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

Narkoleptomania

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Taking the Good with the Bad

The Good: I'm back in the NYC after a six month hiatus. I must admit, I missed it, I really did so it's great to be back. In terms of family and friends it's almost like I never left. As a result of my mercurial GPRS connection back on the island I've managed to keep up with all the happenings, still, that hasn't stopped me from hogging the phone and "catching up". It's a bit nippy out, but nothing I can't handle, I had a fun time jumping up and down waiting for my ride last night at the airport since I didn't have anything warm to wear. Fun. Also as a positive my dealings with immigration and customs were quite unremarkable - just the way I like it. Seriously...could those people be ANY more bored? The only people I've seen look more bored on their jobs are toll booth operators.

The bad: I'm still chillin' (I don't use that word lightly - it's bloody cold and a storm's on the way) without one of my two pieces of luggage courtesy of American Airlines. Great. I do so enjoy the fact that the one ever that I decided to check the bag with my toiletries, they decided to play hide a seek with it. Of course, I consider myself way more fortunate than the cheerleader from Miami who came to NYC on spring break and lost a bag with three caps for her brother. I can assume these caps were particularly valuable since she was moved to tears (really), I felt kinda sorry for her...well, to tell the truth, not really. Who checks a small plastic bag with 3 caps? A genius cheerleader that's who.

I spent most of today at home - waiting for the AA people to call and watching VH1s latest countdown - The 100 Most Shocking Moments of Rock (or something like that). I really have to wonder, how many things can one station countdown. I've never yet flipped to VH1 and not seem them counting down something, and all of these countdowns always have at least two or three of the same clips and at least one mention of Kurt Cobain in some way, shape or form.

Aight, I'm out until I manage to get the time to steal another internet connection. Might I mention that high speed internet after GPRS is fairl orgasmic...yes I did say orgasmic.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Back in a Flash

Alas my dear readers:

I shall be off to the freezing weather of the East Coast tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what sort of internet connection I'll have initially while I'm there so posting will be sporadic at best - at least in the beginning. In the meantime however, my laptop will be my constant companion and I'll record interesting events such as my strip search gracious welcome by US officials at JFK and of course things of a law school nature.

Today I mentioned to my friend who's going to be picking me up at the airport how reluctant I was to be going back to the freezing weather, the following is a little snippet of the conversation:

Her: "Oh come on, don't worry about it, it's so warm now, Spring is totally here."
Me: "Really?? Warm?? Wow, that's grea...wait, warm like what?"
Her: "It was in the 50s yesterday, it was great, I only wore a fleece."

Folks, that ain't right. If you think 50s is warm, you're crazy. The last time we had a cold front in my little island under the sun...it was about 73 and everybody was flipping, expecting snow to fall any minute now. Now, that's warm.

White sand beaches, flip flops, sweat sans the gym...aaahhh, it's a beautiful thing, I'll miss it.

I've procrastinated enough, I must go pack. Does anybody even know how annoying it is to look for your various AC adapters, USB cables and such, well knowing that you'll forget the most important one...?

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I heard from Cornell that they'd be making their financial aid awards within the next two weeks. Hopefully I'll get that info before I have to make my other decisions because no doubt finance will be a pivotal factor. I wonder though, is taking this long some devious tactic to keep us stressed until as late as possible and give us minimal time to make a decision.

I mean, I've got scholarship offers from schools since January, how is it that Cornell hasn't even started making financial aid decisions yet.

I won't even begin to bitch about the fact that I've yet to hear from UMich. Won't even go there.

It's Saturday, I leave the country on Monday morning. I haven't started packing yet, in fact, I haven't finished unpacking from my last trip. My hatred for packing is surpassed only by my hatred for unpacking. I haven't sorted through my mail. In fact, to cut it short, I haven't done anything that would indicate that I'll have all my stuff together by Monday.

Somebody help me...I need a miracle...

