Someone mysteriously put an answer key for an economics problem set in my mailbox. Creeepy!
My hero for the day is Justice Terence "Big" T. Evans, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. His opinions are absolutely gorgeous; he's a fantastic writer and he has a sense of humor.
And Adrian Belew gets the gas face for the day for writing awful, awful, awful lyrics.
By this time next week, I will have four fewer teeth. On the plus side, it will be Fall Break! On the minus side, I will be drugged out of my mind. On the plus side, I'll be...dude...like, drugged out of my mind!
Danger! Danger! Note to self: don't get brainwashed!
In law school, we only see hard cases that we can't make easy, blanket statements about. But remember, in real life, 99% of all cases are very easy. Looking at so many hard cases where there really isn't any right or wrong answer may cloud our view of all the other cases.
You won't see "rich person gets off a murder rap" cases in the Criminal Law casebook. You won't see "soft tissue damage" personal injury cases in the Torts casebook. You won't see attorneys expensively bludgeon each other with procedural vagaries in Civ Pro (although, to his credit, Professor Fairman gives us a peek at the real, which is to say underhanded, use of procedure).
Don't forget why you don't like lawyers! You may be wrong, but let them convince you. Don't let them crowd every original thought out of your head by force-feeding you 50 pages a night.
Awesome college football action tonite! Honestly, that's the only reason I'm still at school. No, really!!!
In a hard case in criminal law, is there really that much of a difference between a 10-year sentence and 25 to life? Is there really that big a difference between murder and manslaughter? You can never have perfect justice, so why do we spend so much time quibbling over alternatives that would both, arguably, constitute "pretty good" justice? If someone kills someone else, we don't want to give them $64,000 and a dozen roses and we don't want to burn them at the stake. If what actually happens is in some reasonable range in the midst of these extremes, isn't that good enough?
I'm not even all that queasy about convicting innocent people. There's a very small chance that I could get convicted of a serious crime that I didn't commit in my lifetime, but there's a greater chance that I could get hit by lightning or a car or, indeed, murdered! There's a lot of bad things that can happen to you in this world, and some aren't preventable.
Which world would you rather live in: (1) a world where there was a one in ten chance you would get murdered and a one in a million chance you would be found guilty of a murder you didn't commit? Or (2) a world where there was a one in a thousand chance you would get murdered and a one in a thousand chance you would be wrongly convicted?
Oh, so now I'm cute. And CLUELESS. Just what is it that which you are trying to be implicationing upon my person?
By the way, I went to the main library on the way back from the game and checked out four Richard Posner books. Look at me with my big stack of books! I'm so C-A-T smart!
Check out my BIG letters. They're easy on the eyes.
That reminds me, feel free to sign my guestbook.
If you enter the words "1l bored" (without quotes) into Google, this is the first page on the list.
I don't really know what you people are talking about: exam software? Is that like, uh, Microsoft Word that you use to type exams on?
I can type probably at least, say, 80 words per minute. I can probably write about five words per minute or something like that. It's not that I would need to type (calculate calculate) 15,000 words on an exam, but the less time I spend writing, presumably the more time I spend thinking. I can't write and talk and think and chew gum and walk and pat my head and rub my belly all at the same time.
What is wrong with me? I should be really interested in this, but I'm really bored. I guess some people like some stuff, and other people like other stuff. Prof. Dressler is clearly very interested in this stuff, and I just can't get into it.
I have an intuition, and I should probably ask someone else if there's any truth to it: there seem to be two strands to what you learn and do in law school. There's one part that consists of actually learning facts about the law. The other part is practice in doing lawyer type stuff.
Here's the thing: I like some of these classes, and some of them I find excruciatingly boring. So here's the question: Can I get away with doing my lawyer stuff practice with the classes I like and reading Nutshells and such for the remaining classes?
Anyone who is reading this and has an opinion should feel free to e-mail a proposed answer to the address on this page.
Doing my criminal law and watching the debate:
Graham - He scrupulously avoided the word "taxes". He has visuals. "I support the radical idea that if you want to create jobs, you create jobs." Guh? "He [Bush] is literally in bed with the pharmaceutical companies." Eeeewww.
Gephardt - Jerk, jerk, jerk, hate him, hate him, hate him. "You're the head of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, and you're winging it." Whaaat?
