Saturday, March 10, 2007


I just got out of the MPRE. It was pretty terrible. For 3 years of law school I've been taught to think in shades of grey. Now this test wants me (and my #2 pencil) to go black and white in perhaps the greyest area of them all- legal ethics! Really, if you want me to pick just one answer, don't give me two options that are equally defensible and then make me guess what you were thinking.
Fuck it, I'm goin on spring break

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Too hot for TV

Since when have daytime TV judge shows turned into Jerry Springer? I am generally a huge fan of the genre- watching ghetto people argue about small debts to friends is vacuously comforting somehow. But recently I have noticed a disturbing trend- the court shows are copying talk shows. Maury Povich should sue- his bit is getting jacked. In the past couple of weeks I've seen multiple pregnancy test shows, a bootcamp show, and some hidden camera shows. Judge Hatchett is the worst- I'm watching it right now as motivation to write this post. All she does is DNA tests it seems. Let's try to keep some level of dignity in the courtroom, can't we please?

PS. Hatchett just told us a friend recently told her what "friends with benefits" was, and how she was shocked.
PPS. She just now emphasized that she doesn't support FWB situations, and she doesn't want any emails about it. This is ridiculous.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A brief aside

So if today is all of the presidents' birthdays, can only people born on this day become president, or does each president officially change his birthday?

Perplexing questions aside, I thought I'd take a minute to point out that 25 out of our 43 presidents have been lawyers (George Bush is not one of them). Why do you think this is? Apart from historical factors such as the traditionally higher level of education obtained by lawyers, and sociological factors like the prestige that the profession affords, there is something more at play. As much as we might discount the idea of law school teaching us to "think like a lawyer", the ability to analyze a problem from multiple angles and understand and balance the competing considerations at play is CRUCIAL for the presidency, or any leadership position at all. Politics has sunk (further) into one sided absolutism, blinders on, full speed ahead. The world is not black and white, and so long as we allow those who lead us it to paint it that way, instead of demanding nuanced debate over complicated issues, we are derelict in our duty both as lawyers and as citizens. We have the tools to question, analyze, and evaluate, let's use them, and make sure those that are making decisions that affect all of us do so too.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I would be a tree, so that I could fall on you and kill you

Check out this great Craigslist post about questions that get asked during law firm interviews. Here's my favorite:

Why did you go to law school?

What I said: I went to law school because I want to be able to make a difference. Legal work allows me to be competitive and to work for justice, both of which are important things in my life.

What I thought: That's a good question, and I ask myself it daily. I'd have to say the answer is, stupidity.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I am never wrong

Law school has taught me that there is no such thing as wrong. There is always an argument you can make. Unfortunately, this belief I can always be right has spilled over into the rest of my life, much to the dismay of friends and family. It was really hammered home for me this afternoon.

Tourist: Excuse me, do you know where the university bookstore is?
Me: No, sorry I don't (this is true, I still have not bought books this year)
Tourist: It's on [some street I've never heard of]
Me: Of course! Just go a couple blocks down and take a left.

I am a bad person.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Mooninites unite

That's it, I'm moving to Canada.

The ridiculousness of this country has gone too far. I just can't take it anymore. Here's the quick breakdown. There was a huge bomb scare in Boston because of some Aqua Teen Hunger Force ads that were put up around the city. They were basically lite brites. The city of Boston, the most ugly, overeducated bunch of morons you've ever seen, creates a huge panic and shuts down half the city. I have a nice chuckle about how dumb they are. Next thing you hear is that city officials are enraged at the waste of resources, and are holding people responsible. "That makes sense" I think to myself, "the people that called in these threats should be held responsible. They are idiots." I was wrong. They are holding the marketers responsible! Take a look below, and tell me what you think. The mere fact that I have to write this post makes me want to puke.
Anyone have a warm jacket and hockey skates they could lend me?

"It had a very sinister appearance," Coakley (Mass. Attorney General) told reporters. "It had a battery behind it, and wires." ooooohhhhhh, batteries and wires, scary!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy birthday to me!

Remember that part in Old School where Will Ferrel's separated wife tells him he forgot his birthday? And you just feel so sorry for the poor guy? Well, call me Frank the Tank, cause I forgot my blog's 1 year anniversary last week. So, as a belated celebration, I'll be drunk for the rest of the day. For your enjoyment, loyal reader, as you cannot be a part of the whirlwind of women, debauchery, and police chases, here are some of the better posts from the past year.

The least worst of YALB:

1 year ago today! Homecoming
Feb 2: Top 5 Things I wish I'd known before coming to law school
Feb 8: Sexual Injection
March 5: You know you love law and order too much when...
April 7: Supreme Stars part 1
April 9: Supreme Stars part 2
June 22: Honesty is not the best...
Aug 10: Sacrifice Fly
Sep 20: Summer Associate Success: the basics
Nov 27: Real advice for 1Ls
Dec 31: Law student new years resolutions

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Stop giving me more money!

