I've Been Admitted to Law School. The Question is...Can I Survive?

Narkoleptomania

Monday, February 28, 2005

There's a discussion between Orin Kerr and David Bernstein over at The Volokh Conspiracy about the roll than rank should play when choosing a law school. Orin Kerr talks about the advantages of going to the highest ranked school you can get into and David Bernstein discusses the intangible factors that may motivate one to choose a lower ranked school over a higher ranked one. Of course, when talking about lower ranked schools they refer to schools ranked fairly high overall (e.g. George Mason v Georgetown or George Washington). It would take a pretty special argument to convince one that it would make tons of sense to choose a T4 school over a T14 school.

As prior posts have indicated I'm leaning towards Orin Kerr's argument that it's advisable to choose a higher ranked school but primarily because many of the influential factors mentioned by David Bernstein. I have no geographic preferences nor do I have to worry about familial requirements and such. Also...I'm a tiny bit of a prestige ho'.

Greedy, Greedy, Greedy...And Not Too Smart Either

You give these people an inch, they want a mile. The RIAA's Apple has worn us all most of us down the the ITunes Music Store. 99 cents a song, OK, I can deal with that - I've never actually bought an mp3 from them, I like having complete control over my music...however I obtain it but the possibility exists that one day I may yet give in and purchase a song for 99 cents. I already use ITunes with my Ipod it's not that big a step. Maybe.

A fledgling number of the music buying/stealing population have decided to take advantage of legal means of obtaining their music and what do the money grubbers want to do? They want to increase prices.

I'm thinking it'll be a hot minute before a significant portion of the legal converts go back to their shady ways. Good move guys, real smart. And this in a world where movie studios plan to start selling $2.65 DVDs in China to combat illegal downloading - (I think this is an excellent idea by the way...also does this mean that the rest of the world will have to start doing bootleg like the Asians do bootleg before we'll get some decently priced media?).

There's a great post by Adam Cohen in the New York Times today titled, "The Lawrence Summers Mess: Harvard Enters the Internet Age". Check it out, it also taps in a bit on Ambivalent Imbroglio's When Blogs do Good or Bad Series.

The more I read about the Summers debacle the more I think nothing much is going to come of all this. He may get a talking-to by the corporation and be forced to sign up for a couple classes on "How Not to Piss off our Alumni so They Refuse to Give us More Money" but I doubt anything more serious than that's going to happen.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Is This Typical?

I caught up with a friend this weekend who goes to Santa Clara. The usual gripes about the grade curve and all that - loves the locale though - he mentioned that at the end of the year the bottom 12% of the 1L class will be asked to leave.

I had no idea this happened, I didn't know you could actually get kicked out of law school...pending well catastrophic circumstances. Also since once the bottom 12% go they'll simply be replaced by those right above them I'm not really clear on the point of the whole exercise.

So yeah, do all schools do this? I've never checked the Santa Clara website in detail but I stopped by when they sent me a fee waiver...and I read the catalogue...this little tidbit was definitely missing.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Parental Reaction to UPenn Diss

"Aww, hon I'm sorry but really you've already got a billion acceptances, it was getting boring saying congrats all the time!"

So yah...application for new parental figure open.

Just kidding, that back-handed ego stroking actually made me feel a better as did the scrumptiously prepared meal shortly after.

Love you Mom.

Hmm...I've got one more rejection coming, I wonder what the reaction will be then.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ding!

Officially dissed by UPenn after being put on hold a while ago. Not unexpected but...Ouch.

Yeah Baby...Scrabble!

I've wasted the better part of the past 2 days playing e-Scrabble. It's totally nerdy but so much fun if you like Scrabble. The only weird thing is that it's let me play words that are in no way actual words...as far as I know. Also disturbing is that I have quite a number of games going on with my friends who all work but who seem to have no trouble taking time off to play e-Scrabble. Getting fired for playing Scrabble online would just be too lame. It's a great waste of time. You should do it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Just Trying to Help

I recently posted on Paris Hilton getting hacked. Let me just say that after further investigation it turns out that she didn't actually get hacked - her password reminder question is "what's your pets name?" and her password unsurprisingly was "Tinkerbell" - the name of her dog. I'm sure the only problem the "hackers" had was figuring out whether or not the password was case sensitive.

Anyway for the tons of people who've happened upon the site looking for Lindsay Lohan's voicemail or her phone number...according to the online posts her phone number was 347-596-9990. I am sure, however, that she's changed it by now but since y'all came looking I thought I'd help you out. You can't say I didn't try.

Good luck with the celebrity stalking. And if you don't get her - don't worry - I'm sure Paris' new electronic gadget will be hacked by next week. You know I'm almost starting to feel sorry for her, it must suck having your life on display like that...but then I remember that she's filthy stinking rich and the money she spends grooming her ridiculous dog Tinkerbell could take care of my law school costs and surely she could spend 30 seconds coming up with a password that someone with a hat size IQ can't guess (unless, of course I'm overestimating her IQ). So yah, no dice.

---
P.S. Miami stop sending me junk mail. I don't want your DVD...not 3 days after I received your catalogue and application (DVD inside)...months after I applied. Stop it. It's not funny.

The Time Has Come...

...for me to officially delete Anonymous Lawyer from my Bloglines subscription list and even my blog roll. It really pained me to find out that Jeremy Blachman wrote it, that killed most of the appeal. I thought I'd try to stick it out for a while to see if it could still entertain me...sadly no dice. The few posts that Jeremy has put up since the unveiling while as well written as all the others just left me cold. Man, this sucks. I really liked that blog!