Lieberman - He said something slightly free-tradey. I'm free-tradey. He was the first person to mention his website. He's really trying to tie himself to Clinton.
Kerry - He's a bit tradey tradey too. Er...he's "fair" tradey. "We can't love jobs but hate the people that create them." I don't think he's saying that sincerely, and I don't think there's any substance behind this statement, but I sort of like it anyway. And..."I agree completely with John Edwards." Almost sounds like Kerry thinks that Edwards doesn't have a chance.
Edwards - Slimy, dirty lawyer. Protectionist.
Clark - He got much more polished all of the sudden compared to his prior news conferences. He keeps saying "I've been a politician for nine days." Gee, you're really from "outside the beltway"! Waaaaay outside! Good for you!
Dean - I think he's nervous about Clark. He used the phrase "job hemmorage". He's all like, "Look, I'm a doctor!" "The enemy here is George Bush, not each other." Hold up, that's something you're supposed to say when you're winning. You should say: "The enemy here is George Bush and Wesley Clark, and Senator Kerry if he's ahead of me. But the rest of us shouldn't fight each other. Especially you. Especially not fighting me."
Sharpton - I like what he said about infrastructure, sort of. He's a bit hard to watch at times, but pretty funny at times. He called Dean "Brother Howard". That was nice.
Moseley-Braun - She used, and then immediately defined, the word "antithesis". I like that: You shouldn't indiscriminately use big words for effect without saying what they mean. "Every American wants to have universal coverage." Well, yeah, sure. And everyone wants pixie dust and to fly and stuff like that.
Kucinich - He sounds younger than he looks. Uh oh, he's against NAFTA and the WTO. See ya. He called Dean "Dr. Dean" when talking about health care. Is that supposed to be derisive, or just hopeless? And Brian Williams says, "So many doctor puns, so little time."
Okay, that's it. I changed the channel to DragonBall Z. Then I'm going to go get dinner.
I'm beating the hell out of this cold. Yeeeeehaaaah! All I have to do is stay here until, like, 11 to get caught up. Sigh...
Well, yesterday was certainly a bad day, but I don't need every single day to be a good one here at law school in order to do well. Today has started out better: I went to 7-11 to get some tissues and ended up talking to the guy behind the counter about the LSAT for a while. I really like feeling helpful.
Law school fever! CATCH IT!
Okay...two Excedrin™ brand caffeine/aspirin/acetaminophen tablets: check. One 40 oz. 7-11 Slurpee® brand flavored frozen beverage: check. One Pocket Pack of Fifteen (15) Kleenex® brand white facial tissues: check. Alright, I'm ready, bring it on!
I think I'm answering my own earlier question: mediocre will be just fine, thank you, at least for now.
I'm just way too bored and sick to be productive. Stop the world! I wanna get off!
I am so bored right now. I need a break, and it's only Wednesday.
The operative question when I sit down and start to read some of this stuff is: Who cares? Oh well. "You gotta do what you gotta do."
Oh no! My nose is running! To paraphrase Jesse Ventura's character in Predator, "I ain't got time to sneeze!"
I need to get to bed on time. I mustn't be swayed by the tempation to indulge in yummy oatmeal (with strawberries). I've got to hit the hell out of that sack every night, 9:45 PM. Otherwise, it's Kersnoozeville for me.
It's sleepy afternoon time again. However, it's already too late to beat traffic, so I might as well stay until maybe 6:30 or so. Can I bring myself to do anything productive? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!
I'm sooooo hungry! Maybe it's not good policy for me to not go eat until it stops raining. I might get really, really hungry before the day is out if I get all wussy about going out in the rain. I just popped two Rice Krispy Treats so maybe that will help. Hey, remember Rice Krispy Treats cereal?
Whoooo! We're liver than live on diaryofa1l.mikeshecket.com! Notes 'n' stuff are on lawschool.mikeshecket.com.
I'm hoping that this message will stay here for a while, but please note: this blog is moving to diaryofa1l.mikeshecket.com...aaahhhh...Vanity thy name is Domain Name.
mikeshecket.com is GO! In particular, you will be interested in lawschool.mikeshecket.com. It actually won't work directly for about 24-48 hours, but you can go to mshecket.server269.com in the meantime. HOOORAY!
