Saturday, December 22, 2007

End of Finals Party at Ritual

On Wednesday 19 December 2007, the Stud attended the After Finals Party, hosted by Beatbox and Baxter at Ritual. Among the surprises of the night included Baxter's idea of putting together a slide show of pictures taken throughout law school, and to play that slide show on the screens in the dancing area. This humble blog was mined for pictures (2014-10-11: most of the pictures have now been removed, as many of us are now growing up!), a fact discovered when la Principessa di Padova commented to the Stud that his face was all over the place. Perhaps that helped encourage people to sit for pictures as the Stud made his rounds (2014-10-11: again, all now removed from this post).

The Stud gives a big shout out to Beatbox and Baxter for putting this party together, and wishes everyone the happiest of holidays!

Pacing Finals

This semester, the Stud's had a slightly different schedule. The Stud had five classes:

  • Trial Advocacy wrapped up with a final trial before the test period, although it was the last of the many Trial Advocacy sections to finish up.
  • Trademark Law was the first final, and was multiple choice. It was fairly easy, but there were significant ambiguities, such that all the students were talking about it.
  • Law of Sales was rather difficult, even though the class was fairly engaging. Professor Hull is one of those that can make you feel like you understand during class, only to go back to your notes and scratch your head wondering what the heck happened. The test was multiple choice, and involved much international matters.
  • Marital Property was the last and shortest of the Stud's three sit-down finals, and was also multiple choice. The test was more difficult than the sample questions would have let on.
  • Law of War was a seminar paper class. This class kept the Stud busy until the evening of Thursday 20 December 2007.

For the entire week before the week of Christmas, the Stud was essentially working on the Law of War paper, with an eye toward finishing the paper by the time the After Finals Party, hosted by Beatbox and Baxter at Ritual. The Stud figured, if there was a possibility of getting nice and drunk at the party, there would not be enough time for both substantive writing and cite-checking the next day, when the paper was due.

By the week of the 17th, the flood of students had dissipated from the library. The first year students were having their Criminal Law final, and the third year students were having their Remedies final. Tuesday would be the Evidence final, which really got the second year students ready for the party. And Wednesday would be the California Civil Procedure final.

On the 17th, after the Stud said goodbye to Aloha Princess, he hunkered down at the library, and worked on that Law of War paper. There was some good work done. And before the Stud knew it, it was past midnight, and time to go home.

The Stud's schedule was thus spread out, so the stress was more of a long simmer than a relentless barrage. Except for one minor episode of freaking out over the Law of Sales final (which is hard to avoid when one realizes there were so many "gunners" in that class), the Stud sailed through this finals season at a relatively leisurely pace. Only one more semester to go.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The LLS 2007 Fall Law of Sales Discussion

In the spirit of last year's evidence discussion, I am starting this discussion for Law of Sales, Fall 2007. Please feel free to post your questions here, and if you see one that nobody has answered, please feel free to jump in.

To kick things off, here are the notes from the last day of class:

The final exam

  1. 70 questions, 3 hours, closed book
  2. Select best answer, may explain answer in bluebook if you wish (you don’t have to). If you explain answers, please tell me the answer you chose and why it was the best, or explain the ambiguity or typographical error, if any.
  3. No questions on amended Article 2. Applicable law is law we studied in class (i.e., Revised Article 1, CISG where applicable, consumer protection law where applicable)
  4. Scoring – 3 points for right answer, minus 1 for answers incorrectly marked. Answers left blank are worth 0. It makes sense to guess if you can narrow to 3 or fewer choices.

Skeletal outline

  1. Is the transaction one for the sale of goods?
  2. Is the governing law the UCC, CISG, or some other body of law?
  3. Has a contract been formed?
  4. What are the terms of the contract?
  5. Has the contract been performed? Excuse?
  6. If not, and there is no excuse, what are the injured parties’ options?

Sample exam questions

  1. There’s a sufficient agreement as to the quantity and price, a promise to ship, and so on. There’s no minimum requirement of $500; that’s for the statute of frauds. There’s also no requirement that the parties be merchants. The correct answer is D.
  2. Under the CISG, nations may opt out of the CISG’s non-requirement of a written contract. The facts don’t specify that either nation has opted out; therefore we must assume that either has opted out. Further, enforceability is not the same thing as inapplicability; under the CISG, even if a contract is not covered, it can still be covered under domestic law, which the CISG allows. There is no statute of frauds under the CISG, and neither nation has opted out of that. The correct answer is D.

