Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Qualified nostalgia

It's mugshot and fingerprint day at Baylor Law School, and I don't mean that they finally found out about my cockfighting ring out by the river. No, it's the day that the Waco PD (or their Baylor counterparts) send their version of the Maytag repairman out to the law school to fingerprint first-years for the Texas Board of Legal Examiners initiation. Good times. It also happens to be Exam Review season, in which some law students are lured into a soul-crushing self-doubt session by their unmitigated desire to verify the professor's arithmetic. It's a horrible bait-and-switch. Then again, on occasion (the very rare occasion, from what I've heard), something will be said about test-taking or legal problem-solving that can actually be taken into the next test. In any case, it's a mixed bag, I've found.

Another sign of the apocalypse

The Law Buddy Picnic, irresistable bete noire of Baylor Law hipsters, is no more, well at least not in the manner to which we've grown accustomed. Instead of marking the beginning of a pubcrawl that starts at George's II and ends at either Cricket's or Fred & Wally's, it will start at Peter Piper Pizza. No joke. And it's a law buddy social, though in the interest of nomenclature verisimilitude, this may be an improvement--it never resembled a picnic. Still, it's different. I remember in my second quarter talking about the switch from fajitas to chicken fried steak at the law buddy picnic being a gross flouting of tradition (I didn't actually go that far), so now I'll just tut-tut from my position as Grand Old Man of the 5Qs.

But they better give us more tokens this time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Baylor on Fox

So I was watching Fox's new show Prison Break last night (along with like a buttload of other people, including a commenter below) and was surprised and intrigued by the two references to the female lead's degree from Baylor Law School. The woman is played by Robin Tunney of The Craft and The In-Laws fame. The first mention was a shot of her bedroom which panned across her JD itself, and the second was a derogatory comment between two bad guys to the effect that "surely [he] could handle a girl who graduated in the middle of her Baylor Law School class." Did we just get dissed on national television? Methinks perhaps we did. But I also suspect our fair alma step-mater will be vindicated in the end.

Fiction writers live by few rules, but one of them is this: do not introduce gratuitous detail, for it will confuse and anger your reader/watcher when it proves extraneous. That is, if I make the main character have a Ph.D. in economics, there is an expectation that I will have him use that knowledge, or at least that it will inform his character (and the plot) in a material way. When the whole story is about his search for his biological father, the reader wonders why exactly he needed to know about the character's level of education.

That said, I'm persuaded that there's a reason Baylor was chosen as her law school. First, the show is set in and around Chicago, and it's a relative rarity for Chicagoans to study at Baylor and for Baylor lawyers to practice in Chicago. What she was doing in Texas begs explanation. Also, the second mention (the comment about the middle of her class, etc.) leads me to believe the speaker was getting at the simple fact that Baylor is not in the Ivy League. If the writers were seeking a random crappy law school, one would suspect they would take one off the Tier 2, 3 or 4 list--and in Chicago, where there are more than a few. Thus, I arrive at my guess...

Baylor Law School will be vindicated as the "Marine Corps of law schools" as the lead character draws upon her world class advocacy skills which she learned in the celebrated Practice Court program.

Or maybe it has nothing to do with anything.

Monday, August 29, 2005

OCI preparations

I've been finishing up the latest incarnation of my resume and plan on dropping it off with the Career Services people by the end of the day. Then it occcurred to me that I'm not 100% sure where the CSO is even located. I found out, but still, it surprised me that I hadn't had any more interaction with them than the mandatory little symposia they give us en masse. My last gig came from employment connections made before law school--and wasn't exactly a CSO placement-type situation anyway--and I didn't drop last year, so I guess there's been no reason for me to know where they were. Still, Baylor Law School isn't a big place, and it's hard not to know where everything is. I mean, come on, everyone knows about the tiny hideaway in the library by the Congressional Record where Res Ipsa, the loquatious midget, lives.

