Saturday, April 28, 2012

Reasons to Study for Finals: Future Malpractice

First, This NY lawyer was suspended by the bar for submitting 'shockingly poor' briefs. He used the excuses 'My paralegal did it!' and 'But I suddenly had a lot of work!' to no avail. Get your shit done now, people. This way, in ten years, you won't get called out for your 'shockingly poor' practical skills.

Second, Some dip decided to undermine the sanctity of the courtroom with his idiotic conduct. I'm too lazy to summarize so here's the relevant info: 'At the deposition, Sahid “repeatedly interrupted the questioning and made improper objections and lengthy speeches that had no merit,” the appeals court said . . . He insulted plaintiff's counsel, [the judge overseeing the case] and her clerk, and even the court reporter, who was eventually compelled to leave the deposition due to the abuse of defendants' counsel.”' ABA Journal The best part of this is that he is also a New York lawyer. We are really earning our reputation right now.

Lastly, speaking of shockingly poor practice, we must acknowledge the behavior of a CA lawyer who settled a personal injury suit pre-verdict for $350,000. Upon learning that the jury was going to award $9.4 million, he quickly claimed mistrial due to his own professional negligence. The judge allowed it but permitted the defense to bring a counterclaim for damages. Apparently, when the lawyer found out he had made an incredibly stupid blunder, he lost his marbles in the court house. After dropping more than $9 million, one way to earn respect from your peers is to flip the frak out.

Happy finals my loves! Do the work now so you don't get sanctioned later! :P

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Billy Shakes!

When I decided to go to law school, my fiance's dad laughed and said: "There are too many of them. The first thing we do is kill all the lawyers!" Let's hope there aren't too many of us out there when we graduate. I would hate if we had to start offing each other Hunger Games-style. 

In a tribute to William Shakespeare on the supposed day of his birth, I have tracked down the infamous passage from Henry VI, Part II:

Be brave, then; for your captain is brave, and vows
reformation. There shall be in England seven
halfpenny loaves sold for a penny: the three-hooped
pot; shall have ten hoops and I will make it felony
to drink small beer: all the realm shall be in
common; and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to
grass: and when I am king, as king I will be,--

God save your majesty!

I thank you, good people: there shall be no money;
all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will
apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree
like brothers and worship me their lord.

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable
thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should
be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled
o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings:
but I say, 'tis the bee's wax; for I did but seal
once to a thing, and I was never mine own man
since. How now! who's there?
Enter some, bringing forward the Clerk of Chatham

The clerk of Chatham: he can write and read and
cast accompt.

O monstrous!

We took him setting of boys' copies.

Here's a villain!

Has a book in his pocket with red letters in't.

Nay, then, he is a conjurer.

Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.

I am sorry for't: the man is a proper man, of mine
honour; unless I find him guilty, he shall not die.
Come hither, sirrah, I must examine thee: what is thy name?


They use to write it on the top of letters: 'twill
go hard with you.

Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name? or
hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest
plain-dealing man?

Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up
that I can write my name.

He hath confessed: away with him! he's a villain
and a traitor.

Away with him, I say! hang him with his pen and
ink-horn about his neck.

Exit one with the Clerks

What a sad life we would have lived in Elizabethan England.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fun Tidbits for Your Viewing Pleasure

Study Break!

A new meme has hit the internet in the last few weeks. This guy was running a marathon and managed to be picture perfect. We should all feel shame for our sweatpants and athletic gear Finals wardrobe, lack of adequate personal hygiene, and poor diet regimes. This guy is gorgeous in one of the most physically and mentally demanding experiences humans engage in. We should all aspire to be him. Seriously.

Also, this song is awesome and I'm kind of in love with it. I first heard it when Gotye performed it on SNL last week. The music video is ridiculous and SNL went and parodied it that same night

Enjoy my loves. <3

Finals Vs. the Real World: Prioritzing

I have a gala to go to tonight. It's for a great organization in San Francisco called Public Advocates and I expect to meet some of the movers and shakers for public interest law. At the time that I received the ticket for the event, I was overjoyed at the opportunity to go out in the real world and meet interesting people who do really good work for the city. I've now reached a point of apathy.

I slept in today purely because I refused to leave the comfort of my bed. As finals draw closer, I find myself less inclined to leave my bed as it protects me from some sort of impending doom. I woke up to each of my five alarms and silenced each one in some sort of sleep haze. There's a point in my sleep cycle where all customs go out the window. I stop caring whether I'm pillow throwing or sheet ripping or just downright disgusting. My apathy for sleep custom is like a switch that gets turned off once I hit the nine hour mark. It's quite fascinating actually, because I can usually hold myself together until then. Today, I hit that mark and then extended it by a few hours.

