« September 2007 | Main | November 2007 »

October 30, 2007

Laptops Headed Back Out?

By Austin Rice-Stitt

Students in Adam Pritchard’s Civil Procedure class better hope that their laptops come to life quickly, because the online quiz has started and they’ve got less than a minute to lock in their answers. Prof. Pritchard, the tech-savy, pony-tailed securities guru, does not adhere to the Michigan Law policy of blocking internet access during class; rather, he uses the internet to give quizzes that determine a quarter of each student’s final grade. But while Prof. Pritchard has embraced in-class computering, other professors are heading in a different direction by banning completely the use of laptops during class.

Mark West’s 28-member Japanese Law class is laptop-free. Prof. West, who dresses a lot better than you do, finds that laptops “contain lots of little diversions and distractions that take away attention from class.” But Prof. West is even more concerned that laptop-wielding students “tend to type things that I say verbatim. They don’t process the material in their brains; the words just go straight to their fingers.” Old-fashioned note-taking is preferable, according to Prof. West, because “writing is a slower process” that “forces [students] to choose what matters.” While he does not think that laptops are bad in every class and that there are “great ways to integrate them into the classroom,” for most of what he teaches “laptops do more harm than good.”
This is the first time that Prof. West has banned laptops in his Japanese Law class, and he says that he will have a better idea about the effectiveness of the new policy after he sees how students do on the exam. But he likes the way it’s going: “. . . so far, I think students are a bit more engaged; they don’t have that screen to hide behind.”

Ellen Katz, voting rights aficionado and keeper of many fishes, also cites students hiding behind screens as part of the impetus for her ban on laptops in her 30-member Local Government Law class. “If I call on a student using a laptop, the student is far more likely to look down and to scroll through an outline than simply to think about the question and respond directly to it,” says Prof. Katz. “Some of my colleagues have told me about students who announce they are unable to answer questions because their laptops are ‘off.’”

Prof. Katz does designate two students as each day’s laptop note-takers, and those students are asked to post their electronic notes on the CTools internet site. Prof. Katz has not heard from students whether they find the communal notes useful, but she has enjoyed the mostly-computer-free environment. Online crossworders should be aware that Prof. Katz is “pleased with the no laptop policy so far and plan[s] on using it in future classes.”

One professor who will not be restricting laptop use is Contracts expert and part-time soccer coach Omri Ben-Shahar. Prof. Ben-Shahar finds “faculty intervention in this matter to be inconsistent with the sensitivity that the faculty otherwise has to
individual autonomous choices and academic freedom in other areas.”

Prof. Ben-Shahar does not share Prof. West’s concern about students who use laptops to create a verbatim transcription of the day’s lecture. Instead, Prof. Ben-Shahar feels that laptop distraction is caused by “access to internet and games,” and is not related to “the use of word processors over pen-and-paper” for note-taking. He says that he works to “discourage such distractions by calling on people that seem to be busy with their screens.” Students should be warned that Prof. Ben-Shahar can “see the green shade of solitaire reflected in their eyes” and can, with scientific accuracy, identify “the IM-induced smirk.” Prof. Ben-Shahar also tries to discourage computer distractions, awarding students who contribute to in-class discussions by raising their grades.

Even as Profs. West and Katz are feeling more love from their laptop-free class members, Prof. Pritchard is probably going to give you an online pop-quiz tomorrow, and Prof. Ben-Shahar is “pretty sure that 10 years from now the question of banning laptops will be forgotten.” Is laptop note-taking here to stay, or are professors starting to fight back? Does anyone care? Join the discussion by sending your thoughts on this pending issue to rg@umich.edu.

A Response from Rear Admiral Houck

Eric Reed’s excellent article thoroughly and fairly described my recent visit to the Law School. I sincerely appreciate the time he devoted as well as Res Gestae’s extensive coverage. However, one important clarification is necessary. The article suggests I said that difficult policy issues “must be debated by politicians and policy makers, not by the military, which should and must simply follow the orders it is given by the White House and Congress.”

The basic point -- that active-duty military leadership should not be in the habit of publicly debating policy issues -- is correct. This is fundamental to civilian control of the military. However, as I also noted more than once during my remarks, military leaders must make their views clearly known to senior leadership within the Administration and the chain of command, as well as to members of Congress under appropriate circumstances. A military leader who fails to give his or her best advice from a military perspective is doing a disservice to the civilian leadership and the American people. This is especially true when the military officer’s advice disagrees with what may be the prevailing view within the civilian leadership. However, once the military officer’s views are made clearly known and a decision is made by duly-elected or appointed civilian leadership, the military officer then has the obligation to execute the decision unless, of course, it is illegal.

Military officers are not automatons who unthinkingly salute and follow orders. We do, and we should, vigorously debate issues with the civilian leadership within both the executive and legislative branches.

Ultimately, however, we serve the American people through their elected and appointed representatives. Once we have had our say, our responsibility is to execute their legal policies and orders.

James W. Houck
Rear Admiral, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy Deputy Judge
Advocate General of the Navy

Bleu Copas on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Submitted by
Samara K. Schwartz

At Fort Bragg, Bleu Copas was a gay soldier jumping out of airplanes alongside straight soldiers. “My homosexuality didn’t make me any less effective as a paratrooper.” And a satirical test conducted by The Daily Show, which involved a striptease, revealed that Bleu’s sexuality didn’t interfere with his skills as an Arabic translator either. Yet Bleu was dismissed from the Army in December 2005 under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

On October 11, Bleu spoke to a packed Hutchins Hall 218 about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He used his own story as a case study, putting a face on a policy that he reported has resulted in the discharge of 11,000 service members since its introduction in 1993. The talk was co-sponsored by Outlaws and the ACLU. Co-chair of Outlaws Foz Bullock said “Copas is living proof that LGBT people are unfairly treated in the military.”

Joining the military was a natural choice for Bleu, having been raised on stories about service. As an undergraduate at East Tennessee State University, he participated in ROTC. The events of September 11, 2001 gave Bleu the opportunity to serve, and by the following summer, he had entered basic training. Afterwards, Bleu spent a year and a half studying Arabic – “the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he said.

When deciding to enlist, Bleu was familiar with the intricacies of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and recognized that the policy would be a compromise, even though he had always lived in secrecy about his homosexuality. “I still feel like I upheld [my] end of the bargain by never telling,” Bleu said.

To this day, Bleu doesn’t know who told. While awaiting deployment to the Middle East, Bleu had been selected as one of 300 service members to represent his unit in the 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus, which he said is used as a visual recruiting tool for the military. One day, thirty choral members were informed that an email was circulating concerning a gay soldier in their midst. “My stomach switched places with my heart,” Bleu recalled. “To my knowledge, I was the only gay serving in the chorus.” Later, he confronted his platoon sergeant and said that this inquiry had been a blatant violation of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

But the inquiry didn’t end there. Messages began to flood the inboxes of other command leaders and now mentioned Bleu by name. The informant remained – and remains – anonymous. Bleu did communicate with the individual through instant messaging, and he tried to glean from their chats some clue as to the person’s identity.

Bleu sought advice from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, looking to them daily to understand how to contend with an inappropriately enforced policy and illegally obtained evidence. Bleu’s email account was even broken into and a handful of messages collected. Though Bleu complied with the investigation and even aided it – he produced the Yahoo Messenger chats – he chalked up his dismissal to his unwillingness to answer questions. A JAG defender had informed Bleu that he could decline to respond, and Bleu did so. Ultimately, Bleu asked to have an attorney, at which point the questioning stopped. Bleu learned afterwards that the questioning officer – the only judge of Bleu’s fate in the military – had concluded that Bleu’s apparent reluctance to participate evidenced dishonesty.

Bleu admitted that his discharge was not a significant professional loss; less than a year remained on his contract. And challenging the investigation could have had a much larger price tag: a potential criminal proceeding.

Instead, it’s the government that shoulders the burden of the price tag. Bleu explained that the military has spent more than $365 million to fire and replace homosexual service members. Bleu’s training took two years, including a year and a half to complete security clearance. He reported that at least 60 Arabic linguists have been discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell since September 11.

Even so, Bleu said that 65,000 homosexual service members remain in active service. He also said that this is, to a great extent, not perceived as a problem. Bleu offered some numbers: studies have shown that 25 percent of soldiers know of someone who is homosexual in their unit, and 79 percent of soldiers are okay with this. “It’s sad that the people who make this policy are so detached from the foot soldiers,” Bleu observed.

That other countries allow GLBT individuals to serve openly reveals the policy’s limited influence, Bleu noted. “Members of British and Israeli task forces are serving openly alongside our forces,” he said. “Almost all of my co-workers knew. And it didn’t cause a problem or hinder our mission.” This was especially true during Bleu’s Arabic training; on his dormitory hall, every other room was home to a gay soldier. “I don’t know why we decided we could learn languages,” he commented with a smile.

Numbers also reveal that lesbians are particularly vulnerable under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Bleu said. Though women comprise only 15 percent of the military force, they represent 30 percent of those discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Bleu remains confident, though, that much will change within five years. Timeliness and a receptive administration will be key to the passage of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1246), which would repeal the policy, Bleu said.

Even though Bleu questions the legality of the investigation he underwent – “[It] shouldn’t have even happened. If the policy had been used legally, I would still be in the military” – he takes issue with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in principle. “You’re taught from the beginning the values of honor and integrity,” Bleu said. “Because of this policy, our service members are forced to contradict these values daily by living a dishonest life.”

Samara Schwartz is a 1L and the Admissions and Faculty Recruiting Chair of Outlaws.

Are You A Sex Offender? MCL 28.722

"Between the Briefs"
By Rooks

My first Michigan football game of the year was Homecoming weekend, and, as fun as it was to bear witness to Purdue’s decisive whuppin’, and that one alum’s startling efforts to castrate himself by repeatedly swinging hooked swords in the general direction of his crotch, I’m not sure much could top the off-the-field action in the student section. Like an episode of Cops in the making, two officers showed up at my row sometime in the third quarter and proceeded to drag, ahem, gently escort a kid who was twelve kinds of wasted out of the stands.