I don't think I'll be stopping by anymore. :(

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Road to Email Hell...

Seems to be paved with my good intentions of sharing my Gmail invites. I did a nice thing and sent off almost 100 Gmail invites to isnoop.net/gmail about a week or so ago. I guess my invites have just showed up in the spool and boy am I getting notifications from the Gmail Team of all these random people who've accepted my invitation - I've got about 40 or so in the past 3 or so hours.. The sad part is that I'm going to also have to delete them from my contact list.

Man people have some weird names and weird ways of combining them to form email addresses...of course this from a person who's chosen Narkoleptik as a moniker.

Kettle? You're black as hell.

The Key

Notes from the Legal Underground just endorsed a programme called ResearchPro which sounds like a great database tool. It's practical purposes for law school seem great. That plus this LEEWS (Legal Essay Exam Writing System) thing that I read about on MarkLyon.org yesterday make law school seem like a snap. I feel like in two days I've unlocked the door to the Order of the Coif.

Seriously though, has anyone gone through LEEWS, is it helpful? Should I fork out my dough. Sure the website guarantees B's minimum (but is this because most schools are on a B-curve?) and supposedly allows you to compete for A's. I'd love to hear from somebody who actually did/does the system and their perspectives. The website sounds really convincing...in that infomercial way...the lose 100 lbs without getting off the couch kinda way.

Most of the testimonials are also from a few years ago too - but ultimately I'm highly skeptical of any system that can crack all law school exams. Aight, so holla at me if you know anything about this system.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Brass, Pure Brass

This dude is straight up gangsta. He quit his job so he could be a full time blogger. He wants his regular readers to contribute enough dough to keep him afloat. Apparently last Spring he became overloaded and couldn't juggle his social and professional responsibilities with his blog so...
After thinking about it for a few weeks, I had a bit of an epiphany. The real problem was the tension between my web design career and my self-publishing efforts; that friction was unbalancing everything else. One of them had to go, and so I decided to switch careers and pursue the editing/writing of this site as a full-time job.

At first when I read about Jason Kotte quitting his job to focus on blogging I thought it was a pretty dumb idea, why'd you quit a paying job and gamble on making enough money for content people can get for free, however on further consideration, I have very little doubt that he'll pull it off. This is just the type of thing that will make people shell out their hard earned and not so hard earned money to pay for. I'm sure we all remember the chick that ran up some huge credit card bills and got people to clear her debt by putting up a site on the web and looking for donations. This isn't entirely the same since people will be paying for and, I assume, receiving good content - hopefully better than the free content. Generally, I'd say that netizens are generous folk, developers of great software, such as say...bittorent :)...get tons of donations from people who use the software, Loki from Lokitorrent received hundreds of dollars in donations to help fight the MPAA (which sadly didn't work).

So, I've changed my mind from thinking that this was a pretty dumb move on the part of Jason Kotte, I think there's a great chance that he may end up making as much as a mediocre rap star. I hope it works out for him because it'd really suck if it didn't. I'd be surprised...but I could have a laugh about it. Also, if it doesn't work out, he could take a few tips from Mark Jen at 99zeros who seems to be having a blast as an otherwise unemployed blogger (the guy sounds really chipper having just lost his job).

Also, might I say, I enjoy activities such as sleep, channel surfing and generally being lazy, if there's anyone out there who'd be willing to pay me to do these activities so I won't ever have to get a real job, holla! Seriously...holla!

P.S. I came across Kotte's story through a blog whose name for the life of me I can't remember. Sorry!

The Blogger Curse

Robert Ambrogi's Law Sites just trashed Blogspot hosting. Not unreasonably you understand, apparently when you hit the "next blog" button there's a chance that you may be taken to a page on some site that may leave you infected with a virus or spyware.

Unsurprisingly Internet Explorer - which I'm beginning to believe is the root of all evil, or most of it anyway - has security issues that leave your browser susceptible. Seriously though, Microsoft, the mass exodus to Firefox isn't coincidental you know.

Robert Ambrogi does place me in a moral quandary however, apparently, "If you use Blogger and want to avoid sending your visitors to some random, virus-infected site, stop hosting on blogspot and instead host on another server. You can find Web site hosting deals for a couple dollars a month."

Alas dear readers, while it pains me to think that I may inadvertently be sending you to a virus infected website, I must say that a couple dollars a month is a tad more than I can afford as we speak. I can however, encourage you to not click on the "next blog" link...or perhaps better for you in the long run...get Firefox.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Why Do the Law School Gods Mock Me?

I got this HUGE envelope today, HUGE, when I see it coming I'm like, this has to be good news. It's about time random schools stop recruiting me so this has to be good news.

Of course this certainty was apparently only so the gods of fate could laugh their asses off. My large envelope was, in fact, a catalogue and an invitation to apply to the University of Miami (sans fee waiver). The kicker is this, I applied to the University of Miami AGES ago (with a fee waiver), I received their acceptance letter AGES ago, I received their scholarship offer AGES ago...and I received an email to their admitted students TODAY.

I swear, I'm some puppet-master's plaything. No doubt about it.

Sadly, nothing exciting in law school related mail this weekend. I received a big catalogue from St. John's University - not the law school - the actual University, lots of talk about SATs and such . I'm not particularly reassured that whoever got my info from LSAC couldn't figure out which catalogue to send me. Scary. It was also mailed on Dec. 23, I just got it. Go figure. Maybe my Post Mistress knows that I really wasn't interested in it and kept it as a door stop or something.

Three letters from three different members of the Case Western faculty who all happened to notice that my interests coincided with theirs. No problem, I can dig that lie. It makes me feel semi-special.

