Amicus Curiae

We're just like Scalia and Ginsberg, only we're 2Ls and not on the Supreme Court. Oh, and this Antonin doesn't sing.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

TRL Post 2: Is Law School a Lot of Work?

Dear Antonin and Ruth,

The two of you make law school sound like one big party, but I don't know if believe it. I think you either do more work than you say you do, or you're both smarter than average or your grades just aren't that good. In other words, how much work can I expect to be doing during my 1L year?

You guys are still great,

Future UT 1L


Dear Future UT 1L,

The short answer to your question is this: We probably do a little more work than we put on, we are much smarter than average, and our grades could be better.

The longer answer is that law school is as much work as you make it, and we've yet to meet anyone whose grades reflected the amount of work they put into a class. So why work ourselves to death when there is partying to be done and beer to be consumed? In the end we're still going to get a job, be a lawyer, and be able to pay back our loans. But unlike those who were all work and little play during law school, we'll be able to look back on these three years and say, "I might have got a few B's in law school, but I also got some T & A."1

Sincerely,

Ruth and Antonin

1 Antonin's footnote: Or in Ruth's case, some C-O-C-K.

TRL Post 1: Day in the life of Antonin

Dear Antonin,
I just finished my 1L year and I am working for a judge and taking classes this summer. I am hoping to work for a big firm next summer, so I was wondering what your typical day is like working for "Big Law?"

Yours truly,
Anonymous
*P.S. And when I say yours truly, I mean I want to do you.

(* This P.S. may or may not have been added by Antonin)

Anonymous,
Thank you for the letter and your infatuation with my online personality. Working at a big law firm might seem like a lot of fun, but it calls for a great commitment of time and energy. Below is a schedule of my typical day at work:

9:37- Arrive at work; sneak up the stairwell from the 6th to the 7th floor so that the receptionist doesn't see me coming in late

9:38- 10:00- Check my email accounts on Gmail, Yahoo, utexas.edu, and Outlook.

10:00- 10:07- Go get a coke from the kitchen and talk with the Food Services ladies about how much we hate whitey.

10:08- 10:45- In between surfing the web, sending emails, and peeing every 10 minutes, I do some work.

10:45- 11:30- Walk around the office talking to attorneys and summer associates about how drunk we were the night before.

11:30- 2:00- Lunch

2:00- 3:00- Pull up the memo I'm currently working on and zone out. I also try to think of foolproof ways to sleep in my office without getting caught.

3:00- 3:30- Go with attorneys (because they pay) to get Starbucks coffee.

3:30- 5:00- Realize I've only billed 45 minutes all day and do some work.

5:00- 1:30- Close shit down and bounce. Meet work people for happy hour, dinner, or some other event where heavy drinking is involved. More often than not, we get bombed off our asses.

1:30- Take a cab home and try to convince the driver to let me smoke in the car; Pass out shortly after getting home.

That is what I would call the usual day. Sometimes I stay out later or don't work as hard, but that is a pretty good example of what I've been doing all summer. Glad I could show you the darker side of the summer clerkship. I hope you make the right decision and life treats you well.

Sincerely,

Antonin

Ruth's Addendum: Remember you can send your questions to amicuscuriae-dot-blog-@-gmail-dot-com.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Total Request Live Week

Lately we've been getting emails from soon-to-be 1Ls asking us various questions. Although we usually get back to people via email, we noticed that people were asking similar questions, and it would make more sense to answer them publicly.

So our next round of posts will be answers to your questions. Anything goes.1

Are you an incoming 1L with questions about starting law school or the whole law school experience? Are you a 2L who wants to know if we'll be at the first Bar Review of the semester? Are you a 3L who wants to know how Ruth spends her days now that she's on vacation? Are you a recent grad who is about to start a high-paying job and is preferably female and interested in dating Antonin? If so, email us with your questions and we'll answer your question in a very special blog post, just for you.

As always, we can be reached at amicuscuriae-dot-blog-@-gmail-dot-com. Just indicate whether you want us to use your name, a pseudonym, or keep you anonymous. We'll keep answering questions as they come in. Questions don't have to be law-school related.

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1 Except questions about our Semi-Super Sekrit Identities or the location of Antonin's tattoo. We won't answer those.

Monday, July 25, 2005

What I Learned During My First Legal Job

We all know that not all learning is done in the classroom. I thought this post would go with my last one.

