Friday, October 31, 2008

I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

The liberal blogosphere is abuzz with Sen. Stevens' latest argument that "There's not a black mark by my name yet, until the appeal is over and I am finally convicted, if that happens. If that happens, of course I'll do what's right for Alaska and for the Senate."

Stevens, I think, is channeling Ken Lay, the former CEO and Chairman of Enron, whose conviction was overthrown when he died pending appeal. And as a matter of general American jurisprudence, the rule is that a conviction is not FINAL, until all direct appeals are exhausted. For example, the one year deadline under AEDPA for habeas relief begins ticking when you exhaust your direct appeals (usually a denial of Cert by the SCOTUS). At the4 same time, he becomes a convicted felon when the court enters a judgment of guilty. So, Sen. Stevens has a point to the extent that as of now, he is not convicted and when he is, the conviction will not be final until he exhausts all direct appeals.

But he was found guilty of seven felony counts by 12 jurors. That's a mark next to the Senator's name that most people do not have. I think a nice rule of thumb is, if someone will not hire you as a janitor at a school, then you shouldn't hold an office of public trust. Of course, this says nothing about the absurdity of a sitting U.S. Senator making these "technicality" arguments--especially for someone who has worked tirelessly to hinder defendants' rights on appeal.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Blue-ification of the Mountain West

The most reliably Republican section of the United States in the last 40 years has been the Mountain West - the birthplace of both Patrick and yours truly - which comprises the states of Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and the Dakotas (few mountains, but similar political atmospheres). I made it blue because of my keen knack for irony:

View Larger Map

In presidential elections for the last 40 years (from 1968 to present), the Democratic candidate has won only 11 of Mountain West's (MW) collective 293 electoral votes. In fact, these 11 EVs all came in the '92 election which saw Independent Ross Perot run on people's fear of the deficit, and pull in 19% of the national vote. In the end, Clinton won Montana (3 EVs) by 2.5% and Colorado (8 EVs at the time) by 4.3%.

A lot of this has to do with the political philosophies of the citizens of the MW. The MW comprises, as the NYTimes (click "Republican Herd") puts it, the "leave us alone" coalition of the Republican Party - the Libertarian branch of the party (officially known as the Republican Liberty Caucus). There are several theories as to why the Republican Party has received the support of the MW Libertarians (one well thought out theory suggests that it was because vote-hungry Republicans needed the MW's electoral support in the face of fierce competition with the Copper Democrats of the 1860's, and granted statehood to these territories to secure it), but this is beyond the scope of this musing. I'm focusing more on the future of the MW's political leanings.

People in the MW are more Catholic and Mormon than evangelical - the group that has been the "bedrock" of the Religious Right arm of the Republican party. Presidential candidate (and Libertarian Republican... AND MW neighbor) Barry Goldwater accused the religious right of "bullying" government, not "using their clout with wisdom", and said that he would "fight them every step of the way". The people of the MW's values are nicely summarized by the Libetarian Party's motto: "Small government, Lower taxes, More freedom". The Republican Party and the Bush administration may have lowered taxes, but the government has become bloated, and privacy violations have run amok (partisan link, but it seems pretty well established that Bush & Co. have disregarded citizen privacy in many, many ways).

As a result, the Republican party has become less desirable to the people of the MW. On a Senate and House Level, Democrats have made gains in the last few elections. John Tester joined longtime Democratic Montana Senator Max Baucus in 2006. Tim Johnson is cruising to reelection in South Dakota, despite suffering a stroke in late 2006 and being nearly incapacitated since. Mark Udall is whooping up on Republican Bob Schaffer for Wayne Allard's old seat in Colorado. Heck, even BFI (butt-freakin'-Idaho), the most Red state by several measures (such as economic policy), looks like it might pick up it's first US House Rep since Larry Larocco was elected in '93. Of course, it has taken stud Walt Minnick (a man-crush of mine), an endorsement by Democratic Idaho legend Cecil Andrus, and an incumbent with the nickname Bill "the idiot" Sali. But these Democrats are a different breed than those on the progressive forefront of the culture wars: Tester was a farmer who lost three fingers as a child working in the family butchery; Walt Minnick is a gun-owning outdoorsman/longtime-forester.