Now, if being entirely hammered in public were a crime, Michigan’s fans would all be ensconced in a much different Big House, so clearly something else was afoot. Turns out that Sloppy McDrunkerson, burdened with the twin problems of a full bladder and a middle seat, had decided that the best solution to his dilemma was to relieve himself in a cup while surrounded by 110,000 of his closest pals.

Classy.

Unfortunately, what our friend Sloppy may not have realized is that whipping it out in public is indeed a crime, and has more far-reaching effects than wet shoes and/or unimpressed neighbors.

Though we live in a world where an attorney can have a three-way with a client and a client’s girlfriend and get off, the looming shadow of Character and Fitness is usually enough to keep even the most debauched law student in relative check. If for some reason, however, the concept of spending 200 grand only to be told that someone’s held a magnet to your moral compass isn’t sufficiently frightening this Halloween, then perhaps the prospect of sex offender registry can serve as a substitute incentive to straighten up and fly right.

Indecent exposure (e.g., peeing in a cup not on doctor’s orders, or the entirety of the Girls Gone Wild canon) is a misdemeanor in Michigan, and repeat offenses (in the case of indecent exposure, two) can have you listed in the registry, searchable on the internet alongside kidnappers and child molesters faster than you can say “school safety zone.” Forget C&F, how could you explain that one to your family? “Sorry Mom, but I really had to go?”

Flashing your bits isn’t the only surprising thing that can get a guy or gal registered. The next time, ahem, first time you have sex in a public space (unfortunately, I think the stacks count), bear in mind that three convictions for obscene conduct in public can result in sex offender status. (That’s right, Larry Craig is just two wide stances away from even greater depths of ignominy.) Thankfully for me and my potty mouth (and the continued existence of this column), speech doesn’t qualify under MCL 750.167(1)(f), the statute prohibiting obscene conduct. On an interesting legal note, this question was actually decided only this year in Leonard v. Robinson, a case in which a man was suing for wrongful arrest. His crime? Saying “Goddamn” at a town meeting. (Luckily the arresting officer didn’t see the preacher’s daughter in her “Dance Your Ass Off” t-shirt, which allowed Kevin Bacon just enough time to teach the entire town about the joy and power of dance.) No, I am not kidding. (Well, I am about Kevin Bacon.)

I’m not advocating that you break the law, but if you find that oftentimes there’s no way you can make it to the bathroom, or you’re a not-so-closet dendrophile, at least make the possible conviction worth it -- a drunken, scantily remembered night at Oasis Gardens isn’t worth arrest in my book. After all, the Michigan legislature asserts that the reason we have sex offender registry is because “a person who has been convicted of committing an offense covered by this act poses a potential serious menace and danger to the health, safety, morals, and welfare of the people.” Even though, what with all the booze and partying, many of my classmates have certainly posed a threat to my liver’s health and my GPA’s welfare, I strenuously doubt that y’all are the type to disrupt the safety of an entire state.

To submit a question or idea for Res Gestae’s new sex columnist, please feel free to e-mail rg@umich.edu, or, if you’d prefer greater anonymity, deposit your question under cover of night in the RG student group pendaflex outside Legal Research 116.

Law Relationships, An Endangered Species?

By Sumeera Younis

Law school is a place where lawyers are born and relationships die. In this stress inducing, ego-filled, super-busy environment, can a relationship ever survive? To quote Michigan’s favorite Tom Cruise look alike: “The short answer is no, the slightly longer answer is yes.”

Within the first month of law school my section had twice as many single people as it started out with. Although I was forewarned that law school takes its toll on relationships, I wasn’t quite ready for what happened. All around me people were breaking up. And, there were several break-downs as people dealt with their break-ups. There wasn’t one simple reason for why people were breaking up but loads of different ones. Law school took up so much time that some people couldn’t maintain old relationships. Many people had moved to Michigan for law school, and their relationships buckled under the strain of long-distance love. Others just saw a sea of sexy brains and cut themselves free.

In contrast to all the relationships that ended, our section also saw two of our classmates get engaged after enduring one semester of law school together, and many others paired up and are still going strong. All the things that can contribute to old relationships ending can serve as the foundation for new love. Since law school takes up so much time, it can be natural to pair up with someone you are constantly around. Being away from home and in a new environment, while also dealing with the underworld of law school, can create a strong bond. And frankly, with all the break-ups that happen early in the semester, two rebounds are bound to bump into each other.

If you are already in a relationship, there is no need to pack up all your partner’s things in a box and cue “Bye, Bye, Bye.” Although law school can end relationships, the road to a law degree does not necessarily have to be littered with broken hearts. By now we may all be trained to be terrified of C’s, but there are three C’s that you should come to love: Compromise, Communication, and Cuddling.

(1) Compromise. If you are in a serious committed relationship, then you are not going always to be able to do everything your single classmates do. Sometimes you will have to miss a bar night or have lunch at home instead of at . Other times you will have to put away your books and make time for date nights or bite your tongue instead of talking about Pennoyer v. Neff.

(2) Communicate. All this compromising might lead to a big case of resentment. To avoid confrontation and to deal with conflicts as they arise, it is important to let your partner know when you need more time to do law school related things or when you are simply feeling overwhelmed. Be clear that this is not an indication that you love them less but a way in which you are trying to keep the relationship stronger for the long run.
(3) Cuddle. Hey, it’s not all bad! One of the best things about having a partner is that you have someone there to be romantic and fun with as well. Don’t forget that there are definite perks to relationships that make all the hard work worth it. Kind of like law school.

Copyright Conundrum: An Interview with Professor Litman

By Sarah Rizzo

Perusing the CD aisles of Borders or Barnes & Noble, it is impossible not to notice the baroness of what used to be a sea of music browsers. In the mid- to late 1990s, newly emerging technologies like Napster brought on a short-lived heyday of free music. Indeed, few took advantage of these technologies more than college students before industries, lawyers, and law professors started paying attention.

Today, the legacy of Napster remains with iTunes and YouTube occupying much of our time on computers, iPods, and iPhones. Whatever one’s position, everyone can agree that copyright law has been changing as rapidly as technology.

The RG sat down with Michigan Law’s copyright guru, Professor Jessica Litman, in search of guidance for aspiring law professors and to hear about her contributions to an area that is close to many of our desktops.

Res Gestae: When did you know you wanted to be a law professor and why?

Professor Jessica Litman: Some time in my first year of law school, because I hated it. I thought law school was just the most awful experience and it seemed to me that it didn’t have to be as bad as what I was going through. So, that’s why.

RG: Did things change?

JL: In the long term, yes. In the short term, no. I started teaching in 1984 and what I discovered was that, for the most part, my students weren’t interested in a law school that was kinder, or gentler, or more open to different kinds of ideas. What I had hated about law school the most: I went to Columbia, and I got there with a class of a whole bunch of really interesting, unusual people; and, then over the three years I was there, I watched them all turn into gingerbread cookies. I saw all of these interesting people become less and less interesting and it made me sick in my soul to see that. So, I thought if I were a law professor, I could give people the tools to be whatever kind of lawyer they wanted to be without changing their essential personality. But, when I started teaching, I discovered that most of my students couldn’t be less interested in that. They had a vision of what a lawyer was like and they wanted to turn into that person. So, in that sense, I was, I expect, a complete failure at trying to do something different.

Over the years, no thanks to me, law students have changed. They no longer want to turn into gingerbread cookies. And so I discovered that I enjoy teaching them much more than I did 20 years ago. At the same time, legal education would have done that without me. I didn’t need to be here for that to happen. People needed to get interested in the law who were more interesting and more interested in other things than perhaps was the case in the early 1980s.

RG: Do you find that Michigan is different from the other law schools you’ve taught at?

JL: Every law school is different. All law schools have their own pathologies and you get used to the ones where you are. One of the nice things about Michigan is that the students are nicer to each other than at many other law schools. That was also true at Wayne [State]. The Wayne students are just really nice and really hard working. Michigan students are not interested in competitiveness to the point of being complete assholes. At some schools that I’ve taught at that’s not true.

RG: What inspired you to write your book?
JL: It was suggested to me when I was a Visiting [Professor] at American [University] by Jamie Boyle, who was a professor there…. He is now a professor at Duke [University]. He’s just spectacular.… This was ’97-98 and I was down at American and in Washington and watching the Digital Millennium Copyright Act get enacted by Congress. We were talking to journalists about some of the things that were disturbing us about what was happening. The reporters were saying “I get it, but I can’t get my editor to get it. I can’t figure out how to get my editor to understand that this column should run, that it should get lots of column inches and run on the first page.” Jamie suggested to me that in some of my own writing was the germ of a way to explain this story to a much wider audience than just the folks who read law review articles. So, he really encouraged me to mine the last ten years of my work, and also the current stuff I was doing watching the statute get passed, to try and write a book that was accessible to an audience of smart people who aren’t necessarily lawyers.

RG: Have you talked to non-lawyers who’ve read your book and really liked it?

JL: Oh yeah. It’s quite wonderful. I get fan e-mail from complete strangers who say, “I just read your book and I have to tell you: thank you for writing it.”

RG: You began teaching at the beginning of the digital and internet revolutions. How have changes in your field affected you?

JL: Oh, it’s just fun! I learn new things every year because the law changes and the world changes. It’s seriously cool.

RG: In your book, you mention that Washington was behind the times with the internet and digital technology. Why do you think that was?
JL: Lawyers thought of computers as those things that sat on their secretaries’ desks. So, without experiencing what networked digital communication can do, it’s hard to think it up. If you look at all of the science fiction books from the 50s, the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, they missed the internet! They were talking about robotics, they were talking about a lot of things, but all of the visionary science fiction writers, at least in English, it never occurred to them to imagine the internet. It was, I think, just a failure of imagination; a sense that the world is always going to be pretty much the way it had been. As a result, as a whole generation of college students were getting free access to the internet, … the folks who ran things just thought: “oh anything on the internet is free, it’s all garbage, it doesn’t have any value, no one would want to read that.” They would still be saying that about what’s up on YouTube, except that folks are watching that, and Apple thinks enough of it to put a YouTube button on its iPhone, and so forth. But, the idea that, if costs were driven down low enough so that you didn’t need a printing press to communicate with people and that people would be generating content to interact with each other and would enjoy reading that – that was just a revolutionary idea in 1990 and it didn’t occur to people.

