Wednesday, July 30, 2008

J'accuse! Problems With LawReg

We've blogged about the fun that is LawReg before, but not exactly at length.  So, here it is.

For those who don't know, LawReg is the course registration system at UVA Law.  It's quite complicated, but it basically involves a series of lotteries, wherein students, in order of seniority "rank" classes, with each lottery (or "stage") determining some portion of the student's schedule for the next year.   This is in contrast to how the rest of the University signs up for classes, through a blitz on ISIS. The actual process is about as complicated as selecting which teams goto bowl games. The reason, according to the administration:

LawReg was created because the University’s course enrollment function on ISIS is unsatisfactory for the law school. It does not check for prerequisites, time conflicts, etc., and creates an “Oklahoma land rush” environment that nearly everyone disliked, particularly students located outside the eastern time zone. Worst of all, it allows some students to get many of the “good” courses and others only the leftovers. The lottery system was created with three goals in mind:

-all students would be enrolled in 1-2 of their highly desired courses
-all students would be treated equitably
-there is no time pressure, i.e., students have several days to participate on an equal basis

That’s it, nothing more. Given that approximately 1200 students consistently get their first and/or second course choices, we believe the lottery system works.

That's all well and good, and we appreciate the reference to the Sooners (come on, somebody from OU must read this), but none of this really address the problem that many students are now encountering - that, in the last round (for 2Ls to finish filling out their schedule) there are *n0* course that they can take in the Fall semester that fit their schedule and/or remotely fit their interests.  Indeed, even after an email sent Wednesday afternoon opened up helped some what (expanding the enrollment in some popular ones like Trusts and Estates, M & A, PR, Criminal Investigations, and Corporations), but many students we talked to are still upset about the process, complaining courses that will be invaluable (or, worse, absolutely necessary) for their employment goals this summer and their future careers as a lawyer are not available to them, either because of the registration system or because of the limited number of courses that UVA Law is offering.  

One student gripes about not being able to get Evidence with Collins to get his third-year practice certificate (We point out: take it with Brown - but then that would mess up his schedule to much).  Another points out that he was locked out a lot of the classes that would be useful for somebody wanting to be a transaction attorney (Securities, Corporate Finance, etc.).  And we've also got this gem:

Admin and FedTax.  Admin and FedTax.  Now, I don't care about Administrative Law and I sure as heck don't care about FedTax - why am I taking them?  Because it's either that, take two courses on weekends, sign up for the "Islamic and Middle Eastern Law" short course so I can sit around for an hour and a half everyday talking about just how much skin a women has to show before Sharia mandates she has to be stoned (a matter about which I have little interest), OR scrap the two classes I'm already registered for and take my chances on getting lucky with add-drop.  Hrmmmmmmmm.

FFJ was a little bit more macroscopic in his analysis: 

It's disappointing that at a school that considers itself to be one of the top law schools in the nation, students are so severely limited as to what classes are available for them to choose from.
He also wants to assure everyone that, despite his summer hiatus, he is not dead. Well, he brings up a decent point.  The problems with the LawReg system aside - if there are problems with it (some would say it's overly beneficial to 3Ls, especially if you want to get one of them CASEFILE classes), is there really just a paucity of classes to choose from?  Looking at the opens currently (as of Wednesday afternoon, that is, before the last lottery deadline) still open, it seems like this is a concern.  

Which begs the question - with tuition being inexplicably raised (or at least we're still waiting for an explanation) over $3,000, where is that money going, if students can't get the classes they want?

Monday, July 28, 2008


*中文怎麼說“change is good"?  誰知道嗎? 

* We don't know if the hiring partner advice blog is real, but it seems to be. His advice for O[G]I: "no drooling!"

*Anyway, speaking of change, this blog is moving.  That's right, moving.  Where will soon be revealed.  You'll still be able to access (automatic redirect is the plan), but we're not sure about all of the old entries. 

