if justice is blind... Sua Sponte
My law school odyssey: three years, three time zones and beyond.


I've just spent four hours and forty-five minutes briefing a case for Civ Pro, two for Crim, three for Torts, and a lucky seventh for El-Dubyar. That last one truly got my goat, since rather than a notetaking-style brief that would actually be useful to me if called on in class, I instead had to produce a readable document that extrapolated the issues of law at a much higher level -- the level at which the professor would take over in an in-class discussion and frame the issues in his own words.

Not that it was such a terrible chore in and of itself; whenever you brief you're ostensibly looking for these big-picture issues. But coming at the end of four and a half hours of grinding grinding grinding away, the mental downshifting had me nearly reduced to tears. I was far too burnt-out to see the task before me as anything but torture.

Normally I'd never spend over two straight hours doing anything, let alone work. My attention span is just too short; I need breaks, distractions, other things to do, or else my mind will wander and seek them out of its own volition while I struggle in vain to concentrate on the task at hand. My husband, who can puzzle over a problem for up to eighteen straight hours without pausing for anything more than bathroom breaks, doesn't sympathize. "You need to learn how to do this," he says, reminding me that I'm supposed to get everything done on Saturdays so that Sundays can be our Together Days.

How does one do this?

thus spake /jca @ 8:52 PM...


At the close of my first full week of law school, I've found two things:

1) This lifestyle is exhausting beyond measure. The train time is good for getting reading done, yes, but actually *catching* the train seems to involve about fifteen minutes on either end of wondering whether it's time yet followed by ten minutes of flat-out sprinting upon the realization that it, in fact, was time five minutes ago. But the mere stress of figuring out when the trains actually run couldn't account for my sustained state of droop.

Maybe part of this exhaustion stems from my tendency, cultivated over the course of a lifetime of joint custody, nontrivial commutes and long-distance relationship, to drowse off on any form of transit where I'm not the one driving. I take my caffeinated Dramamine and fight like hell to stay awake on the train, since I'm on it for so damn long, but still get off it feeling dopey. From what I understand, all this reading and briefing and stuff is tiring even if you're not spending three hours a day commuting, trying to force yourself to actually parse the giant book balanced on your lap as the train bounces along and scenery flashes by in your peripheral vision and babies cry and voices carry and you can't turn the Vivaldi up any louder without giving yourself a headache. But I can certainly testify that it's even more tiring when all this is built in to your daily routine.


2) I'm beginning to understand the intangible quality that gives law school a reputation for being so differently difficult than any other academic endeavor. It's the act of breaking into a clique. The judiciary approaches the level of Masonic ritual in its rites of inclusion, of Talmudic scholarship in its self-referential constructivism, and of the gulag in its philosophy of self-improvement through overwork (Arbeit macht frei = five cases per night macht Anwalt? But I digress...)

But simultaneously -- and here comes a break in the whining -- I'm also beginning to understand how that clique is broken into. This morning, halfway between Redwood City and San Carlos, after several cumulative hours of meditation on my Civ Pro casebook, I realized in one fell swoop exactly why Louisville & Nashville Railroad v. Mottley didn't qualify for federal jurisdiction. ~Of course! The Mottleys only care about the *breach of contract,* not the statute!~

I love Eureka moments, especially when I'm overtired; and this one in particular put some immediate issues in perspective. I was once again high on my own perceptive abilities, appreciative of the anticipated quality of Professor Civ Pro's impending discussion on federal question jurisdiction, reassured that things were still on track the way they were supposed to be.

So it's not all a drag, of course.

I've been told that studying law is like learning a new language, but I've studied a decent number of languages (both as a student in pursuit of fluency and as a research linguist) and am going to have to disagree with the sages on this one. Law school is less like linguistic than like cultural immersion. You can conjugate all the Moogledonian verbs in the world without understanding why certain foods or fashions are popular in Moogledonia, or what type of behavior is considered proper manners at a Moogledonian dinner table, or how to greet a Moogledonian elder with the proper respect. The same, I'd venture to say, is true of the American judiciary. (In a metaphorical sense, obviously. I can't comment on judges' table manners.)

There are no classes on Monday, and ahhh, I shall relish every moment of their absence. Just for the day, of course. By Tuesday I should be OK with everything again.

thus spake /jca @ 8:49 PM...


Thursdays shred me.

thus spake /jca @ 10:11 PM...


Add me to the list of folks who have been Called On In Law School.

I suppose I was asking for it; I did, after all, raise my hand. In all fairness, though, said hand had actually been raised in response to a question just posed by Professor Torts: "Who here is from Connecticut? Lived in Connecticut? Went to school in Connecticut?" *Bingo*, and suddenly I was briefing a case aloud that happened to have taken place in Connecticut. (It was Alteiri v. Colasso, on the doctrine of transfer of intent, and my brief went reasonably well.)

Thankfully, no further information was demanded of me on the subject of my undergraduate education -- unlike yesterday, where in the midst of a discussion of residence and domicile not being equivalent I (rather stupidly) raised my hand in response to a similar question from Professor Civ Pro. "Who here went to college in a different state than your home state?" he had asked, and then immediately pegged me: "You! Where did you go to college?" I had to out myself in front of the entire class; I can only imagine the shade of purple I flushed. So much for keeping a low profile. But I digress.

There is an excellent reason -- several -- *many* excellent reasons why Professor Torts is so popular among students. He's a marvel, bounding about the room to the point that he's almost bouncing off the walls, simultaneously joking at the top of his lungs and dispensing facts with unmistakable clarity. I came into this year forewarned, anticipating professors with substantially poorer classroom mentalities (Simile search: what's the professor-equivalent of a doctor's bedside manner? That's what I'm alluding to here, whatever it is) than I'd previously encountered as an undergrad or graduate student. This is almost entirely not the case. Professor Crim actually lectures from outlines, something I'd been told law professors never did; Professors Contracts and Civ Pro acquit themselves brilliantly as discussion leaders; and Professor Torts would have won the same students' choice award in any school I've attended. I can't help but feel awfully, awfully lucky.

As though things wound up working out the way they did for a real reason.

thus spake /jca @ 8:06 PM...


You learn interesting things about professors in office hours.

At least, I've learned that catching a professor in the lobby of the classroom building and saying "Hey, don't you have office hours now?" is not the best way to endear oneself to said professor. Attending the ensuing hastily-convened office hours did help, though. (I think.)

thus spake /jca @ 8:48 PM...


