Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Baby Jesus Wants to Rock (Rock!)

Thoughts upon hearing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" on the radio this morning:

  • Damn it, I've been trying to avoid Christmas songs.
  • But this shower radio is so hard to tune, it's not really worth changing channels.
  • Oh well, it's Christmas day and I've done a pretty good job so far, I guess there's not much I can do.
  • Hey, this is actually rocking out pretty hard.
  • You know, I never noticed how much this song sounds like "We're Not Gonna Take It."
Thoughts upon getting out of the shower, looking up the two songs to compare them, and discovering that I had been listening to this:
  • . . .
  • Twisted Sister got back together to record a Christmas album?
  • . . .
  • . . .
  • Awesome.
  • Good to see Dee Snider still looks exactly like Sarah Jessica Parker.
  • With a little more make-up, he'd be a dead-ringer for Moulin Rouge-era Christina Aguilera.
  • Hey J.J. French, I'm not sure grinding up on the guy's wife is really in the Christmas spirit.
  • Although he seems to be taking it pretty well.
  • Yeah, let him play the drums, it'll make him feel better.
  • Oh good, a happy ending. You see, chubby newlywed guy, it is a wonderful life.
Now all we need is for Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth to put aside their differences (again) and crank out a 2-disc Hanukkah box set in time for next year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Well, exams are over, and I would just like to commend some of my fellow students on their incredible ability to go from typing an exam to fall-down drunk in mere minutes. Your rate of absorption is truly impressive.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Who Understands Those Lawyers?

Torts exam tomorrow? No time to make an outline? Got ya covered:
(with apologies to Sir Mix-A-Lot)

I like big torts and I can not lie.
You other lawyers can't deny,
That when a barge goes down in the middle of the bay
And the bargee is away,
You get stung, now your case is just junk.
'Cause you know when that boat was sunk,
Deep in the sea she's docked in,
Hand's gonna write a new doctrine.

Oh Byrne-ey, when the barrel hit'cha,
They wrote res ipsa.

MacDougald versus Perry:
Spare tire fell and (was so scary).

Ooh, Vosburg, thin-skin,
You say you got kicked in the shins?
Well, sue me sue me,
'Cause now you're an amp-u-tee.
So no more dancin',
But the court's advancin',
That intent, went,
With the cause of the event.

I'm tired of state Supremes,
Sayin' duty is the thing.
Take the average plaintiff and ask him that,
You want the judgment fat.
So, lawyers! (Yeah!) Lawyers! (Yeah!)
Has your client got a tort? (Hell yeah!)
Tell 'em to take it! (Take it!) Take it! (Take it!)
Take that case to court!
Cases on track!

(Now you face an affirmative duty)
Cases on track!
(Now you face an affirmative duty)

Cases on track!
Yeah, buddy ... when it comes to Galindo, duty ain't got nothin' to do with my protection. B is less than PL? Ha ha, only if it's my tree.

So Jenner rolls a Chevy, licensed by the state D-MV,
But the Chevy ain't s'posed to crash in the shop of Hammontree.
Judge Mildred Lillie won't, blame, him;
A seizure moved, his, limbs.

You can make cross-claims you cook up,
But we won't lose that suit.
Some judges wanna play that "hard" role,
And tell you that the case ain't gold.
So they demur it, N.O.V it,
And I pull up quick to appeal it.
So your argument fell flat,
Well I ain't down with that!
'Cause your case is strong and your name's McPherson,
And your wheel did worsen.
To the Buick guys in the factories:
You made it, this thing!

Just like Escola, glass in Cola
I'm hurt and want payola.

Some knucklehead tried to diss,
But his liability's strict.
Clients came but he chose to hurt 'em
And I pull up quick to alert 'em
So plaintiffs, if the case is sound,
And you want to make sure fault is found,
Dial 1-800-WINWIN1
And speak them nasty thoughts.
Cases on track!

(Mouse over case details for citations)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Playing the Odds

I recently became familiar with Credit Card Roulette, in which a group goes out to eat, then everyone drops a credit card in and the server picks one at random to pay for the whole bill. Everyone else gets a free lunch/dinner/alcoholic binge. Now I'm not much of a gambling man, but I like to make things a little interesting from time to time, and UVa Law's grading system is ripe for manipulation.

