Law in Contemporary Society

A (Nonlinear, Non-circular) Two-Stop Jaunt

A Light Introduction, followed by Willful Mistake Implications: Fear?

Q: What should one do when a patient presents with a head injury?

An essay should be written, format identical to essays written in response to past assignments. Starting point should be one's notes from class. Scan for any writings that occur in close proximity to the words: "paper idea." Next, peruse the internet; locate an article from a reputable source explaining a current (and pressing!) law-related issue. Final step: pound that shit out until you hit 1,000 words.

Then again::: perhaps one should take the assignment and run, an early summer jaunt, a paper not without meaning or purpose, a paper still filled with carefully chosen words, but a paper that is pleasurable, fun, never boring: a paper that laughs.

Q: What should one do when instructed to write a paper for Law in Contemporary Society?

Determine whether it's a severe head injury. If so, take the patient's wallet.

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Can a "mistake" be intentional? Or does that make it less pure than a mistake, only a facsimile of a mistake, a mistake under false pretenses? Is such a mistake interesting? Is it surreal? Yte Rpzp? "A high-hat comes in just behind the beat, making the tune sound seasick."

It seems that many of us, including your author, are left, now that this course is over, with the same, eh, line of thinking. (1) We know we should not work in big law firms. (2) We don’t want to break the rules/go it alone. (3) We wish we would have been told, in this class, what we should do instead. (4) We are intrigued by relatively "safe", non-go-it-alone solutions: unionizing law firms/Building a Better Legal Profession/etc.

What is most evident here? Is it the fear that we don't know what to do? The fear that we were already told what to do, but think ourselves unable to live that life? The fear that, allowed to do what we want, we will wind up doing little, earning little, missing much?

The deeper one gets into law school, the more one thinks there is a right way to do this. The more classes one takes, the more doors one hears shut. The more lawyers one meets, the more it seems that careers are dipped in bronze – that there is a right way to go about a legal career. The more papers I've read and written this semester, the more I begin to feel like there is a right way to write a paper.

But, say, for instance, I fall asleep with a cigarette in my mouth, and RIGHT WAYS are burnt in the fire. Then I would be free to write a paper the way I see fit. Then, perhaps, I would be free to study law the way I choose, and free to practice law the way I want. "It was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this, all other betrayals came easily." Split Something. Is it eight o'clock? Something Split. "I knew that courage came with less struggle for some than for others, but I believed that anyone who desired it could have it. That the desire was the thing itself."

Sterility, followed by The Reaper Harvesting the Wheat

If I write a string of words, wrap them in quotes, then attribute them to someone else, tell me again, which law did I violate? Some law. For I know that I want no words but my own, and surely all citizens (American, of course) also have that right. "Every word was once an animal." According to an English court, the word 'bogus' implies conscious dishonesty, and thus its use is solid grounds for a libel suit. If words can be domesticated, then what chance does a lawyer have?

Peels open a mango and bites; juices run down his face, down his bare chest. It is warm. When he looks up, the group is laughing. He knows, even though he is youngyoungyoung, the joke: he is half-wild, fully-wild(?), bored with all that and that all..781k48..but not this.

Everything: It's serious, but (I mean, really now, are the Rays at Baltimore tonight?, hold on a minute here, come on) it's not.

A year of law school slinks past. Have I Changed? Was I formed anew by hands seen and unseen? Unaware, was I turned into someone different? Oh no. Oh nono. Is that an invitation? Would they let me in the house now? Am I - am I too clean? There is nothing to fear but domestication itself. I.F. Stone, a muck-racking journalist, foresaw that he was "going to graduate from a pariah to a character, and then if I live long enough I’ll be regarded as a national institution." He had an idea, probably vague, of what he wanted to do. He started doing it. Vagueness is to be fought but not feared; it can morph into acuity. Eyesight can sharpen. The miracle of carrots. Isn't such a path fulfilling? Isn't such a path, at the very least, interesting? What is worse than boredom? To a child, nothing. To an honest lawyer, nothing.

Because we know there is a thundershower of joy - however short does not matter - in the chasing and the subduing of material wealth. Because, on the other hand, we know there is more than money and prestigious clerkships and elite firms and making partner. Because we know it is chic and subversively popular and perhaps just as effective to pump our legs for the less fortunate, for the losers of that grand lottery. Because there is fear that, when we are older, we will be worked out, fucked out, shopped out, mergered and acquisitioned out, pro bonoed out; and we will realize that each was the same, each was pleasant for an afternoon, each fell short. Because we know what this class was: a challenge. For now: "dejad el balcon abierto."

-- JosephAvery - 20 May 2009

  • I like this better than you think I am supposed to. If you really think you want me to have told you how to spend your life, I don't think you think clearly about what you think you want. If you didn't want a challenge, I'm sorry. I think you needed one. I'm sure you wanted to need one. Fortunately, you still do.

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r3 - 08 Jan 2010 - 22:42:27 - IanSullivan
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