Ok, the law firm raises are starting to get a little crazy. Simpson Thatcher announced yesterday it's boosting the first year salary to 160k. Other firms are expected to follow suit.
So I should be happy right? Wrong! You know that partners aren't going to give up any of that sweet equity cash, so they're going to have increase revenue somewhere. And for some reason I have a feeling that when it comes down to increasing rates for clients, or working those first year slaves an extra few hours a week, it's not going to be a difficult choice. I have another feeling that bonuses might not be as big next year anyway, but maybe that's just the rational me.
I'm already going to be sacrificing most of my few remaining healthy years, don't take away even more! I really don't care about an extra (at most) 15k at this point, I'm already going to be vastly overpaid, give me a couple evenings with friends for God's sake.

Ok, phew, breathe. I'm complaining about a raise. I'm done. Thanks for listening. I hate me too.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

To attend or not to attend

I'm trying to plan out my semester, and I could use some input. Now that we're entering the second week of classes, and I've attended one class each so I could get on the seating chart, I'm trying to decide if sporadic attendance or none at all is preferable. What do you think?

Sporadic attendance (1 in 4 classes)
-guards against the possibility that professor will notice you're never there
-but then also might do the opposite, because professor might notice you, then notice when you're gone most of the time
-also opens up to the risk of getting called on, in which case you have to admit you haven't read, and now you kinda have to go for a while because you'll be in the professor's mind

No attendance
-could get screwed and dropped from the class. I would no longer graduate, and would sacrifice my entire future.
-but don't have to go to class


Sunday, December 31, 2006

Law student new years resolutions

To be adopted by all, no exceptions, alterations, extensions, or objections allowed.
  1. I will remember that my fellow law students are human beings and treat them as such.
  2. I will not base my self-worth on my school's US News ranking or my firm's Vault ranking.
  3. I will recognize that the law is powerful and that I can aid those who are powerless, and will do so.
  4. I will make as much money as I can while doing something I enjoy.
  5. I will share outlines and notes freely and without prejudice.
  6. I will act ethically at all times.
  7. I will cultivate at least one interest or hobby outside of law school.
  8. I will party, travel, and relax as hard as I can and as often as I can, as this may be my last real chance to do so.
  9. I will not forget the big picture.
  10. I will remind myself daily that as bad as this might be, I am privileged to be here.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

An itch I don't want to scratch

I'm in this weird place where I don't know what to do with myself now that I'm done exams. It feels weird doing nothing, although this is what I did for the first 3 months of school, so I should be used to it. It's actually kind of scary. If I lose my skill as a slacker, what do I have left!?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sweet sweet freedom

The last exam is done! I love this feeling. It's like combining that post-orgasm sense of release with that post-indecent-exposure acquittal sense of relief I felt a few years back. I'm drained, sweaty, grateful. Giddy yet flaccid. A little surprised that it happened, and that it was over so quickly after all that buildup.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Another couple of exam tips for 1Ls

These came to mind as I tried to force a semester's worth of learning into my skull in the past 3 days.
  • Create a checklist of all the concepts you went over in class. When you have an issue spotting question, go through the list and see if anything applies. Professors want you to throw it all out there.
  • If you have a timed take-home exam, don't read the question, figure it's not too hard, and then watch Law and Order for 2 hours. Trust me.
  • If you really bomb, write an apology at the end. Everyone likes polite people.*
*I have friends that have actually done this. And it worked.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Updating the blogroll

I've been kind of absent from the law blog world lately, so if you have any good recommendations, or if you want me to add you to my links, drop me a comment or an email. Blog on!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Even further proof that law school is like high school

Although this is something that I think we did in Junior High. Yikes.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Real advice for 1Ls