Friday, March 18, 2005

Bad Thoughts

I've been pretty messy about my law school mail - everything from invitations to apply to invitations to online chats is scattered in random piles through the house - and it just occurred to me that as deposit deadlines and other such matters approach I should go look for all my acceptance letters and at least make some note of when they're due. I had a horrible thought which prompted this organisational flurry, what if I assume that all my deposit deadlines are April 15 and I end up deciding not to go to School A because School B gives me more money and what if as I'm about to make that shift to School B I realise that School B's deadline was April 1. I mentioned it to a friend and she offered to escort me to the bridge from which I should jump because surely I would be deserving of such punishment.

That said, as soon as I'm one checking my email I'm going to start sifting through the mail, I'm not going to put it off any longer, as soon as I'm done...really...as soon as I am...

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Tales from the Crypt

I believe I mentioned I worked in BIGLAW for a while, it was a great experience. There are a lot of asses, no doubt about it, but there are enough people who aren't asses and who hate the asses to make it an overall positive experience. I learned a ton of stuff though and hey, why not share a few things I gathered there and amuse myself while doing so - good memories.

Before I go on, let me just say that I'm by no means an expert, nor do I speak for any cross-section of law firms. These are just things I observed and learned from...or was amused by...at my particular, nameless law firm.

OK...here goes...

  • Never spam the law firms, don't send your resume every two months or send it to 10 different partners thinking that at least one's going to go through. In most cases the partners don't open their mail and their secretary automatically filters resumes and cover letters to the Human Resources Department. The HR Department in most cases has a database that they enter very single resume they've ever received so before the resume gets to the HR Manager/Recruiter or whoever sifts through the resumes they are entered into this database and if you've already sent your resume in your name'll pop up and more often that not it's automatically rejected. They figure, if we rejected him last week, more than likely we'll reject him this week. In some cases applying more than once won't really count against you, if you applied as a 1L and the firm doesn't accept 1Ls they may give your resume another look. Other than that, pending unsual circumstances, once you got rejected you're gonna keep getting rejected. Also if you've just been sending too many resumes and not getting the hint they'll slightly change the wording to something like..."thank you for your repeated interest in our firm...". It's not a coincidence fellows, by that time you've just annoyed the hell out of them.The same goes if you have 10 headhunters sending out resumes for you. More often than not they'll send to the same firm and you'll just be one of those loser spammers. Also consider that this database is firm-wide so if the New York office rejected you, the folks in LA will be able to see that when the input your data, you may have a still shot since different offices have different criteria.


  • Don't kid yourself, BIGLAW is mostly about the prestige. Sure you'll find some people who didn't go to highly ranked schools but more often than not they either proved themselves at another firm before transferring or have some absolutely amazing experience. Also, sending it to a partner who went to a low ranked school and thinking that'll give you a heads up...not gonna work. See above. That said it really does depend on the climate of the firm, mine was 90% about the prestige.


  • Nepotism - Ah, it's great if you can get it but in BIGLAW it's real hard. Here's why, most law firms have at least two rounds, a pre-screen and a full round interview. If you know Partner Joe and he's got enough clout to get you an interview (and don't kid yourself, you have to have good credentials in the first place or else Partner Joe'll probably just lose your resume in the pile of papers on his desk cause come hiring meeting he doesn't want to look like the moron who's just trying to get his wife's hairdresser's son a job just because he can), if you make it pass the pre-screen (you'll probably see two people - recruiting manager and hiring partner or some such combination) you've still got the full round (you interview with 4-6 people) and if you don't impress enough of them to tip the scales your way, you're out of luck. How this normally works is the lawyers who interview you will write their impressions down/or input in the database mentioned in my first point. These impressions get taken into the hiring meeting where all the folk with the real clout actually decide your fate. The recruiting manager and the hiring partner will be there so you probably want them to like you more than the rest...I'm not saying nepotism is out of the question all together, it's just that unless you know somebody real big like a managing partner, there's no point. Knowing any random partner won't help you, most of them have never done an interview, you've gotta know one that's plays an important role in the hiring process. All you know are associates/counsel/junior partners? I'd say the most they can guarantee is that your resume will be reviewed with a little bit more care, it's certainly not going to guarantee you an interview.


