Law: Recruiting

July 21, 2008

As a 1L I have had the wonderful opportunity to work at a law firm without feeling as if I am already committed to ending up there after graduation.  This isn’t to say that I won’t end up at my current firm (I am really enjoying this place) but rather, I am not in the position of having to either get an offer or go back on the market as a 3L (and somewhat of a pariah). 

I was thinking about this today in the context of a law, drawn out game of telephone, when I realized that the summer program isn’t really for the summers, its for the next class.  Think about it.  If the firm a 2L was at stopped doing the “spoil the summer” routine in early July, its not like that student would be in a good place to just stop working, or to say “screw this firm I’ll find someplace better.”  As a 2L, you are largely in a “take-it-or-leave-it” position.  On the flip side, if a firm stopped spoiling their summers in early July, word would get out and the following year they would be less desirable.  Even though nobody would ever say “I went to X,Y, and Z because I hear their summer program is awsome,” a student is equaly unlikely to go “well, A, B, and C have a reputation for working their summers to death and not doing anything nice, I think I’ll go there.”  The summer program makes the current summers happy and we certainly appreciate the effort, but in the end, its really about keeping up appearances for the next group. 

What does this have to do with anything?  Well, think about it.  The hardest part for the firm is getting summers to join their summer program in the first place.  If a firm get their first choice summers, even if they scaled back on the quality of their program, they would still bring in their first choice talent.  Despite this, the “woo’ing” phase is about the same everywhere.  Bring you in for a callback where the balance of power is still unclear (you don’t have the job yet), then do a bunch of interviews and tours, tell you how great the place is, and take you out to lunch.  This is all bookended by comp’d flights and hotel rooms.  Every firm does basically the same thing.  In fact, I can only think of one firm (Quinn) that tried to do any sort of above-the-call-of-duty recruiting during callbacks.  If firms really wanted to recruit their way into the best young associates, they would focus more on this part of the process and less on the summer.   What does this look like?  I’m not sure.  Some suggestions:

1.  Scrap one of the expensive summer events and replace it with an “acceptance scholarship.”  Pay some set amount of tuition for everybody that accepts a summer offer (perhaps $1500, offset by eliminating one lunc and one dinner a week).  This may be a little much so I also suggest:

2.  Arranginga deal with a local drycleaner to pick up and press the applicants interview clothes the night before on the firm’s dime.

3.  Instead of doing pre-finals care packages have something nice waiting for the interviewee in their hotel room.  Perhaps

4.  Do an event for everybody who was given the offer, make it something fun instead of something stuffy

5.  Post-callback social event.  This might be tough for people doing multiple callbacks, but use the firm seats/suite (if its open) to take an interviewing 2L to a game the night of their callback.  At the game you can give the subtle sales pitch.

I realize these are all really materialistic and sound like a future 2L going “give us more stuff.”  I’m not suggesting that.  Instead I’m suggesting that firms spend more resources trying to get people into their summer program and less on their summer program itself.  On a related note, if firms really want to find the “right person” they would spend more time explaining the culture/nature of the firm and less on the “interview” portion.  An interest opinion firms should consider:  Letter everybody that has an offer do a real job shadow and follow a junior associate for the day with no hand holding.  Let the summer see how that associate’s day goes.  Did they spend 6 hours reasearching on the computer?  Did they spend 6 hours doing meaningful work?  Did anybody come and yell at them?  A real opportunity to see what the firm is like in an uncontrolled environment would be extremely valuable.  That said, I don’t know if this is even possible.  After all, pick the wrong day and you could be watching somebody read a computer screen for 10 hours and really, this wouldn’t accomplish much at all.

A lot of this isn’t feasible, but the concept needs to at least be looking at.  Instead of preaching to the choir, try to get the type of people you want into your choir before you start to tell them how great the firm is.

