Monday, August 29, 2005

The "Socratic Method" - a brief primer for 1L's

Socrates was an Athenian philosopher, 470-399 BC, who kept a pack of young men around who he "educated." He committed suicide after the Athenian people found him guilt of corrupting the youth.

The "Socratic Method" exercised in law school has nothing to do with philosophy, but it is still in the grand tradition of Socrates. Have fun with your "education" - it's gonna smart.

[A late addition, or a late reminder of a much earlier comment: Brian "not not not not not not not my academy" Leiter has pulled up an archival comment asking why anybody believes the method works. A misperception, I think. The method was supposed to be a way to make law school a commodity business, with economies of scale where one adequate prof can teach a hundred or more students at a time.]

Why it's better to be on a lesser journal

More attractive gunners. Have you seen some of the people who made law review? If I'm going to have to hear a gunner prattling on, at least it's nice to have something to focus on when tuning out the sound.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Why does Judge Judy give me deja vu to Contracts?

Maybe because all the decisions are wrong, or the odd one that is right is not rationally arrived at.

If there was a TV appellate process, hers would be the most overruled lower court.

(I'll bet Judge Mathis aced Contracts, though.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

If any UT 1L's are reading

. . . can you keep me posted as to where and when there is free pizza happening? I only went to HEB for beer and TP last fall because of free pizza around the law school. If they announced there would pizza, I would show up, even if it was a meeting of the law student chapter of NAMBLA. Pavlov would love me.

Friday, August 19, 2005

OCI sucks my . . .

Okay, so I have a concrete unbreakable deadline for submitting my requests for interview slots, but these rinky-dink slacker employers can decide afterwards that they want in, and then set an arbitrarily short deadline to request an interview, which I conveniently miss. Well, the AG's office is supposed to be just for the bottom 50% anyhow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

More 1L advice

How do you make a smart, talented person believe that they are in fact deficient, flawed, useless, and unworthy? Send them to law school.

The main mechanism of this is the continuous waiting game, played out repeatedly. LSAT scores segue into admissions, and then there's waiting for first semester 1L grades which are equivalent to your destiny. Then you see if any of the employers whom you dutifully applied to on heavy bond paper which did not arrive in their office before December 1st actually think those grades are worthy (while having panic attacks all along that your envelope in fact arrived on December 2nd, automatically disqualifying you from consideration).

Spring OCI follows, and you get to interview with a couple employers that have already prerejected you, but their recruiters do like a nice break from the office. There are always other jobs listed at the career service office, but every single job which will consider a 1L for the summer will require classes that it was impossible for you to have taken 1L year.

Spring grades are another round of anxiety. More credit hours on the roster now, so either you've got the outside hope of having past sins forgiven, or all your luck will go down the drain and it certainly must have been luck fall term based on what you see in the end of June.

Summer multi-journal write-on is the Tour de France of Law school stress inducement. With an exam, you get evaluated within about 6 weeks. With the write-on, you work for two weeks and turn in your product in late May, and get accepted or rejected only after about three months' time.

Let's be honest about Law Review here - the folks who say that it isn't that big a deal are the people who already have grades in the top 10-15%. Traditionally Law Review at most schools was based purely on grades, though they aren't necessarily the best proxy for excellent work on a journal. Some schools have gone to a system where some slots are purely on grades with a few slots determined by a combination og grades and write-on. What UT does is look at the write-on for all, considering grade and the write-on for most, with a fixed number of slots reserved for the write-on only. This is absolutely pernicious. Why? Because it lets me get my hopes up so they can be dashed.

According to the esteemed Mr. Andvodka, Texas Law Review is calling accepted students Wednesday. I don't know if that means today or tonight. I haven't gotten the call so far, so I have entrusted all the steak knives to the care of my neighbor.

The really sadistic part is that you don't get your license until you have survived the worst delayed agony, the bar exam.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Yes! I'm on a journal!

The Texas Review of Televised Adjudication was very impressed with my write-on submission - they want to talk to me about maybe taking on an editorial position.

Oddly, we're not being asked to bring the BlueBook to our orientation, but the TV Guide. And like the BB, things will be in chaos this fall because of their pending reformatting. Why the hell did I spend so much time learning the current format of TVG while ignoring my LR&W prof? Still time better spent, I suppose.

Monday, August 08, 2005

What's supposed to be so great about life as a summer associate?

I'm not being taken out to lunch, dinner, or drinks. Yeah, I'm meeting clients, but they seem like a pretty shady bunch. The hours are long and the compensation sucks - they won't pay overtime, and they've made veiled threats to fire me if I complain.

Wal-Mart sucks. Maybe Target will need associates next summer.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

What to read before 1L year?

I'm seeing that the existing blawgs [blah - almost as bad as the term blog itself] are giving advice to 1L's. There's always the damn reading list question - what should I read before law school?

Anything having nothing to do with the law. Really. If you're properly fuh-reaked out your fall term, you will have the attention span of my nephew after a few sippy cups of apple juice for anything outside your courses, and likely for some of those, too. When activities and a full course load hit you in the spring, you generally only get your life back if you stop and say "Screw this, I miss TV," and decide what courses to leave entirely to the bought or downloaded outline.

Unpersuaded? Well, everyone says OneL by Turrow, but then again, most people say that freaks them the hell out. The one thing I can tell you is that OneL has more to do with the range of emotional response students have to law school than it does about the actual classes. A good example is the absentee student who figures class is completely useless for anything but agony and the odd bit of humiliation. [I'd agree that those of us who go most of the time are masochists if it were not for partypoker.com and espn - god bless wireless.] I swear, in May I saw five people I hadn't seen since December. Then again, maybe they decided to sit in on classes with decent profs instead.

If you want something that will prepare you for an old school "Socratic Method" professor, especially for contracts, this Kafka gem will do ya: In the Penal Colony

Friday, August 05, 2005

Can't Law Review reject me any faster?

What good is it to successfully write on to Law Review if it doesn't make it onto your resume before OCI requests and 59 out of 60 potential employers file injunctions from you ever submitting a resume to them again?

More worrisome: does my PR grade adequately indicate that I won't run with scissors as a summer associate? That might scotch number 60.