  • Don't ever call. Really. Don't do it. It's most definitely "a don't call us, we'll call you kind of thing." If you call to check up on your resume, sure your name will probably stick in their heads but you're "that dude who thinks we don't have anything to do, seriously does he not know how many resumes we get every single day??" If you must call I suggest you get your headhunter or something to do it for you, they're paid to be annoying, it won't really reflect on you.


  • Oh man, I've seen this a ton of times. Don't ever send your writing sample with your resume unsolicited. Straight up. Noone's going to even glance at it. I kid you not. You also look like a complete and total moron. That stuff probably won't even make it past the secretary much less to the recruiting manager. I've seen people send documents over 50 pages long. It does not give a positive impression. Trust. Lets face it your resume and cover letter get seconds of attention, noone's going to read whatever boring article you had to write for a class or a journal to see if they want to meet you.


  • Oh, this has been said all over the place but I still see people do it. Man, chill with the mail merge. I swear I can't even count the number of cover letters that came with the wrong name/address/company name, I remember one cat sent his resume in with all of the inter-changeable information in bold, another dude did it in italics. If you manage to actually pull off the mail merge properly, don't make it obvious that you did a mail merge dude...Automatic rejection letter. Oh yeah, speaking of rejection letter, if they tell you how great your credentials were and how they regret not having a chance to meet with you, believe they told it to everybody. It's not an invitation to apply next week. They can use mail merge. And they do. Do you know how many resumes they get every single day??


  • Also, everything I just said, forget all of it if you've got fantastic credentials. If you were Editor in Chief of the law review, had a 4.0, Order of the Coif and clerked for the Supreme Court, seriously you've got to be a total ass to get rejected. No matter how bad your cover letter is and how much of a jerk you seem they'll still interview you because your record shows that you're brilliant and while they may not like you, there's tons of rainmakers at the firm that they don't like but who are brilliant and absolutely fantastic at their jobs. You've gotta pretend to at least respect them though - at least in the beginning interview, if they think you're too arrogant off the bat, it's not going to go well for you.


OK...I'm done typing now...next week, if I remember, post-interview comments made by interviewers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Question of the Day

How the hell do you switch from 85-90 degree weather to 0-25 degree weather without having some sort of stroke. The times I tried going for Christmas break in warm (read hot) climates and then returning to New England for Spring semester had really dire consequences. Missing class is no fun if you're actually sick and since I'm on extended vacation I hope to spend as few of those days as is possible laid up.

This time I'm going to be smart about it, I'm going to do online research. It's off to WebMD and Google I go.

P.S. If I had a pound or a dollar (Euro currency of course - it's worth more) for every invitation to an online chat at some law school, I wouldn't be worrying at all about financial aid.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Why oh Why

Is this woman who happens to be sitting beside me in an internet cafe craning her neck around the separator to look at my screen? In fact, why oh why is she not the first person who's done it? I swear if I were at all dangerous, or even dangerous looking, I'd say something really mean, but as that's not the case, I'll settle for changing the angle of my computer monitor...

Monday, March 14, 2005

What do you say...

to a good friend who's going through the law school application process and hasn't had any acceptances yet?

When?

Aspiring lawyer posted today about the fact that all schools should make and send out their decisions by a certain date and have the same deposit deadlines. I couldn't agree more. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for one measly school to contact me and it's driving me mad. Worse it's a school that I know I'd go to in a heartbeat and I'd drop the other schools like hot potatoes (unless of course they offer me some fantastic financial aid - then I'd have to think about it.)

He's waiting for 11 schools. Absurd. When do they intend to let us know? How about now y'all, how about now?

Update: On further reading, I see Kristine over at Divine Angst has posted similar, yet more eloquent thoughts on the matter.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

About Santa Clara

After chatting with my friend at Santa Clara, I gleaned this info, though I'd post it since I know at least a couple people who're considering Santa Clara and of course there's Aspiring Lawyer who I don't know, but know of who's also considering Santa Clara.