The Republican Party's jump to it's present state as neo-conservative Bush-doctrine adherents has hurt them at the presidential level this election cycle. The non-partisan has Obama ahead in Colorado and North Dakota, and within 3 in Montana and 7 in South Dakota. His superior get-out-the-vote operation is likely to pay dividends for future elections and in down-party races, which will only help him once he reaches office and in the future. Wyoming, Colorado and Montana all have Democratic governors which will help eliminate voter suppression. Heck, even Utah has a Democrat in the House.

All in all, the MW is surely trending blue. Arguments can be made that because these Democrats aren't as socially progressive as the more-left-leaning branch of the party that this could end up hurting the Democrats' message. But my opinion in the matter is that even if they only caucus with Democratic leadership 75% of the time, that's better for the Democratic Party than the nearly 100% adherence that their fellow GOP Congresspeople have given to the neo-con leadership. Anyway, keep your eye on this region, and not just because of my overwhelming love for the most beautiful place on Earth, but because regionally, this is one of the fastest changing political ecosystems in the country. And if you love politics as much as me, when the philosophy of an entire region evolves, you pay attention.

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Bar Review Location Change for TODAY

Forwarded on behalf of the Committee:
Bar Review has officially been moved to Becketts. The signs will be changed within the hour, but please spread the word. It really has been a very long time since many of us have gotten together (and no, sitting near one another in Tax or Crim Pro does not count).

So please come to BECKETTS. 9:30pm! Spend some quality time with all those people you see across from you in 105 and 100, but never really get to say hi to.

Thanks and hope to see you there!

Nobody Likes a Tattletale

Thank you, Boalt 2L's, for not exhibiting the poor judgement and lack of foresight that a Michigan 2L demonstrated today by forwarding a letter from their CDO to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.*

The Michigan letter encourages students with offers from White & Case to look elsewhere, as the firm may have over-hired its 2009 summer class. (For the record, the firm denies anything of the sort.) Setting aside whether the letter was accurate, one thing is certain: the Michigan CDO will think twice before sharing any inside tips with its 2L class. And, likely, White & Case now has a sour attitude toward the school. Neither of those are good for students.

I have never seen a letter from our CDO on WSJ Law Blog or ATL. Good. Perhaps our collective judgment is but one more reason to hire Boalties.

*While speaking of Wolverines, how could we not mention other hot topics this year, which include cell phones and sandwiches?

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Proposition Six Ironic

[Moving up in honor of the Boalt Hall Democrats' proposition guide and also, you know, the eminent election and all.]

[Update 10/15: The California District Attorneys' Association also supports Prop. 6.]

On the 2008 ballot, Proposition 6 is the "Safe Neighborhoods Act." Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? I mean . . . safe neighborhoods: You're either for 'em or against 'em, right?

Here are a few key provisions of the initiative. Prop. 6, if passed, would: increase penalties for firearm and drug crimes; require recipients of public housing subsidies submit to criminal background checks and lose housing if they or someone in their family has been convicted of a recent crime; eliminate bail for illegal aliens; change rules of evidence to allow use of hearsay statements when witnesses are unavailable; divert several billion from the CA general fund; and require a majority vote to add, but a 3/4 vote to amend. (Source.)

Proponents (including Golden State Bail Agents Association and the CA Association of Healthcare Underwriters*) argue Prop. 6 cracks down and gets tough on crime.

Opponents (including the CA Professional Firefighters; the CA Labor Federation; the current LA Police Chief; the former LA Police Chief; the LA Times; the CA Teachers Association; the CA National Organization for Women; the LA City Council; the League of Women Voters; and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights) point out that the funding scheme diverts billions from California schools, hospitals and childcare centers, that criminal background checks for public housing recipients target the poor, and that changes in rules of evidence and prosecution guidelines increase (dramatically) the damage caused to persons falsely prosecuted.

