Asha Rangappa

Tammy Hsu, aspiring Yalie.

We begin with a message to our readers. Consider yourselves on notice: we regard almost anything you place on the internet, even if just for a brief hot second, to be fair game for coverage. It doesn’t matter to us if you later try to “recall” your mass email or delete your public blog. Once you’ve put something out there, thereby forfeiting any reasonable expectation of privacy, then it’s gone, baby, gone. [FN1]

And honestly, in the internet age, what privacy expectations are reasonable in the first place? Emails can be forwarded; images can be downloaded or photographed themselves, then re-posted. If it’s not already dead, privacy is rapidly dying. You might as well start living in public now, and make life easier for yourself. Just let it all hang out, and then you’ll never be embarrassed about anything getting leaked. (This is my philosophy on Twitter, where my feed is often TMI.)

Living in public: that’s the premise behind a charming new law student blog by a 1L with ambition. Like a fair number of bloggers — Brian Stelter and his Twitter diet come to mind — law student Tammy Hsu seeks to harness public exposure for her own benefit. Hsu, a first-year student at Wake Forest University School of Law, writes a blog built around her goal of transferring into Yale Law School. It’s right there in the title of her site: “Confessions of an (Aspiring) Yalie.”

By putting her ambition out in the open, Hsu is motivating herself to succeed, because failure would be so public. She is lighting the proverbial fire under her own arse, turning her classmates and the internet into one big Tiger Mother. If she’s not at 127 Wall Street this time next year, people will look down upon her — so now she has every incentive to excel in her 1L year at Wake Forest.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Confessions of an Aspiring Yale Transfer Student”

Look — I want all of you to apply to law school (and to Yale), but I also want you to think about what you’re getting into. These are tough times out there, and while law school might be a great place to hide out for three years, those three years will end.

Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean for Admissions at Yale Law School (and a winner of our law school dean hotties contest), on the (203) Admissions blog.

asha rangappa 2 asha rangapa asha ranggappa asha ranggapa.JPGSome happy news from New Haven, Connecticut. Seriously.

It’s about Asha Rangappa, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Yale Law School — and here at ATL, better known as the winner of our recent Hottest Law School Deans contest. Check out this memo, from YLS Dean Harold Koh:

To: Yale Law School Community
From: Harold Hongju Koh

If you have not already heard the wonderful news, I am delighted to report that Asha Rangappa and Andrew Dodd’s new baby boy, Paras Nikhil Dodd arrived on November 21, 2006! (He was instantly named “America’s Hottest Law Baby.”)

Baby Paras weighed in at 8 pounds even, 22 inches long and is wonderfully healthy. The whole family is now home from the hospital and doing well–tired but happy. If you’d like to send congratulations, their home address is [redacted -- America's hottest law school dean must be kept safe from unhinged admirers].

Please note that the baby’s name is “Paras” with an “a.”

We don’t think we’re flattering ourselves in construing the reference to “America’s Hottest Law Baby” as a shout-out to ATL. How cool!

(This shout-out does raise the possibility that Dean Koh has read Above the Law. If so, Dean Koh, we hope you weren’t upset about this post. Or this one, with comments. Everything we do around here is all in good fun.)

* An S.D.N.Y. Bankruptcy Court has given Air America time to pursue the sale of the liberal talk radio network. Interested suitors include Rush, Hannity, and the Monopoly guy. [MSNBC]
* “A federal judge Tuesday temporarily barred Hazleton, Pennsylvania, from implementing a law designed to prevent illegal immigrants from living in the town.” [CNN]
* The D.C. Circuit has stayed the order in the “light” cigarette case, pending appeal on the merits. [MSNBC]
* Shout-out to ATL’s hottest deans competition in today’s YDN. [Yale Daily News]
* Pay no mind to the agent in the dark jacket scribbling in a notebook and watching you vote, swing staters. Although…”The group’s concern in Virginia is centered on Chesterfield County, where in 2004 armed guards were placed at polls to ‘ward off terrorists.'” OK, send out the feds. [CNN]