Ah man, do I feel sorry for all you 1Ls. This is about the time where it's really kicking in. You start to realize what you've gotten yourself into just as the crushing weight of finals starts to descend. All you want to know is how to make it through exams, and all you get is lame advice like "just do what you did in undergrad, it got you here didn't it?" Well your boy M is here to give you the real lowdown. Just follow these simple steps.
  1. Chill out, this isn't the end of the world.
  2. Ok I lied, yes it is. If you're not stressed out something's wrong. These grades determine your future. You want to do all this for nothing?!
  3. Talk to your professors. I know they're scary, but often they have widely differing views of what they want on the exam.
    • Also, they will often say that they don't want you to just repeat what they've taught you. This is a lie. If your professor is a raving Marxist, so are you. Trust me, they've been convincing themselves they're right for years, you're not going to change their minds. Smarter people have tried. You are a parrot.
  4. Find a study partner. It should preferably be someone who is slightly smarter than you, and if you read this blog it shouldn't be easy. I promise, the best way to study is to go through the material with someone else, and ask a lot of questions. Your smart friend will get a better understanding by having to explain it all to you, and you can learn it all for the first time. Win - win.
  5. Buy commercial study guides. I prefer Emanuel's "Crunchtime", as it has only the very basic info, set out simply and clearly. Crap like "tort stories" and other books that give you background on cases and supposedly a "deeper understanding" of the cases are a waste of money.
  6. Make an outline. If it's over 50 pages it's too long, if it's under 20 it's too short. Modifying the one you got from your friend who took the course last year is FINE, no matter what anyone tells you. Most important is to have the information easily accessible.
  7. Learn the counter-arguments. The best way to analyze a fact pattern is to first make the strongest case you can for one side, then look at the other's side's counterarguments (making them as strong as you can), then go to your answers to the counterarguments, and so on. Lawyers can argue both sides.
    • if your first year exams aren't essay based, and consist only of multiple choice questions, get out now, you're not getting a job.
  8. Do practice exams. Do at least one of them in a timed environment- you'll be surprised how the time flies. Compare your answers with others, and argue about the differences in your answers.
  9. When you get to the exam don't just start writing. Do an answer outline first, and make it thorough. If you rush into it blindly you're going to realize half way through that you're way off base, and the panic will set in. Set aside at least 15% of the time for each question for outlining, preferably more.
  10. Finally, stop wasting your time reading law blogs, and don't take advice from people who write them.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sometimes numbers don't lie

So I've done some quick calculations to give you a sense of what 3L year is like. I have 12 hours of class a week. "They" say you should prepare 3 hours for every one hour of class time, but in the interest of reality, let's leave it at 1.5 per. So I should have 30 hours of work a week (12 hours + 12*1.5). We're ten weeks into the semester, so I should be at 300 hours (30*10). Let's see where I really am.

Class 1: 3 hours attended, 0 hours preparation
Class 2: 6 hours attended, 2 hours preparation
Class 3: 22 hours attended, 3 hours preparation
Class 4: 22 hours attended, 10 hours preparation

Total: 68 hours = 22.7% efficiency.

That's not that bad, is it? Although I guess it does when you break it down to 6.8 hours a week. This next month is gonna be hell.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Burger King University doesn't teach this

Man, why can't stuff like this happen to me? Two cops in New Mexico are suing Burger King after finding pot sprinkled in their burgers. I'm sure I've had all types of bodily fluids and animal droppings in my delicious whoppers (with cheese of course), but nothing that actually made the burger taste better. It's like the perfect storm- as you get the munchies, you're already eating! Really, this is a stupid lawsuit, why not just leave it at charging the kids with a criminal offense (you're cops for crying out loud!), but my favorite part of the whole thing has to be the cops' lawyer's quote, "It gives a whole new meaning to the word 'Whopper'". Awesome.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Where I've been

In bed. Watching movies (The Departed is awesome, and Stick It is way underrated). Drinking daily. Taking long weekend trips. Exploring myself.

Where I haven't been: lawschool. I still have 2 books I haven't opened, and I haven' t been to one class in over a month. This is why the blog has been dead. It's a lawschool blog, and I've completely checked out. However, the fear of failure is starting to kick in, I have papers to write and stacks of reading to do, so I'm gonna have to reinsert myself into the community (with much regret), meaning I'm gonna have more procrastination time to fill. So in the immortal words of Frank Costanza, "I'm back baby!"

ps. thanks to sadielady for making me feel like someone cares :) check out her blog, it's great, and apparently she also writes some kind of sex blog, which i'm sure is very dirty.

Sit down, and shut the fuck up

Seriously, what is up with people who don't understand the lawschool social contract? Not to get all Thomas Hobbes on your asses, but there are certain rules that help us navigate this quagmire. One of them is that you DON'T ASK QUESTIONS IN THE LAST FIVE MINUTES OF CLASS. I mean seriously, just shut the fuck up, you stupid gunner. I have naps to take, beers to drink, TV to watch. When I grace the class with a rare appearance, I don't need my time extended by some moron prodding the prof into some extended discussion. Look, gunners, I'm not one to hate on you guys generally, you serve your place well in the lawschool circle of life, we generally don't beat on you only because FOR EVERY MINUTE THAT YOU'RE TALKING, THAT'S ONE LESS MINUTE I HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION. THIS DOES NOT APPLY AT THE END OF CLASS. You're disturbing the delicate balance of our ecosystem, and this just won't hold.