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I am not an animal lover.  In fact, I’m closer to an animal disliker.  Sorry.  Today I was reading an article in a PRINT NEWSPAPER (they still have those, who knew) while not studying for contracts.  The article was about a Minnesota man who hit a dog in the middle of the street and is now suing the dogs owners for the damage it did to his car.  At first glance I was like “wow, another example of people trying to use the tort system to pass the buck.”  When I read the article, I started to feel somewhat bad for him (only a little, only for a second).  Basically, a 14 pound dog ran out into the street as he was driving.  It doesn’t appear like there is anything he could do to not hit it.  He hit the dog and damaged his bumper which in turn damaged his radiator.  He is asking for the cost of repairs plus the value of his time (he had to take off work).  Total price tag, about $2,000.

So ignoring the first question of where do you get a lawyer to take this case for that small pricetag, and assuming he is representing himself in small claims court, I don’t know how I feel about this case.  I can actually sort of see it going either way.  To me, it all seems to come down to this: What is the place of animals, specifically dogs, in the legal system.  If they are treated similar to humans, then he loses.  If they are more like furniture, then he wins.  But that isn’t the question I’m actually writting about today.  What I’m really writing is:  What SHOULD the place of animals be in the law?

Lets start by considering the extremes:

Animals as people:  With all due respect to all the people that think their dogs are their kids, but ANIMALS ARE NOT PEOPLE.  Sorry.  They are not.  They never will be.  That animal and somebody’s three year old are not the same.   Dogs are not people.  Dogs aren’t and SHOULDN’T be afforded the same protections as people.  If you see a dog run into the street and your choices are possible kill the dog or possible start a three car accident with the potential to kill somebody, you take your chances with the dog.  I think of it like this:  Somebody comes up to you and says “we are breaking your dogs leg, or we are breaking your neighbor’s son’s leg.  You let them break your dogs leg.  If dogs were people, then running one over would land you in jail.  Thats silly.  Sorry, it is. 

Dogs are furniture:  This isn’t really the case.  I mean, I don’ t like animals, want PETA to be labeled a terrorist organization, think we should test away on them if it can help humans, and think police investigating/prosecuting cruelty to animals crimes is a massive waste of taxpayer money, BUT I don’t think they are people.  If I see somebody take a chainsaw to their chair, I’d be like “whatever.”  If I saw somebody take a chainsaw to their dog, I’d be disgusted.  Then again, I’m not really opposed to a law that treats a dog as a thing for the purpose of CERTAIN parts of the law.  For example, lets say a 10 gallon drum rolls down your driveway and dents a car.  Clearly, you’re responsible.  I’m thinking it should be the same if your dog runs down your driveway into a car and dents it.  Then again, I’m not sure this isn’t the same for people.  Now lets say that drum rolls in front of a car and gets shattered.  Again, your responsible.  If its your daughter, the driver goes to jail.  Hmm, interesting.  This gets us back to the facts of this case, so really accomplishes nothing.  I think the “dogs and things” mentality has a lot of usefulness for certain elements of the law, but I cannot accept it in general. 

Something in between:

Now we reach the middle ground where I think everybody HAS to be.  The question is, where is the balance?  I don’t think there is a right answer.  The more I think about this case, the more I’m drawn towards the “dogs as things” mentality.  I think my ideal situation would be a legal fiction that says:  “in any situation where your dog causes an injury, your liability is the same as if it was a motor-scooter that was left running accidentally.”  Yes you didn’t accidentally do anything in this situation, but you did make a decision that imposed some risk on another person, so I’m thinking -bear the cost.  On the flip side, I realize that most people believe in some form of protection for animals, so this standard has to allow for a different role of dogs as “victims.”  I’m thinking here the rule is something about intentionality.  “The law will not protect accidental acts that harm dogs beyond the extent it would protect property, but it will protect intentional acts that harm them for no legitimate purpose” would be a compromise I can live with.

How would this work?  Cruelty to animals laws would stay the same.  If somebody walked up and shot your dog, you would be compensated, just like if somebody walked up to you and took a ledgehammer to your car.  If somebody is faced with “hurt and animal or possibly help a human” they are protected from getting in trouble for hurting the animal by the last clause. 

Is this my ideal standard?  No.  I think its too deferential to dogs.  But its a compromise I can live with.  What are your thoughts animal lovers?  Kurzman is much much more pro dog than I am, so don’t think he endorses this post.

