: The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

How to Read a Case

Here’s a good one for the incoming 1Ls or pretty much anyone for that matter, Volokh on How to read a case

Janet Moore interviews Chase Untermeyer, Ambassador to Qatar

Janet Moore of International Lawyer Coach, one of my web clients, has launched a series of interviews with “accomplished individuals who are active in the international arena.” Janet has been telling me about some of the people she has lined up. I won’t give away any secrets, but it will be worth keeping an eye on, especially if you have any interest in international law.

Untermeyer brings up an interesting point on the importance of relationships in doing business overseas that I found particularly enlightening.

I know that in the Middle East–and in any pretty much any part of the world– relationships are what it is all about. It is important to establish a relationship, hopefully a positive one, before even raising the subject of business. Oh yes, you can talk about your company or your law firm, I suppose, and maybe some experiences, but to actually talk business requires a period of getting to know the person. I am not just talking about a matter of twenty minutes at the beginning of the discussion, but perhaps repeated visits or meals–home hospitality of some sort or another before they begin to feel whether they are comfortable enough or like you enough to do business with you.

International Lawyer Coach interviews Chase Untermeyer, Ambassador to Qatar

Glenn Grossenbacher, Qui Tam Attorney

Exactly what I would have dreamt of being when I grew up, but it’s certainly a living.

Law School Rankings and other Spectator Sports

As saq104 noted the other day, former Houston Law Dean Nancy Rapoport is working on some papers which indicate that the dip in the rankings which allegedly contributed to her resignation as Dean (she still teaches at UH) may form the focus of her research for the foreseeable near term. Some recent additions to her faculty page

Lemmings: How Legal Education Fails Law Students (work in progress).

An Empirical Study of Bankruptcy Ethics: How Square Is the Peg and How Round Is the Hole? (work in progress).

Eating Our Cake and Having It, Too: Why Real Change Is So Difficult in Law Schools (solicited manuscript for a symposium, The Next Generation of Law School Rankings) (work in progress).

It really is an interesting question as to how much law school administrators can allow themselves to be influenced by the rankings, which are, we should remember more about making money for a magazine than truly determining the relative merits of each institution. The current logic among Deans seems to be that even though we shouldn’t pay them any attention, we can’t afford not to. Too many people rely on the information, regardless of the inherent flaws these particular rankings and even the idea of rankings may have.

Is there is no real viable alternative for students seeking to make a judgement about the relative quality of different schools and to make a rather important decision? Yeah, sure we could just not pay any attention, but please, we’re law students. Are there more status-conscious creatures on the planet?

Allow me to present a short selection of readings in ranking wanking: Leiter Rankings (We coogs are supposed to like him because he says we’re 2nd best in Texas, hey wait a minute…), Baylor forgot to report summer and spring admits, oops. I like Volokh‘s suggestion of multiple methodologies; if competition is good for business it’s likely better for rankings. Something like this little applet would do the trick. Money Law applies the Moneyball methodology to rankings, could UHLC be the Oakland Athletics of law schools?

Required reading for Patent Geeks

NYU law prof. Beth Simone Noveck has an excellent idea in the Peer to Patent proposal. The idea, as I understand it, is for the Patent office to allow peer review of patent applications in order to cope with the overload and provide a way for knowledgeable individuals to provide evidence of prior art, etc, via Wiki which is a type of website (see my own pathetically neglected wiki for an example) that allows community editing and annotation. Recent article in Fortune Magazine. Any UH patent geeks care to comment? They’re open.

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