Anyway, on my resume is a small miscellany section of hobbies and interests that is supposed to show off the fact that I am, indeed, a human being and not a researching and memo-writing machine. (Or would it behoove me to be a researching and memo-writing machine?) I've seen people put all manner of things (salsa dancing, travel, can speak Klingon) in this section, so I thought long and hard about what small detail would humanize me without compromising the sense of serious decorum that the rest of my resume exudes.

And so, I debated whether or not to mention my editorship of this blog in that fun facts section. I mean, surely it's an interest, and it's one that takes up some measure of the time I would be spending skydiving or caring for silkworms or whatever. Then again, would I want hiring partners to read everything I've written about here, from the bumfights to the Big Wheel tractor pulls? My readership is allegedly vast and distinguished, or so I gather from comments made to me by classmates who were asked if they knew me in interviews--couldn't that help me get a job?

No, I reasoned, no it can't. And I'm not sure I'd want to be interviewed just for the curiosity of meeting the blog guy. The practice of law is a serious thing, and so I've decided to jump into it in a somewhat serious manner, at least for now. If people recognize my name and want to ask me about it, then fine (that's "Fahrenthold" like "Fahrenheit" but with a "thold"), but I've decided against citing it on my resume.

Besides, this blog sucks anyway.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

108 in SA, 75 in the Alamodome

I just got back from a quick trip down to San Antonio to watch Reagan High School play Harlingen in the Alamadome. My sister is now one of those flag-throwing, french-braided girls in leotards that tromp around with the marching band during the halftime show. Consider my supportive brotherly duty for the fiscal year done. Ronald Reagan High School, my sister's alma mater, is not even five years old, and it serves the ever northward expanding suburban crawl of San Antonio's yuppies. I'm not exactly sure who decided they should be called the "Rattlers," but it was apparently someone unfamiliar with the finer points of reptilian morphology. Walking up and down the sidelines were two people in snake suits--or rather, I assume they were supposed to be snakes, given the giant foam fangs and protruding pink tongue that came out of their plush heads above the shoulders. These mascot "rattlers" walked upright--walked, as in, on legs--with a slug-like tail curling back behind them. I daresay I've found the missing evolutionary link between snakes and Mickey Mouse--it's the unholy creature I witnessed holding up either the "RATTLER" or "PRIDE" sign during timeouts.

Reagan is like Baylor in more than a few ways, and their athletic prowess is one of these. They excel in every sport but the major moneymakers, like football. Today, however, they proved good enough to beat Harlingen by a couple touchdowns, though I don't know if that's quite a feat or not. For a brand new school, they've got an awful lot of "traditions," my favorite of which is the fang hand sign (curling the index and middle fingers) they make along with a hissing sound. And here's a question I'm now burning to ask the UIL Commissioner of Musical Support: is there a rule against a band playing during play, or is it just a matter of common courtesy? There were easily half a dozen "delay of game" and "false start" calls whose proximate cause had to be the cacophony of dueling "Hey Song"s played whilst the quarterback was under center. But, as I suppose is the case at many 5A schools, where band directors are actually under the impression they're "conductors" and "musicians," there seemed to be a distinct vibe of "when will these football players get off the field so we can get on with our concert?" Just a question, that's all.

All told, it was a good time, though it makes me glad to be able to watch college football starting Thursday, I think, with the return of Whiny McBallcoach at the helm of the Gamecocks. If Reagan has snakes with feet, one can only imagine what roams the South Carolina sidelines...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Tradition and attrition

I will take this opportunity to once again call upon the first year faculty to turn up the lukewarm on this set of 1Qs. I can't very well say "turn up the heat" when there's not much heat. I'm hearing stories of myriad hands shooting up during Contracts. This is unacceptable; class isn't challenging enough if more than a gunner or two are seeking out classroom engagements. (Not including, of course, my own patented "call on me now, please" frown.) Add to that the now-quarterly complaint of mine that class starts too late (9:15) to truly count as a first quarter welcome to the study of the law, and you've got a recipe for an indolent class. I know someone's got to be the good cop, but from what I'm hearing, it's a real lovefest down at the Improv in the first year this week. We need some serious LAPD bad-copping to come down next week, or else... am I supposed to keep Dean FedTax happy by not parking in the Sports Hall of Fame's VP spot?