RG: What do you think of the recording industry’s choice to sue students for sharing music?

JL: That never should have happened. In the best of all possible worlds, peer-to-peer file sharing, in my view, should not be illegal. Canada, indeed, interprets its law so that at least downloading is not illegal. Really, until the Napster case, whether peer-to-peer file sharing was legal was an open question. There is a provision of the copyright statute that allows consumers to make non-commercial copies of recorded music and whether it applied to peer-to-peer file sharing was up in the air. Congress had intended it to give consumers a free pass for all copying of recorded music. But, congress hadn’t imagined how devastating it could be if 60 million people could make a non-commercial copy. The 9th circuit decided that, no, that’s not legal, and since then every court has pretty much agreed.

The recording industry is suing individuals partly for the deterrence value and partly because it’s actually generating some amount of money. What is being reported as the average settlement is between three and five thousand dollars. The cases bring in more than they cost to bring, so long as they settle. If you’re not going to court, if you’re just going through the settlement center, it ends up generating a small amount of money. Thinking up and starting this whole campaign cost a lot of money but, to the extent there are figures now, it indicates that it may be generating some small income. They need to do that because what they really want is to get the intermediaries. What the recording industry wants is for universities to stop peer-to-peer file sharing, computers to block peer-to-peer file sharing, sites that enable peer-to-peer file sharing to stop doing it, bit-torrent to incorporate some kind of filter, and so forth. Because copyright is set up as exclusive, enumerated rights, they can’t actually get the intermediaries unless they are facilitating actual illegal action by end users.

RG: So they’re not really after us …

JL: Initially they sued the intermediaries and when that didn’t work they started coming after you guys. Now, I’m not sure they are willing to break the habit. There are any number of advantages to being able to announce that they’ve gone after another 2000 college students: it scares you; it’s not fun for the general counsel’s office here which, however it feels, has got to counsel you that the cheapest thing is to settle the case and stop doing it; and it allows them to demand structural changes or changes to the design of consumer electronics and of networks to say, “look, there is all this yucky illegal use happening, we have to sue these consumers, nobody likes it; why don’t you just design your networks to block all this traffic?” It gives them leverage that is useful politically.

RG: What are the biggest copyright-related lobbies?

JL: There are giant lobbies. … You’ve got the music industry, and that includes separately the performers, the composers, the record companies, and music publishers – the folks who own the copyright on music, and their interests aren’t always aligned. The record companies want to make sure that the record companies get paid a lot and composers and performers don’t. Performers want to make sure they get a cut. There are the broadcasters, who have to pay royalties to people. There are the webcasters (who are not broadcasters -- they don’t use spectrum; they use the internet; they use glass). The broadcasters would like the rules for the webcasters to be harder than the rules for the broadcasters because that would give the broadcasters a comparative advantage. And there is cable-TV and satellite. So, there is all that. We have the software publishers. We have the hardware manufacturers. We have the consumer electronics industry. We have the telephone companies, who are incidentally the internet service providers, and the cable companies who are also internet service providers, and the WiFi telephone stuff.

All of these folks are trying to lobby. They are trying to preserve the advantages they have, get rid of advantages they don’t have, and incidentally protect themselves against whatever new medium is out there in the future. They don’t know what it is yet, but they know it’s going to cut into their market share. So, they want to write these rules so that they don’t have general application.….

RG: I can imagine. What do you think about the continual expansion of the length of the copyright duration?

JL: I think it’s bad. I wrote a brief in the Eldred case, signed by 54 law professors, which is posted on my website if you should want to take a look, saying that not only was it bad but it was unconstitutional. But, the Supreme Court said I’m wrong.

RG: What is your personal view on what the limit of fair use should be?

JL: In today’s world, I think we’re asking fair use to do too much. If you look at copyright historically… do you know what fair use is?

RG: That I’m allowed to use this without incurring…

JL: Precisely. If you make a photocopy of a law review article to study, you’ve made a copy. A court would say that’s fair use -- you’re making it for the purpose of scholarship and research, you’re not undercutting the market, and so forth. We’re asking fair use to protect people who do stuff like that – copying for themselves. We’re also asking for it to protect what you might call transformative uses, parodies; some of them the kinds of things that the authors of the underlying works wouldn’t like to license. We’re asking it to cover criticism. The thing about fair use is that the amount of territory it’s covered historically has been pretty constant. So, if you stretch it in one direction here, you tend to lose it over there. It’s not that elastic.

What has happened in the past 30 years is that the scope of copyright rights have expanded, so that more pressure is being put on fair use. No, this isn’t something congress did. Congress enacted the statute in 1976. What’s happened is that courts have read it somewhat more expansively. So, you have a non-statutory expansion of what rights mean. And, in addition, copyright owners have claimed laRGe rights without contradiction. For example, when the recording industry sends you a letter and says: “you have engaged in peer-to-peer file sharing. You can either pay us $5,000 and admit your wrong or we can go to court. If we go to court, we’ll be able to collect $150,000 for every song on your hard disk and you’ll have to pay $50,000 to a lawyer. Or, you can give us $5,000 and we’ll go away and you won’t hear from us again.” Unsurprisingly, most people decide to take the settlement route, but what that means is that we don’t give courts the opportunity to say: “Well, does this make sense? What did congress have in mind?” So that rights are, as a practical matter, getting laRGer as a result of grandiose claims rather than adjudication. And so that has put more pressure on fair use.

I suppose, what I personally if I ruled the world would like to see, is a more constrained definition of each of the exclusive copyright rights. So that the right to reproduce, and adapt, and perform publicly, have clearly understood boundaries so that we’d be asking fair use to do less because it works best when it applies to exceptional cases. This is in part because, to the extent that you have to go through a trial on the merits to figure out whether a use is really fair or not, that’s hideously expensive and it’s not fair. So, what I’d rather see is judges cutting back on the expansive definitions of copyright owner rights. I think they will. If you follow this field long enough, everything’s a pendulum. Things expand and then they contract, and then they expand and then they contract.

RG: What is it like working in a profession that is so heavily male?

JL: It’s much better than it was. When I first was here, it was very difficult, for lots of reasons. There weren’t many women, and many of the older men on the faculty didn’t really have an image in their head of a law professor who was a woman. Becky EsengbeRG and I started at about the same time, and while we didn’t look much alike, our colleagues kept getting us mixed up. That was reasonably hard. Women students who needed professors to talk to had to come to the ones that were here and there weren’t very many of us, and so forth. There are many more women here now, and it is, I think, a much more interesting and more comfortable place because of it.

In addition, IP is a field in which women dominate. If you get anybody’s list of the top ten IP professors in the country, more than half of them are going to be women. It’s an historical accident. It’s because, in the 1980s when most of us were entering the field, copyright, patent, and trademark were fields that were represented on very few law schools’ permanent faculty. Instead, they had adjuncts teaching them and the adjuncts, for the most part, weren’t writing. And so, a whole lot of women who were interested in IP came into teaching, and it was a course that was available to be taught.
RG: Any surprising fact about yourself that students might not know?

JL: Because of my mother, my career in legal education aRGuably started while I was still a child. She began teaching trial practice at the University of PittsbuRGh Law School (her alma mater) in the 1960s, and enlisted me to be the injured plaintiff in a number of mock trials.

*****

Whether she’s playing an injured child plaintiff or weighing in on copyright law, Professor Litman is sure to keep apace of a field that changes as quickly as our internet browser speed.

Save Your Bids! BLSA Date Auction Moved

By Sarah Rizzo

I’m at 100, I’ve got 100, who’ll bid 120?” Unfortunately, bidders will be disappointed to learn that the Black Law Students Alliance’s (BLSA) annual fall Date Auction has been postponed. An October 18 e-mail announced the postponement with little explanation. Originally planned for Thursday, October 25, BLSA members jointly decided to move their major fundraising event closer to Valentine’s Day. This quashes any rumors that the auction was cancelled permanently.

The move to February 2008 more accurately ties into the Date Auction’s theme and prizes, according to one BLSA member, which include gift certificates from local businesses, as well as a date just in time for that special day! The money raised at the auction funds BLSA-sponsored programs throughout the year, including legal scholar talks and events.

One BLSA member stated that the Alliance is working hard this year to host additional smaller fundraisers besides the Date Auction and Soul Food Lunch. This will further the organization’s goal to provide a firmer foundation for BLSA’s future. The Date Auction’s postponement, says the BLSA member, will not negatively impact funds. Watch out next semester for information about the Date Auction, as well as BLSA events during Black History Month.

You're Not the Only One Who Used to Watch Speed Racer

Save Yourself: A Semester-Long Exercise in Perspective
By Liz Polizzi

A bad back, poor eyesight, bad posture, and psychological malfunctions of varying orders of magnitude. These are the physical manifestations of the rigors of law school. But if you see a law student with an actual impact-related physical injury, it can mean only one thing: this is a law student who does something besides eat, sleep, and study on the weekend.

Thus, I am proud to announce that last weekend this intrepid reporter sustained her very first actual sprained ankle (as opposed to the kind you fake in grade school to get out of gym class), in order to present you, dear readers, with one of the many (albeit elusive) “joys of not-law school.” Now, when someone asks me why I limp, I enjoy the distinct pleasure of responding, “Motorcycle accident,” and then basking in their astonished stares.


You see, there’s this class you can take. You don’t have to own a motorcycle. You don’t have to know how any of the levers and knobs work (I didn’t). And in just four days, you too can have a genuine certified motorcycle operator’s endorsement added to your Michigan driver’s license, authorizing you to operate any two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a gasoline engine bigger than 50cc. At that point, you can go out and begin to learn to actually ride a motorcycle. In that way, it’s much like law school.