My law school, like most law schools, does not offer opportunities for first-year students to participate in the production of any of the school's official law review journals. However, it looks like I've lucked out once again: a new journal is in the process of forming this year, with its first issue due out in the spring, and 1L students are enthusiastically encouraged to take part.


While the journal is dedicated to the exploration of a particular area of law to which I've admittedly never paid much attention, I still can't help but see this as a terrific windfall. There is so much that needs doing on a seminal project such as this one -- real juicy exciting work that, if correctly executed, results in actual Things Getting Done. I found myself volunteering immediately for two committees before I realized I was succumbing to the siren song of overcommitment and skedaddled out of the room to catch my train.

Still, I'm excited to do this. None of the work first semester -- fundraising, promotions, and suchlike -- should be editorially intense, and by second semester I'll have a better sense of how much time I actually have to spare after classwork. If I had to pick one extracurricular activity this year, this one immediately seems to make the most sense (although I'm going to check out the informational meeting later this week for a volunteer clinic that also welcomes 1L's, just for kicks).

And thus it begins...

thus spake /jca @ 6:37 PM...

Here's some good news: a Truly Excellent Person has started blogging. Check him/her out! *huge grin*

thus spake /jca @ 7:59 AM...


I'm finding, as time passes, that my original 1L shopping list was incomplete to start. I now share my revised necessities list for the aspiring first-year law student:

- A bookbag with wheels. No, it doesn't look stupid. A good twenty percent of the folks I see around campus have them, and three or four people have already expressed envy in my first two days of class: "Oooh, what a good idea! I should have gotten one of those!" Mine is a Bean bag, not the most expensive on the market, but guaranteed for life. Its only drawback is that the telescoping handle seems to have been designed for someone shorter than I am.

- A good pair of shoes, comfortable for walking and in which you can sprint, if necessary. (I'm still seeking these out.)

- An ergonomically correct laptop computer. This is much more important than purchasing the newest, tiniest, speediest, fanciest laptop. You will be spending hours on end typing at this thing, taking notes, briefing cases, possibly even taking exams. Don't wreck your eyes or give yourself RSI! You want a full-sized keyboard and good-quality display of at least 12". This machine may weigh more than the featherweight new models, but if you've got a pullman bookbag it shouldn't matter that much. Be sure you're not sacrificing ergonomics for size/weight.

- A good reading light. I should have thought of this one sooner, having burst way too many blood vessels in my eyes while cramming for the LSAT under our horrific kitchen-table lighting. Don't just go to Home Depot and buy a halogen torchiere or some pretty thing that hangs on the wall; spend a few bucks and invest in something top-of-the-line like an Ott-Lite. We just purchased the Ott Key Largo floor lamp from Amazon, way cheaper than it's advertised on the Ott site; my husband is already threatening to commandeer it for his own work. (I guess it's only fair that I share it, since I pilfered his Discman last week and probably won't be giving it back for awhile.)

- A portable music player with good headphones. Valuable not only to commuter students but also to people who study in libraries and need to fight the silence/screen out ambient noise. I bought an MP3 player which is currently in the process of being replaced under warranty, so I'll reserve my opinions on this technology until I get a unit that turns on (but if you enjoy following trends, you could save yourself the effort of comparison shopping and just go buy the highly popular I'Pod). Meanwhile, I've been listening to the aforementioned Discman, which works nicely.

- Study music that doesn't distract you. It may as well be ambient noise if it doesn't help you focus on the task at hand. Back in my undergraduate days I heard rumors that listening to Mozart while studying aided in retention. YMMV, but I can't take Mozart for more than five or ten minutes at a clip without getting grossly bored. My recommendation: go earlier than Mozart, when everything was simple but not quite classical. Lute music is excellent, both from the Renaissance and later. (Now playing in the Discman: a disc of Vivaldi lute and mandolin concerti.) Theme-and-variations type pieces are, in my experience, best for retention. Don't pick anything you can sing along with; you will do so, to the consternation of your fellow train-travelers or library denizens, when you're so deep in Civ Pro that you're not even aware of it.

- Clothes -- I'm still puzzling this one out. My law school is located in one of the bizarrest climates in the country; sometimes it's a good ten to fifteen degrees colder there than it is where I live, roughly an hour south by train. It also didn't help that I'd been working in super-casual offices for the past few years and hadn't bought new clothes since 1999. I'll update the list with the items that turn out to be essential for me, as soon as I figure out what these are.

thus spake /jca @ 5:31 PM...


Hey, check it -- Sua Sponte has been pegged by JURIST (along with a bunch of other nifty blawgs). Authorship is attributed to "California Law Student," which I guess is as good a way as any of preserving my anonymity. In fact, it's probably better than using my initials; today's Torts reading introduced me to the 1348 case before the assizes of I de S et Ux v. W de S, which sets precedent for, among other things, identifying folks in a court of law solely by their initials. Who'd'a thunk.

thus spake /jca @ 10:53 PM...

Today's quote, courtesy of Contracts reading (at least in part):

Pacta sunt servanda -- Latin for "Honey, can you unpack the groceries from the minivan?"

thus spake /jca @ 7:16 PM...


The rumors were true about Professor Civ Pro, sort of.

He did, in fact, choose a person at random off the seating chart and give her a Socratic picking-over on the case in question. But it didn't feel as evil as I'd been led to expect; on the occasions where she gave an answer that didn't seem right, he pressed for more information rather than attempting to intimidate her, and all of the questions and hypotheticals that he put forth were simple and edifying. (Before you start to wonder, no, she wasn't me.)

I get the sense that I'm remarkably lucky this semester. Every one of my professors, although they each have their own approach to experiential learning, seems willing to spend at least half the class lecturing. Our casebooks, by and large, are clear about rules rather than deliberately obtuse in the pursuit of intellectual titillation. I conclude from this that my first year is probably going to be a good deal more fun than St. Dan's was, not only because I've got a patron saint to help me out, but also because he was right about the value of starting out at a non-Ivy school where the black-letter law is clearly taught.

This was St. Dan's complaint about his Trinity law school, a beef I also had with my husband's alma mater: once you've Arrived at the empyrean heights of the top 5, there's a certain arrogance inherent in the teaching. Prerequisite fundamentals are presumed unworthy of class time, which instead is spent exploring higher-level abstractions with the implicit assumption that you'll go home and teach yourself all the stuff you already should have known in order to understand what's being discussed. My husband has a degree in computer science, but never took a programming course; it was expected, on the first day of class his freshman year, that he already knew something so insultingly basic as how to code. I don't think they even offer an intro to C++ course there, although you'd certainly better be fluent in it from the get-go if you plan on doing any homework.