And no...nothing from my reaches. Dammit. I mean I know I have less than no chances of getting in but still...dammit.

Show me some love (no Cardozo, not you this time).

Please?

This week?

Please?

Oh Paris

OF COURSE you've heard how Paris Hilton's Sidekick got hijacked and all the info posted up on the web. I'm talking about the most recent time though, not to be confused with all the other times. Supposedly her password was conned out of her, really Paris, two brain cells to rub together? Is that too much to ask?

Unsurprisingly some people took advantage of the situation, here's what one person did:

I know how immature it sounds to actually try these numbers, but I couldn't help it. The most famous people, such as eminem, either had blocked calls or their voicemail inbox was full. Lindsay Lohan's voicemail thing was some guy saying "hi you have reached lindsay lohan's number but this is not her speaking, I'm [forgot his name]. leave a message but I don't think she will get back to you because her number was put up all over the internet." Although I don't remember his name now, after this call, it turns out his name is in Paris' address book too, so we called him, and reached his voicemail. Then we called this guy Adrien, who didn't have his last name in Paris' address book. He answered and he was quite nice, we even had a random conversation. Then we called [all without last names] Antonio, Darell, and Paris Hilton's mom. We hung up on Antonio because we didn't know what to say, Darell hung up on us, and her mom picked up the phone without saying anything but hung up. So to sum it all up, I do not think this is a hoax.

and another:

I e-mailed Adam Levine. I just had to. I love his music. I'd only call Anna K to talk to Enrique!


Paris, Paris, Paris...once more you've allowed yourself to be the laughing stock of the world via internet. When will it end? But seriously can somebody get Paris an address book...like one on paper? Although she'd probably just lose it so lets scratch that.

Oh and for the folks who actually called these numbers...y'all are seriously idle.

Note to self: Never sign up with T-Mobile.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hotmail I hate you

I've tried to convince all of my friends to stop sending me emails at Hotmail but apparently it's just too hard for them to edit their contact lists. I need some new friends.

Anyway, I'm forced to check my Hotmail once a week or so, I use MSN Messenger (via Trillian of course) so there's only so long I can ignore the list of unread messages. Somebody please tell my why at least once a day the morons at Hotmail feel it necessary to send me crap telling me about their products and services - which I'd have to pay for.

Hotmail: That shit is considered S-P-A-M, why are you sending me spam? Because I use your service (unfortunately) doesn't make it OK to spam me. Isn't it enough that your spam filters suck and I get over 100 spam messages per day? Isn't it???

Oh yeah, here's a hint, if I hate your free services so much, I will NOT be paying for more services that I will undoubtedly hate.

Morons.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Idolatry

I've just decided that Ashlee Simpson is my idol. Now before you mock me, immediately delete all evidence of your visit to my site from your internet history and exorcise me from your minds, just hear me out.

I've always considered myself a pretty resilient person, determined, persevering and all that right. I even think I'll be able to make it through law school. The thing is, if after a few months at law school every time I entered a room people booed me or if everytime I tried to make a point a record skipped and everybody found out I was just regurgitating what I'd heard somebody else say or if 320 000 people signed a petition saying "Narkoleptik, you suck, we hate you, you're attempts at law make me sick, I'll pay you not to finish law school, you're horrible" - I've gotta say, I think I'd be forced to quit. I'd be embarassed, I'd doubt my skills, my intelligence, my...everything. I'd doubt it all.

Ashlee Simpson on the other hand, has endured all of those things, she was booed at the Orange Bowl, on Saturday Night Live she proved effectively that even though she doesn't sound particularly good after studio enhancements, she recognises that she sounds sufficiently awful in real life that she has to lip sync. She showed that she can't even be trusted to find a skip-free disc to lip sync to. She showed that in spite of 320 000 people signing a petition that effectively says that she sucks she can still lift her head up, pull herself together and go on tour to prove once more to the world that all they've been saying about her is, indeed correct. She has been referred to as "the pop-culture punching bag"; this in a world where people such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Boy Bands in general all exist. Of her myriad experiences she says:

"I've gone through a lot lately and I learned that you make your mistakes and people like you guys will always love you if you stay true to yourself,"

"People like you guys will always love [me]..." People like who Ashlee...who exactly? And let me not even address the fact that the sum of these experiences represents her being "true to [herself]...

Through all that, however, Ashlee Simpson continues to rise from the ashes.

Ashlee Simpson, you are truly one in a million. I salute you.

Full story here.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Clever, clever, clever

And now (after giving a shout out to Inter Alia), back to our regularly scheduled programming (which seems to consist of my primarily of my bitching about getting into law school and such mundane details).

I think I mentioned sometime earlier that I hadn't visited my college before I showed up luggage and all ready to give them the next four years of my life? This was largely because I didn't have the time, I wasn't in the country around that time and international travel was just too costly for me to justify it. Luckily anyway, I ended up somewhere that I really liked (if not necessarily loved) and all worked out for the best. Now with this law school thing, I'm still out of the country but I'm willing to spring for a couple visits because I feel like it's so much better to get a grip of the law school environment before I show up. I really need to make my peace with the rumors of crazy cutthroat people hiding books in the library and such.

Case Western offered a $200 travel/lodging refund, Cornell's offering me some money but I have to apply for it, so too are Washington and Lee and William and Mary for their Admitted Student Days. Great right? Not even close.

Am I supposed to believe that it's a coincidence that most of these Admitted Student Days overlap or that with the exception of Case who doesn't care that I come the free dough's only for that specific day or couple of days so I'm going to have to choose one?