If this principle were in place, how would the driver in our original hypothetical fare?  Well he probebally gets his car fixed at the expense of the dog owner (if your run away motor scooter goes into the street and damages a car, you fix it) if he can show there really wasn’t anything he could do to prevent it.   

A while back we wrote a few posts comparing law school to med school and noticing how they are in many ways similar but in some ways different.

Today I want to roll back the clock a half a decade (it sounds longer than 5 years if I say it like that) as a framework to talking about the differences between law school and med school.

Recently I read a few articles about how people go to law school for a lot of really bad reasons and how law students have much stronger regrets about their graduate education than others.  Part of this is no doubt due to the fact that the vast vast majority of students earn significantly less than they thought they would when they went into law school (Note:  As we have talked about before, if you did a modal 10K range, it would be 45K-55K). 

The study I was reading mentioned two large factors that they blamed for this other than inflated income expectations (perhaps more accurately, the article noted to factors that make not earning what people thought they would earn different for a law student than for every business graduate from an average school).  The first factor it mentions is that a lot of students go into law school because they don’t have any particular skills, consider themselves smart, and think law school is a good way for a smart person to make a living.

In some ways, there might be some truth to this, just with a much bigger adjustment to what defines “a living.”  If you are somebody that does well in liberal arts classes that are not stats based, odds are your “smarts” come in the form of reading, writing, and talking.  These skills could make you a gifted manager in a corporation one day (depending on your overall ability to get things done/manage people) but that would require an unclear path and some luck, not to mention a “low” starting salary.  No no, if you consider youself “smart” (remember this is a realative term, over a quarter of my high school was on some honor roll and considered themselves smart) then law seems like an appealing fallback.  For these people, I’ll just say that law school is tough and from what I can tell, practicing law is definately not a cakewalk.  There is “smart” relative to the population and there is “Smart” relative to law school applicants and the bar for the second is higher (the same holds true for any graduate school).

The second “all too common norm” in the article was a path that combines the two topics of this board:  A student wants to go to medical school and either can’t hack it in undergrad science, can’t get the MCAT, or realizes they don’t like the site of blood and decides they now want to go to law school.  I know a couple of people like this.  I’ve thought about this for a while and I must say, if I was an admissions rep, I would take this as a HUGE sign that this person is going to law school or all the wrong reasons. 

Not to sound judgmental (although I am judgmental) but if you say you “discovered a love for the law” in the middle of college, you are so full of fertilizer that its coming out of your ears.  Look, law and med school take two completely opposite types of people.  The only thing these folks have in common (on the whole) is that they both do really well on standardized tests.  If you were pre med and ended up pre law, you either 1. think you are entitled/should/need to make a lot of money/have a prestiege job and as a result took what you thought (wrongly) was the next best path or 2. Have parents telling you these are the only two acceptable jobs.  This is complicated by the fact that just getting into ANY med school is hard but if you are willing to pay 30-40K and are dumb enough to believe that it doesnt matter where you go, then there is certainly a law school that will take you.  Either way, you are a fool for making this decision.  If you “I’m not either of those” then I refuse to believe you, you are in the first group and in denial.  The only people I believe are the ones that are actually MD/JD’s.  These people were able to hack it in med school and still moved onto law school.  If you have the skills for both, be realistic, you’re going to elect to be a doctor (or at least go to med school and then change later).

How can I be so sure of this?  How can I so strongly assert that these are polar opposite skills/personality types?  For starters, because I’m opinionated and a post full of hedging doesn’t make for a good blog.  More importantly, I’m thinking back among all of the now law students or doctors I know (by the way, I cannot think of a single person that I graduated with in high school that is now a law student, if any of you can, please IM me).  From here out, I’m going to focus on myself and Kurzman because its easier than generalizing and the specifics definately hold true. 

Med School types (at least the ones that are going to be successful) like answers.  They know answers, they know how to get answers, and they can think logically to other anwsers.  “Now Clegal, isn’t all school about knowing answers?”  Why yes, but there are different types of answers. 

