Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Just Had To:


Looking for Chain Free Shopping This Christmas? Look No Further

. . . than Charlottesville's downtown mall! From today's Washington Post:

Outside, even in the chill, there are flowers and children's laughter. Inside, there's my own. At a toy store named Alakazam!, I wind up a five-inch die-cast school bus; it zips down a counter, crashing into a box of sheriff badges and Cowboy Bandages. The nose-ringed, color-dreadlocked, spangly-nail-polished clerk doesn't even blink.

I'm on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, an eight-block pedestrian magnet. Visitors often bypass it for the better-known University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson's other architectural creation, Monticello. Jefferson is said to have watched the building of his university from his hilltop home. I like to think he'd pan over to the mall now, too.

Yea, that's pretty cool. But the writer could have at least *acknowledged* the miles of linear-chain-monstrosity that is Route 29, a-k-a jam as many krogers and cars as you can within a two mile radius. And it's not like the downtown mall is completely chain-free (CVS - hello? Where all my independent pharmacy / drug store / places-to-buy-milk-at-below-market-prices-at?). Still we think it's pretty cool - especially on the heals of the NYT Travel Piece ("36 Hours in Charlottesville") - takes the sting out of a five and seven season . . .

No complaints on the new layout either, that means everyone must like it, right?

Merry Christmas! (& Happy Chanukah, Kwanza, Boxing Day, Eid, Tet, et seq.)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Into The Wild Green Yonder

Finals are over. Alea iacta est. And now we can get on with the rest of our lives . . . if you're looking for the usual jibber-jabber about recruiting / the Law School / et seq. this post doesn't have any of it, so skip what follows . . .

We had the misfortune of having a 40 page paper due on Thursday at 5, so we were stuck in finals-misery a full day longer than anyone else (except, of course, the 1Ls!) And we spent that they frantically trying format and Bluebook the thing. Just one question: Does anyone know how to make it so Word will (1) do two separate sets of page numbers (like have the first couple pages numbered in roman numerals, and the rest in regular numbers or (2) have numbers that start on like the third or fourth page has opposed to the first one? Cause, yea, that would have really helped us out . . .

We're still in C-ville, but it seems like most of the people are tearing out today or tomorrow (except for those brave souls staying for the duration), and that's probably when we'll be leaving too (heading NORTH!).

Anyway, here are our reflections from the last part of finals week.

(1) The Corner Starbucks is a Great Place to Study. Not only are their breakfast sandwiches su per tasty and their coffee refills super cheap, but you aren't likely to see too many other law students there; just undergrads, and they are usually pretty nice. I, personally, myself, even made some new friends, and given how abrasive and self-centered I am, that is saying something. Also, how does google-spell-check not have "Google" (capitalized) but not "Starbucks"? Goto Beijing - Google is just get off teh ground in limited form, but Starbucks is all the rage. I call cultural-biased-pwned (see, stream of consciousness writing is easy!)

(2) I watched the "Future Stock" Episode of Futurama to Prepare for my Corporations Exam. You know, the one where a Gordon-Gekko-esque character from the 1980s gets unfrozen and tries to make Planet Express the target of a hostile tender offer. Not only does it teach you about mergers and acquisitions, but it also has some great throw-away lines:
That Guy: There are two kinds of people: sheep and sharks. Anyone who is a sheep is fired. Who is a sheep?
Dr. Zoidberg: Errr, excuse me... which is the one people like to hug?
That Guy: Gutsy question. You're a shark. Sharks are winners, and they don't look back because they have no necks. Necks are for sheep.
Fry: Boneitis? That's a funny name for a horrible disease.
That Guy: There was no cure at the time. A drug company came close, but I arranged a hostile takeover and sold off all the assets. Made a cool hundred mil.
And of course
Leela: I'm a millionaire! Suddenly I have an opinion on the capital gains tax.
(3) "Bad" Weather During Finals Time is a Gift to Help You Study. Just think: You could have gone to Stanford! (well, not really):

Then again, as TJ reminded us last year you could have gone to Michigan, where it's tough to keep warm. (Normally we anchor the words "Michigan" and "warm" with a link to the Michigan Law prostitution scandal, but we think this blog is above that. Just sayin').

