Wednesday, April 26, 2006

More from the old school

Nothing new to report, so another post from my last blog. I posted this on January 14, 2005:

So far, no contracts grade yet.

I have heard some rumors about why it’s taking so long. See if you can guess which of the following are actual rumors that I heard and which are made up.

1. Professor Contracts gave too many Ds and Fs. He had a change of heart and decided to bump everyone up so he’s re-grading the exams.
2. Professor Contracts graded them and realized there were too many As because everyone knew so much about Contracts. Now he’s re-thinking his grading scale and lowering the grades.
3. Professor Contracts turned in his exams to the registrar, who rejected them because he didn’t get the curve right (or didn’t curve at all), so he’s re-doing everything.
4. Professor Contracts is taking his time to carefully pour over every word of every exam, including the “challenges” to his multiple choice questions. Only when he has read everyone’s exam at least four or five times will he turn in his grades.
5. Professor Contracts spilled beer on the exams the other night at a certain tavern and bluebook pages are drying on clothespins in his basement.
6. Professor Contracts has better things to do than grade exams. He’ll get around to it one of these days.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The new guy

Look, another blogger from this school! His "Exam Crisis" post is funny.

Looks like he's a 2L or 3L and has come up with possibly the only less original moniker than "Some Guy." He just started the blog in April, so we'll see if he keeps going. I hope so, since with Bricklayer graduating, that brings the number of remaining student bloggers to four, including "Student."

Monday, April 24, 2006

Get the f*ck out of my library

Have you noticed the sign in the entrance of the library that says only law students and people doing legal research will be allowed in the law library until the end of final exams? Seems like a good rule to me, since there are plenty of other places to study besides the law school if you’re not in law school. But I wonder who is enforcing this policy. My guess is that no one is.

Yesterday I saw plenty of people studying non-law school subjects. I wasn’t about to go up to them and remove them or rat them out to the security guards. Can you imagine one of those $10-an-hour blue shirted teenagers working security walking up to someone, asking what she’s studying, then forcibly dragging them out of the library? I can’t.

As best I can figure, someone probably put up the sign so that if a non-law student was making a lot of noise the law student would be justified in getting that person kicked out. Still, I have a hard time imagining anyone actually enforcing the policy.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

More from the old days

I'm busy studying (really!), so here's another post from the old days. I posted this on September 21, 2004. Seems like a long, long time ago. Since then I guess I've occasionally caught a few more glimpses of these people, but it's still a rare event when I spot a professor outside of class (and not entering or exiting the library). Not sure why I was writing in all lower case back then.

where's the teacher?
i find it interesting when people you only view in one context show up in another. for example, it seems somehow odd that i have five professors (including my lrw prof, who is a full-time faculty member) and i’ve only seen one prof outside of class. in five weeks here i’ve never laid eyes on any of these guys (yes, i have all male profs) except in class (and heading to and from class) though twice i've seen profs walking in and out of the library.

for all i know, these other profs simply disappear into thin air after class and resurface again just in time for the next class. maybe it’s like that movie i saw a preview for, where the woman apparently lives in some alternate universe and her kid was taken to the other world. it’s some intellectual utopia where everyone speaks in questions and no one gives answers but god help you if you're at fault in a car wreck or breach a contract.

professor contracts, on the other hand, i see everywhere. he’s strolling around campus, hanging out on the bricks, walking around different parts of the library. i’ve seen him lounging outside the rat and reliable sources have spotted him at a local tavern, which he’s confirmed is his favorite watering hole. i see him at all hours, too, not just regular daytime working hours. i even saw him at the football game. the other day he talked to a friend and i for half an hour in the library, about more or less nothing (he talked. we listened…).

i don’t know what’s better: having profs as mythical creatures who inhabit another world or seeing them mingling with students and seeming like real, live humans. no doubt professor contracts enjoys himself on a daily basis; i have no idea whether the other profs are having fun. i do know that contracts is the class i feel most lost in but i think it would be a tenuous link to say my utter cluelessness is related to the prof existing outside the classroom...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

3 cheers!