We now deal with the battle of the forms.

  1. There is no mirror image rule in the UCC. UCC 2-207 really deals with dicker terms, not fundamental terms (esp. price, quantity). As between merchants, an arbitration provision is automatically included unless the offer was expressly limited to its terms. Some courts think that arbitration provisions are always material; others think that arbitration is a provision that needs to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis for materiality, using the test of surprise or hardship. The facts don’t tell us enough about whether or not the arbitration provision would be enforceable. The correct answer is B.
  2. The CISG will allow for minor variations to be included. Unlike the UCC, the CISG defines more clearly what is defined by material terms that would make a proposed term a rejection/counteroffer, and among such material terms are included provisions about conflict resolution. Thus, there is no enforceable contract formed yet. The correct answer is A.
  3. There is no "last shot approach" in the UCC, so acceptance of the goods does not imply acceptance of the last terms (here, the arbitration terms). Express agreement is not required unless the facts specify that the jurisdiction views arbitration provisions as per se material. Surprise and hardship are still part of the analysis. The correct answer is C.

Both the UCC and the CISG allow a fair bit of autonomy in dictating the terms of a contract.

  1. The warranty of fitness applies in situations where the buyer relies on the seller to select goods appropriate for the buyer’s purpose. Professor has not relied on Marvelous, nor does Marvelous appear aware of Professor’s purpose. Normally, to have a right to reject goods, you have to be able to point to a breach of warranty. This is especially true where you’ve accepted the goods. Here, however, Marvelous has said that Professor can bring it back. Normally, acceptance can preclude rejection. The correct answer is B.
  2. If anything, the CISG is more liberal than the UCC in allowing parties to contract around its provisions. Fundamental breach is sufficient for rejection; there is no perfect tender rule in the CISG. Whether there is a fundamental breach or a breach of contract is irrelevant here because of the promise to take the car back. The correct answer is B.

We now move on to the question of performance under the contract.

  1. The UCC does not use the term “material breach” anywhere. In one-shot deals, the perfect tender rule applies, which allows the buyer to reject even for minor non-conformities. However, the seller does have a reasonable opportunity to cure. In long-term contracts, the substantial impairment rule applies; "substantial impairment" is like "material breach". So, avoid "material breach" answers when dealing with the UCC. Here, the buyer was within his rights to cancel the contract, and has not repudiated his obligations thereby. The correct answer is C.
  2. "Time is of the essence" means "you have to deliver on that day", and this matters even more under the CISG than under the UCC. This obviates the usual allowance of nachfrist provisions. Article 8 deals with interpreting the contract, and talks about what each party reasonably understands as to the terms. There is no absolute right to cure. A 3-day delay may be fundamental; the facts don’t really tell us one way or the other. Good faith is something we can take into account in determining fundamental breach, but is not a prerequisite for finding fundamental breach. The correct answer is A.
  3. The CISG rejects the doctrine of election of damages, so a buyer can still get damages despite avoidance, if he can show sufficient proof. The CISG indicates that even if the seller cures, the buyer can recover damages, because it’s possible that the delay while the seller cures may result in damages. The correct answer is C.

These questions deal with contract formation and filling in terms.

  1. The UCC allows parties to contract with an open price term, if they so choose; in such a case, the price is what is reasonable at the time of signing. But the fact that the price on the written contract was left blank doesn’t mean it was an open price. In situations like this, courts will typically admit parol evidence to show what the price was that had been agreed to. The correct answer is C.
  2. There is no requirement of a writing. The correct answer is D.

These questions deal with remedies.

  1. The buyer can either cover, or sue for the contract/market difference. To cover, the buyer has to make a reasonable substitute purchase within a reasonable time. It’s not necessary that the substitute purchase be exactly the same; however, there should be some substantial similarity. Here, Carla bought a better boat the very next day, so it doesn’t look like there was a legitimate cover. Even if there was a legitimate cover, she would get both the difference and what she’s already paid, so it would be $13,000, an option not available. Here, she’s only entitled to what she’s already put down. The correct answer is C.
  2. Here, Bill is a lost volume seller. Normally he can recover the difference between contract and market. As a volume seller, however, he can recover the lost profit. This is the difference between the contract price ($23,000) and the seller’s cost ($15,000), and any incidental damages (there are none here), less what the buyer already paid ($1000). The correct answer is B.