(4) Break is a good time - We look forward to spending a month not thinking about the law or legal issues at all; in fact, we hope to spend the month just plain not thinking at all (just like every month - zing!). Of course, a lot of you are will be admirably doing pro bono projects or coming back early for J-term - which will cut short the blissful intellectual indolence that you have for which you have worked so hard. Sucks~

Will UVA Law Blog be around over break? Not as such, although it's possible we'll through up a few intermittent posts as something newsworthy comes up, or just to reflect on this or that. The post-a-day barrage that we managed to keep up for most of the semester, though, will be going on a bit of a hiatus, however. . . see # 4, supra.

Which brings us to our last point - we're still looking to expand the burgeoning editorial staff, and if you think you've got what it takes, send us an email (rule12f [at] The pay is nonexistent (this site operates in the red), but the prestige is unlimited . . .

Have a good break everyone.

Monday, December 15, 2008

For the 1Ls



Rule 12 (f) & FFJ

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12月14日隨即的事情:Sweet & Sour

Exam time means a noticeable decline in both the quality and quantity of UVA Law Blog posts, probably without recovery. Here are some disjointed ramblings of what's been and what's been not so good:

Sweet and Sour Deals:

Harris Teeter is having a sale on Beef Jerky - a big bag (original or terriaki-style) for only $3.97; that's sweet. But HT also increased their prices on their subs a few weeks ago from $2.49 to $2.99 - still cheap - but that's kind of sour. Starbucks on the Corner is giving out coupons for free specialty drinks including their Expresso Truffle as part of their anti-AIDS RED campaign (don't ask me what RED has to do with fighting AIDS) - that's oh-so-sweet; said Starbucks doesn't have any free interwebs - which would be sour - but it's close enough to UVA main grounds that you can pick up their free signal. Also, no free parking, but plenty of bike space; this encourages people to bike, walk, or take the bus! That's sweet!

Sweet and Sour Finals:

It's the beginning of the end, which is sweet - but we still have three more days (four for 1Ls), which is less than ideal, so that's sour. Plus we're a little iffy on our last exam . . . but we've gotten wicked good at Desktop Tower Defense, which is sweet; though suggestions that we endorse to get others not to study (CURVE-PWNT?) are sour . . . and not true!

Sweet and Sour Redskins

The Redskins kick off against the 1-11-1 Cincinatti Bengals today, which is sweet because it should be a cupcake game. However, the Skins will need a lot of outside help to get to the playoffs; for wild card contention they are currently behind Tampa, Dallas, and Atlanta, and, now, Philadelphia. If the Skins don't make the playoffs this year, we're going to lose all faith in humanity which would be sour.
Part II; Sweet and Sour Play: Trailing Baltimore by two touchdowns with about one minute to go in the half at the Baltimore 43, the Washington Redskins face fourth and under two yards and PUNTED THE BALL. The decision - substantively unwise in most circumstances - wasn't even rational given how much time was left in the half and how well the Skins D had been playing up to this point (the two TDs game were a result of turnovers not bad defense). This the type of call that we, as a bright-eyed eight year old playing Tecmo Super Bowl can get right, and yet Zorn gets wrong - why?
Sweet and Sour Politics:

A bunch of insurance companies are clammering for bailout monies when they barely even pay taxes themselves! Sour. But people are finally wising up on how to "fix" the problems with Detroit (overused metonomy alert!), that (could be) sweet! Thomas Friedman writes:
[S]omeone in the mobility business in Denmark and Tel Aviv is already developing a real-world alternative to Detroit’s business model. I don’t know if this alternative to gasoline-powered cars will work, but I do know that it can be done — and Detroit isn’t doing it. And therefore it will be done, and eventually, I bet, it will be done profitably.

And when it is, our bailout of Detroit will be remembered as the equivalent of pouring billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the mail-order-catalogue business on the eve of the birth of eBay. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into the CD music business on the eve of the birth of the iPod and iTunes. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into a book-store chain on the eve of the birth of and the Kindle. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into improving typewriters on the eve of the birth of the PC and the Internet.
To be fair, we still like to buy CDs. Sweeeet.

Apologies to Judge Greg Easterbrook.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Call is for Heroism - - - Will You Accept the Charges?

We hope everyone's finals are going swimmingly. Obviously, you all will get, on average, a B+, but that doesn't mean we can't hope that some catastrophe doesn't befall any individual one of you (or everyone!) Anyway, we haven't had time for finals / studying recently because we (being about 18 months behind the curve in life) just discovered . . . DESKTOP TOWER DEFENSE (DTD).

