Tuesday, October 31, 2006

We Briefly Interrupt This Program...

[Start transmission]
I know everyone is obsessing now about classes for next semester, exams for this semester, Thanksgiving travel and Christmas shopping, but one of the coolest Boalt alumna bloggers, G., over at Lack of Scienter points to these important (or at least interesting) studies on the retention and promotion of women in corporate law. Those Boalties contemplating a firm job should take a look at the professional landscape and what the latest numbers are like. The National Association of Women Lawyers study (released October 30, 2006) is here. A DC Women's Bar Association study from earlier this year is here
[End transmission]

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Courses, Classes, Professors, Clinics

This is a perment thread dedicated to discussions and recommendations of the above.

Moved up by request. Also, updated Shawn Bayern website for enrollment: http://www.essentially.net/misc/boalt/index.jsp.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Happy Halloween

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The (Legal) Universe in a Nutshell

A couple weeks back Armen promised advice about 1L summer employment. I believe the date for speaking to employers is coming up sometime soon, so I figured it was time to get the ball rolling.

Thinking back to the halcyon days of my 1L year, I wasn't real sure how to land a legal job. But beyond that, I was also pretty clueless about what kind of job I even wanted. I didn't (and really still don't) know anything about the legal market. The only jobs I heard about my 1L year were firm jobs and judicial externships. I knew I didn't want a firm job, so I applied to judges, thinking it was basically my only option. But when I started talking to classmates about their summer plans, tons of people were doing interesting stuff that I'd never even considered.

All of this is a long way of saying that 1Ls should know all of their options. To help 1Ls (and others) figure out what's out there besides judges and firms, I'm hoping 2Ls and 3Ls can post their summer jobs in the comments. Did you work for a public interest group? For an NGO? For the government? Locally or federally? Travel overseas? Take classes at another school? Work for a small firm? A big firm? Hang out on a beach with your significant other?

Whatever you did, tell the 1Ls about it. I don't mean this to be advice on how to land the job--that is still a little ways off and can be a later post. I'm just hoping to get a quick sketch of the 1L job universe, if you will, so they can start thinking about what might be interesting.

Try to include the name of the organization, location, if you got paid or funded in some other way, and any pros/cons you think are relevant. Comments about firms are welcome, but try not to repeat earlier comments unless you have something new to add. I started it off in the Comments section.

Comment away! Hopefully your posts will inspire some younglings to pursue a job they may not have normally considered...

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Silly Producers, Law is for Lawyers!

I've been cramming all my readings and outlining into the day, in order to clear my schedule and watch those fun legal dramas in the evenings. Grey's Anatomy who? Anyway, I've been watching Justice, a new show about "high profile criminal defense" which basically means that they take a case, make it media crazy, and have glitzy lawyers defend someone that is always innocent yet abused by the media. Sound familiar?

Don't try to compare it to law, because you just get upset.

My question is, how many of these shows make a good faith effort to be accurate? Justice, Law & Order: CI and CSI (all) come to mind as shows that depart the most from reality. In my opinion Law & Order (original) is the only show that really comes close to dealing with actual legal issues.

Which is your favorite? Which one is the biggest insult to the profession? Which one inspires you to be McCoy someday? Discuss. Oh, and the OC doesn't count.

The Boalt Hall Blue (and Gold)

I watch too much sports. Way too much. So much so that I cried for missing the UCLA Notre Dame game on Saturday. But thinking about the Fighting Irish, I remembered an old trivia question a friend once asked me. How many team names DO NOT end with an "s." The list I have so far is:

Alabama Crimson Tide
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Stanford Cardinal
Orlando Magic
Miami Heat
Colorado Avalanche
Tampa Bay Lightning

Am I missing any? Also this post is not meant to be sexist. It is, but it wasn't meant to be. And there are too many teams in the BCS top 25 with "Tigers" as a team name.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sexism is alive and well on Bravo

For those of you who missed it, Top Chef, the cooking-reality show, premiered a new season last night. DS's Wednesday nights are free now that Project Runway is over -- don't judge him unless you have seen it.

DS's point requires some set up, so please bear with him. Top Chef is basically Project Runway set in a kitchen. Each week the chefs are given two challenges--immunity and elimination. In the immunity challenge (this week's was to create a flambe dish in 30 minutes) the winner receives, you guessed it, immunity from the upcoming elimination challenge. The elimination challenges are a bit more substantial -- this week's was to create a meal using each of the five mystery ingredients (doesn't sound that hard except that they included peanut butter, frog legs, chicken livers, eggplant and other stuff DS can't remember). Then, a panel of judges votes for the winners and losers. Chefs are voted off one by one until there are two left. They are then pitted against each other in a cooking battle royale.

Now that you have the setup, DS can get to his point. The show's judges, or the show's producers, are sexist. Not that they know they are. It might be ingrained, or subconscious, or something. But they are sexist. To prove this point, DS will cite four specific examples from the show.