So all the classes are over. This semester, people applauded in three of my four classes. I couldn’t believe that anyone applauded Professor Pessimist in State and Local Government. I wanted to boo.

I wrote last semester about the silly tradition of clapping for the teacher so no need to go down that road again. I still don’t get it.

At least no one applauded Professor Seminar. Not that he’s a bad professor, but there were only five people in the class so that would have been even more awkward than usual if one person had broken out in applause. I did notice something interesting: When students applaud, the professor usually gets an awkward grimace on his face, but Judge/Professor Professional Responsibility got a huge grin on his face. He seemed to enjoy the round of applause.

Friday, April 21, 2006

don't print this

Now there's this: a page limit for printing on the school's printers. After you reach the limit you get charged five cents per page. The Dean says other schools charge students per page (I have no idea if that's true or not) but enough people here are abusing the system that they are forced to start charging after the page limit. I am in there printing a lot, but I'm usually printing only a few pages at a time so I don't think I'm one of the people who abuses the system. Actually I have no clue how many pages I print each semester. I'm sure I print hundreds of pages, but I doubt it addes up to 1,200. I guess I'll find out next semester.

The e-mail from the Dean contains a funny line about how she hopes this will improve printing services for all students. Well, if it means 12 people at a time don't have to cram into that tiny room on the first floor of the library to use the only three printers that work regularly while five other people wait outside the room because it's so crowded -- and inevitably one or two people are having problems with their laptop hookup to the printer -- then I guess it will improve printing services. Otherwise, I'm not sure how this is anything other than a cost-cutting measure. Maybe students will complain and we'll get the inevitable e-mail about how we should be thankful that they have this plan because otherwise, our already astronomical tuition would be even higher.

Anyway, here's the e-mail from the dean:

The first is that wireless printing will soon be available for all students. The service will begin within the next 10 days.

The second initiative addresses a concern that was brought to us by SBA leadership and other students last year. These students were concerned that a small number of students over-used printers and created serious delays for other users. We examined a number of responses to this concern. Most schools charge students a per page charge for student printing. Some charge for every page, while others institute the charge only after a student has reached a particular page limit. The purpose of the charge is primarily to deter over-use.

We elected to go with the second method and will implement the new policy next fall. We chose a very generous per page limit for each student of 1200 pages per student per semester. This number exceeds or equals the number of pages that 95 % of current students print in a given semester. The first 1200 pages are free. We will charge .05 per page for those pages that exceed the limit. (This charge may be adjusted if we find that the amount is inadequate to deter over-use.) Special allowances will be made for students whose print work is for a professor, for law review use, or for other organizational uses. We will spell out these exceptions in the fall.

Here’s how it would work. When you are near the print limit, you will receive a pop-up warning on your computer that tells you how many pages remain in your allotment. If you exceed the 1200 page limit, you will still be allowed to print, but the cost will show up on your school bill. Help Desk Operations personnel is authorized to modify a student’s print audit number when there is a computer malfunction that results in printing over the 1200 pages.

We hope that taken together, these two new initiatives will improve printing services for all students.

Please let me know if you have questions or comments about printing or about other matters that might improve student services.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

To the guy who doesn't get it

I know it can be dangerous to get into a war of words with anonymous commenters, but one of the comments is so inane that I feel like I just have to respond.

My response is this: if you read what I wrote and come away with the impression that I believe I am owed a job, go read someone else’s blog because you’re a moron. I am serious. You just aren’t a very smart person if that’s what you think. If you’re the type of person who reads something and thinks whatever you want about it, regardless of what it actually says, well, that’s fine with me, but the bad new is that you just don’t get it. (And while we’re at it, if you read this blog and all you think is, wow, he sure spends a lot of time whining, well, again, you just don’t get it. Believe it or not, I’m not a miserable person. Life is about more than law school and being a lawyer. The only part of my life that I don’t like is law school and because this blog is about life in law school, you’re going to read complaints about law school.)