Guys like Kurzman learn the facts, the verifiable, one right way, answers.  “What is the shape of this molecule.”  “How do you calculate the relative speed of this reaction?” “Is this a one way or two way reaction?”  “Integrate this multivariable equation.”  These are the things guys like Kurzman can do, and they can do them very well.  Not only that, but they can think from one situation to another to use the answers they know to figure out new answers.  “Given what you know about covalent bonds, what will this look like?”  Even their “BS” questions are tricky, usually have objectively right or logical answers and can be verified “if thats the case, why does hydrogen do this?” Yes I realize I’m using Freshmen level chem and math concepts, but this is what I know ok, so back off.  Guys like Kurzman work hard.  They get stuff.  The understand the value of figuring out a right answer, they ususally know it, and they understand how they got there.  If you have those skills, you can perhaps do anything, I don’t know, but I do know that you need this to be a future med-student (at least from my non-med student perspective).  I base this on the fact that now, Kurzman is expected to learn answers.  Right answers.  And when he is in practice, he will be expected to take the right answers he knows, apply them, and get more right answers. 

Guys like me, not so much.  In high school, I didn’t really “figure out answers.”  I wasn’t dumb and I didn’t do poorly grades wise, but there was a big difference between the way I got through classes with “answers” (Math, Science, Etc) and the way someone like Kurzman did.  I was fine at memorizing a process and repeating it over and over.  Thankfully, if you can do this, you will do well in public high school.  High school calc and chem, even at high levels, is “monkey work.” Memorize and repeat.  Just learn the formula, know what all the letters mean, and be able to solve a basic algebraic equation (which is really just more memorizing).  I could get the answers, do fine in those classes, but I never really got it.  Ask me to think creatively in a chem or math class and I’m lost, always was.  I was a step and a half behind the kids like Kurzman and a step ahead of the people that just didn’t have the ability to memorize and repeat. 

So what is “lawyer smart?”  What kind of answers do we have?  Simple, we construct arguments.  We take situations that are similar and we twist them.  We push things to the edges to break them and we put them back in ways we like.  Better yet, we understand that similar words and sentences can have different meanings and we can think quickly on our feet.  By we, I dont mean all law students, I mean people with skill sets like me.  We are the ones that are having the BS conversation about something in high school and take somebody’s logic, exagerate it to the ends, perhaps make an analogy, and attempt to show thats a “silly” line.  We frustrate people and they don’t end up agreeing most of the time, but they just don’t poke that hole in the logic.  We will argue fringe things and leave the other side feeling like they were just robbed.  Our place of excellence isn’t the chem lab, its the lunchroom debate or better year, the essay exam.  Not the “what were the causes of the american revolution” essay, but the “analyze X and Y using the themes of this course” types.  We play with ideas, put them together, and make conclusions.  The things we think we know are usually things that aren’t facts but opinions.  Or skill isn’t the ability to get the right answer, its the ability to constuct an argument so you think our opinion is the right answer. 

Flash forward a few years.  Last week Kurzman took a series of exams where he was expected to know things about certain body processes.  How they worked, what they did, in some cases what they looked like, and how they interact.  His creative thinking was connecting concepts.  Tomorrow I’ll take my second exam.  I’ve been studying hard and I’m running into problems because, in all honesty, I really don’t know anything.  There are facts and rules I’m supposed to know that I don’t because I just don’t learn those things well.  Hopefully it will work out, maybe it wont, but even if I knew them all perfectly, that wouldn’t be what this exam was about.  This exam is about taking those “facts” and “rules” (not the same as science facts) and applying them to a situation.  Play with the situation on both sides. Push and pull it, look for a path then try to build a wall to block it off, then climb over the wall you just built. 

The hardest part for me on this exam is that I don’t have the full knowledge base I should going into this exam.  In Kurzman’s world, not having the knowledge base would be the ballgame.  You can’t get a D without at least a strong knowledge base.  If I took a med school style exam about this material, I would fail.  Thankfully, lawyers don’t work on “these facts what result” they work on “these facts, what arguments.”  In this situation, with a last minute hail marry, I still have an outside shot at getting through this because even though I don’t have the full knowledge base, if I can figure out the general category, I can look up the rules and come up with an argument.  This would be like Kurzman going “well, I dont really know what muscles does that, but i know its in this broad family.  I’m hoping for a B and anticipating a B-.  Please wish me well. 