Attrition, it's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Take me back to law camp

Damn the statutes, give me back my common law. This is what I keep thinking as I read for class now. The Trust Code, the Probate Code, the Family Code, the Business and Commerce Code, the DTPA, the TRPA, the TBCA, the Please God Kill Me Now Act, etc. And when there are cases, they're not fun flights of intellectual fancy in which we explore reasoning by analogy and wonder if kicking the cane out from under someone is sufficiently like striking them with a stick, which is like hitting them with an extension of yourself, except with the cane example you're hitting an extension of them instead, and so on. No, now it's just, just, oh I don't know, different. The difference is captured well by a statement by Prof. T&E that in the second year and beyond, we're presumed to know process, and so it's the "right answer" that we're supposed to be finding. And when it comes to matters within the police power of the state to regulate (essentially the three classes I'm taking this quarter), that means looking to the statutes.

I want back in law camp, where we all just sat around in Contracts, passing the dootchie on the left hand side while we all took turns reading from the Restatement like it was the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, discussing the policy considerations behind equitable ideas like estoppel and quantum meruit, just feeling the vibe of centuries of Anglo-American lawyers before us, us, that most hallowed of specialists, the general practitioner, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers. And sisters.

Hmmm, okay, so it was nothing like that. But still, give me Pearson v. Post over Section 103.053(a)(5) of anything.

Pseudo-insightful minutiae a la George Carlin

If we have Terry stops, then why do we have "totten" trusts?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Futbol but no football?

No flag football in the Law League during Fall?! What gives? But at least there's softball, so look for the Fall '04 miracle team to reassemble.

Rampant Consumerism

Today I had Consumer Protection for the first time, which rounds out my schedule--not including the hour I devoted to watching the NBC hijinx of Tommy Lee at the University of Nebraska. Um, while I was like reading for BizOrg and stuff. "Consumer," as I'll call it (or should it be "CP"?), is held in the Baylor Law Colosseum, aka Room 127, and there is a certain safety in numbers that is absent in, say, Family Law. Or rather, will be absent after the bum rush on the registrar that I saw as Family Law got out for the first time today. Not exactly the chill three hours of catching up on your knitting you thought it would be, huh?

But anyway, back to Consumer. Prof. Consumer is an adjunct, one who may have a huge case going to trial during the quarter, at which point we might have a revolving door of "guest speakers" come lecture from his firm. Hey, I'm fine with former Texas Supreme Court justices and lawyers with $4.7 million verdicts under their belts teaching me about how to sue people--or defend the suit. The professor himself is one of these Class of '99ish wunderkinder that seem to be popping up around the law school with the same frequency of, say, calls from statewide elected officials in Prof. ConLaw's office. Sweet. Super sweet.

Anyway, the class itself seems to remind me very much of Torts II in the tenor of its material, which I found encouraging, since we touched on the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) in Property. No disrespect, but Property and I are about as comfortable together as Jane's Addiction playing back up for Joan Baez on a remake of "New York, New York." And that simile was about as contrived as... But really, it's good to have at least one class with most of my peers, and this one is truly indicative of life in the Spring '04 starter universe, complete with the Cupster asking a question and getting us assigned another case for Thursday. Oh come on, you know the prof would have assigned it anyway, give him a break.

And so as the sun sets (somewhere around Hawaii, now) on my second day back, I thank President Underwood, er, God, for the pleasure of another day at Baylor Law, er, on Earth, and I dream. I dream of treble damages.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The most obvious difficulty

Here's a little exchange that pretty much sums up just how boned I am this quarter in T&E:

Prof: You, what's your name?

