved a little coin), and it was fricken' cold. I also decided to go to the downtown Minneapolis library and get a library card (I already have one for the suburb I live in, but wanted to get access to the larger collection of the Minneapolis library). Bad idea. First, for some stupid reason the library doesn't open until Noon on Thursday's, and I was there at 10:30. Minneapolis is one city you don't want to be walking around on a "crisp"1 January day.

I also decided to try taking Minneapolis' new light rail home. I still have my student transit pass from last semester, so I figured "Why not?" The light rail has a kind of honor code way of paying fairs where they only check randomly to see if people have paid for tickets. I didn't get checked and when I got off the train, I looked at my transit pass and saw that it was only good for buses. So what started as an attempt to test ride Minneapolis' attempt to jump on the mass transit bandwagon ended up in me ripping off the city for $1.75. Oops! I don't feel too bad about it, because if I had known I just would have taken the bus like normal, and they wouldn't have gotten that $1.75 anyway.

I only have one more weekday before the start of my second semester of law school. I wish I had another week to sleep. Oh well, I'll sleep when I'm dead.

1Crisp is Norwegian for "Fricken' Cold"

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


I post about law school... no comments. I post about my job search... no comments. I write a short post about Randy Moss's fake mooning Green Bay fans (who, it turns out, *really* moon opposing players on their way out of town), and I get gobs of comments. Weird. Oh well, at least someone still reads my musings.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Give Me A Job... Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

I sent off some cover letters and resumes yesterday (I would have sent all of them, but my printer ran out of ink). I'm getting them off a little late (about 2 or 3 weeks late), so I hope I still have a shot. I think I should be fine, because if I were a law firm hiring partner, I wouldn't want to think about new young punks until after the New Year anyway, so then I'm really only a week late. Then, hopefully my three years of legal work experience will be enough to get a foot in the door. That is, if the hiring manager will read anything past the phrase "I am a first year law student at..."

Now I get to play the waiting game, at least until I haven't heard anything for a few weeks and then I call the firms to get rejected orally. I'll keep you updated as the rejection letters roll in. Yeah, rejections are fun!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Moon Over Lambeau

The Vikings shellacked the Packers and all is right in the Purple Pride-lands... but all anyone wanted to talk about (at least on the Fox post game show) was Randy Moss's fake mooning of the Packer fans after his second touchdown catch.

While I don't think this move was classy, I think the fake outrage over this by the Fox broadcasters was just as offensive as Randy's "outrageous" behavior. First, it's Randy Moss, what do you expect? Second, all of Howie Long's preaching about class would be more convincing if he wasn't busy running out the door to pimp himself in another Radio Shack commercial, and all the lambasting of this classless move (coming from Jimmy Johnson and Terry Bradshaw no less) also would be more convincing if it wasn't coming from a football broadcast with countless commercials for boner pills and their latest show, Who's Your Daddy? Classy indeed. Third, the "mooning" was done towards Packers fans, some of the most classless (read: drunk) fans in sports.

I'm sorry, but this was a football game, not a reading of a Voltaire novel. What kind of behavior did they expect? Perhaps I don't see the outrage because I'm a Vikings fan and I hate the Packers, but really is this really that big of a deal?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Who Are You To Grade Me?

Last night, I had a dream about grades. Actually it was more of a nightmare (or at least the lame "scary" dream that passes for a law school nightmare, much like the weekly bar review passes as a "social life" for law students, hardly adequate for the normal population, but for us it is enough). First, they gave me a piece of paper that said "Civ Pro A+, Contracts A, Constitutional Law A+, Torts A+++ (you really "battered" me with your awesome exam, I was "falsely imprisoned," I was so captivated by its brilliance." Just as I started to jump up and down they said... "Oh I'm sorry, you said your name was 'Unreasonable Man,' we accidentally gave you Reasonable Man's grades. Here's yours." And then they snatched the glory in my hand1 and replaced it with "Civ Pro B (barely), Contracts C, Constitutional Law A2, Torts C." Suck!

Then, in my dream, I go up to my Contracts professor and ask to go through my exam to see if I can pick up enough points to maybe squeak into a B. She tells me that she was very impressed with my exam, but unfortunately I got a 91 (which would be an A), and so did someone else, and for her exams if two people get the exact same score, she switches the digits, so we each get a 19! And instead of going through the exam, she starts holding up flash cards of minor celebrities asking me to identify them. "Oh, is that Henny Youngman or Abe Vigoda... I always mix those two up." When that fails to satisfy her need to torture me, she agrees to gamble for my grade. She will give me the A I deserve if I win a hand of 7-card Stud3, but when she deals my cards out, my up cards are 2369 (all different suits), and all of my down cards are either Uno cards or "See and Spell Elmo" cards. Arg!

I have weird dreams.

1And I swear, in my dream I heard the lady utter "Yoink"
2Because apparently even in my nightmares, my competitive personality can't even admit that I won't get at least one A.
3Of course, it couldn't be Texas Hold 'em, which I've been playing with my family all break long.