Here we go:

  • Rent - Really expensive. Apparently $450-$550 for a room in a house with 3 or 4 others and upwards of $850 for a 1BR unfurnished.

  • Professors - The usual mix, some good some bad and the IP program shines above all. There's also a very high bar passage rate there. And as we all know, Santa Clara gets much props in Cali - outside the region the rep isn't that hot.

  • 1L Opportunities - Are mostly volunteer but they exist so you should find something to do in the summer.

  • Upon Graduation - Salaries are in the usual over $100 000 range but the cost of living is really high, so it pretty much works out to $60 000-$70 000 in real dollars.

  • The Weather - Doesn't get much better than that. An estimated 20 days with rain throughout the whole winter and 5 or so below 50 degrees.

  • Stuff to do - You need a car, apparently Santa Clara is straight suburbia so you need to get to San Jose or San Francisco to get your party on.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Once a Day the Tables Will Turn...

Well, well, well. I would appear that it's not only "Gen Y" lawyers who're disloyal. Seems as if the partners have no problem bailing out en masse.

Via the Volokh Conspiracy

Sweet Victory

I thought I'd work on posting some of the knowledge I gleaned about the BIGLAW hiring process while working last year. I started to post and then got caught up in an email war with some SprintPCS representatives who have to be the most inefficient people EVER. Eleven emails later, I've managed to cancel my plan sans $150 penalty because I called them out on their unfair practices and promised to report them to the Better Business Bureau. It's amazing what some righteous indignation and a veiled (OK, not so veiled) threat can do to get these evil bloodsuckers to toe the line.

The timeline:

Late Fall, 2004 - I leave the US for a while and tell the morons to put my plan on the vacation plan. They say sure, no problem, hold a few minutes while we do it. OK Narkoleptik, it's done, you're good to go.

Sometime November, 2004 - I decide for no particular reason to check my PCS account online. I see they have me owing them for 2 months. I send them an email basically saying...dude...what the hell?!? They say, oh Narkoleptik, sorry for the mistake we'll fix it right quick.

Yesterday, 2005 - I again decide to check my PCS account online, wanted to make sure everything was OK so I could resurrect my cell service when I hit the states from the Vacation Plan. I see I'm in arrears for almost $200. I email them, they're like oh, we don't know what's going on here, we never put you on the vacation plan. Here's what we'll do, we'll put you on the plan this morning, oh and just so you know, when we put you on the plan you'll have begun another yearly contract with us.

I say, no way, you guys are way too stupid. Cancel the contract, I want nothing to do with you. They say, Oh Narkoleptik, we're so sorry but if we cancel your service you're going to have to pay $150 because you're on a contract with us until March 10, 2005 - remember we put you on one this morning? So that said, we highly advise you to stick with us.

I got pissed, although it wasn't evident in the series of emails that I sent them attempting to rectify the situation - I was trying to polite route. When that didn't work I had to get nasty, what do you know, being nasty gets results. I'm not free of Sprint sans cancellation fee. Praises be.

Now I gotta go get a new wireless carrier, I'm thinking the only option is Verizon? Everybody else seems to bitch about the other options like T-mobile and Cingular and what not.

Oh yeah, I know none of you really needed to know that, it's just that I feel so...free!

Fight to the death troops! Don't make those evil wireless carriers take advantage of you.

Star Wars Who?

Based on these two posts, I've come across today alone and I've only read like 10 of the blogs on my roll thus far; I have to ask...am I the only one left whose never seen Star Wars and has absolutely no desire to?

There has to be one other person out there. Just one.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Good Life

Well apparently Colorado University is thinking of buying Ward Churchill out of his job.