When choosing a motorcycle class, you have two options: pay $325 to take the class offered at your neighborhood Harley Davidson dealership, or pay $25 to take the state-subsidized version of the same class at your local community college. In either case, the instructor is state-certified, there is one instructor per six students, and the class ends with a skills test that you must pass in order to get your motorcycle endorsement. The difference is primarily in the scheduling: the Harley Davidson version is more intensive, with less time waiting around for other groups to use the range. Also, since motorcycling has been steadily gaining in popularity in the past few years, especially in these days of high gas prices and environmental consciousness, there is a considerably longer waitlist for the $25 state-subsidized class.

“But,” you may be thinking, “I am a law student. Aren’t law students, like lawyers, inherently risk-averse?” Perhaps they are, but taking early steps to mitigate the risk-aversion characteristic of your lawyerly personality is no less important than taking early steps to remind yourself to carve out little islands of fun in between oceans of billable hours – if you don’t start now, you’ll never learn.

The class itself is fun and a little scary – just the thing to shake you from your due process doldrums. First, you read a book and learn about what all the parts of the bike are called and what they do, along with some abstract techniques for maneuvering the bike (which make little sense at that point, if you’ve never been on a motorcycle before, but come in handy later). Then, you journey to a fenced-off parking lot and mount a bike already scarred from the travails of the students who came before.

Sometimes, you dump the bike. This sounds much scarier than it is – I dumped mine three times and only sustained one minor injury. My personal theory is that if you’re under five foot ten or so, you’re going to dump the bike when you’re first starting out, just based on the fact that the slightest loss of balance is fatal for those who lack the leverage to regain equilibrium through sheer brute strength. But as the old biker adage goes, there are two types of motorcyclists: those who’ve dumped their bikes and those who will. The good news is that for a beginner, most of these mishaps happen at very slow speeds (because the motorcycle has a natural tendency to stay upright when traveling in a straight line at higher speeds), and therefore the damage is usually limited in scope to your pride and occasionally some added scuffing on the already beat-up bike.

And when, at the end of the second day of riding, you find yourself zooming around the 1/8-mile track in a competent counterclockwise fashion, stopping and starting at will, and traveling at speeds approaching 12 miles per hour, you feel the sense of accomplishment that a mid-June visit to Wolverine Access can never provide. Your passing grade on the skills test means more than your relative position among a hundred of your peers. It means you are free – ready to hit the open road a la Easy Rider, ready to escape bad guys like Trinity in The Matrix ... or at the very least, ready to putt-putt around your own neighborhood a few dozen more times, before finally attaining enough confidence to tackle Packard Road.

For the sake of full disclosure, I should admit that I am really not that good at riding a motorcycle even now, twenty-plus hours and three-hundred-plus dollars later. But at least now I know what all the controls do and have sustained some pretty painful but informative lessons regarding three very important ways to avoid dumping one’s bike.

Cost: $325 if you do it at the Harley Davidson dealership; $25 if you do it at Washtenaw Community College
Time Commitment: ~30 hours at Washtenaw Community College; ~20 hours at the Harley dealership
Efficacy*: 85%
Conclusion: Nothing makes you feel less like a law student than donning a motorcycle helmet and taking a whirl around a paved enclosure. On the other hand, this is not the sort of activity that helps reduce stress – and unlike law school, in this context your life really does depend on you not screwing up. But, then, it’s all about perspective, right?

* Success at transporting the law-sodden mind to a kinder, gentler place.

A Quiet Moment of Reflection on the Changing of Things

No Other Warranties, Expressed or Implied
By Nate Kurtis

Everything is changing!

I realize that progress is a good thing, and that everything can’t stay the same forever, but I never thought that the Law School itself could change faster than the editions of our textbooks. Yet, in a slew of announcements over the last month, that is exactly what is happening!

I was still making my peace with the new student lounge and the revamped 138 Hutchins, and I hadn’t yet recovered from entirely one third of the law school’s student population turning over a few months ago, when an e-mail from Dean Caminker announced that the Reading Room, a campus landmark so ancient that many of us thought it immune to changes of any kind, would be closed, cleaned, and updated in the coming term. This was followed by news that the LSSS, responding to complaints from last year’s Halloween Party, had found a new, larger venue for this year’s festivities (see “A Frighteningly Good Time” on pages 11). Then an e-mail from BLSA informed us that their Date Auction, a fall classic, would no longer be held in the fall at all (see “Save Your Bids” on page 7)!

These tectonic changes in our tiny Law School community were enough to make even the most courageous among us metathesiophobic. But the Law School wasn’t finished!

Last Tuesday, October 23, students returning from Fall Break found that in their absence things had changed yet again. The Law School’s website, an electronic oasis of stability in these mercurial times, was gone! In its place, the Law School’s Information Technology staff and Communications staff had created a new website. These changes are not merely cosmetic. Dean Caminker, in an email to the Law School community, informed us that even the underlying software architecture is shiny and new.

Then, when it seemed that only the classroom experience was unchanged, last Friday, October 26, the Law School rededicated 116 Hutchins as the “Weil Gotshal Room” in recognition of the generous support of Weil Gotshal LLP.

Once the dust settled from all these changes, the implications were obvious: I can no longer go to class, read, study, surf the web, or purchase attractive people the way I used to! That’s it. No more! I don’t think I could take anything else changing, though there isn’t much I could do to prevent it. I’d protect myself from any more changes by quitting school and living in a box… but those would be changes too!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


Nate Kurtis is a 3L and the Editor-in-Chief of Res Gestae. He can still be reached with comments or questions at nkurtis@umich.edu, his old e-mail address.

PDF of October 30, 2007 Issue

October 09, 2007

No More Reading (Room): Study Space To Close For Renovations

By Nate Kurtis

Last Tuesday, Dean Caminker announced in a 12:51 a.m. e-mail message to the Law School community that the Reading Room will be closed for renovations beginning after exams this term. Renovations to the lights in the Reading Room, which are part of a larger plan to update the lighting and wiring in the Law School, will “improve energy efficiency, brightness and evenness,” according to Dean Caminker. The fifty-foot vaulted cathedral ceiling will also be restored, and the study tables will be refinished.

“The lighting in the Reading Room is in desperate need of renovation,” said Hadi Husain, 3L and LSSS President. “If you compare our Reading Room to that of peer institutions –Yale’s reading room is similar— you can see the need for refurbishment. Of course, none of this would be possible without the incredibly generous gift from Mr. Munger,” added Husain.

Charlie Munger, a founder of the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, gave $3 million for the renovations. Mr. Munger was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan for a year and a half before he was drafted into World War II.

In an e-mailed response to questions on the renovation, Dean Caminker noted that “[t]he idea of upgrading the lighting (and the accompanying electrical infrastructure) was Charlie Munger’s. In his words, he likes ‘fixing things that are broken and that no one else will fix.’ Well, the lighting is ‘broken’ in the sense that it is not very functional and is energy inefficient and relies on decaying wiring, and no one else is likely to come along with an interest in investing in our infrastructure. So the lighting project fits nicely his description of his philanthropic interests.”

During the planned renovations, the Reading Room will be closed to studiers and unnecessary foot traffic, though professor offices and the elevators will remain open. Law Students will be able to study in the Smith Addition, the underground part of the Law Library, which will remain open until the Reading Room’s normal 2 a.m. closing time, according to Law Library Director Margaret Leary. Ms. Leary believes that there will be enough space in the underground Law Library to accommodate students who wish to study. While the Reading Room is open to the public to use, the Smith Addition will remain off limits to non-law students.

Student reaction to the announced closing of this popular study space has been mixed. “I’m disappointed,” said Emily Breuker, a second-year MBA who came to study in the Reading Room last Friday for sentimental reasons after learning about the planned closing. She added, “[The Reading Room] feels much more academic than the Business School library, which is tables and very florescent lights and is not always quiet, and so I feel more intelligent when I’m in here.” Mitchell Crispell, a Freshman in LS&A, explained, “I like how there is an expectation of silence, and it is very beautiful. If I want to look up, it’s very pretty.”

Sehar Siddiqi, 3L, goes to the Reading Room to study between classes. She notes, “It’s actually just more convenient. You don’t have to walk all the way down and find a quiet space. . . . Here, you just grab a table and work and it’s easy. During the day, the lighting here is pretty good, so it’s useful.” Siddiqi adds: “I’m not sure, seat-wise, how [everyone studying in the Smith Addition is] going to work out because, while it appears that there are a lot of carrels, at least on Sub-2 quite a few of them belong to my journal. . . . On Sub-3 a lot of those carrels are reserved for journal work as well, so my biggest concern is seating. Maybe not on a daily basis, but there will be crunch times when it will be hard [to find a seat].”

The Reading Room is not only used for studying. This jewel of the Law Quad, which was ranked 94th in a recent American Institute of Architects survey of the best-loved American architecture (See “Law School Is Not A Beauty Contest … Or Is It?” in the February 20, 2007 issue of the RG), is featured on admissions tours of the Law School and is the site of at least one event each Preview Weekend. “I predict nothing less than the decline and fall of Western civilization as a result of the cleaning of the lamps in the Reading Room,” cautioned Sarah Zearfoss, Dean of Admissions, sarcastically. Dean Zearfoss went on to explain that she does not “think the cleaning of the Reading Room lamps will affect either [admissions] yield or our ranking. Last time I checked, USNWR had taken the lumens per wattage category out of its calculus. The Admissions Office staff, being rather clever, will re-route the tour so that we don’t actually have to wear hard hats--and we have already planned something new for Preview [Weekend]. Finally, because every single member of our community is as charming and engaging as the Reading Room is beautiful, I think we will be able to make up for the temporary loss of the space.”

The Reading Room was chosen as the first step in this infrastructure upgrade because the work in that space will take the most time. The renovations will then continue into Hutchins Hall and the 9th floor of Legal Research, where work is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2008. At present, there are no plans to update the wiring or lighting of any classrooms as part of this project.

“On the whole,” concluded Dean Zearfoss, “I think a one-semester cleaning and upgrade once a century is a fairly small inconvenience.”

Let There Be Light!

