Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Turf Club - Part III

We had another Turf Club this past Thursday. Section 2 did not turn out in force, as most of us had a legal research list to work on, as well as preparations for Professor Hull's Contracts midterm this coming Saturday. However, Professor Nockleby did show up and chat with us for about an hour. That beard works well on him!


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Noah's Bagels and Coffee

Our friendly PILF classmates had a surprise for us yesterday morning as we streamed into Civil Procedure: Noah's Bagels! Having spent my college years in Berkeley, this was a taste of "home" for me. Thanks, guys, it was terrific!


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Malibu House Party

The major social event for first years was the house party thrown by Robert Morrison of Section 1 at his parents' house in Malibu. Rob pulled together a DJ, food catered from La Salsa, beer, sundry wines, plenty of soft drinks, and valet parking. The party ran from about 5pm to about 11:30pm, although people began streaming out by a little bit before 11pm. There was a piñata (which I unfortunately missed seeing). And, as with any respectable party, there were lines for the bathrooms.

Section 1 really turned out to support their friend, and Section 3 represented as well. Section 2, which many had feared would not show up because we had pretty late notice, nonetheless provided at least eight attendees (not including their guests).

Before proceeding to the pictures, I thank Rob, for putting on this great party! Also thanks to Renu, Shani, and Armen for e-mailing Section 2 about this party.

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Sonia's Cafe

Outside of the library, Sonia's Cafe is pretty much the on-campus hangout. This makes sense: One can't study on an empty stomach. Thus it is that this is the place where so many of us hang out.

It's not just the students, either. Sometimes our professors would come by and say hi, as Professor John Nockleby (Torts) did here during on-campus interview week.


Turf Club - Part II

On Thursday 2 February, the Student Bar Association held the first turf club of the semester. Professor Karr joined the festivities, and I had a brief chat with him about Judge Posner's background from Law and Economics. He encouraged me to take a class with him once I'm done with first year, and study theories of justice. That should be really interesting!

Wilshire Grand

The day after bar review was John Ohanesian's birthday, and a few of us got together for some drinks at the Wilshire Grand, across the street from the Metro station. Some folks showed up that don't usually show up for bar review; it was good to see everyone come out. It's also proof positive that we are not, in fact, a home body section. We're only that way compared to Section 3.

Happy Birthday, John!

Bar Review - II - Saddle Ranch

On Thursday 26 January, the first Bar Review of the semester was held at Saddle Ranch in Hollywood, a chop house with a mechanical bull. Professor Karr, who is teaching Contracts to Section 3, also showed up. This was one of the best turnouts so far this year for Section 2; doubtless all who showed up were trying to get in some last-minute liquor before the worst of the pressure for the memo arrived.

Saddle Ranch is at 8371 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA.

Second Semester Outlook

So far, the second semester has been going by a lot faster than the first one. There's not only a lot more social activity this time around (primarily centered around Section 3), but there's also on campus interviews, and the fact that this time around, all the exams will be finals. Oh, and let's not forget that this semester, we have two major writing assignments. Finally, for at least one lucky guy, fatherhood is now another easement on his free time. Congratulations, Adam Sher!

Still, we managed to get some social events going on. The first major event was dinner with Professor Bryan D. Hull at El Cholo, where we learned that Professor Hull is such a big sports fan that he changed his entire career path when the large companies he worked for made demands on his sports-watching time. The career change has redounded to his benefit.

First Semester Post-Mortem

All the grades are now back, and we now know roughly where we stand. Without sharing the mixed results of my grades, I will say only this: I think we've now had enough time to figure out what to do on these exams. Although each professor looks for different things, one constant seems to be that those who at least go through the motions of re-stating the issue, and declaring a rule, saved a lot of points. Those who remembered esoteric details then proceeded to outperform others. (I thank those who've done well and let me see their essays for this insight.)

Alas, some of us didn't do as well as we'd liked. Still, we survived the first semester. I'm sorry to report that from our section, Fernando Fernandez has withdrawn. His departure has left everyone puzzled, as it was clear that he was doing well in class. Still, sometimes life throws a wild pitch, and we just have to take our best swing. We'll miss you, Fernando.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Federal Rules of Applause Procedure

Dana Milbank has a funny and thoughtful piece on the dynamics of the new court, manifested in deciding when to applaud during the State of the Union Address:

At times, Alito followed the lead of the other three justices who sat with him in the front row. When Bush said "We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it," Thomas looked at Roberts, who looked at Breyer, who gave an approving shrug; all four gentlemen stood and gave unanimous applause.

At other times, Alito showed independence from his senior colleagues. When Bush delivered the stock line "The state of our union is strong," Alito dissented while the other three robed justices in the front row applauded. When Bush declared that "liberty is the right and hope of all humanity," Alito was the only member of the judicial quartet to provide his concurring applause.

It seemed from their frequent conferences that the justices had agreed on some ground rules: Any mention of Iraq or hot domestic disputes were off limits; broad appeals to patriotism were deemed applause-worthy. But there were disputes. When Bush said "We will never surrender to evil," the justices conferred briefly. Breyer shook his head, but Roberts overruled him, and Breyer reluctantly stood with his three colleagues.

Read the rest!