Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Missed Connection - Time is Running Short

So many law school relationships, encapsulated in a single ad:

Semester's worth of info from my corporations class - 25


Reply to: pers-2npng-1146529586@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-04-29, 5:49PM EDT

We've been in the same room for a semester, yet somehow you just never made an impression on me. Now it's the night before the exam, i'm finally open and available, and you are inscrutible and meaningless. I gaze at your endless verbiage, hoping against hope that in these last moments we will finally consummate our complete non-relationship in a fireball of comprehension, but our time is running short...
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Swear At Least Three Different People Insisted That I Post This

Good luck:



I also got at least one request for this - it's more pertinant exam advice -

A - Always

B- Be

C - Closing

ALWAYS BE CLOSING:



The best advice is around 4:00 . . . remember, the coffee outside WB 152 is for closers only.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Scarier than Finals?

As hard as it is to believe, I have stumbled across something that strikes fear into corners of my heart that even my impending Corporate Finance exam cannot reach.

I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant

TV-PG, CC

"I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" is a compelling documentary special that explores the fascinating and utterly surprising phenomenon of women who were completely unaware that they were pregnant....until they went into labor!

I accidentally watched this show late one evening last week, when it featured a woman who went to work and surprise! Had a baby.

Now on top of my anxiety that I will leave a classroom in WB this week getting a zero on an exam, I am concerned that I will also walk out the door with a baby. Seriously, whatever happened to Step-by-Step reruns?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

PSA: Stop at crosswalks

Lots of people here think that it is optional to stop at crosswalks. But its not. This is a college town, not a driving city and I'm tired of just dealing with it. So here's my promise to you C'ville drivers who don't stop at crosswalks. If you don't notice me because you are speeding and/or talking to your stupid friends on the phone, I will run after your car and yell curse words at you. If you see me and don't stop, I will throw whatever I have in my hands at your car (at this point, I'd like to mention that I've started walking around with a brick - UVA has warned us of too many shootings, beatings, and stabbings for me to buy that we live in a "relatively safe community.")

As if you need more motivation, consider that my future earning potential is massive. Do anything to hinder that potential, and some slick lawyer will make sure you're eating nettles the rest of your life.

Good day!

Update: Today I saw an old man flick off somebody who didn't stop for him at a crosswalk. I emulated this strategy 15 minutes later and derived great pleasure from it. See what good stuff you can learn from the elderly?

Proof The Gods Want Us To Fail





Weather for Charlottesville, VA
-
71°F
Current: Cloudy
Wind: S at 4 mph
Humidity: 57%
Sat
Mostly Sunny
90°F | 58°F
Sun
Clear
90°F | 58°F
Mon
Clear
90°F | 61°F
Tue
Clear
90°F | 59°F

Maybe Ann Arbor would be a better place to study law. But UVA is the only school we know where people schedule their finals around softball playoffs. In the meantime, FFJ gives his exam advice.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ITE, We Are ALL 1Ls . . .

Every semester around finals without fail we try to stop studying at the Law School, and every semester, without fail, I get angry at Panera/Starbucks/UG library when I hear a junior liberal arts major complaining about her "impossible" final in American History that is worth 33% of her final grade (!). As of this morning, the current semester is no exception. We miss college. Everyday. But especially now.

In other news, pursuant to the title (which is not meant to bum you out, it's *mostly* tongue-in-cheek), here's our advice for 1Ls from last year on how to ace Con Law.

Sorry the updates have been a little scant coming down the stretch - there's another thing that happens every semester . . .

Related:
It's My Constitution and I'll Interpret It the Way I Want

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

15-minute review: Asian Fusion Chinese Buffet

FFJ and I decided to check out the new Asian Fusion buffet (hat tip: Rhino via Mrs. Rhino). Its in the same shopping center as Cici's up on 29. No pictures today and an abbreviated run-down of the restaurant (hat tip: exams/papers via law profs).

Decor: Very nice. A fountain and decorative stuff on the wall. Flower paintings.

Ambiance: Not many people there. And considering what I'm about to tell you, we need to get this place some buzz. Seriously, I don't know if I can eat at the previously reviewed Chinese place anymore.

Service: Efficient - but see above about not many people being there - so maybe too efficient. Then again, sure, I'll take 5 refills in 30 minutes on my Dr. Pepper.