A late-night e-mail is sent by the Dean to the entire student body outlining various administrative matters having to do with a grand plan to revamp the Law School’s lighting. Buried somewhere near the end of paragraph two is the mention that the beloved Reading Room is slated to be closed for a full semester – the final semester for about 250 law students who will thereafter never again have the pleasure of sitting on uncomfortable wooden chairs while trying to make out the text of the case book before them in the green lamplight. Despite the strong cloak-and-dagger undertones of the e-mail, we’re fully behind the Dean’s plan to close up shop for renovations, for the same reason some are troubled: the Reading Room is one of the most visible and visited features of the Law School, and having it look and feel its best for years to come is worth the inconvenience of having to find another place to study for a few months.

When it comes right down to it, we all know that denizens of the Reading Room are almost all undergrads or those looking to pick up undergrads (surprisingly similar to Rick’s in that respect, and in the interests of keeping that the only similarity we shouldn’t let the lighting level stay at the Rick’s norm). Yes, the average law student may occasionally go there to do some serious studying once in awhile, but face it – the “halls of knowledge” schtick wears off after the first few months of law school, and the belabored law student is in search of three things: comfortable chairs in which to sit for hours on end, a quiet atmosphere in which to zoom through pages of reading without needless interruption by cadres of giggling undergrads, and good light by which to read so as to minimize the deleterious effect law school is already having on our collective vision. None of those is currently available in the Reading Room. At least after these renovations, one of them will be.

Granted, for those who seriously rely on the Law Quad as primary studying grounds, quarters are bound to get a little tight in the Subs. But maybe it was time to branch out anyway – the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library is just across South University and boasts individual carols with doors that actually close (though the efficacy of the noise barriers created by said doors is another matter). In addition, Weill Hall, our new neighbor to the south, boasts a nice little reading room of its own, on the third floor, which we’re sure they’d absolutely hate to see law students begin to occupy – but don’t tell us they won’t feel free to avail themselves of the newly refurbished Reading Room once it’s done. And, of course, if you’re still looking to troll for undergrads, you might try either the reading room at Hatcher, one of the reading rooms in the Union, or else the old standby – the Shapiro Undergrad Library, just across the street.

Of course, the most important piece of this cost-benefit analysis is still a little uncertain: will the new lighting scheme actually make any difference to the quality of life in the Reading Room? While it’s impossible to know for sure, we have confidence that the beneficial effects of the renovations will prove at least enough to outweigh the minor inconveniences posed by a semester of construction.

New Campbell Board to Create Permanent, Transparent Scoring System

By Austin Rice-Stitt

The Campbell Moot Court competition has tested the oral and written advocacy skills of Michigan Law students for over 80 years. Unfortunately, delays and an opaque, ever-changing scoring system in past years have tested the patience of competitors as well.

But this year’s changes to the Campbell Moot Court brief and oral argument scoring system may be the last, according to Director of Student Affairs Christine Gregory, whose office oversees the competition. This year Ms. Gregory gave the Campbell Moot Court Executive Board “a different assignment: to establish a scoring system that would, hopefully, become the permanent scoring system.” Ms. Gregory hopes this year’s board will be “as transparent as possible and create a scoring system that everyone understands and that doesn’t change much from year to year.”

The Executive Board, a group of current UM Law students charged with administering the competition, seems to have gotten the message. Board members Bradley Moore, chair, and Meghann Dunlap agree that “one of our mandates is to create a new permanent scoring system.” Though previous Boards were not required to explain their scoring methodology, Bradley emphasized this Board’s focus on “transparency.”

The Board handed out information packets to prospective competitors at informational meetings on September 17 and 18 that included detailed scoring sheets that will be used to evaluate briefs and oral arguments. “It was important to release the scoring packet at the first information session,” Bradley explained, “to show everyone exactly what they will be evaluated on.”

“It’s important to be transparent, especially when students put so much work in,” explained Meghann. “Competitors want to feel like they’re given a fair shake.”

To develop this year’s scoring methodology, “the Board put a lot of effort into talking to people at other schools who are involved with running moot court competitions,” Meghann said. The Board also drew on the expertise of its own members, many of whom have experience as moot court competitors. “The chance to develop a new scoring system is a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity,” said Bradley. “When you get this involved with something, you want to see it be successful.”

This Year’s Board

While six students all had equal voice in last year’s Board, this year’s Board has seven members, including a designated chair. “It’s been great,” Meghann said when asked about having a chair. “It’s nice to have someone setting the agenda for the meetings and making snap decisions when necessary.” Chair Bradley Moore sees his role as being that of a facilitator: “I’m surrounded by great people, and everyone is stepping up and taking care of the things that they’ve been assigned. I’m just making sure that everything gets done.”

In addition to creating a chair position on the Board, Ms. Gregory emphasized that the criteria used to select this year’s Board was also a little different. “I think in the past the recruiting might have focused more just on GPA and faculty recommendations,” Ms. Gregory explained, “and now we’re taking a more holistic approach. The idea was to recruit board members that are comfortable with their classmates, have a good rapport with the student body, and who have experience in moot court competitions.”

Indeed, this year’s Board includes two semi-finalists from last year’s competition, Liz Polizzi and Stephen Oertle, and another board member, Sam Zun, participated in the competition last year as a timekeeper. Bradley confirmed that “it’s been really helpful this year to have input from Liz and Stephen, who did the competition last year, and also to have board members who bring a fresh perspective.”

First Round Scoring

Most of the delays and scoring irregularities in past competitions have occurred in the first round, when volunteer alumni judges are asked to score and return briefs by mail. This year’s Board hopes to avoid problems by starting early and by communicating with volunteer judges. Bradley, Meghann, and Ms. Gregory all emphasized that this year’s Board is focused on getting things done early, and the Board hopes to send first round briefs out, and get them back, sooner than in years past. Meghann also believes that the Board can urge scorers to return briefs on time through “constant communications with scorers to check in.” Bradley confirmed that the Board will rely on “consistent, professional follow-up” to get briefs scored and returned.

This year’s Board also plans to ask slightly less of each first round volunteer brief scorer. While scorers last year were asked to read and score six briefs, Bradley says that this year’s Board would like to keep each reader’s assignment to four or fewer briefs. Also, while last year’s Board tried to get each brief read six times (before eventually settling on four), this year’s Board is soliciting only three scores per brief.

The Campbell Moot Court competition is open to second- and third-year UM Law students. Registration closed on October 1st. The Board can be reached at campbellcompetition@umich.edu.

Killjoys of Toys: Ala. Code § 13A-12-200

"Between the Briefs"
By Rooks

It was a big week for sex and the law, what with the suicide this past Friday of the Asst. US Attorney caught soliciting a child for sex, and the Oklahoma judge whose conviction for multiple counts of public indecency was upheld this week. (His Honor was using a penis pump while hearing trials – if that’s the reason those robes are so voluminous, I really prefer not to know.)

Though y’all can imagine how extraordinarily tempting it was to write on character, fitness, and sex offender registries this week, one particular news item got my metaphorical panties in the proverbial twist. Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Williams v. King, a case challenging the constitutionality of an Alabama ban on the sale of sex toys.

Don’t panic – S3 over on South U. isn’t going to shut down Michigan-state-government style.

Thankfully we don’t live in one, but there are still some states in the union where helping folks get their jollies can carry a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine (mind you, that’s just for the first offense). Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama all have laws that prohibit the sale of sex toys. (Louisiana struck down their similar statute some time ago, realizing that no one in New Orleans was paying any attention anyway, and thus preventing some sort of Deep South Anti-Orgasm Belt quinfecta.) Many of these statutes also technically restrict the purchase of vibrators, dildos, and even ribbed condoms by designating that possession of more than (in Texas at least) six sex toys constitutes an intent to distribute.

The women of Alabama, naturally, refused to take this one lying down, and soon after the law passed in 1998, a group of toy purveyors and users sought to challenge the statute. After their second trip to the 11th Circuit yielded what was, in this columnist’s opinion, a mindblowingly moronic 2-1 decision which, among other things, likened the sale of sex toys to prostitution, the plaintiffs sought a hearing with the Supreme Court to assert that the law unconstitutionally infringes on sexual privacy rights. (The 11th Circuit opinion is Williams v. Morgan, 478 F.3d 1316, for those playing along at home, and was, in a mild piece of irony, filed on Valentine’s Day of 2007.)

Now, I don’t want to picture the Justices talking about Pocket Rockets any more than the next person old enough to have seen Thomas’s confirmation hearings, but I do think that the ban is at least an issue worth examining. The Court’s decision, or rather, lack thereof, seems a far cry from the assertions of sexual liberty advocated in the Lawrence, Griswold, and Casey opinions, and frankly, makes my little sex-positive heart incredibly sad.

All is not lost, however. The plaintiffs say they will seek to bring suit again, under free speech this time, and folks from Alabama can still buy a buzz in neighboring dens of iniquity across the state lines in . . . wait, not Mississippi, not Georgia, ummm . . . Florida! Sex toy sales remain delightfully legal in Florida. And, though hysteria hasn’t been a fashionable diagnosis since the Teapot Dome scandal, Alabamans can still purchase in-state sex toys . . . ahem, personal massagers . . . “for medical purposes.”

Though I doubt that RG has a significant readership in say, Huntsville, I thought we could do our part for the pants of the people of Alabama, not to mention any Michigan law students who might’ve felt a wee bit left out by all the sex their classmates are having, by adding a note on online vibrator shopping, and detailing a couple of great resources for one’s erotic device needs.

There are a number of things to consider when purchasing a sex toy, but they can essentially be boiled down to four: style, volume, material, and cost. Stylistically speaking, when you’re shopping online (not during class, we hope), bear in mind that the essential differences between a dildo, a vibrator, and a plug are that a dildo doesn’t vibrate; a vibrator, eponymously enough, does; and a plug is generally meant for one’s rear entrance. Also, toys are designed differently for a reason – think about what area of your bits you enjoy having stimulated (and how) before plunking down your hard-earned loan money on the first thing that looks serviceable.