Let me see:

  1. Write a paper with controversial opinions.

  2. Piss lots of people off.

  3. Your employer threatens to fire you.

  4. You threaten to sue employer if they fire you.

  5. Employer then caves and pays you ridiculous amounts of money to leave the job.

  6. You retire to your own island in the Caribbean.

  7. People are still pissed off.

  8. You can now say even more things to piss people off (in between sipping drinks on the beach of course).

  9. Why?

  10. Because the first time you did you got paid so much you never had to work again.

  11. Sounds like a bloody good plan to me.


Good job Colorado University. Good job.

Somebody please tell me where I can get a gig like this.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Deed Is Done

Well my ticket to the States is booked. In a couple weeks (less actually), I'll have the consummate pleasure of leaving 84 degree days and 78 degree nights and entering the freezer that is NYC.

Now I gotta book cheap tickets to the law schools.

Anybody ever try booking tickets on a volatile gprs connection?

God help me.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Secret Blog

This article in the LA times that seems to have pissed off a few of the people who use Blogger. The article was lame, mos' def but the part that I found intriguing was a quote that said "The future of blogging is not about bloggers who want audiences of thousands. The majority will be those communicating with four others or so." That seems relatively farfetched to me, no doubt there are a number of password protected bloggers out there and bloggers that use other methods of stealth to keep themselves on the DL but I totally believe that there are way more anonymous and non-anonymous (I'm sure there's a better word but I can't think of it now) bloggers out there who totally want their blogs to be the hottest thing since...err...Google's IPO?

Seriously though, are there too many people out there who would love it if ten or twenty (to vastly exaggerate the number in the quote) read their blogs and no more? I gotta agree with Tony Pierce here, these people would probably choose email for their purposes.

So yeah, can any of you really say that when that statcounter passes twenty readers for the day you feel violated? You're like damn, I wish those surfers would just stay the hell off my blog! Anybody?

The Grapes of Wrath a la Mexico

I'm currently reading (almost done actually) The Grapes of Wrath, it's really great and a surprisingly fast read. I say that because I've had the book for about four years and have never got around to reading more than 30 or so pages. I've had to start it over at least twice because I put it down for so long that I completely forgot how it began.

I decided to post on this because I found this article on MSNBC that completely and totally threw me back in the book. It's about how the adjustments in border security is having very little impact on the flow of illegal Mexican immigrants. Here's a quote from the article:
One of the men on the porch was Jesus Alonzo Camacho, 44. He and six friends had left home in Michoacan state, where they earn about $6 a day working in the fields. "We can't support ourselves at home; we need the money from the other side," Camacho said. His only plan was to slip across the border and walk north until he found someone to give him work. "Anyone," he said. "Anywhere."

Too many similarities to point out; I have few profound observations on Mexicans trying to get across the border other than obviously something else needs to be done since clearly current steps aren't working. They've also become an important cog in the wheel of US agriculture/industry so maybe it's time to come up with a more sophisticated plan than spotlights, dogs and helicopters, particularly since those can't even keep the criminals out.

Also, I'm considering getting in on this 50 Book Challenge bit, I wonder...does it work retroactively...?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Clearly I have too Much Time on my Hands.

I have no idea who started this but it's been popping up all over on blogs I read so here goes:

Coke or Pepsi? Coke most definitely, in fact, I can't tell the last time I actually saw Pepsi.

Chunky or smooth peanut butter? I absolutely detest peanut butter. *Shudder*

White or wheat? Not a big fan of bread in general, I avoid it at all costs but if absolutely forced I'd go white.

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream? Chocolate baby, vanilla is just so...vanilla!

Perfect "after sex food"? Ice cream definitely, and chocolate if there's any...but always ice cream.

Butter or margarine? I really have no idea what the difference is, really - not a clue.

Coffee, tea, or neither? I avoid hot drinks at all costs (burns my tongue man, burns my tongue) but I can dig some iced coffee, and also some iced tea now that I think about it...I probably prefer the iced coffee a bit more though.

Sweet or dill pickles? Dill baby, dill.

Stupidest thing a boy told me that I believed? Dude...