Student: ____.

Prof: What's the difference between a tenancy in common and a joint tenancy?

Student: Well, sir, the most obvious difference is that a joint tenancy has the right of survivorship and a tenancy in common does not.

Prof: Is that all?

Student: No, sir. In a joint tenancy, the co-owners share the four unities of time, title, interest and possession.

Prof: But do we follow the four unities doctrine in Texas?

Student: No.

Prof: That's right, we don't. I want an answer based on Texan law; I don't need a comprehensive history of the English common law. Our clients will want answers, not history lessons.

Wow. So, I basically would have checked out with "right of survivorship." I think you could kind of sleepwalk through Property and somehow have absorbed that that is the difference between a JT and a TIC. I know, because sleepwalk is pretty much what I did. This kid goes off on this four unities whatnot, and I'm doing well to remember that these mythical "four unities" do exist, much less what they are. Alas, it's been a year since I took property.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is this guy knew all that only to get busted for knowing TOO much--or rather, giving a non-Texan answer. You just can't win, it seems, when getting called on in T&E. Like Prof. Contracts, it seems questions will be asked until cause to be dismissed is given. I'm remembering a certain classmate of mine who dueled with Prof. Contracts for ten minutes to a draw, only to see the professor try to finish him off with a UCC question not included in the reading. When the student pulled off the coup de haha and got it right, he found himself staring straight down the barrel of a "sit down, sit down" when he didn't know the number of the section.

Then again, perhaps T&E will be nothing like that, and I'll magically turn into the most brilliant conveyancer since Sir Norbert of Earlbottom, the Eighth Viscount of Shropshingshire.

I am so amazingly screwed.

And they call it BizOrg

Prof. BizOrg suffers from the same malady as Dean FedTax: she teaches a class that no one would take if it were an elective. Like Dean FedTax, she knows this and is under no illusions to the contrary. That said, I have to say that trying to stay focused and conscious during a whole quarter of this stuff will be difficult. It's like they decided to bring together everything about the law that I never want to know or practice and called it BizOrg. I was able to take solace in the table of contents of our textement (what I've decided to call the prevalent Baylor practice of using enormous xeroxed "supplements" as primary texts). On page 288 we will study something called "Withdrawal of a Member." That made me laugh. Welcome to penal code, part deux.

In an hour and a half, I take T&E, and that's it for the day. Tomorrow brings consumer protection, which is taught by an adjunct (a fact that might have, oh, maybe everything to do with why I'm taking it this quarter).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Baylor law blog-type-thing

I received an email from a 1Q student about a Baylor Law School livejournal community he has created, and I promised I'd give it a mention. I'll be interested to see how this experiment in blog-type community progresses, as it seems to occupy a niche that until now has only been filled by the comments to this space.

Some thoughts before the morrow

It occurs to me that on this, the day before the 2005-06 school year, I've not yet shared with you, Gentle Reader, what I'll be taking. I am a 5Q (in part of my seemingly endless 2L year), and as such will be mopping up the rest of the required curriculum: Trusts & Estates (T&E), Business Organizations (BizOrg), and Consumer Protection (Consumer). That's only about 12 hours, but with Moot Court and my weekend Dog Show judging gigs in Woodway and Dallas, I figure it's a full enough load for me. I can stock up on the hours during Winter Quarter taking classes like "The Law of Parking Lots" and "IKEA Construction Procedure."

This will be a very busy and exciting quarter, marking as it does my return to Law League Softball and my introduction to barristering the Jolson & Smod intramural moot court competition. Expect blogging of both. Also, there is the prolonged masochism (is it really masochistic when you get hella points for your trouble?) of preparing for the San Diego moot court gig, which will also be blogged insomuch as I can without breaking the rules, which I will follow scrupulously--much more scrupulously than I will follow the "no beverages in the library study rooms" policy. Go ahead, try to sting me. I dare you, coppers. And then, there's Fall OCI, for which I will drop at a couple firms and hopefully get interviews, the hijinx of which I will most definitely share with you, Gentle Reader.