First, and the least persuasive is last season's result. Harold, a male, pitted against Tiffany, a female, won. This really is no surprise because most people agree he was the best and Tiffany was a horrible, horrible B. Second, was last night's immunity challenge results. Sam, Emily, and Betty were the three top flambe chefs. Despite that two were women, the man won. To boot, he was picked by Harold, last season's winner. Third and fourth are last night's elimination challenge results. The four top chefs this week were Llan (male), Elia, Mia, and Betty. Three women, one man. Wouldn't you know it, Llan, the man, won. And, the four worst chefs this week were Marcel, Cliff, Carlos, and Suyai (only woman). You can predict the result; the woman was voted off. This despite the chief judge saying he had trouble swallowing Carlos's dish. Let's recap. Three awards have been handed out in the last two shows. Three men and six women were up for them. Men won. Every time. One chef has been voted off. One woman verse three men. But the woman goes.

Now, by saying these judges, or the producers, or the show itself, is sexist, DS is not implying they hate women. He thinks its more likely that the inherent sexism of food culture is too ingrained in them for them to even realize what they're doing. That doesn't change the result. Women are at a huge disadvantage on this show, and perhaps in kitchens all over the US. Just thinks about, that's all.

Prop [E]vil

Hey all, Casey here to try and give a voice to the 1L's, other than our anonymous poo flings. Here goes...

So there I was, driving to school on Wednesday, when out of nowhere comes a serious threat to the future of the legal world (at least the world according to South Dakota). On NPR was a story about a Proposition in South Dakota, Prop E. OK, good news is this crazy Prop isn't a California one. Bad news is, if it works in South Dakota it is coming here next. Take a look at this mess here. This prop is so bad that every single member of the SD legislature opposes it, as well as the ABA, the State Police, The PD and DA offices around the state, and in all likelihood, judges.

In a nutshell for those that are in class and have no time to follow a link, Proposition E will strip judges of their immunity to a civil suit involving a court decision. Read that again. Judges will be sued when people are upset at a decision. How many times is a party upset at a judicial decision? A good guess would be about half the time (minimum, I would imagine a few winners would want more). A special grand jury will be selected to serve as a screening board for complaints against the courts. This jury will have no Bar members, and is specifically told to liberally view complaints with respect to the petitioner.

While I am still a newbie at this whole "law" thing, it seems pretty clear to me that to make judges financially liable for decisions they make would flip the entire tort system on its head. There is already a system for grievances in our court system, it is called the Appeals Process(tm). Not only would judges have to worry about being recalled and re-elected, they also have to worry about being sued. Would the civil rights movement have happened if the C.J. could get taken to the cleaners by some cross-burning, bible-toting, moonshine-drinkin rednecks?

Now I have never been a big fan of popular votes in regards to constitutional amendments, but this is so far out there that something has to be done. The most amazing thing? Polls show this Prop as 50/50 among voters. So this November, vote NO on Prop Evil (I know we have at least one person from SD...maybe?).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pick Me, Grade Me, Validate Me

If the readers will kindly allow me to speak to the 1Ls for a brief second, I'd be grateful. Thanks.

Dear 1Ls,

You guys (and gals) are a bunch of spoiled brats. You arrived at a Boalt that has 35% operational wireless THROUGHOUT the campus. Did you have to sign a petition for wireless in the classrooms? Do you know what it's like to only have access to the games that come with Windows? Thanks to wireless I don't even remember the rules of spider solitaire anymore. You also have seminar rooms that are remotely decent and look somewhat new. I confess that you have the distinct misfortune of not having Room 115 anymore, which when we first arrived was the only room with power outlets. That room was great. I didin't think a trough would be suitable for teaching law, but I was proven wrong.

There are really countless things I can point out (new reading room in the library, no construction noise in the library, change in menu at Zeb, etc. But the most important change of all was announced today by e-mail. The registrar wrote:
Electronic grades are coming to Boalt. This semester Boalt will start posting grades to BearFacts as courses are graded by faculty. No more waiting until February to see how you did in fall semester classes.
Spoiled brats. The whole lot of you. You have no idea the anxiety that festers in the human psyche when you have devoted every ounce/gram/bushel whatever of energy you have to finals, and then your grades don't come until two months later. I just can't do justice to the pains you are about to avoid. Now, let's not all jump for joy. This is Boalt afterall and it still takes 8 different websites to get all your personal information together. More importantly, computers and grades have NEVER worked smoothly with each other at Boalt. Hell for half of my 2L year I didn't get the mass e-mails to 2Ls because I was still on the 1L Listserv. So you will forgive me if I have my doubts. BUT, I still want to point out just how lucky (and spoiled and bratty) you all are. Ergo, below the fold, I am going to quote some of my favorite comments from over the years about grades and Boalt. Enjoy.

[Just in case the subtlety of this post is lost on some people reading, it should be taken as measure of the distance Boalt has traveled under the leadership of DE. So read the comments with that in mind.]


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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In the Navy, Come on and Join Your Fellow Man

The SCOTUS denied cert in the Berkeley Sea Scouts case (LA Times coverage here). The Supreme Court of California held that Berkeley and other cities can condition subsidies or use of city services on non-discrimination agreements. The Sea Scouts (and presummably the BSA) disagree. They argued in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000) that they should be free to discriminate on account of race and religion while complaining that cities should subsidize activities that further such discrimination.