*那 。 。 。這件是讓我生氣啊: 有的人懶得不得了。。 。 他們很喜歡開車開的一兩英里到運動場來騎自行車; 打完之後, 開車回家。  騎自行車運動場arrrggghhh. 非常不合適,並沒有邏輯。加油很貴, 騎自行車又便宜又好玩兒, 也對環境和健康好。。。美國人門 。 。 。

*The DOJ broke the law?  Oh Noes~

Friday, July 25, 2008

OGI Post #2: NIA Would Be a Good Name for a Rapper

Don't look now but OGI Prescreen results are trickling in.

McCain: Viagra, OK. Birth Control Pills, Not So Much.

So, John McCain is happy to support the inclusion of Viagra in insurance plans, but if you are female and  want to use one of them new-fangled birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, you're S-O-L. Moreover, when he was asked about this opposition by reporters, he merely sputtered, ""I don't know enough about it to give you an informed answer," he manages to splutter, "because I don't recall the vote, I've cast thousands of votes... it's something I've not thought much about."

Oh yea?  We get there's a feeling that there's a lot you haven't thought much about.  Like the economy.  Anyway, Katha Pollit writes: 

So. John McCain is so opposed to contraception he voted against requiring insurance plans to cover it like other drugs, and either so indifferent to women's health and rights or just so out of it he doesn't even remember how he voted. That's the way to show American women you really care. 

Hillary Supporters for McCain?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where teh Heavy Hitters At?

How come the UVA law blogosphere ("blogosphere" is dumb-sounding enough; we're definitely not going to say "blawgosphere") is so quiet during the summer.  Obviously it's good sense not to blog physically from work like you can at school, but what about afterwards?  TJ's Double Play has been mostly silent, except to comment on L'Affaire de Stark and the (other) 1L blog of record, Fred From Jacksonsville, hasn't said much either. 

Here are some blogs that (we have found so far that) have published (at least once) over the summer:

Any others?  Let us know . . .

Scalia's New Book

It's well known that I am not the world's number one Scalia fan.  But that said, I was excited when I heard that people who came to his CLE event this weekend in Washington DC would be receiving a "gratis" copy of his new book.   His new book, I imagine, runs something like this: 

Intro: A special note from Nathan Bedford Forest (brought back from the dead for the occasion)
Ch 1: Electioneering
Ch 2: Homophobia
Ch 3: Insulting People who Ask Questions you Don't Feel Like Answering
Ch 4: Lock and Load (co-written with Dick Cheney)
Ch 5: Civil Rights? More Like Civil WRONGS!
Ch 6: Women's Rights? More Like Women's WRONGS!
Ch 7-10: Cooking With Trans-Fat - 20 Years of Favorite Recipies From One First Street, or, How I Learned to Stop Caring About Originalism and Love Eating Food
Ch 11: Actually, You Stupid Liberal, The Orginal Intent of Thomas Jefferson was for America
to be a Theocracy.
Afterwards: You Want an Afterwards? Get Over It!

(Taken shamelessly from the section-list-serv)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No NYT Op-Ed Piece for John McCain

Hey, it's not easy getting an op-ed piece in the NYT

We haven't gotten ours yet.  Sure, such luminaries as Barack Obama, James Baker & Warren Christopher, and some soldiers themselves have weighed in on the subject of the war. 

But no go for John McCain, the New York Times Politics Blog reports:

On Mr. McCain’s Op-Ed, Matt Drudge posted online what he said was the original submission by Mr. McCain. According to his post, the senator wrote about Mr. Obama: “I am dismayed that he never talks about winning the war — only of ending it… if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president.”

Didn't people say that about Vietnam?  Anyway, McCain's piece offers little in the way of new solutions, or even new information, which was the NYT's stated reason for not wanting to publish it:

[T]he article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory — with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan.

That aside, there seems to be a bit of double speak: 

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

Oh, then what happened to this?:

[We might be in Iraq] maybe a hundred years . . . Could be 1,000. Could be 1,000 years or a million years . . . A thousand years. A million years. Ten million years.

Hey, don't pout.  We hear USA Today is hiring.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Believe Me, That's Not Torture

Christopher Hitchens, a former columnist at the The Nation and a socialist turned neo-con-supporter of the US war in Iraq, had an innovative idea. “What more can be added to the debate over US interrogation methods, and whether waterboarding is torture?” he asks in Vanity Fair magazine.