All in all, an exciting journey awaits many of us, though I think I'm the only 2L who eagerly awaits tomorrow. But that's what six months out will do to you. The other people that are probably close to as excited (though more anxious, no doubt), are the first quarter students and those beginning Practice Court tomorrow. Some of those getting a first glimpse of Professor McConnico (the last time I will refer to him by name) are people who started in my class, the Spring 2004 starters. Good luck to them and everyone else running the gauntlet, and I have a few inspiring words that the punk Celtic band Flogging Molly has been shouting in my ear whilst I write this post:

Till a voice called to me
From deep within the sea
Dry your eyes my dear fisherman
Your ass belongs to me

Hmmm, sounds like Practice Court. Good luck, kids, and remember, never, but never, get caught without a brief for the case you just flubbed.

Comfort food

How do I spend my last afternoon of freedom? (Other than of course poring over my moot court problem, reading secondary sources on the Fourth Amendment, and saying prayers in front of my shrine to Bryan Garner. I swear, Prof. LARC III.) Me, I watch the USC-Oklahoma Orange Bowl while I sip iced tea. It doesn't get any better than this on a Sunday afternoon before football season.

In case you forgot, or if any of my Sooner readers have blocked it out, that's the national championship game where Jason "I'm Going to Sell Used Cars in Tuttle, OK for the Rest of My Life" White led an overrated OU team to a 55-19 whoopin' at the hands of the Trojans.

Presidential encounters

Yesterday, I decided to go to my local bookstore for a little reading material during BizOrg, and who did I run into but a certain former Practice Court professor and current interim president of the University. He was in the official incognito professor uniform, which is to say sunglasses inside and a baseball cap. As I was browsing, I saw this person talking with several people in the manner of a magnanimous politician at a fundraiser or ribboncutting, and after I heard one of them say "Thanks, Bill," I knew for sure he was who I thought he was.

So, at this point, his conversation apparently wrapped up one aisle over, and he had to pass by me to leave. That's when I cursed myself for wearing a Baylor Law shirt, which he noticed and said "Ah, Baylor Law, huh?" as he walked by. I'm thinking great, now we both know there wouldn't be any novels on the class reading lists, but oh well. I smiled and said something nondescript like "how's life in administration, sir?" For some stupid reason, I wanted credit for knowing who he was, Yankees cap aside (yeah, the Yankees, not kidding). By this point he was at the end of my aisle, and he turned around to face me, and smiling, said "it's administration." Well played, professor, well played.

Apparently, he got corralled into another conversation on his way out, because he was practically holding court by the tables of new paperbacks by the door. I walked by and let fly a "see you around campus, Mr. President," (cheesy, I know) which he politely returned with a "see you." And there, parked two spaces over from me, was the Corvette.

Friday, August 19, 2005

And the lawyers' cut is what?

In proof that there's life after asbestos, an Angleton, Texas jury has awarded Carol Ernst, the Vioxx widow who won the race to the courthouse, $253.4 million. Can you say, "we should have settled?"

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Uncle Chris' Tips for Orientation Success

In my first quarter, two people were a second late to the Friday orientation session and got booted by Prof. CivPro. One of those people dropped out before the first set of final exams, the other is on the Law Review. The moral of the story? Get kicked out on the first day, don't quit, and good things will happen to you. Okay, not quite, but really, there are worse things that can happen than getting a little rattled on Day -1. You could, for instance, get run over by the Dean's pimpmobile while crossing University Parks from the parking garage 'cause there are SO EFFING MANY CARS IN THE PARKING LOT at the Law School. But alas, I'll settle down. I wanted to lend my experience and, dare I say, wisdom to the 1Qs on how to succeed on their first day of quasi-semi-demi-pseudo-class.

