: 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

Apprenticing to the Law in Vermont

You don’t have to go to law school in Vermont. You can ‘read the law’ just like Abe Lincoln, apprentice to a lawyer, then take the bar. The bar, one would assume, is the equalizer. On the other hand, any lawyer would tell you there is a component of socialization in law school that’s important. Just as many would tell you that law school is useless and could be done away with. For my part, if someone just torted me, I would take the lawyer with some schoolin’.

NPR: Lawyer’s Apprentice: Reading the Law in Vermont

Judge Posner in Second Life


Judge Richard Posner and I will be kickin’ it in Second Life. Actually, I will be sitting and listening quietly as the Pos expounds on the US Constitution in the era of apocalyptic terrorism.

December 7th, 6-8pm Second Life Time (PST)
Center Auditorium in Kula
To reserve a seat, IM Creative Commons’ Genevieve Junot or e-mail her.

via Boing Boing, New World Notes

Things Not to Do on Law School Exams

I hope everyone in my section is making the transition from tryptophan-induced torpor to torts-final inspired terror. Ah, holidays. I submit, for your edification and enjoyment, Bill Childs(Six) Things Not to Do on Law School Exams. May I submit another, that being breaking into the 3rd person on the final policy question to pose and then answer ones own questions, in script format. Sigh.

Scott Adams pays the price of fame

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert Comic Strip, also authors an equally funny blog. I thought this story was worth a mention –

About a week ago an angry woman angrily contacted my syndication company to express her anger. Apparently she had written an angry article about the workplace, and someone had, without her permission, pasted some Dilbert images (covers from my books, probably from into her writing and distributed it around the Internet. This made the angry woman angry about the alteration of her angry article. Specifically, she was angry at me.

Her article is written in an angry street-language style, angrily berating people who pause by her cubicle to chat and ask her where she got her decorations. Here’s an example sentence: “Walk your ass down the hall to the big supply room and get you some things.” I include that quote partly to give you the flavor of the article and partly because she doesn’t understand things like Fair Use in copyrights and it will make her really angry to see it quoted here.

I was laughing up until that point until I thought, gee, you know, somewhere, at some point, some poor lawyer has probably had to sit across from that woman and explain to her in the nicest way he or she knows how, why the woman’s proposed lawsuit probably won’t be successful.

Ellickson on Norms v. Law, Unpacking the Household

Last night in Torts, Professor Sanders mentioned Robert Ellickson‘s recent article on household economics, building on his work in Order without Law: How Neighbors Settle Disputes. A quick search turned up the full text of the article available for download from SSRN for those interested in learning more.

Download Robert Ellickson’s Unpacking the Household: Informal Property Rights Around the Hearth

Abstract: As Aristotle recognized in THE POLITICS, the household is an indispensable building block of social, economic, and political life. A liberal society grants its citizens far wider berth to arrange their households than to choose their familial and marital relationships. Legal commentators, however, have devoted far more attention to the family and to marriage than to the household as such.

To unpack the household, this Article applies transaction cost economics and sociological theory to interactions among household participants. It explores questions such as the structure of ownership of dwelling units, the scope of household production, and the governance of activities around the hearth. Drawing on a wide variety of historical and statistical sources, the Article contrasts conventional family-based households with arrangements in, among others, medieval English castles, Benedictine monasteries, and Israeli kibbutzim.

Most households involve several participants and as many as three distinct relationships – that among occupants, that among owners, and that between these two groups (the landlord-tenant relationship). Individuals, when structuring these home relationships, typically pursue a strategy of consorting with intimates. This facilitates informal coordination and greatly reduces the transaction costs of domestic interactions. Utopian critics, however, have sought to enlarge the scale of households, and some legal advocates have urged household members to write formal contracts and take disputes into court. These commentators fail to appreciate the great advantages, in the home setting, of informally associating with a few trustworthy intimates.

Coincidentally, NJLS just posted an interesting post on first movers – The Rule of Law -on the discussion of crime epidemics taking place on the Becker-Posner blog (Becker’s views, Posner’s) which deals with similar subject matter but with a different take.

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