listserv

The best time for law school emails is right before spring semester finals. People have been stressed for an entire year and things are just about to get worse, so you see law students just breaking down. The Crimson DNA affair came to light last April; hopefully we’ll get something good this year too.

The second best time to gawk at law students is right now — after Christmas break, but before spring break. Students come back to school and momentarily feel like they matter, like they’re important, like they should speak up when things happen to them.

Like a bear, I feast on the salmon run that comes at the end of the semester, but I’m more than happy to sample the berries and other fruits that become available at this particular time of year. Just this week, we’ve seen a Georgetown kid tell his classmates he is no cheater. We’ve got the BU kid who posted his grades on Facebook.

Today we’ve got pure gold from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Law students can bring the crazy on their own, but they’re so much more interesting when you can put two of them in a room together. Then you can just watch the sparks fly.

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You know how cars can be equipped with an ignition interlock device that prevents the engine from being started if the driver is intoxicated? Can we get one of those thingies for the personal computer, Blackberry, or any other device people can use to send email? Because I’m pretty sure a Northwestern Law student could have used a little technological warning before she logged on to her email this weekend.

Over the weekend we received an email that was (I can only assume) intended for an officer on the Northwestern Student Bar Association. But it was accidentally sent out to the entire NU law school student body. Whoops.

These are the things that happen when you try to email people at 12:30 on Friday night/Saturday morning….

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“Hey, are you on the Posse List?”

“The what list?”

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away — seven years ago in the Farragut North area of Washington, DC — the “what?” list was my response when I first heard of the Posse List from a fellow contract attorney on one of my first projects. At the time, I was a newly minted lawyer, who also happened to be broke and unemployed.

“The Posse List,” replied my colleague, handing me a piece of paper. “Here, write down your email.”

Soon after handing over my email address, messages started appearing a couple of times a week in my inbox from The_Posse_List@yahoo.com. The emails contained news about various projects in D.C. that were either about to start or status updates on current ones. It was sort of my own personal “heads up” as to what work was available.

I was lucky to be one of the first few hundred people added to the list. In 2003, very few contract attorneys knew what the Posse List was; by 2005, it was a household name. And today, in the world of e-discovery and legal technology, it is known around the world.

So how did the Posse List attain such a long reach from such humble beginnings?

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Last week, we told you about a Cornell contracts exam gone bad.

It’s just one exam, but you know that Cornell law students can be somewhat skittish. The school is ranked #13 by U.S. News, and so their spot in the top-14 is always under attack.

After our story about the contracts exam, one Cornell law student did some research about the school and its competitors. He put together a pretty interesting rankings of law schools — based entirely on Above the Law coverage.

Below, we reprint his (admittedly nutty) message to the Cornell listserv in full. If members from other schools want to do something similar, feel free to check out our archives for ammunition against your competitors.

For now, enjoy this humorous take on law school rankings:

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Earlier today, we wrote about an email controversy emanating from the halls of Harvard Law School. A 3L at HLS — referred to in these pages simply as “CRIMSON DNA,” and please help us keep it that way — sent out an email message that some construed as “racist.” In the email, “CRIMSON DNA,” following up on remarks made during an apparently spirited dinner conversation, wrote as follows:

I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent. I could also obviously be convinced that by controlling for the right variables, we would see that they are, in fact, as intelligent as white people under the same circumstances. The fact is, some things are genetic.

That was just the opening. Read the rest of DNA’s email over here.

We now bring you some corrections and clarifications, as well as additional discussion — in case the 100+ tweets, 800+ comments, and 1,000+ Facebook shares weren’t enough for you….

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Corrections and More Commentary”

Every time you put something into an email, please remember that someone you send it to may hit Forward. If your email makes the case for a biological reason for racial disparities in intelligence, someone might hit Forward and send it to Black Law Student Associations across the nation.

That’s what happened to a Harvard 3L yesterday. We’ll call this 3L CRIMSON DNA. According to our sources, DNA made some controversial comments about race at a dinner held by the school’s Federalist Society.

CORRECTION: This dinner was not a Fed Soc dinner. [FN1]

After the dinner, DNA felt the need to send an email to a few friends clarifying those views. Here’s an excerpt:

I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent. I could also obviously be convinced that by controlling for the right variables, we would see that they are, in fact, as intelligent as white people under the same circumstances. The fact is, some things are genetic. African Americans tend to have darker skin. Irish people are more likely to have red hair.

One of the 3Ls to receive that email, available in full after the jump, was very upset by it. We’ll call this student CRIMSON OUTRAGE. OUTRAGE arranged for the email to be sent out to the Harvard Black Law Student Association list-serv, including DNA’s name and the fact that after graduation, the author will be doing a federal clerkship.

CORRECTION: It now appears that OUTRAGE disseminated the email, several months after the email was originally sent, because she got into a fight with DNA — not because she (OUTRAGE) was offended by the email.

After that, the email went viral, apparently circulating to BLSAs across the country. There are now plans to try to go after DNA’s clerkship….

