Friday, January 13, 2006

Time out muna.

Stolen again from the lovely Sarah A. Highlight the things you've done. ;)

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watched the sunrise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (malunggay counts.)
19. Touched an iceberg
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby’s diaper

22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier (everyone in my family did, when we were younger. that's with clothes on.)
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb

36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath/shower
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster (and lived!)
42. Hit a home run (have hit loads of sixes in cricket, yes)

43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
48. Had two hard drives for your computer
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government’s official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Bench-pressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke (like duh.)
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to "Let’s Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theatre
80. Done something you should regret, but don’t regret it
81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who’s not supposed to know about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Sword fought for the honor of a woman.
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn’t have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Lied
97. (the real 97) Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice (does Oxford count?)
101. Gotten a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
105. Got flowers for no reason
107. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night-stand
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Moulin Rouge
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check
124. Performed in Rocky Horror
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country (it was just at the beach in Singapore but it was fun.)
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congressperson
133. Packed up and moved to another city to just start over
134. …more than once?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (partially. i loved the alien signs.)
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion, or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a flashback
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone’s heart
146. Helped an animal give birth
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show (technically my younger sis did. she won 10 grand.)
149. Broken a bone
150. Killed a human being
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of 100mph or faster?
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun or pistol (do BB guns count?)
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse

158. Had major surgery.
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: take, landing, during
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for his or her actions
175. Gone back to school
176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one "important" author whom you missed in school, and read him/ her
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
183. …and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you.
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196. Dyed your hair
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Lost your Best Friend for reasons of death
201: Fallen in love over the internet
202: Sung in a Barbers’ Shop Quartet
203: Eaten a live animal
204: Been able to communicate in a language you barely learnt barely three days earlier.
205: Memorized words from all Disney movies like Aladdin, Lionking etc; furthmore, dialogues from Friends, Smallville and Star Trek
206: Be able to relate to every song that you ever listen.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Is the Bar predictive of legal brilliance?

(Photo fromlawschool.handong.edu)

Many of you probably aren't familiar with the name Kathleen Sullivan. Ms. Sullivan is the former dean of the Stanford Law School, which is ranked third among the United States's best law schools (behind Yale and Harvard). Among her many achievements include being a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and being highly respected as a Constitutional scholar. She also distinguished herself as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University.

Obviously Ms. Sullivan is a lawyer of high caliber and practices the profession well. In legal circles, her name is practically a household word; every lawyer knows her name. Her legal brilliance is undisputed.

There lies a little problem: She failed the 2005 California Bar exams.

Ms. Sullivan is licensed to practice law in New York and in Massachusetts, but as she accepted an offer to practice with a Los Angeles-based firm, she took the California Bar exams last July. The exam tested out-of-state practitioners such as Ms. Sullivan wanting to practice in California.

The California Bar exams are notorious for being tough. This year's passing rate was a dismal 28 percent. Rumors have been aswirl for years that the exams were designed to keep out-of-state lawyers out of California. Considering the passing rate, it's not too far-fetched.

Comments on Volokh referring to this post on the high Bar exam failure rate for graduates of Denver University's Sturm College of Law have been, for the most part, full of critique and insight. Some have said that there is no strong link connecting lawyering skills to bar exam results, with others reinforcing that by saying general intelligence seems more predictive.

SR posits:
The Bar exam does not test the ability to practice law, nor even the minimal competence to practice law. Robert MacCrate, in a report for the ABA that is considered the most authoritative study of the subject of the skills necessary to be a competent lawyer, found 10 skills that are fundamental to good lawyering. (excerpts of the report are online here) He notes that the Bar exam tested only two of those skills...A rich literature of studies has grown that shows that performance on the Bar exam is most correlated to performance on law school exams, as well as the LSAT, rather than to any real world measure of the ability to practice law. For this reason it is no surprise that accomplished lawyers like the former dean of Stanford would fail the Bar.

Many of the commentators here seem to uncritically accept the notion that law students who do better on exams that stress memorization and time pressures will do better in a profession that stresses research and due diligence. The assumption has no basis in reality.
Pooh echoes this by saying that the Bar exam measures mostly one's ability to take the exam itself.

John Jenkins, though, says:
Given the system we have, students who want to be lawyers have to pass the bar exam in their state to do that. If you have a reliable predictor of bar passage and you ignore it, then you are doing a disservice to your students (at least those who want to be lawyers). The question presented has nothing to do with the utility of the bar exam as such. Given that the general feeling is that law school (1) doesn't prepare you to pass the bar and (2) doesn't prepare you to practice law, it seems plain that DU is doing SOMETHING wrong (along with most other schools).
Your thoughts are welcome to this non-lawyer.