Unlike my husband, who shared the viewpoint that people who didn't already know how to program didn't belong in classes with him, St. Dan was bothered by this approach as a 1L. "Instead of just telling us on Day 1 what a contract actually is," he complained, "we immediately go to out to the edge, to the theoretical fringe of the field." 1Ls were expected to somehow puzzle out the black-letter law amidst all this rabid theorizing, which forced them to reinvent the wheel several hundred times over every year. In schools outside of the empyrean realms, St. Dan imagined, this wouldn't be the case. And he seems, to my immediate benefit, to be correct. (Again.)

I can't complain.

Also noticed something today that made me smile: for the first time, the expression sua sponte has actually come up in a case I read (AFA Tours Inc. v. Whitchurch). Unsurprisingly, when I chose the name for this blog back in May I didn't quite understand exactly how the term was used. But I can't say I regret the decision: it sounds, at least in this case, like a judge interrupting a lawyer in mid-flourish, saying "Wait a minute, hold up, you missed this huge important thing." I'm a big fan of interrup--

thus spake /jca @ 7:32 PM...

Looks like Google has finally found Sua Sponte, after these many moons of virtual secrecy. Now people are coming here via such exciting searches as "Paxil is non habit forming" and "Honda outboard sucks," the latter of which has me mystified since I didn't even know Honda made outboard motors. I guess you learn something new every day.

thus spake /jca @ 10:53 AM...


I had four classes in a row today, which constitutes more shifting of mental gears in quick succession than I ever remember experiencing as an undergraduate. Still, I think it should work; each is only an hour, and the professors are uniformly of such quality that the hour feels like fifteen minutes rather than three days. Professor Torts has won a number of students'-choice Best Professor In The Whole Wide World awards, and I wager that Professor Crim might have been a runner-up. Professor Contracts seems a very sweet, soft-spoken guy who nonetheless doesn't put you to sleep, not even when his class immediately follows lunch. My only concern, if it's even intense enough to qualify as one, is with Professor Civ Pro, and that's largely attributable to hearsay -- 2Ls have said that he'll call on one person and lock onto you for the entire hour, old-fashioned-Socratic style. I guess it wouldn't be a real 1L without at least a few crazy-professor stories, though, and this fellow seems like a good sport with a robust sense of humor. All good.

The reception for older students was exactly the moral support I needed. We went around the room and introduced ourselves, all three dozen or so of us, collectively ridding ourselves of the fear of being the isolated oldbie in one's section. There are a good eight or nine total in mine, and now we all know each other by name and by face and have successfully dispelled the horrific sense of oh shit, everyone in this room is a 21-year-old sorority sister/surfer dude except me. Many of these goodly elders came from previous careers in nonprofits; a bunch of them are outdoorsy fans of things like hiking and kayaking; and at least three of them commented on my murrina necklace, asking how recently I'd been to Venice. All had been there more recently than I had, which still left us plenty to talk about.

I rode the train home with a new friend who had graduated from college the same year I did and was commuting up from Palo Alto, ten minutes up the Caltrain line from me. (A third commuter student, from the equally-nearby town of Los Altos, doesn't take the train. Maybe we'll prevail on her to do so at some point.)

To the folks commenting that 28 isn't old, or that the age difference in school isn't significant: You're right. You're wrong. It's not like that, except when it is. I've always had a minor issue with people equating "age" to the number of years one has been alive, since such a measure takes no account of how those years were spent. My mother, for example, is nearly 29 years my senior, but is a great deal younger than I am at heart, as are probably many of my comrades-in-1L who come from idealistic nonprofit backgrounds. I don't look in the mirror and say "Scheeh, I'm old," but that's definitely the effect that a classful of California college kids has on me, for obvious reasons.

I arrived home to find a package awaiting me courtesy of my stepmother, which contained a large giftwrapped book, bigger and heavier than any of my casebooks. I misted up when I unwrapped it and found that it was my late father's 1968 edition of Black's Law Dictionary, from back in the pre-Garner days when the thing was still actually edited by Black.

Ah, there are so many things that I wish I could share with my father right now.

thus spake /jca @ 11:08 PM...


This MP3 player thing isn't quite working out as I'd hoped.

It arrived in yesterday's mail, equipped with two-year-old install software that wouldn't run on Windows 2000. It turned up its metaphorical nose at my CompactFlash card reader, insisting that I install its proprietary reader into, of all places, my parallel and keyboard ports (yes, both of them). And now that all the software is working and ready to go, to add insult to injury, the damn unit won't turn on.

(Yes, the batteries are fresh. Yes, the flash card is right side up. Please feel free to comment with any other suggestions.)

I guess I'll just need to get on the phone to tech support...the next time I'm home and near a phone during business hours. Gah. Suddenly I feel overbooked.

thus spake /jca @ 10:12 PM...

Wow! Look at these application statistics for local schools. (Companion story here.) No wonder these past few months were so...trying.

thus spake /jca @ 8:14 PM...

We scope each other out shyly, unwilling to allude to something as gauche as age. Only after a few conversational volleys does someone throw out, "So, are you going to the reception for over-28 students tomorrow?" And then, when the answer is invariably yes -- amazing how apparent age is, when it's your own! -- suddenly you're both fast friends.

Besides me, there are two other "oldbies" in my section, at least whom I've discovered (or who have discovered me) thus far. We haven't yet banded together into a study group or anything so formal, but it's reassuring not to feel completely adrift.

Thursdays are going to be my hell days this semester: I have an hour of Crim Law and an hour of Torts, an hour break for lunch, an hour of Civ Pro and an hour of Contracts, an hour break to catch my breath, and then another hour, this time of Legal Writing and Research (LW&R, or the rather Arabic-sounding "el-dubyar" for short). I'll probably get home at about seven, completely pasted to the floor.

At least I can sleep on the train, as I demonstrated this afternoon. :)

thus spake /jca @ 5:24 PM...


By the time I woke up this morning, actually woke up and realized that I was awake, I found myself on a train halfway to San Francisco. This was all according to plan.

Today went very much according to plan.

I was surprised to find, in my bright-yellow manila folder, an apologetic note in LARGE BLOCK PRINT stating that the schedule information on the website had initially been incorrect. Relief: I hadn't misread my section assignment, they just switched some classes around behind my back. C'mon, guys, it's not sleight-of-hand if you tell people you did it! You actually had me going there, thinking that I'd suffered a major lapse in critical perception! Bravi.

