Articles published in April 2011

Family Fuedalism


They are letting them in to law school younger and younger these days..

Browsing the headlines of the law school related world today, I came across a very interesting report from CNN. It tells the story of a law student in Spain who took his parents to court in an attempt to force them to resume paying his allowance of $588 per month.

And you thought you really stuck it to Mom and Dad that time you came home 4 hours after curfew!

In a fortunate decision for the well being of the human race, the judge ordered the man to find a job and leave his parents house within 30 days.

Interesting Pre-Law Jobs (don’t go to Law School, yet)


Time to rethink your part time job

You might be too far  down the application highway to take advantage of this, but I wanted to tell you about some interesting gigs that may provide you with some great experience before heading to law school. These come from very different sides of the criminal law world:

1. On the DA’s side (if you somehow never watched Law and Order, “DA” = “District Attorney”, i.e. the city’s lawyer), some offices hire investigators to help prosecute cases. For the Manhattan DA, for example, try this: // For this office, it’s usually a two-year position, and you can get involved with some very interesting cases.

2. On the defense side, some Public Defenders also hire investigators. (And if you don’t know what a Public Defender is, why are you going to law school?)  A cousin of mine did this in New Orleans a couple of summers ago – // and said it was fascinating.

If you’re aiming for law school and you’re in college now, consider trying out one of these internship/positions. You have plenty of years ahead of you, so why not take an interesting detour that could make you a more impressive applicant and give you a sense of what the legal world is like?

Don’t forget, LSAT scores are good for five years!

Paid Volunteers?


Let Them Eat Cake?

Oh oxymoron, how I love thee.  Your beauty lies in your simplicity and the possibility for cheekyness in your ranks is infinite:  legal brief, controlled chaos, common phenomenon, civil war, minor miracle, and of course my favorite, Microsoft Works, are all fine examples of the turns a phrase’s meaning can take when one simple word is added (Logical Reasoning, anyone?).

The need for you to pay close attention to words is not going to wane anytime soon. Why?

Because word interpretation is a central element in the comprehension and practice of law. In law school and in your law career, you will most likely be faced with situations where it will literally be your job to change the meaning (or perceived meaning) of a word or phrase. How a word or phrase is interpreted is often the deciding factor in the direction a case takes.  Take for example the lawsuit against Arianna Huffington, Founder, President, and Editor-in-Chief of Ms. Huffington is currently being sued by Huffington Post “volunteer” bloggers who are arguing that they deserve to share some of the profits and value that they have created from their contributions to the site.

This case is not without precedent.  Back in the nineties two volunteer chat room monitors – from the then super popular AOL – sued AOL for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act after successfully arguing that AOL exploited their contributions to the product.  AOL ended up settling out of court for $15 million.

So while the intended outcome of this lawsuit is to prevent exploitative behaviors on the part of business owners, the effect it will have on the perceived meaning of words will certainly be a part of its legal fall out. Will the word “volunteer” no longer mean “to do for free” in the context of the law? These are the kind of questions that you – the future lawyers of America – will be helping to resolve someday soon.

LSAT Test Day Rules Change


Deep breath. It’s not the end of the world, but it is surprising: LSAT testing center security has increased. Red Alert LSAT Geeks! LSAC now requires a full-body scan of anyone who enters the testing site. They will use the same equipment used in airports and all images will be reviewed by T14 law school graduates. Those who refuse the scan will be subjected to a hearty frisking. Not surprisingly, students are pretty angry; all of the test-takers from UC Berkeley have announced they will arrive in kilts and opt for the frisk.

No, no – it’s not that bad. But, it is slightly more inconvenient: you now need to bring a photo of yourself (along with your approved photo ID, your ticket, etc. – read about all of it on LSAC’s website). The picture must be of you within the last 6 months, and if right before test day you dye your hair, put your beard into dreadlocks, or pierce your forehead with a horseshoe, be sure to have  a picture of you with your new look. The photo needs to be no larger than 2 x 2 and no smaller than 1 x 1. Basically, get a passport photo. It’s definitely annoying – and what irks me most is that I now have to wonder whether people have actually gotten away with sending in an LSAT geek-double to take the test for them (or is the question, how many have gotten away with it?). Apparently, the usual photo ID and the affidavit that LSAC has you write in cursive were not enough to scare away evil-doers. (In case you’re wondering about the cursive requirement, studies prove that writing in cursive legitimizes a statement more than any other type of writing except for using Comic Sans.)

On a related ridiculous note, back in the 70s, a guy traveled the world using a passport in which he had replaced his photo with that of his dog. This speaks volumes for one of several things: the sense of security that existed in the world in the 70s despite the cold war, the theory that people look like their dogs, or the general state of that guy’s face or his dog’s.

So, off to your local drugstore for the picture. Say something witty as the camera clicks to bring a smile to your face as you prepare to destroy the LSAT on test day.

Friday Funnies


Ahh, Friday!   Even if your weekend is chock full of errands and preptests, you cannot tell me that the Friday air doesn’t smell a little fresher than that of its weekday brethren.

In that spirit, we wanted to share some more law school themed hilarity from the web:

Check out this music video titled “Law School State of Mind” set to the tune of Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”.  Perhaps a cautionary tale?!

Even if you’re still an undergrad, these two videos from the hilarious and talented GW Law Revue might resonate with you.

The first is a “preview” about the horror of class without laptops .  This is right on the money. I once saw one of my ‘Psychology of Addiction’ classmates lose $750 in one lecture on…

Ever shotgun a can of red bull in order to maintain your all night study session?  You’ll definitely appreciate where these guys are coming from.

Happy Friday!