"Open price" contracts under the CISG
There is an inconsistency between Articles 14 and 55. For the purposes of the exam, we don’t have to know these particulars; we only have to know that the inconsistency exists.

  • Such a contract is not enforceable if the relevant nation (under choice of law rules) has adopted Article 14, such as many Scandinavian countries, which have opted out of Part II of the CISG.
  • Such a contract is not enforceable if the relevant nation does not enforce open price contracts (i.e., in the relevant nation such contracts are “invalid”).
  • Such a contract is enforceable if the parties intend to be bound to the open price term contract (Article 14 does not express exclusive ways of making “offer”). (Hull prefers this interpretation.)
  • Such a contract is enforceable if the parties contract other than by offer and acceptance (e.g., they sign one document).

Ask away, and good luck on Tuesday!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trial Advocacy Final Trial

Tonight was the final trial for Judge Stephen Hillman's Trial Advocacy class at Loyola Law School. The trial was a civil trial, where the plaintiff sued his public defender for legal malpractice due to an alleged lack of due care during the plaintiff's criminal trial for assault with a deadly weapon. Representing the plaintiff were Jonathan Starre, Katherine Coman, Stacey Toyoaki, Swathi Narra, Roger Steinbeck, and Brian Varghese. Representing the defendant were Michael Storti, Bruce Chang, Carlos Chait, Lilian Mazian, Katharine Goodenow, and David Yang.

The trial, including recess and jury deliberation, ran almost 4 hours. The facts leaned slightly in the plaintiff's favor, and the verdict tended to reflect that. On the issue of actual innocence of the plaintiff when he was a criminal defendant, the jury was unanimous that he had been actually innocent. On the issue of the performance of the defendant as the plaintiff's defense counsel in the criminal trial, the jury split, 4-2 in favor of the plaintiff. The outcome showed that both teams performed capably.

Before the jury returned its verdict, the future attorneys, and Judge Hillman, posed for a picture taken by one of the LLS students who participated as a witness in tonight's trial.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Inter-APALSA Mixer II

As the semester wound down, and stressed out law students prepared for Thanksgiving, members of APALSA from Loyola Law school, UCLA, and USC got together at Barney's Beanery in Santa Monica for a little mixer.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Beijing Group Reunion II

This time we decided to have Korean BBQ. We went to Chung Kiwa in Koreatown, and this time we were joined by Rob and Eddie.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Upper Division Writing Requirement

The Stud has been spending several hours at the LLS Library lately, trying to get in the groove of writing a substantial draft for his Law of War class to satisfy his upper division writing requirement. (Loyola Law School requires that each student take a class that satisfies this requirement in order to graduate.)

This morning, the Stud, with faithful companion Aloha Princess, skipped Law of Sales to make one last stab at their papers before turning them in and speaking before the Law of War class about them. They managed to get this done. Aloha Princess was terrified she would be obviously nervous, but did a great job of presenting her paper. The Stud was a bit more scatter-brained in front of the class, but both managed to survive the experience.

The moral of the story is, if you're taking a class to satisfy your upper division writing requirement, get at least your outline done within a couple of weeks of turning in your paper topic, so you can get some feedback from your professor. Or, failing that, stock up on Red Bull.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bar Review - Edison

The last bar review of the semester was held at Edison.

Hope you made it. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until next semester!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tales of Career Hunting

This semester, the Stud was surprised to find himself with an offer for a callback interview at a large intellectual property firm. The callback was the result of a recommendation from the firm's California managing partner, whom the Stud had met during on-campus interviews (OCI). The Stud was quite surprised even to have obtained the OCI appointment to begin with, as he is not exactly in the top 10% of the Class of 2008. The callback was to be at the firm's New York City offices. It is an exciting office to be in, situated in the Second Circuit, a major player in the development of intellectual property law.

When the Stud called to make an appointment, the firm scheduled the interview for a month out, on Thursday, November 1, 2007. For the entire month of October, the Stud could scarcely think of anything else.

The attorneys who interviewed the Stud were a friendly group, and the Stud began to be really comfortable with the idea of moving to another state. On the flight back to California, the Stud started thinking of how to resolve a number of clerical and administrative issues in preparation for a possible move.