Food: Amazzzing. It has all of the usual Chinese samplings, but better. The General Tso's chicken, fried rice, and other various chicken dishes were all fantastic. Also, this place would be worth the price of dinner even just for the sushi. Best I've ever had at a buffet and it rivaled sushi at real places.

Price - $15 (for dinner, including drink and tip)

Overall grade - A

Monday, April 20, 2009

PSA: Free Baked Goods, Now

Free baked goods at the bookstore, April 20th-24th, from 11am until they run out.

Ouch - We'll Be Curled Up in the Fetal Position, Crying

Apparently this scan is legit. We can't imagine that this is good news. Perphaps the worst part is that they had to rank the three schools tied at 10th place in (what we really hope is) alphabetical order:

1. Yale
2. Harvard
3. Stanford
4. Columbia
5. NYU
6. University of California - Berkeley
6. Univerisity of Chicago
8. University of Pennsylvania
9. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
10. Dook
10. Northwestern
10. UVA
13. Cornell
14. Georgetown

[...]
Tom Wolfe on USNWR (for a second opinion):
What a stupid joke! Here is this third-rate news weekly, aimed at businessmen who don’t like to read, trying desperately to move up in the race but forever swallowing the dust of Time and Newsweek, and some character dreams up a circulation gimmick: Let’s rank the colleges. Let’s stir up a fuss. Pretty soon all of American higher education is jumping through hoops to meet the standards of the marketing department of a miserable, lowbrow magazine out of Washington, D.C.! Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford . . . —all jumped through the hoop at the crack of the U.S. News whip!
HTH.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This Could Help us Be America's Coolest Law School (Again)

The Libel Show peeps want us to remind you to vote for UVA in the Libel Show poll they are doing. The "Hot Bodies" video by this year's class seems to be running away with it. Take a couple minutes and watch all the entries if you haven't done so already. In addition to the UVA submissions, I'm a big fan of "Bar Bri Girl" from a previous NYU show . . . anyway, the voting ends tonight, so make your voices heard!

In other news, it looks like it's gonna rain - - just the thing we needed to kick us into gunner-mode after a weekend of softball, grilling, and just plain relaxing. And by "kick us into gunner-mode" we mean "try to reclaim the number one spot on the DTD contest." Right.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Time - The First Annual UVA Law Blog Desktop Tower Defense Contest!

With finals nary a week away, we're bringing back a UVA Law Blog tradition: DESKTOP TOWER DEFENSE (hereinafter: DTD). Look, a lot of you know the deal, but just in case you forgot, here's from this from last finals period:
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?
Here are some more observations: First, DTDing your way through finals = A- GUARANTEED. The two challenges (DTD/finals) require similar logic after all - you have to plan (outline), and then execute - fast (like an exam). You need to look at what kind of creep is coming (issue), find the weapon to kill (rule), get the placement just right (analysis), and enjoy the sweet, sweet results.

Second, we're announcing a bit of a competition (with a real, not-nominal, prize!) for the high score! After your game ends, just enter your alias under the group "UVA Law Blog" (no quotation marks, obviously). Whoever has the highest score at the end of finals wins! Participation limited to C-ville area, and (edit) there will be a prize for normal and a prize for hard. Feel free to enter as many times as you want (on hard or normal). There's also a prize for whomever can identify five typos in this entry and post about it anonymously in the comments.

View the standings so far.

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

Thursday, April 16, 2009

SBA PINIC TODAY

Starts at 5. Got an email saying to show up at 4.15 if you actually want to get food. And it's at Copley Fields, not the Spies Garden this time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bringing Back Letters of Marque and Reprisal, One Pirate at a Time

OK, I'm not saying this actually a good idea, but I can see something like this coming up on issue spotter for a ConLaw exam:
A little-known congressional power could help the federal government keep the Somali pirates in check — and possibly do it for a discount price.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and a growing number of national security experts are calling on Congress to consider using letters of marque and reprisal, a power written into the Constitution that allows the United States to hire private citizens to keep international waters safe.

Used heavily during the Revolution and the War of 1812, letters of marque serve as official warrants from the government, allowing privateers to seize or destroy enemies, their loot and their vessels in exchange for bounty money.

The letters also require would-be thrill seekers to post a bond promising to abide by international rules of war.

Read more.

Hey, does LRAP cover pirate-hunting? It's a public service, after all.

Someone Stole Money from PAW Review

Stealing laptops / textbooks: really really bad.

Stealing money from charity devoted to helping animals: outttrageous.