Never have I stated that I’m owed something by anyone. I’m 33 years old. I spent almost a decade in the real world before coming to law school. I know no one is owed anything, especially when it comes to a job. I’ve seen people get laid off, downsized, etc. It’s happened to me. I do not think I am entitled to anything. I did plenty of research before coming to law school about law school and law jobs. And I’ve said repeatedly that I never really wanted a Big Firm law job. I’ve also said that several times, I’ve come across areas of law that seem really interesting to me, but that for whatever reason, I’ve been unable to make any headway into as far as getting a job.

If you took two or three seconds to actually read what I was writing, you’ll see that I am doing all that I can to get a job. Let me repeat that: I am doing all that I can. I am doing everything that you’re supposed to do. I don’t really know how many other ways I can communicate to you that I feel the exact opposite of someone who believes he is owed a job, but let me try one more time to explain this on the most basic level possible. I am working hard to get a job. When someone works hard at trying to accomplish something, he doesn’t expect something to be handed to him. Otherwise, why would he work hard at it? If he thought he was owed something, then he wouldn’t work at trying to accomplish it. If and when you are owed something, you sit back and wait for it to come to you.

Oh, and by the way, Miami is 65 percent Latino. That puts me in the minority. I’m just saying.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It's almost That Time of Year

I am ready to give up.

My first final is in nine days and I am ready to pack it in. I’ve studied less this semester than ever before and it’s for lack of motivation. I have nothing to motivate me. Here’s the thing about law school: it’s a lot of work, but I did it all. I did everything right. Every single thing. And now, I’m two years into it and I have nothing to show for what I’ve done.

Coming into law school, I didn’t really want the Big Firm job, although I was definitely intrigued when I came thisclose to getting a job at one for the summer, so I’m okay with the fact that I won’t be earning six figures in my first year of law school, while many of my classmates earn that much but also work 12-14 hour days, plus anywhere from 1-8 hours every weekend day. That’s not the kind of life I wanted. Still, I was unhappy when I didn't get the Big Firm job I interviewed for, not coincidentally because it was in one of the few law areas that really interested me.

They told us over and over again that first year grades were key. They were the most important thing because they determined what job we’d get for the second summer. Well, that was true for some people, but not for me. I still don’t have a summer job. My first year grades weren’t too bad, but weren’t spectacular.

Still, after I got absolutely nothing as a result of those grades, I soldiered on. What I did, was this: I continued to do everything right. I’m not here to brag, but I am on Law Review (I wrote on, just like next year’s editor-in-chief); I am much, much closer to the top of my class than the bottom; and my grades have improved each semester, including a huge GPA and ranking bump last semester. But who cares?

With three days left in the semester, I have been on 10 interviews and failed to get a summer job. I have two almost-possibilities lined up, kinda, sorta, and if they come through, either one will be fine, but not the kind of thing that will lead to permanent post-law school employment. And frankly, that’s why I’m in law school: to get a better job than the one I had before law school. By ‘better’ I mean a job that interests me, that I doesn’t make me miserable every morning when I wake up and think about having to go to, that I like identifying with, that I care about for a reason other than the paycheck.

Meantime, law school for the past two years has been stressful, both for me and for my wife (for her because of the stress on me). This year – although this is more relevant to first semester than this semester – I did even more work than in my first year. Law review was a ton of work and it did not pay off in the slightest. Supposedly, it’s a high honor – maybe even the highest. I got no jobs or interviews because of it. My Big Paper that I spend seven months on didn’t get published. I didn’t win when I ran for two of the mid-level editor positions in the big election a few weeks ago. I think I wasted the time I put into it. Next year I’ll still be on it, but because if what I just wrote about my paper and the election, I will not have a single obligation to fulfill, so it goes on my resume, but that’s all it is --a line on my resume, and if I work in a law firm and have an online bio, it will be on there.