At any rate, the clerical error still meant that I had Civil Procedure at 8:40. I caught a 7:39 train this morning into the city for a 9:00 kickoff to the orientation festivities, and found myself rather nauseated at the thought of having to catch that train forty minutes earlier, twice a week, to arrive in time for my most hardcore procedural class.

Fortunately, though, it wound up not being a terribly complex problem to solve. Transferring out of the 8:40 Civ Pro section required no further earthmoving than simply switching workgroups for legal writing, something which a kindly administrator named Ellen was willing to do for me once I finally caught up with her in her office. "I'll need your reason in writing," she said, loaning me a legal pad and a pen with which I was more than happy to explain how much the 6:58 train would suck. And that was all it took. My earliest class is now, as previously anticipated, Crim Law at 10:40 twice a week.

Whew. Dodged that one.

So now I'm officially a law student. My spankin'-new student ID card says so. Actually, it says "Regular Student" under my name, which leads me to wonder what other kinds of students there are.

I didn't particularly feel like a regular student. Some astronomical proportion of the class is comprised solely of University of California undergraduates, with several dozen from Berkeley and another several dozen from UCLA alone. Not surprisingly, they seemed to either know each other already or connect in that sort of insta-kinship that comes from sharing an alma mater, even an umbrella alma mater. I saw one guy wearing a T-shirt from my own alma mater, but lost him in the crowd soon thereafter. And that was about it for East Coast representation, as far as I could tell.

Then again, I didn't talk to many people. For the first time in my life, I realized that I'm no longer in the same peer group as college kids. I'm old. The one non-administrative person with whom I struck up a remotely warm conversation was a fellow who looked near my age; unfortunately, he wasn't in my section. There's a reception for students aged 28 and up a bit later in the week, which I'm looking forward to, even though in the interest of full disclosure I should confess that I don't turn 28 until January. Still, in a roomful of kids who had just reluctantly torn themselves away from the beach, I felt ancient.

Not to mention overdressed. My sleeveless V-necked red silk sweater, black leather blazer, long black skirt and high boots, which I'd have called dressy-casual in my former life, looked positively semiformal next to the guy in the board shorts and the Ventura County Lifeguards T-shirt. It didn't surprise me that the combination of unduly fancy clothes (tomorrow I'm wearing jeans!) and inherent age made me seem less approachable...but it was just weird how people would look at me, even making eye contact, and then look away as though they hadn't seen me. I was neatly excluded from two or three conversations and repeatedly saw people's eyes sliding right off me, as though I were completely frictionless.

It has been so long since I've been in an academic environment where I didn't fit in, I'd forgotten what it felt like.

Not that this is a bad thing. Maintaining nonattachment to the prevailing school culture had been my M.O. before walking in the door; now I realize I can do it. I can, and will, pull this first-year thing off. My professors this year look uniformly excellent (the comparatively weakest link seems to be a guy who says "uh" a lot -- hardly a major issue), the train commute is workable study time, and if I keep my head together I'll be a lotus blossom on the surface of this experience, exactly as I'd hoped.

There are certain days when life feels solid and full of juice, like a ripe fruit ready for slicing. I watched the sun go down over the greenhills and tasted it, there in my upstairs seat on the train, with my first case reading (Donovan vs. RRL Corporation, a breach of contract/negligence suit) spread out on my lap. It was sweet, without bitterness. I'm going to do this, and it's going to work.

This is going to be one hell of a year.

thus spake /jca @ 8:58 PM...


I had a bizarre drink at dinner tonight, something called a "Jade" that was a mixture of rum, creme de menthe, triple sec, and lime juice. It was bright green and reminded my husband of mouthwash. I nonetheless found it perfect with which to propose a toast, clinking glasses with my husband's mango lassi and declaiming: 1L delenda est!

I will go to bed now, wake up in the morning, shower, dress, and take the train up to my first day of orientation. I will see if I can switch out of my torturous crack-of-dawn Civ Pro section. I will scope out the people who will surround me for the next year. I will leave my purse at home and carry a notebook and a backpack. I will wear my college ring without shame, without pride. I will be quiet, be observant, be there and let this semester wash over me like diving under so many waves.

May I stay awake.
May I stay calm.
May I stay on top of my game.
May I keep my patience.
May I maintain the ability to laugh.
May I find many things to laugh at.
May I not tax my limits, as often as I can avoid doing so.
May I keep my focus.
May I find my comfort zone.
May I seldom stay within it.
May I discover where I belong, and may it be either where I am or reachable from there.

Good night, cocoon.
Good morning, raw wide air.

thus spake /jca @ 10:09 PM...

Today's mail brought not my MP3 player, but a letter on letterhead that I thought I wouldn't see again for another year. I don't have the heart to fisk it right now. In an odd, semi-sadistic way, this was rather kind of them:

August 16, 2002

[address deleted]

Dear Ms. A...,

Your name has been kept on a waiting list in the hope that space in the 2002 entering class at [waitlist school] would become available. I now write with regret to inform you that the class is filled and that I do not anticipate any openings to occur before classes begin next month [sic]. Class size projection is a perplexing exercise, and unfortunately our experience this year makes this letter necessary. I truly regret that we are not able to include you in our first-year class.

If you remain interested in attending [waitlist school] you may wish to consider applying for advanced standing upon completion of your first year at another ABA-approved law school. Although competition for advanced standing admission is keen, strong first-year law grades are the main factor in the selection process and can strengthen the file you submitted this year. Admission is usually offered to candidates who earn first-year grades that place them in the top five percent of their law school class.

If you will not matriculate at a law school this year, I invite you to reapply to [waitlist school]. Our 2003 application materials are available now.

Thank you for entrusting us with your application. I appreciate your patience and cooperation during this waiting process. I wish you every success in the pursuit of your law school application.


[actual signature in ink]

Thus ends -- finally! -- the overture to my law school saga, a.k.a. "Overture? Are you kidding? This is already longer than Götterdämmerung!!"

Quick, there's just enough time to run to the restroom before Act 1 starts...

thus spake /jca @ 6:03 PM...

My pullman backpack has finally arrived, and boy, was it ever a good choice.

The thing holds my old laptop (!) and three casebooks without straining a single seam. I could probably squeeze in a fourth if I had to, but shouldn't have to. It's a blue bag with a bunch of pockets, including a mesh one on each side to hold two water bottles (!!) and a flap on the back under which the shoulder straps hide away until you need them. Yes, it's a pullman, so I'll look like a commuter dragging it through the hallways, but hell, I am a commuter. Perhaps even in that sense.