Due to my laziness, I missed the four hours I had allocated for study time. I showed up to our section's award ceremony about half an hour late because I had to become somewhat presentable in a short period of time. Therefore there was no morning beautification ritual (i.e., leg shaving, etc.), which means that I now need to allocate even more time to getting ready for this gala in addition to the traditional hour-long beautification ritual that goes into looking extra pretty for special events.

Moreover, the gala is about three (four?) hours long, which means that valuable study time is being cut away from. And there's an open bar, which means that--regardless of how much I drink--I will likely be somewhat incapacitated tonight. Note to Self: Do not order from the open bar. It's not worth it during finals. Resist.

In any case, it should be a good networking opportunity. I should look at this as a strategic trade-off to make valuable business connections for the future. That's far more important than studying for a final because, in today's market, who you know is far more important than what you know. You can always learn how to perform well; you can't usually get in the door to demonstrate your abilities without a connection.

Nonetheless my Finals' Self is screaming at me right now for making such a stupid allocation of a commodity so close to our Torts exam. Oh well. At least there's free food. I can always come home at 9 p.m. and hit up the library for a couple of hours in my cocktail dress. As K-Money says, "Dress for Success."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Breaking Down Finals Time

I've been having a hard time sleeping lately. Usually my bedtime is at 11pm but I've found it creeping later by about half an hour every night for the last week. I'm not sure exactly where this behavior is coming from but I think it might have to do with finals.

Our first final is in ten days. Ten. 

That's less than a week and a half.
--It takes a bit over a week to complete the hike up and down Mount Everest with a consistent pace and adequate rest.
That's one full trek of Mt. Everest.

That's 240 hours.
--The average marathon runner (male/female across age ranges) completes a marathon in about five hours.
That's 48 marathons.

14,400 minutes.
--Let's say the 'average' 5K time for a reasonably fit adult (male/female across age ranges) is about 24 minutes.
That's 600 5Ks.

864,000 seconds.
--Michael Phelps swims an average 50s 100m fly. (Set World Record at 49.82s).
That's 17,280 butterfly sprints.

Now for the unfortunate part: Subtraction. 

In the next ten days:

Our section has 6 hours of class. A 2 hour review session. A 2 hour 'awards' party. (10 hours)

The average healthy adult will sleep 7 hours a night. (70 hours)

The average adult will consume 2hrs/day with household activities (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.). (20 hours)

Let's set aside 2hrs/day for eating. (20 hours)
--Less if you get takeout, but you still have to spend time making your choice, ordering, engaging the delivery person, and unpacking food. You can merge this time with studying though, which is the choice of most law students.

Let's set aside 3hrs/day for hygiene (showers, teeth-brushing, picking out clothes, dressing, make-up, bathroom use, etc.). (30 hours)

Now, I've probably forgotten some stuff but let's look at the numbers now.

10+70+20+20+30 = 150

240-150 = 90 hours.

Ninety hours of studying.

Subtract your Facebook use, your tweeting, your chatting, your socializing, your stress-busting workouts, your yoga classes, your massage at the Student Health Center, your play time with an adorable rescue dog in the library, your blogging about how little time you have.

Halve your ninety hours of studying because you're being needy.

Those 45 hours are why I've been having a hard time sleeping.

In a positive light though, 45 hours is:
3,240 Phelps 100m fly sprints
112.5 5Ks
9 marathons.
For kicks, the fastest completion of the trek up Mt. Everest was 16 hours. The guy got up and down Mt. Everest well within 45 hours with the right preparation.

Being properly prepared all semester--i.e. taking good notes, reviewing the topics, and keeping up with the work--makes the 45 hours we have left more than enough to kick our final's ass.

Ten days until Torts. Yeah, we got this. Guess I can get to sleep now.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pride and Performance

Before law school, many of us had hobbies we liked to indulge. I love writing personal essays and this is one I wrote for a creative writing class in college. It has to do with law school...sort of. Enjoy reading :)

I started singing in the church choir when I was five or six. Always ambitious, I thought that if I paid homage to God twice a week—once at church and once at choir practice on Saturday—I would have a better place in heaven, up with the angels. Of course, this is also when I thought I was going to become a nun because I was so good at being pious. (I changed my mind once I discovered boys.)

