Category Archives: Law: Practice

How to Do Things With Words

I’ve seen half-a-dozen links to this unique and amazing pleading, but the world will be a better place with one more.

The setup is that the prosecutor wanted the Judge to order the defense “not to refer to the Assistant District Attorney General as ‘the Government’ during trial.” Seems they thought being called “the government” was prejudicial or derogatory or hurt their feelings or something. Defense hits it out of the park. The really good stuff starts at the bottom of page two.

Posted in Law: Practice | 2 Comments

How to Respond to an Unreasonable Copyright Cease and Desist Letter

Vermont attorney Andrew B. Delaney teaches a master class in responding to a really excessive copyright cease and desist letter. (URL fixed)

(Via ATL of all places.)

Previously:

Posted in Law: Copyright and DMCA, Law: Practice | 2 Comments

I Look Forward to Reading This Paper

Robert Condlin, ‘Practice Ready Graduates’: A Millennialist Fantasy”. Abstract:

The sky is falling on legal education say the pundits, and preparing “practice ready” graduates is the best strategy for surviving the fallout. This is a millennialist version of the argument for clinical legal education that dominated discussion in the law schools in the 1960s and 1970s. The circumstances are different now, as are the people calling for reform, but the two movements are alike in one respect: both view skills instruction as legal education’s primary purpose. Everything else is a frolic and detour, and a fatal frolic and detour in hard times such as the present.

No one would dispute that the United States legal system has a labor market problem, but law schools cannot revive the labor market, or improve the employment prospects of their graduates, by providing a different type of instruction. Placing students in jobs is a function of a school’s academic reputation, not its curriculum, and the legal labor market will rebound only after the market as a whole has rebounded (and perhaps not then). The cause of the present troubles is a lack of jobs, not a lack of graduates (of any kind), and producing more “practice ready” graduates will have no effect on the supply of jobs. The proposal is a spectacular non sequitur to the present troubles.

The concept of “practice ready” also is unintelligible and would be impossible to implement if it were not. There are as many different types of practice, for example, as there are levels of readiness for it and proponents of the proposal do not say which of these various possibilities (and combinations of possibilities), they have in mind. If the expression had a clear meaning, law schools still could not implement it because proficiency at practice depends upon dispositions (i.e., habits informed by reflection), and dispositions take longer than a law school course to develop. Like a lot of blog commentary, the “practice ready” proposal is more slogan than idea. Perhaps that is why it is so popular.

Not pulling any punches here, are we? Lest you think Prof. Condlin (whom I don’t know) is an Ivory tower guy or anti-clinic, here’s his official bio:

From 1969 to 1972, Professor Condlin was an assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He represented the Commonwealth in several major lawsuits in state and federal court, including Massachusetts v. Laird, an original action in the United States Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Vietnam War, Sturgis v. Quinn, the state court precursor to the Supreme Court decision in Baird v. Bellotti, upholding a woman’s right to birth control, and Board of Appeals of Concord v. Housing Appeals Committee of the Department of Community Affairs, the first defense of an anti-snob zoning statute in the United States. He left the Attorney General’s office in 1972 to establish the Urban Legal Laboratory, a full-semester clinical program for students of Boston College Law School, run jointly with the Boston Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. In 1974 he became a teaching fellow at Harvard Law School, where he taught and did graduate study in the field of clinical law. He left Harvard in 1976 to become associate professor of law at the University of Virginia, where he created that school’s clinical law program. He moved to Maryland in 1980. He has served as a consultant to the AALS Law Teachers Clinic and Clinical Teachers Training Conferences and to the Canadian Law Teachers Clinic and has taught at Indiana University Law School at Bloomington as a visiting professor

OK, a little ivory tower, maybe. But the paper sounds like it might be a useful corrective to certain over-enthusiasms.

Posted in Law School, Law: Practice | 3 Comments

Britt Blaser Wins ‘Law Day’

The attempted rebranding of May Day as ‘Law Day‘ by anti-communist Cold War legislators never took off. I think the idea of a ‘Law Day’ isn’t bad (although isn’t every day law day?), but as a piece of counter-programming it has always been both too half-hearted and rather tone-deaf.

But in the true spirit of the occasion here’s a vaguely law-related May 1st post from Britt Blaser: Hooray, Hooray, The First of May!.

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How to Make Your Point in a Five-Page Amicus Brief

Bob Kohn opposes the DOJ’s proposed ebook pricing settlement with three book publishers. District Judge Denise Cote granted him leave to intervene as an amicus — but wouldn’t take his a 55-page brief. She gave him leave to file only five pages.

Kohn responded with the most unusual amicus brief I’ve ever seen: a comic strip. And it makes his point.

Here, if the embedding works, is the full text.

Kohn Amicus

(Spotted via EFF’s James S. Tyre’s posting to a mailing list.)

Posted in Law: Practice | 3 Comments

Congratulations Law Graduates

On the occasion of your graduation, I offer you these Ten Tips for a Successful Transition from Law School to Law Practice, from Business Law Today.

(But first, pass the bar.)

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Breaking: Lawyers Only SECOND Most Sleep-Deprived Profession

Home health aides are #1 by a full three minutes.

NYT, America’s 10 Most Sleep-Deprived Jobs.

Spotted via Slashdot, which totally missed the story: Computer Programmers Only the 5th Most Sleep Deprived Profession.

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