1.) Survive. No one's left orientation in a body bag so far, and so help me God, you won't be the first class to have an actual body count before class even starts. Just remember to take your hat off before class (we'll call that "pulling a Cuppy"), remove all the "Hello My Name Is" stickers you've defaced and stuck all over yourself the night before (we'll call that pulling a BR), and make sure the professor isn't in the classroom when you walk in and ask what the big deal is and why everyone's camped out for seats already (we'll call that pulling a Fahrenthold).

2.) Earn Five. At least pass Contracts and 1/4 of LARC, or else you have no real reason to stick around. You need all the credits you can get, and don't let anyone tell you that a 'D' is a dealbreaker at Baylor Law School. It just means that you get to go through class unmolested the second time around. That, and you know where all the applause lines are.

3.) Thrive. Baylor Law School can be and should be a stressful place, but it's also a lot of fun. We offer plenty of fora to make enemies and relieve tension in a sublimated violent way. There are SBA elections for the passive-aggressive catty types, there are Law League sports for the aggressive-aggressive types, and then to underscore it all, there's the ubiquitous Baylor cheese-and-cookie plate for the stress eaters. And don't forget the chainsmoking... Seriously though, law school's the most fun I've ever had, though I did live in a muddy hole for the first 21 years of my life.

So, there you have it. Survive, Earn Five, Thrive, and be sure to smoke outside. I have to say, though, that this concise, cogent, and get-you-out-on-time list of orientation tips would not be possible but for the potentially copyrighted wisdom of Prof. CrimLaw (Prof. Guadalajara). I kid because I love.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Paging the Ricks

The Technological Wizards of Baylor Law School have no doubt had a very busy call sheet the past couple of days. I have a few items to add to their to-do list, though.

1.) Fix Blackboard.

2.) Find a way for democracy to take root in the unstable geopolitical minefield that is the new Iraq in such a way that the rights of certain people (Kurds, women, etc.) are preserved notwithstanding long-held cultural norms to the contrary.

3.) Fix Blackboard.

4.) Get on Dave Chappelle's ass for taking like three years to start shooting season three.

5.) Fix Blackboard.

I don't ask for much.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hide your daughters, I'm back in Waco

So we've got a week until the whatnot officially begins, and the new kids aren't wasting any time getting down to the nitty-gritty of asking their classmates where they went to college, what their major was, and what kind of law they want to practice. Word on the street is that the first 1Q shindig of the year is happening tonight, and (unlike every law school rendezvous that will happen ever after) it's not at a place that rhymes with Bricket's or Binfa's or Beorge's. You gotta hand it to 'em, though, I hear ___ has a killer outline for orientation being passed around.

Made you look, newbies. That ouline actually sucks.

Seriously though, I'm glad to see the wagons are being circled early--if the past is any indication(even the highly touted Fall 2004 entering class), 15-20% of you won't make it to your 2L year. But really, you should enjoy this part of your law school experience, because it will never happen again. Meet as many classmates as you can, be as magnanimous as possible as long as possible--around LARC memo time is when the lines outside the Prof's office get long and people get pissy. And above all, remember that the professors love me and will let you sit down if you don't know the answer to a question provided you say that "Chris ("Fahrenthold," if it's CivPro) said he talked to you about me, and it's cool." No joke.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Baylor Advantage

Courtesy of one of the nine dozen "Mr. Andersons" at the law school (I'll let you guess which one), here's a shout out to those going into and coming out of Practice Court. I'm sure you'd say that the third year of law school is a waste, huh?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Checking my manhood at the door

Yeah, yeah, this is a somewhat confessional space, so I suppose it's not out of line to confess that I'm going to an Aimee Mann concert tomorrow night at the McDonald Theater here in Eugene, Oregon. In case you don't know who Ms. Mann is, she's the singer/songwriter who wrote and performed the soundtrack for the wonderful Paul Thomas Anderson film "Magnolia." I believe she was nominated for an Oscar for a song from the movie, but as I recall Phil "I Can't Dance" Collins won that year for that "Tarzan" song with whatever boyband that was.

