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A law blog about nothing: Meet SeinfeldLaw

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Seinfeld
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It turns out that the show about nothing has a lot to say about the law.

SeinfeldLaw, a blog that breaks down the law through the medium of Seinfeld, and Seinfeld through the medium of the law, has its origin story in the musings of four 3L Seinfeld-loving law students in late 2017.

After endless months of Jerry-and-George style writer’s block, our blog finally came to life in early February 2018. While the original intent was simply to add to the already tremendous fan-based commentary on the legendary T.V. show, SeinfeldLaw has since become a living document and turned into so much more. In short, we thought it would be hilarious to treat the ridiculous scenarios of Seinfeld like the kinds of hypotheticals we, as law students, had seen on final exams and soul-crushing cold calls, and hopefully make a few Seinfeld fans laugh along the way. 

Seinfeld

But then came the Bar Exam. Studying for the Bar is, undoubtedly, a very demanding and time consuming ordeal. It quickly became clear that we would be unable to continue writing the blog during the summer months while we were studying for our ultimate final examthat is, until we discovered how useful it was to study Bar Exam topics through scenarios we were all already familiar with in the episodes of Seinfeld! What better way to work through understanding the law on wills, agency, hearsay, and corporations than by analyzing them through the antics of Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine.

Writing up blog posts actually became a study tool, and we found ourselves understanding the Bar topics better once we saw how they played out through Seinfeld scenarios. All of sudden, we began to see SeinfeldLaw as not just a fun addition to Seinfeld fan culture but also as a tool for students and bar takers to use for building their legal skill set.

As the summer came to a close, we also realized that SeinfeldLaw could be used to help explain the legal side of breaking news or heavily debated legal topics. This led us to write a post on whether Kramer violated campaign finance law during the Del Boca Vista elections, and on how Kramer’s “make-your-own-pizza” business can illustrate the constitutional protections for abortion.

The law is center stage in many high-profile news stories, but it can be hard for those without a legal background to understand some of the complex issues. Our hope is that SeinfeldLaw can be a resource for them to begin to build a foundation for understanding the legal side of the news.

On the technical side, SeinfeldLaw is written using the Issue-Rule-Analysis-Conclusion (IRAC) format, which is often the standard format for writing law school finals and legal memos. Bar exam review courses even teach students to write their essay answers on the bar exam in a similar format. While the writing style of the blog is far goofier than any student should ever use on exam, nor should law students insert YouTube videos or gifs into their analysis either, it is a good resource for students looking to understand this writing structure. It is also a simple way for those without a legal background to follow along as we break down the law.

While the law could be analyzed through any number of mediums, we feel that Seinfeld is particularly well suited for this type of adventure. While it is often joked that Seinfeld is the show about nothing (as we ourselves did in the very first sentence of this article), we think the show can really be interpreted as just the opposite. It is the show about everything – the everyday lives of four people and their interactions with the world.

The law governs so many aspects of regular life, and Seinfeld’s obsession with the minutiae of everyday life makes it especially ripe for how seemingly non-legal transactions are actually grounded in the law. We just don’t think of these as legal problems because, well, who is going to sue their friend over what might actually be a legal oral contract or sue the bank for not saying “hello” as a greeting?

SeinfeldLaw imagines what would happen if we did.