Alas, it was not to be. Yesterday afternoon, when the Stud returned home to change into a suit for the closing arguments exercise for Trial Advocacy, he saw a small envelope in the mail from the firm. He hoped it was simply a reimbursement check for cab fare, yet knew from the weight of the envelope that it could not be a check.

The rejection letter was dated Friday, November 2, 2007. This would seem to imply that the firm had already decided that it would not be extending an offer to the Stud even before he set foot in the office.

Fortunately, the last bar review is tonight. The Stud will drown his sorrows in alcohol among friends, and hope to be clear-headed enough to tackle the remainder of this semester.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Lake Show

The Stud was fortunate to have gotten to go to a couple of Laker games at the Staples Center this week.

First up, on Sunday 4 November, it was the Utah Jazz visiting. The Stud tagged along with the Federalist Society at the last minute:

The Lakers won the contest, 119-109.

Then, on Tuesday 6 November, the Stud joined his fellow SBA Board Members when the Hornets visited.

After the game, Michelle Kwan joined the aspiring lawyers for a picture.

The Lakers lost 118-104.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chemerinsky's Plans

Now that Erwin Chemerinsky's new role as the Dean of the Donald Bren School of Law at UC Irvine has been confirmed, he has a few words to say about his plans for the new school. One area of note to the Stud:

The law school likely will emphasize areas that are particularly important in Orange County, such as intellectual property, law and technology, environmental law, law and medicine, and public interest law. My hope is to begin immediately to create fellowships for students in each of these areas.

It will certainly be interesting to watch the development of the new school over the years!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

PILF Auction

On a warm Saturday evening, as the Santa Ana winds began the 2007 season, student, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends and family of Loyola Law School gathered at the school to be entertained, wined and dined for the sake of giving to the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF).

The entertainment was provided by John Stout and His Campus Five.

Word on the street has it that this was an even better PILF Auction than the last two years. So if you missed out this year, be sure to come out next year!

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Sober Look at Job Prospects

Late this past summer, the Stud received a request for an interview with one Amir Efrati of the Wall Street Journal regarding job prospects for those of us in the middle of the pack at a law school that's not in the top 25. The conversation led off with a side discussion of the trials and tribulations of a commenter at the WSJ Law Blog, in a very public fashion. (Note: It was not the Stud.) At the heart of this commenter's laments lie the obstacles that face people like the Stud in the job market. To wit, without being in the top 15%, it is very difficult to secure a big law firm offer, or virtually any other job, without a serious amount of pounding the pavement. Even for those of us that have found jobs before graduation, they are typically clerking jobs that may or may not translate into real offers come graduation.

Two weeks ago, Amir Efrati's finished article made it to the Journal, and immediately caused a stir in the law school community.

For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. Big law firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as high as $160,000. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand imbalance that's suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don't score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000. Some are taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as $20 an hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for failing to warn them about the dark side of the job market.

The law degree that Scott Bullock gained in 2005 from Seton Hall University -- where he says he ranked in the top third of his class -- is a "waste," he says. Some former high-school friends are earning considerably more as plumbers and electricians than the $50,000-a-year Mr. Bullock is making as a personal-injury attorney in Manhattan. To boot, he is paying off $118,000 in law-school debt.

"Unfortunately, some find the practice of law is not for them," Seton Hall's associate dean, Kathleen Boozang, said through a spokeswoman. "However, it is our experience that a legal education is a tremendous asset for a variety of professional paths."

The Stud spoke to Graham, our Dean of Career Services, casually after hours about this state of affairs, and came away with no different perception than before: While the Office of Career Services does justifiably expend considerable energy helping those at the top, it does do quite a bit for those in the middle of the pack, but many of us will still have to do the heavy lifting ourselves. All that OCS can do for us is show us the door; we are the ones who must knock on the door, force it open if possible, and walk on through. Even those at the top have to bust their behinds doing well on interviews. The Stud knew many in his section that secured so many first round interviews that they had to miss class for several weeks--and yet never wound up with more than handful of call backs, if that.

A little more research online reveals a pair of articles from Empirical Legal Studies: Distribution of 2006 Starting Salaries and a postscript. Readers are strongly urged to read both articles, but what stood out, dismally, was this graph:

Now that's a bit depressing, and evokes memories of "Law School Musical". Now, we at LLS are fortunate in that we're the largest law school in the region, if not the state and nation. This does mean that there will be more of us who are initially disappointed, to be sure; but it also means that we have a very large alumni network.