Ultimately, who cares if I did well in law school? People who I’ve talked to say I should be happy and proud of my accomplishments. But why? Does anyone who does even half the required work actually flunk out of (this particular) law school? Is it impressive that a year from now I’ll be graduating from law school? Um, not to me. Sure, going back to the first semester of last year, I was totally overwhelmed and couldn’t imagine actually succeeding and then graduating. But then I had exams and realized that I wasn’t going to flunk out, not by a long shot, so I became less impressed with myself. I mean why is it impressive if you get good grades and finish close to the top of your class? Law school is three years of your life. We’re all here to get good jobs, right?

(It doesn’t help that I have grown to absolutely hate this city. I can’t even begin to express the passionate hatred I have for Miami. Mostly it’s based on the cultural differences. I’ve written about this before on my blog, so I won’t get into the details. I’ll just add this disclaimer: I have not even the slightest inkling of any negative thoughts toward Cuban or Latino people. I just don’t want to live in a part of the country where I am a minority and time and time again find myself unable to communicate with someone because of the language barrier. At first it was an adventure. Now I’m sick of the adventure. I think I would like it a little more in other cities in South Florida, but since they’ve told us that hurricane season is going to continue being as bad as last year’s, that’s another huge reason why I intensely dislike living here).

So what to do? I am in dire need of motivation for the next three weeks of exams, not to mention all of next year. I’m not going to quit law school because I’ve come too far. I could never live with myself if I walked away, although I’ve spent plenty of time looking for jobs online that have nothing to do with law.

I still have a vague hope that maybe I can get a clerkship after graduation so grades are still somewhat important, at least for this semester. But it’s clear that if I want to stay here, which I don’t but will for other reasons, a clerkship is very unlikely. Everyone wants to come to Miami, including people who went to Harvard, Stanford and Yale. And many federal judges only hire clerks who have been practicing for a while. So it’s not inconceivable that I’d get an interview for an clerkship or even an actual clerkship, it’s unlikely to happen.

Another problem is that I have a hard time doing a half-assed job. I feel like based on all this, I shouldn’t put forth anywhere near as much effort because the effort doesn’t pay off. So why bother? I know plenty of people in my class who just do the minimum to skate by. I subscribe to the ‘to each his own’ theory so I’m not being critical of people who do this when I say that I could never do what they do. I just have a hard time not giving my all, even if that means added aggravation, stress and work.

So, back to desperately seeking motivation…

Monday, April 17, 2006

That time again (almost)

It’s that time of year. Almost. As Tortious Interference said, finals are so, uh, so final.

I only have two in-class finals and one take home. They are all nicely spaced out – I have one final in each of the three weeks so I’ll have plenty of time to fill my brain with useful facts. I'm even going to Chicago for a wedding right in the middle of finals. Cubs-Cardinals at Wrigley Field next Saturday. I'll be there. Can't wait.

So I don’t feel nearly as stressed as the last three semesters. Part of that is because I already wrote and turned in the two papers I had to write this semester, so that means I have one-third less work than in previous semesters.

Sure, whatever. I’m sure this time next week the stress level will ratchet up about 100 levels and I’ll lose my mind. I sure don’t love this time of year!

The good news is that we only have two more Food Law, um, I mean State and Local Government classes. I can’t wait until Wednesday afternoon when I’m done with that class. I won’t miss Professor Pessimist at all…

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Best (or worst) Of

Is it too arrogant to do a "Best Of" series my blogs? I don't know. That presupposes there was something good. Well, In any case, I'm out of interesting things to say, so until I come up with an interesting thought, I'll try to post a few highlights from my last blog. That blog is dead (I erased it because it used my real name; I was trying to make myself a little less Google-able for prospective employers). But I saved all the posts. Some of the old stuff makes me cringe. So if you're new to this blog this year or you long for the good ol' days, here is a sampling of what you missed. I guess I'm judging what's "best" based on the number of commentes I received and, well, just because I thought so.

I posted the following on October 15, 2004:

Went to the football game last night. On the field: terrific stuff.

Off the field: not so much.

I decided the average undergraduate at this school has the maturity level of a 6-year-old.