Volume and power issues can be a real killjoy, so pay attention to whether your toy, if electric, requires batteries or an outlet, and be sure to read the reviews to find out what other shoppers did (and didn’t) like about your toy. (Are you ok with something that, when on, sounds like a cross between an outboard motor and a buzz saw? Perhaps more importantly, is your roommate ok with it?)

Like any other bed partner, toys run the gamut between high and low maintenance -- there are sex toy materials out there that take longer to clean than your apartment after finals (cyberskin leaps to mind here). The well-being of your new little friend is important, so be conscientious of what kinds of lubricant to buy as well. Silicone lubricant is generally to be avoided with a silicone toy, and oil-based lubricants should not be used with latex . . . anything. (Hopefully I don’t need to tell anyone that if they’re using sex toys with a partner they should also use a condom.)

If that just sounds like a bit too much work, you can go the cheap date route and snag a less expensive knock-off (the sex toy industry is a giant IP lawsuit waiting to happen, seriously), but you risk sacrificing quality; think of it as an investment in happiness. Websites like babeland.com (previously Toys in Babeland) and goodvibes.com have just about everything one could think of (and some things one couldn’t even imagine), in a variety price ranges, so you can feel free to shop with confidence (and minimal guilt about how you’re spending Uncle Stafford’s money). So buy a sex toy for Alabama, and use it however you please . . . though I will say that, if you’re headed to court in Oklahoma, we recommend you leave the plugs and pumps at home.

To submit a question or idea for Res Gestae’s new sex columnist, please feel free to e-mail rg@umich.edu, or, if you’d prefer greater anonymity, deposit your question under cover of night in the RG student group pendaflex outside Legal Research 116.

Looking For A Public Interest Job? Tools and Advice For Your Job Search

Submitted by MaryAnn Sarosi, Office of Public Service

Why can’t the government and public interest job search be as easy as the firm job search?

If you want to know the answer to that question, Grasshopper, you’re better off foregoing this article and going straight to the horoscopes. If you want some pointers for the summer job hunt, read on.

First of all, you don’t need to have a job in hand now. The public service job hunt schedule is NOT the same as the law firm hiring schedule. Students often secure jobs well into March! Having said that, you do have to do some homework before applying for jobs. The homework should include:

• Checking out the OPS Student Toolkit web page, http://www.law.umich.edu/currentstudents/PublicService/toolkit.htm, the practice area pages and downloading the Making a Difference Guide on the OPS website and checking Jobnet regularly.

• Studying Last Year’s Summer Employment List. Find out where other students worked this past summer. Get ideas and tips from a student who has already worked at the summer job of your dreams. The OCS web site lists students who are willing to speak with other students about their summer jobs with public interest organizations and state, local, and federal agencies. You can access the information by clicking on “ Student Summer Employment List - Geographic by Employer Location” (PDF document) or “ Student Summer Employment List - Alphabetical by Employer Name” (PDF document).

• Looking at the job summaries written by past Dean’s Public Service Fellows http://www.law.umich.edu/currentstudents/PublicService/funding/deans-fellowship.htm

• Looking at the SFF list of funded jobs to see where fellow students worked last summer. This list is on the OPS website http://www.law.umich.edu/currentstudents/PublicService/funding/sff.htm and a hard copy can be found in the career resources library in room 210 HH. After looking at these resources, call Jackie Julien at 647-3256 to make an appointment to see MaryAnn Sarosi.

• Checking the jobs listed on PSLawNet.org http://www.pslawnet.org/. After registering for a password, you can search for "opportunities," which are job descriptions for positions already listed and/or by "organization," i.e. type of employer. Opportunities with numerous government agencies as well as prosecutors' and public defenders' offices are listed.

• Familiarizing yourself with the Office of Career Services website; of particular interest is the “useful links” section http://www.law.umich.edu/currentstudents/careerservices/usefullinks.htm.

• Studying our federal government employment resources. We have a list of agencies along with deadlines for applying. Also, we have links to other resources that list government employment opportunities that you should check out. Examples include: www.law.arizona.edu/career/honorshandbook.cfm - Government Honors and Internship Handbook (For 2007-2008, the username and password are oreo and cookie) and http://www.nalp.org/assets/859_0708fedlegalempguide.pdf (a wealth of information that offers job seekers an in-depth look at the government’s myriad functions and roles, as well as a glossary of terms unique to the federal application process, and tips on landing a government job. Particularly helpful is the “Appendix: Federal Departments and Agencies: What They Do and Who Does It.”)

The student group, OPIS, has set up a mentorship program for 1Ls and 2Ls interested in talking to 3Ls with experience in government or public interest. If you’re a 3L, I encourage you to sign up to provide assistance to 1L and 2Ls. If you’re a 1L or 2L, take advantage of this wealth of experience. Please contact Kate Pomper at kpomper@umich.edu to sign up.

My office will also underwrite some of your costs to go to job fairs such as the upcoming Equal Justice Works Job Fair (October 6th and 7th in Washington, D.C .) OPS will reimburse $75 toward housing/travel and we will pay for registration IF you submit receipts within 3 weeks after the event. For a list of other public interest career fairs, go to http://www.law.umich.edu/currentstudents/PublicService/conferences.htm

That’s the general advice I can provide in the confines of an 800 word article. Of course, if you’re seriously considering pursuing a summer job in government or public interest, you should make an appointment to see me or one of the OCS attorney advisors. We can then tailor our discussion to your interests and needs.

Looking For A Law Firm Job? Expert Advice and Suggestions

By Sarah Rizzo

The 2L’s quest for a prized summer associate position with a firm and beyond often feels like navigating an obstacle course. Anxieties are fever pitch, questions can resemble curve balls, and exhaustion is frequent. Naturally, no one could provide 2Ls with more relief and guidance than those who have successfully reached the finish line. Michigan Law welcomed two speakers, with the great advantage of hindsight, to explain what they wish they knew when they were in our shoes.

As Chief Executive Officer of Greenberg Traurig, Cesar L. Alvarez makes it his job to know the ins and outs of the legal market. However, this information is relevant to more than just law firms. Alvarez broke down the trends to help 2Ls distinguish between law firms and make better career choices now.


Location, Location, Location

The U.S. provides ample choices for places to practice law, and many law students choose a location based on family, hobbies, or even the weather. Alvarez highlighted another factor to take into consideration: future population growth and movement. According to Alvarez, it is often easer to establish a career in areas with growth and movement. Data shows that in the future, the three fastest growing states will be California, Texas, and Florida. Also, he pointed out that key financial and governmental centers witness high growth rates. Not sure where you want to go? Take advantage of the dynamic trends in growth areas and your career will benefit.

Diversification

Alvarez likened choosing a law firm to diversifying one’s financial investment portfolio. “It is like investing in one stock versus a mutual fund.” Diversified law firms, in both practice areas and locations, will be able better to withstand industry slumps. A downturn in one economy or practice is less likely to hurt a diversified firm. As such, Alvarez advised law students to “invest” wisely!

Play Matchmaker

Law firms have cultures and personalities. Alvarez advised matching your personality and your goals with the firm that will get you where you want to go. First, this requires taking a personal inventory of your goals. Then, instead of asking the “What is the firm’s culture?” question, take a more indirect approach to assessing a firm. He advised looking at its governance and management mechanisms. Is the firm business-oriented or political? How are decisions made internally? What is the function of committees? What changes have they made in response to the advancements of the last 20 years?

Does the Firm have 20/20 Vision?

Alvarez stressed the importance of joining a firm that can articulate its future. Today, firms are more business-oriented. Although businesses have long realized the importance of an organizational vision, not all law firms have reached the same conclusion. As such, he recommended asking a few people at the firm to describe its vision and compare responses. If the answers are too diffuse and unfocused, the firm may lack a strong common identity. Today, according to Alvarez, it is important for any enterprise to have shared goals. Candidates may find it helpful to talk to individuals about the firm’s leaders. Is management bottom-up or top-down? What is the attitude of the leaders? Does the firm have bureaucratic elements? Is there decision by indecision?

****

So you’ve decided the location and type of law firm that fits your needs. Now it’s smooth sailing, right? Not quite. For many 2Ls, the transition from law school to the law firm is overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Mark Hermann, a partner at Jones Day in Chicago, is no stranger to working with summer and new associates. Indeed, his book, The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law, highlights the frequent mistakes and blunders he has witnessed firsthand. His message to rising associates: all hope is not lost. Delivered with a comedic punch, Hermann’s advice can help 2Ls avoid common pitfalls—and save partners a lot of frustration.

Don’t Be Part of the Crisis

When Hermann smells roses now, he looks for the coffin. Throughout the years, he has come to expect associates to deliver materials at the last minute. Making a partner needlessly have to take home work at night or over the weekend does not impress. The Curmudgeon’s rule of thumb: “If humanly possible, send the draft to a partner/senior associate three days before it needs to be delivered to a court/client.”

Most importantly, Hermann said don’t forget that the legal market is a free market. Sloppy work will soon lead to no work at all. Make the senior associates’ or partners’ lives easier by delivering your best work well in advance. For those who make the partners’ lives easier, the reward will be more work.

Keep it Smart and Captivating

Hermann stressed that associates should decide intelligently the cases to use to support their arguments in briefs. For example, cases where the appellate court reversed the trial court in a similar situation are the strongest. With an implicit threat built into the case, judges will be hard-pressed to decide otherwise. He bemoaned briefs that have actually cited cases that hurt the client. Finally, never underestimate a strong introduction. A litany of chronological facts will put the reader to sleep. Hermann urged associates to avoid the generic and strive for a gripping and powerful opening sentence. Often, the additional effort will pay off.

Don’t Forget Administrative Excellence

All too often, Hermann has had to spend time deciphering cryptic billing time entries like “SOL research.” Don’t be an annoyance to the partner; write down “statute of limitations research” on your time entries and check grammar. Indeed, Hermann explained that time entries are more likely to be seen by the CEO than any other work for the client. Bottom line: don’t skip corners when it comes to the small stuff.