What does this very large alumni network mean? It means, as the Stud noted in "Welcome and Welcome Back":

Here at Loyola, no matter the trials and travails in the days to come, look to your left, and look to your right. That is your brother. That is your sister. They will have bunked down in the trenches with us. They will have shared their joys and sorrows. And most will still be with us.

Look at them now. Go to them. Say anything, if only "hello". Or, if you're shy, smile or wave. They have shared with you what few other human beings will have gone through. And in the future, they may just be your "in", not only in your career, but perhaps in your personal relationships.

Be mindful of all this, and don't give up. Most of all, don't stop doing the hard work you'll need to do to make your investment in these three years a worthwhile one.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The TTABlog

Apparently, there is a blog that tracks the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the administrative division of the United States Patent and Trademark Office that deals with trademark administration. I have added the link to the link list.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Innovations in Recruiting

Stepping into the YouTube age, many law firms are revamping their recruitment sites to keep the interests of those of us who, let's face it, spend a lot of time distracting ourselves browsing video sites when we should be studying at the library. The New York Times has the report:

Several firms are trying to parlay that discovery into a hiring tool, creating recruiting videos and Web sites with the look and feel of YouTube. The firms hope to persuade students that their lawyers, and by extension the firms, are young-thinking and hip.

The need to attract top-notch summer associates is crucial; they are the pool from which most new hires are made. More than 19,000 graduates join law firms each year.

So far, the firms’ efforts have run the gamut from simple conversations with summer associates to videos promoting the firm’s expertise or its diversity.

“The videos are still kind of in the early days,” said Brian Dalton, the senior law editor at Vault Reports, which ranks law firms. “A lot of them come off seeming like hostage videos.”

Well, you don't get anywhere without taking a first step. Read the whole thing for examples of firms who've done a bit better than "hostage videos".

(Hat-tip: Jannet)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Race and the Bar

Over the last decade or so, much has been made about the role of race-based admissions policies. In 2003, the United States Supreme Court handed down a pair of cases involving race-based admissions schemes at the University of Michigan. Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003); Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003). In this pair of decisions, the High Court came down generally against racial preferences, but maintained that race may be considered, so long as it is done on an individualized basis that allows for some discretion, such as the one that the Law School employed.

So what of minorities in law school? I'm sorry, "underrepresented minorities", since the supposed white racism doesn't oppress Asian-Americans as much as it does blacks or Latinos.

One would have to be very prejudiced, indeed, to believe that blacks and Latinos do not deserve a shot at a good legal education. And, undoubtedly, diversity may be a reasonable or legitimate interest for a law school. But what if the pursuit of "diversity" damages individuals by forcing perfectly bright young men and women in direct competition with veritable geniuses? In an industry which so highly prizes intellectual acumen, does the color of a student's skin matter more than his ability to keep up?

Vikram Amar and Richard H. Sander's attempts to answer this question of "mismatch", by studying data from the State Bar of California, were recently halted by interested parties. Amar and Sander explain what they're trying to study in Los Angeles Times article:

IMAGINE, FOR A MOMENT, that a program designed to aid disadvantaged students might, instead, be seriously undermining their performance. Imagine that the schools administering the programs were told that the programs might be having this boomerang effect -- but that no one investigated further because the programs were so popular and the prospect of change was so politically controversial.

Now imagine that an agency had collected enough information on student performance that it might, by carefully studying or releasing the data, illuminate both the problem and the possible solutions. What should the agency do?


Given the richness of the data and the intensity of interest in the mismatch issue, it was not surprising that a blue-ribbon panel of diverse scholars (including both of us) approached the bar with a detailed proposal to study its data, backed by full funding and letters of support from dozens of scholars, law school deans and public officials.

But although the California bar was initially enthusiastic, one of its committees recently rejected the study proposal. Its stated reasons are implausible; it expressed concern, for example, about disclosing confidential information; but the proposed study includes the bar's own in-house expert, thus mooting the need for any data release.

It seems more probable that the bar, like many law schools, is simply queasy about touching a delicate area. The Society of American Law Teachers captured this sentiment in a letter it sent the California bar, cautioning it against releasing the information because, it said, "SALT is concerned about the potential negative impacts upon minority bar applicants and attorneys" who "already face a variety of misperceptions about their qualifications." By this reasoning, no one should seriously attempt to get to the bottom of racial disparities in bar performance because the attempt itself would make more people aware of the disparities!