I like this bag, and anyone who finds an older student pulling a wheeled bookbag in any way outré is welcome to carry my books for me.

thus spake /jca @ 12:50 PM...

I think I slept maybe three hours last night. Now I feel jetlagged and my nineteen-item to-do list for the day looks damn near insurmountable.

"Good," said my husband when I groused out of bed at one-thirty to stare at our sleeping pet chinchillas. "Stay up late tonight. It's the last night you can. Then you'll be good and tired tomorrow and you'll sleep well."

OK, I'll buy that. But I'm keeping the big guns nearby, just in case.

thus spake /jca @ 8:48 AM...


Denise suggests Xanax as a crucial component to 1L work-life balance. Something about that drug sounds awfully familiar...where have I seen it before?

Quick glance through the medicine cabinet. Sure enough: I have nine helpings of Alprazolam, generic Xanax, left over from a two-year-old prescription for the occasion of my father's funeral. I remember that stuff. It kept me out of hysterics for nearly the entire day, which was truly no small feat.

Thanks for the reminder, Denise! I'll ration these pills like gold. Amazing how the thought of being allowed nine whole freakouts takes the pressure off. :)

thus spake /jca @ 9:52 PM...

I have a day left in my larval life. A day to do laundry and get groceries and wash the car and go to the post office and vacuum and clean the bathroom. A day left before I wake up to an alarm the next morning, head up to the city, and begin to pupate.

Today we drove up to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, where the fortune cookie was purportedly invented in 1909. The tea was quite good, as were the fortune cookies (wisdom du jour: It is better to have a hen tomorrow than an egg today), and the whole experience was only minimally disrupted by the arrival of a busload of tourists who crowded the garden paths and shouted at each other in Russian.

I climbed up the drum bridge, dodging Russian elbows and Russian invectives, my twenty-pound purse swinging and clocking me like a ball and chain on a shoulder strap. I'm prone to vertigo and tend not to do well on steep inclines, particularly when destabilized by the combination of aggressive human traffic and a heavy handbag, but I hung on and climbed that bridge, telling myself: It may look scary, but I'm doing it anyway. I'm doing it anyway. Look, I've done it.

I pitched a penny into one of the waterfall streams, closing my eyes and making a wish. A middle-aged American fellow behind me on the path saw me do it and wished me good luck, with a twinkle in his eye. I later spotted him on a bench by the Zen garden, talking about the seven steps to enlightenment.

The koi were clustered in one corner of the pond, as though discussing something of great importance. I spotted a fat white blossom on a water lily. The Buddha sat on his thousand-petal lotus, eyes closed, deep in concentration. And the baby getting his diaper changed in the women's restroom was squealing with laughter the whole time.

It is better to have a hen tomorrow than an egg today.


I whined to my husband about the nasty mean things I'd been reading. "What upset you?" he asked.

"Some woman says I'm going to get C's," I replied, realizing how shallow and paranoid this sounded when spoken aloud.

My husband laughed, a short quick guffaw, and said "Yeah, and at MIT orientation they told me I was going to get B's."


thus spake /jca @ 8:11 PM...


Here's some more prospective-1L advice, not nearly so upbeat as previously cited, but nonetheless compelling to someone with [checks timer] 2 days, 8 hours, 36 minutes and 15 seconds remaining in life before law school starts...

From Alice, source of aforementioned excellent advice, comes this law.com article written by a professor from...well, let's not say where she's from. Stomach nicely unsettled? Then check out the companion piece in Slate, courtesy of Dodd (who also offers his own tips on surviving law school -- which are unsurprisingly superior to either cited article.)

I shouldn't have read these articles. Now I'm upset.

"Life is short. Misery is overrated."
"If you don't understand something in a case, welcome to the profession!"
"Why are all laws of intellectual physics so utterly upended at law school? Hell if I know."
"It is very tempting for first-year students to think they have learned the law by reading the cases. You haven't!"

And so forth.

I'm not sure which article inspires greater disgust in me: the siren song of "shhh, relax, don't worry, be complacent, don't make yourself suffer, just rest assured that you're utterly unspecial and never destined for anything greater than your basic full-time employment, which of course you'll get because you have a pulse" or the unforgiving drill-sergeant chant of "you are clueless now and you will remain clueless, and no effort of yours will truly diminish this cluelessness, but if you work your ass off you might at least feel less clueless...on second thought, don't trust your feelings either, you still suck."

I know I need to toughen up a great deal to pull this whole law thing off successfully, but I still can't help being spooked by some of these images. "[Y]ou will outline [a] class to within an inch of your life, teach a clinic on it, create an outline used by students for the next 70 years, and still get a C+ on the final," prognosticates Dahlia Lithwick, gleefully swinging wide in her attempt to trigger as many panic attacks as possible. And stupidly, in spite of myself, I take her bait. No, no, no, that can't happen! It can't! I'll be so screwed!! OMG, why did you have to say that???

If things were different, if I were starting out at a different school with different 1L goals, then I might chuckle at these worthy ladies' wit. But things are not different. This is where I am, this is how I'm going to have to make it work. The 6:58 am train, the obstacle course of professorial caprice, the pullman bookbag and highlighters and briefs and windowless reading rooms and the pervasive fears that my plans won't pan out.

I need to sustain such faith in myself as I can. I'm going to do this. I'm going to do this.

thus spake /jca @ 4:02 PM...


Ah, shit.

Just when it looked like everything was falling into place, I rechecked a printout of my fall semester schedule...and it turns out that somehow, despite prior double-checking, I misread my section assignment. I actually do have Civ Pro at 8:40 am, twice a week.

This is not the only upsetting thing to happen to me lately; it's just the one that managed to tip my scale. Aaarrrghhhh. How in bloody hell am I going to get into the city by 8:40 am, twice a week? (Answer: the 6:58 train. So much for the non-drowsy Dramamine.)

I'm going to call Student Services and beg for clemency.

thus spake /jca @ 8:58 AM...


G R E E T I N G S Capricorn

You need to reclaim your innocence. You need to take all that stuff in your personal world, everything you are tired of and everything that steals energy from your spirit, and begin to look at it in a new light. You need to find beauty in places and people you never saw it in before. You need to find joy in the odd corners of your life. And most of all, you need to begin a new regimen of self-acceptance. If you can do all this, then the world you live in will begin to blossom like a rose.

All-righty then!

thus spake /jca @ 8:03 PM...