The answer? “Try firsthand experience.” Hitchens, 59, allowed American practitioners of the technique to try it on him. He lasted a few seconds before begging for the procedure to end. A video of his experience can be found on Vanity Fair’s website.

Believe me, it's torture. . . If waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture . . . I had only a very slight encounter [with the waterboarding technique] but I still wish that my experience were the only way in which the words “waterboard” and “American” could be mentioned in the same (gasping and sobbing) breath.” 

We all wish that. Unlike others on the internet (or, ‘blogosphere’) we are not as concerned with how close the extremely controlled experience Hitchens underwent tacked what a ‘real’ waterboarding session would have been like (probably not very – the victim in a real procedure doesn’t get a chance to stop the procedure whenever he wants, is subject to interrogation in other ways, is likely already in bad health due to his detention, and his returned to the squalid and isolated conditions of a dark and dank cell, not a comfortable office where he can write about his experiences. 

We’ll criticize along a different tack. The whole article seems to suggest, to those who do not know better, the lie that waterboarding is the maximum ebb of what could Hitchen’s terms as America’s foray into the “frontier” of torture. Sadly, such an assumption could not be more wrong.

To pull just one report out of a constellation of examples, we might consider the complaint filed in the case of Mohammed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., a case currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. In Mohammed, five plaintiffs were illegally kidnapped by the CIA, and the CIA feeling that waterboarding alone would be insufficient for these rogues (several of whom have already been released due to lack of evidence, as it turns out – while others still await cognizable charges and due process in captivity), decided to have them extraordinarily rendered to nations that would be happy to do the CIA’s dirty work for them and pass on whatever information. (For a similar case, see El Masri v. Tenet).  The defendant, Jeppesen, is a subsidiary of Boeing that arranged the extraordinary rendition transfer. 

Below are some excerpts from the amended complaint. Let Hitchens be thankful he did not sample and write on this kind of torture practiced by America:

105. While being interrogated, Mr. Britel was kept handcuffed and blindfolded and then beaten severely on all parts of his body. He was threatened with worse torture, including cutting of his genitals and a technique routinely used in Morocco called “bottle torture,” whereby a bottle is forced into the detainee’s anus. Threats were also made by his interrogators against his wife and sisters. [Mr. Britel was later released without being charged; he was also threatened with castration, see the original complaint]. 

And it gets worse:

70. Mr. Mohamed [pictured above] was subjected to severe physical and psychological torture. He was routinely beaten, suffering broken bones and, on occasion, loss of consciousness. His clothes were cut off with a scalpel and the same scalpel was then used to make incisions on his body, including his penis. A hot stinging liquid was then poured into open wounds on his penis where he had been cut. He was frequently threatened with rape, electrocution, and death.

71. Mr. Mohamed was handcuffed, fitted with earphones, and forced to listen to extremely loud music day and night, sometimes interrupting his sleep for forty-eight hours at a time. He was placed in a damp, moldy room with open sewage for a month at a time. He believed his food to be drugged, but when he refused to eat he was forcibly hooked up to two different IVs. These IVs alternated pumping different substances into his body, the combination of which forced him to undergo painful withdrawal symptoms. In the end, Mr. Mohamed decided to return to eating solid food.   [He had tried to mount a hunger strike; Mr. Mohamed remains incarcerated at Guatanamo. He was charged under President Bush’s military order, but those charges dropped when they were ruled unconstitutional as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.] 

It goes on for fifty pages or so. [ACLU bios of Mr. Mohammed and Britel; also plaintiffs al-Rawi, Agiza, Bashmilah]

Hitchens is right to point out what a gruesome procedure waterboarding is: “It doesn’t stimulate torture, it *is* torture.” But to imply that this is as far as the US has ventured in torture arena is unfortunate. US is capable, and has done far worse. And, as Hitchens points out:

If we allow [forms of torture] and justify [them], then we cannot complain if it is employed in the future by other regimes on captive U.S. citizens. [Torturing terror suspects] is a method of putting American citizens in harms way. 

Indeed. What the CIA and the Bush Administration have done is not only a blatant violation of both US and International Law, but also a disgrace to this country and all of its principles. 