This makes us pretty angry. Times are tough, but which one of you is stealing from a charity? If anyone knows anything about it, you should go contact the administration. Be on the look out for this sort of thing: your vigilance is what helps keep people honest. (And of course their desire to actually *be* honest).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LIVEBLOG TODAY @ 4.30: How to Get an Offer

Career Services explains how to get an offer this summer - and we'll be there, categorizing the dos and do not dos of the whole process. I hope they mentions the UVA gal who got drunk and went for a dip in the east river and still got an offer. You have to be aggressive and you HAVE to stand out. Be THAT person.

4.32: Haven't started yet, but what an audience! I would guess that there is well over a hundre people here - we're in the back, pitter-pattering away . . .

And we're off - Lawson is at the plate, and is going to introduce us to the panelists . . . she notes that there are even a few first years. It's a three person panel, a guy from DC Akin Gump, woman from McGuire Woods, and a guy from Houston Vinson & Elkins . . . they're going to be talking about any "changes" this year . . .

4.35: Akin Gump DC went from 35 Summers to 12, says their HP. Other HPs haven't really acknowledged major effects to the economy re: the summer program

4.40: How many assignments should you take? Any billable hours requirements for summers? A: "The more assignments you take the more chances you will have to mess something up."

"In past programs the offer was yours to lose; well, this year you want to do as good a job as you can, and use your best judgment." (A)

"No substitute for quality work." (M)

And no, there's no billable hours requirement for summers....NEXT!

4:47: Still talking about your work product . . . "Firms want you to succeed as much as you want to succeed," says V&E HP.

4:49: Ask questions, but not too much. Try to aggregate questions - - - shockingly partners get annoyed when you ask them too many questions.

4:51: "Are there questions students should and shouldn't ask? And what's the best way to approach the partner that the student is working with (email, phone, etc. . . )"?

Well, ask the person which format they like for the memo, etc. Important to ask at the initial meeting little things like if someone wants copies of the authorities attached, in a separate three-ring binder, or not at all. Ask the Partner how they want follow up questions. And you can always ask an associate who works with that partner for tips and tricks.

4.59: "As soon you're done with the assignment and have submitted it, you should set up a time to get feedback. People at the firm will want to give you constructive criticism and improve" (A)

"And don't freak out if you get some negative feedback, we all make mistakes - no one is perfect . . . try to learn from the evaluation." (A)

"Attorneys are constantly in a position to provide feedback to summer associates." (M) "If you get a less than stellar comments, it's important to learn from them."

5:07: "Is it it a good idea to make strategic prefrences for a practice area?" i.e. busier v. non-busier practice area?

"The idea that you can divine what will be a hot practice group 8 years from now when you come up for partnership is pretty silly."(V)

"Pick something that you will enjoy working on" (M)

"This summer is different -it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that we are in the most challenging environment for law firm in decades."

"I think it's great that you want ot be a transactional attorney . . . it might be that the firm is not able to hire any transactional lawyers next year." Though he added that transactional practices could "heat up" in the future. (A)

5:16: Pro Bono Projects?

"In our view they are as important for summers as the other projects . . . and the same goes for associates and partners at the firm." (M)

" My sense is there might be more pro bono work out there this year then previous years, but at the end of the day you need to treat just like any other kind of work." "It will be judged just same at it would be for a [non pro bono] work." (A)

5:20: Participation in Social Events? Obviously they will be scaling back . . .

"If you have a conflict, just tell them that you can't attend. No one expect you to give up your outside life . . ." That said, "you ought to try to participate in the events so you can see what lawyers [at the firm] are doing when they're not working, and you get pretty good food, and alcohol, I would add." (V)

"I wouldn't put the term mandatory on our events, but we really want the SA's to see nonoffice opportunities to interact with our attorneys as important." (M) "If someone is consistently not making an effort to attend social functions, we notice it . . . we put a high priority on these opportunities to get to know each other."

"Don't blow off too many." "And at these events, well, don't get drunk at everyone. Use your judgment because people will be watching." (A)

5:27 What should you do to guarantee an offer? Or guarantee that you don't get an offer?

Relax, pay attention to detail. "This is going to be a good summer, don't follow the heard, just be good to yourself. Make your WP has good as it can be, no typos, bluebook accruately, and BE POSITIVE."

FACT: "You could do everything right this summer and, at some firms, you won't get an offer, and you won't be able to control it." (A) "Don't be bitter about this," as you have had a whole summer of networking with lawyers.