DTD is probably the best stress relieving flash strategy game in the history of the world. We're pretty sure that Tamurlane plaid it every night before he went to bed. All we have to do is pop open Firefox and all of a sudden we're generals, strategically deciding what to do with very limited resources to defeat wave after wave of evil creeps (who will poison our desktop with their creepiness).

Don't take my word for it, here's what the Wall Street Journal had to say:

Placing the weapons is a point-and-click process. Creeps appear every half minute from the left and top sides of the screen simultaneously. As the game progresses, variations on the standard blob-like enemy appear: some spawn two smaller creeps when shot, others fly over or zip past defenses at high speed.

Choosing the right weapons and upgrades is important, but placing them is vital. Weapons also act as roadblocks, which divert the progress of the mindless creeps or lead them to their demise. There are myriad ways to play, but every successful strategy requires the construction of an elaborate, deadly maze.

Intrigued? Try it out.

Sadly the DTD game way of life is strangely addicting, which means less time to gun, which could be problematical, especially in this economy. Nonetheless, if worse grades mean that we can protect our desktop from the evil creep hoarde, then, by golly, the sacrifice will be worth it. If we don't stop the creeps, who will?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

EXAM ADVICE: The True Gunner Never Takes His Fingers Far From CTRL + S

So we were taking an exam yesterday, gunning away with our 200 pp. outline, fair trade coffee, protein power bars, and creatine supplements, when wouldn't you know it - MS Word decided to pick this time of all times to spontaneously close for no reason. FANTASTIC. Just as we were about to give up anyway and spend the rest of the time poking people on facebook and fretting about the curve (which there is plenty of time for later, believe us!), everything goes blank save our desktop background of Clinton Portis and we get a message telling us that MSWord has closed for no reason; would we like to send a report to headquarters.

Oh yea - we're in the middle of an exam that determines our entire grade; of course we want to send an e-report to Microsoft Headquarters! Idiot.

So, we open Word, and there is a recovered version of our exam - 謝天謝地! - now seeing as we've already lost valuable seconds of time putting us at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis our classmates, especially in this economy, we wasted no time in plunging back in to the fray, producing our magnum opus of [whatever class it was - Va. L. Rev: you'll get the note material as soon as I can get the Prof's permission], but after another 10 minutes MSWord crashed AGAIN - for no reason other than the law school gods had chosen Rule 12 (f) as the target for their daily amusement.

This time we were scared because no recovered version popped up. Oh noes - but NOT. Because this time as we were utilizing our 170 WPM typing skills (anything else is too slow, especially in this economy), we integrated the CTRL+S meme. The median students simply writes: "Most jurisdictions treat a mortgage as a lien as oppsoed to a transfer of property;" the true gunner (risk averse to the max like all law students), types "Most jurisdictions [CTRL+S] treat a mort [CTRL+S]gage as a li[CTRL+S]en as opposed [CTRL+S] to a trans[CTRL+S] of proper[CTR+S]y." Accordingly, in typing this blog post we have hit CTRL+S 87 times.

Motion to strike? Not when Rule 12 (f) is on the case; everything you type gets sent to the professor. (1Ls: Generally you need to write at least 22 pages or so to even have a shot at the median; A- exams will generally be longer).

NB: We realize on a mac, which we use because we are crafty consumers, it's actually "Command" not "CTRL"; however, the risk-averse gunning principle is basically the same. HTH.

Monday, December 08, 2008

About 10% . . .

From the Daily Progress article titled Virginia Law Students Struggling to Find Work:
Before classes start at the University of Virginia’s School of Law, second-year students meet with law firms from all over the country in hopes of landing a paid internship. If they make it past a callback interview and are hired, their summer experience can turn into a job once they graduate.

However, the recession has affected the number of callbacks and hires at larger firms, leaving law students all over the country looking for different opportunities. At UVa, students are getting assistance and advice from alumni who once went through the process themselves.

About 90 percent of second year students at the University of Virginia School of Law have already accepted summer employment. About 10 percent are still seeking internships, which is significantly more than typical at this stage of the year.

“I think it was not just a phenomenon here, but also at schools nationwide,” said the law school’s assistant dean for career services Polly Lawson. “There were fewer callbacks given and fewer offers made. I think firms really are trying to be careful not to over-hire." . . .
Read More.

For those who wanted some hard facts - - - there are some. It doesn't seem like those numbers differentiate between law firm and public interest, though - wonder if there is a significant difference between the two groups.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Same Person?