A generation ago, the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in Regents of UC vs. Bakke, the famous UC Davis affirmative action case, that for society to get beyond race, the government must first take account of race. Last summer, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. countered that the way to get beyond racial discrimination was for government to stop using race as a consideration. We suspect both justices would agree that however one feels about race-conscious school admissions policies, it is vital that we do our best to understand the effects of those policies, and doing that requires more, not less, analysis of real-world data.

Indeed! Let us understand how things play out in the real world so that we can find the best (and least discriminating) solutions to these questions.

(Hat-tip: Mad Minerva)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Law School Musical

I laughed. Then I cried. Here is a brilliant ballad to law school.

The Stud is attempting to reach the author of this masterpiece.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Continuing in a fine tradition, APALSA held its 2007 Annual BBQ at Griffith Park.

Ricky manned the grill 95% of the time.

We had an abundance of meat.

About half an hour into the BBQ, there were still just a dozen people or less.

An hour after that, the party surged to its greatest numbers.

Manning the grill affected Ricky's motor coordination skills: He lost a dodge ball up the tree.

If you're a 1L, and you missed this because of Legal Method II, please be sure to tell your mentees next year what the better choice is!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Southern California All Law School Party at Ritual

Once a semester, the law schools of Southern California converge on a venue for partying. Last year, the venue was Prestige; the planners learned a little bit about logistics from that episode.

The Stud did not get to Prestige early enough last year to get in, so this year decided to get to the venue, which was at Ritual, a bit earlier. Despite that, it was quite packed, and a good time was had by all, although a parking ticket did deflate the Stud's excitement a wee bit.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Surprise Birthday at St. Nick's

The news came out by word of mouth that Chi wanted JC's friends to gather at the birthday boy's favorite watering hole, St. Nick's. The Stud arrived late, but there were still a sizable number of people around who love hanging out with JC:

Happy Birthday, JC! May you have many happy returns!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Welcome Back Party at Republic

This year, the Loyola Law School Welcome Back Party was hosted at a venue other than Hotel Figueroa. (The 1L Welcome Party was, however, hosted there the week before.) This year, the venue was Republic, a medium-sized bar with an open-air patio, complete with bar tenders. Being the summer, and packed with eager law students, the patio was nonetheless quite hot. Of course, it could have been the party goers!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Welcome and Welcome Back!

For many of us, this is the beginning of the last leg of a journey that started two years ago in sunny Southern California. And what better way to begin this leg than with the sun streaming down upon our well-tanned necks? For others of us, this is the beginning of Act II, or the very beginning of a similar journey. To all of you, welcome back, and to the newcomers, welcome!

This is a journey that's long and relentless. It is the mother of all hazings. Those of us who emerge at the other end, through it all, will have endured heavy sacrifices, risen to incredible challenges, and made more than our fair share of law school bon mots.

But this is not the time, not yet, for a valedictory. It is, for my brothers and sisters of the class of '08, the time to hunker down, to savor what for many of us will be our last chance at living the life of a student.

At a certain other law school in the Southland, I am told, students are told at orientation to look to their left and look to their right: "If you are still here, those people will be gone."

Here at Loyola, no matter the trials and travails in the days to come, look to your left, and look to your right. That is your brother. That is your sister. They will have bunked down in the trenches with us. They will have shared their joys and sorrows. And most will still be with us.

Look at them now. Go to them. Say anything, if only "hello". Or, if you're shy, smile or wave. They have shared with you what few other human beings will have gone through. And in the future, they may just be your "in", not only in your career, but perhaps in your personal relationships.

This week, as we float into our classes, let us remember to keep smiling, keep shining, knowing we can always count on each other.

Welcome and welcome back!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Beijing Group Reunion

Once Ted got back, most of our group from the Beijing Summer Abroad class were reunited. Naturally, we went for hot pot. It wasn't as good (or as inexpensive) here as it was in Beijing, but we made up for it by enjoying each other's company. Before the night was over, we'd played Deuces ... for pushups! That's why our faces are still so red!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

William French Smith Memorial Lecture

I was honored to attend the inaugural William French Smith Lecture at Pepperdine Law School. It was essentially a sit-down chat with Dean Kenneth W. Starr, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of the United States Supreme Court, Constitutional Law Professor Douglas W. Kmiec, and Carter G. Phillips, Esquire.