And if you get no offered, "you shouldn't look at is necessarily a unifornimly negative situation", use the firm to help you find something else. (V)

"I'm sure you guys are checking a blog or two, don't believe everything you read . . . but DO check what's going on with the firm, so you can hit the ground running on day 1 with knowledge of what is going on." (A)

5:35: Student questions - lets hope we get some good ones!

What role do 2L grades play?

"They play a role . . . not more important is your work product . . . but yes it's a factor." (A)

"True, it's a factor." (V)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Another Really Short Post: Soap in the BR by Scott Commons

Why isn't there ever any?

Sorry for the lack of real posting these last few days . . .

Must Be That Time of the Year

My 8.30 AM class usually has about 14 / 25 people in it.

Today: 22/25 . . . and counting! It's never too late. ..

Thursday, April 09, 2009

PSA: Softball, PAs

Two things:

As far as Softball goes
  • Canceling your game on a day like today (sunny, 65 degrees) because you can't get numbers: Highly dubious.
  • Canceling your game on a *Friday* because you can't get numbers: What???
We also heard that they announce the new PAs soon. We look forward to a week of grumbling and hearing, in particular, "it's all a popularity contest" and "they selected HER/HIM?! I don't believe it!"

In Rule 12(f)'s Law School everyone who wants to be a PA gets to be one. We would have a 1:1 PA:Student ratio. US News would love us!

Srsly, good luck everyone . . .

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

All Along the Watchtower

OK, it looks like Ronald D. Moore was right - anyone else just a little freaked out about this after watching the BSG finale?
Robot Makes Scientific Discovery All By Itself

Adam

For the first time, a robotic system has made a novel scientific discovery with virtually no human intellectual input.

Scientists designed "Adam" to carry out the entire scientific process on its own: formulating hypotheses, designing and running experiments, analyzing data, and deciding which experiments to run next.

"It's a major advance," says David Waltz of the Center for Computational Learning Systems at Columbia University. "Science is being done here in a way that incorporates artificial intelligence. It's automating a part of the scientific process that hasn't been automated in the past."

Read more...

How long before they are designing number eights? We were going to originally title this post "All Of This Has Happened Before, And All Of It Will Happen Again", pt. 4, but that would be just confusing . . .

Monday, April 06, 2009

Moar Work Plz

Congrats to the winners of 2009 moot court, Benjamin Holley and Lee Peifer, and the following people who advanced to the elite 8:
Team F (Lanora Pettit and Casey Lee)
Team G (Eimeric Reig and Joel Feil)
Team H (John Moran and Alex Ibrahim)
Team I (Chris Brown and Andrew Howlett)
Team K (Megan Lacy and Christine Mandell)
Team V (Joelle Perry and Clinton Dockery)
Team X (Christopher McCoy and Jin Yan)
Team CC (Fiona McCarthy and Nick Nelson)
Cool - two of these people will have their names up there next to Ted Kennedy and that other dude who was also a senator but no one remembers. Though if it were I, I'd trade it for a spot on a invitational team or, in the alternative, a week's worth of lunches at Scott Commons (FMV=130 USD). Any takers? Nothing in the rules says that the interests aren't transferable or substitutions aren't allowed . . .

EDIT: Some random analysis . . . eight of these people are on law review, four were H'10...

Previously:
He Must Have Cheated!

Related:
Those About to Work (Really Hard) . . . We Salute You! (over-lap alert)

Golden Corral Reviewed



This week’s culinary exploration takes Team UVA Law Blog to Golden Corral for some good old fashioned comfort food. Rhino subbed in for Justincredible for Monday’s lunch adventure. GC is located up 29 (further up than Cici’s) next to the gigantic post office. Exams are approaching and GC was kind of uninspiring so I'm keeping this pretty short.