It's possible - another tipster reports:


Reply to: [?]
Date: 2008-12-05, 11:22AM EST

24m looking for w-law student to co-author a catalog and review of clandestine locations around north grounds. Access to journal rooms a plus, but not required.

Analysis: This post is far more subtle than the first one - it took us five minutes to even get that it was some kind of "sexual innuendo"! But perhaps the person from the previous posting wanted to fly below the radar. NB Here that person is looking for a law student specifically.

Next time
: we rate the journal offices in terms of "suitability"

Previously: Realistically, This Could Be Anyone

SPOTTED: Our Favorite K's Professor; Back @ UVA Law!

We just saw Prof. Choi back on grounds. He was visiting at Yale . . . does this mean he's back for good?

Well, whatever they are paying him, it's not enough! At least reimburse him for all that candy. Although he did get naming rights to one of IM league's most prestigious softball teams, which must count for something.

[Seriously, if you click on the above link, you can see all the Prof's salaries. Rutherglen gets the most since Klarman left. . . courtesy of the Cavalier Daily via the Law Weekly - more fun finals week distractions!]

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Is Entering Law School a Good Way to Deal with The Recession?

Apparently not . . . 

In our semi-annual not-studying-just-surfing-the-internet-in-the-gunner room mode, we came across this from Philalawyer (a no-holds-barred blog by a Philadelphia Lawyer):  
[C]onsidering the number of emails I've recently received from people asking whether they should go to law school - whether it's a good idea given the awful job market - one final piece on this subject, debunking all the myths that drive college kids to the profession in difficult economic times, is in order.

Myth No. 1: You can "time" you way around a rough job market by getting a law degree.

I'll go to law school, wait out a terrible job market and when I get out, things will be better and I'll make serious bank. Win/win! If this is your thinking, let me ask you a couple questions. How long did it take you to reach that conclusion? And how general and broadly disseminated was the knowledge on which you reached it? And more important than that, how many other college kids with identical limited information are thinking exactly the same thing?

Here's the first law you ought to study: Supply and Demand.

You and the other 100,000 college kids following this "escape route" will graduate en masse in three years. Just as the protracted recession we're in starts easing and firms start hiring again you'll create a glut of new associates in the market, tanking the value of the degree. A wave of thousands of like minds will find themselves in triple digit debt, fighting like wild animals to work for 2008 level wages. You want to be one of them?
It goes on . . . just the thing you need to lighten up your finals-period stress.  But wait, we're all already in law school . . . so that counts for something.  Anyway, we thought he made some interesting points (though all and all if I could go back two years knowing what I know now going to [UVA] Law School doesn't seem like a bad decision at all especially in this economy). 

In other news, the ABA is having a contest where you can vote on the top 100 legal blogs.  There's a student section(featuring blogs two blogs from Cal); shockingly we were not included.  Probably the law school hot post.  Anyway, ATL is in the lead. 

[EDIT: We were joking immediately above; derisive comments have been anticipated and therefore there is no need to actually post them, tyia xoxo]. 

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Stolen Computer from the Law Library

It happened. Be advised. Be careful. Obviously, don't leave your CPU unattended. And if whoever did this is reading, come see us. We'll fight you. HTH.

Heart of a Heartless Creature, Soul of a Soulless Condition

Overheard at the end of a final class today:
STUDENT: Professor, are you going to put any sample exam questions online?
PROFESSOR: No, it's against my religion. [Exit PROFESSOR]
Just remember - as long as there's no information asymmetry, you're all in the same position in which you would have been in had you got information about the exam.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Realistically This Could Be Anyone

From the Charlottesville Craigslist, thanks to an anonymous tipster.

So I grabbed a handful of condoms yesterday - m4w - 26 (near Scott Commons)

Reply to: [?]
Date: 2008-12-02, 1:51PM EST

I passed the World AIDS Day display a couple of times. With all the outlining I've been doing, I need to blow off some steam, and the condoms were calling to me. I grabbed a handful.

Any North Grounds women interested in sharing the wealth? I am tall, clean and good-looking. Also, very discreet. This will just be between us.

Please be attractive, fit, clean and discreet(smart is understood). Like I mentioned, I've got a handful, so I'm looking for more than just a one-study-break-stand.

Tall, clean, AND good looking. Damn boy you a catch. Studying at B&N today we overheard some callipygian undergrads lamenting the lack of dating options for them. Head down there, throw the pile of condoms on the study table, and say "I'm in law school, b**tch." The rest will work itself out.