What do you want to be when you grow up? Rich, slim and happy. I'm not kidding! I'd like to be a writer but I'll settle for being a lawyer right now :)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Generation Next

In an attempt to keep my loyal readers (two or three?) from registering complete and utter dismay at the complete pointlessness of my last few posts, I will, as promised in an attempt to have a relevant post, throw in the Narkoleptomaniac view of the recent article in The National Law Journal about "Generation Y" lawyers being disloyal slackers. Commentary abounds in the blogosphere so I doubt I add anything new, however, I will come out and say it: while I hope to grab that "cushy" BIGLAW job, I'm probably going to end up being a "slacker".

Here's why:

While I may indeed accept the fact that I need to pull 16 hour days for a few years to get those law school loans off my head, trust that I don't pull those hours because of a deep love of monotonous paperwork or because the art work on the walls of the office so thrill me that I want to spend as much time as I can in the office. I do so because I want to pay off my student loans and because I like that I can have a meal somewhere other than White Castle after paying my loans and my rent. (Yes, the $500 cabbage soup entree sounds fabulous! May I have two?) I will, more than likely bail in a heartbeat if I'm offered a higher paying job or one with equal salary and less hours.

Disloyal? Perhaps.

Having worked at a firm though, I'm quite aware that the firm is no more loyal to its employees than they supposedly are to it. I've seen the spate of senior associates who flood the HR office with resumes because they were denied the partnership they were assured was in the bag. I also know that if God forbid an associate fails the bar, he's out the door. If an associate opts to take the "family friendly" route you advertise they are virtually assured of not making partner. I also know that you the senior partner stays at work until 9:00pm every night - having reached the zenith of your profession you still spend the same, if not more, hours in the office as the associate (note the distinction between spending the same hours in the office and actually working the same hours.) Is it because after so many years of being loyal to the job, you have no idea what to do outside of the office? If that's the case, that's really really sad. If it's not...dude...go home.

It's clear that according to today's standards, a loyal, motivated worker should have very little life outside of the office. I'm willing to pay my dues, but if, as I've said before, I can't make some sort of compromise between paying those dues and having even the semblance of normal life (read: not indentured servitude - I've heard it whispered that some lawyers make it work), then hell yeah, expect me to be disloyal. Hell, call me a slacker. I'm "Gen Y" after all, it's inherent. Isn't it?

Update: I was writing a response to Janine's comment on this post and then it got long so I decided to tack it on this post:

I haven't really thought this through so bear with me but...I'm beginning to think that a large part of this may have to do with the fact that more women are working outside the home and men are trying to become more than just the breadwinner and part-time family man. Back in the day men were probably more willing to leave the raising of a family to the women and spend all their time in the office - they were the breadwinners after all and so it was easy for them to remain loyal to work and family. Stay the extra hours and make the boss happy and bring the extra bucks home and make the wife happy.

Now, we have more women in the work force and more men trying to play active roles in their families which doesn't create such an easy dichotomy between work and family anymore. This then creates a shift from workplace loyalty to family loyalty in the sense that apparently it is difficult to be loyal to both. There are no clear-cut breadwinners any more since both significant others' often work and since there's no longer the guarantee that one parent will be a full-time parent (or pet caretaker, whatever), it turns out the job will get the supposed shaft since it's become only a source of income and a way to pass the time you'd rather be spending with family.

Whew

OK, I think this is it. For now. I think.

If I decide I hate this template, I won't have the time to do anything about it for a while.

Ah well.

Also: I shall try to post something of consequence in the near future.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

And then...

to change it all back after 4 hours of messing with it because you liked the old template better.

Einstein watch out! Narkoleptik's on a roll tonight!

Pop Quiz

Q: How dumb do you have to be to decide to change your blog template while using quite possibly the most unreliable gprs internet connection in the developing world?

A: The answer's just too obvious...and detrimental to my self-esteem.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Stop over by Magic Cookie and check out her synopses of her visits to Columbia Day 1, Day 2 and NYU.