Why do I say this? A guy urinated on me. Disgusting, right? The guy was drunk, didn’t want to get up to go to the bathroom so he squatted down and pissed all over the floor. It splashed onto the back of my legs.

So at this point I’m not too happy.

Me: Hey asshole, why did you pee on me?

Him: Um I didn’t. I peed on the floor.

Me: Are you retarded?

He: What?

Me: I said, are you retarded? Do you actually think if you peed on the floor nothing would splash up on to me?

He: (pauses briefly) Um, no, I’m not retarded.

Me: Were you brought up in a barn? You can’t just piss wherever you want.

He: No, I was brought up in a house. (seriously, he actually said this)

At this point, the conversation deteriorates further. His big friend interjects and asks what happened. I tell him the guy peed on me. Big friend says “no he didn’t.”

I explain to big friend that no matter how many times he tells me I didn’t get peed on, it won’t change the fact that I got peed on. He seems puzzled and repeats himself over and over again, pointing to the puddle on the floor apparently as evidence that urinator did not peed on floor, not my leg.

More words are exchanged. A guy I’m sitting next to brings stadium security. It’s a hulking bald guy who gets in a heated discussion with the urinator and his friends.

Security guy leaves. Urinator or one of his friends actually say the following:

“oooooooh, the big babies called their mommy.”

Hmmmm….if I was 6 years old that statement would make me feel really bad. I’m 31.

I laugh but don’t turn around or say anything. Next, urinator or friend says:

“yeah look at how hairy that guy is.’

Um, if I was 12 maybe I’d feel self conscious about that. I’m not.

The dude points to the back of my head, tapping me lightly. I’m willing to let it slide.

But unbeknownst to me [or the morons], big hulking security man has not left. He’s lurking 10 feet away in the aisle, just watching. He comes running over and asks the children why they’re still messing with me.

Naturally, they deny everything. He patiently explains that he was standing 10 feet away and saw the guy touch the back of my head. Urinator, having already proven he’s of sub-average intelligence, *still* denies touching my head.

Security guard almost laughs (I think). He explains, not so patiently, that urinator and his little friends will be asked to leave if there is another complaint.

No more problems.

I took a long shower when I got home.

I washed my teva sandals, too. They are going to soak for a long time.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I had a near death experience this morning: I walked into Subway and almost keeled over. The smell is always horrible but today was particularly bad. Jesus. How do those people who work there put up with it? I promise that once I graduate from this law school, I will never eat in Subway again. Well, not for several years...

Thursday, April 13, 2006


The other day I noticed one of those protests by the bookstore. A typical pro-union, anti-administration protest, right? Well, sort of. See, this protest was particularly loud and vehement. But what stood out as I stopped to watch the chanting for a couple of minutes was this: I thought to myself, “Wow, that guy [one of the protest leaders] really looks way too hippie-ish to be a student at this school.” You know the type, especially if like me, you went to undergrad at a small liberal arts school (or even a big state school with a diverse student body, unlike the one here, which is ethnically diverse, but not culturally) which is about as far away culturally as you can get from this institution.

This type of person has that raggedy, crunchy look of an activist. He’s not neat and clean like 98 percent of the student body here. He probably takes public transportation, even in Miami, which would make most people’s lives unbearable. Or if he owns a car, he drives a beat up old Corolla where one window is permanently stuck up or down and the floorboards are so worn you can actually see the street. He rides his bike a lot. He shops at a co-op – probably Wild Oats or a small, depressing independent co-op, although he’ll go to Whole Foods if that’s the only thing he can find. He’s a compassionate type, but he wouldn’t fit in around here. He doesn’t own an iPod or TV and makes sure you know it. He definitely owns a guitar. He won’t set foot in a Starbucks, but he drinks a lot of black tea. I’m not saying he’s a hippie, but he’s definitely a descendant of hippies. So anyway, you never see these types of people on campus.

