Listserves

Did anybody else around my age first learn about bidets from Crocodile Dundee?

The Yale Law School Wall is consistently one of the best listservs in all of law school. Only the Michigan Law listserv can compete.

Today, the Yale Wall brings us a fun story of Yalies intellectualizing the etiquette of… picking a urinal to pee in.

In fairness, urinal etiquette is an important issue. It’s just that most guys kind of figure it out on their own.

But at Yale Law, there are no stupid questions. And it’s a very liberal, gender-neutral place. We know that because not only are urinal questions being asked on the listserv, the guy asking the question is seeking advice from a girl….

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Hardly ever Every so often an interesting email comes across a lawyer listserv. The good ones are hard to find in the middle of, “Does anyone know a really fantastic and also really cheap lawyer in (some town no one’s heard of where there are no lawyers or courthouses) for my friend who got fired for being late 16 times but he says he was discriminated against,” or, “I know this question has been asked before (every week) but….,” or, “What is the best printer for a lawyer with no practice?”

And then there’s Solosez. This is the listserv for solo practitioners that has all the answers, except to many of the lawyers there who believe it is evidence of the end of the profession. Every once in a while I see an email from Solosez, sent by a young solo who wants to show me evidence of why they may off themselves. (Note: As a result of this disclosure, there will be an email on Solosez reminding members not to forward any evidence that what I’m saying is true emails to Brian Tannebaum anyone.)

Recently, in a moment of rare honesty by a lawyer, a solo wrote to tell fellow Sezzers (I did not make that up, they actually call themselves this) that they had failed at solo practice….

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We’ve done a surprising number of stories about law school career service officers who push babysitting gigs on their unemployed students. I say “surprising” because after our first story, you’d think law schools would figure out that law students don’t like being put up for jobs that they could have secured in high school.

Since that first one, most CSO personnel and other law school staffers have figured out that babysitting jobs are best when the employer is a professor or somebody else connected with the law school. Then it’s less of a “career of last resort” and more of “helping out a member of your community” (who happens to be well-connected).

But it looks like one school has regressed to the point of just insulting its students with a babysitting ad that kind of rubs salt in the unemployment wound….

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Chicago is an incredible city. But sometimes the weather, the grime, the southside violence, and the politics can be a little overwhelming. Add the intensity of studying law at a school like the University of Chicago, and you have a recipe for stress and some fiery tempers.

When it all gets to be too much, and you just need to scream at someone for no reason, what can you do?

Jump on your law school listserv, of course….

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Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Ed. note: Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, we will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will still be publishing, but less frequently than usual.

* “Based on history, it’s tough to make the case that there should be mandatory protection [for Supreme Court justices].” That may be so, but the fact that Justice Stephen Breyer was robbed by machete point should at least make the case for SCOTUS sword fighting lessons. [New York Times]

* Speaking of the wealthy and well-traveled Justice Breyer, a suspect has been identified in his robbery. [Associated Press]

* And speaking of the Supreme Court, this week the justices will hear arguments over the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act, which criminalizes lies about military service. Unfortunately, this means you will all have to wait to hear about the time Lat and I fought through 25 Taliban sharpshooters with only our pocket knives in order to save an entire orphanage from certain annihilation. [Fox News]

* Two female students at the University of Oregon School of Law accused a male student of drugging and raping them. How did the student body respond? A listserv flame war, of course. [Portland Oregonian]

* Attorneys representing survivors in the Costa Concordia crash claim that traces of cocaine were found in the hair of the ship’s captain. I’m not sure how, but this needs to be the basis for a Head and Shoulders commercial. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* Heads are rolling over at ESPN after the network made several unfortunate references to a “chink in the armor” of New York Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin. Yes, we get it. Everyone’s a little bit racist. [ESPN via Deadspin]

* Judge Roger J. Miner (2d Cir.), RIP. [New York Law Journal]

The power to thwart God's will is at your local drugstore.