Devious bastards.

Wow...

I just realised that Inter Alia named me "Blawg of the Day". Thanks Tom. Much Props.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Unbelievable

I posted earlier about all the suspense and excitement I went through last night wondering if the express package I'd missed was from one of my dream schools...and how it turned out that it was Cardozo.

OK, so it's Cardozo, you'd think that since they sent the thing express mail and they sent my actual acceptance letter regular mail it would have been something important like a full scholarship for all three years or something right? Not in the least, not even close. I am now the proud (yeah right) owner of a photocopied copy of "Cardozo in the News: an edited selection of articles received over the last few weeks in the office of Communications and Public Affairs". Last few weeks they say...how about the last few months, the articles go back to August 9, 2004.

I just don't get why this was so important, don't get it at all.

Unbelievable Cardozo, simply unbelievable.

Big Disappointment

Yesterday I missed the delivery of an express envelope. Of course I spent last night wishing, hoping and praying that it was an admittance package from either of my two reaches. Then I remembered that I haven't heard from two other random schools I'd applied so I kept trying to do the odds and figure out which school it was.

THEN today they re-deliver the package and my mother calls me to tell me that it's from...Cardozo. I'm so pissed! I've got their acceptance letter, I've got their Dean's Scholarship award, what could they possibly need to send me via express mail?! Oh man, sooo pissed.

In other law school news, a 1L from William and Mary called me to answer any questions I might have, I wasn't expecting the call but as I've got a ton of questions to ask the chick from Georgetown when we actually manage to speak I just flipped them over to William and Mary. In all honesty, the school and the surrounding environs sound very similar to those of my college and I'm not really sure I want to repeat that experience (i.e. small college in New England in fairly small town). I remember two interesting things though, apparently in Virginia drinking establishments can't be called bars so they're called pubs, taverns, inns and every variant of bar. I think its peaks volumes that when I asked him what there was to do in Williamsburg he started telling me about the inns and lounges (he thinks they have a Martini lounge) etc. Also apparently rent is crazy cheap in Williamsburg, of course I was living in NYC so almost everything is crazy cheap in comparison but less than $400 for a one bedroom is pretty cool.

Oh yeah, for some of my questions he'd refer me to the brochure that he says is in the mail...! Thanks dude, you rock.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Is this what the Beastie Boys Meant...

when they said you have to fight for your right to party? Suicide Party that is. Now I'm no big fan of Valentines Day and tend to agree with most of the sentiments expressed here, here and here but this guy Gerald Krein who quit his job at Blockbuster to plan a mass suicide party for Valentines Day seems to be a tad more passionate about the subject. Then there's his invitation method, IM-ing random people to invite them to participate in illegal activities just doesn't seem the smartest thing to do...but then apparently some people were coming and are now, I assume, bummed that the party got cancelled. Man, it's a sad sad world.

More Music Than You Ever Dreamed...for Free

This is a great article that shows you how to milk Napster's 14 day trial for all it's worth. Since downloading music for free is cool, err...bad. Here's to doing it the legal way!

Monday, February 14, 2005

And the Affirmative Action Debate Rages On

The Sunday New York Times has an article based on a study done by Richard H. Sander whose study is based on the thesis that Affirmative Action lessens the number of black lawyers because many black students "end up attending law schools that are too difficult for them, and perform badly." He says;

If black law students were accepted to lesser law schools under race-blind admissions, they would receive better grades and pass the bar in greater numbers. Even accounting for the many black students who could not attend any law school without affirmative action, the ultimate number of black lawyers would still increase.

I disagree with this assertion. As Richard Lempert at U Michigan points out, there has been little difference between black and white students in rates of graduation, passing the bar and in post graduate income. He goes on to say that his [Sander's] analysis provides no case for the Harvards, Yales and Columbias. I agree with this statement, I'm sure you'd be hard pressed to find many unemployed graduates of the top law schools, as well as a significant percentage of graduates from the top law schools who are having problems passing the bar - black orwhite. Consequently I can only assume that the real "victims" of Affirmative Action are the graduates of the lower ranked law schools. Lower ranked law schools unquestionably have lower bar passage rates and unemployment statistics than their higher ranked counterparts so there is already room for a discrepancy even without Affirmative Action in the debate.

I have to wonder...shouldn't his study be more specific and come out and say that Affirmative Action at lower ranked schools accounts for the dearth of black lawyers?

Additionally, unquestionably there are far fewer black law students than there are white so providing statistics such as the following are quite misleading:

About 88 percent of all law students pass a bar exam on the first attempt; 95 percent pass eventually. For blacks, the corresponding figures are 61 percent and 78 percent.

If 2 out of every hundred white students fail the bar, that's 2% while if 2 out of 20 black students fail the bar, that's 10% even though it's the same number. [I don't have statistics on the ratio of the actual number of black students to white students in law school overall but if the diversity statistics in the law school catalogues I get are at all accurate the ratio is pretty low.]

While his story does fit his data, I can't help but think that other interpretations of the data are necessary, it surely doesn't convince me that Affirmative Action is resulting in fewer lawyers, while that may be true, I'd need another, more comprehensive study taking into consideration many more variables to convince me.

I got the link from JD2B (which tells you what I do during the day when I should be productive).

Northwestern Update

Two or three weeks later, I forget the exact date, I've finally downloaded my Northwestern Letter.

Turns out the Admissions Committee, while impressed with many aspects of my background have been forced to place me on the waiting list as they have only one spot for every twenty applicants, they actually said, "one spot for every twenty applicants who apply -- is 'who apply' necessary? Anyway if I'd like to be kept on their waiting list I can return the enclosed (via .pdf of course - cheapos) document by April 15 and expect to hear from them sometime in June.