Turns out I was right. The union support group made up of students brought in outsiders. So of course Shalala weighed in and sent out an all-campus e-mail which contained a really bizarre line:

Paying UNICCO workers to stay off the job is an acceptable practice during a unionization effort. What is off limits, unacceptable, and potentially dangerous is bringing in third-party protestors to disrupt the educational mission of the University and encouraging them to trespass on private property.

Um, dangerous? No, I don’t think so. As I said, these people are incredibly committed to whatever cause of the day they’re working on, even if they were technically ‘trespassing’ on campus, I guess is possible since it’s private property even though it’s open to the public. I don’t think anyone was actually afraid of these people.

Oh yeah, read Bricklayer's latest. Apparently, a month shy of graduation, he's come to realize that this school is still pretty liberal. Too liberal for his tastes. Go figure.

This is funny stuff: Law School Timeline, by Barely Legal Blog.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So it goes

Harvard law students: not as smart as they think they are.

Professor Seminar cancelled class on Thursday afternoon because of Passover. It seems we have the option to meet sometime during the reading period or do extra work instead of an extra class. Talk about choice of evils...

That's all I've got. Nothing else. Sorry.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sitemeter addiction

Like many bloggers, I'm addicted to watching my sitemeter. I don't know -- maybe it's an ego thing. Since I recently passed the 10,000 mark, meaning 10,000 readers have stopped by -- or maybe the same 10 people have each come by this blog about 1,000 times -- I figured I'd write about the sitemeter. (By the way, the number would actually be much higher if I hadn't deleted my original blog that used my real name. I'm really glad I deleted it since being anonymous has totally made me so much more attractive to prospective employers!)

Even though the sitemeter says exactly how many visitors you're averaging, it's hard to tell exactly how many people visit this blog. That's because the stats vary wildly based on the day of the week, which makes sense since this blog is mostly about school. Fridays and Saturdays are by far the deadest days. Not many people read during breaks from school. Anyway, I figure as a rough calculation, about 50-60 people check in every day, although I'm not sure how to tell whether it's 50 unique visitors or the same 10 people checking in five times per day. Earlier this week there were more than 80 visitors on back-to-back days. So with the numbers fluctuating wildly, it's tough to tell how many actual people read this.

As for who the visitors are, well, I know obviously there are plenty of people from this law school. I know of at least three faculty here that occasionally read the blog. One comments periodically, and his wife commented on my last blog. The other faculty member once e-mailed me about the blog and said he was glad I kept blogging. I don't know if any other faculty or members of the administration read it. Plenty of students check in.

I'm always intersted in how people find the blog, so I look to see the referrals page. Occasionally someone gets here by doing a Google search for something like "Life in Law School" and people come from a handful of other blogs that link to me. But I link to more people than that link to me. Strangely, people still get here by, which doesn't make any sense because if you go to that site, you won't find a link to this blog. Maybe some day someone will explain to me how this is done.

I also like to see where the readers come from, and this is where it sometimes gets interesting. Most are from Florida, but they come from all over the place. I get a few readers checking in from Australia and a regular reader from Eufala, Alabama.

As for their identity, it's hard to figure out because usually they come from an unidentifiable source, with the majority from places like,, etc. Then I get a few odd ones. Someone from 3M (the company) stops by periodically, but only once a week or so. I have one regular reader who works in the same law firm where the father-in-law of my good friend works. I've known this friend since the 8th grade and I've known his father-in-law, who is a terrific guy (and I'm not just saying that because he might be reading this), for maybe three or four years, but we don't know each other well at all. Still, somehow doubt he is reading this blog.

Finally, there's the question of how they found this blog, based on what web page you were reading before coming here. The majority are "unknown" but I get a ton of visitors whenever I'm mentioned in Energy Spatula's Weekly Law School Roundu. Sometimes they come from the professor.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Not the most interesting post and it has nothing to do with all that I wrote last week about the whole job search and the administration not helping students. By the way, am I the only one surprised that the professor hasn't weighed in on that topic?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yes, another post about jobs.