NEXT TIME: How the American government has attempted, and so far succeeded, to deny the plaintiffs in cases like Jeppesen and El Masri due process and meaningful access to a remedy. 

Friday, July 18, 2008

Suggestions On What To Do With Your PILA Grant

For those lucky/skillful enough to successfully navigate the bizzare and mystifying process that is PILA, here's what you can do with your grant:

1) Cover the increase in tuition:
COSTS, 2008-09


and Fees:




Personal Expenses:


Health Insurance:


and Supplies:


Loan Fees:

For out of state residents, the tuition last year was $38,500. According to a Law School press release, 1L PILA grants are approximately $3,500 after taxes.  The difference is between this year and last year's tuition is $3,300. 

2) Oops, that's pretty much your whole grant right there, with $200 left over.   Hey now, that's like a week and a half worth of lunches in Scott Commons (seriously).  Or splurge on a textbook and a half (?). 

And if you didn't get a PILA grant?  Well . . . .

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The OGI Post #1: To Prescreen, or not to Prescreen?

Among USNWR Top 14 law schools (T14), UVA Law has a peculiar institution, the prescreened OCI (or, here, we say OGI = On Grounds Interview).  No other top 14 school does it, and although many lower-ranked schools do, the career opportunities there (simply expressed by how well you have to do in the class to get the elusive BIGLAW status).   Any event, it's worth noting, before we continue into this any further, that at a school like UVA, the 2L fall on-campus interviewing process is  way that students find jobs.  No, not everyone uses it, but at UVA, a solid plurality if not a majority of students will be getting jobs this way.

What "prescreening" means is that the firm gets to choose whom it wants to interview during OCI.  To do this, it uses two pieces of information: a student's resume and his/her resume. (NB: A few firms, such as Covington and Burling also request a writing sample and references - we missed it at first too, best to *actually read* the "comments" section of those opportunity descriptions . . .).  The conventional wisdom here is that a student's first year grades will be the primary determinant of whether or not a student gets an interview.  Additionally, each firm is required to set aside a small number of slots (about 1/3) for the "lottery" - in which students can bid a certain number of pre-assigned points in hopes of getting an interview with the firm.  The firm interviewer theoretically won't know whether the people its interviewing were lottery winners or prescreened.

At every other T14 school, the process is different: basically the entire OCI is done by lottery and students simply place bids on the firms with whom they want to interview, usually ranking their choices, and the students are assigned interview based only on the number of interviews available with the firm and the order of their preferences.  

So the question is: Which system is better for students? 

The "for students" part is key - employers by and large prefer the prescreening system to the lottery system.  For many schools, employers wouldn't come unless they could prescreen.  At UVA, there is little doubt that the one of the reasons that it boasts the second largest OCI in the nation in terms of the number of firms coming to interview is the fact that it allows employers to assign the majority of interviews via prescreening.  Quite simply, employers feel prescreening allows them to use their interviewing time more efficiently, and not waste time in a screening interview with someone who, because of his or her grades, they have no intention calling that person back for further interviews or giving them an offer.  [The argument as to what extent employers should rely on grades in making this distinction is for another day - though we do touch on it tangentially below].

This, of course, is one tally in the positive side for students as well.  No doubt that having a larger OGI with more firms is beneficial to students - at least insofar as students are actually able to interview with those firms.  Moreover, it is argued, the fact that firms are only interviewing with people whom they want to interview means that those interviews are more likely to go somewhere (I couldn't really find any data on this, but it may stand to reason). 

The critique, then, is that prescreening doesn't benefit the class evenly.  Students at the top of the class can interview with whomever they use and are likely to get all the interviews they want - thus they can take advantage of the large number of employers and can usually get more interviews with the most prestigious firms than they may have been able to get with the lottery (because they would have had to rank firms in order of preference, meaning that they might have to pick and choose and therefore loose out to someone with lower grades who *really* wanted to interview with the firm).  