No worries, Northwestern, you won't be hearing from me. It's odd really but the rejection (my first) had absolutely no impact on me - I'm worried more about financial aid these days it turns out. Also this post by Brian Leiter today make me feel even less concerned. Northwestern is apparently, and has been for some time, haemorrhaging senior faculty. It's all a part of a new "strategic" plan which seems geared to lead to a drop in rankings.

The Joys of Being a Lawyer

Evan has a post on Notes from the Legal Underground about the fact that he and his wife drew blanks to the question, "what do you like best about being a lawyer?" They eventually came up with answers on further thought but still, no gut response. Sadly, I have no immediate answers for what I think I'll like best about being a lawyer. Wow. This is hard. This shouldn't be so hard. Slightly depressing too since I've wanted to be a lawyer forever. Well he threw the comments open asking other lawyers why they want to be lawyers so hopefully something one of them says will trigger some sort of response. How sad is that?

Hmm, I already know I don't want to do public interest right off the bat, so the myth about wanting to help people isn't going to cut it. I could be richer doing business, so it can't just be the money. I can say I do like the notion of problem solving and look forward to being in a career that continually challenges me, of course if I do big law the most challenging problem I'll have is how to keep awake while doing all that document review...

OK, it's doubly clear that I'm going to have to keep checking his post comments to see if anybody has any ideas that grab me.

Phone Tag

So this chick from Georgetown keeps calling me and I keep missing the calls. This is the fourth of fifth call now. I'm beginning to fear that she may tell the folks there that I've been dissing her. Then again...why call me twice on a weekend when we'd agreed you were going to call me during specific hours in the week? Oh well.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Comments From Hell

Parenthetical Statement has this great post on comments made on exams by his Contracts professor. The guy is hilarious. The comments sound like the stuff urban legends are made of. That said, I pray that I never have a professor like him. Check it out.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

On Choosing Money Over Rank

Some posts ago I'd mentioned that I was having some uncertainty in choosing whether or not to take the loads of money that my safeties offered me or to pay my way through one of my T14 acceptances. My uncertainty has been practically eliminated this weekend. I spoke to a friend who I haven't spoken to in ages who goes to the University of Miami. I asked about the whole job market and her options after graduating. The first thing she mentioned to me was that she wished she had gone to a top 50 school. I was relatively surprised at the immediacy of the answer because I'd heard through various sources like LSN and discussions about the regional power of schools that UMiami pretty much had the job market in Miami locked. The general feeling was that if you wanted to work in Miami you were almost certain to get a job there. She disagreed, giving examples of fellow UMiami graduates.

I should mention that I don't know her ranking - I thought it inappropriate to ask.

Anyway she mentioned that in Miami, regardless of the fact that a lot of UMiami grads have jobs there they prefer to interview students from the top schools and even the students at University of Florida have an easier time getting interviews supposedly because it's cracked the USNEWS Top 50. Miami firms are apparently only too happy to go recruiting in other states at higher ranked schools than at UMiami. She mentioned that the perceived advantage of going to UMiami is that they're better off than the other law schools there (they're all tier 3 or 4 I think). My original hesitation about going to UMiami stemmed from the fact that I wasn't certain I wanted to limit my core market to Miami, since I know that's not even a certainty, my choices seem more straight forward.

I gather that she also chose to go to Miami for financial reasons over a higher ranked school. I'm happy to learn from her experience. There's no guarantee that I'll get a job after leaving a higher ranked school but I have no need to place myself at a disadvantage.

There has been a lot of dialogue about Mark Jen being fired from Google for blogging (99zeros.blogspot.com) so I thought I’d throw in my 2c. I’m definitely shocked at the fact that Google of all places had such a knee jerk reaction and fired him 11 days after he got hired and started blogging. I also sympathise with Mark for losing his job. I’m going to miss the updates because I found the look into Google interesting – but this isn’t about me...

Having said that I can’t say I’m entirely surprised that so many people are getting fired because of their blogging. In many cases there are several written and unwritten rules about what employees of a company are free to discuss. Salary and the intricacies of some benefits are definitely off limits. Many places telling a co-worker what you earn or asking what he earns is grounds for being automatically fired. Unsurprisingly, then discussing the intricacies of a firm’s policies, financial projections etc. on the internet is I am sure, somewhere in the unwritten rules if they haven’t got around to writing them down yet. I’m thinking really…if you’re going to blog about the people who pay you, keep it on the low. Blog anonymously. I mean, it’s OK to bitch about your family online cause they can’t fire you and short of divorcing you (see talent-less, rich people like Aaron Carter – and nobody wants to be like them) they’re stuck with you. If you’re doing to bitch about the people who can actually get rid of you…that’s going to be a problem in the making.

Let’s face it, if you’re saying negative things about your company for everybody to see, they won’t like it and the best thing for them is to get rid of you. If they fire you now, after a couple weeks when everybody stops being indignant they’ll move on, bit if you’re still there spewing the bad stuff, it lives forever…especially in Google’s cache – which I might say Jen’s blog is mysteriously absent from.

As people have been hypothesizing that 2005 will be the year of the blog and I think companies need to establish blogging policies because this problem is only going to get bigger. I, for one, am a fan of the anonymity of the internet (bet you didn’t know my name really wasn’t Narkoleptik!) but some people are comfortable with the whole world knowing who they are and that unfortunately means their real lives will have some serious repercussions. Wow, how’s that for stating the obvious?!