  • Jobs waste no time in losing their novelty.
  • Get a job that pays, if you possibly can. While I found my experience this summer to be quite valuable, money can be a stronger motivator than I originally thought.
  • The legal research and writing I learned in school was of no use to me at work. The research part was easy, but I had to learn to write all over again.
  • The stuff I learned in school made much more sense when I saw it in practice.
  • I'm so going to ace Federal Criminal Procedure this fall. *grin*
  • Cases in Real LifeTM are not like cases in casebooks, meaning they haven't been edited down to one issue for the purpose of teaching a lesson. Real LifeTM cases are filled with every issue the Plaintiff could include with a straight face and some that he couldn't.
  • Unless others are buying, bring your lunch every day. The peanut butter and jelly might get old after a few weeks, but that extra money won't.
  • Arrive in the morning before the judge. Leave after him in the evening.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Open Letter to 1L

Dear future 1L,

Congratulations on your admission to law school. Now before I go on, I am going to ask you to put down your copy of "Law School Confidental", "Acing Your First Year of Law School", "1L", or whatever other piece of shit you are reading and pay attention. I realize you might be nervous about starting school in a few months, those little seeds of doubt stirring around in your genius little head. But instead of worrying, you should be concentrating on one thing, and one thing only. . . Fucking Nothing.

Now when I say that you need to be concentrating on nothing, I mean you need to work really hard on being as dumb as possible this summer. For example:

- If you like to drink, go get wasted 7 days a week. Especially in the daytime. There is nothing more special than daytime drinking.

- If you like watching t.v., sit in front of the tube for 12 hours straight and watch every episode of Entourage and the O.C. 53,000 times. Catching those VH1 "I love the (insert decade)" can also really help pass the time.

- If you're into video games, rent every game you can and play them until your thumbs are bleeding, your ass is flat, and the computer generated hookers won't give you anymore boo-boo.

Whatever your favorite mindless activity is, go do it. And do it like you've never done it before. And if you are even thinking about reading something law related, go into the bathroom and punch yourself in the balls (or tit) until you don't want to read law stuff anymore.

I guess what I'm really trying to tell you is to enjoy the free time while it lasts. Although school will probably not be as hard as most make it out to be, it still takes up a lot of time. So enjoy this last month of freedom, make sure you use protection, and I'll see you at the end of August.

Yours Very Truly,

Antonin

I Sure Hope I Pass My Background Check

There's apparently a fairly recent federal law (that I can't be arsed to look up) that says that new judicial employees (including clerks, interns, and interpreters at least) have to be fingerprinted and have a background check.

I've been working there since May 31. Tomorrow is my last day.

They fingerprinted me today.

I doubt my background check will be complete for a while still. I wonder what exactly would happen if I don't pass it. Mind probes to erase all my memories of this summer? Would I be forced to take it off my resume?

Hmmmm, maybe I shouldn't have taken those topless pics back in undergrad...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Thanks to whoever linked to us on the UT Freshlaw message boards. We were wondering where the sudden spike in readership came from. We appreciate the mention and hope that we can continue to inspire you during your educational endeavors.

What I Learned in my First Year of Law School

1. I do best in the classes I prepared least for. This should also teach me that I shouldn't study at all, except that my second-best grades are in the classes I prepare most for. Meh.

2. Law school's reputation for being difficult was a bit overrated.

3. Attendance in Legal Research and Writing is optional. Attendance is actually optional across the board, but even more so in this class.

4. There is a noticeable over-representation of asshats in law school. Fortunately, they did not end up in my small group. I got to observe the asshattery from afar.

5. Rule 12(b)(6) is a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted.

6. Beer is good. (Yes, I didn't learn this until law school.) (Antonin says he deserves credit for this, seeing as how he was usually the one buying it for me.)

7. Just because someone is in a Top 15 law school does not necessarily mean he/she is smart.

8. Law students, like the lawyers they will someday be, really like to hear themselves talk.

9. The amount of time a student talks in class is not directly related to his or her actual knowledge of the subject.

10. I don't know shit about The Law.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Rebuilding the Cabbie Karma

Last night we went to Lone Star Park and bet on the ponies. Despite the fact that I lost $30, I got to drink a lot and I had a good time. After the races, we all headed to Uptown to go dance at Knox St. Pub. I drank a few beers, took a few Jagerbombs, and continued to have a good time. At about 1:30, I decided it was pretty late and I should probably head home. I called Alamo Cab (I jumped out of a Yellow Cab last time) for a ride. But they tell me it'll be about 30 minutes. So I am in quite a dilemma when a friend from another firm proposes that I just jump in his cab, take it on home after it drops him off, and pay with his firms cab voucher.

So the cabbie drops him off, and proceeds to drive me home. I live a little ways from Dallas, so the cab fare ends up being $40. As we pull up to my house, I realize I have a cab voucher from a firm who doesn't know me, and more than likely rejected me during spring interviews. I really liked the cabbie, and I knew he had probably had a hard life, so I decided to he deserved a $30 tip. I was getting out of the cab when he pointed out that he need my name and signature. So I signed the voucher "LaMont Cranston" and stumbled into the house.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Getting Some Cat

Check out this real email a summer clerk sent every lawyer at his firm:

To: *All Users - Dallas
Subject: NON-BUSINESS: mate for my cat

I have a Siamese cat that I would like to breed one time before I get her fixed. If anyone has a male Siamese/Balinese cat that they could provide for a session, we could work out some kind of arrangement (perhaps a free kitten or payment up to $100) if making your boy cat happy is not consideration enough. Please let me know soon if you or someone you know has a cat that could help out. Time is somewhat of the essence because I think my Kitty just went in heat last night!