In summary, if you like nurses, firefighters, women's rights, labor, human rights, and teachers, vote "no." If you favor bail agents and insurance underwriters, vote "yes."

It gets even better.

The primary supporter of Prop. 6 -- by a long shot -- is billionaire Henry Nicholas. As of July 2008 Nicholas had contributed $1,000,000 to get the measure passed. This is nothing new; Nicholas (who co-founded Broadcom) has supported various 'tough on crime' projects in the past and, according to coworkers on former initiatives, is passionate about crime:
Nicholas' behavior during [the last two weeks of the 2004 Prop. 66 campaign] was strange. He seemed to work all night, rarely sleeping. With the assistance of then Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, Nicholas pulled an all-nighter in the Long Beach home studio of a rock musician to make "No on 66" radio ads. He then started calling radio stations over the last weekend, begging managers to broadcast the ads despite full slates. It all seemed manic, but Nicholas told me at the time he simply had a passion for crime . . .
What motivated that mania? Click here to read Nicholas' 18 page grand jury indictment, alleging he maintained an LA condo for the purpose of cocaine and ecstasy distribution (it has since come to light that the condo was also the scene of violence, and prostitution). Click here to read Nicholas' 65 page securities fraud indictment alleging backdating of Broadcom stock options without properly reporting the transactions to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Passionate about crime, indeed.


Vote early, vote often

Yesterday, Florida governor Charlie Crist declared a State of Emergency. Why? To enable polls to stay open 12 hours a day in order to accommodate the number of people who are voting early.

Meanwhile, a judge in Ohio has ruled that homeless people must be allowed to list the place where they sleep most often, such as a park bench or doorway, as their address.

And in Colorado, more than 3000 voters may be declared ineligible to vote under a law that lets county clerks purge newly registered voted if mail sent to their registered address comes back.

I see recounts and lawsuits looming large on the horizon.


People deserving public shaming, part 37

. . . non-disabled Boalt students that park in the handicapped spot in front of Simon Hall.

If you are able to walk from one corner of Boalt Hall to another without showing any sign of disability or fatigue, then you can walk from Underhill parking lot like everyone else.

I don't care how you got access to a parking pass. Leave the spot for someone who needs it more than you do.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What? No Boalt?

"PreLaw Magazine" (HT: Matt) attempts to rate the top 75 public interest law schools. What's interesting, is that they somehow missed ours. That, or they confused us with Stanford.


From "Heller's Hell" to "Thelen of Troy"

The first major law firm casualty in this down economy was Heller.

Word out of the SF Chronicle is that Thelen is likely next. In part, the Chron says "there's no question that Thelen soon won't exist as Thelen."

Tough words. Let us all hope everyone lands on their feet.

Who's next?!


Dissolution has officially been recommended," and management expects the firm to be gone by December." Thelen R.I.P.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Distinguished Gentleman*

Following a weekend thumping of my beloved Bruins, Monday brought more bad news with the conviction of former Bruin, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK). Aside from being a Bruin, the Senator spoke at Boalt in 2007 I believe. With that said, I cannot hide my glee that such an opponent of environmental regulation may finally be out of office.

Substantively, I'm a bit surprised by the verdict. I'm not a public corruption law expert, but I know the mental state required for false reporting is "knowingly." David Rosen, like Sen. Stevens, took the stand and denied that he ever knowingly filed false reports. The jury believed Rosen, but not Stevens.

* One of the best lines from that movie:

Thomas Jefferson Johnson: Terry, tell me something. With all this money coming in from both sides, how does anything ever get done?
Terry Corrigan: It doesn't. That's the genius of the system.

Enough with the [Phrase] Activist Judges!

John McCain promises in an article at today that if elected, he would avoid "activist judges" like the social plague everyone agrees they are.

But do we agree?  What the hell is an "activist judge," anyway?  The phrase is like "alibi," "Sunni Islam," or "fiscal conservative" -- everybody uses it, but who can say what it means?