Publications and Building a Practice

“Each article is a pain in the neck to write.” Nevertheless, Hermann highlights the importance of publications for building a practice. In his experience, publications beget more publications, and in time the rewards can be great for one’s practice. Speaking engagements and scholarly recognition will bring you to the forefront of clients’ minds. Further, the firm will be delighted to highlight your expertise for its “beauty contests” in the legal market. Hermann advises associates start by picking something they know; critically, it need not be revolutionary. By keeping at it over the years, you will build the practice you want to have in the future.

Champion House: For a Fratastic Family Outing

By Adam Dubinsky, ’07

If you associate family establishments and acrobatic juggling with popped collars and sake bombs, read no further. You already know what I have to say. This review is of no use to you -- you are a frat boy, you are drunk, and you have accidentally stumbled over into the Law School. Put the newspaper down, turn around, cross the street, and go back to Beta, your beach volleyball game, and your gutted, sticky-floored dens of misogyny.

If you do not yet make this association, but would like to experience the seamless and shameless unification of children screaming and frat boys pounding tables, then have your next dinner at Champion House, located at 120 E. Liberty. You might find that you have a passion for participating in the bizarre sociological pastiche, though Champion House is such a caricature of an imitation of a simulacrum of an already mythical notion of authenticity that, by the time you leave, you risk losing any grasp of reality. (Eat your heart out, Phillip K. Dick.) No, really—the sodium content of the food is enough to make me worry about hypertension, and my blood pressure is only around 90/46 (measured during Trusts & Estates).

It is true that high sodium content, grotesque stereotypes, and awkward juxtapositions are part of the perverse charm of teppanyaki Japanese steakhouses. The average trip to Benihana will sit you next to four obnoxious strangers, whose loud “private” divulgences are not particularly appetizing, and feature a Chinese chef putting on a fake “Asian” accent while pretending to be Japanese, making onion-ring volcanoes, and sending twirling cascades of salt over everything. Don’t get me wrong—I love teppanyaki. My favorite restaurant in Worcester, MA is the irredeemably mediocre Sakura Tokyo, where they never give you enough mustard sauce (“for steak, chicken, and everything”) but overload you with ginger sauce (“for seafood, vegetable, and everything”). I can’t get enough of the food and the flames. I eat and eat and, a half hour after I’m done, I am hungry again. Even the authenticity of my hunger’s satisfaction is illusive.

But, if teppanyaki is the culinary equivalent of the mind-fuck film genre, Champion House is the Blade Runner of teppanyaki, especially if you include Harrison Ford’s ridiculous voice-over from the production cut. The ridiculous voice-over in my head began as soon as my lovely companion and I encountered the maitre d’. After we asked to be seated at a teppanyaki table, he eyed us, leafed through his reservations, eyed us again, flipped another page, eyed us, looked at the page, eyed us again, paused, eyed us once more, and finally gestured for us to follow him. He led us to the end of an empty table for eight, across from a table occupied by a family of five.

While we debated what to order, my ears picked up the thud of approaching footfalls and the irreverent banter of the sort of group that actually seems to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of tube tops and ruffle skirts. Peeking from behind the menu, I saw four large, good-looking gentlemen in polo shirts approach our table. The waiter recognized them immediately: “let me guess—you all want the scallops? The sake bombs will be right over.” Indeed, the boys wanted the scallops and the sake bombs came quickly. The little girls from the family across from us watched in amazement while the boys filled their glasses with beer and perched their sake cups precariously above it with their chopsticks. The fists came down like so many hammers of Thor; the sake fell. The boys chugged. I wiped a few drops of splattered beer from my forehead. The boys slammed their glasses down and cheered.

Meanwhile, at the other table, the youngest daughter began screaming. The middle child, one noodle-draped chopstick in each fist, lowered far too much pasta into her mouth from above her head. The oldest daughter, around thirteen, shrank with embarrassment into her chair. Meanwhile, their Caucasian chef pushed around a flaming onion-ring volcano. My companion tapped my shoulder to show me the cart carrying the ingredients their chef would prepare. The raw beef had spilled over the side of its container and collected in the corner of the cart. One piece had fallen onto the floor. That’s when we decided to change our filet order from medium rare to medium well.

My attention returned to our table with another round of slamming fists and drizzling beer. Our chef had arrived, and my companion sighed with relief—he was Asian. I wasn’t prepared to relax yet. During his performance, he dropped his knife three times and burned his hand on the stove trying to catch a low-falling spatula. He nearly singed my eyebrows off when he lit the oil on fire, another first in my vast teppanyaki experience. More fist slams. A drop of beer slid down my nose and fell onto my zucchini.

Honestly, most of the food wasn’t awful. The vegetables were more or less the same as at any teppanyaki table—over-salted and over-sauced onion and zucchini that I just can’t get enough of. The filet was a bit chewy at medium well, but still tasty. The lobster tail was delicious, though perhaps it is difficult to ruin lobster. The mustard sauce, however, was too thin. And the calamari steaks were actually awful. They lacked flavor and had the texture of a tempurpedic mattress. All in all, even ignoring the omission to offer a complimentary scoop of coconut ice cream with each meal, Champion House is by far the worst teppanyaki I have ever had. But it’s not any cheaper.

The family across from us had been replaced by a group of four boys in polo shirts. They were setting up their sake bombs. When my companion and I stood up, I looked across the restaurant. There were four frat boys at every other table. At some, the fists were coming down. At others, the cups we being set up. At the third set, the boys had abandoned the chopsticks altogether and just dropped their cups into the beer. In between them all were nuclear families with young children in various states of tantrums.

So, if you like sake bombs and absurdity, Champion House may very well your ultimate dining experience. If not, it still might be better than a trip to the circus. You should have heard what our frat boys were talking about. My companion and I pretended to be mesmerized by the fried rice to disguise our eavesdropping. Sociological studies aside, though, Champion House is a loser.

From SCOTUS to POTUS; A Roundup

By Eric Reed

On October 2nd, the Law School chapters of the American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society hosted the annual Supreme Court Roundup. This year, professors Joan Larsen, Richard Primus, and Christina Whitman joined moderator Dean Evan Caminker in discussing the Court’s upcoming docket.

Professor Joan Larsen began the Roundup by addressing the challenge to voter identification law that the Court will hear this term. Larsen described the Indiana law that requires residents to present a state-issued photo ID in order to vote as “the most restrictive voter ID law in the country.”

Proponents of the law argue that requiring voters to show a state-issued ID will prevent voter fraud. Opponents point out that there is no evidence that significant voter fraud has occurred in Indiana. Opponents also feel that the law is an unconstitutional infringement on the right to vote. They argue that the law was intended to, and in fact does, disenfranchise large, predominantly Democratic voting blocs.

“These laws look fishy,” Larsen conceded. “All of them are passed by Republican legislatures. There isn’t a single Democratic legislature which has passed a voter ID law….”

Potential voters who don’t have a state issued ID are not allowed to vote, but the law does require the state to provide free IDs to residents who can’t afford them.

“This isn’t, at least technically, a poll tax,” Larsen said, “so we’re not talking about money. But we are talking about time.”

As long as opponents of the voter ID law lack proof that the Indiana state legislature enacted the law for a reason besides preventing voter fraud, Larsen does not expect the Supreme Court to strike it down. “There’s no split here. All the Courts of Appeals have upheld voter identification laws,” Larsen noted. “The Court has never suggested that the states or Congress must make it maximally convenient [to vote]. If they were to apply something akin to strict scrutiny here, I think they would open the floodgates.” Instead, Larsen expects that the Court took the case in order to further clear up voting issues in advance of the 2008 elections.

The talk continued with Professor Richard Primus, a man immortalized in turkey and horseradish at Zingerman’s Deli. Primus spoke about a suit brought by political parties in the state of Washington against the state for forcing candidates to compete in what is known as a “blanket primary.”

Primus began by detailing three types of primaries. In a closed primary, only members of the relevant political party may vote. This ensures, for example, that only members of the Green Party have the opportunity to nominate or eliminate perennial candidate Ralph Nader before the general election begins. In an open primary, a voter may choose to vote in any one party’s primary. The third system, blanket primaries, throws the doors wide open, allowing anyone to vote for any candidate and holding all primaries simultaneously. Voters in a blanket primary are not restricted to voting only in one party’s primary like they are in an open primary.

“States tend to want [blanket primaries],” Primus said, explaining that blanket primaries usually reward moderate candidates. Because non-party members can vote, blanket primaries dilute the votes of hard-line partisans and prevent them from controlling elections as much as they do in closed primaries.

But political parties, particularly small ones, oppose blanket primaries. “Every election has some small chance of randomness in the voting,” Primus said, explaining that around one percent of voters mark ballots mistakenly or at random. Because small party candidates often receive one percent or less of the votes in the crowded closed primary, “that randomness has a chance to swamp your election,” explained Primus.

Political parties are challenging Washington’s closet primary law based on free speech and freedom of association grounds, arguing that the blanket primary substantially impacts their ability to elect a representative candidate.

“At a deeper level,” Primus said, “what’s at stake is the idea of states as laboratories of democracy.” The case, he continued, raises the fundamental question of just how much latitude states get in structuring their own elections, and at what point the courts will say that the experiment has gone too far. The question, for this term of the court, remains to be answered.

The final remarks of the afternoon came from Professor Christina Whitman, speaking on one of the most politically charged issues of the day: the Guantanamo Bay detentions.

“One of the nice things about the Bush administration is that we have issues of presidential power coming up every term,” Whitman joked during her opening remarks. The upcoming case on this issue, she explained, once again addresses the limits of presidential power over detainees of the United States, as well as the power and limits of the federal courts.

“The question has to do with the access to judicial review of [the detainees’] status,” Whitman said, “whether or not they’re enemy combatants.”

“One of the interesting things about this case,” Whitman said, “is that the court originally denied cert[iorari] back in April.” This earlier denial means that at least two justices have changed their opinion of the case, according to Whitman, as it requires one more justice to reconsider a case (five) than to grant certiorari (four).

“This is a remarkable change,” she said. “I think there was a previous case, but not in modern times.”

It’s important to remember, Whitman said, that the Supreme Court will adjudicate only the issue of jurisdiction. The central question is whether Congress can strip federal courts of their power to hear habeas corpus cases where the defendant is not an American citizen and is not being held in the United States. “The only question here is whether the court can hear the challenge,” Whitman said, emphasizing that the case is not addressing the constitutionality of holding the prisoners.