Every weekend, I sang my little heart out and Kathleen, our director, would sing my praises to my father over the din of Sunday Catholics trudging out of their pews. For my first communion, Kathleen asked me to lead the church in song, mainly because I was well-behaved and had an adorable bowl cut. Ecstatic that someone important had recognized my god-granted singing ability, I pulled on my little white dress and veil that morning, congratulating myself on my superior achievement. Heck, to celebrate, I even dove into my sister’s supply of mascara, smearing it all over my cheeks until she came to rescue me from almost certain hookerdom.

As I mounted the stage for the first song, taking care to hold my dress like a princess and to primly place each white, patent leather mary jane on my way to the altar, a gaggle of my nemeses—the other, more girly choir girls—swarmed around me, assuming their positions directly in front of my microphone and edging me out. By the third song, when one of the Megans threw her hands up once again in my face, I’d had enough. I stomped off the stage and firmly plunked my behind in the pew next to my mother, turning bright red with the wheezing tantrum that was about to explode from my asthmatic lungs. I felt betrayed. Kathleen had sold me out.

Worse even, the gaggle of nemeses paraded around in their little white dresses to coos of admiration and their communions were not even that day! Those imposters! Sensing weakness, they crowded around my seat and informed me that Kathleen thought I would like some help—you know, just in case my little eight-year old self got a case of stage fright. Stage fright! I didn’t even know the meaning before she underestimated my superior soprano voice.

Sure enough, the big man in the sky punished me for my vanity that day, because I could never breach a stage again without going bright red and numb from the eyes down. Papers shake and curl in my sweaty hands. Perspiration forms on my upper lip. People swim in and out of my vision as I wobble in place. Heady self-consciousness requires something firm to hold onto. Most ironically, my undergraduate department chose me to be the graduation speaker. I’m pretty sure it was payback for never opening my mouth in class. They were dying to hear what I had to say after four years of classroom silence. Indeed, I’m sure many of them second-guessed themselves when I showed up to graduation red-faced, wet, and dehydrating by the second under the polyester gown in the heat of a New York summer. But I digress. (For the record, I knocked it out of the park. Check out the link up above if you want to see what I said.)

Seeing as how I abandoned my religion once I discovered boys (Hyperbole.), beautiful people make the agony of public speaking even worse. The piercing, crystalline eyes and sexy-casual demeanor of a hot spectator stand in stark contrast to the sopping mess I become when I take the stage. In an upper-level college seminar, two ex-boyfriends and an ex-girlfriend watched me stutter my way through a presentation on landmine removal in former war zones. I might as well have stepped on one during the second slide for all of the interest it would have stimulated in my discussion. Once I heard the embarrassed coughs and saw the cell phones come out, I knew I had lost them. I gave up trying to ad lib and just started reading the slides off directly so I could finish with some measure of dignity knowing that at least the information was out there.

Afterwards, my professor—another beautiful man—shook his head and asked me privately what I intended to do about law school, with the performance anxiety and whatnot. Stuttering, I retorted—to the best of my ability—that I planned to push paperwork for the rest of my life. I would be like Demi Moore in A Few Good Men: beautiful, silent, and deadly with a pen.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Idle Amusements

Law students suffer. It's just a fact of life. No one can understand the misery that is law school until they are dragged kicking and screaming over the hot coals of this unique hell. I do not exaggerate. No one can truly explain what law school is like until they have endured it. But deep down we're all a bit masochistic and we all thrive off of the constant barrage of complaints, so the pain is really no big deal.

Nonetheless, we need to get our kicks wherever we can. In the off moments between studying, gossiping, eating, and partying (in that order), we amuse ourselves with tidbits of internet joy. We have Jezebel, The Onion, a number of blogs, food porn (shameless plug for a classmate's food blog), youtube videos of cute animals (wait until the end of this one), and a plethora of legal humor sites. A personal favorite that made Civil Procedure bearable is Law School Ryan Gosling, a spin off of 'Hey Girl' where Ryan Gosling says sexy things about law school that make even the driest text exciting.


There's a tumblr that's spread like wild fire through my section. #whatshouldwecallme 

I have absolutely no idea who started this tumblr but sprinkled among tons of pop culture references are a few law school truths, leading me to believe that whoever started it suffered through law school. I have a hard time believing that they are currently enrolled due to the gross amount of daily posts. Unless, of course, they stay in the library 6am-11pm like some of the more hardcore law students at my school. No law student has that much free time unless they're currently on uppers.