I have a sinking feeling about this exam, and the scarey part is, this is the one I’ll be best prepared for.  We’re not in high school anymore Rex (I didn’t wanna say Todo because 1. I don’t know how to spell it and 2. Rex sounds more manly). 

Law: AML

March 11, 2008

Today I had a friend come to campus to tour and visit.  In addition to showing off his attactive and fun girlfriend, we walked around the campus a little and went out to dinner.  Overall, I had a great time. 

When I walked out of my Analytical Methods for Lawyers class, I looked up in a hurry to check my phone and there was by friend, standing on the stairwell leading up to the Ames courtroom.  Random.  He just randomly picked the building that my class was in.  I’m not sure how that is possible.  Anyway,when I saw him, the first thing we did was talk about how terribly boring the class I was coming out of was.  It was horrid.  I couldn’t figure out exactly how to describe it, and even thinking about it now, its tough to put into words.

It may be tough to put into words, but this is a blog, so I’m not going to be able to put it into pictures. 

This class is like…. well its like going to a major league baseball game except, except without all of the star players, home runs, great defensive plays, run scoring, and intesting strategy.  Basically, its like going to a Pirates vs. Royals game.  It costs more than seeing a Triple – A game (or in this case college course) but your getting less out of it because the players (professors) are just as bad, except they don’t know it.  This class sucks.  I walk out twice a week and go “wow, I actually did, without making his up, learn that in high school.”

Sometimes, I sit in class and play Risk on Facebook.  Sometimes I sit in class and read CNN.  Sometimes I sit in class and try to county how many different places in his waistline my professor chooses to rest his hand.  Today I decided to figure out how how I was paying per hour to listen to this guy blather on about a bunch of worthlessness that is second nature to a lot of people.  The answer:  A lot.  Even adjusting for the fact that his class is 15 minutes longer than the amount of credit hours given for it, I still pay over $35 dollars an hour.  And thats just me.  If we adjust that value to the amount of classes I go to, its more like $90 an hour.  Talk about burning money.

I’m not saying I’m not to blame.  I picked a boring class.  What I am saying, is that boring and easy at law school should still have some degree of new content given the quality of the school, the cost of tuition, and the supposed talent of the faculty.

Law: Logical?

March 7, 2008

When I signed in tonight I swear I intended to blog about the last of my OCI interviews.  I was going to talk about how I’m still unemployed and running out of chances and I was going to review tonight’s receptions. 

Instead, I’m going to do a little rant about something that has been bothering me.  I think a lot of views that people take are stupid.  I realize that a lot of views that people generally assume I have (often ones that I don’t actually have) are stupid.  I’m sure people think some views I actually have are stupid. 

Here is what I am offering tonight- a compromise.  Specifically, a compromise that I think Kurzman and I both agree with and have both agreed with for a long time.  The compromise is this – “Take whatever view you want on most things.  I may or may not agree.  If I don’t, we may get in a debate about it, but I will respect your view, subject to the following condition – it has to be logically consistent and the reasons you base the opinion on cannot only sometimes be propositions you believe in.”  What I mean by this is, if you want to take a position, I can almost certainly respect it if the reasons you articulate are reasons that you believe are true in general (if they are general reasons).  If you only believe them sometimes, then I think you are 1. admitting to yourself that your reasons are stupid and 2. largely saying “my view is discredited, but damnit its what I think” which is fine, our country has lots of people with this approach, but if you say that 1. you don’t get to say anything negative about my view (because after all, yours is nothing more than “I wanna” and my in at least to some degree based on an underlying value or reason).  2. I get to hold your view as less credible than if you supported it.

Why do I bring this up?  While drunk I had three conversations today where this came up.

