Monday, February 28, 2005

Please Don't [Chris] Rock Me Tonight

Lots of talk in the law school today about Chris Rock on the Oscars last night.1 The main discussion seems to be focus either on how funny his opening monologue was (which I kind of fall into) or how inappropriate his jokes were about President Bush. I won't comment on the "controversy," but I do have some questions.

Why does everybody (blog author included) that repeats a joke Chris Rock tells, or quotes a Chris Rock character from a movie, automatically adopts the Rock's speech mannerisms (kind of choppy and yelly)? Why do we do that with come people (Shaun Connery also springs to mind), but not for others (who do you know that tries to sound like Warren Beatty)?

Why am I thinking about this instead of studying? All questions for the ages.

1Alright, that's a lie... there is a little tiny bit of talk about Chris Rock.

The Name Game (Cont'd)

With the flurry of comments (yes 3 comments constitutes a flurry on this blog) about my Property names, I will continue with a few more names I have come up with. These should be easier to remember, because they relate to what they stand for. Here we go:

Fee simple absolute shall henceforth be known as "cheap vodka"
Fee tail shall be known as (and I apologize for my crassness), "the cost of a prostitute"; and
Adverse Possession is now "Take it, it's mine"

In other news, this week will be hectic (first draft of big legal writing brief due Thurs., make up classes and piled on reading throughout, law school musical on Friday), so posting may be sparse.

That is all.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Same Old Song and Dance

If I never have to type the phrase "fee simple determinable followed by the future interest of a possibility of reverter" or "fee simple subject to a condition subsequent followed by the future interest of a right of entry" it will be too soon!

Can't these Property guys come up with catchier names that don't sound so fricken' similar? From now on, I will call "fee simple determinable followed by the future interest of a possibility of reverter"1 Steve, and I will call "fee simple subject to a condition subsequent followed by the future interest of a right of entry" Nebudcanezzar.

There, problem solved. Now I just have to convince my professor to accept these names when I write my final. Hmm... well, I have the whole semester to wear her down.

1Damn! Not again!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Sympathy for the (Recruiting) Devil*

WARNING: Ranting Ahead

Recruiting directors have way too much power, and they wield it with impugnity. I applied for a job at a firm here in Minneapolis that was going to hire 3 1Ls for this summer... but, alas, I didn't even get called for a screening interview. I can't really figure out a reason for this, since next to none of my classmates have the legal experience I do, and I have strong ties to the city (which is important to Minneapolis firms). The only reason I can think of for this would be my less than stellar grades1. So I guess grades do matter... at least when searching for a 1L summer job.

I still have a couple strong prospects for a job this summer... but this one really hurt. Oh well... life sucks sometimes.

*I've decided to try titling my posts after songs, and I am starting w/ the Rolling Stones because, well the Stones rock.
1Not bad grades, mind you, just not awesome.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Are We In The Wrong Profession?

One of the advantages of having a spouse that works for an airline is the ability to fly anywhere for ridiculously cheap1. So, when we found out the Law School was giving us poor schlubs a four day weekend for President's Day2, we decided to go somewhere. The flights for our first choices3 were full, so we settled on Charleston, SC. So we spent some time in the shadows of the Old South and learned about the first shots of the Civil War (Fort Sumter), and got the hear the absurd statement "If you had to be a slave, it was good to be a slave at this Plantation" (Magnolia Plantation).

It was fun. Fun to go somewhere for a vacation, even if just for a day and a half. Fun to spend time with my wife and act like a normal human being. Just fun to be away from the hustle and the bustle4 of law school. But, now I have to pay for it with reading assignments, a Con Law paper, and Legal Writing Brief, and outlining. There really is no such thing as a free lunch.

1Hence the title of this post
2Why? Who cares!
3New York and Vegas, baby!
4Five Unreasonable Points to whoever correctly identifies which movie I am referring to with this phrase. Spouses and relatives of The Unreasonable Man are ineligible for this prize.

The Obligatory Grades Post

We finally got our final grade in, so I guess I have to post about grades. As far as I can tell, there are two schools of thought about law school grades:
1) Law school grades are just as important as grades were in undergrad, and you HAVE to get good grades to be successful. This school is generally subscribed to by the people who got straight A's or near straight A's this semester, law professors (because most of them got really good grades in law school), and people who want to be law professors (or at least wanted to be until this semester's grades came out).
2) Law school grades are not that important, all that is important is to learn the skills necessary to be a successful lawyer/executive/whatever. This school is generally subscribed to by people who didn't get great grades this semester, who have ever worked out in the "real world", or have gotten some advice from friends or relatives who are in the legal profession.1

So, you may ask, what school are you in, Mr. Unreasonable? Well, I'm sort of in the gray area in between2. I definitely do not think grades don't matter at all. If anything, they are sort of an indication of how well you learn and how hard you work3. But, at the same time, I don't think grades are as big of an indicator of how good of a lawyer you will be as your actual performance in the Real World4.