Warcry

I remember reading an article a few weeks ago that argued that casualties of the US war in Iraq were greatly misleading because far more people were permanently maimed than were killed and there has been little coverage about the fact. This article I came across today focuses on brain damage sustained as a result of blasts.
To identify cases of TBI, doctors at Walter Reed screened every arriving service member wounded in an explosion, along with those hurt in Iraq or Afghanistan in a vehicle accident or fall, or by a gunshot wound to the face, neck or head. They found TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) in about 60% of the cases. The largest group was 21-year-olds. The wound may come to characterize this war, much the way illnesses from Agent Orange typified the Vietnam War, doctors say.

This fact combined with the fact that recruitment numbers have fallen significantly since the beginning of the war will no doubt have some serious implications for the miltary. Kevin over at The Yin Blog has a pretty amusing post about the Pentagon's reaction to this "startling" news about recruitment numbers.

I've been wondering what the Bush administration's next move is going to be in Iraq. There's little indication that peace is anywhere in the near future for the Iraqis, the suicide bombers are having a field day. Saddam has been ousted so Bush can't blame him, and the Iraqis have had their first democratic election so he can't argue that all they really need is self-government to put them on the right track. I'd really love to know what the plan is, you know Plan Q or so since all the others have failed.

I received an acceptance email from Tulane today including a note in bold type telling me that my scholarship information will be included in the letter to be mailed out on Friday. Eh. I'm pretty sure I won't be going to Tulane but it's still good to get in.

In other news, Cornell sent an email saying they're the number one college hockey team. Great. The only hockey games I've ever seen were those incorporated in the movie The Might Ducks. Good to know though. I do wish I'd received some financial aid information though.

Dark Goddess of Replevin gives us a taste of what happens when good email goes bad. (Sorry, it just came to me) Anyway apparently the Dean of Columbia Law School published an editorial in the New York Sun and decided to send a copy to the entire Columbia Law School Alumni list. Turns out that Columbia has some unfortunate email configuration issues that ensures that out of office auto-reply messages get sent to the entire list instead of just the sender. Pissed off alums started responded and well...it just got ugly.

"Among the hard-working graduates of CLS were several lucky souls who were on vacation and had turned on out-of-office autoreply messages. Now, I just located the original message and hit "reply" (without sending, mind you!) to see how a return email would be addressed. It appears that, if one uses "reply" and not "reply all" that responses should go only to the sender. For some reason, however, those autoreplies, once they went back to the dean, were forwarded to the list. As were all the responses by all the people who became increasingly shrill as they received more and more and more email in response to the initial demands for removal...Which is why I came home tonight and discovered sixty-plus law-school related emails in my home inbox."

This reminds me of quite a few embarrassing incidents at college when a person would hit reply to sender and the email would get sent to the entire listserver. Break-ups have happened that way, scandals have been disclosed that way...

Sad, sad sad.

Great Expectations

A few days ago I read that this guy Jason Kottke was quitting his job to be a full time blogger. I wished him luck, wished I could do the same and assumed that I'd have been getting some premium content. I hadn't heard about his blog before all the fanfare about him going fulltime. So I read a few posts here and there and found them not unlike a lot of the tech-related blogs out there. I, however, assumed that since the guy would be doing this fulltime, I'd be getting some particularly interesting posts, premium content, even...better than the posts he'd been making before.

Boy was I wrong. I'm not saying it's a bad blog, I'm just saying it's the same blog it was before he went fulltime. I'm disappointed. Also...dude, you're supposedly a fulltime blogger...is one to two posts a day the best you can manage?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Genuine Wonderment

You know, sometimes I wonder... I was reading this post on Althouse about wireless access in the classroom - apparently there's a debate about whether or not to limit it or something because it distracts students - and came across a comment via email from her son that mentioned that Cornell blocks wireless internet access in the classroom. I had this very real, medium-sized pang of disappointment almost as if this could count in my decision making process.

No, I'm not wondering anymore, I really must have lost my mind.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Alright Already!