TPB, Esq. has a particularly interesting philosophical take on the anonymous-blog phenomenon. Perhaps there is no such thing as online credibility, because we are all virtual straw men, "writer's selves," de facto misrepresenting ourselves by attempting to represent ourselves in the first place. "Somehow, the fact that people write changes who they are," he says.

I like this literary school of thought much better than the one that attempts to shoehorn autobiographical blogs into the "commentary" category, although it opens up a whole new round of questions. By not signing our full given names to purported acts of autobiography, are we any more or less anonymous than folks who do? If the goal of a blog is to provide some sort of insight into or interesting angle on the events that make up someone's personal life, then what's the point of signing one's name at the end at all -- how does it add to the interest factor? On the other hand, though, doesn't "unsigned autobiography" approach a contradiction in terms?

thus spake /jca @ 4:11 PM...


This excellent advice for 1Ls deserves many links. Here's one.

thus spake /jca @ 3:06 PM...

Some thoughts on anonymity...

All these people, as well as several more that I recall reading but can't be arsed to look up, have recently weighed in on the topic of blogging anonymously. The consensus seems to be that you suspend some of your credibility by doing so; i.e. it takes quite a bit more erudite commentary for people to take you seriously than it otherwise would if you just told them outright that your name was Larry Lessig.

I guess that's true, if your goal in blogging is to establish a reputation for yourself as a political pundit (be it an InstaPundit, or a TarheelPundit, or a PejmanPundit, or any other VarietalPundit...YMMV).

I am nobody's pundit, I'm somewhat sorry to say. I'm not wholly without political opinions, of course, but there just doesn't seem to be much of a place for them here. When I feel the need to debate something like Israel or the EU, I do it in Rivendell. Moreover, I'm not certain that this blog is even technically "anonymous," since I sign all communications -- email, blog posts, snail mail letters -- using my initials rather than my full name (which is longer than Pejman Yousefzadeh's).

Yet I still felt a need to comment on the equation of anonymous blogging to cowardice and diluted credibility. Maybe that's the case if you're an aspiring demagogue. But a personal journal is not necessarily a political platform, nor is autobiography an invitation to debate. While online shouts of "Islam is evil and fascist and we should bomb Saudi Arabia!" or "The European Union is the salvation of democracy in the world!" may lack intellectual gravitas if unsigned, I can't conclude from this that Sua Sponte is somehow insufficiently authentic because my unabbreviated name does not appear on this site.

The more I think about this, though, the more complex it seems to me. Maybe anonymous public statements are fundamentally an act of cowardice, regardless of their nature. I mean, I probably wouldn't have any difficulty taking public authorship credit for Sua Sponte if I weren't nervous that it might prove a liability during certain key phases of my law school adventure. But since these pages do contain my own opinions, some of which may on occasion diverge from appearances I am required to maintain offline, staying semi-anonymous feels safest. I suppose I could refrain altogether from posting such stuff in public, but I also can't discount the incredible therapeutic value of having a dedicated opportunity to speak my mind. Would it be less cowardly to say nothing at all? I don't know.

This question is hereby delegated to the omphaloskepsis laboratory for further study.

thus spake /jca @ 1:21 PM...


Jane Galt has now taken up the mantle of admissions discrimination, aiming at the UCs for their latest veiled attempt at social engineering: giving undue weight to sob-story application essays. (See also.)

And yes, they are that explicit about it. Check this:

Please provide more information about yourself in a written personal statement. The subject matter of the essay is up to you, but keep in mind that the reader will be seeking a sense of you as a person and as a potential student and graduate of [guess where?].

[Guess where?] seeks to enroll a class with varied backgrounds and interests. If you wish, you may separately discuss how your interests, background, life experiences and perspective would contribute to the diversity of the entering class. If applicable, you may also describe any disadvantages that may have adversely affected your past performance or that you have successfully overcome, including linguistic barriers or a personal or family history of cultural, educational, or socioeconomic disadvantage.

Perhaps my error was in assuming that the first paragraph mattered more than the second, that my essay needed no further justification since my past performance hadn't been adversely affected by anything worse than lack of sleep. Ah well. It was a lesson in how to play the game that I certainly needed to learn, and now I know better.

But of course old grudges die hard, so I'm going to be watching these lawsuits. (And to Dan from Jane Galt's comments page, who quoth "Education isn't the Special Olympics. A person who's smarter and better-read because his parents were doctors is still smarter and better-read," I could kiss you.)

thus spake /jca @ 2:16 PM...


Prioritizing the to-do list:

- I absolutely must purchase a bookbag ASAP. I'm thinking of just going with the pullman bag from L. L. Bean rather than belaboring the point any further. Last chance to stop me if the thing is truly an embarrassment and I'm just not aware.

- Reassuring news on the MP3 player front: I've found a unit with a humble, minimally-artsy design that accepts CompactFlash memory and sells for cheap on eBay. I'll need to upgrade the flash card, since the included 32MB card only accommodates about eight songs, but once that's done the thing should certainly serve me well until the Perfect Player comes along.

- Eye doctor appointment tomorrow. This time I can't forget to go. I need to optimize my eyeglasses to take on all these casebooks.

- Purchase a bunch of Dramamine for the train trip: check.

- I need to make up my mind on the laptop issue. My darling Sony VX88 is now down to $1699, but my husband still pooh-poohs this as overpriced since the processor is only 850MHz. Problem is, once you start moving into faster processors, you lose the ultrathin/ultralight portability that makes the machine so attractive to a commuter like me. I'm thinking I'll probably go for it anyway, despite my husband's objections; 850MHz is fully sufficient for the note-taking that will be this laptop's primary function, and at the end of the day, he's not going to be the one who has to haul it around. (Anyone want to buy a used laptop? It's a 1999-era Sony PCG-F180 in great condition, a bit too heavy for the book-laden backpack but ideal for the mobile office.)

- Procure a TransLink card for single-swipe transfers between Caltrain and Muni: check. The card should arrive in the mail in about a week, and based on its sell story, I'm ready to adore this service. It couldn't have launched at a better time.

- Start cleaning out closets: check. This is more fun than it sounds, since I've recently lost enough weight that I once again fit into most of my old clothes. My mother advises that if you haven't worn something in a year, think hard about keeping it; if you haven't worn it in three years, get rid of it. I haven't worn a lot of my dressier work clothes since 1999, but am not sure if Mom's rule of thumb is quite fair here since offices in Silicon Valley are enforcedly business-casual. Perhaps I should keep my suits in case law firms are not. Then again, perhaps I should donate them to Goodwill in case they're completely out of style by the time I find myself in a non-casual work environment again.

thus spake /jca @ 5:57 PM...



