Law: Moot Draft

February 29, 2008

The last few days I have been working to finish up my moot court brief.  I confess, the brief was not my best work, but it wasn’t bad (as far as I know).  I argued why waiving your lawyer doesn’t then entitle you to a legal right to access legal research and use the internet at the taxpayer’s expense.  We’ll see how the comment look when I get them back.

 One thing because clear to me from this brief writing exercise – briefing as all about redundancy.  I cannot think of how many different times I thought “I’m really just reframing the same argument.”

We’ll see how it goes over with my prof. 

Anyway, the point of today’s post is – why moot court?  I undertand that we are generally expected to understand the litigation process, but why moot court?  This seems like an outdated throwback to the days when all lawyers were generalists.  Memo writing teaches us the basics of legal research, I get that.  This assignment seems a lot like more of the same. 

Wouldn’t drafting something much more useful (perhaps a contract or something similar) be much more effective?  Better yet, instead of one big assigment, what if we completed smaller assignments from various first year courses?  It just seems like this “learn to brief ” idea is really similar to learning to memo and very litigation-centric.



One word.  Policy.  It seems to have been the forgotten topic of this primary season.  Every time Obama talks, its change change change.  Hope hope hope.  So what is this change that he has created such hope about?  To quote a friend of mine, its change in your pocketbook.  What kind of change in your pocketbook?  Well, if you are reading this blog because you want to be a doctor or a biglaw associate, then the change is going to be pretty severe.

 Lets assume that Obama is able to pass two of his three big policy initiatives (and when I say policy initiatives I mean answers when he is pinned down and forced to talk policy) and he rolls back the Bush Tax Cuts while uncapping social security.

What does that mean?  Well, it means taxes for first year lawyers go WAY up.  How far?  If I am a first year associate immediately after graduation (year 2-3 of the Obama presidency) Obama’s plan takes an ADDITIONAL 17-20K out of my pocket each year.  In addition to this, since associate bonuses are generally payed out of a pool of additional bonus funds, a pool that will be significantly reduced by increased firm contributions to social security, that number could get much higher.  How does this work?

Obama will increase the taxes on roughly 35K of a first year associate’s base pay and their entire bnus by 3%.  Next, Obama will uncap social security.  This means an additional 6.5% tax on about 60K a year of base pay, and another 6.5% tax on 15-35K of first year bonus.  Fantastic. 

In addition, my employer has a 6.5% increase on the same checks I am taxed on.  This means, almost certainly, that the amount my taxes are inreased in that way will be decreased from my bonus.  I’m losing on both ends!  Awsome.

 Doctors, you are in pretty much the same boat.

Change Change Change…….  all out of my pocket book.  Awsome.

Law: OCI Day 3 Part I

February 25, 2008

Last Friday was my OCI day three (something like day 14 or so in the real world) and I had another Set of Interviews.  The first interview of the day was with a nitch D.C. firm.  This firm’s practice focuses on Environmental work, Land Use, nd Litigation.  I of course was interested in litigation and thought their unique blend made them an exciting potential employer.  Of course, I told them this early in the interview and continued to hammer this point home as often as humanly possible. 

I didn’t think this interview went well.  The interviewer seemed generally disinterested despite my attempts to get him to talk about himself.  He seemed to have a general belief that this wasn’t worth his time (a feeling that others I know that interviewed there were left with as well). 

I left feeling drained, although I would still enjoy working at the firm.  They have a nice size, unique practice, and they are in an exciting city.  I guess we’ll see what the future holds.  If I was betting, I would give this 2 out of 10 on the job potential scale. 

To tie up some lose ends, the firm I talked about here sent me a ding letter today.  Man did I call that one.  At least they have a quick turnaround!  That interview could be a case study in “when interviews go bad fast.”

Law: Signals

February 25, 2008

So I didn’t do much on my Ames brief tonight other than spend a few minutes citing some portions that I knew needed support.  Its interesting that lawyers have developed a series of signals that are supposed to help the reader follow the way a citation is being offered.  I think the interesting part is that, at least among law students, this idea of telling somebody how to read a passage has actually morphed into something more akin to “how much or little B.S. is your citation.” 

When you are 100% legit and your citation is what you were looking for, you just say nothing.  If you couldnt find what you want and you want to tell your reader that the case you found is more or less what you wanted but you couldn’t find anythign saying what you said is exactly right, we have a signal for that.  When you want to say “eh, I couldn’t find something and I needed a citation….” we have a signal for that too. 

In the interest of fun and goofy, I have decided to demonstrate the way I use each of these signals in Ames briefs with some examples from humerous parts of my past. 

No Signal – This means you are legit.  You have stated a proposition of law and the courts support you.  You have your ducks in a row and found what you wanted, perhaps even quoted directly. 

Angie was told that she realy know how to work a cornor.  Thomas v. Taylor, 10 B.Supp 7, 14 (Brad. 2006).  Here I wanted to prove that Angie was told she knew how to work a cornor, so I cited to a “case” were she was told she knew how to work a cornor.  No B.S. needed.

See – This means that I know I need a citation, and I found something that doesn’t say exactly what I said but says something pretty similar.  I am not “struggling” for a citation but I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. 

JC Fresh cannot dance without looking like a fool.  See, Fresh v. Normal Looking, 4 Norm. 18 (Starfish 2007).  Here I am saying “look, I can’t actually prove that he can’t dance without looking like a food, but I have a source that is in the ballpark, perhaps that he looks like a food when he dances, or that the only time he was seen dancing he was foolish. ”  I’m pushing what I can find a little bit but darnit I’m right and this more or less supports me.