Anyway, I'm not going by myself, so maybe that makes it slightly less bad, or what the hell, maybe that's worse. I have this nightmare of some huge festival of AniDiFranco/FionaApple unshaven-armpit women in a moshpit all around me while Bjork chases me with a giant pair of scissors like the nihilists in that dream sequence from "The Big Lebowski."

Or hey, it's just a concert.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A kick in the head

Well, as soon as I muster the charming swagger that characterized my first year at Baylor Law School ("is that what that was, Chris?"), I get reminded in stark black-and-white in my email client that I should just read my Blue Book and not swagger...yet. The problem for the moot court competition in which I will be competing this quarter (along with three other badass Baylor "oralists"--not kidding, there's an award for that at the competition) becomes available in the next week or so, and then the brief is due on October 3rd. During the "brief phase," there will be no outside help from either the other two-person team, the coaches, or, presumably, the custodial staff. That's a daunting proposition considering our performance on the brief is worth .35 of each round's score. For a guy who rode the speaking train to intramural moot court success, that can be kryptonite if I don't get my ass in gear early. Like, August 15th early.

So, there's that motivation to work hard on the brief in the next month, to which we can add the old standbys of, you know, liking to win stuff and have people clap for me. But it wouldn't be Baylor Law without that competitive drive, one that is encapsulated here by the fact that last year's Baylor briefs placed 2nd and 5th at the tournament. Still, the strongest reason to put in a top-notch effort on the brief is that if we don't, our coach has informed us he will be "cancelling our hotel reservations, checking into a Super 8, and then letting [DB] choose all the restaurants."

I don't want to find the Fred & Wally's of San Diego, so I think I'll work hard on the brief. Very hard.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A better keepsake than a tattoo

A week from today I'll be back in Texas for good--that is, for five quarters of law school. When I return I'll have 25,000 solid, workshopped words of a novel (the first third) and my chi realigned in such a way as to facilitate ass-kicking in both Moot Court and Practice Court. More importantly, though, I'll have a new pair of flip flops, and true to Eugene, Oregon form, they're Birkenstocks. My oldest and most favorite pair of slacker footwear (purchased on the great 2004 Rose Bowl trip) finally gave out yesterday, when--and I'm not making this up--I felt something scratching the ball of my foot, a something that happened to be an acorn that had erupted through the bottom of my shoe. Granted, it was like three microns thick at that point, but still, it's not like it was a nail or anything, we're talking an acorn. Anyway, moral of the story, I'm now one step closer to the aging hippies all around me here, and I'm bringing a little piece of the Merry Pranksters' capital back with me to Texas. Oh yeah, and weed, lots of weed.

Pushing mute

The funniest quote I've come across in the great Jessica Simpson music video controversy:

"Those boobs were made for washin'."

Friday, August 05, 2005

What's in a name?

Checking today, I saw that the Vault "prestige" rankings of law firms are out, whatever that means, and you can see the Top 100 firms for free. No Texas-based firms are in the top, well, 40, though there are certainly firms with Texas offices (for example, Jones Day). Baker Botts leads the Texans at 40ish, and then follow, fairly quickly, Fulbright & Jaworski and Vinson & Elkins, all of which are apparently based in Houston (or at least have their largest office there). Well, I guess the smoggiest city in America is still the reigning champ of high-end Texan litigation--sorry Burnet, your day will come.