Could it be that I've finally found The Shoes?

thus spake /jca @ 3:08 PM...


Everyone should live in California at some point in their lives, I've decided.

I grew up in the reasonably temperate climate of central New Jersey (ack! I've admitted it in public! Usually I just say "outside New York" when asked...) where we still, despite the lack of hailstorms and 120-degree days, found ourselves spending most of the summer indoors. Or at best, out by someone's pool.

Here it's a different story: every weekend there seems to be some sort of street fair in one town or another in the valley, usually prominently featuring one or more forms of locally-produced alcoholic beverages. This weekend hosted one of our favorites, the Small Brewers Festival of California in the big lot by Tied House in Mountain View.

For $20 you are given a tasting glass and a handful of tokens, each token good for a glassful of one of the five or six dozen different beers, ales, lagers, and hard ciders available on tap under the big tent. If you're wise (we learned our lesson the first year), you will pause after every two or three glassesful to eat something from one of the food vendors along the edge of the tent. If you're completely brilliant, a level we haven't yet attained, you'll think ahead and bring your own bottled water.

Still, even though it's about ninety-odd degrees today and beer isn't exactly known for its hydrating properties, my husband and I had a grand time as we nursed best-of-show porter and pear cider and munched on garlic fries (another local delicacy which we have yet to find elsewhere in anything near its proper glory) while perched on a curb in the shade. There's something uniquely Californian about the way one gets buzzed here, from the SBF to the Art and Wine Festival to the Norcal Homebrewers Festival to days spent winetasting in Napa and Sonoma, that never seemed to happen back east.

Maybe I just wasn't much of a drinker in my East Coast days (nah; untrue). Or maybe alcohol affects me differently when coupled with bright sun, blue skies, a near-total lack of humidity, excellent companionship and the Saturday-afternoon sense of abandon that says hey, try this one next...and then this one... and so forth, with caution thrown blithely to the winds.

Granted, I did nap for a good hour and change once we got home, and I could still use several more glasses of water before the motor-oil-in-my-veins feeling goes away. But it's all good. It's California, it's summer in Silicon Valley, and while the streets here may no longer be paved with gold the way they were in 1999, they are certainly still awash in booze.

In the best way, of course.

thus spake /jca @ 7:08 PM...


I hate it when shopping isn't any fun.

I thought it might be neat to get an MP3 player for my train commute, since I have downloaded about ten times as much music as I've actually purchased in the past year. (The CD's I buy tend to be weird rare recordings from random European chamber groups; the songs I download are much more mainstream, of the Sting, Jimi Hendrix and Simon & Garfunkel varieties.)

The problem is that, at least as far as I can tell, there's no MP3 player that quite suits my Goldilocks tastes. I want something with more than 128MB storage capacity, which right away limits me to two options: a player with the form factor of a Discman, or the Apple I'Pod.

Now, if I wanted to carry around a CD player, I'd just pilfer my husband's from the desk drawer where he keeps it. What the heck is the point of having to burn your MP3's onto a CD to listen to them, anyway? But on the other hand, I despise the I'Pod. Despite its mouthwatering 10GB storage capacity (about eighty percent more space than my current collection actually fills), the damn thing was made for MOMA, not me.

The good designers at Apple (and I know several, and they are good) have bought into this nasty philosophy: People like smooth shiny things. If we make all of our products smooth and shiny, people will go "Oooh! A smooth shiny thing!" and buy them. Or if not that, then at least its corollary: Even if our smooth shiny products don't sell, art schools, museums, and mere mortals will still be impressed at what good designers we are.

Ironically, the fifty-fifty split among CNet user reviews for the 'Pod disagree mostly on features like firmware and audio quality, with detractors confessing to love its smoothness and shininess even as they gripe about short warranties and Fire Wire limitations. I'm not even going to wonder what Fire Wire is; it's probably some Innovative Apple Technology that is fanatically espoused by the kind of people who love smooth shiny things.

I'm not so up on the technology (obviously) that I have any idea as to when the next generation of MP3 players will come out, although I do hope that we'll see 10GB capacity available in competing products as well as the 'Pod. In the meantime, I can't conscion shelling out a semester's worth of casebook fees on a smooth shiny thing that's ill-suited to my actual tastes. Maybe I ought to just hit the desk drawer, for the time being...or am I missing something?

thus spake /jca @ 8:58 PM...

Is this just too gauche? (For that matter, will it hold up to a semester of casebook-hauling?)

thus spake /jca @ 7:15 PM...


Here's an interesting site on admissions discrimination cases, focusing on the recent ones in Michigan.

thus spake /jca @ 5:56 PM...

I have a feeling that Crim Law is going to be the most fun among my coursebooks; the first case it analyzes is The Queen vs. Dudley and Stephens, which plays out like a Stephen Crane short story as directed by Quentin Tarantino. Dudley and Stephens were adrift at sea in a lifeboat with two other guys, one of whom they killed and ate to stay alive until they were rescued. They were convicted of murder for the act, with no mention of whether they thereafter became vegetarians.

I read this on Caltrain, cruising back down the peninsula at about 9:30 pm, and thought: This is my life. This is me, in law school, studying on the train. And I came up with my first bit of mnemonic doggerel:

Dudley and Stephens were lost out at sea,
First there were four of them, then there were three.

With a little tweaking, this method just might work for briefing...

Is it murder, O jury, to eat up one's chum
While wondering whether a rescue will come?

We don't know, said the jury, but the judge then said yea;
They could have avoided the killing that day.

Or maybe not. :)

thus spake /jca @ 3:07 PM...


Some quotidian quotes:

Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both. --John Andrew Holmes

thus spake /jca @ 9:19 PM...

Things to-do are getting done, slowly but surely.

I'm pretty sure I've nailed down the commute thing. The Caltrain/MUNI combo gets me from home to Civic Center in somewhat less than an hour and a half one way, nearly all of which is workable study time (note to self: buy stock in Dramamine). For $12 a day and no real miles on the car or gasoline expenses, this looks to be time well spent. The last express train leaves at 8:17 am, and the last nonexpress train that will still ensure that I get to Crim Law on time leaves at 8:34. I may have to revive the alarm clock after all, but the train time should also be quite nice for napping if necessary.

(I will, however, need a set of noise-canceling headphones and some walkman-style player of music for the trip, if only to fend off the persistent distraction of teenyboppers speaking loud Spanish into their cell phones in the next row.)