 Conversation 1:
I was talking about how I was bored and was going to watch something online.  The person next to me, a wanna-be-artist then proceeded to tell me how wrong it is to do this.  Now, I have heard this argument before, and I don’t generally disagree.  I said “ya, you’re right, it isn’t the best, but blah blah blah. ” He was pissed off that I would even think to do such a thing but had confronted people enough that I think my willingness to say that his stance was almost certainly correct in an objective sense saved me the lecture.  No less than three minutes later he made reference to “how the full version of photoshop is fantastic.”  My ears perked.  I was somewhat drunk and also annoyed at his lack of social tact, so I decided to be equally rude and call him out.  “How much was the full version of the this Adobe stuff you are ranting about,” I asked.  He answered that he had no idea and that he doesn’t pay for software.  At this point I felt compelled to say the following: “So temporary use of a movie, which I will not keep for more than two hours is morally terrible, but you pirating software is ok, can you explain the difference?”  Bear in mind, I had already admitted I think both are wrong, so I wasn’t getting into a “well you’re bad too” only a case of “you’re pretty much a hypocrit.”  He responded about how Adobe asks for it by making their software overpriced, blah blah blah.  Typical artist argument.  When I said that I found that argument interesting since music producers had been found to have engaged in price fixing but Adobe never had, he then went with “how can you compare a huge corporation to a struggling artist.”  One, Twentieth Century Fox isn’t exactly a starving arist, but two, he finally came out and said it, what his argument really is is that he things artists deserve special treatment compared to corporations because people don’t value what artists do as much as corporations.  Fine, thats his view, but say that, don’t tell me some garbage about how “stealing is per se wrong” but then “stealing from some people is ok.”  Articulate your point for what it is and let it be judged.  If you think that artists deserve special treatment, say so.  Then defend to my why I have a moral obligation to treat an artist who’s art isn’t valued by the market any differently than I have to treat the guy who is disappointed that the market doesn’t value paper airplane folding (for the record, I have a friend that folds the best paper airplanes). 

Situation 2:

An ten minutes later, a friend of the guy from situation one said (almost certainly while chatting about how I “just don’t get it,” a favorite comment of people who’s arguments are based on nothing more than a belief that something is right just cause its right): “He doesn’t understand that art isn’t just a good, its a way of life.”  Here I chose not to say anything, but again, this argument is really saying:  “Art is a way of life that should be treated as a calling above at least some other callings.”  Perhaps he’s right.  Perhaps there is something about art that makes it a superior calling to other things.  If you believe this, assert why and see if its convincing.  These two seemed to think it was self evident.  There are lots of things that can be a “way of life.”  Not working can be a way of life.  Is that a calling?  What makes art a way of life that gives it special protection that “software production” as a way of life doesn’t have?   

Situation 3:

Two kids I know that are VERY Jewish talking about how “they just don’t understand how somebody could believe (some specific stance of a faith I didn’t catch).  Now, I’m not touching this one other than to say people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.  I will afford faith a special place in order to say “faith by definition means you believe it because you believe it,” but there is NO justifiable reason that you can POSSIBLY offer to contend that every part of your faith is more logical as the least logical part of another person’s faith.  Seriously jewish guys that are talking smack.  Is whatever they said really so “illogical?”  Really?  I mean, when you put whatever he said next to “turning on a light at certain times of the week is a sin,” or “cheeseburgers are a sin,” is whatever he said really “illogical?” 

 No.

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.

Thoughts?

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: “Turning it Off”

February 4, 2008

Today was one of the holyist days in sports:  Super Bowl Sunday.  In the spirit of this great day, I opted to sleep in…..till 1 PM.  I then did a little homework, lounged around, and watched part of Oceans 12 before going to the Super Bowl event I opted to attend.

Somewhere near the beginning/middle of Ocean’s 12, Danny makes a comment that he “just can’t turn it off” and that “he is always seeing the angles.”  When I heard this, I realized that this was the best articulation of what I find most annoying about being a law student.  Earlier one this blog I commented on a similar idea, but Danny’s comment really hit it home for me:  The reason I get annoyed with my head is because I can’t turn being a law student off.  In and of itself I guess this isn’t a problem, except that sometimes being  a law student is really really annoying.

I suppose everybody has this to some extent.  Danny noted that con-men do, I’ve talked to former members of the military that express the same view (they can’t help but act consistent with their training), and I have met many many salesmen that always notice what X you have (X being whatever they sell).  So why should it suprise me that law students do the same thing?

