Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oh Noes! Many Qualified Students Get Denied PILA Grants for Public Interest Work This Summer.

(NOTE: I am not the only contributor to this post; the other contributors wish to remain anonymous
DISCLAIMER: I was placed on the PILA summer grant wait-list).

Most top 14 Law Schools have some program or another by which one can volunteer to work over the summer and get a grant to cover their expenses. These grants vary in their amount, from $5,000 at Stanford and 4,000 at Cornell to significantly less at some other places. (NOTE: We've investigated these programs at several other top law schools, a simple google-search will find you more results on this matter).

Typically these grants are sponsored by the school itself. Not so at UVA Law, where a student organization sponsors the grants. In order to be eligible, you have to fill out an application and have done at least 10 hours of qualifying pro-bono work, and then interview - all fair enough, I guess. Last year, every eligible applicant was given a PILA grant.

But for whatever reason (and we're curious, what was the reason - see below) this year scores of students that we've talked to were denied PILA grants (many placed on the waitlist) despite meeting the qualifications. This groups includes students who have:
-already accepted a non-paying public interest job in reliance of a PILA grant (a reasonable reliance, we feel, since everyone who applied for a PILA grant got one last year).
-want to accept a public interest job but may no longer be able to.

We recognize that PILA operates under a limited budget. And we assume that PILA's criteria for disbursement - were both fair enough in principle and (we assume) application. Therefore, we think UVA Law should step up and give qualifying students who didn't get a grant and still want one an equivalent amount of money (under equivalent conditions) to do public interest work. For PILA's part, the organization has indicated that it has a ranked waitlist. We also think PILA should disclose to any waitlisted applicant who asks what their rank on the waitlist is, so that he or she may know what his chances are and decide whether or not accept a non-paying public interest job, accordingly. Bottom-line, PILA's funding limitations aren't PILA's fault, but we do wish UVA Law would step up to fill the gap.

We have heard a rumor that PILA is low on funds as a result of having to pay for the 1L suite being trashed at the PILA auction last November. We make no comments about it's veracity, here, though.

If you want to leave a comment, use the comment section . . .

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's a good thing I don't mind paying taxes...

Above the Law reports that if Obama implements his tax plan, big law associates are really going to be feeling the hit.  Thousands of dollars a year worth of a hit.  Is this a big deal?  Maybe so, maybe not - 1st year associates make a ton of money, granted, but a lot of them are paying back a ton of student loans. (think: $160k+interest vs. the $180k salary (inc. bonuses, which vary from firm to firm)).  Deductions for the loans notwithstanding, that's still a big bump in taxes.  As long as they're not being spent on a war, though, I won't complain.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Journal Tryouts

1.06 AM and I am finished.  That was one _____ weekend (more once the veil of secrecy is lifted).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Are journal tryouts a total sham? The FebClub folks think so . . .

The first thing about Journal Tryouts that should turn anyone off are that they are a Pyramid Scheme of misery. First you spend a god awful miserable weekend doing the tryout in which you don’t go out, spend hours staring at the bluebook, and generally hate life. Finally you think you’ve put together a good package and will be judged based on the legal reasoning and logic of the written part. WRONG. Being on a Journal is not about original legal thought. Its about proofreading. They only care how well you can decide whether a period goes inside a parenthesis or whether your pin cite was in the proper format. 

It's a pretty well-crafted argument.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You Come in Burned . . .

Sorry this live version is the best I could find . . . i think it rocks, but if you don't like the Dandy Warhols you may disagree. It is a little bit grainy.

That pretty much sums it up right now. I wake up, and I'm already burned out. Interviewing with Big Firm LLP is not nearly as exciting it sounds, especially when I have to dress up every morning, which I hate. At this point I'm thinking I should have just stopped after PI interview week, because the PD job is what I want to do. Dressing up also basically means I can't go to the gym every morning, like I usually do, because I'm used to just throwing on jeans and a t-shirt afterwards. I've been running afterwards (can never goto the gym in the afternoon; it's too damn crowded), which helps, but I really have an urge to get under some weights again...

And then there are the other stressors. Appellate briefs. Other job applications. Car breaking down, and not having a jack because the previous owner decided it would be funny to take the part that loosens the spare and throw it away. VLW articles. Outlines. Missed notes. Ridiculous reading assignments. Friends who are upset with me. Enemies who are even more upset with me.

My original plan was to suck it up for this week and hit the journal tryouts this weekend with a full head of steam while getting my reading done for Monday before hand. There is no way this is happening. Even a liberal estimate of how much I can reasonably get done is gonna leave me way behind.

Less than two weeks until Spring Break though. Hopefully the second half of this semester will be less chaotic. Most of the tough work will be behind me, and with a semester of finals under my belt already I know exactly how to hit them this time, so things should chill out a bit and I can enjoy my true passions of drinking, working out, and watching movies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Krugman has a really good editorial on American poverty in the 21st century.

More later...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

我選了奧巴馬 !

Any questions?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Cornell Basketball is Better than UVA Basketball

Well, UVA would probably crush them if they met in a head-to-he
ad match (or would they?  UVA has fallen to such powerhouses as Xavier College), but man if Cornell isn't lighting things up in the Ivy League. 11-5 and 3-0 start versus the Ivy League.  A win tonight over Yale will bring the record to 4-0.  If things keep going this way, Cornell is certain to win the Ivy League's NCAA tournament bid, whereas UVA looks to be pushed out of contention due its abysmal ACC performance.   I won't bother blogging to much on this subject because someone else is already doing a great job (and thanks for the image).

On a related note, I want to go see Cornell play Penn in Philadelphia over our spring break.  Anybody with me?