I forgot to point out that another phase of OCI has passed us by without a single employer available to bid on. That makes a total of one employer that has been available over the past three supplemental phases of OCI. Actually, and this is kind of incredible, but in the current phase – the sixth and final phase – we’re at minus-1 employer. I got an e-mail saying one of the firms I bid on, which had scheduled its interviews for March 28 but failed to notify a single student whether they were selected, is dropping out of the OCI process. So I guess that puts us at a net of zero employers over the past four weeks of OCI. Awesome. I’m so glad I made the choice to go to law school…

Well, I heard from two of the people involved in the clerkship situation and they defended themselves and this school’s efforts. I have a meeting lined up with the dean himself – after his gatekeeper initially refused to let me see him – early next week so I’ll let you know how that goes. I just plan to ask him what he is doing to advocate for his students.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

You're on your own

Let me preface this by saying two things: first, I rarely blame other people for my problems. I am a firm believer in personal responsibility: you reap what you sow and if you’re an adult, you are, for the most part, in control of your life. Second, when it comes to looking for a job, all bets are off. You can do everything – and I mean every single thing – right, and still fail to get a job. Or fail to get a decent job. Oh, and third, I am not saying that it’s the job of the administration at this school to actually find a job for me. I realize it’s not that simple.

I learned a lot yesterday and unfortunately, I didn’t like what I learned. I went to a panel at lunchtime at which two federal circuit and one state appellate court judge spoke about clerkships. Basically, they explained a little bit about what they look for in clerks. Also, a woman was there who had graduated from this school in 2005 and is currently clerking in the Third District Court of Appeals.

Everything started out great. Then, to all our benefit, the woman from the career placement center spoke up. She asked the judges what she could do to get more clerks from this school hired. She pointed out that 45 people applied for clerkships last year and only five got offers. That was the first piece of bad news, but it got progressively worse.

First, one of the federal judges answered her question by suggesting, and I am quoting verbatim, “Dean Lynch needs to get out there a little bit more.” This judge said, “That guy from FIA [I assume he means the Dean of the FIU law school], we can’t get rid of him.” It was a little joke – as in, that dean of FIU is always around our chambers advocating for FIU law students. We see him so often that we’re kind of sick of him. But the fact is that we see him around. We never see Dean Lynch.

I shouldn’t really be surprised, should I? It wasn’t until late in my first year that I knew who the dean was because he never – and I mean never, ever, ever – associates with the students. Unlike some of the lower ranked deans who are spotted at the gym or occasionally on the bricks or talking to students in the hallway, this dean is never spotted in public where students are around. But that’s just his personal style, right? No big deal. Well, actually, now it turns out that we have confirmation from a federal judge that the dean of this law school does nothing to help his students get jobs. If this isn’t damning, I don’t know what is.

But wait. It got better. The judge from the DCA said that a while ago, he was at a reception and as it turned out, he’d recently hired a UF grad to be his clerk. At this reception, the dean of the UF law school went up to him and not only thanked him for hiring a recent grad as clerk, but mentioned the student by name. Now, I’ll admit that the federal judge didn’t elaborate as to how many people were at this reception but the way he made this statement, the way he expressed surprise, you got the impression that there were lots of people there and it wasn’t just the UF dean and this judge and the UF dean probably didn’t have his staff research a list of things to say to the judge. The dean of the UF law school knew the name of one of the graduates of his law school and knew where he was working.

Left unsaid, of course, was the obvious implication: the dean of this law school has never done that.

But wait. There’s more. The law clerk spoke up and apparently it’s part of her job to screen clerkship applications. She said as if this was a rare occurrence and an incredible thing, that once she got an application packet for a clerkship and the director of that student’s school’s career placement office had attached a brief letter of recommendation, giving the clerk the message that “wow, I was impressed that the director of the career center would go out of his way to do this.” Also, of course, was the obvious implication that no one from this school has ever done such a thing.

