Vol. 39 No. 9
Continuing the conversation
This time of year, the blawgosphere is usually full of goodbye posts from 3Ls who have blogged all through law school and are now bringing both experiences to a close.
However, Jack Whittington of World Wide Whit (www.worldwidewhit.wordpress.com) recently made an announcement of a different sort. Whittington, along with fellow bloggers Jason Tenenbaum and Brian Hoffman, is launching a social media venture through Twitter to bring together law students, potential law students, and lawyers to discuss law school and its challenges.
The purpose of the chats, the first of which took place in March, is for those just beginning law school to draw support from those further along or already graduated. “As I reach the end of my law school career, it has become apparent to me that life would have been incredibly easier over the course of the last three years if I would have had someone to give me a heads-up about what to expect throughout law school,” Whittington explains, “or just someone to talk to when it all felt like it was too much to handle.”
You can follow Whittington and his colleagues on Twitter (@lawschoolchat) and e-mail them questions or comments for future chats at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going solo? Get ready to innovate
Whether it’s because the job offers you anticipated never materialized or because it’s something you wanted to do all along, perhaps you plan to hang out your shingle shortly after you pass the bar.
If so, writes Jordan Furlong at www.law21.ca, you should forget any notion you might have that going solo means being a jack of all trades. Furlong is a partner with Edge International, providing consulting services to law firms on strategic planning and tactical matters, and a senior consultant with Stem Legal and principal of its Media Strategy consulting service. The legal marketplace is rapidly changing, he writes, and today’s solo lawyers need to be specialized, sophisticated, collaborative, and innovative.
This means that if you’re a solo-to-be, Furlong would advise you to: focus deeply on a specific area of law that interests you (and for which there’s market demand), invest in IT and other infrastructure you’ll need to compete, network with other solos (in part because you’ll then be able to work together on larger projects), and not be afraid to take chances.
Want more advice? The full post is at www.law21.ca/2011/03/10/the-21st-century-solo.
From class notes to music notes
When two different blawgs mention the same rather unusual behavior, maybe it qualifies as a mini-trend. In this instance, we’re talking about learning case law by setting the details to music.
At Beyond Hearsay (www.beyondhearsay.com), Sarah Saville, a 2L at Pace University School of Law, says writing pop music parodies that incorporate details from case briefs has been helpful as both a stress reliever and a study aid. It all started last year, she writes, with “Conley Back,” her version of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back,” with lyrics drawn from the Supreme Court case Conley v. Gibson. A recent favorite, she adds, involved setting the case Lucy v. Zehmer to the music from Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”
And each year, Len Niehoff, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, challenges his class to turn United States v. James into a country and western song. Up until this year, only one student had ever taken him up on the challenge—and he only wrote lyrics, not music, notes Sarah Zearfoss, the school’s assistant dean for admissions and special counsel for professional strategies.
This year, however, yielded a bumper crop: one lyric fragment, one full set of lyrics; and two complete songs with words, music, and willing performers. You owe it to yourself to check out the two performances, and Professor Niehoff’s account of the colorful case and his annual challenge; you can find them via a post called “This is not typical” at Zearfoss’s blawg, A2Z (www.law.umich.edu/connection/a2z/default.aspx).