Skip to My Lunch
With that in mind, feel free to offer SF any pearls of wisdom using the comments.
Stories from the fruits and nuts of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall)
Labels: Rabid Conservatives
The fire melted a second interchange from eastbound I-80 to eastbound I-580 located above the first interchange, causing a 250-yard section of the roadway to collapse onto the roadway below, according to the highway patrol.Holy crap! So basically the spaghetti will be closed for a while. There isn't much to say, is there?
The editorial loses focus at the end, but I found it convincing. The anti-catholic accusations impugn the integrity of five people who took oaths (no doubt on Bibles!) to uphold the Constitution. Such accusatons also undermine the credibility of the Court. Finally, such accusations smack of religious bigotry.
Playing the religion card is worse than silly because it shows how intellectually lazy the liberal defense of Roe has become. There are many reasons why the Court upheld the federal partial-birth abortion law, but not a state ban that it struck down in 2000. The Court found the state law too vague, while the federal law is more specific about the prohibited procedures. The Court may have been demonstrating more respect for the judgment of Congress than that of the states. Or the Court may have been following public opinion: Polls show that a majority of Americans agree with the partial-birth abortion ban. Almost two-thirds of the Senate, including Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy and Harry Reid voted for it. Four years ago, today's critics didn't ask whether Mr. Leahy's and Mr. Reid's votes were inspired by their Catholic or Mormon faiths.
Rather than develop reasoned responses to the Court or the arguments of conservatives, liberal critics resort to the mystical for easy answers. They suggest that irrational religious faith or pure Catholic doctrine handed down from the Vatican drives the Justices. It is much easier to dismiss your opponents as driven by mysterious forces than to do the hard work of developing arguments built on human reason. This religious critique recalls the nativist fear of Catholicism that too often appears in U.S. history. Senate Democrats appealed to the same bias when they filibustered judicial nominees for their "deeply held" religious beliefs, as Sen. Charles Schumer said of now-circuit judge William Pryor.
Labels: Legal Culture
Labels: Bar Exams
Labels: Bar Exams
“Nobody move...I’ve got another slide. This is like getting extra candy.”
“You and I can conclude a treaty dividing up the territory of the
“We know that with prisoners of war, you can’t keep them forever. At least we used to know that.”
“It was adopted in 1789. I guess it was fairly early in the history of the
“There is nothing more exciting than the drama of jurisdiction.”
“It quacks like a bond.”
“Turns out saving is really cool. It’s cool because it’s magic.”
“Visa doesn’t like you.”
“It’s as if high fructose corn syrup is in the credit cards.”
“If you trade down a little bit...I drive a Jetta.”
“I’m going to sound like Don Rumsfeld now, but we have to know something before we know we’re uncertain.”
“If you think tariff law practice is boring, Agriculture law is the essence of boring.”
“It took a German to bring this case. It took a German to bring Protestantism, and it took a German to bring this case.”
“Undertaking is the official EU term of art for enterprise. You’d think there are funeral parlors all over
“The DaimlerChrysler merger is very cute.”
"I still occasionally take valium when flying that has an expiration date in 1999."
“The British taste is so bad, it shouldn’t be surprising that they allow all sorts of substitutes for cocoa.”
Labels: Professor Quotes
“Maybe you don’t care because you’ll be dead.”
“A lot of you will be worth $10 million when you’re dead even discounting for inflation. Ok $5, $5 million.”
“Don’t wait till you’re dead, give it to me now”
“If you don’t, stay unmarried, or marry a Shiksa...”
“Bury your possessions with you, citing Egyptian precedent.”
“It’s to promote equality between the very, very rich and the very rich. I really am not kidding. This is the reason for the generation skipping tax.”
“It’s always a tradeoff with me between student participation and the transfer of knowledge.”
“This family doesn’t do very well.”
“Some people think it’s not romantic to talk about who owns what.”
“We’d like to make your life as miserable as possible so we won’t allow you to be adopted by better people.”
“When you became an adult, you yourself could have consented to an adult adoption. Didn’t think of that, did you?”