evan caminker 4 evan h caminker dean caminker.JPGasha rangappa 2 asha rangapa asha ranggappa asha ranggapa.JPG* This week we crowned America’s hottest law school deans: Evan Caminker, of Michigan, and Asha Rangappa, of Yale. When contacted by ATL, both of them issued gracious statements.
* So there’s no contest for you to vote in over the weekend. But please participate in our informal reader poll, seeking to ascertain your Favorite Supreme Court Justice.
* Speaking of the justices, don’t they have more important things to fight over than grammar? And who knew that bright-line Nino could be so nuanced?
* A theme for this past week: Celebrities’ legal woes. E.g., Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan, Wesley Snipes, Madonna, and Anna Nicole Smith.
* Another theme: Getting off. E.g., Junior Gotti, Nathan Hecht, and the Duke lacrosse team (but from “innocent sexual activity”).
* Second Circuit Judge John M. Walker hits a New Haven police officer in a traffic accident. The matter is under investigation.
* Global warming practice groups — are they heating up? Or are they the next “Y2K” practice groups?
* Eh, what do you care? You can’t get a Biglaw job anyway — they’re all going to Canadians.
* Team ATL has a new recruit — and he’s proud to be an American. Meet B Clerker.
* If you hate kids, then stop reading here. But if you like ‘em, then click here, scroll down, and read about the amusing antics of attorney spawn.

asha rangappa 2 asha rangapa asha ranggappa asha ranggapa.JPGAfter declaring the two winners of our hottest law school dean contest, Asha Rangappa of Yale and Evan Caminker of Michigan, we contacted them for comment.
Earlier this week, we shared with you Dean Caminker’s reaction. And now we’re happy to bring you this official statement from Dean Rangappa (who has been traveling):

I was surprised and flattered to hear that I was named America’s hottest female law school dean. It’s heartening to know that, despite the terrorists’ attempts to destroy our way of life, a healthy objectification of lawyers continues unabated on the pages of ATL. Keep up the good work!

Much thanks, Dean Rangappa!
And readers, please heed the dean’s wise words. If you fail to vote in our next hotties contest, then the terrorists have won.
Earlier: Prior coverage of Law School Dean Hotties (scroll down)

Leah Jackson dean leah jackson baylor.jpgOnly a few hours remain for voting in our Law School Dean Hotties contests. Click here to vote on the women, click here to vote on the men, and click here to vote on the male alternates.
One of the female candidates, Associate Dean Leah Jackson of Baylor Law School, has commented on the contest. When contacted by the Baylor school newspaper, the Baylor Lariat, she offered these thoughts:

“I was truly shocked to show up on such a list,” Jackson said via e-mail Tuesday.

Jackson noted that the contest was “a cute little piece,” but said she would “enjoy it more if the comments focused on how bright, accomplished and respected each of the women on the page are.”

Similar sentiments have been voiced by some commenters over at Feministing (a blog name that, truth be told, makes us uncomfortable every time we read it).
We take issue with these comments. Obviously a number of reader testimonials focused on the looks of the nominees — because this is, after all, a beauty contest. But many other comments focused on other attributes. Here are just a few examples:

“[Leah Jackson] teaches Tax: Federal Income Taxation, Corporate Taxation, and Partnership Taxation. And what’s more sexy than tax law?”

“How could any contest for hot law school deans NOT include Elena Kagan, Dean of Harvard Law School? Any woman who can climb to the top of an institution as stodgy and male-dominated as HLS is a hottie per se.”

“[Elena Kagan is] (1) among the Elect (clerked on the Supreme Court for Justice Marshall), (2) former Associate Counsel to President Clinton, and (3) a one-time nominee to the D.C. Circuit — which, as we all know, is the sexiest court in the country (even more sexy than the SCOTUS). How can you say no to all that?”

“Not only is Dean Toni Massaro brilliant, attractive, and self-assured, she’s also a cancer survivor AND a lesbian. It’s easy to make Advanced Con Law sexy, but how many Deans could get 3rd year students out of bed every morning for an 8 am class and have a packed classroom?”

“One couldn’t ask for a better dean than Toni Massaro. In addition to her fantastic fundraising, she brought Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to be the Distinguished Jurist in Residence here. She also convinced Iranian Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi to come aboard as a Distinguished Visiting Faculty in Human Rights.”