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It’s a heart-warming story turned cold.

Earlier this year, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law 3L Ted Vogt was appointed to the State House of Representatives, after the previous seatholder was promoted to the Senate. Vogt, who went to Yale for undergrad, wasn’t necessarily a typical law student — age 37, he was the district chairman for the Republican party. Still, it was an exciting final semester of law school. He told the Arizona Capital Times in March:

“We’re actually on spring break now,” Vogt said. “It’s not the traditional spring break, but talk about an exciting spring break!”

Vogt said he is determined to find a way to balance his newfound legislative responsibilities with the last few weeks of his law school studies, and has the blessing of the school’s administration to spend time at the Capitol in Phoenix and away from the school.

He’s been busy at the Capitol. Since he took office, the Arizona House has passed two controversial laws that have made national news: the “birther” bill and the “racial profiling/legal papers” bill. Vogt voted yes on both bills.

Vogt had been a popular guy on campus. Prior to his appointment to the House, Vogt was voted by the class to be one of its graduation speakers. But now some of his classmates (and friends) — who see the bills as “racist measures” — have chilled towards him and changed their minds about wanting him as a speaker next month. Vogt plans to speak despite opposition from fellow students, according to the Arizona Sun. A debate has broken out on the list-serv about Vogt and the bills, and a number of students are planning to protest during his speech. What do they have in mind?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Immigration Debate Causes University of Arizona Law Students to Turn on Fellow 3L Ted Vogt”

New York University Law School NYU Law School Above the Law.JPGReaders have been begging for a follow-up on the NYU 3Ls who threatened Mayer Brown with “Public Relations Disaster.” One reader suggests we set up a pay-per-view event:

ATL should sponsor a cage match, pitting the UT 1Ls against the NYU 3Ls, in a fight to the career death.

Well, boy do we have a follow up. The student we dubbed “Rosencrantz” sent out an email to the NYU Law School listserv.

Subject: Response to Your Comments About Me on AboveTheLaw…
Dear Friends & Colleagues,
Due to the overwhelming requests that I make a comment about the atrocities committed against me on above the law, I have decided to respond. I have however decided to make my response a video response as I’ve learnt that emails can be more easily misconstrued than audiovisuals. Below are the links for my response:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RHha6fYzhY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xHbMHh9XDk
I hope you enjoy them, and please do feel free to leave comments.
Cheers,
[Rosencrantz]

The videos (to say nothing about the email to the entire listserv) make it impossible to keep up the “Rosencrantz” artifice, so I guess it’s time to start calling people by their given names….

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northwestern law school.gifA few months back, the Student Bar Association at Northwestern University School of Law got its panties in a bunch over inappropriate language and the “unthinking use of stereotypes.” Saying that you were “raped” by an exam, for example, was offensive to some on campus, said the SBA. (They preferred that Northwestern students engage only in consensual test-taking.)
At the time, we asked:

Is there an epidemic of vulgarity at Northwestern that the SBA is desperately trying to stop?

Apparently so. The school is gearing up for its Barristers’ Ball, and students are offended by language all over again.
The vulgar words this time?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Northwestern’s Gender Neutral — Possibly Hermaphroditic — Barrister ‘Rulers’”

Snooki Jersey Shore NYU Law.JPGOver the break, one NYU Law student started a movement to bring Nicole Polizzi (a.k.a. Snooki from the cast of Jersey Shore) to an NYU party. NYU students thought they could hang out with a drunk girl who likes to party, for just $2,000. Here’s the email that was sent to the NYU Law listserve:

Apparently, Snooki(e) from the Jersey Shore is charging $2,000 to make “personal appearances.” Basically, for 2-large, she will come to your party and get drunk and do cartwheels and fistpump and “battle on the floor” to techno “music” and try in vain to hook up with people and be generally awesome and delightful.
Here is where I got this information from: http://perezhilton.com/2009-12-22-rent-a-jersey-guidette-for-your-next-office-party
I want to note, first and foremost, that I neither agree with nor condone the general tone and candor of the Perez Hilton post. I think it’s not only distasteful and hateful, but dead wrong. Snooki(e) is one of the most delightful human beings ever to walk planet Earth and I need to hang out with her. I’m comfortable calling anyone who wouldn’t want to hang out with
her a “Silly Goose.”
That being said, $2,000 sounds like an absolute steal to me, so long as a good deal of people are willing to get together and throw down on bringing her in for a private party (we could rent out a small open bar somewhere). I have spoken to a number of friends already about this, several of whom are interested, which prompted me to see if Coases might be a fruitful avenue to pursue further subsidization of this event/personal dream of mine that I never knew I had until three weeks ago. If other people are down to get in on this heroic endeavor, which is sure to greatly enhance the lives of all those involved in ways we could never even dream of, please e-mail me saying so and letting me know the max you’d be willing to kick in towards the effort. I would genuinely like to see if we can make this thing happen.

Did they hit that? Details after the jump.

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