Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Twinkie news....

See here and here.  I'm looking forward to being reunited with my favorite guilty pleasure.

Dinosaur or phoenix?

There have been numerous stories about outsourcing in law practice (for example, here), and lately, I've been reading about outsourcing for other reasons outside law practice (see here for a serious proposal and here for Lucy Kellaway's more tongue-in-cheek one).  All of those stories have me thinking:  are most law schools destined to become dinosaurs, or will legal education become a phoenix?

If law schools continue to deny that applications are down and that law practice has changed (those changes are, in my opinion, permanent ones), and that therefore legal education has to change, they're dinosaurs, and we're just waiting for the rest of the Ice Age to come.  If, however, law schools start to innovate in ways that actually help their students develop the new skills that they're going to need (like Washington & Lee has done with its third-year curriculum), then maybe we can rise from the ashes of an outmoded system.

Personally, I think it's more fun to try to be a phoenix than to try to "wait out" the Ice Age.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rats. I hate reading about stupid Marines.

I love my Marine Corps.  (And I love my hubby, brother-in-law, father-in-law, and friends who have served.)  So it bothers me when I read op-ed pieces, like this one in today's Wall Street Journal written by a former Marine, that argue that women shouldn't be in combat.  According to the author, the reason that women shouldn't be in combat is ... well ... poo:
Yes, a woman is as capable as a man of pulling a trigger. But the goal of our nation's military is to fight and win wars. Before taking the drastic step of allowing women to serve in combat units, has the government considered whether introducing women into the above-described situation would have made my unit more or less combat effective?

Societal norms are a reality, and their maintenance is important to most members of a society. It is humiliating enough to relieve yourself in front of your male comrades; one can only imagine the humiliation of being forced to relieve yourself in front of the opposite sex.
OK, Mr. Smith:  POO is your concern?   The fact that those who serve our country are willing to do so, knowing that many of them (1) won't come back alive or (2) will come back with severe injuries, is what makes me so proud of our troops.  My guess is that the more serious risks are what our people think about before they go into battle.  Not about poo.  My hubby has not even once listed "poo" among the serious risks that he and his colleagues faced.

Women really are as capable as men when it comes to being willing to defend our country, and it irks me no end when folks ignore one of the benefits of letting women serve alongside men.  Those combat experiences that make people eligible for promotion and more responsibility need to be open to everyone willing to serve.

So, Mr. Smith:  maybe it's time to rethink your priorities.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Let's take this two-year/three-year law school proposal a step further.

Today's New York Times has an op-ed by Dan Rodriguez and Samuel Estreicher suggesting that the third year of law school could be optional and used for specialization (here).

I'm not opposed to the idea, and others have suggested it (or things like it) before.  For a good post discussing the pros and cons, see here by Deborah Merritt on the new blog, Law School Cafe.

What intrigues me about the proposal is that recognizes that law school shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all option.  I'm enough of a risk-taker to think that, if state bars would grant a limited license to the folks who graduate after two years and a full license to those who take all three, then those graduates who want to minimize their law school costs and have the (very fulfilling) life as a lawyer doing some sorts of things (but not all "lawyer things") could still serve their clients very well.  (Law is, after all, an undergraduate degree in most countries.)  Two-year graduates who want to expand their practices could maybe return to law school for that third year, or take an additional certification exam, or demonstrate additional competence and judgment in some yet-undiscovered way.

The nice thing is that a move to the two-year/three-year model will, by necessity, force law schools to be more deliberate about their curricular choices. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Congrats to Sherri Wattenbarger!

Sherri, who is a trial attorney for the USTP in Kansas City, MO, received the U.S. Attorney General’s Community Service Award at a ceremony in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Main Justice Building in Washington, D.C.  Each year, the Attorney General selects two to four individuals to honor with the Community Service Award from nominations among more than 100,000 Department of Justice employees nationwide. Sherri was honored for her  exemplary community service for her sustained volunteerism and leadership in the legal community and the Kansas City metropolitan area.  (IMHO, she's a bundle of energy, too.)

Congrats, Sherri!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

You can only call it a "genius bar" if the people doing repairs are actually thinking: UPDATE.

Normally, I love Apple Computers.  Love the products.  Love the service.  But not this time.

1/2/13:  Brought in my MacBook Pro to the Apple Store at Town Square because I was having a problem with the computer's sleep function.  The person at the Genius Bar (James) told me that he'd look it over but that we might have to replace the hard drive.
James:  "Have you backed it up?"
Me:  "I think so, but I'm not positive.  What should we do?"
James:  "Why don't we do this--if we have to replace your hard drive, I'll call you first, so that you can take the computer home, make sure it's backed up, and then we can replace the hard drive."
Me:  "What a great idea.  Thanks!"
You know where this is going, right?

I dropped it off on 1/2/13 (it's repair ticket R81777487, if anyone at Apple is reading this post), and I got an email yesterday that the computer was ready for pickup.

I pick it up and see a "REPLACED HARD DRIVE" tag on it.  I explain my extreme unhappiness to the guy at the Genius Bar (Nick), and he apologizes.  I explain that I appreciate the apology, but that I need them to fix the problem that they caused.  With both "Repair Nick" and "Manager Nick," the best they said that they could do was give me the old hard drive ("which we normally don't do").  "Repair Nick" said that, if I brought in my Time Machine, he would personally try to restore all of my data.  I went home, hoping that Time Machine would work.  "Manager Nick" was singularly unimpressive in terms of coming up with creative and appropriate solutions.

And it would have--had Apple replaced my old hard drive with a new 1 TB drive, rather than a 750 GB drive.

At this point, I'm bordering on the shaken-faith doctrine.  But I'm about to drive BACK to the Town Square Apple Store with (1) my still-needs-to-be-fixed computer, (2) my Time Machine, and (3) my old hard drive.  I hope with all my heart that "Repair Nick" can fix the problem that his store caused in the first place.  More soon.

UPDATE:  "Repair Nick" has replaced my drive and is using my Time Machine to restore my computer.  He's actually a nice guy.  Will update y'alll when I can.

FURTHER UPDATE:  "Repair Nick" has saved the day.  He was able to restore my computer completely -- or at least I think so.  I'll know more when I pick it up.  He has been unfailingly polite and patient.