“[Maureen O'Rourke's] fiery exterior is complemented by her brilliant intellect. She graduated at the top of her college class and with Honors in all her classes at Yale Law School. Dean O’Rourke has it all.”

“I write to nominate Asha Rangappa in your beautiful law school dean contest. First, she’s a genius: Princeton, Yale Law, a Fulbright, a First Circuit clerk. Second, she’s totally badass: from 2002 to 2005, she worked in the FBI as a Special Agent, focusing on counterintelligence investigations in New York City. How cool is that?”

“Dean Mary Jo Wiggins is hot inside and out. By far, she is one of my favorite people at USD Law. She is beautiful, elegant, and carries herself with dignity and class. She is brilliant and accomplished (see here and here), yet she’s never condescending or arrogant (unlike certain other professors).”

If these comments are sexist, then call us sexist.*
It seems to us that feminists in the 21st century — as opposed to, say, the 1970’s — should not object to being praised for their brains AND their beauty. Being recognized for one’s accomplishments AND attractiveness are not mutually exclusive.
To be a feminist in good standing, you don’t need to look like the late Andrea Dworkin. There is nothing wrong with looking like, say, Gloria Steinem. And feminists who happen to look more like Steinem than Dworkin shouldn’t have to apologize or feel guilty for doing so.
* Did a certain number of Fark readers have sexist comments to offer, both on Fark and ATL? Sure. But what do you expect from a bunch of acne-ridden adolescents who spend all day playing video games in their parents’ basements?
Assistant Dean More Than Pretty Face [Baylor Lariat]
Female Law School Dean ‘Hotties’ Contest [Feministing]
Take the Bait? Or Not? [Feminist Law Professors]

You may be wondering how the number of votes tallied in our Law School Dean hotties contest, on the women’s side, went from about 1,000 to over 7,000 — basically over the weekend. The answer, in a word: Fark.
fark law school dean hottest.JPG
Fark is a hugely popular website, started by a fellow named Drew Curtis, that collects weird news and humor. It can be very funny, as long as you don’t mind juvenile jokes, and a little — or a lot of — vulgarity.
(Yes, Fark is even more juvenile and vulgar than ATL. Think of it as the xoxohth message board, but without the ambition.)
Anyway, Fark linked to the Law School Hotties contest, and the rest is history.
Fark has a large and active community of commenters. A number of them had some, er, interesting things to say about the candidates.
Check out some selected excerpts from their comments, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Dean Hotties: The FARKers Speak”

yale law school.jpgTurnout has been great in our three Law School Dean Hotties contests. In the women’s race — currently led by Asha Rangappa and Leah Jackson, with 39 and 31 percent of the vote, respectively — almost 7,000 votes have been cast. (Thanks, Fark!)
Things have also been busy on the men’s side. In the main contest, in which over 1,000 votes have been cast, Dean Evan Caminker of the University of Michigan enjoys a commanding lead (40 percent). The B-bracket race is the closest of all three contests: Walter Dickey (29 percent) has a small lead over Bryant Garth (26 percent). But pretty much all five contestants are in the running.
Now it’s time for us to announce when the polls will close. Voting will conclude on Wednesday, October 18, at 3 PM (Eastern time). This means that two more full days remain in which the candidates (and their supporters) can campaign.
As in our ERISA Hotties Contest, we will gladly accept and disseminate any campaign messages from the candidates. Just send them to us by email, and we will publish them in ATL. Thanks, and good luck!

yale law school.jpgSorry it took us so long. Without further ado, we proudly present the female nominees in our first annual Law School Dean Hotties Contest.
To review the nomination rules, click here. As we explained, you were free to nominate deans other than THE dean of the law school — e.g., deputy, assistant, or associate deans. They just needed to have “dean” somewhere in their title.
This contest has only seven contestants. But we believe that what the field may lack in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality.
Take a look at the photos and testimonials for the female finalists — and cast your vote for America’s Hottest Female Law School Deanafter the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Dean Hotties: Your Female Nominees”