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Sunday, August 18, 2002

School Clothes

It has been fun to check in with JCA and Nikki as they get ready to start law school, and to finally get down to reading a Dahlia Lithwick article, something I've been too remiss about in light of Howard's enthusiasm for her writing and flair. No surprise: he's right, she's a stitch, and her Kiplingesque advice -- in which she compares the ephemeral, illusory, yet all-consuming "needs" that can buffet a law student like cat in a washing machine* to a child's desire for a Tonka Backhoe or Malibu Skipper -- is right on. Dodd H. and Alice W. share yet more hard-won wisdom. With these, and a tiny bit of Xanax, ladies (hey! it throttles PMS, too), the next few years should be a breeze. (Professor Schwartz's advice strikes me as, well, something a professor who's had it up to here with unprepared students might write. Of course, it's useful she's taken you "through the looking glass" to where the professors dwell -- see her "mirror" suggestion and Alice's thoughts -- and you've got to admire a professor who does not let intimate familiarity with the course material restrain her thinking: "Even if I have taught a case for nine years, I find something new in it every time I read it, and often one student will interpret a case in a way that completely surprises me -- and the other students. There is no hard and fast meaning for cases and statutes; they are almost always subject to interpretation.") So, march forth, friends! (But don't hesitate to bust out reasonable facsimiles of these from time to time, for perspective's sake.) *["Fluff The Kitty," via Martin Sargent/The Screen Savers/Tech TV]

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