: 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

Former SCOTUS Clerks Drafted into Arguing Abandoned Cases

From’s Supreme Court Justices Turn to Ex-Clerks for Unusual Role, comes the surprising news that Supreme Court litigants sometimes decide, ‘hey, you know what you were right after all, no need to waste SCOTUS’ time with this argument’ at which point SCOTUS say, ‘Whoa, not so fast, we’re the only ones who get to decide whether or not our time gets wasted and waste it we will.’

In which case some lucky aspirant gets to cut their teeth on the side nobody wanted to argue anymore. Sound like an appointment from hell? Not necessarily:

Early in the Reagan administration, Justice Department officials decided they did not want to defend a lower court ruling that had upheld the IRS’ rejection of tax-exempt status for schools and universities that discriminate on the basis of race. So the Court appointed famed civil rights attorney William Coleman Jr. — also a former high court clerk — to defend the decision in the 1983 case Bob Jones University v. United States. Coleman carried the day.

It should be noted that SCOTUS superstars Maureen Mahoney and now Chief Justice John Roberts both got their starts on such cases.

Hat tip to Simple Justice.

Lending Crisis roils Students Financial Aid Options

Tuition at public and private universities alike has just kept rising over the last decade, fueled in large part by the belief that any increase in tuition, regardless of how the money is spent, cannot help but increase the value of the degree and that students subject to the hikes should thank their lucky stars the college boards rubber-stamping the increases are so forward-thinking.

The New York Times article, Fewer Options Open to Pay for Costs of College, portends a reality check on the horizon for American universities and painful belt-tightening. As any Econ 101 student could tell you, price needs to become part of the education equation.

A very, very, very, VERY odd burglary


See the included image for a tale of the strangest burglary I’ve ever heard of. The copy, from Akron Beacon Journal, the is a paean of understatement that gives me hope yet for the state of modern journalism. What I wouldn’t give to defend or prosecute this case.

Perhaps the more interesting question is – If this were a movie, who would direct it? Coen Brothers for my money. Though I could also see David Lynch.

Via pax-europa by way of popurls.

I’m Back (to blawging)

One of the best things about law school for me has been to discover that I’m capable of working harder, longer, faster than I previously thought possible. That being said, I think I definitely found my limit the last few months. The combination of full-time job, law school, moot court competition, law review responsibilities (paper, cite checks, MODs &tc), and student orgs had me pretty firmly under water. Rather than a series of pathetic “I’ll be back soon” posts, I decided to disappear for a while, like the deadbeat dad who goes out for cigarettes one day and never comes back.

Congruent with that analogy, I return remorseful and shamefaced and discover that my metaphorical children (my toe-headed little blogs) now hate me and refuse to work properly with the old custom theme (lots of php errors and the like). We’re in therapy but until I figure out what went haywire, I hope you’ll endure the default WordPress circa 2003 blog themes that I’ve had to revert to. It makes the recovering graphic designer in me want to puke but until I get some time to pimp my site again it will have to do.

A Sign of the Times – Pleading guilty, students blame tuition costs for robbery

I’ve been beating this horse for a while, but I’ll make the case again – college tuition increases across the country are outpacing inflation, detering some students from pursuing advanced degrees or college altogether, driving up debt for those who persevere, sending graduates down unrewarding career paths purely to service their debt and preventing large numbers of graduates from pursuing less lucrative careers in areas society needs young new workers the most.

… and now it’s driving us to lives of crime.

Houston Chronicle: News Bizarre – Pleading guilty, students blame tuition costs for robbery.

They made off with $130,000, which isn’t a bad haul as bank robberies go. I hope they were attending a public school though cause that 130 big ones just barely covers the average four-year cost of private college for just one student.

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