To make this long story short (too late), I will say that I have mixed feelings about my grades. In general, I am happy... and I am not. I did well, but I know I could have done better. So, I am going to work harder this semester5 and hopefully improve a little. We'll see. The good news is that one semester is officially over, with only 4 2/3 left to go.

1By the way, I believe that your predisposition towards one school or the other depends greatly on how highly regarded your law school is. For example, people at Harvard are probably squarely in the second school, unless they want to be a law professor at Harvard or a Clerk at the Supreme Court, because they just don't need great grades to get a great job. Conversely, people at a fourth tier school need to get phenomenal grades just to get the chance of getting a job at a big firm, so they are staunchly in the first school.
2Which probably tells you about where my grades fell.
3I say sort of because I feel like law school grades are a much poorer measure of hard work and intelligence than undergrad, but that could be because they seem more random, and all your eggs are in one final basket.
4Of course, I could feel that way because I've worked in the Real World and was moderately successful.
5I can hear all my classmates typing *HA* in our in-class AIM chatrooms, where we participate more in making fun of each other than we do in class.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Watch the Watch

My wife and I went to see a hypnotist that the law council brought in for our "Winter Social"1. I don't remember too much about the show, but now, every time someone says "Scalia" I bray like a mule. And, every time someone says "O' Connor" I pretend I am a Japanese tire valve-stem on a California motorcycle.


1i.e. the "Please don't get so depressed in the bleak mid-winter that you do something crazy" event

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

An Application for a Job I Can Actually Get?

Yesterday I sent off my first job application this year for a job I think I can actually get. It's a law clerk position only for 1Ls, for an IP law clerk for 3M in St. Paul. Specifically, it's for patents and mostly patent prosecution (which I have experience in), and 3M prefers people with Engineering undergrad degrees (also me), and specifically Chemical or Biochemical Engineering (me again). I still probably won't get the job... but this is the first resume I've sent out for a job where I feel confident that I can, and should get the job. Hooray for employment!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I do NOT Heart Legal Writing

Tommorrow we have an argument outline for our briefs due. No, wait, it's past midnight. Today we have an argument outline for our briefs due. And I have to get up in a few short hours (just under 4, to be exact) so I can catch the bus to turn in said assignment. What are the odds that I and several of my classmates will skip one or more of my other classes tommorrow? Answer: Pretty damn good.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Dean Wormer, DEAD!

The actor who played Dean Wormer in Animal house has died, and the first thing that popped into my head (as I'm sure it did with just many other people who have seen the movie enough) was "Dean Wormer, Dead! NEIDERMEYER, DEAD!" He will be missed.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Thank You Law School... May I Have Another?

This has been a particularly tiring week (as I mentioned earlier). We had a "Research Log" due this week for our legal writing brief and I was up fairly late finishing that and my Civ Pro reading. Then I had to get up really early because my legal writing class is at 8 (and I live far enough away that I have to get up at 5:30 so I can catch a bus that will get me to class on time). Now I'm just finishing up my Civ Pro reading for tommorrow before I go to bed and do it all again tommorrow. At least it's Friday.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Attendance Will Not Be Mandatory?

The Minnesota Supreme Court is at the Law School today, and I am not attending. When I told some of my friends this yesterday, they all seem shocked. "Why don't you want to go?," they said. Well, there are several reasons:
- First, the case the court is hearing is a criminal law case that really holds no interest for me (alright, the case is about a strip club owner's alleged voter registration fraud, so it holds some interest for me, but I know the actual hearing will be nowhere near as interesting as it sounds)
- Second, just because it's the Minnesota Supreme Court is not enough of a reason for me to want to go... maybe it should be, but it isn't
- Third, just because the law school wants me to go to show that it has an engaged student body who will turn out in droves for the supreme court is also not enough of a reason.
- Fourth, while all of my professors have mentioned the court being here, none of them seemed all excited about it (with the exception of Prof. Crim Law, because the case is a criminal case). In fact, one of my professors openly criticized the law school's push to get us to attend.
- Finally, if the law school really wanted me to go, they would have instructed all my professors and my legal writing instructors to lay off on assignments for the week. Instead, I believe we have more reading than we have ever had, and while our legal writing assignment for this week isn't huge, it still involves a large amount of research.

Maybe I should be grateful for the opportunity to see the state's highest jurists in action... but I guess I'm just an ungrateful bastard.

Bluebooking Pains

Heidi at Letters of Marque has a post about how to Bluebook obscure things (like the info screen a software program runs, or the output of said program... I can't really tell which). So, this is the kind of things that me and my fellow 1Ls get to look forward to on law review1 or another journel, spending many hours determining the proper Bluebook citation format for something so obscure that no one will care if the format is slightly off2. I can't wait.

1Knock on wood
2Or maybe they will, what do I know?