Edit: Here's some stuff similar to what I said.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Law School Online Chats

Why does it seem as if everywhere I've been accepted to has between five and ten online chats and are inviting me participate -- via snail mail. I'm thinking, if I'm the kind of person inclined to participate in these online chats, surely I'll check my email.

That said, this whole online chat thing is kinda useless in my view, sure you might learn something but odds are not much more than you'd learn from browsing the website or talking to one of the students who call you and lie and tell you that the school is fabulous and everything there is perfect and basically you'd be stupid not to come. I prefer the calls, makes me feel more wanted.

Oh yeah, Georgetown, that chick that emailed me and said she was going to call me hasn't called yet...are you trying to tell me something?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Somebody save me from Bloglines. This is getting ridiculous, back in the day I used to stop by blogs I liked when I remembered they existed and catch up on a month or two's reading, now I've got Bloglines and I've dedicated my life to ensuring that my unread totals don't go up too high. I need help, if not now, surely before law school...this can't be a good idea...

Andy Havens has an interesting response to Howard Scher of Buchanan Ingersoll’s Philadelphia office (who recently increased associate starting salaries from $105K to $115K) who said:

"We have clients who want first-class legal representation, so we have to compete for the best people. While I don't think that $5,000 or $10,000 should be the basis for making a career decision, it is for people at that stage of their careers. So we hope this shows law students that Buchanan Ingersoll is a first-class firm."

Havens' entire response is pretty interesting and worth a read but he closes with this bit:

"You are sending them a bad, wrong, unhealthy and, ultimately, self-defeating message. If the only way you can get "the best" students to come to your firm is to pay them $10k more a year... Let them go to other firms. Take the "Tier-2" kids who want to work somewhere with heart, guts, moxie, brains and staying power. I guarantee that in a few years your clients will love those kids way, way more than they ever would any shiny, greedy "A-Team" gold-diggers."

It sounds like a good plan…in theory…I’m just not sure how it’d work. How do you ensure that the people willing to work for a lower salary are the ones with “moxie, brains and staying power”? What makes them not the folk who couldn’t get one of the $125K jobs and are going to have to settle for the lower paying one? Additionally, since the general perception of associate positions at BIGLAW is pretty similar, i.e. consisting of grunt work and dissatisfaction, at most firms why would I want to take a lower paying one?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Breakdown

Preaching to the Perverted breaks down the starting associate salary based on the Yale Numbers. Turns out based on billable hours and salary starting associates make between $40/hr and $50/hr.

Dave! then says "It's not hard math to do, but I wonder how many law students ever bother to do it."

Here's the thing Dave!: It's not that we don't bother to do it, it's that we actively avoid doing it. I don't want to know that after spending $150K on an education, I'm making the same hourly wage as one of the senior paralegals. That's depressing. I'd rather think of it as, I make $125K plus bonus while he makes $75K per year. It sure as hell sounds better to me and keeps me off the cliffs and out of speeding traffic.

Pat, pat on the back

Well folks, it’s my One Month Anniversary. Don’t snicker at me! This is worth celebrating. I’ve actually kept up with this blog thing. I have to say, I didn’t expect it of myself, I thought I’d have left it ages ago but here we are a whole month later and a few thousand of my words captured for posterity on the internet. *sniff* I feel so emotional. That said, for the folks that actually stopped by and read – I appreciate it. No worries though, the next time I’ll get emotional and celebrate an anniversary will be my 6 month or one year one. Here’s to hoping I make it.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

PSA

I regretfully decline Lord Voldemort and J.K. Rowling's offers via email to ship me a copy of "Harry Potter Book 6" for the simple pleasure of taking a quick peek at my credit card number via email. While I'm unashamed to admit that I too wait on pins and needles for the next Harry Potter release, I must admit that sending my credit card number via email leaves me a bit scared, email is so unsecure you know. If it were any other means I'd be happy to send my credit card number along to Lord Voldemort. Nevertheless, let me just say how honoured I feel to have been personally selected and invited to have access to an advance copy. Also, kudos Voldemort and Ms. Rowling on finding out my email address, my faith in magic's existence in the real world is just about revived.

In keeping with my demand for "stuff" from my law schools, Cornell invited me to one of their admitted students days and apparently I can apply for some form of financial aid. That's pretty cool. I haven't seen the application form yet so maybe I'm being a bit premature on the praise, if they want to know my blood type and how much change I've given to bums in the last month (i.e. money I've wasted), I may well have to revert to my usually ungrateful personality. I wasn't aware that schools offered you money to come visit, them, none of my colleges did this and I applied to the best (read: most expensive) ones. Oh well, I'm sure the schools will make up on the $300 maximum aid when the "miscellaneous" fees start popping up on the term bills.

Monday, February 07, 2005

How to Blog

Yeah right, like I'd know anything about that! Fortunately this article by Tony Pierce covers it pretty damn well.

I came across this article on SFGate.com titled, “Why Does Windows Still Suck? Why do PC users put up with so many viruses and worms? Why isn't everyone on a Mac?” As his title suggests his main question in the article is;

"Why the hell do people put up with this? Why is there not some massive revolt, some huge insurrection against Microsoft? Why is there not a huge contingent of furious users stomping up to Seattle with torches and scythes and crowbars, demanding the Windows Frankenstein monster be sacrificed at the altar of decent functionality and an elegant user interface?"

Since I’m more than likely the only one today not at all interested in the Superbowl – this American football thing, I just don’t get it. Anyway as I’m not interested in the Superbowl I have a little free time here so I’ll answer his question from my perspective.