No, that’s not all. Then one of the judges talked about how aggressive the career development person from the University of Michigan is. He apparently writes letters talking up his school’s graduates. Not a couple of letters here and there, but many letters. And another judge, I forget which one, said in a half-dismissive (but not entirely dismissive) way, that Case Western Reserve Law School sends him nice and glossy brochures all the damn time and he has no idea why, but if a Case law student ever applied for a clerkship, he’d read the application. But he wasn’t entirely dismissive – his point was that Case is advocating for its graduates.

As I said, I don’t blame other people for my inability to find a job, but for the love of God, could the dean of this law school lift a finger to help this school’s graduates? I know it’s not the dean’s job to actually get his students a job, but wouldn’t you think he’d be out there advocating for students at this school? Yes, I am aware that plenty of people will get jobs without the administration's help, but wouldn't it be nice if the administration did a little something to help out? And as for the career center, again, it’s not their job to get me a job. It’s not that simple. But could the career center possibly work with us, instead of just standing by and pushing paper on us? Hello? Hello? Anyone?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rankings, Doors, Registration

Well, here’s something: as a commenter posted recently, this law school moved up in the rankings. So, that’s meaningful to me. It’s really helped me a lot. Right. Sure. Uh-huh.

By the way, I think I’ve concluded that the secret door I recently discovered in the library is nothing more than an exit. I’m sorely disappointed because I was hoping for something much more intriguing. Oh well. Just another way that my law school experience has disappointed me. Sorry, that was a cheap shot, but so it goes...

My registration time is one of the last of the day. That’s not good, but I’m wondering if the classes I want will be full by then. I’m hoping that since I’ll be a3L, it won’t be a problem, but who knows. If you’re registering before me, don’t take the one particular class that I really, really want to take. I’m not going to tell you what class I’m talking about because then you’ll all go sign up for it just to spite me.

Monday, April 03, 2006


I recently discovered a secret bathroom in the library. I never even knew it existed. To date, when I have been there, it has never been out of order like half the other bathrooms here, and nor has it smelled worse than a toxic waste dump, like the fourth floor men’s room. I also noticed a secret door marked “authorized personnel” only that many faculty and staff members pass through. I can’t understand where it goes to. Actually these things are not exactly secret, but they are hidden away and I never noticed them until a couple of weeks ago, which seems odd since I’ve spent an absurd amount of time in this law library in the past two years…

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A taxonomy of legal blogs

The guy at Ohio State who is getting credit for his blog posted a "Taxonomy of Legal Blogs" which is a fancier way of saying he made a big list of legal blogs. So that's something.

My friend CL is having a contest. I don't think too many people who read this blog also read her blog because, well, we kind of have different audiences. See, she's a vampire (well, not really, but she does sleep all day and then she works and drinks all night). I have known her for about five years. We don't talk much these days. She has the distinction of being (and I'm not kidding about this) one of this country's most renowned authorities on something arcane, a subject that 99.5 percent of the public knows nothing about. See if you can guess her expertise by reading her blog...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

jobs, jobs, jobs

A couple of people have left comments suggesting that I get an unpaid internship or judicial internship. It’s not something I haven’t thought of. I wouldn’t cry my eyes out if I had to do that and I'd maybe take a summer school class just like I did last summer. That would make next year go easier because I could take fewer classes each semester. In fact, I already know of one internship that I am almost sure I could have and it’s working in the specific field that I would be very happy to work in full time after law school.

But my problem is a fear of commitment. At what point do you assume that no paid, full-time jobs are forthcoming and commit to the unpaid internship? I realize you can always renege on a commitment but that doesn’t seem like a great idea, especially if it’s in a specific area in which I want to practice and it’s a relatively small community. I don’t think it’s appropriate to contact the guy about this unpaid position now and say something like “I’m still looking for a ‘real’ job but is it OK if you stand by as my backup plan?” Right now there are two more job opportunities I’m waiting to hear about so I’ll probably make the decision about the internship after I hear from these two places.

But then what? Do I have to stop looking? What if an incredible opportunity comes along? Do I have to pass it up or not even bother applying? Eh. Who am I kidding? I’ve been waiting for an “incredible opportunity” of a job for about six years now and hasn't happened yet. I guess that's why I'm in law school...