Ambiance
Tough to say. Monday at 2:15 is not usual GC time for most folks – perhaps we should have reviewed GC to get the Sunday after-church crowd feeling.
Grade – Incomplete

D├ęcor
Kind of lame. There were some hanging signs extolling fresh ingredients and old person window dressings, which were nondescript colors and shiny plastic-y fabrics likely designed to repel smoke and body odor. Windows not only let in light from the outside, but also into views of the other sections – a little strange.
Grade - C

Service
At GC you pay up front and get your first drink. From there, a team member refills your drinks and gets you clean plates. The team member at the register was a little rude, but the waitress was efficient and pleasant.
Grade – B-

Food
Everything in the world. I heaped my first plate with the following oddly matched items: mashed potatoes, chicken wings, turkey with gravy, mini cheeseburgers, and broccoli. The wings were a little overcooked but nonetheless fairly delicious. Somehow even the broccoli managed to taste unhealthy, as though they’d cooked it in butter or something (which they probably did). Round two included cornbread (which Rhino thought was among the best items on the menu, particularly when complemented with the unnaturally yellow butter), cheesesteak (the Special of the Month, consisting of grilled cheese with roast beef smashed into a ball in the middle), more mini cheeseburgers, and cauliflower (or white broccoli, as Rhino calls them). Rhino reports that he and T-Pain highly recommend the buffalo chicken nugs with the extra creamy and buttery ranch. The waitress brought rolls, which were fairly succulent. The dessert offerings are probably the highlight of GC. Encompassing nearly as many square feet as the entrees, GC delighted the palate with the usual standbys – softserve icecream with toppings (Gummy Bears!), chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles, carrot cake – with some more ambitious desserts, such as fudge, fudge brownies, fudge cake, cookie cake, and pepperoni pizza. Of course, the pizza sat next to the desserts, where else would it go? Make sure to sample the bread pudding, which is in the top 10 things I’ve eaten this week.
Grade - B

Price
Free – T-Pain hit me back.

Rhino sums up:
Unfortunately for GC, relative to the other places reviewed (which, although I did not attend the specific expedition to these locations, I also frequent), I would place it last. The real problem is that their vast array of items ultimately results in too few quality outcomes. While the Chinese buffet is far from gourmet, several of the items meet or exceed the quality you would expect from any other generic Chinese spot. CiCi's is not Mellow [Mushroom] quality, but it is remarkably consistent. GC was only ok, sometimes well below that, and even the things that should have been good (e.g. fried chicken) were a far cry from comparable or cheaper places (e.g. Popeyes).

Overall Grade - B-

Sunday, April 05, 2009

It's A Good Weekend For Softball, PT3

Congrats to UVA Men's Gold and Blue and Co-Rec Gold for making it to the semis . . . we spent most of the day following Co-Rec Blue power its way through to the quarterfinals, where they were defeated by a hungry team from Appalachian Law School.


Just because it's slow pitch doesn't mean you don't bring the heat...


Maryland's Team was first squad co-rec blue faced with some heavy hitters... men and ladies alike.


Luckily, Co-Rec blue had hitters of their own: here, a line drive brings in a run; UVA beat Maryland 13-4 to advance to the next round.

In the quarterfinals, Co-Rec Blue faced Appalachian. After a commanding first inning in which UVA lead 5-1, Appalachian knocked several home runs into left field to take lead. Around 50 people were watching - most of them rooting for Virginia.


Co-Rec Blue responded with some slugging of their own, and kept the game close even after some breakaway innings.

In the end the deficit proved to be too much: the teams congratulate one another for a good effort all around.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Good Weekend for Softball, PT 2


Boston College: Flashiest Uniform Award?

Leg it out!: UVA Co-Rec Blue dismantled Maryland White by 40 runs.

Was the officiating perfect? No. Did NYU come within 30 runs of Co-Rec Blue? Also no...

All the same, the Violets insisted that they be remembered as the team that had most fun in defeat.

A rare miss: this guy hit a double on his next swing, but of course I didn't get a picture of that.


Pitcher and Third Base for Maryland White

Bam! Power hit gives a triple for Co-Rec Gold

By the time the Fordham outfielders could get to Co-Rec Gold's pop-flys, they were already on the ground; Co-Rec Gold won the game convincingly.


Line drive was good for a hit here!

A Good Weekend For Softball, PT 1


What Can You Do?: NESL scores a run as Co-Rec Orange tries to get the ball in from right field


NESL Put Up an Impressive Win Over Co-Rec Orange; UVA Fans Look On

The cleanup hitter for Men's Orange needs the right bat...


Sadly, Roger Williams put too many men on base for Men's Orangeto keep up


Home Run for NESL



A little blurry . . . but look at that stance!


Dugout View: In this inning UVA held Roger Williams to no runs, but the defensive stand wasn't enough . . .


US News never lies: Georgetown crushed George Washington

Strategy...

Friendship is what softball is all about!!