All of our classes really overlap. Why are they artificially separated into Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, and so on? What if you just had two classes: "Substantive Law" and "Procedure"? Substantive Law would incorporate Contracts, Torts, Property, Criminal Law, and Constitutional Law (maybe). Procedure would be Civil and Criminal plus maybe Legislation ("Legislative Procedure"?).
On the other hand, if we're happy with having the separate courses we have, why not separate them further? At the U. of Chicago, the law school is on quarters. Instead of Contracts, you could have a 1 or 2 credit course on remedies, a course on formation, and so on. You could have a course on intentional torts and a separate one on negligence.
It seems like pretty much everything in law school (including the hunormous class sizes) is dictated by tradition.
This is awesome! I can watch my football on the big screen TV and study at the same time! Well, at least I can watch football with my books in front of me. It's almost like studying at home! Hmmm...studying at home...what a concept! Nah...
(Hint: The student lounge! You can come study here too, but we're gonna watch football, so you better like it.)
Options! Options! Will it be mikeshecket.com? mike.shecket.com? Or what about the ever famous mshecket.com? Hmmmm...lawschool.mikeshecket.com. Oh boy oh boy oh boy!
I'm debating whether to go home or try popping an Excedrin and rallying on for a while. My assignments for tomorrow aren't too too heavy. Eehhhh...I'm in pretty good shape. Maybe I should go see my brother's new apartment.
HEY! Here's a shout out to Chris Geidner at http://lawdork.blogspot.com/ who blogs about mostly serious law stuff but who took the time to write a positive bit about my blog. AWESOME! He, it makes me happy to say, says that my thing that I do, the writing, that it's good, a good thing.
I also got two e-mails from people reading my notes. That's swell, but how about sending some money? Nah, seriously, that's alright.
It appears to be tough, confusing and frustrating to try to become a law professor.
You need honors, awards, grades, law journal and all that. Then you enter the "meat market". My impression was that a second degree helped your cause, like if I went for a Master's or Ph.D. in economics concurrent to my J.D. I don't see anything about that on the site cited above.
I think the best solution today is to take my work home with me, take a nap, and then do it.
I'm daydreaming about daydreaming and about writing about daydreaming about daydreaming in my blog. Hopefully, actually doing so will quell my repeated internal exclamation: "I'm daydreaming! I'm daydreaming! Stop that!"
I'm running out of gas. I'm getting further behind every day.
I totally can't deal with these late afternoon classes. I can't concentrate. I have no clue what's going on.
One issue that seems to come up a lot, especially in criminal law, is what a court should do when it catches the legislative branch with its pants down. There seem to be two schools of thought: (1) Bend the rule of law a little and pull up the legislature's pants (see, for example, Commonwealth v. Mochan, 110 A.2d 788; or Barber v. Superior Court, 195 Cal.Rptr. 484), or (2) uphold the rule of law while also removing the legislature's drawers (see, arguably, State v. Nations, 676 S.W.2d 282; or Keeler v. Superior Court, 470 P.2d 617). Is this what people mean when they talk about the debate over judicial activism?
I got called on in class today and it was alright. However, nobody showed up to my Fraud-a-thon!
I say what I said earlier because it's surprising and mostly positive. I thought I would be the only one here who wasn't really sure what he wanted to do with his life. I thought everyone would be in your face about how they want to be President or a personal injury lawyer or a prosecutor or a public defender. Maybe you need to get to know people better and then you find out.
As for me, I have no clue. I would say, however, that since starting law school my interest in actually practicing law has risen considerably. It's something I could actually see myself doing, now that I know a bit more about what it really entails.
I don't know if I've really run into anybody yet who is really intense, or highly committed to a certain political position, or highly motivated to go after a particular goal.
I'm out of server space for my class notes and stuff. I suppose I could pay for more, but I'm hoping maybe I can get a generous soul to donate some space on a server. It's only 5 megs right now, and even if it were 2 megs a week for every week for the rest of law school, it wouldn't even amount to 200 megs. So, if you're reading this and you're one of those gurus who controls the Internet, check out my notes. If you think they're good, let me put them on your site!