Student: “How would one go about an adult adoption? I mean, where do you go?”
BR: “I’ve never done it myself.”
“You can only adopt one adult per year in
“The mother advantages her daughter by dying. Not the only such instance in this course.”
“The best way to create a small fortune is to leave a large one to a trust.”
“People do dumb things, and usually we let them do dumb things.”
“Writing ‘I cancel this will’ does not cancel the will any more than writing ‘I burn this will’ burns the will.”
“I can’t imagine someone trying to admit a will and then saying HA HA HA it was a joke. A very funny joke.”
“What can you buy for $30K? Nothing. Maybe a quarter of a garage.”
“If you recognize that marriages often breakdown, you might want to keep separate property separate.”
Student: “What’s a defacto wife?”
BR: “Yeah that’s an Australian idea.”
Student: “This guy uh basically uh died.”
BR: “Umm [student] do you have a thought?”
Student: “Well I do, I don’t know if it’s worth much.”
“Some people like to do business on the edge.”
“These are upstanding states.
“He knew he was going to be the trustee and he knew he was probably a jerk.”
“I don’t understand people who think they’re going to get rich without ever working a day in their life. They’re just dumb.”
Student Walking In: “Yeah right here.”
BR: “Ummm I’ll get back to you in a minute.”
“Most people prefer to have power, as opposed to its absence.”
[Dead hand control] “It’s unsightly. It’s just as unsightly for someone to make a bust of themselves and plop it up on some land.”
“In a case like this you gotta wonder what kind of a person is going to sue to take money away from the kids. Should have the person audited or something.”
“Crazy, yes. But there’s a kind of genius to his madness wouldn’t you say?”
“It is exemplary art in the same way politicians are exemplary in integrity.”
“Other countries that we regard as clearly uncivilized,
“You might think Ikea is a family owned business. It’s not. It’s a charity...whoever set this up, is brilliant. Just brilliant.”
“Do we feel sorry for O? No, I never feel sorry for people in these situations.”
“Oh by the way, [James] Simons got his PhD from
Labels: Professor Quotes
Every semester it’s the same thing. On the last day of class the professor talks for a couple of minutes about the exam, explains the format of the test, what materials you may use, etc. Then s/he makes a gigantic mistake: s/he asks a room full of law students if they have any questions about the test.
It usually starts innocently enough, perhaps with some clarifying questions. Then it starts to get a bit silly, as students ask questions that have already been answered, or fish for information about particular topics on the exam. Within just a few minutes it has turned downright ridiculous. Students start asking what material they should focus on. Or they want to know the exact number of questions on the test. “Exactly what is the format of the multiple choice questions,” they might want to know. “What kind of answer gets a HH?” “Can you make all exams dating back 20 years available to us?” "Would you say that Chapter 7 is particularly important?" Every class I’m tempted to ask, “Can you please tell me all the questions on the exam as well as give me all the answers? Because that would make my studying much easier.”
Professors are under no obligation to give us any more information than absolutely necessary, which so far as I can tell consists of the type of test (multiple choice or essay), a very general idea of format, and clear guidelines about allowable materials. Any further information that’s withheld is withheld from all of us, so no one is unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged. None of us are entitled to anything more than the most basic information about the exam, so quit asking 40 questions in order to gain some sort of perceived advantage. If you need to ask clarifying questions that’s fine, but otherwise just study what you need to study, and take the exam as it comes.
Labels: Rabid Conservatives
Labels: Rabid Conservatives
Labels: Rabid Conservatives
Vonnegut: This one right here will take you where you want to be before you want to be there.
Customer: Wow. So it goes...really fast?
Vonnegut: So...it...goes [distant look in eye]. That’s exactly what I’m talking about.
Customer: Alright, good, now we’re getting somewhere. Tell me about the warranty.
Vonnegut: Why do you need a warranty? Does life come with a warranty?
Customer: I’m concerned about safety.
Vonnegut: Then you should be inside your house right now, with the blinds drawn, head down, gripping rosary beads.
Customer: It’s my day off. That’s not really an option.
