Last week we wrote about how John Jay Osborn, a law professor and author of The Paper Chase, sniffily dismissed One L, by Scott Turow. “One L is competent,” he said. “But it doesn’t have a HEART.”
Now a prominent blogger has come to Turow’s defense. In this Times Select column, grande blogress diva Ann Althouse defends Turow — and, in the words of a tipster, “cattily trashes John Jay Osborn, author of the Paper Chase, for his suggestion that law profs not teach via the Socratic method in order to make students ‘happier.’”
Money quote, comparing Osborn’s “The Paper Chase” to Turow’s “One L”:
I preferred the memoir [of One L], the account of an ordinary man as he encounters some interesting, fallible human beings who did the work that both Osborn and I do now.
Though none of the law professors I know are much at all like Kingsfield, Osborn chided us law professors for making our students so unhappy: stop calling on them; listen only to volunteers; don’t dictate how they should think; let them tell their own stories.
Law should connect to the real world. But that doesn’t mean we ought to devote our classes to the personal expression of law students. The cases we read for class are always based on factual disputes that arose in real life….
So law is not abstract unless one makes the mistake of turning it into an abstraction. We law professors tend to worry about seeming like Professor Kingsfield. But we ought to worry less about that prospect and more about preserving and respecting our own tradition of teaching from the cases.
The students who come into our law schools are adults who have decided that they are ready to spend a tremendous amount of time and money preparing to enter a profession. We show the greatest respect for their individual autonomy if we deny ourselves the comfort of trying to make them happy and teach them what they came to learn: how to think like lawyers.
Good stuff (even it it’s not as catty as we had hoped). It’s worth noting that Professor Althouse, whose own excellent blog is less academic than many other law professor blogs, is not opposed to “personal expression.” It’s just that she believes, and rightly so, that there’s a time and place for everything.
P.S. Random aside: Professor Osborn’s daughter, Meredith, is a Harvard Law grad now clerking on the Ninth Circuit.
P.P.S. We had the pleasure of meeting Professor Althouse at the NYLS conference last week (see photo at right).
More photographs from the conference, of superior quality, are available at Althouse and Soloway. ‘A Skull Full of Mush’ [Times Select] At the “Writing About the Law” conference [Althouse] Ripped From the Headlines [Soloway] Earlier: John Osborn to Scott Turow: “Game On, Bitch”
On our recent trip up to New York, we dropped by the Orion — the luxury high-rise apartment building that celebrated plaintiff Aaron Charney calls home. We previously profiled Aaron’s apartment in these pages, for our Lawyerly Lairs column.
We briefly entertained the thought of entering the building, going up to the reception desk, and telling the doorman we were here to see Aaron Charney. Maybe he would then invite us up for a visit, and we could check out the extensive collection of parental photographs decorating his pad.
But then we thought that such an action might put us on the receiving end of a temporary restraining order. And Aaron is no stranger to TRO practice, having been slapped with one by Sullivan & Cromwell earlier this month.
So we just loitered outside the building for a while, and took a few photographs. Here they are:
The title of our recent photo post should have been “Tier TWO Law Students Are Hotter.” According to severalcommenters, the pictured students are from St. John’s Law School, rather than New York Law School. Since we didn’t chat with these students about their law school — we erroneously assumed the conference attendees were all from NYLS — we will take these commenters’ word for it.
For the record, St. John’s is a tier two law school. It’s ranked #80 by U.S. News — again, for whatever those rankings are worth. You can debate that in the comments if you like.
Here was the other comment that caught our eye:
As one of the people actually pictured above, I want to let everyone know that Lat took our pictures under false pretenses. We specifically asked him if he was from NYLS and if he was taking our pictures for publicity purposes–and he said that he was. What a liar. I’m glad that the bloggers here are so honest and reliable.
We have multiple responses:
(a) We have no way of verifying whether this commenter is in fact one of the pictured students. But we can tell you that we NEVER represented ourselves as (i) from NYLS or (ii) a publicity photographer.
Subject us to a lie detector test; ask the videographer if he kept his recording equipment running after the end of the panel, and grab his footage; seek whatever verification you can. We did NOT claim to be publicity photographers from NYLS. If this commenter is in fact one of the pictured students, he or she misheard us.
(b) Considering the equipment we were using — a small, crappy, non-professional camera — one would have to be a MORON to mistake us for a publicity photographer. There was a REAL publicity photographer at the various events — a woman with a large, fancy camera — who made herself conspicuous throughout the day. The flash on her camera annoyed John Osborn at the luncheon talk.