What kind of fuck-stick sends this email to 100+ lawyers? I would quit if this guy got an offer at my firm.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Fighting Al Qaeda

Last night, my firm had their Clerks Only Karaokee party. And by Clerks Only, they meant clerks only for the first hour, then a bunch of drunk attorneys showing up. So the party is in full swing, but I get bored, so I grab a cab to meet up with my first half firm. And yes, I was totally wasted.

So I am rolling in the cab across Dallas, having a great time with the cabbie, when I suddenly tell him I have a cab voucher. He takes a look at the voucher and tells me that he can't accept it. I don't have any cash on me (since I haven't paid for a meal, drink, or cab all summer) and I tell him its either the cab voucher or nothing. So the mother fucker tells me he is going to take me to the police station. Although I am not usually affected by such threats, I happened to be totally shit canned at the time, and I thought that this could mean bad things for my future. So as he pulls up to a corner, I reach up the passenger side door, unlock the doors, and slide open the minivan door. I try to get out, but as I am graciously exiting, the cabbie hits the gas and I bust my ass on the sidewalk. My jeans are ripped, my shoulder is bruised, and I have a huge scrape across the right side of my face.

Then the fucking cabbie starts following me around and calls the cops. The cops show up and ask me what's going on. I drunkely inform them that the cabbie wouldn't take a cab voucher from a law firm who has been around longer than he's been in the U.S. The cops ask if I have any money, I give them the five bucks that are in my wallet, and I am free to go.

So my question is, should I sue this cab company? False imprisonment, assault and battery, and a whole host of other torts come to mind. But I really don't know shit about the law, so I was hoping a few of you paid more attention in torts. If it sounds like a good case, and you happen to work on contigency, go ahead and give me a call.

P.S. I'm pretty sure I stole a cigarette from the cabbie right before I jumped out.

"superheroes and weaknesses"

Every now and again (by which I mean daily), I check our blog statistics, including our daily and hourly visitors and top referrers. In the top referrers section, there are often a couple of google searches. Most of these are fairly simple--searches for "amicus curiae" or "amicus ruth" or "amicus antonin."

But today there was "superheroes and weaknesses."

And our blog was the fifth return.

Now I'm not really sure how Google's search technology works, but I was amused nevertheless.

Speaking of superheroes, I'm off to see Fantastic Four tomorrow. It's sure to suck (and even more so after the beauty that was Batman Begins), but I can't resist superhero movies. *sigh*

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Ruth's Ten Commandments of the UT 1L Year

Note: When I say that I'm going on a blawging hiatus, that usually means expect extra posting. It's like the moment I acknowledge that I've little to say, I suddenly think of a gazillion things I want to post. Most of these posts are short and are simply a better way of passing the time than, say, counting the number of freckles on my arm. But tonight's post has a tad bit more substance.

Anyway, the idea for this post originated here and I gacked it from PG over at De Novo. Without further ado, I bring you the Ten Commandments for UT 1Ls.


1. Thou shalt go party at Thursday night Bar Reviews. Thou needst not attend every single Bar Review, as a number of them doth suck, but thou hast no excuse for staying in to read while thy friends are getting smashed.

2. Thou shalt not be intimidated by gunners. Just because they talk in class doth not make them more intelligent than thou. Besides, they often shut up in the second semester once grades have come in.

3. Thou shalt exercise at least four times a week. All joking aside, keeping your body in shape will help keep your mind in shape.

4. Thou shalt eat Freebirds at least twice a month. I don't think this needst any further elaboration.

5. Thou shalt play Law School flag football. It's fun, and a good way to make friends with thy fellow small group-mates. Thy team needst not win in order to have a good time.

6. Thou shalt not freak out about grades. Thou will do well to remember that thou art at a good school and will find employment. I know a handful of people whose grades were far from fantastic, and we (yes, me as well) did just fine with summer jobs. Which leads me to my next commandment...

7. Thou shalt not labor under the misapprehension that thou must work during thy rising 2L summer. The summer before your 2L year is possibly the last summer you'll have in which you don't really have to do anything. If thou gets a good legal job, more power to thou. But summer school is good too. So are non-stressful jobs as bookstore clerks and lifeguards. Or just lounge if you can.

8. Thou shalt turn off the sounds on thy Instant Message programs. The less they go off in class, the less the professors will remind you that you shouldn't be on IM.