See, e.g., – I made a statement and I can’t find something that says what I said is right, but I can find something that would be an application of what I said or a case in point.  What I’m saying is stronger or draws new lines, but darnit I can cite cause look, this went the way I said it should.

Josh is in love with older women, he doesn’t go after them unless they are 35 and have a house.  See, e.g., Frederick v. Momma Brec, 69 Sick.2c 07 (H. Park. 2007).  Basically I don’t know that the rule is really what I said, but it seems like it is or could be (and I want it to be) so I’m citing to an application of that claim.

C.f. – I needed a citation.  I couldn’t find a citation.  There was nothing that I could find to support my claim, so I looked for somethign tangibly relatedthat comes out in a way that would be good for the person in a similar position to the side I want to win.  The points aren’t the same, but they aren’t completely unrelated.  This hints at what I want in some way or the other and its the best I can do so get of my back already!

When a friend does something that another friend keeps making annoying comments about your family, the answer isn’t to litigate, but to make more annoying comments about their family.   C.f., G-Dog v. Submariner II, 53 X.Sup 69 (D.C. Iowa 2005).  Here I couldn’t find anything to support what I wanted to support (that you should make annoying comments) but I found a case that said something that has to do with a response in kind involving family members.  In this case, the best I could come up with was a case that said “if he hits on your sister, date his.”  Tre isn’t anything to say what I want, so I’m making an analogy.  Using an analogy explicitly wouldn’t be persuasive, so I’m doing it as a citation, take that.  If I really wanted to be correct here, I’d use a parenthetical explaining the case, but here I dont, that would hurt me.

So there it is, this is how me and the other people I know manage to find cications for all sorts of propostions that need a source but for which we cannot find an effective one.

Law: Ames

February 24, 2008

The last few days of my life have been a flashback to the end of last semester.  I’m sitting in my room, staring at my computer screen, up to my elbows in papers as I try to get a strong start on my Ames brief.  Gag me.

I’m supposed to brief why a defendant named Dorian did not have a constitutional right to access a law library when he refused a PD and opted to appoint himself.  I am also supposed to argue in the alternative that even if there WAS a right to access, it wasn’t violated here. 

 So far I have a draft of the argument why there is no right to access.  I’m struggling with the second part because I lack fact to fact comparisons.  I may wait to get my opponets brief and argue against that.

 On the plus side, this is the draft, and its about half way done.  There is light at the end of the tunnel……. now I just hope there is a job there too.

Med: Memory Man

February 23, 2008

WOW. The things I would do to have this man’s memory…he would honor medical school fo-sho: Amazing memory man never forgets

Med: Cool story

February 22, 2008

I came across this a few days ago, and meant to post it but I forgot. So in place of a REAL post from yours truly, check this out: Amputee, 9, Fulfills his dream

Law: Recepting Again

February 21, 2008

Today was another reception and I have to say, it was by far the worst reception I have been to all semester.  Because I was so unimpressed, I’m not even going to do a full write up.  The recruiter was young but not very attractive and her an an associate firted with each other the whole time I was there.  This would not have been so bad except I was stuck in the conversation and unable to get out until I left.  The food wasn’t good, the venue was a little cornor of a local bar and the drink were average at best.  Easily the worst reception I have been to.  Oh, and to cap it off, they didn’t give away any swag.

Med: Exhaustion

February 20, 2008

Well, my periodic disappearance from the blog is happening again. Starting next Wednesday, we have FOUR tests, and it is going to be awful:

Wednesday: Medical Genetics

Friday: Neurophysiology

Monday: Neuroanatomy (Written & Lab Practical)

Wednesday: Anatomy (Written & Lab Practical)


On a side note: Wow…did that really happen?

I went to sleep at 9pm because I was exhausted, and didn’t wake up til 9am. Think my body is trying to send me a message?

Law: OCI – Day 2, Part 2

February 19, 2008

Before I go to bed tonight, I wante to take a few minutes to finish my wrap-up of last Friday’s OCI.  This interview (which wa actually my first of the day, but the second I’m blogging about) was the one OCI firm I was excited.  Of course, those of you that follow along closely on the blog know that being excited means that I will not be getting the position. 

That said, I felt pretty good about the interview.  We talked a lot about the offices I was interested in and I tried to ask intelligent questions.  The interviewer made a reassuring comment at the end (after looking at my grades he said something like “it looks like you did very well, just as you have all morning”).  Although that made me feel good, it was followed quickly with the “we don’t know how much space we have, I find out the end of next week how may spots, if any, I can fill at each office.  Since I know for a 100% fact that two HLS 1L’s have already accepted position there for this summer and I’m guessing they aren’t looking for an all-HLS 1L class, it seems like the odds are against me.  If you want a 15 person 1L class in Milwaukee, you fill the spots early.  Hopefully there is an available spot for me, this seems like a really neat opportunity.  If I were a betting man I’d put the chances of me getting a job there at 1/5.

The good news is, this was my last “high stress” interview (in the sense of places I really really want to work at).  The bad news is that I still dont have a job and I haven’t heard back from any of the places I sent grade updates to (including the smaller firm that requested them before making hiring decisions).  

Hopefull it works out. 

Seeing as how I’m out of firm reception stories and OCI stories for now, I guess tomorrow I’ll have to blog about something meaningful again.  Thankfully the rest of the week there are recepions.