The reason I haven’t abandoned Windows yet is because I’ve never (knock on wood) had any problems with spyware, malware, viruses and the other gamut of Windows related problems. It’s really not that difficult to not have these problems. I’m not computer expert but I use the windows firewall, I have an anti-virus that’s on auto update and I use Spybot Search and Destroy and Spyware Blaster. All of these are auto enabled functions so they require little more effort than configuring them initially. Having configured all these programmes (yes, programmes) and not done stupid things like open random attachments from strangers or even my friends I’ve successful managed to avoid all these problems. My computer still works as well as it did when I purchased it (I’m discounting for the inferiority complex I get when I play around on newer and faster computers).

Here’s the thing, yes Microsoft sucks a lot in some ways, they take advantage of their monopoly and often slack off on cool innovations (tabbed browser anyone?) that otherwise they’d have been forced to introduce or go the Nestcape route but it’s really not that difficult to see that PC users are largely responsible for some of the issues that proliferate throughout cyberspace. Come on, are you going to tell me that in 2005 you think it’s smart to click on that random attachment that that dude you haven’t got an email from in 2 years sent you? It’s kind of like that UMiami law professor the other day who got suckered into the Nigerian Scam (and don’t think this little tidbit didn’t make me think twice about my UMiami acceptance). If you’ve had email for more than a month, you’ve probably received one of those emails and the smart ones ignore them and the ones from Citibank who want your ATM number to make sure their records are up to date? Come on people, there has to be a learning curve here. After the first 50 articles about phishing pop up on the internet – get a clue.

So you have to turn on your Windows auto update to deal with Microsoft’s slew of updates, you turn it on once and you never pay attention to it again, so I have to get an antivirus and a firewall and some spyware (all available for free) software and let them scan once a while. It’s cool, I can live with it. So Mark Morford that’s why I don’t have a Mac. I’m probably a little more paranoid than the people with Macs who’ve never had a problem at all with their OS and can continue to live in their cyber utopia but I can deal with that, what am I saying? I’ve never had a problem with my OS.

That said, since so many people do have problems with Windows and since Bill does so love to own and control everything he should probably include in Windows a good firewall (he’s working on that), good antivirus software and good anti-spyware software. Sure it’ll probably violate all sorts of anti-trust laws but that’s never stopped Bill before. A fair amount of people may bail to the Mac and let’s face it right now it’s because they’re cute, not necessarily because of the security of the OS but I don’t think Bill needs to start shopping at his local 99c store quite yet.

Oh my word, this post is way too long; I’m stopping now, with or without my point made.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Capitalism Rules?

There are a lot of things that make me pause and scratch my head because lets face it, I'm not that smart. This would happen to be one of those things. Costco...why are you selling coffins? Yes yes, bereavement shouldn't be a closed market, funeral homes shouldn't be the only ones who have a stake in coffins. Yes funeral arrangements are expensive and you don't want to spend more than you absolutely have to (?). But really...why? Fortunately, (knock on wood) I've never had to go shopping for coffins but I really didn't know it was a comparison shopping situation. Here's the thing too, as with anything you purchase online there's always the possibility that what you ordered may not arrive on time and as with Costco's disclaimer:

Additionally, Acts of God, weather-related conditions, and states of emergencies can delay delivery beyond the stated delivery parameters.

What happens if your coffin doesn't get there on time and you end up having to buy one from the funeral home...do you have to keep the online coffin until next time? Seriously, I'm just wierded out by this whole thing. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to get it (no need for anyone to email me validating that theory!)

Err...go capitalism...?

Happy Birthday Bob - the Original Buffalo Soldier



Saturday, February 05, 2005

Cookie Killers

I'm going to print out flyers with this story for the next time anybody asks me why I don't do volunteer work or go out of my way to help anyone.

Excerpt:

A Colorado judge ordered two teen-age girls to pay about $900 for the distress a neighbor said they caused by giving her home-made cookies adorned with paper hearts.

The pair were ordered to pay $871.70 plus $39 in court costs after neighbor Wanita Renea Young, 49, filed a lawsuit complaining that the unsolicited cookies, left at her house after the girls knocked on her door, had triggered an anxiety attack that sent her to the hospital the next day.


Good to know there's justice in the world.


Friday, February 04, 2005

Gmail Invites

I've got tons and I mean tons of Gmail invites so if there happens to be anybody out there who by some miracle wants one and doesn't have one, drop me an email and I'll hook you up.

Isle of the Has Beens

I’ve had this theory (publishing it will certainly clue my friends in since I’ve been campaigning it for a while). My theory is this; certain public figures should be put on an island and simply never heard of again. The press shouldn’t cover anything having to do with them; people would be able to forget they even existed. They’re a nuisance, they waste precious seconds when we’re compelled to hear about their latest dumb move on the news. They contribute nothing (unless being the butt of late night TV jokes constitutes a contribution) helpful to society. They are annoying. They should vanish. It’s like how Australia was the depository for criminals at one point, except this would be a depository for washed up pop stars and the like. My list thus far goes:

1. Michael Jackson – Yesterday he apparently said that he’s being picked on because he’s a celebrity. No Mike, you’re being picked on because you’re weird, oh and yeah, because you keep ending up in compromising situations with people’s kids. No it is NOT OK to sleep in a bed with somebody’s kid. It is weird – criminal weird.
2. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown – I don’t even think I need to explain that.
3. Paris Hilton – Your questionable “contribution” to society ended with your blatant endorsement of Rick Saloman’s dick. I doubt there’s more to come.
4. Mariah CareyGlitter, nuff said. She’d be allowed back if and only if she stopped thinking it was cool to write her own music and if she NEVER set foot on a movie set again. Let’s face it Mariah, you’re not that deep, anything you write is shit. Do you think it’s a coincidence that your album sales dropped after you started writing your own stuff?
5. Tara Reid – Sweet Christ Why?? Why??