The distinction between "activist judges" and the three phrases just listed, however, is that "activist judges" probably never had a precise meaning.   If you are conservative, the phrase means the likes of Justice William O. Douglas, and perhaps Chief Justices Earl Warren and John Marshall. If you are liberal, you feel sort of uncertain and defensive because you don't pay attention to Bill O'Riley anyway.  And if you are intellectually honest, the list of names above leaves you feeling confused.

As far as I can tell judges and Justices transmogrify into activists when:
  • They strike down socially popular legislation on constitutional grounds (e.g., eliminating the death penalty for child rape in Kennedy v. Louisiana, or affirming citizen enemy combatants' habeas rights),
  • They ignore or overturn precedent (e.g., reversing without distinguishing Betts v. Brady, in Gideon, or striking down Plessy v. Ferguson's separate but equal theory in Brown), or
  • They depart from common and accepted constitutional constructions (e.g., the recent gay marriage decisions in California and Connecticut, the New Deal Court's treatment of the Commerce Clause, Griswold's sudden discovery of privacy in the Bill of Rights, which had somehow been overlooked for more than 150 years, or many Scalia and Thomas dissents).
Into the first camp falls Justice Kennedy (Kennedy v. Louisiana), into the second go Justices Harlan, and Douglas (Gideon), and into the third fall Justices Scalia, Douglas (Griswold) and Thomas.

But can this really be the kind of analysis upon which lamenters like McCain of activist judges base their conclusions? Is that what Mark Levin means? Rush Limbaugh? Would they agree that all of above-listed Justices have been working together in scurrilous concert to dismantle our system of government?  Scalia and Douglas??

No.  The truth is that the only common ground those Justices share is an address. The truth is that "activist judges" is nothing more than a pejorative, politically poisoned rephrasing of "broad judicial review." It's what Chief Justice Marshall created in Marbury. It is what the New Deal Court did after the Depression. And it is nothing short of ironic that broad (or at least sweeping) judicial review would also be the effect of Scalia's construction of the Constitution, were it actually applied across the board.

That's why I think distinctions like activism versus restraint are suspect in concept, and worthless in practice. To use the phrase "activist judges" is to convey a category without content; it means nothing, yet always produces a response. People put it in sentences and nod their head gravely, as though they were talking about Darfur, mortgage backed securities, or some other political event they feel guilty for knowing nothing about, except that it "seems like a serious problem," and that "something should be done." That is why John McCain's promise draws not from any worthwhile taxonomy of judicial philosophies, but from ignorance and guilt.

The bottom line is that "activism," which conjures up Berkeley-eqsue images of protest and unrest, means nothing more than "politically undesirable." Because it is a loaded term, those who use it are the incestuous comminglers of the branches of government -- not the judges at whom the phrase is directed. It is people like McCain who inject politics into the judiciary. It's people like McCain who would legislate from the bench, by way of appointee. It is people like McCain who should anger Limbaugh and Levin.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Undecideds

No, I'm not talking about the Ohioans who do that dial-o-graph thing on CNN during the debates.* I'm talking about the 2Ls still holding offers. There's considerable traffic on ATL on the subject. Here are my brief thoughts. And as a caveat, these are my personal observations, not my firm's policies, preferences, etc...just what I would do if I was a 2L under the new rules.

This is the first year under the new rules. Previously, you had until Dec. 1 to accept or decline. Although you were supposed to narrow the number of offers you had open by certain dates, e.g., only two offers open by Nov. 15 (I think), in practice, this was not and could not be enforced, and most acceptances happened on the last couple of days.

Under the new rules, there is no set deadline for all firms and offerees as it depends on the date of the offer letter + 45 days. Combined with an earlier and earlier recruiting season, this means most offers are accepted or rejected at an earlier date than late October/November. This means firms know that they have reached a certain critical point for their summer hiring much earlier, perhaps even long before your own personal deadline to accept/decline. It is with this backdrop that I think we should view stories like the Akin Gump offer withdrawal.