I have a couple decisions pending, well a few actually but two in particular (Santa Clara and Tulane), I don't really care about since I won't be attending but why, for instance, hasn't the University of Michigan written to tell me I'm rejected? Let's face it, I sent in my application from October...or was it September, anyway I know they got it because they said so. I know they received my information from the LSAC because they said so. As much as schools tell us that they look for the whole person and all that gooey stuff, I think it's all a lie. I'm pretty sure within five to 10 minutes of looking at an application they know whether the person has a chance of not. Why then have I not been informed of my rejection?

I know they've looked at my application, they must have, they've had it almost six months. I don't have any anomalies in my application that would cause them to need to spend longer than necessary (read: six months) going over my decision. Why then must the torture continue? I haven't even been waitlisted/deferred. Georgetown took twenty-nine (29) days from my submitting the application to my receiving a response. See: quick turnaround, I like that. I also like that I got in.

You know what, it's the post office. They're screwing me over, I'm sure it's them. Dammit.

Thanks

Thanks to all who chimed in via email, comment or their own posts in response to my post on LSAT prep. Your thoughts have been very helpful, I wish I'd been a part of the blog community back in my law school application days :).

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

No doubt this will be discussed thoroughly in the blogosphere over the next few days but I feel compelled to throw in my two cents. It's great the the Supreme Court has outlawed the death penalty for juveniles. I'm no fan of the death penalty in general and I find that most supporters of death penalty frame their arguments primarily within emotional contexts since there's little hard evidence to show that the death penalty is at all effective in reducing crime. I sense that I may go into a long winded discussion of all this so let me just cut myself off and say that this is great news. Go SCOTUS, do your damn thing! (today, that is - there's a ton of other stuff I disagree with y'all on)

Are They Worth It?

LSAT Prep Classes that is. An 0L-to-be friend of mine consulted me (yeah ME) for advice on the LSAT, basically he wanted to know if it would be a good idea to shell out between $1000-$1500 on a Prep Class.

I'm stumped.

I didn't take a Prep class and I did pretty well, I know people who took Prep classes and did better than I did and I also know a people who took Prep classes and did worse than I did. I ended up treading the middle ground and telling him to take a few tests and see how he does and then decide whether or not he thinks he may be able to swing it on his own or if he'll need Kaplan, Princeton, Powerscore or one of the myriad of LSAT Prep courses out there to help him out. As I type this I know I gave him pretty bad advice the only "redeeming" factor is that I did offer him a disclaimer and assure him that what I have to say on the matter should by no means be taken as gospel (a cop-out if ever there was one).

I ended up studying for the LSAT on my own for two reasons, one, I was broke at the time and shelling out $1300 for some Prep courses seemed just ridiculous - rent and food come first you know and two, after I totally bombed the first practice test I did and resolved to sign up for a course courtesy of Visa or American Express I found out that all the registration dates had passed and I'd missed at least two to three weeks of classes.

After being convinced that I was bound to get a 150, I pulled myself together hit Barnes and Noble and bought some practice tests, ordered some of the most recent ones from the LSAC, bought the Powerscore Logic Games Bible on Ebay (the games were kicking my ass) and spent the last few weeks before the LSAT taking practice tests when I had the time. That worked, I took the LSAT once and was happy enough with my score to not want to do it over again.

On the other hand, I have no idea if I'd have done even better had I gone to any of the classes but I sure as hell know that the classes can't be the be-all and end-all of LSAT Prep since people who take the classes often do poorly.

Hmm, I'd thought that after putting this down on paper...err...blog, I'd have come up with some better advice for him. Oh well. The one thing I can resolutely advise him against is using any of the Barrons' books, I'm not a big fan of Kaplan's books either but really Barrons just plain sucks. I do think practice is the key, whether you do it in a class or on your own, if you don't do as many of those practice tests as you possibly can (set a high bar though, don't do 3 and think that's all you can do), if you do fine in the practice tests odds are pending some catastrophe exam day you'll do fine in the LSAT.