[NB:  It's worth noting that UVA Law Career Services has specifically taken measures to prevent students at the very top from gaming the system to much - i.e. selecting a lot of firms to interview with for prescreened interviews to take the slots from people around the median and below - when they aren't even really interested in the firms, and probably won't even interview with them, because you can only interview with 25 in the first phase but you can selected an unlimited number to be prescreened by.  And if that sentence sounds like a huge mess, complete with clauses ending in prepositions and all those other abhorrent things, it's because it really is quite complicated.  UVA Law people know what we're talking about.  We would have posted the actually policy on this from career services, but there was some scary language on their LAWWEB page about it not being for people outside the LS community . . . or something.  DITTO on the published information for the average GPA of people selected through prescreening by each firm].

Moreover, even with such policies to prevent - eh, we'll call it gamesmanship - in place, they seem at the moment to basically rely on the honor system (someone with a 3.9 + LR could sign up to be prescreened by all 200+ employers from DC and NYC, and there isn't much anyone could do).   And as far as the lottery goes, many students report only getting a few (1-4) phase I interviews via the partial lottery (for this year).

Finally - what about the kid who has something that doesn't come through in his resume or transcript.  We all know just how arbitrary law school grading is - the argument is that the school should "stand by" the entire class and give the kid with a 2.5 GPA a chance to make his/her case to [insert prestigious firm here]?  And if UVA really is such a great school, the argument runs, shouldn't employers be willing to come whether or they have the ability to choose with whom they spend those 20 minutes?  

The conventional wisdom is that prescreening benefits the top of the class at the expense of the bottom and, to a lesser degree, the middle.  It's probably a bit more subtle than that, as we hope the above indicates.  Ultimately the problem stems from the fact that grades (+ prestige of law school) are super-determinative in the private law firm hiring practice.  As such, the question becomes how the school's interview policies embraces that system - do we choose a system that's tailored to that reality and begins the stratification process very early, scoring some benefits vis-a-vis other methods, or is the better system the one which allows students a chance control their own destiny, let them - the people who are paying the school a not-so-small fortune - decide whether or not they want to choose to spend 20 minutes attempting to demonstrate qualities that don't come through on paper?

There's probably not an easy answer - but we wonder what accounts for the different attitude of UVA Law from its peer schools on this matter.  Anyone know?

(EDIT: We're sure we missed some points here - that's what the comments section is for . . .)

(EDIT #2:  Someone pointed out that at UVA many student use the lottery for firms that they probably would have gotten screening interviews with anyway, at least if the numbers published by career services are any indication.  So . . . note that wrinkle.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rubesoisie? Who? What?

The Washington Post had this to say about the New Yorker cover:

The cover, like so many self-deprecating, wryly funny, overly self-referential New Yorker covers before it, is just another prism through which New Yorker readers confirm something that is true and easily caricatured at the same time: They are an elite, a minority, and while they might be more educated or sophisticated or adept at the play of humor, they will always be outvoted by Texas. And Kansas. And the rest of the states beyond reach of the A train. The cover says as much about the political influence of Manhattan as it does about the prejudice of the rubesoisie.

Who or what, pray-tell, are the rubesoisie? According to, it's not a word. We can only guess that it's an amalgamation between "rubes" and "bourgeoisie".

Best of all, google only gives THREE hits for this. Damn, talk about being avant-garde, WaPo.

(EDIT: According to google only one another blogger beat us on this find, props).

EDIT #2: Don't get us wrong, we rather like the new word as we think it points to a large, recognizable subset of Americana. People who live in non-urban areas and who are not urbane/sophisticated/well-educated can usually be pejoratively described as "rubes". (Like rednecks or hicks, no?). Yet, in terms of socio-economics rube/hick/redneck tends to point to the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. What would you - pejoratively - call people who fit the above criteria but are in the middle, upper middle class, upper-class (or, if you like, control the means of production)? Engels, who had a flair for modern, accessible language that Marx did not, might have approved of the neologism . . .

So, we need a word for that, no? Unless anyone has another / can suggest one already in existence?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Terrorist Fist-Jab

At least we know that the New Yorker is staying fair and balanced. (EDIT: In case you're too dumb to realize this is satire, we hate you.).  Our friends at Feministe are outraged, we think it's brilliant.   No one is really dumb enough to take this for serious, right?  Right??

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Alea Iacta Est

Just a friendly reminder:  CASE submissions for phase I of OGI are due at ten PM tonight.  Tomorrow is the last day for the first round of LawReg.  