Second, the reason for the new rule is to give some sort of an enforcement mechanism to people declining offers in a timely manner. Remember, the majority of NALP's student constituency is not as fortunate as Boalties when it comes to job offers. There's considerable pressure to get those who are fortunate to make up their minds quicker. Even some of your classmates, judging by some comments, are not having as much of a success as they imagined. So be considerate, and let the firms that you're not interested in know as soon as you can. If you are interested, let them know and keep in contact with the firm.


*But if you are curious about the undecideds in this election, watch this.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Making Their Own Reality

And followed by...

Although I think the hypocrisy and outright lies flowing from the McCain Campaign are a story worth noting and mocking, I also want to flag this webcast of a forum with McCain's and Obama's economic advisers tonight at 4:30 PM.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Survey Number 988978655

[Update: Just saw this. Un-freaking-believable. Great minds think alike.]
If you are a 2L or a 3L you recently received an e-mail asking to you fill out a survey on what can be done to improve the online teaching evaluation process. Since you probably deleted it as a matter of course, I posted in the comments.

No ill will intented to BHSA for conducting the survey, but the problem with the evaluations is stunningly simple, and has been kicked around on this blog for years. It's no mystery: because the school doesn't share any meaningful survey results, they're worthless to students. Absolutely worthless. Many of us went to colleges where the process was much more transparent, and when we asked DE a town hall last year what could be done to improve the evaluation process here, DO stepped in and explained that "the faculty are opposed" to further disclosure. That was that. Discussion over. Issue closed. Now that "response rates have been declining," though, they are apparently interested in our feedback.

Stepping off the moral high horse, there are lots of practical reasons students should encourage releasing the narratives of student evaluations. Which professor has threatened to ban laptops? Which professor takes attendance like it's God's work? Which professor buys his pants a size down and stands in the lecture halls with one leg on the podium? We need to know ahead of time! We need to KNOW!

I encourage you use the survey to remind the school that the current evaluation process is, at a bare minimum, mildly insulting to the sudden body, and to point out how easy it would be to turn things around. I also encourage you not to hold your breath for significant change, although I would love to be proven wrong.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

How About an Ethics Course for the Administration?

I think most of you know I'm not the type of N&B blogger who typically rails against the administration. Actually, considering this is my first post since Lockergate, maybe I am that kind of blogger. But those who know me personally know I rarely whine. I hate whining. It's why I can't stand bands like Snow Patrol and Coldplay. But, in this case, I'll have to make an exception. Sing along, Chris Martin.

We received an e-mail from the admin last week about the "Professional Responsibility" requirement. Apparently, unbeknownst to most of us (and flat out denied by many), we have to take one of these courses by the end of 2L. The problem? Only one such course (Law 210.14 Legal Ethics: Regulation of Lawyers) is being offered next semester. Want to guess the enrollment cap on that course? I'll give you a minute.

. . .

Nope, lower.

. . .

Still lower.

. . .

Lower! Think digits on one hand.

Yep, good guessing. It's five. FIVE! Five lucky people can enroll in this course. The rest of us will have to do a clinic or submit an Academic Rules Petition. I have no idea how those petitions work or their likelihood of approval. Why? Because the administration didn't tell us that. Which really seems to be a trend.

Now I know this requirement was apparently published in the rules somewhere (as copied in the e-mail). But seriously, am I expected to know those by heart? And clearly the admin was aware that 3Ls had been telling us not to worry about it. A reminder e-mail before now would have been nice. So would a few more courses that meet the requirement. In lieu of those things, I expect a flood of "Academic Rules Petitions" will be filed shortly. Hopefully they'll be approved, but it'd be nicer if something more rational was done about this.

BHSA did such a pretty solid job with the locker situation. Maybe they can step up again on this?

I find the whole thing unnecessarily annoying. You know, "nobody said it was easy, but no one ever said it would be this hard." Well said, Chris. Whine on.

UPDATE: Since posting this, I've found this, which shows the enrollment cap as 60. I was originally going off of this, which (probably erroneously) has it at 5. 60 is still pretty low for a class that most 2Ls (and probably a lot of 3Ls) will need next semester.


