[Chicago style] shouldn’t be called pizza. It’s very tasty, but it’s not pizza.
- Barack Obama, Fabulosity, Food, Health Care / Medicine, Music, Parties, Pictures, Politics, Small Law Firms
The White House State Dinner that President Barack Obama hosted on Tuesday night in honor of President François Hollande of France featured quite the convocation of legal eagles. As we mentioned yesterday, attendees included such law-world luminaries as Justice Elena Kagan, Secretary Jeh Johnson, and ATL’s reigning Lawyer of the Year, Roberta Kaplan.
Say what? Did the Obama White House get Salahi’d again?
Actually, no. The Ballews came as honored guests of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Because the Obamas have had so few state dinners, invitations to the ones they do host are in especially high demand. How did two recent law school graduates score one of the most coveted invites in the country? I interviewed the Ballews to find out….
Ed. note: Please welcome Elizabeth Adams, who will be covering health and wellness in the legal profession. You can read her full bio at the end of this post.
It’s virtually impossible to get decent advice about whether to go to law school. On the one hand, you have advice from non-lawyers, like your mom, who will promise you that even if you don’t like it, you can do anything with a law degree. On the other hand, you have advice from actual lawyers, who will tell you the exact opposite. I, like many others, made the decision to listen to my mom rather than the many, many practicing attorneys who warned me about the realities of the profession. Although this somehow seemed like a rational choice at the time, I realize, in retrospect, I should have taken the advice of counsel.
It’s true, being a lawyer is hard. Even on a good day it is both extremely boring and highly stressful — a unique combination found in few other jobs. Equally troubling to me, however, is the toll it takes on your body. Indeed, recent studies have shown that sitting as much as lawyers do is bad for the body, and the physical effects of sleep deprivation are well documented and pretty serious. Of course, I don’t need scientific studies to confirm what appears obvious to me on a daily basis. Many lawyers I encounter seem perpetually exhausted and sort of sickly. Some are much worse than that, appearing as if they are in need of urgent medical attention. Lawyers, it seems, are literally dying at their desks…
* D.C. litigator Bruce Klores is living a double life as a Grilled Cheese restaurateur. He’s planning some politically-themed sandwiches, like the Boehner: “maybe if someone orders it, we’ll just say no.” [Washington Post]
* Here are the best suitcases for an overnight business trip. [Corporette]
* A riveting account, by lawyer turned journalist Adam Teicholz, of the brutal murder that shook the gay community in a small Louisiana town. [Vanity Fair]
* Crude oil is transported by rail, and those railroads have safety regulations. [Breaking Energy]
* RIP Pete Seeger. I know he was a folk singer rather than a lawyer, but he wrote a song called “New York J-D Blues,” which sums up Biglaw in this town. [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* Wal-Mart may recall loads of donkey meat from their stores. Not because they sold donkey meat — they intended to do that — but because there was fox meat mixed in. What does the Fox Say? Nothing, because it was ground into donkey meat. The end. [MSN Money]
* Of course Colorado got rid of mile marker 420. But it’s not because they don’t like weed — it’s legal there, after all — check out the real reason. [Lowering the Bar]
* Judges are reading briefs on iPads now? Here’s how you write a brief for a judge who has an app for “law.” [Columbia Business Law Review]
* A listing of this lawyer’s previous representations. In the words of our tipster: “Don’t know what’s worse: Courtney Love or the Gambino crime family.” [Andrew Mancilla, Esq.]
* The Ninth Circuit gave the go-ahead for about 60,000 tech workers to sue Google, Apple, and other companies for artificially driving down wages by agreeing not to poach each others’ employees. Hey, give these folks some love, not every one of them is going to go start a new video game company. [Reuters]
* A lot of Cuban-American families in Miami blow a lot of money on quinceañeras. Here’s a way to recoup some funds: throw a completely innocent party and wait for the cops to come by and commit police brutality. This guy netted $90,000 that way. [Miami New Times]
I’ve represented people doing more horrible things to other people. [A]t the end of the day, it’s meat. I don’t know why there’s the outrage about cooking a cat.
We steam it really gently over ginger, a very traditional postpartum herb, and lemon. There’s a tea left over that tastes surprisingly good. We have the mother drink that tea. It’s very nourishing.
– Raeben Nolan of Tree of Life Placenta Services, describing just one of the wonderful ways that women can feast upon their placentas now that Oregon has legalized their ability to take their afterbirth home, after birth.
A woman in North Dakota decided to hand out letters to trick-or-treaters that she deemed obese, explaining that she would not give candy to the overweight and chastising parents for letting their kids get this way.
Yeah, she’s a b**ch.
But it got Joe and Elie arguing about the ill-fated New York soda ban and whether the government — as opposed to a random lady in North Dakota — has any legitimate role in policing obesity….
Chilis, Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Distilled Vinegar, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulfate as preservatives, and Xanthan Gum.
That’s how you make Sriracha sauce. Is it tasty? Sure. Does a hipster-filled Asian restaurant absolutely reek of the stuff? Yes.
Now imagine what it smells like to live next to the Sriracha factory where they mass produce that stuff, pumping out a dense cloud of vaporized high-octane chili vinegar 24/7. The residents of Irwindale, California don’t have to imagine, and the city has decided it’s sick and tired of living next to the cock-emblazoned factory and filed suit to shut down the plant.
It hasn’t taken long for the short-sighted, “screw lawyers” media narrative to take off…
One of the best things about my job is when I get to speak to law students on campus. I like talking to people, and I like dodging bullets from law school deans — it’s really the only exercise I get.
If you are kind of enough to pay for my travel and invite me to speak to your student group, I really don’t care if people leave in the middle of my talk. I know that sometimes students come to these things to grab a free lunch and then cut out, but even if you come to hear me for five minutes, I’m appreciative. The way I see it:
- A. If I’m not an entertaining enough person to hold people’s attention for an hour, that’s on me. That’s my fault. It’s not like people walk out of a Louis C.K. performance five minutes in. I’m not as good as he is, but again, that’s my problem, not yours.
- B. Five minutes is a REALLY LONG TIME. That’s as long as a Saturday Night Live monologue. It’s longer than the iconic Simpsons opening. You can attempt three forward passes and a punt in five minutes. You can kill a man with your bare hands in five minutes. I would love to be able to give everybody a free lunch who spent five minutes with one of my articles. My traffic would instantly quadruple and I’d be a rich man (mainly from the replication and teleportation technologies, but still). If you are willing to listen to me for even five minutes, thank you.
Of course, not everybody thinks like me. Speaking in front of people is a fundamentally egotistical adventure, and egomaniacs are liable to become butthurt when you get up and walk out in the middle of one of their sentences. They expect you to stay and hear all the details about how they sat with Arthur Miller masturbating to Nancy Grace reading the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
And so one law school student organization is trying to do something about these diners and dashers, while another one thinks people should chill out with the rule making. See if you can guess which ones…