More - and hopefully better quality - soon!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

On A Sadly Serious Note: Lower Salaries --> Lower Tuition (?)

The New York Times has a piece today titled "With the Downturn, It's Time to Rethink the Legal Profession". O RLY? Here's the punchline: the key reason why firm's are suffering so much these days in terrible economy is that law firm salaries are too high:
The changes are likely to begin with compensation. Years ago, law firm starting salaries were not that different from government or public-interest jobs. But the gap has become a chasm. First-year salaries at top firms are around $160,000, compared with $48,000 to start for state and local prosecutors and $40,000 for legal-services lawyers. New associates often earn more than the judges they appear before.

The downturn will probably rein in salaries at the high end. Top firms are already under pressure to lower the $160,000 starting salary; one industry-watcher says it could fall as low as $100,000. And fewer firms will feel the need to pay the top salary.

Lower pay should mean that associates will not need to work the grueling hours many have been forced to. And it will mean less pressure to go into private practice for law graduates who would rather do something else.
First of all, that was many years ago, and at that time it didn't matter, because law school tuition was much cheaper. We're also unclear as to how lower salaries will mean that associates are necessary working less hours - isn't the whole point that they are simply billing less per hour to attract more clients, rather than actually working less? To us, it seems pretty ambiguous . . .

Of course, as the article points out, the increase firm salaries was accompanied by an increase in law school tuition; and as dramatic as the increase in starting firm salaries was, the increase in tuition was (we believe) even more dramatic. So does this mean if firms start lowering their starting salaries en masse, law schools will start lowering their tuition? The NYT seems to think it's a possibility:

For years, law school tuition rose along with big-firm salaries. Between 1990 and 2003, the cost of private law schools rose at nearly three times the rate of consumer prices. The average graduate now leaves with more than $80,000 in debt. In one survey, 66 percent of students said debt prevented them from considering government or public-interest jobs.

If the downturn is prolonged, law schools will need to keep tuition and other costs in check so students do not graduate with unmanageable debt. More schools may follow the lead of Northwestern, the first top-tier law school to offer a two-year program.

We'll shoot this analysis out of the water right now: First, tuition is going up - even in a recession and even though the average starting salary of law school graduates will be lower this year than it was last year. Second, why cite Northwestern's two-year JD program? - it's terribly misleading because the tuition in the two-year program is the same as the three year program.

Do we really think tuition is going to ever go down? - tuition has not decreased in any previous recession, and I don't see it increasing in this one. Plenty of people were willing to believe a massive increase in Law School tuition, and not entirely unreasonably so. Tuition will be higher this year then last, here, and it just about every other law school in the country: whatever firms are doing, the costs of a legal education with top professors, top facilities, top new carpeting, top scholarships, etc., will continue to go up. So while we agree that with the article that firms may be trimming their compensation, we think that it is far to optimistic in its suggestion of a silver lining for current or future law students.

The law schools won't "need" to do anything about tuition - they can continue to raise and law students will just continue to take on more debt. Sure, a few might decide to pursue other paths, but for those who want to enter law (a noble profession which we love), what other choice is there? And what of the students already enrolled? Well, unless the Law School adopts a multi-layered tuition plan to protect current students from large (and seemingly periodic) increases, they'll have no choice but to grind their teeth and take on more loans. And because of this they'll continue to try work for big law firms whether the starting salary is $160k, $145k, or $100k for that matter - with the increased debt load, they will have less - not more - of a choice.

We would love to see tuition go down, or at least stabilize somewhat. Sadly, we have seen no indication that it will be doing so any time soon, the recession and impending changes to law firm's business model notwithstanding.

Alright, enough of this. It's time to look forward to a weekend of softball, barbeque, sunshine, and showing 64 other law schools just how great UVA is!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

APRIL FOOLS: New Tuition Figures Released

Editor's note: Yes this was an April Fool's joke - perhaps the hyperlink or the incorrect addition tipped you off. We apologize if it was scarily believable. Especially to the people who kept thinking it was real even when we told you it wasn't . . . anyway, great holiday, be sure to check the Law Weekly's April Fools Spread on Friday.

Just got the word from the B.O.V. on the new tuition figures from next year:

J.D. Costs, 2009-10
Virginia Resident
Nonresident
Tuition and Fees:
$48,500
$53,500
Room, Board, and Miscellaneous:
16,500
16,500
Books and Supplies:
1,800
1,800
Totals:
$65,800
$70,800

I am at a loss for words.