By the way, although the Pepperdine Law School is just one building, this is their view:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Torrance BBQ

Ricky hosted a BBQ on the last day of June. A number of law school friends came out to have some fun in the Torrance sun.

There was a lot of meat.

Standing room only.

Staying in the shade.

Kenny plays innocent after tossing Charles into the pool.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Summer Abroad 09 - Post Script

It's been a fun trip, and a part of me, the part that doesn't worry about bills or money, wishes I could have stayed longer. I made lots of new friends, and bonded with the locals. I would have loved to have cultivated and developed the new friendships a little more. Perhaps there will be more chances for that in the future. In any case, this trip has been a blast, and will always occupy a great place in my heart and mind.

Beijing is a rapidly modernizing place. It's still a little behind Taipei, but not as far as it used to be. In the next 20 years, China will resume its "rightful" place among nations; I don't mean "rightful" as a place that China deserves because of its history or past glory, but "rightful" as a place that China and her people will have earned. Frictions with the West remain, and geopolitical interests can never be identical with any other nation, much less any particular Western nation; but for the most part, now that China is moving into the 21st Century, its overall interests are largely congruent with Western commercial nations.

We didn't see the countryside, really, so it's difficult to tell what things are like there. The rural population of China remains high; even though there are more people in China living in urban areas than there are people in the whole of the United States, there are still at least almost as many people in China's rural areas as there are people in the whole of India. Much of China's future stability relies on how her people transition from an agrarian culture to a commercial culture. As we in the States are reminded of every four years, it is folly to discount those that live in the heartland.

Finally, a few more pictures from Hong Kong International Airport, which is itself a veritable consumerist paradise, with at least one, maybe two Gucci stores, as well as a large space for Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

This is the plane that took us to Beijing.

The indoor flora added a humanizing, Zen-like effect to the huge, single-terminal airport.

Hong Kong International Airport also flaunts its distinct Chineseness with its assortment of choices for all kinds of food, as seen here at one end of the terminal.

This was the great metal bird that took us back to Los Angeles.

This concludes the Beijing Travelogue. Please help yourself to the other entries, and have fun exploring this blog!

Summer Abroad 08 - Hanging Out

Although it sometimes felt as if we had no time to ourselves, with all the things we were out doing, there was some down time. We learned to enjoy them whenever we could.

Kaktos Coffee (仙人掌咖啡), where we first discovered the ¥9 bottles of Tsingtao (青島啤酒), was our primary hangout. It was in Building 0, where only one subgroup of us would end up staying, thanks to the Treasury Department of Jin City, Shanxi Province.

The first day Ted, Aaron, and I arrived, we devoured those bottles of Tsingtao. We came back the next morning wondering aloud whether or not it had been restocked. That comment alerted Mark and Diane that we were Americans, and from there on we began making friends with people in the program. By the way, the beer had, indeed, been restocked. Indeed, at one point, they removed one column of Heineken to make room for the Tsingtao.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, Aaron and Mark demonstrated the "Asian squat" as we left the Forbidden City.

There were so many leftovers after the welcome banquet that we were able to have a "leftovers party" of our own, complete with "1.8s".

Sara loves balling.

At $0.25 each, we had to make sure we maximized our marginal utility for "1.8s".

Ted blending in with the locals.

Another place that quickly became a hangout, especially since it was on the same side of the street as the hotel that many students ended up staying at, was Sculpting in Time (雕刻時光), a chain cafe dealing in Western fare. This particular one had a nice atmosphere, but the service was practically non-existent. They have trouble dealing with large orders involving people who don't speak the language.

Claudio strikes a GQ pose in front of Sculpting in Time at night.

Not until near the end, when everyone was, I suppose, finally tired from doing all sorts of things, that all four roommates were able to spend pretty much an entire day chilling together.

It was so chill that Ted and Aaron fell asleep, and it took a little while to get Ted up.

Kaktos Coffee was a popular hangout for locals as well, such as this beauty.

She's beautiful at Starbucks, too.

The people of Beijing have adapted to modern traffic conditions in different ways.

Ted is sad to leave.

Sara loves balls.

The crew at Kaktos Coffee before calling it a night. They were up again early in the morning the next day, when Ted, Aaron and I left.

Our last night of chilling together.

Farewell, Beijing!