|LAW SCHOOL UPDATE
Last Monday, on my way to National Security Law, I and eight other students were trapped in an elevator for over an hour. Kudos to the Durham FD for getting us out, to Greg Kanyicksa for not showing us the contents of his hard drive as he played music for us, and to Carrie Ryan for showing such a maritime grasp of invective when talking to the 911 operator. Let me just say that if you’re going to be trapped in a death-haunted sweatbox, it’s nice to have people with a sense of humor around you. Plus, Dessa Baker is kind of cute when she’s in a full-bore claustrophobic panic. But the experience made me re-evaluate my life. I decided to take law school more seriously by joining a journal. Of course, your 3L year is a little late for such efforts, but I am a resourceful person, a skilled liar, and kind of gullible, so I talked myself into it.
Most people get on journals through the casenote competition after their 1L year. Unfortunately, I spent the 30 days after my 1L Spring exams sobbing uncontrollably about my experience in Con Law and consoling myself with Mr. Vodka Bottle, so I was unable to write a case note. It is also possible to get on a journal during your 2L year, but when I looked into that process I found out that, to my horror, some kind of writing was involved. I passed. Things were looking grim. If I couldn’t “Note On,” I decided to try other paths, including “Pleading On,” “Begging and Crying On,” and “Sleeping On.” I got no takers, although on the last one Chris Baird looked like he was thinking it over.
One Journal, Law and Contemporary Problems, takes a few 3Ls on the basis of grades alone, so I eagerly submitted a transcript showing my superior achievement. Unfortunately, during the review process the white-out flaked off, revealing the true position of the decimal point. L&CP Editor in Chief Chris Hart attempted to console me, explaining that I never really had a chance, since a little-known rule forbids anyone from joining that journal “Who has never managed to write a single bluebook citation properly or who has ever publicly mocked all journal members in a TDA article.” Oops. My bad.
Not a problem. Duke is a large university, and resumes don’t have to be too specific about whether a journal is a legal publication or not, so I made the rounds of other departments. The Journal of Squirrel Economics wasn’t hiring anyone who couldn’t quote the Acorn Lemma from memory, Pustule and Boil Quarterly required too strong a stomach, and the babes at Angry Feminist Monthly were not impressed by my interview. Still, hope springs eternal.
One little-noticed (i.e., totally invented by me) trend in law journals is the efflorescence of so-called “trans-institutional journals,” those not affiliated with any particular law school. Plea Bargain Basement, Shiv and Shank Review, and the Shyster-Tribune are all up and coming publications, but again each expected me to do some form of writing or editing. I explained that my time was fully occupied with Pub Quiz, watching the Cubs’ playoff hopes melt, and fighting extradition to Argentina – leaving me little time for classes, none for reading, and even less for actual work. I just wanted the title, not the work. They got all huffy about their supposed “standards” and turned me down.
I was running short of options. I decided to discuss the issue with Angry Pete, my trusted advisor and reference writer. He reminded me that copyright law was notoriously lax about the abuse of abbreviations – and that Donald Rumsfeld was poisoning his soup at night. I promised to work on the soup issue, and went back to the computer. In a few short hours I had produced the first issue of a new journal, which I am calling Loggia and Courtyard Peeper. Any questions about the nature or quality of the publication will be met with a haughty refusal to let non-subscribers have free copies, and the $50,000 cover price for a year’s worth of issues, if anyone pays it, will make the employment issue moot for a while. My resume now says “Staff Editor, L&CP,” and I expect the job offers to start rolling in any time now. For anyone interested in joining me on this publication, there will be a “Bribe On” competition next semester.