We Actually Like Study / Finals Week (With a SIDEBAR on the Redskins)

 . . . It's like a fifteen day weekend!  Well, not really - but we do prefer it to being in class, you basically have the entire day to the plan the way you want and don't have sit in class worrying about whether you're going to be cold called or you left the volume on your g-chat up to high while compulsively trying to type down everything the professors says because IT MIGHT SHOW UP ON THE EXAM zOMG.  Anyway, here's an incomplete list of things that we like about December and Law School.

1) Free Coffee in the Library.  According to our lawyers not paying for coffee during the school year is not a violation of the honor code (the language of the sign being ambivalent - "Please help subsidize" - what does that mean exactly? and the offense being arguably trivial; more the former) but you still shouldn't do it - BUT starting around study week the coffee is free.  And coffee bar area is a great place to meet (stressed-out and on-edge) girls. 

2) Candy in the Library.  Related to the above, but candy also makes a return to the library during finals week. Not only does the library staff put out good candy (We're talking Reeses, Milky Way, et seq.) but also Westlaw and Lexis people bring out the good stuff.  We heard that Lexis laid off a bunch of people in Charlottesville though . . . will this affect their candy quota?  Let's pray that it does not.

3) Nervous 1Ls. While we were not on the enjoyable end of this last year, we think this year it's going to be great watching the 1Ls scamper around.  We especially enjoy the "I thought Torts was so easy; I'm surprised anyone found it difficult"-type comments.  We've already given our exam advice; but never forget that you can improve your relative performance by undermining the confidence of others. 

4) FOOTBALL. Even though the Ivy League has already been decided, we've got the SEC and Big 12 championships this weekend, and some great NFL games to look forward to as well.  Will the Washington Redskins be able to wisk another playoff birth from the jaws of defeat?  Probably not - but it's always worth hoping.  

SIDEBAR:  The Washington Redskin's implosion of 2008 has rivaled that of Napoleon's Russian campaign: starting out fast and strong, and ending limping, cold, and defeated.  The sad thing?  Three of the Redskin's five losses would have been won by a halfway decent coaching staff.

OK, Team, here's how we're going to beat dem Giants: Blitz blitz blitz blitz blitz . . . argghhh how do their receivers keep getting so open! [Throws headset to the ground]

Here's a memorandum for defensive coordinator Greg Blache:  THIS IS THE BALTIMORE RAVENS FROM MADDEN '05; YOU CANNOT WIN BY BLITZING EVERY PLAY.  Every time the Washington D would pin the Giants to a third-and-medium or third-and-long last Sunday, Blache would call in the Blitz, leaving New Jersey/A's receivers wide open on slant or fade routes ---> result, first down.  

Then there is the offensive play calling.  Here's one call that's basically indicative of everything that has been done wrong all year.  With 13 minutes in the fourth quarter and the redskins trailing 20-7, the Skins got the the ball in their own territory found themselves with a fourth and less than one on their own 30 - - - and punted the ball away!  As I watched the punt unit come on, our emotions turned from disbelief to anger - from "No way is Zorn actually going to to punt the ball here" to "Dammit, do you want to win the football game or not?  There are thirteen minutes left and you're down two scores and you need to move the ball two feet. The G-men know how to control the clock; IT's NOW OR NEVER!  Needless to say, Washington went on to lose the game. 

 Washington is now at 7-5 and to win at least three of their last four to get to the playoffs; in fact, they probably will need all four the way things are shaping up because they are currently behind Tampa/Carolina, Atlanta, and (ugh) Dallas in the wild card race.  Dallas . . . .

Anyway, we digress. . .

5) No Need to Put Any Effort into Our Physical Appearance.  Actually, this is true for us all the time - but now it's true for everyone else, too!  (To be fair, we know one girl who told us that she specifically dresses well during finals because everyone else looks so terrible and then she looks really good by comparison.  Highly credited).  Also finals is a chance to catch up on our binge eating and junk food campaigns, something that we've let lapse in the semester while trying to make ourselves look presentable. 

6) When It's Over, It's Over.  And then you can leave Charlottesville and head some place where winter involves snow, electoral votes for Democrats isn't a new phenomenon, and you can drive 1 mile on the main road through town in less than 25 minutes.  Wooooo. 

Monday, December 01, 2008