Also, dig this ranking of summer programs.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How to Make LAWREG Approximately 8 million Times More Efficient

Add a "drag-and-drop" feature arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Oh Noes! Recession! Or, A good time for someone who "doesn't understand" economics?

Are we, as Thomas Friedman suggests, a nation in decline? Probably. But we haven't hit the bottom yet.  The (not) good news is that we are now technically in a recession.   That's right kids (for those of you who vote republican and, therefore, don't understand economics, a recession is technically defined as a decline in the GDP for two or more quarters).  This much was announced by our own treasury department, but the Bush administration has yet to announce it officially as of writing this. Of course, it's going to get worse - gas prices are going up, as is inflation, as is unemployment, as are food prices.  Ah, what's another 62,000 jobs?  We're sure that the Bush will figure it out - eventually . . .

SIDENOTE: Personally we're optimistic that higher food prices + higher gas prices might help with the fact that this country is ridiculously overweight, which costs us nearly $100 billion a year in medical bills [data from 2003, probably more now].  But, while that's a good thing, and while there's the possibility that this will all spur one candidate to carry through with his promise to invest in alternative energy sources [though maybe not], AiT's response is otherwise clear; recession = bad for America. 

Americans are starting to get worried.  According to WICB (Ithaca-radio), 3/4 of Americans believe that things are going to get worse before they get better. Along those lines, an NBC poll indicates that over 65% of Americans think they are going to have trouble making ends meet, a number that is probably higher now (poll from May).  

In the meantime, Gallup reports that Bush's approval rating is at 28%. [Well, you people shouldn't have voted for him in the first place.  Sorry, we just had to say it.  If you're upset about spending $100 dollars to fill up your ridiculous made-in-the-U.S.A-SUV, then you 1) shouldn't have voted for the most regressive candidate in the last one-hundred years, and, 2) should walk more, supra.  But we I digress. . . .]. 

So, 4 out of 5 now think that the economy is toast and getting worse.  Moreover, Americans have a reason *not* to be optimistic. The reason is that the factors that are driving this recession - mainly, the high cost of fuel which is being driven not only by speculation but also the complicated phenomenon where worldwide demand outstrips worldwide supply.  The only way to deal with this will be the sort of sweeping national transition that far-sighted individuals like Paul Krugman have called for: not just a new investment in alternative sources of energy on the national level (hint: we're going to have to raise taxes on rich people; start by *removing the payroll cap*), but also completely changing are national infrastructures (move away from sprawling suburbs, better public transportation, overhaul transnational shipping - currently done by gas-guzzling trucks that cost $1400 to fill).

That's what needs to be done.  Government spending coupled with ending the three-trillion dollar war in Iraq.  Rebuilding the national infrastructure from the ground up.  Investments that make our country greener and more efficient.  And closing the gap between the most wealthy few and the masses of people who are struggling to make ends meet. 

Obama understands this, at least, even if many Americans don't yet, but even under the most optimistic projections (and, believe us, he's optimistic - i mean - hope! change!).  McCain, by his own admission, does not

This one should be a no-brainer.  But then again . . .

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

ITP: AIT is lame, apologizes, offers somewhat non-sensical advice

It's been a bit slow here; the SCOTUS is done for the term and we haven't gotten into any of the usual trouble, romantic, pugilistic, or otherwise.  Hence the lack of posts.  We know for some of you AIT is the only refuge from an otherwise uneventful 1L summer (JK JK JK, everyone seems to have interesting jobs).  

That said, there are some big things coming . . . on the blog, and in life (2L - the next step).  Coincidentally, we're watching Futurama (if you don't love this show than we hate you), and it's the episode My Three Suns where Fry, who has just become emperor by assassinating the previous emperor, has to explain the parable of the grasshopper and the octopus to a nagging Leela:

Its just like the story of the grasshopper and the octopus. All year long the grasshopper kept burying acorns for winter while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. Then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns and also he got a racecar. Is any of this getting through to you?

Well, is it?  Don't forget to submit your resumes and such for interviews.  And purge your resume of ACS / Law Dems references for DOJSLIP.