ambivalent imbroglio home

« July 25, 2003 | Main | July 30, 2003 »

July 29, 2003

Tuesday Law Links

Just when I learn for sure I didn't get into a top-10 school, Sua Sponte warns future law students to apply to and attend the highest-ranked school to which they can possibly gain admission. A lively discussion has ensued in the comments section about the value of rankings and how important they should be to your choice of law schools, and the most recent comment links to this alternative ranking that, while a bit heavy on the frat-boy pick-up scene mentality, manages to make the point that there's a lot more to life than rank. Specifically, I agree that the availability of Fat Tire Amber Ale, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing should all be somehow figured into the next U.S. News rankings. Since all of those things are most readily available in the Rockies, my advice would be to apply to any school in Colorado or Montana. Idaho would work pretty well, too.

(Aside: Sua Sponte has been making noises about moving to MT; I hope she can transfer her archives and comments, because she's built up a great repository of opinions and information for 1-Ls and pre-1-Ls.)

But a bit more seriously, i hate stupid people (ihsp) and effinchamp have both offered some wise thoughts on how to choose a law school. ihsp's advice is eminently quotable; first:

Do not ever pick anything in your life just because it has the most gold stars. Figure out why the stars are there, and if you even like the things the star represents.

The U.S. News Rankings may end up giving you some pretty empty stars. But ihsp continues:

I suggest that you can't figure out where you want to be until you figure out what you want. Take as a given (for shits and giggles; just do it) that you will end up hating the law you think you want to practice, you will not return to the jurisdiction where you wish to practice, you will not get a coveted large firm internship and you will not understand half of what is said in at least three of your classes. If that all happens, will you still be happy in your choice of school? Is the city cool enough to hang out in? Are the professors smart/interesting/helpful people? Are there other options for employment than the large firm three ring circus of fun? Are there enough large firms in the area if you wanted to play that game?

Like I said: Great stuff. Now where was ihsp with this advice four months ago?!?

On a completely different topic, Professor Cooper links to Dwight Meredith (also here) and Kevin Drum on "tort reform." Together, the posts form a convincing antidote to the periodic media droning about multi-million dollar jury awards for "frivolous lawsuits" that are driving doctors out of practice and raising prices and insurance rates for all of us, etc. I just started reading Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, which is at once fascinating, entertaining, and horrifying in its prescience. I mention it because its authors, Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose, have some choice things to say about Bush's "almost amusing loathing for trial lawyers" (xxiv), which leads to his obsession with "tort reform." The gist seems to be fairly obvious: As someone "perfectly comfortable, perfectly at home, doing the bidding of big bidness" (xvii), Bush hates trial lawyers because they do, occasionally, end up forcing "big bidness" to pay for its mistakes and abuses of public trust and resources. The brilliance of the Bush administration's campaign for tort reform is that they're selling it as a way to help the average American, when really this "reform" will almost certainly benefit corporate America more than anyone else. But then, as far as Yubbledew and Co. are concerned, what's good for corporate America is good for the world. Strike that: For Yubbledew and Co., corporate America is the world.

Posted 12:37 PM | law general law school

So That's That

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that there was still the most infinitesimal of chances that I might still be offered admission to the U. of Michigan law school for this fall. According to Michigan's website, that chance is now gone:

Notice to Applicants on our Waiting List:

We have carefully considered our incoming class for Fall 2003 and concluded that we will not be able to make any offers from the waiting list. We are, therefore, sending letters releasing from the waiting list the small number of people who remain on it. We are very grateful to all who participated in our waiting list this year, and wish you the best with your alternative plans.

So GW it is, then. It's better that way, I'm sure.

Posted 12:20 PM | Comments (1) | law school

No Betting on Terrorism

Just to update the previous post: It seems the Pentagon Terror Futures Market has been scrapped. Thank goodness for small favors. (And thanks again to L. for pointing out the link.) I wondered after I first mentioned this if the whole story was some kind of demented trial balloon. Why would anyone propose something so completely insane? I can't believe they seriously thought they'd get away with it, much less that it would be truly useful in making the world a safer, more peaceful place, so what could anyone have gained by even floating the idea? I'm completely baffled. But hey, at least it's not going to happen—at least not now and at least not in this form.

Salon has much more complete coverage; the longer story reveals that the party responsible for this incredibly stupid idea is none other than John Poindexter. That man should have been imprisoned for treason in the 80s. Barring that, can't we at least get him fired and barred from any future government service? So, ok, maybe his role in the Iran-Contra scandal wasn't enough to get him branded as an enemy of the state, but then he goes and tries to make American citizens spy on each other, and now he's created "a futures market on death"? I thought we had "three strikes and you're out" laws in this country. I guess those only apply to people who steal video tapes.

Posted 11:42 AM | general politics

PAM: It's Just Sick

Unbelievable headline of the day: "Pentagon's Futures Market Plan Condemned":

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is setting up a stock-market style system in which investors would bet on terror attacks, assassinations and other events in the Middle East. Defense officials hope to gain intelligence and useful predictions while investors who guessed right would win profits.

L. pointed this out to me and neither of us can believe it. How could anyone think for even a second that this was a good idea?!? But it appears to be real. Read all about the "Policy Analysis Market" (PAM)—it's got its own website with examples of what will be traded: "Issue A: Overthrow of Jordanian Monarchy"; "Issue B: Iraqi Regime persists after One Month of Hostilities." Oh yeah, great idea.

Not surprisingly, some of the bright lights behind this little scheme are from DARPA, which gave us the great idea of the TIPS Program, evidence of which has now been deleted. One of the things erased was information about retired Adm. John Poindexter, apparently because people started spying on him. That Poindexter—what a guy! So is he involved with this new
PAM game to create a betting parlor for terrorism and U.S. imperialism? And will PAM suffer the same fate as TIPS? Stay tuned for the next episode in the ongoing saga of the complete imbecility of the U.S. military and intelligence community!

Oh, if you have any comments about this whole PAM thing, be sure you send them in!

Posted 06:36 AM | general politics

Near Death Experience

I'm a big fan of public transportation, but this morning it came a little too close for comfort. My dog and I were out for our usual morning walk today when she (the dog) decided to stop and sniff something near the corner of a major intersection. No problem there; stopping to sniff is just what dogs do. So we stood there for perhaps a minute until her sniffer exhausted whatever little treasure it had found, then we resumed our walk. But that's when things went a little weird because suddenly the quiet of our pre-dawn neighborhood was broken by the incessant blaring of what sounded like the horn of a big vehicle. To my left I saw a large truck following a city bus, but before I had time to really connect the truck, the bus, and the honking, I was startled by a strange "splat!" directly behind me, followed by a sinister whisper that seemed to be dopplering toward my right side at high speed. I spun around just in time to see a huge tire and wheel flying by me through the grass. And as I watched it roll and bounce down the grassy slope and smack to a stop against the wall of an apartment building, my brain finally caught up with events to bring me to the realization: My dog and I were nearly killed by a flying bus wheel!

But, we weren't.

And no, we wouldn't have died if it had hit us, but it wouldn't have felt too great, I'm thinking. Fun in the city just doesn't stop, does it?

Posted 06:11 AM | life generally

about   ∞     ∞   archives   ∞   links   ∞   rss
This template highly modified from The Style Monkey.