Spooky Thought of the Week: Nightclub Boalt

If you get claustrophobic or don't want to feel creeped out, don't read this.

Over the last week, workers have sheetrocked all doorways to the courtyard, which is essentially every south- and east-facing door in Boalt Hall. I think they've covered a few windows as well.

What would happen if there were a fire? Would people be able to get out?

(You read it anyway, didn't you? Of course you did.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

2009 Spring Classes

The spring course schedule is up. As with past semesters, here is a course recommendation thread.

My two cents for 1L's: Civ Pro II, Con Law, Advanced Legal Research, in that order. (Was that three cents?) That's just my view, and others may disagree, but there you have it.

Lastly, and as always, please try to avoid naming professors in any google-searchable manner. Not only will creative nicknames help keep your observations within the Boalt community, but they are also much more fun.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Lieter's New Rankings Are Crap

Brian Lieter released a new ranking of law schools today, entitled "The Top 15 Schools From Which the Most "Prestigious" Law Firms Hire New Lawyers, 2008."

Where does he get his data? Here's a direct quote:
We started with the most recent Vault list of the most prestigious law firms in the U.S. We had to go to #24 on that list to identify fifteen super elite law firms that had the right kinds of search engines to permit efficient identification of where associates at these law firms went to law school. The firms studied were: Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Sullivan & Cromwell; Skadden Arps; Davis Polk & Wardwell; Simpson Thacher; Clearly [sic] Gottlieb; Kirkland & Ellis; Covington & Burling; Paul, Weiss; Williams & Connolly; Sidley Austin; Arnold & Porter; Jones Day; and Morrison & Foerster.

So, essentially, if you go to Latham, Weil, Debevoise, Gibson, WilmerHale, White & Case, Shearman, O'Melveny, or Clifford Chance, you're not counted.

1/3 of the omitted firms are west coast firms. If you're looking to be "elite" in California, you're likely at one of those firms. Further, 2/5 of the included firms don't operate west coast offices.

It's no wonder why Stanfurd and Berkeley score so low, and Columbia and NYU magically rise to the top.

Given his glaring bias/omissions, what's the point of releasing these rankings in the first place?


Friday, October 10, 2008

But if We Give Gays and Lesbians Equal Rights, Everyone Else Will Want Them, Too

Yesterday, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry. That makes Connecticut the third state, after Massachusetts and California, to legalize gay marriage. Interestingly enough, the state had passed a civil union law, but the court ruled that it did not offer gays and lesbians the same privileges and status as marriage.

What next? It seems likely that this will continue to be decided on a state by state basis for the next few years - but will the Supreme Court weigh in once more states have taken a stand? If so, will any of the reasoning in Loving v. Virgina apply by analogy, or will the Court decide that protecting traditional family values is a legitimate public interest?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Notorious B.O.A.L.T. just gave our school quite possibly the best props that an educational facility can receive. Whoever did this:

Thank you. Go Boalt!

Funny thing is, I can use this for bar study this coming spring. Woo!

From the OCIP Spin Room

From a previous thread:

Anonymous said . . .

Off topic, but how about a post on the 2L/3L job market, from a Boalt perspective?

Like the one here: [ ATL Link 1; Link 2].

I had part of that conversation last night with a friend, who wondered whether the recent economic events will affect job prospects for Boalt's class of 2011.

On one hand, I'm hardly in a position to know; I've never been to Boalt before, nor have I ever chased a high end professional job -- with or without a downturn. On the other hand, I do suspect Boalties are more insulated than most law students in this country.   If law firms are indeed tightening the belts, they are probably hiring less deeply into the curve, or forging hiring at some schools altogether. Babble on the internets suggests that what happened here with Thelen happened at other schools on a larger scale.  I realize that all of what I just said is heavy on pontification and light on substance, but hey, I'm a law student. It's become my forté.

Incidentally, a count of "+" marks in OCI threads from previous years suggests that Boalt actually landed callbacks from more firms this year than last, although how they may have been distributed across the class is anyone's guess.

Finally, I'm exhausted on OCI stuff. But if you still have the steam, here is your thread.