9. Thou shalt not freak out around finals time. I speak from experience. If thou worries about the final, and yet thou doeth well, then thy worrying was for nothing. If thou worries about the final, and thou doeth poorly, then thy worrying did not help thou to do well. Either way, worrying is pointless. Study according to what works well for thou, then hope for the best. It's often a crap shoot for grades anyway.

10. Thou shalt not be an asshat. Asshattery includes, but is not limited to, the following. Hiding or failing to put away books properly when thou knows that thy fellow students need said book. Forming a clique-like study group and being obnoxiously exclusive. Basically, taking the fact that thou art graded competively to the extreme. Thou may think that this is okay, but really it just makes people like thou less. If thou could not care less about such things, then by all means be an asshat. But don't be surprised when this backfires and thou findest that thy classmates treat thou with equal amounts of asshattery.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

How Appropriate

When Antonin and I chose our blogging names, we sort of just picked ones that sounded good and that made us chuckle. But today, I found out that Justices Scalia and Ginsburg are actually quite good personal friends. Now our blog names seem even more fitting.

Only I don't think I'd ever call my Antonin "Nino." It just doesn't go.

Girlfriends v. Finals: A Comparative Analysis

Today's guest blogger is a fellow rising 2L from UT. He said we could add something that might give him away to those who know him, but everything that came to mind was obvious to fairly obvious.

Ruth would also like to add that she is not the type of girl to do the things described in this post. She has better things to do than call her boyfriend every few minutes.*

Enjoy,

Ruth and Antonin

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My thesis is very simple: in many ways, finals are like having a girlfriend. I will focus on the areas of cockblockage and time consumption.

Cockblock:

Recently I was sitting at a coffee shop studying for a summer school exam. I saw a hot girl that I had met here when I was studying for Spring finals. I got her number back then, but I never called because I didn’t have time (sad, I know). And by the time finals were over, it was too late to call. This is the classic finals cockblock. If you didn’t let it happen to you, than you are better man then I am (actually you are not, it’s just an expression).

The similarity to having a girlfriend is quite obvious. Nothing is more of a cockblock than a girlfriend. Anytime you are out without her, she will somehow strategically time her phone call for that moment when you are hitting on another girl. If you don’t pick up, you are just delaying the inevitable—she will call again, trust me guys…go ahead, step away from that attractive female you were hitting on and call your girlfriend back. Don’t bother listening to the two voicemails she left, they will just piss you off. Oh look, now you are outside the bar—buddy, you got a 20 minute conversation coming, at a minimum. You come back inside the bar. Now you either can’t find the girl or she’s flirting with your arch-nemesis.

Time Consuming:

Ever notice how much time you spend studying for finals when you could be doing something better? Of course you do. Ever notice how much time you spend with your girlfriend when you could be doing something better? You may not, but think about it.

You guys know the fact pattern: your friends call you to go get wasted on a random Wednesday night. “Yes,” you say, without hesitation. But oh wait, didn’t you promise your girlfriend that you would hang out with her tonight? You know, just the two of you…she hasn’t seen you since Sunday, and we all know the world will end if she doesn’t see you every few days. But won’t a 30 minute phone call do the trick? NO, it won’t, and you know it, so stop lying to yourself. Better call your buds back—“I can’t make it tonight, I promised my girlfriend to hang out with her.” Your friends will call you a pussy, even if they pulled the same shit last week. Just take the punishment silently, maybe with a chuckle. Arguing will only make it worse, as they will bring up countless other instances when you have punked out for the same reason.

Does that conversation sound familiar? Yes, it does. You had it during finals last semester. Except it was a Saturday night and you tell your friends you can't go out because you are studying for finals. Even though they are not in law school, they will understand, right? WRONG. They call you a pussy and hang up. Now you go back to studying pissed off at the world. It's ok, it will all be over soon and you can finally have some time to hang out with your girlfriend. She hasn't seen you all that much since you are always studying.
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* This is fortunate, especially when you consider that she doesn't actually have a boyfriend.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Ruth = AFK... sort of

In nine days I'll be making a flight to Houston and reading the new Harry Potter book with 25 of my closest friends. I'm so excited that I can hardly think about anything else, let alone blog.

I doubt, however, that any of you will be very interested in my fan girlish squeals as The Big Day draws nigh. I will therefore retreat to my personal blog for the next few weeks, while my inner nerd runs free. Any blogging I do here will probably be short, sweet, and without much of a point. Eventually I hope to say something about Sandra Day, but right now, I only seem capable of comparing her to members of the wizarding high court in HP, and again, I don't plan to subject you all to that.

In the meantime, Antonin and some upcoming guest contributors will be carrying the blog. I'll be here with more substance once the excitement of the book has worn off.

Oh, but I did want to let y'all know that the Judge wants to publish the opinion I wrote. I would be lying if I said I wasn't totally thrilled. Federal Supplement, here I come! :)

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