Come to the Love Your Library Fest

Do YOU love your library?

Come to Love Your Library Fest next Friday, September 23 from 2-5pm to learn some of the reasons why the answer should be YES!

Love Your Library Fest is all about YOU, our HLS students. Whether you’re a 1L just getting started, a 2L or 3L who knows the ropes, or an LLM or SJD with a major paper to tackle, you are guaranteed to learn something new about the Library and what our staff can do for you at Love Your Library Fest 2016.

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The Ride Wit Me Stream-a-Thon: One Student’s Journey to Pay Off Nelly’s Debts

Considering the strong commitment to public service at HLS, I’m certain that most of you are already doing your part to help Nelly pay the reported $2.6 million[1] he owes to the IRS and the state of Missouri. After all, we are indebted to him.

His music gave us all something cool to play when our friends came over to play on our Dreamcast.

His music allowed us to jokingly ask others to take off their clothes in a way that was slightly less creepy than if his song never existed.

His music redeemed an entire city which unfortunately is home to the most obnoxious baseball team in history.

Because of the paltry sums artists receive from streaming services, we will need to stream his songs as many as 426,956,666 times on Spotify in order to pay off his debts.[2] Some of you — most of you — all of you — are much busier than I am and do productive and impressive things with your time. I do none of that, so I decided to help Nelly the best way I can — playing “Ride Wit Me” repeatedly with every free minute I have. It’s playing right now as I type this actually. If you’re one of the many who do not have millions of hours to spare, don’t worry. I’ve done my best to recount my experience so far.

1st Listen: This. Is. A. Great. Song. I feel like my mom is driving me and my friends to laser tag. I feel like I’m awkwardly walking around the dance floor in 7th grade, trying to avoid eye contact with every girl in the gym. It feels like just yesterday. It feels like today. I feel immortal.

Continue reading “The Ride Wit Me Stream-a-Thon: One Student’s Journey to Pay Off Nelly’s Debts”

#SaveNelly

Despite the fact that Nelly was one of the best-selling artists of the 2000s, he apparently owes the IRS a $2.4 million tax bill and may be having trouble paying it off. Based on the figures for royalties per stream, some websites have estimated that Nelly needs somewhere between 287 to 400 million streams to pay off his debts. However, as any tax student knows, Nelly will owe more taxes on these royalties, so he’d actually need as many as 660 million streams in order to pay off his debts. Anyway, if you’re in the mood to help Nelly out, here are the ten best Nelly songs to stream.

10. Pimp Juice – The music video for this song begins with a shot of a man driving a woman in labor to presumably a hospital. It is unclear what this scene has to do with the eponymous “pimp juice.” Could “pimp juice” refer to the amniotic fluid that leaks out of a woman whose water has broken? Perhaps. But it is unlikely.
Continue reading “#SaveNelly”

Today May Mark the Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History

nlg-plap

Harvard National Lawyers Guild and the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project stand in solidarity with prisoners

SEPTEMBER 9, 2016— Today, thousands of inmates in as many as twenty-four states plan to engage in a coordinated strike and protest in an attempt to bring national attention to the inhumane conditions in which many prisoners live and work. The date marks the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, when one thousand inmates at the New York correctional facility rose up to demand certain rights and better living conditions. They were met with brutal retaliation that left twenty-nine inmates and ten hostages dead.[1] Continue reading “Today May Mark the Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History”

Some Unsolicited Advice, Part Two

I retired from the practice of law in 2013. I spent 43 years as a transactional attorney, mostly as a partner with Foley & Lardner, LLP. Neither of my children decided to become lawyers, so I never thought to share much with them about the lessons I learned during my years of practice that helped me succeed as a partner in a large law firm. Since I believe there is some “wisdom” to be gained from my experience, I decided to share some of them with you in this three part series.

Manage Your Legal Career

You need to manage your own legal career. At the New York City firm where I started practicing law, there was a senior associate who I thought was a terrific lawyer. He was single, so he was willing to work even longer hours than the long hours worked by the rest of us. This allowed him to retain a significant amount of work that he had started doing as a younger associate, even though he was also doing lots of much more sophisticated partner level work. He was passed over for partnership because the partners felt that his total mix of work wasn’t sophisticated enough, even though no one had suggested that he give up the less sophisticated work, and he was the hardest working associate in the department. To me this proved the truth of the old adage that “no good deed goes unpunished”.
Continue reading “Some Unsolicited Advice, Part Two”

Class of 2019, Welcome to HLS!

Dear 1Ls,

Welcome to Harvard Law School! You are about to begin an exciting year and your legal career.

1L year can be many things: inspiring, demanding, happy, sad,  lonely, busy, and much more. You’ll engage with challenging texts, meet wonderful professors, and make lifelong friends. Of course, 1L year can also be difficult in many ways, whether socially, academically, or spiritually.

Below are links to pieces from students, faculty, and staff to help you navigate those difficulties and make the most of your 1L year. There are a variety of viewpoints from a variety of people. Some of the advice may be even be contradictory.

Nevertheless, we hope and think that these pieces will inform and comfort you, if for no other reason than to reassure you that others have gone through what you are about to go through and lived to tell the tale.

Again, welcome to HLS and welcome to Cambridge. We are so excited to see each of you join our readership and the HLS community.

Sincerely,
Jim An and Brianna Rennix, editors-in-chief

P.S. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @hlrecord to keep up with our latest stories and HLS news.