Check it out and giggle in good health <3

Monday, April 2, 2012

Type-A Love in the Elevator

As a neurotic law student, I have many quirks and pet peeves. Passive aggressiveness tops my list of pet peeves. Undermining my intelligence is directly below that. Thusly, riding the elevator in the University's apartment building, coincidentally named 'The Tower,' is always an exercise in self-restraint. (For those of you who need to brush up on your British History to get that joke, google Anne Boleyn or any of the other wives of Henry VIII.)

The apartment building happens to be gorgeous. It was built in 1920 and served as a hotel for a couple of decades. It's known for its Art Deco style. High ceilings. A gorgeous stained glass window over the entry doors. Expansive windows. Wood paneling in the common areas. Crown molding. The details are what make the Tower so gorgeous. They also distract from a hundred years' worth of filth.

Many people consider it a shit-hole. I'm from New York though, so this gorgeous building evokes in me the nostalgia of times long past where New York was bustling with the construction of Art Deco buildings.  I always wanted to live in a place like this. But now that I've been here for six months, it's time to leave.

You see, the downside of this building is that it's inhabited with neurotic law students such as myself. We're all Type-A. The people that put on airs of being Type-B, cool, level-headed students are filthy, lying, study ninjas. Those are the ones you have to watch out for...

Hundreds of Type-A twenty-somethings inhabit the Tower. People never leave their doors open because they're always furiously studying. The only sounds of life come from the great outdoors where the homeless scream to the heavens and jacked cars explode with their built-in alarm systems, indicating their almost certain death. The only point at which these Type-A twenty-somethings meet is in the elevators (or at the gym but that's an entirely different rant for an entirely different day).

For the first few months I lived in the tower, one to two of the three elevators worked at a time. Interacting with people was a necessity. Entering a Tower elevator is an experience.

First, no one speaks and no one introduces himself. You'd think that, as Type-A, law students, everyone would want to interact with each other. After all, your peers could be your future meal ticket at a big firm. Networking in the legal profession is key to success. But no, Type-A law students do not talk in the elevator. They are too engrossed in their phones, their thoughts, their musings on life, whatever goes on in their gigantic Type-A brains.

Second, door-holding is a thing of the past. I couldn't understand why no one holds the elevator for each other. I cannot count how many times I've rushed to enter a half-open elevator with one person inside, but it closes in my face. Why did that skinny (expletive) fail to hit the <ll> button indicating 'open?' It's pretty much a social norm. You see the person hustling and you press the button. It's not as if they haven't seen me. Oh no, almost every time I've been shut out, I have stared straight into their evil eyes. They lazily lean against the elevator wall, stare at me, and then pick up their iPhone to start texting. They're probably texting their law school bestie about how they shut out some sweaty, chubby brunette running for the elevator. The one elevator that was working at the time. And they live on the 20th floor. Unfortunately, after about five months of this nonsense, I caved. I stopped trying to change the culture of the Tower by holding the elevator open for people. I stopped asking an aggressive "Really?" when my peers let the elevator close. I stopped hustling. I now saunter. Moreover, when I see some poor law student entering the building, I pick up my pace, enter the elevator, and hope to god that security detains them long enough that the elevator door will close and I won't have to be near them. I have changed my character since being indoctrinated with law school.

Third. My biggest pet peeve. The Lobby Button. Oh, I cannot even begin. I live on the twelfth floor of the building. That's about half way up so I'm usually the first person to get in an empty elevator and we pick up people as it descends. Almost all of the time, I'm headed to the lobby. I push the lobby button as soon as I enter the elevator. Every student that enters observes the elevator panel. They look at it. They pause. And then they press the lobby button.

Are you serious? It's lit up. You looked at it. It's as if they don't trust that somebody else has pressed it until they felt it for themselves. Yes, only your magical touch will make the elevator descend to the lobby. You are the king of all lobby buttons. I feel like this undermines my intelligence. I'm the only one in the elevator and you still need to make sure that I was competent enough to press the button.

Even as I write this, I realize how ridiculous this rant is. But, I have counted the number of times that I have entered an elevator, pressed the button, and somebody else does not feel the need to re-press it. Four. Four times in six months.

As I need to find meaning in everything, I have determined that this is a good indicator of which law students are team players or Alpha fe/males. Team players trust that other people are capable of performing at or above their level. Alphas feel the need to constantly assert themselves. Their pressing of the lobby button says, "Hey guys. I know you think you were right, but I'm going to recheck your work just in case."

tl;dr I need to move.