My books, on the other hand, are a problem. Each of my four major classes this semester requires a casebook roughly the size of the Mountain View-Los Altos telephone book, except that unlike the phone book, these casebooks have deadly heavy bindings with shred-happy sharp corners. They're not exactly designed for portability. Nor, unfortunately, is my circa 1999 eight-pound Sony laptop. Gaaaah.

A number of people on the boards are forswearing backpacks for over-the-shoulder messenger bags, which I suppose might work...but now I'm really starting to wonder whether I wouldn't be better off seeking out some pullman-style contraption. Fellow students: what do you use?

thus spake /jca @ 11:05 AM...


Check out this guy, who's suing the law school at CUNY-Queens because they rejected him seven years in a row. They say it's because he had a 127/133 LSAT. He says it's because they're discriminating against him for being white, male, and Jewish. Catch: the guy is 80 years old.

Thanks to Howard for the link.

thus spake /jca @ 6:18 PM...


For about a month now, I've been meaning to set up a webring for law blogs. I registered the group at RingSurf a few weeks ago, motivated by an email exchange with Denise, but hadn't yet gotten around to assembling the registration page until today.

Of course, now that the Blawg Ring is finally live and functional, something similar has already come to light. Ernie the Attorney has published a stunningly comprehensive law blogs outline, which he maintains himself.

It's all good. :)

(Do join the Blawg Ring, though, even if you're already on Ernie's list. It's got a cute little link to add to your blogroll, and if I or some other graphic-head can gin up the time, it'll have linkable images as well.)

thus spake /jca @ 8:02 PM...

New casebooks vs. used casebooks?

I'm headed up to town tomorrow to pick up my first semester's worth of required textbooks, and I'm wondering whether it's worth shelling out the extra money for new books...or, conversely, whether I'd be shortchanging myself by purchasing books with someone else's notes already scribbled in the margins or highlighted in the text.

Is it more valuable to mark up my own casebooks, or to acquire someone else's for cheap?

thus spake /jca @ 5:16 PM...


My in-laws have returned to the Greater New York Accent Area after a week's visit chez nous, so blogging should hopefully resume normal frequency (although I'm debating whether to scale "normal frequency" back to 3-4 posts per week, to allow for more study time...we'll see what winds up being necessary).

"I want you to tell me all about torts," said my father-in-law as we pulled up to departures at SFO. "The next time I see you I want to know all about torts. I want to know what a tort is."

"Oh, I can tell you that now," I replied. "It's kind of like an apple pie, only not necessarily with apples. You can make a torte with any fruit."

(I'm sure pretty much everyone who's ever taken torts has made this joke at one time or another.)

"I want to know what a tort is," he repeated, in the singsong manner indicating that he was prolonging the joke. "I want to know what a tort is. A tort."

My father-in-law's accent is somewhere between My Cousin Vinny and The Sopranos, seasoned with enough taxi-driver toughness to unnerve random Californians unaccustomed to such inflection. He pronounced it too-what, stress on the first syllable, and obviously was having fun repeating the word. "A tort. I want to know what a tort is. I tort I tore a tweety bird."

[pause for effect]

I had to repeat it out loud before I realized the pun he'd made, but sure enough, there was Tweety Bird's tagline, Queens-style. Or at least something that could have been Tweety Bird's tagline, had he gone to Brooklyn Law School. Unlike the torte joke, this one impressed me as an original.

Sufferin' succotash! :)

thus spake /jca @ 10:53 PM...


Huzzah! Sections and fall semester schedules have finally been posted on the web, and I'm awash in relief. My earliest class, Criminal Law, is at 10:40 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mondays and Wednesdays don't start for me until Torts at 12:40. And Fridays...*chortling*...I fear a great temptation to cut class, as my only session that day is one hour of Civil Procedure from 1:40 to 2:40.

Looks like I can continue to get by just fine without replacing my broken alarm clock. And my husband and I can still spend mornings at the gym.

Looks like my luck has held out.

A full year's courseload, according to the letter I received last month, consists of 6 units of Civ Pro, 5 of Contracts, 4 of Crim Law, 4 of Property, 4 of Torts, 3 of a statutory elective, and 2 each of Legal Writing and Moot Court/Analysis (I wonder if we choose, or they do?). Presuming a unit is equal to an hour of class time, I'll be doing all my Crim and Torts this semester, half my Civ Pro, forty percent of my Contracts and half my Legal Writing. No sign of Property, Moot Court or any elective, although I guess it makes sense that they defer an elective to second semester. Plus I'll get to remain ignorant of the RAP for another six months. Whee!

I can't complain. Freedom from Moot Court in the first semester is delicious, and freedom from a hellish rush-hour commute is absolutely sublime. I do lose out slightly, since the half of my section that is stuck with Civ Pro at 8:40 am will be taught it by the dean of the school, the same person who wrote St. Dan's Nutshell book. Still, if I'd had a choice, I'm pretty certain I still would have chosen the lunchtime Civ Pro option. I'll now be able to conduct my entire commute using public transit (potentially even using one fare card for both Caltrain and MUNI). Later classes mean potentially missing the rush-hour express trains, but that's fine...an hour of study or nap time on the train, as opposed to the drive up I-280, will be well worth it.

And now I can get to work on an old to-do list!

thus spake /jca @ 12:40 PM...


After a week being bumbled-about in the hands of the blithering United States Postal Service (motto: "Priority Mail...we *think* it eventually should get there"), St. Daniel's books have finally arrived. My Christmas-in-July (well, August) haul consists of the Torts and Civil Procedure in a Nutshell books, the latter of which was actually authored by the dean of my law school; a Contracts handbook with the Uniform Commercial Code, Second Restatement, and other goodies; and the 2002-2003 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, still in the shrinkwrap.

Where to begin?

St. Dan also included a card, featuring a picture of a mouse in overalls walking a tightrope over a waterfall and the legend "Courage is fear that has said its prayers." Inside he scribes:

You are about to embark on a great adventure! Don't be nervous, just sit back and let yourself be transformed into one of us. :)


P.S. -- Resistance is futile!

Here it is, then: time for me to begin my greatest metamorphosis. Or maybe more than one.

Thanks and immense blessings to St. Dan, who continues to encourage me just as a good patron saint should. :)

thus spake /jca @ 10:39 PM...

Bumper sticker seen on an SUV in the parking lot of the Cost Plus World Market, ostensibly promoting Ben and Jerry's ice cream:

If it isn't any fun, why do it?

thus spake /jca @ 12:05 AM...

more final thoughts...

sua sponte
transferring law schools
on the moblog
the short list
otherwise of note
recurring themes
fellow travelers
other blawgs