[Update 10/09: The Shark argues if you want to hedge your bets against a recession, California is the place to do it.]

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Tele-F*CKED 2008, Phase II

Thanks to your diligent efforts, I have lost my unfair advantage over my fellow students. Damn you, Nuts and Boalts!
So says an anonymous survey-taker, and correctly: Tele-BEARS times have been randomized.
Specifically, students have been grouped by graduating class and then randomized within that group. Third year students (with the exception of one very unlucky Boaltie) register at least one day prior to 2L's. Second year students, however, appear to enjoy no registration benefit over 1L's. That is probably of little concern because 1L spring courses carry their own section numbers, which means that 1L's and 2L's do not vie for slots.
So, take comfort. You may be screwed this semester, but it isn't by the UC Registrar. It's now the UC Registrar, as controlled by the hand of God.

A big thank you to Matt, for providing the imagery.  I have also provided a fairly readable sample of some of the data here. The full spreadsheet, redacted for IP addresses, is here. Note that there is no way to determine whether the times will be re-randomized each semester or if you will be locked into your 'place in line' for your tenure at Boalt, but wouldn't that be a peach?

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Presidential Debate, Round 2, FIGHT!

Will John McCain bring the hurt? Or will Obama duck-and-stick? Will it get dirty? Will we hear about Ayers or Keating? Or will they just make up and hug, because hey, we're all brothers?

The debate starts at 6:00 PST.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Tele-F*CKED 2008, Phase I

First, they lied. Then they were caught. But they never apologized.

For those of you tuning in for the first time this fall, here's a brief rundown:

Boalt students have been assured for years that Tele-BEARS registration times (and the concomitant opportunity take that coveted class, or to score an early slot on the wait-list) were randomized to ensure fairness.

Not so. Students discovered last spring that registration times were in fact issued by student ID number -- the lower your ID number, the earlier you registered. Even worse, the earlier you applied to the UC system (even as an undergrad, and even if you didn't attend), the lower your ID number. The result was that some people (like Armen) enjoyed the prized seminars, classes, and professors every single semester at Boalt, while the rest of us sit through classes like Janitor Law from adjuncts.

We were promised last spring that it would be fixed by this fall. It is true that any twelve year-old with ten minutes and an Excel spreadsheet could randomize 800 numbers, but I just wonder. . ?

If you are a current Boalt student, your Tele-BEARS times are now available at Bear Facts (but not, ironically, at the Tele-BEARS page). Please take this anonymous survey and please tell your comrades to do the same, as we need several hundred responses to ensure an accurate response. We will know by later this week whether they fixed the problem.

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Law Talking Guys (and Gals) for Change

Four years ago, I was a mindless 1L watching my classmates get involved in the election. Now is your chance. Instead of just walking precincts, you can put your legal education to good use. Sign up here.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Softball: Have Talent?

To: All Boalties
From: Bad News Bearisters

In the third year of epic Bad News Bearisters tradition, our flagship Boalt team is in need of a few more players. If anyone can (a) throw a softball, (b) catch a softball, and (c) hit a softball and WON'T SHOW UP DRUNK, then we want to see what you can do.

Our games are Sundays at either 6pm or 7pm, every week. If interested in joining the team, send an email to me, Casey, at If you have any softball/baseball experience, that is a bonus and please let us know.

First opportunity to play is tonight, at 7pm.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Commencing World's Longest Wince, 6pm

It could be really, delightfully ugly tonight. In fact it already IS ugly, based on intel from the CBS "presidential questions" series.

[UPDATE (Armen): In honor of Sen. McCain's love of gambling, I propose a Palin Pick 'Em contest. In your opinion, what is the easiest question that Palin cannot answer? I'm talking in general, but you can limit it to tonight's debate if you want. I honestly can't decide between, "What's the square root of 49?" and "What's the capital of Canada?"]


Hey There Little Cardinal Riding Hood

Compare this and this with this.

UPDATE: Nevermind, for some reason I thought these were separate incidents. Same Cristina, new charges.