(c) Another reason no one would confuse us for a publicity photographer is that we were typing vigorously on a laptop, rather than taking photographs, during all of the panels. The ACTUAL publicity photographer, mentioned above, was running around the room with her top-of-the-line camera, crouching and clicking, crouching and clicking. Which is what publicity photographers do.
(d) No publicity photographer would chit chat and hobnob with conference attendees as much as we were doing. It would be gross dereliction of photographic duty.
(e) Assuming arguendo these allegations are true — which they are NOT — it would be irrelevant.
Here’s why. Let’s say we HAD been a publicity photographer from NYLS. Where would these pictures have ended up? In the photographer’s private wank collection?
No. The photos would have wound up ON THE INTERNET. A publicity photographer who keeps his pictures in a drawer, instead of making them publicly available, would be a pretty poor publicity photographer.
So if this commenter is in fact one of the pictured students, we have an apology to offer:
We’re sorry you misheard us. And we’re sorry you’re an unobservant moron.
That’s all. We will not say anything further about this “controversy.” Thank you.
Take heart, Loyola 2L. New York Law School, which is distinct from NYU Law School, is a Tier 3 school, according to U.S. News & World Reports (for whatever the rankings are worth).
But the law students we saw at today’s conference at New York Law School were way cuter, on the whole, than our law school classmates.
(Please do not construe these comments as sexist. Our praise extends to the guys as well as the gals. One of the men looks like Aaron Charney!)
The proof is in the pictures:
We previously praised Anna Schneider-Mayerson’s great reporting. But we must also give props to the graphics team at the Observer, whose handiwork is shown above. Nice work, guys! Random observation: David Braff and Eric Krautheimer look much younger in this photo montage than in their S&C headshots. Heck, Krautheimer looks halfway cute. But the expression on his face says, “I’m a nasty, sadistic SOB.” Associate Gets Crushed Beneath White Shoe [New York Observer]
Here is the first set of our photographs from yesterday’s hearing in New York Supreme Court in the lawsuit(s) between Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell (litigation nickname still to be determined).
We’ve taken a page from the Lavi Soloway playbook: these photos are thumbnail images. If you click on the thumbail, you’ll be able to see a larger version of the picture, in all of its glory.
More photographs, after the jump.
“You mean to tell me that this guy has argued before the Supreme Court? This guy, in the button-down shirt? Seriously?”
Here are the remaining photos from our recent Movie Night With Justice Breyer. The first batch was posted over here.
As we previously explained, these pictures are pretty awful — dark and blurry. Because of all the priceless art lying around, we weren’t allowed use a flash inside the darkened precincts of the Phillips Collection.
And we’re not great at photography to begin with. And we could use a better camera. (Did you catch that, Sony and Canon publicists?)
But if you’re looking for a break from all the law firm pay raise coverage, maybe you’ll appreciate them. Check them out, after the jump.
We’ve been DYING for a photograph of Shanetta Cutlar, the Bitch Goddess Chief of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section, whom we have written about extensively in these pages. So we were absolutely delighted to receive the photograph at right, which one of you dug up for us on an archived DOJ web page.
As you can see, Shanetta Cutlar is attractive and stylish. We love the combination of the pearl necklace and the pearl-gray pinstripe suit (with hints of purple in the sleeve). Her smooth mocha skin and glossy red lips couldn’t be more alluring. Her hair is fabulous; it looks professionally styled.
Just like Paris Hilton, another one of our favorite women on planet Earth, Shanetta Cutlar takes a great still photograph. We’re reminded of what cosmetics heir and art collector Ronald Lauder recently said, to the New Yorker, about socialite Adele Bloch-Bauer, whose portrait was painted by Gustav Klimt (a portrait Lauder recently bought for $135 million):
“She had a salon, she had a personality, and you can feel that personality. Unlike The Kiss, this is a painting that is alive.”
The same can be said of Shanetta Cutlar. Love her or hate her, the woman has personality. Unlike so many of those “DOJ Official In Front Of A Flag” photos, which are generic and interchangeable, Shanetta’s photo portrait is alive. You can practically hear her yelling at a line attorney for including extra spaces in a document, or upbraiding a summer intern for failing to say hello.
For those of you who are as obsessed with “SYC” as we are, we reprint the text that accompanied this Shanetta-licious image, after the jump.
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
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• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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