That said, scanning the list (or any list of law firms, really), one is struck by the quaint "Partner, Partner, Partner & Partner" titles that still dominate our profession. Accountants, advertizing agencies and publishing houses also use the format, but by and large, if you see a litany of names--particularly dissonant and incongruous ones--odds are you're dealing with a law firm. What I find interesting are the slight variations among the field. For instance, "Baker Botts" and "Jones Day" eschew commas and only name two of their, like, a billion partners, as do "Dewey Ballantine" and "Clifford Chance." In the WASPy a-hole fashion of picking lastnames for firstnames, these four sound like the backfield for the Eton v. Sandhurst croquet tournament of 1903. And yes, there are backfields in croquet. Well, I don't know, but just let it go, okay?

What I want to see is a paradigm shift in law firm names, one that seems to be nudged forward by the #100 "Venable" law firm. By the way, I know "venable" is not a word, but it sounds like it is, it sounds like a strong, confidence-inspiring word. How long until we get "Badass Suing Company" and "The Avenger Group"? I'd trust "Wall Street Is Our Bitch, LLP" to do my securities fraud defense about as much as I would "Reed Smith" (#86), "Arent Fox" (#93) and that Victorian dumblebum who can't remember to put spaces between his names, "McGuireWoods" (#84). In short, out with the anti-aesthetic "name, comma, name" ring, and in with the bling.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I rule

100,000 hits, baby. If I had a penny-a-hit matching contribution program going for a charity, that would be, like, 100,000 pennies.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The countdown begins

You've missed me, Baylor Law School, I know it. You missed the charming strolls we took down University Parks, when I would pick you flowers from ex-President Sloan's ex-mansion. You missed the way I knew just what you were going to say, said it, and then laughed as we both felt so right in that moment. You missed the way I would run up to the third floor of the library between classes to steal a few moments with you behind the stacks, blogging, because I don't rock the laptop when I'm with you. You appreciate that, I know. You missed the way I call it like I see it, speaking truth to power, or at least typing it and then trying to laugh my way out of it when the shit hits the fan. I know you understood when I had to go off about moot court, law league softball, and the abysmal Law Day speaker of was me, not you, and I've matured. To quote Willie Nelson, you were always on my mind. And to quote Willie Clinton, I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. You know I'd never cheat on you, Baylor Law, not with the Texas Legislature, not with the University of Oregon, not with anyone. Except Jessica Alba, she's smoking hot. But really, I haven't been able to get you off my mind for six months...SIX MONTHS...and I think we really need to get back together. What do you say? Just try it out? See if that old spark, that old chemistry is still there? That's what I thought. I knew you'd missed me. See you in a couple weeks.

[Kinda creepy, I know, but it kind of got away from me there at the end. Seriously though, in two weeks I'm back and it's on.]

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Motivational Stewie

I hear this voice in my head encouraging me all the time. If you didn't see it on Family Guy, then it just isn't half as funny.

Law Buddy Peers

Because of my extended hiatus from law school for the spring and summer, I am now even with those law students who entered in the Fall of 2004 and went to school for the summer. Due to the staggered scheduling of required classes, I'll be in T&E and BizOrg with all of the Fall 2004 starters anyway, a class that provided the first set of law buddies for my peers. And now, everyone's moved on, and so I'm faced with a first day of school that's, well, a lot like a first day of school. So help me God, though, if you take my seat on the third row by the window...

Seriously though, it will be odd to now be running with a whole other milieu of law student, another generation that grew up listening to Franz Ferdinand on their "iPods" while talking on "instant messenger" to their "betties". What? It's not that different? Okay, I guess I'm not the Wooderson of the law school, though I can think of worse things to be. What sucks is that I hear the Baylor students get smarter (or at least more anal about preparation) with each new class, so instead of the slackers from my class, I get the not-slackers from two classes below. Come on, kids, you don't want the law dork label, do you? Be cool, go out with Cuppy on a Tuesday night...let DB take you to Fred & Wally's before your 2A round...It's okay...

At least I hear that T&E's a breeze and that he hardly ever calls on anyone.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hipster Bingo

This is just too funny not to share.

This is, too.