Actually, the khutzpa is grander than that. They actually demand *cough* equal treatment by the City. Conservative organizations like the Pacific Legal Foundation (which funded the appeal in this case and filed an amicus brief in Phillip Morris challenging high punitive damages) feel that organizations with "traditional values" are being discriminated against. The "traditional values" pursued by Bob Jones University were not entitled to federal subsidy by way of tax breaks. Is this what modern conservatism is about? Cloaking bigotry under a free speech argument and then suing for government funds?


Monday, October 16, 2006

As for Compensation...

There's a new article about which artists judges quote the most. Summary here. So, which song/artist would you quote if you were a judge? In what type of cases?

Do You Want To Take A Survey?

East Bay attorneys at the Earl Warren American Inn of Court are curious about law students today. They have four short questions they want to ask you. The survey takes less than a minute. All responses are confidential. If you'd like to participate, please follow this link. When we compile the responses, I'll provide a summary of the information here. At long last, we'll know what the most popular class in law school is, and what everyone does after finals week.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bearing $2600 A Week

I've been looking over the list of firms that offered callbacks to Boalties, and it is VERY impressive. And I'm wondering what more I can add there. I'm tempted to put an asterisk next to any firm that is mentioned in the comments. I'm also tempted to bold any firm where a Boaltie has accepted. This last one I'm a bit hesitant about, but I think it would show where we are ending up. Anyway, I'm very proud of all the 2 and 3Ls who've been wowing firms.

The 1Ls have not been forgotten either. Not too long ago you guys were wondering about how to read a dissenting op. Pretty soon you will apply for summer gigs. I or my co-bloggers will have something about that soon. That is all.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006


[The faint of heart may find this post inappropriate. Don't read if you're the type. Thanks in advance. -- AA]

Only a few days ago, commentators remarked on the implosion of the Yankees. [You can see why I have the warning above.] But I don't want to talk about the piloting skills of Cory Lidle. Instead, I couldn't help notice Fox harping on and on about 9/11 all over again. And this brings us to my point.

Human memory is a funny thing. And by funny I mean incredibly maliable and inaccurate. One of the greatest myths is flash bulb memory. Briefly, the idea is that when something really traumatic takes place, we remember that moment as if it was captured on camera. JFK's assasination is often brought up as a classic example. Naturally, the research reveals that we THINK we remember, but we tend to not really remember much. The Onion really summarized it best. The exception, of course, is when we are constantly reminded of an event. And that's where Fox comes in. Bravo!!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

. . . Bearing Gifts

I'm hoping that people interviewing over flyback week will bring their comical stories back to Nuts & Boalts when the vacation is over. Maybe the following anecdote from OCIP 2005 will help prime the pump. To stave off some of the more predictable comments: I concede that this story (1) would have been more timely last month, and (2) is less funny than the ingenious work of Tucker Maxx:

I was interviewing at the Hotel Durant with the SF office of a national firm. Their Palo Alto office was interviewing across the hall. One of my two interviewers was a young, attractive female associate. About ten minutes into my interview, someone pounded on the door. I got up and opened it. It was the Palo Alto partner from across the hall. He brushed past me and bounded up to the young associate, introducing himself and immediately launching into a speech about how she should come down to the Palo Alto office and spend some time with him.

Eventually he left, and my interview continued. When it was done, I walked out of the room and headed for the stairs. But I heard a loud voice, shouting “Hey YOU!” I kept walking. “HEY YOU! COME BACK HERE.” So, still somewhat in my compliant interview mode, I turned back. “COME IN HERE,” said the Palo Alto partner from the room where he was interviewing. The door was open, so I walked in. “I wanna talk to you,” he said. I realized, somewhat to my dismay, that there was another Boaltie in the room, trying to be interviewed by this guy. “Well, I don’t want to intrude…,” I said. “You’re not intruding; I told you to come in here,” replied the interviewer. Then the phone rang. “WAIT RIGHT THERE,” he said, and proceeded to take a call from his office. I exchanged glances with the interviewee, who was sitting in the room’s only chair: a tiny, very low-to-the-ground easy-chair. The interviewer continued to talk on the phone. He began to talk about us. “Guess who I’ve got in here right now,” he said to the person on the other end, “TWO BOALT STUDENTS. One of them is. . . WHAT’S YOUR NAME, KID?” The interviewee told him. “And the other one is just standing here.”

Eventually the call ended. “I WANT TO TELL YOU SOMETHING,” the guy said to me. “I WANT TO GIVE YOU SOME ADVICE. YOU WON’T GET THIS ADVICE ANYWHERE ELSE IN THIS BUILDING.” At this point the guy started paging through a binder filled with resumes, as though looking for the exact formulation of the advice he wanted to give me. “HERE IT IS,” he announced. “DO NOT FUCK UP. DON’T FUCK UP. DON’T DO IT. DON’T FUCK UP.” I thanked him for the advice and left the room.