For those not in the know, the only rule is that all classes must have an average grade between 3.27 and 3.33. In practice, this means that the grades tend to fall mostly at and around B+, with a few outliers on each end, like a standard bell curve. This distribution is not required, however, because the rule is based on the mean, not the median, of the grades.
This key fact allows for Exam Roulette.

Exam Roulette would be played as follows: Instead of distributing the grades evenly about the mean, professors would commit to giving the bottom 10% of each class a C. This would allow them to score the other 90% of exams at or above the mean. So in your standard 30-person single-section class, 3 people would each get a C, 15 would get a B+, and 12 would get an A-. The mean would come in at exactly 3.33. The best part? As long as every professor participates, even the people who lost once per semester would have at least a B- average, assuming four graded classes.

It's probably not too late to e-mail your professors. 90% of law students already think they're above average, so why not make it true?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Georgetown Law Acceptance Letters

I do not attend the Georgetown University Law Center. For the main reason why I'm happy about that decision, see here. Thanks to that post, however, I have a special insight into the GULC admission committee's behavior this year, because in the last week, I've had visitors from such varied Google search strings as:

  • georgetown law acceptance letters
  • GULC envelope at end of admissions cycle
  • law school envelope georgetown early called
  • admission letter georgetown law why so long
I like that last one. You can almost smell the desperation right through the internet. Look 0Ls, this is a stressful time for everybody. Take a break from worrying about law school. You're bound to get in somewhere; then you should probably worry. For now, focus on your undergrad exams. Play in the sunshine. If you live in a godforsaken part of the country like the one I left, play in the snow. Better yet, try to be more like some of my other recent visitors, and search things like:
  • follow the finger
  • honda AND crave AND legs
  • instructions on how to make a fake leg for free
You'll be much happier. Plus, you might find out how to make a fake leg for free. And you can't put a price on that. Because it's free.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Virginia Does Not Need a Myspace Account

"We are certainly going to put public safety ahead of these civil liberties concerns."

There are too many ridiculous things wrong with this proposal and I don't have time to list them, so I link without much comment.

I will say, however, kudos to Laura Ahearn of Parents for Megan's Law for pointing out the obvious technical flaw in the program, then immediately making a nonsensical alternative suggestion.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Give Yourself a Hand

Apparently, when a professor finishes the last class of the semester here, we applaud. (Unless, of course, it's Professor CivPro and he keeps taking questions for 45 minutes after the end of class time until all but about 12 out of 60 people have trickled out the back.) I guess this is common practice at most law schools and has already been discussed at length by a better man than I, so I won't get into it here.

But I'm told that all students at Mr. Jefferson's University clap for their instructors, whether that instructor is "the Mark McGwire of political analysts" or a lowly TA leading an eight-person discussion section of Statistics 110. This is not considered weird.

But I've thought about it, and while it most certainly is weird, it's harmless enough. At least the professors are there to appreciate it. It's certainly better than when the teachers in elementary school showed movies because they didn't feel like teaching the day before a vacation. As soon as the credits hit, most of the kids would start clapping away, as if the late director of The Cat From Outer Space was going to crawl out of his grave, drag himself to the school, and pop out from behind the rolling TV/VCR stand to take a bow before hitting us with an encore.

The Economics of Highlighting

The bookstore should implement leveled pricing. It would work like this:
You buy a book new for $100. When you sell it back, they look through it for highlighting/markings. If there are none, you get $50, and they sell it for $65. If there are, you can't sell the book back until you get your grades, and they pay you in accordance with your grade in the class. An A gets you $60, an A- gets you $55, and so on. The store then sells these books for prices commensurate with the grades their highlighting earned.

This system would serve several purposes. The bookstore could make more money on used books by targeting different parts of the market and further exploiting law students' insecurities. Students would have one more incentive to do well in class, and one more way of slipping their grades into casual conversation. ("I'll buy lunch today, I've got this $60 in my pocket from my Torts book.").

Most important, I wouldn't have bought my Crim book if I had known in advance that the last user had highlighted entirely the wrong things throughout the reading. Memo to previous owner: highlighting entire pages is a waste of time, ink, and my retinas. Also, you may have noticed that the headings in chapters were already in bold. You didn't need to highlight them to make them stand out. Finally, and if you take only one thing away from this message let it be this, stop writing things like "I♥EB" in the margins in pink highlighter.