This is my current list. I plan to keep updating it as I find celebrities worthy of the Island. By the way, this is not Survivor, I don’t want them to come back. Suggestions are welcome.

I know I shouldn’t judge and I know I probably shouldn’t comment on parenting having never parented anything other than my two puppies (who aren’t even properly potty trained by the way) but really, you know you’re as close to failing as a parent as you can get when you raise a child moronic enough to fake his own kidnapping so he can get you (the parent) to fork up ransom money to get himself…a cell phone! It didn’t take long to find the stupid kid after the police put a tracer on the phone he was calling to make his ransom demands. Oh boy.

More on the story at
Techdirt.

In an earlier post I mentioned that I had a craving for "stuff" from law school. I'm happy to say that the admissions offices at Case Western and William and Mary clearly read my blog and feel compelled to satisfy me. In the mail yesterday I received their official acceptance letters and William and Mary is giving me some cash...but not really. They're offering to bill me as an in-state resident which saves 10K or so, it's not money in my pocket but it's cool nonetheless. Case Western will refund me $200 if I come visit, refundable costs are limited to transportation and lodging. Very nice. I don't think I'll end up at Case but I've never been to Cleveland and if I can find a cheap ticket off Jetblue or one of those cheap airlines I may just hop on down there for a night or two. Has anybody been that way? Is it worth a trip? Anyway, Law schools, this is what I'm talking about. Good job with the "stuff", keep it coming.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

I'm having a bit of trouble with my Need Access form (yes I started ages ago but I haven't got around to completing it) so I do what any other person with internet access would do: I email them. They proceed with all the pleasantries: Dear Narkoleptik, Thank you for contacting us...blah blah blah. And then they tell me to call them. Why do you have email support if you won't be supporting me? Why will I have to call you and sit on hold only to hear you tell me you can't help me which is only too clear from the content of your email response. Why is this so hard?? Dammit.

OK, this is getting ridiculous. I haven’t had any relevant law school related material in the mail or email in ages. By relevant I mean to say that the huge, HUGE catalogue that New York Law School spent an obscene amount of money to send me has left me unmoved. Granted it’s more appealing than Cardozo’s catalogue but still. No dice. I want scholarship money, acceptance letters, free plane tickets to come visit, t-shits, mugs, pens, (nice one with the refrigerator magnet Washington and Lee). I want the stuff. I want it now.

Please?

Pretty please?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

This is great. Apparently Microsoft is overrun by Ipod fanatics and Bill’s having a cow about it. Approximately 80% of their employees use Ipods and managers are beginning to send out memos about it, suggesting that they purchase MS mp3 players instead. Suuure. Like that’s gonna happen. I can see why Bill would be pissed, but come on, let the small guys win for once or of course build an mp3 player that’s superior to the Ipod. While you’re working on that, how about a better browser too? I’m just saying...
Engadget also has a piece on this.

According to AP Paula Abdul is looking to restart her singing career, she apparently, "misses her art." Now I guess her music could be loosely termed art, in the sense that everything can be called art one way or another. Here's the thing, Paula wasn't that great the first time around, sure she had some number one hits but then so did Milli Vanilli and Vanilla Ice --need I say more? I can see how watching symbols of mediocrity rise to fame on American Idol may convince her to give the whole singing thing another shot but lets face it, the odds are that she'll be a horrible flop and then how's she going to look on American Idol telling people they suck when her album sold 20 copies? Oh, but wait, she likes everybody, I forgot.

Somebody stop her...Simon...? Tell her to give it up.

How is this law related you ask? Well it's a bloody crime for people old enough to have suffered through Paula Abdul the first time to have to do it again, almost as horrifying as when
Tyra Banks decided she too could be a songstress...almost.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

This is hot. More firms are increasing their starting salaries. I can dig that. They also made it a point to say that increases will be taken out of partner profits and there won't be an increased billable hour requirement for said associates. Hmm...

Now isn’t this peachy? Companies can now see all the crap I do on the internet while I should be working and then bill me for it?? Seriously, does anybody know how many law school apps and LSAT practice tests I did at work? When did the world become so mercenary? Doesn't everybody know that one of the fundamental perks of having a job is so you can use your company's resources? I don't think I want to work in a world where my right as a disgruntled employee to take office supplies here and there and abuse bandwidth is not appreciated and respected.

On a similar note, Kevin Jon Heller at The Yin Blog received this letter from an employee of the State of Georgia and University of Georgia Alum about his blogging during working hours, here's an excerpt:

“I find it striking that you are entitled to pursue your daily activity of "blogging" while on the taxpayers of Georgia's nickel. This website, replete with sarcastic and juvenile attacks on a wide range of things, is certainly not within the scope of "academic pursuits" required of those employed by the University System of Georgia during their daily work…I do find an enormous conflict with your performance of this habit [blogging] while "riding the clock" of the University System of Georgia and the salary it provides for you through taxation of the citizens of Georgia. To that end, I am forwarding this complaint to both the Georgia House and Senate Committee on Higher Education, the Department of Human Resources of Georgia, the Chair of the Board of Regents, Michael Adams, President of the University of Georgia and Dean Rebecca White, Dean of the Law School. I also intend to file formal written complaints with each of these entities and will not cease doing so until this misuse of taxpayer dollars and abuse of position ceases."

Wow...