"I'm itchy! I've got ants in my pants! I'm discombobulated! Give me a calmative!" - Grandpa Simpson, "22 Short Films About Springfield" 3 Simp.F. 18 (1996).
There's something about this contracts casebook that makes it tougher to slog through than the others. It doesn't have the same rhythm and organization as the other three. Maybe it also has something to do with the material. A lot of what we're going through is variations on a theme, but I'm not sure how important the variations are compared to the broad theme. I'm also not quite sure how important the Universal Commercial Code is, although it's been made to seem pretty important in class. I'm leaning towards trying a "less is more" approach to this particular class. Then again, that's sort of appealing for every class, but I think it won't cut it for all of them.
Professor Dressler wore a bow tie on Friday. Today, it's a regular tie. For some reason, I generally think that people who wear bow ties always wear bow ties and people who don't never do. It's kind of disorienting for him to go bow one day and back to regular on Monday. Oh, and the class is interesting too.
The way we're studying law is very sterile. The cases are preselected for exhibiting clear reasoning and usually at least passable writing. We see abolsutely none of the courtroom shenanigans that lawyers are generally reviled for. In real life, cases don't always get decided on the law and on the facts, and I think this is being hidden right now.
It's hard to concentrate on the weekend. I've probably spent about two and a half hours here total today before and after the (miserable) game, and I haven't done any actual law stuff. That's sort of part of the idea of the weekend, but I really had the idea that I would go to the Gallery Hop tonight, and it would be easiest to just stay here until 7. I could stand to catch up a little bitty bit on Torts. I'm losing my shorts in Torts.
At some point, I have to decide whether I want to work hard enough to do well in law school or whether I want to work hard enough to do just OK. The thing is, once I go with OK, I can't easily get back to well. With well, however, I can slack off at any time.
I'm feeling good and not tired and I'm getting some stuff done this fine afternoon. Tomorrow will be a relatively lite day, accompanied by the usual dinner at my grandfolks' place (I think), and then I've a got a big football and Gallery Hop day! Whooweee!
I think I'm starting to see the deal: there's too much to do, by design. Different people will react to this in different ways. Different people will get different amounts of stuff done. Different people will take different amounts of time getting stuff done. Furthermore, different people will react to other people's methods, effort, and so on in different ways. It's a big ol' vat of reactions and counterreactions to things and stuff. I imagine molecules that are really hot and bouncing around really fast in a small volume. What does that lead to? That's right, high pressure.
Imagine: even if I decide that I don't care, someone else might get pissed at me for not caring. I hope all this doesn't happen, but I'm wary.
So tired. So bored.
No, it's not happening. I'm way too bored with this stuff to work hard.
Also, I have to complain here about a certain anonymous female who must typify a certain type that I also encountered in college. She seems to have formed a strong opinion from the beginning of Orientation or before about who is cool and attractive and worth talking to. Maybe she only talks to people who she went to undergrad with. Anyway, that's not cool. I suppose it might be that she's shy rather than stuck-up, but I don't think so.
Note: if you have ever spoken to me in your life, YOU ARE NOT THE AFOREMENTIONED PERSON. Thanks!
Here's a great way to waste time:
Thanks a lot, Jon! Just for that, I think I'm going to have to lend you the Playstation.
Willpower! Willpower! I need to not get sleepy and go home after Torts. I need to catch up this afternoon/evening. I gotta, gotta, gotta! If I can stay good and work until, say, 9:00 or 9:30 PM, I can go home and get a rockin' night's sleep and have at it again tomorrow morning.
Plus, it's only three more days until another fabulous OSU football extravaganza!
I went straight home after class and took a nap. Then I went to the gym for the first time in about two weeks. Now I'm back home watching Queer Eye and eating oatmeal. Screw homework!!! At least until tomorrow.
I think I'm too sleepy to be productive any longer today. On the other hand, I have a whole bunch o' stuff to do for tomorrow. Can I get it all done tomorrow morning? I think I'll have to take that chance. I guess the other possibility would be to go home and take a nap then come back later tonight and work some more, then come back tomorrow morning again. I think I might let myself get behind a little and catch up on sleep and then catch up on reading. Phew...
My little brother came up with a good question: can foreign nationals come to the U.S. and sue one of our citizens? If so, in what court or courts?