Its not just the analytical method and the way we think, that I actually like and find useful.   Athough “thinking like a lawyer” may be annoying to some, I really dont see the issue with it….. so you are more careful to say what you mean, and you split issues into smaller points of coflict.  Who cares?

What I find annoying, is the random stuff that is poured into our heads.  Everything we do has to deal with names and facts.  Most of human interaction is about names and stories.  Do you know how hard it is to go through a full week without something reminding you of some case or opinion you read in school? 

I’ll give an example.  Today I go visit espn.com and I’m reading an article entitled “Easterbrook:  Why Spygate Loomed”.  Of course the first thing in my head was “what on earth did judgeEasterbrook have to say about football.” I quickly click on the link and before the page loads I realize I’m an idiot and this wasn’t going to be Judge Easterbrook.  I was saddened by the fact that I saw the name of a 7th Circuit Judge and immediately assumed it was he same guy instead of GREG Easterbrook who I actually enjoy as an ESPN columnist.  God I felt like a tool.

Anyway, after much deliberation, I still feel like a tool, but at least I kind of get it.  There is so much random, worthless, B.S. floating around in my head and every once in a while my brain makes a connection.  When I notice, its almost always a very irrelevant connection, and then I feel wierd. 

On the plus side, I don’t share these connections outloud, so I’m better than the dbag gunners….. at least that’s what I tell myself.

Today was night at law school in February which means one thing….. firm receptions. Today was one of the world’s famous sweat-shops…. Skadden. Overall, I would say this one tops my list of firm events. To better understand, lets go through the key categories.

Venue: So I find this place annoying because the decorating sucks. There is no way around it, it looks wierd (pink and zebra, what?) That said, it holds a big crowd and with people out in full force, that was definately needed. Overall, this gets a “blah”.

Food: Food was pretty good but not great tasting, but the quantity was lacking. Tops on my list were the Peanut dipped chicken skewers followed closely by the “actually fried lightly, not just claiming to be friend lightly” shrimp sticks with soy-ish dipping sauce. Very well done on these two dishes. The grilled cheese with tomato soup shooter was also an interesting choice. The rest didn’t do it for me.

Drinks: Fine to good. I heard some complaints from people about the very random bar avalability. I didn’t have any complaints as all I wanted to do was drink Makers Mark, and they had plenty of that and a short wait. The wine wasn’t good but it was always around, so thats a plus.

Attorney Interaction: I’ve decided to do this from my point of view. I don’t want to work at Skadden and I didn’t talk to a single firm rep other than to get my nametag and big up my swag bag, so I have Zero complaints. Perfect work.

Swag: Best yet. I quickly tossed all the written stuff, but they gave out $10 gift certificates to campus food. How can you not love that?

Law: Firm Reception Update

January 30, 2008

Another week, another round of firm receptions.  This evening featured a double header of firms that decided not to give out rush gifts firm logoed gifts. 

We started with a firm that is not in Chicago, but is in D.C.  The reception was at a place I have never been to with a style of food I have never had.  For lack of another term, I’m going to call the food fusian asian.  Things like Teriaki Chicken with mint chili sauce, dumplings with unusual busy tasty dipping sauces, and tuna sippers were common.  Open bar with no obvious limit was a nice perk, I was going with the Johnny Walker mid-labels.  I met an interesting partner that practices in a practice group I find really interested, we chatted a bit then it was time for speeches, at which point we grabbed our coats from the coat check and headed to the next place.

At place number 2, we had french finger food and wine only.  I went with white which was some low end dry wine.  Thanks to the JW earlier, it wasn’t a factor.  The food was interesting and included crab cakes, really solid beef cubes, bacon wrapped scallops, BBQ chicken squares, garlic butter shrimp (yum) and a few things I passed on.  Met one partner from NY that wasn’t bad, could have snagged an after reception invite but passed, then chatted with an energetic political junkie for a while until it was time to leave.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch the eye of the Chicago rep, but alas, the firm has already said “thanks but no thanks for this year” and I don’t think I want to land there next year, so perhaps it isn’t for the worst.  Plus at this point, i was semi buzzed.

 Up next this week, a couple of new places and an old stand-by.