Vonnegut: Then there’s nothing I can tell you about this car that you won’t already know after I tell you.
Customer: I’m getting confused. Let me ask you, have any customers bought this exact model?
Vonnegut: Kilgore Trout bought one last week. Took it to a clambake. Big hit with the kids.
Customer: I’m not big on clambakes.
Vonnegut. Neither is Kilgore Trout. I should also note that this particular car runs not on ordinary gasoline, but on something called ‘ice-nine.’ If used incorrectly, it could destroy the entire universe, as well as your transmission.
Vonnegut: Oh I’m just fucking with you!
Customer: I’m sensing you’re not too excited to be a car salesman.
Vonnegut: That would be correct.
Barack Obama was on Letterman the other night (video: Part 1 and Part 2). For some unexplained reason, the Republican National Committee used this as an opportunity to launch an early attack on Obama. For additional unexplained reasons, they put the attack in the form of a Top 10 List entitled “Obama’s Top 10 Fabrications.” The list is here. A couple of my favorites from the list: (8) Obama was fluent in Indonesian as a child; (2) Obama had heated discussions with a high school friend named “Ray” about racial issues; (1) Seeing a photograph in Life or Ebony Magazine changed Obama’s life.
I have no idea if any of those are in fact fabricated, and I don’t particularly care much, but I thought one item was especially relevant. The number 10 “fabrication” states: “Obama was a constitutional law professor.” Obama has said that he was a constitutional law professor at the
So, was this really a fabrication? Was Obama wrong to claim that he was a law professor? In actual fact he was not a Professor of Law, in the technical sense of the term. He was not tenured or a full-time faculty member, as during the time he taught his primary job was either with a plaintiff’s law firm or as an Illinois State Senator.
Despite this, I have no problem with Obama calling himself a law professor. First, we refer to nearly anyone who teaches law as Professor, regardless of whether that person is tenured or a practitioner. Perhaps this is just colloquial speech, or perhaps it is just polite, but I doubt that many of us mind if the many practitioners teaching at Boalt call themselves Professors. It would be quite disrespectful, in fact, if we insisted on sharp distinctions between “Professors,” “Lecturers,” and “Practitioners.” Second, Obama taught constitutional law for around a decade. If Obama had only delivered a few lectures his use of “law professor” would be questionable. But he taught Constitutional Law, a core law school class, for many years. I should think that a decade of Con Law entitles one to be called “Professor.” Third, Obama did not directly claim the title of “Professor.” The Top 10 list quotes him as saying “I was a constitutional law professor” (emphasis added). That is true, in the sense that one of his students at the time would have said, “My Con Law professor is Obama.” Were Obama attempting to delude people into thinking he was a full-fledged Professor of Law, he would have used the present tense. Using the past tense implies that he was the Professor for particular Con Law classes, not that Professor was his occupation and official title.
Although this is a minor issue, Obama’s campaign seems somewhat cognizant of it, as his website mentions his teaching only once, and is careful to say only that “he returned to
One more thing: I’m in no way belittling the hard-work of Professors of Law who dedicate their entire lives to teaching. I understand being full-time staff is different than part-time, but it still doesn’t change my opinion about Obama saying he was a law professor.
Labels: Rabid Conservatives
A crossword hidden under a book is one thing. With the aid of Microsoft and Google, we have effectively put at every seat a library of magazines, a television and the opportunity for real-time side conversations and invited our students to check out whenever they find their attention wandering.I confess, I actually sometimes cheat on the Daily Cal crossword puzzle by looking up clues. But on some days, there's no way to finish it without the help of Microsoft and Google.
If we complicate our understanding of what the Solomon Amendment is, and what it would mean to comply with or resist it, we can begin to ask questions such as these [the question above was about the painful consrequences of resisiting forced association, like losing donor and federal money]. Answers may be hard to come by, but there is no better time; or place; to begin to ask them.Mr. McK. has some interesting interests, but he's published one article (in 2000). It's a neat article that deals with sovereign immunitiy & bankruptcy prior to the Court's handling of that issue (SOC created a bankruptcy exception to SSI), but there's nothing else on Hein Online since then. It turns out he's been toiling at Debevoise since then, so that might explain where the articles disappeared to.
