Going to be honest with you, folks. Pickings were a bit slim for this week’s Comment of the Week contest. I know the new Disqus is scary, but you can still comment anonymously. You just have to make your fake email a little more complex, like GuestyMcGuest12579@guest.com, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, we do have a winner, arising out of the drunken stupor that is lawyerdom as described by Elie earlier this week. Because, when all else fails, thank goodness for ye olde jokes about booze, boobs, and babies….
At this point, most of our readers have probably heard about the Boalt Hall students facing serious legal problems after allegedly beheading an exotic bird in a Las Vegas hotel. We’ve covered the developing story extensively this week, along with various personal anecdotes about Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira’s backgrounds.
One major gap in this crazily unique story, however, is: who was the third man suspected in the crime? Was it another student? A ghost? Or was it, gasp, as our Comment of the Week winner supposes, a well-known Boalt Hall professor…
Maybe it’s just because Elie is out for a few weeks caring for his new mini-Elie, but we’ve recently been feeling a little more warm and fuzzy than usual here at ATL. One of the most widely-read stories this week was Staci’s heartfelt response to the jerkoid attorney who called out a Midwestern news anchor for her weight. As of this writing, Staci’s post has generated more than 200 comments.
Anonymous commenting gets a bad rap, but as our Comment of the Week winner shows, sometimes even the haters can give a lil’ love too…
Why don’t our Comment of the Week winners step forward to claim their prizes? It makes us really sad (especially since we have to wade through an entire week’s worth of posts to pick out the best comments). Come on, with starting salaries as low as $145K, you don’t exactly have to be a 47 Percenter to appreciate a free t-shirt.
All complaining aside, we hope that this week’s winner will email us to collect what he’s due, because his comparison between Biglaw and parenting was spot on….
The last winner of our esteemed Comment of the Week contest was rewarded for bringing some Oscar-winning gravitas to an already serious issue. Namely, the oft-crushing weight of student loans.
There’s always time for serious business, but sometimes we appreciate astute observations of minute, easily-overlooked details. (As Mitch Hedberg would have said, “What the f**k is a sesame?”) And our newest Commenter of the Week winner uncovered a similarly amusing logic problem in a former Sidley Austin associate’s book about his adopted K9….
After going through this week’s entries for Comment of the Week, it seems that many of our commenters really want an Above the Law T-shirt. There was some stiff competition (what up, Richard Brosner?), but in the end, we decided to address a topic that’s germane to anyone who has taken out a loan to attend law school.
Over Labor Day weekend, the New York Times had an interesting article about the apparent “ease” with which one can get student loan debt discharged through bankruptcy. And by “ease,” we mean that there’s a whopping 39% chance that you’ll receive a full or partial discharge, but only if you can show that you’re a lost cause to society without any semblance of dignity or hope for the future. Easy, right?
Well, actually, yeah. Because when you’ve got six figures of law school loan debt hanging over your head for a degree that you thought was going to be marketable and you’ve resigned yourself to a job as a sandwich artist at Subway just to make a buck, you’re going to lose hope pretty quickly.
And that’s exactly why our Comment of the Week was just so damn appropriate….
Last week, my colleague Elie Mystal wrote a post opining about what Star Wars characters would be like as lawyers. There, he cast Justice Antonin Scalia as Emperor Palpatine, because apparently that was the “easiest Star Wars and the Law connection in the entire galaxy.” But what about mixing Star Wars and politics?
This week, one of our commenters had the chance to do just that after Elie picked apart President Barack Obama’s response to a recent law school graduate’s question about student loan debt. He called the response vapid and annoying (because it was), and with this passionate use of the Force, some thought that Elie might be convinced to join the so-called dark side — the Republican party.
Everything was proceeding as the Emperor had foreseen….
I’ve been going through comments looking for a Comment of the Week, and I’ve got to say that the entries were not strong.
Part of that has been the news cycle: there have been a lot of posts about rape and child porn this week. Predictably, the comments have been filled with largely inappropriate comments about porn and inaccurate comments about rape (seriously commenters, I hope some of you are trolling, otherwise a bunch of you are just date rapists trying to justify ridiculous behavior).
Instead of going with some obvious Todd Akin riff, I’m going with a comment that was largely overlooked, on a story that many of you missed. But I think once I play one of the greatest clips in movie history, you’ll all understand….
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In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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