Whitman and Caminker agreed that the court is unlikely to decide whether the detention itself is constitutional. “I think they’re going to try to make [the holding] as narrow as possible,” Caminker said.

MLCC Presents: The Best of Ann Arbor

These are the venues that the Culinary Club’s members voted for as the best restaurants, pubs, bakeries, and more!

Best Restaurant Around
1) Eve, 2) Zingerman’s Roadhouse, 3) Grizzly Peak, 4) Common Grill

Best Happy Hour Nosh
1) Rush Street, 2) The Earle, 3) Metro Café, 4) Weber’s Grill

Best Breakfast
1) Café Zola, 2) Angelo’s, 3) Afternoon Delight, 4) Frank’s, 5) The Broken Egg (tied with) 5) Northside Grill, 7) Aut Bar (Sundays only), 8) Zingerman’s Roadhouse

Best Burger
1) Red Hawk, 2) Side Track Bar and Grill (Ypsilanti), 3) Crazy Jim’s Blimpie Burger, 4) Ashley’s

Cheap Meals Near Campus
1) BTB, 2) Za’s, 3) Pita Kabob Grill, 4) Potbelly’s, 5) Le Dog, 6) Red Hot Lovers, 7) NYPD, 8) Rich JC Korean

Best Italian
1) Gratzi, 2) Bella Ciao, 3) Palio, 4) Argiero’s, 5) Silvio’s, 6) Paesano’s, 7) Olive Garden, 8) Romano’s

Best Sandwich/Deli
1) Zingerman’s, 2) Amer’s, 3) Ali Baba, 4) Maize and Blue Deli, 5) Potbelly’s, 6) Pita Kabob Grill, 7) Jimmy John’s, 8) Great Harvest, 9) Panera, 10) Cosi, 11) Quizno’s, 11) Subway

Best Ice Cream
1) Washtenaw Dairy, 2) Stucchi’s,
3) Ben and Jerry’s, 4) Kilwin’s

Best Bakery
1) Zingerman’s, 2) Great Harvest, 3) Big City Small World, 4) Panera

Best Donuts/Pastries
1) Zingerman’s, 2) Cake Nouveau, 3) Washtenaw Dairy

Best Splurge Dinner
1) Eve, 2) Common Grill (tied with) 2) Real Seafood, 4) West End Grill, 5) Vinology, 6) Chop House, 7) Gandy Dancer, 8) Amadeus, 9) Cherry Blossom

Best Sushi/Japanese Food
1) Sodako, 2) Miki, 3) Totoro,
4) Godaiko, 5) Cherry Blossom (tied with) 5) Makkara, 7) Sushi.Come

Best Thai
1) No Thai, 2) Marnee Thai, 3) Lotus Thai, 4) Sivathai

Best Korean
1) Seoul Garden, 2) Bewon, 3) JC Rich, 4) Kosmo’s

Best Chinese
1) TK Wu, 2) China Gate, 3) Middle Kingdom, 4) Dynasty Buffet (Ypsilanti), 5) Asian Legend (tied with) 5) Evergreen

Best Indian
1) Temptations (Ypsilanti), 2) Shalimar, 3) Madras Masala, 4) Raja Rani

Best Latino
1) Pilar’s Tamales, 2) Sabor Latino, 3) Prickly Pear, 4) Chipotle, 5) BTB, 6) Qdoba, 7) Taqueria La Loma, 8) The Burrito Joint, 9) La Fiesta Mexicana, 10) Banditos

Best Vegetarian
1) Seva (tied with) 1) Earthen Jar

Best Middle Eastern
1) Ali Baba’s, 2) Jerusalem Garden (tied with) 2) Ayse’s Café (Turkish), 4) Pita Kabob Grill, 5) Oasis Café,
Write-in: Charlie’s La Shish (will be renamed Charlie’s Mediterranean soon)
Best Pub
1) Ashley’s, 2) Leopold Brothers, 3) Grizzly Peak, 4) Arbor Brewing Company, 5) Conor O’Neill’s, 6) Brown Jug, 7) The Rathskeller, 8) Rick’s

Best Wine Shop
1) Morgan & York, 2) Bello Vino Marketplace, 3) Trader Joe’s, 4) Everyday Wine
Write-in: Village Corner

Best Dive Bar
1) Alley Bar, 2) The Rathskeller, 3) Eight Ball

Best Pizza
1) Silvio’s Organic, 2) Pizza House, 3) New York Pizza Depot, 4) Papa John’s, 5) California Pizza Kitchen, 6) Cottage Inn, 7) Pizza Bob’s

Bulk Foods
1) Whole Foods, 2) By the Pound, 3) People’s Food Co-op

Best Grocery
1) Trader Joe’s, 2) Busch’s, 3) Hiller’s, 4) Whole Foods, 5) Bello Vino, 6) Kroger, 7) People’s Food Co-op, 8) Arbor Farms

Best Coffee Shop
1) Sweetwater’s, 2) Espresso Royale, 3) Zingerman’s Next Door, 4) Caribou, 5) Café Ambrosia, 6) Beaner’s, 7) Starbucks, 8) Café Verde, 9) Primo Coffee

Best reasons to find a ride to Ypsi:
Red Sea (Ethiopian), Dalat (Vietnamese), Side Track (burgers, Irish spring rolls), Taqueria La Loma or Fiesta Mexicana (Mexican), Tuptim (Thai), Banh Na (Thai and Laotian)

And don’t forget these one-of-a-kind places!
Farmer’s Market: Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market, Westside Farmer’s Market (near Zingerman’s Roadhouse)
Specialty Markets: Hua Xing Grocery (diverse Asian foods in Ypsilanti), Sunshine Mart (Middle Eastern)
Jamaican: Jamaican Jerk Pit
Leopold Brothers: Small-batch distillery

Party Like It's Friday the 13th!

Submitted by Adriel Sanders and Sarah Gleich

Last year many students cried foul when the Law School Student Senate sponsored Halloween Party sold out in a record 16 minutes. Despite LSSS’s attempts last year to measure demand we were shocked ourselves at how popular the event was. In response, we have decided to expand the party threefold.

We have moved from the Links to a new location at Whitmore Lake, Barnstormers, which will be able to accommodate up to 750 costumed law students and their friends. Also, unlike the previous venue, there is a giant airplane hanging from the ceiling, but please resist the urge to ride it; it’s strictly for decoration purposes only. Another cool aspect of this venue is that it has not one but TWO dance floors, so come ready to party like a rockstar on levels one AND two!!

In addition, we have stepped up the entertainment. Our awesome spinmaster, DJ Graffiti, is back for another year and is bringing some new features. He will be setting up video screens and game players from Rockstar games for those who are not interested in dancing. Partiers will be able to compete to win prizes and prove their awesome-ness to the whole student body.

As always buses will be provided as the sole form of transportation. And, food and refreshments will be provided, too! This is the 1L coming out party to the law school so make sure you’re there in spirit and costume.

3Ls Stepping Up to the Nannes Challenge; Only 136 Spots Left!

Submitted by Brian Ferry and
Matt Maddox

This year’s Nannes 3L Challenge got off to a fantastic start on Thursday, October 4 at the Happy Hour Kickoff bash. Third-year students flocked to the patio at Bar Louie to enjoy 80 degree weather, drink specials, and free appetizers. Many 3Ls generously pledged their support at the Kickoff and helped the Challenge meet almost 1/3 of its goal in the first day!

The Nannes 3L Challenge is made possible by the generous support of alumnus John Nannes ’73. For the first 200 3Ls who pledge to support the Law School Fund annually for the first three years after graduation, Mr. Nannes will contribute $250 to the Law School student organization(s) of the donor’s choice. The money goes to the student organizations THIS YEAR and it is in addition to any money that the student organizations receive from LSSS and other sources.

The Challenge allows 3Ls to have an immediate impact upon student organizations that directly shape their law school experience. This has proved to forge a powerful connection between the idea of giving back and the ability to make an important difference in the life of the Law School community through philanthropy.

Last year, the class of 2007 filled all 200 spots and cashed in on the full $50,000. It is up to 136 more 3Ls to pitch in this year and continue this great tradition. Students can direct the $250 that Nannes contributes to any one of the many student organizations on campus, or to the Law School Fund or SFF.

Why Nannes?

• The Law School currently receives less than 2% of its budget from the state (in 1953, the state provided 40.9% of the Law School’s budget). Tuition revenue alone is not enough to cover the remaining expenses.
• The Law School Fund supports the debt management program for alumni working public interest jobs, and provides need-based financial aid for current students.
• Do it for the students! The $50,000 available to student groups through the Nannes Challenge is more than LSSS appropriates to all the student groups combined. Through the Challenge, your favorite student groups can double their war chests, paving the way for more activities, better speakers, more food, and more social events!
• Currently, UMLS’ educational programs rank at the top, but our alumni participation in annual giving lags significantly behind our peers.

How You Can Make Your Pledge:

First, get a Pledge form. You can contact a member of the Nannes 3L Committee (listed below), pick one up at the Reading Room desk, or complete a form online at http://www.law.umich.edu/campaign/thirdyearchallenge.htm.

Second, fill out the Pledge form and be sure to designate the student organization(s) that should receive the $250 matching contribution.

Third, drop off your Pledge form before October 25, 2007 in the box located in the Reading Room, or submit it to any member of the Nannes 3L Committee.
So 3Ls, step up to the Nannes Challenge and fill the remaining 136 spots before October 25. Your pledge will provide immediate funding to student groups, and you do not have to pay anything until your first year after graduating! Help to make this year’s Challenge another smashing success.

2007 Nannes Committee: Ro Adebiyi, Dario Borghesan, Marianne Chow, Sarah Donaldson, Samantha Ford, Andrew Knepley, Ian Labitue, Wallace Lee, Sarah Molenkamp, Anjali Patel, Derald Seid, Vivian Shen, Scott Wilcox, and Shekar Krishnan

PDF of October 9, 2007 Issue