Who’d have thunk it? These days, contraception is a hot-button issue. On the campaign trail, presidential candidate Rick Santorum thinks that Griswold was wrongly decided. Inside academia, students are challenging the refusal of one Catholic university (including its law school) to let its health centers prescribe birth control.

Getting upset over inadequate access to contraception is one thing. What about getting upset — at a Catholic law school, mind you — over a discussion of birth control? Can you imagine what kind of comments about contraception could cause a law school community to get all riled up?

Let’s look at — and argue about — the email that caused students at one top-ranked Catholic law school to get their diaphragms all scrunched up proverbial panties in a wad. Even the dean had to get involved….

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Yesterday we covered a controversy at Yale Law School over an Administrative Law class with an oversubscription problem. The course, taught by visiting Stanford law professor Daniel Ho, wound up with a waitlist of about 100 students.

Some 3Ls who were denied admission into the class were quite upset, since this represented their last chance to take Admin Law. The situation was described to us as a “near riot.” As a tipster noted, “Only at YLS could students get this bent out of shape about not being let into a black letter law class.”

This morning we bring you an update to this story — which has a happy ending, we’re pleased to report….

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In a few weeks, we’ll start hearing from prospective law students — i.e., 0Ls — who are already reading Above the Law (smart kids!), and who consult us for advice when choosing between law schools (not such smart kids). Last year, for example, we advised students choosing between such fine law schools as Illinois, Vanderbilt, Michigan, Northwestern, Columbia, Chicago, NYU, and Minnesota (with help from you, our readers; we hosted several reader polls pitting the schools against one another).

When I was a college senior choosing between law schools, I did not employ a very sophisticated approach. I simply picked the law school I got into that was highest in the U.S. News law school rankings.

Even though I have no regrets about my law school pick, my decisionmaking process wasn’t very sound. There are real differences between law schools, in terms of their educational programming, their cost to the student, their location (hai Stanford!), and a whole host of other factors.

Today’s story provides an illustration of the phenomenon. Right now, students at one top law school are in a “near riot” — our tipster’s words, not ours — because they feel they’re being denied the education they’re paying so dearly for….

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When you are a transfer student, you are constantly fighting for respect. If you don’t think your non-transfer classmates look down on how you gunned your way into their school despite whatever faults kept you out the first time, you really aren’t paying attention to your surroundings.

But most transfer students do feel the sting, and they try like hell to prove that they belong.

Which is just weak. Come on, there’s nothing worse than trying to interact with somebody who has a huge chip on his shoulder. Actually, the annoyingness of transfers is directly related to the rank of the school: the better the ranking, the more annoying the kids who transfer in.

Call it “elite law school problems.” One of the pleasures of going to an elite school is that you get to spend time around people who aren’t frustrated that they couldn’t get into a better school with better prospects. There’s a calmness on campus; everybody’s doing their thing, everybody feels like things are going to work out. Then the transfers get there and they’re gunning, and annoying, and have ridiculous bro stories about bombing the LSAT, “But it’s ALL GOOD, ’cause I’m HERE NOW buddy, YEAH. I’m taking a class with PROFESSOR FAMOUS PANTS which will really help in my CALLBACK at [mid-tier firm that is actually a fallback option for people at elite schools] DAY.

Sigh. At least that’s how transfer students talk to non-transfers. We don’t often get to see how transfer students talk among themselves.

But today, we’ve got a whole transfer student email thread from Stanford Law School — and boy, like Fredo in the Godfather, they want respect….

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Being a student at Penn State has to be about as close as you can come to being in a World War I foxhole. Their reputation is just getting bombed from all sides. Right now, kids should just be trying to keep their heads down and ride this out.

But in the PSU Law foxhole, somebody just laid an egg.

Apparently students at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law have already been banned from a few area hotels for drunken and inappropriate behavior this fall. And now a student is throwing around a slur on the school list-serv.

It’s not happy times in Happy Valley…

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