The previous thread, on the graduation speaker, is probably the most vitriolic thread I have seen on N&B. As several commenters have pointed out, the speaker is set, and so there is little point in arguing about the merits of the speaker at this juncture. (For what it’s worth, I see no reason to expect anything other than a great speech, though I will form my final opinion AFTER I hear him speak. I'm sure he'll be great, but even if he sucks, it’s just not going to ruin my graduation day, you know?) Hopefully the previous thread gave everyone some catharsis, and now we can get back to being one big, happy family.
So let’s make some lemonade out of that thread’s lemons. Amidst all the sniping there were actually several good ideas for improving the process of selecting a graduation speaker. The following are my suggestions for improving this process, but please add on your thoughts in the comments. Also, I was not on the Graduation Committee, so if I mention anything that either was already tried or is absolutely impossible, please say so.
1) Timing: The 2008 Graduation Committee should form before the end of this school year. A preliminary list of speakers should be drawn up now. The Committee should also speak with the outgoing Committee, to get an idea of who 2007 spoke with, and who might have been interested. Send an email to the entire 2008 class this semester, asking for suggestions or potential connections. As soon as school resumes in the Fall, send an email asking again for any connections or suggestions. Make your first round of invites no later than Sept. 15th (if not significantly earlier).
2) Faculty Input: It sounds like the faculty was of little help on this. First, get at least two established faculty members on the Committee. Second, have connected faculty members send out letters/make phone calls in September (or earlier). Faculty members like DE, Big Willie Style, and Prof. Choper are incredibly well-connected—they alone ought to be able to bring someone great in!
3) Money: Boalt does not provide an honorarium and can only offer coach airfare and crappy hotel accommodations. How can we make the experience better for the speaker? The honorarium policy likely won’t change, and first/business airfare is upwards of $1500 from
I think we can improve the experience, though, by having the speaker stay at the
Armen points out that the Graduation Committee simply didn’t have the funds for these types of improvements. I think with a little bit of creativity, however, the Committee can raise additional funds. Other departments at Boalt do have the cash. What if BCLT agreed to have an event without lunch, with the lunch money instead going toward graduation? Could BCLT (or another well-funded organization) be convinced to make a donation? Or, why not form a student group dedicated to Boalt’s graduation that is eligible for GA funding? An eligible group can quite easily get several hundred dollars. And what about firm sponsors? Surely none of us would mind a firm’s name on the back of the program, if it helped to secure a graduation speaker. Heck, what about a 3L bake sale? Works for a lot of the student groups on campus.
Okay, I don’t know which of those ideas are feasible, but the point is that the money is out there, if we’re willing to find ways to get it.
4) Politics: Apparently the Committee’s first task each year is to eliminate just about any speaker who might be interesting, because the Left won’t cross picket lines and the Right won’t be warmly received by Boalt students. This is bullshit. Maybe it makes sense to stay away from politicians seeking office, but there are plenty of government officials, lawyers, etc. who are not overtly political. And I simply disagree that anyone on the Right is disqualified—I think Boalties are smarter than that, see, e.g., the warm reception Bob Barr received when he spoke here recently—or that the
5) Students: Involve students by sending quarterly updates, and reminding them that suggestions/connections are welcome. If nothing else, this will allow the Committee to manage expectations, and should limit complaining once the speaker is set.
6) Award: Give an award. Just make one up. Call it the Earl Warren Award for Excellence, or the Dean Prosser Award for Distinction, or the 1st Annual Montgomery Burns Award For Outstanding Achievement In The Field Of Excellence. Give him/her a snazzy-looking plaque. We may not have an honorarium, or hand out degrees, but at least we can make the speaker feel special.
Well that’s all I got for now. Feel free to add on to the list, or tell me why my list is stupid. Do with it what you will, 2008.
Labels: Moving Out
Labels: Moving Out
Labels: Legal Culture