Muskrat News Legal Briefs

Dean Bartlett today announced the immediate suspension of publication of all law journals produced at the Bo and Luke Duke Memorial Pre-Hab Facility and Law Diploma Dispenser. The move was described as "responding to employer concerns" as well as being an economic measure.

"We all know that the function of journals is a semiotic one – it signifies to employers that the staff members are insane and willing to focus obsessively on minute details," said the Dean. "Employers have long counted on a student’s willingness to go blind spending his evenings and weekends parsing Bluebook form as being a reliable predictor of the student’s willingness to go blind spending his evenings and weekends parsing corporate due diligence documents. It takes a keen eye to spot such signs of trouble as shaky accounting practices or fresh bloodstains on the page. And the system still works well in that regard.
"Unfortunately," she continued, "several large firms have indicated that they find the process ‘insufficiently humiliating’ for the students, and have asked that we find a substitute for the journal experience that will be ‘more fun to watch,’ and hopefully involve more significant blood loss." The move also curtails the proliferation of journals: "Alaska Law Review is bad enough, but when we decided to authorize ‘Duke Journal of Mechanical Milking Technology Law’ we realized we’d hit the wall, specialization-wise," said the chagrined Dean.

Insiders report that several possible replacements for journal work are being considered:

1. A combination of gladiatorial contest and scavenger hunt, in which prizes would go to, e.g., the first individual to bring back the fresh heart of a competitor, or the first team to kill, skin and stuff a member of the men’s basketball team. This would have the advantage of opening journals to the well-muscled but low-achieving students who are here on the infamous intramural b-ball scholarships. Extra points would be awarded for those willing to kill or maim relatives or members of the clergy.

2. A reality-type TV show called, "Who Wants to Suck Up to a Senior Partner?" Similar in conception to NBC’s "The Apprentice," this show would focus on one staff at a time as their numbers are winnowed by a tyrannical and badly-coiffed New York litigator. Team tasks such as jury tampering and "wet t-shirt grand jury testimony" would test the candidate’s skills and buff off the final layer of residual self-esteem. The first staffer eliminated in each round would have to work in Fargo, ND, the second in East Saint Louis, and so on until the winner wins a position with the top firm in New York.

3. Sending the ex-journal staff – both male and female – to Tokyo to be trained as Geishas. Their blinding white face paint will make them easy to distinguish once they return, and the fanatical attention to detail necessary to properly perform the tea ceremony will more than compensate for the Bluebook nitpicking. Moreover, the exquisite social skills that come from geisha training will be invaluable in building and nurturing client relations, a skill rarely learned through serving as "semicolon editor" for a year. Finally, mandatory kimonos would make law school less drab.

4. Requiring journal staffers to spend two weeks their second summer smuggling heroin from Colombia to the U.S. in swallowed balloons. Surviving in a big firm is all about handling stress, and there are few things more stressful than realizing that one ruptured balloon will dump enough opiates into your system to kill you agonizingly. Plus, if you worry about it too much, customs will realize you’re nervous, at which point it’s the back room, the quick x-ray, the court-ordered laxatives and a one-way ticket to the federal theme park known as Mandatory Minimum Land. The need to memorize contact procedures and cover stories will test the intellectual skills of former proofreaders, and anyone who can talk their way past a fear-sniffing dog and his steroid-addled ATF handler is ready to do appellate work already!

The administration plans to use the money saved from printing and distribution costs to upgrade the faculty lounge. The new rules do not apply to service on Muskrat News, which has been described as "punishment enough."

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