Now That You’re Here, Relax, But Stay Engaged by John Goldberg, Professor
Some Useful Things to Know by Brianna Rennix, Record editor-in-chief
Six Easy Steps to Fun and Profit in Law School and Life by Jim An, Record editor-in-chief
Dear 1Ls: Consider the Clock by Pete Davis, Record online editor
If I Did It All Over Again by Tyra Walker, Record contributor
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility by Kassi Yukevich, ACS president
Make the Most of Your Library by Meg Kribble, HLS librarian
Ignore These Lessons at Your Own Risk by Fenno, Perennial HLS student
Talk to Classmates, Professors, Mentors by Natalie Vernon, Paavani Garg, and Amanda Lee, WLA leaders
Don’t Forget to Smell the Roses by Jeremy Salinger and Jacqueline Wolpoe, JLSA co-presidents
More Than Classrooms by Kristin Turner, BLSA president
Speak Up by Stephanie Jimenez, La Alianza co-president
Thinking Like a Lawyer by Deborah Beth Medows, N.Y.S. Dept. of Health
You Don’t Have to Do It All by Jennifer Marr, RAP industry relations chair
HMP Members Offer Advice to New 1Ls by Lauren Godles, Victoria Hartmann, Alicia Daniels, and Benjamin Hecht, HMP board members

HMP Members Offer Advice to New 1Ls

  • If you’re confused, there is a very good chance others in the class are confused too. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions.
  • You will get faster at reading cases, so try not to panic.
  • Not all lawyers are court lawyers. The case method of teaching law biases us toward thinking litigation (specifically, appellate litigation) is what it means to be a lawyer. In fact, many lawyers end up doing something else and there are lots of opportunities at HLS to try your hand at policy work, academic research, business development, and alternative dispute resolution.

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More Than Classrooms

Dearest 1Ls,

There is something very startling about being asked to reflect on an experience that you haven’t fully realized is coming to a close. Nonetheless, here are a few words of advice as you begin this unique journey and what you’ll soon know is the very full experience HLS can be.

  1. Make the HLS experience yours.

Law school, and 1L especially, is such a peculiar experience that, at times, you’ll forget how to relate to people who exist outside of the bubble. As scholars who will grapple with nuances and haggle over semantics, you’ll somehow still struggle to describe the uniqueness that is the HLS experience—and that’s okay! This shared experience will form the basis for many friendships and connections. However, the current can also pull you under and lead you to go through law school the way other people think you should do law school.

As much as HLS is a collective of brilliant minds, scholars and people, don’t forget the individual that applied to HLS. Continue reading “More Than Classrooms”

Fenno: Ignore These Lessons at Your Own Risk

As the longest-serving member of the Harvard Law School student body, I am happy to offer a few words of advice to incoming 1Ls. As you embark on this exciting new phase of your life, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. The law is a terrible profession.

Judicial opinions are nothing but a mix of bad philosophy, amateur sociology, and half-remembered historical anecdotes. They are appallingly written as a genre, and reading too many of them will inevitably make your own writing much worse. Unfortunately, only those who fully steep themselves in this cesspool of verbiage will ever manage to become judges, and thus the hideous cycle of unreadability perpetuates itself forever.
Continue reading “Fenno: Ignore These Lessons at Your Own Risk”

If I Did It All Over Again

Since one of the most exhilarating experiences of my summer was rotating between couches to watch Ezra Edelman’s five-part ESPN documentary OJ: Made in America, I felt inclined to share my own tell-all account of how I would do 1L, if I did it all over again.

Step 1. Start preparing for exams early.

What I have found to be, perhaps, the most difficult adjustment to the Bizarro World that is law school is the fact that no matter what you learn during the semester, the only factor that typically has a material effect on your eventual transcript is your performance on a three- or eight-hour exam at the end of the semester. If I did 1L all over again, I would let this single reality be my guide.

It is all too easy to be whisked away by the decorated language of Cardozo opinions, but unless Cardozo can teach you how to issue spot, your flowery friend might just leave you out of luck. I do not mean to diminish the importance of learning the substance of the law, but only to emphasize that for the first time in many of our educational lives, substance will only get you so far. Continue reading “If I Did It All Over Again”

Six Easy Steps to Fun and Profit in Law School and Life

Hello 1Ls! You all have just entered a strange and wonderful world, and I hope each one of you has an amazing time. That said, I’d like to give y’all just a few tips to help you make the most of your time in law school.

  1. Go to class

It’s true that a lot of things can be learned directly from your casebooks. But sometimes professors say things during class not covered in the casebooks or talk about what they like to emphasize on exams. Sometimes somebody in your class says something smart, and you’ll want to know who the smart people are so you can ask them for their outlines. And sometimes a professor does a one-person reenactment of The Hangover and everyone has a nice laugh. I’m not saying that the last thing has ever happened to me, but if it did, you wouldn’t want to miss it. Continue reading “Six Easy Steps to Fun and Profit in Law School and Life”

Now That You’re Here, Relax, But Stay Engaged

Welcome to HLS! I’ve been invited to offer a few words of advice, so… [1]

First, relax.

Easier said than done, no doubt. But remember, you are here for good reason. You belong here. It may seem that some of your classmates know more about law or law school than you do. Probably you’re just being hard on yourself. In any event, it’s what you’re all going to be learning that matters.  

Second, focus. Continue reading “Now That You’re Here, Relax, But Stay Engaged”

Some Useful Things to Know

1. There is a hallway on the second floor of Wasserstein that leads straight into the Hark cafeteria.

It’s on the far right as you face the big window. Not the side with the Milstein rooms, where you got to sit through all those Orientation speeches — the other side.

I am an idiot, and I never speak to anyone, ever, and so I didn’t know this hallway was there for my first nine months at HLS. During those nine months, whenever I was in a second-floor classroom, I had to decide whether I was going to use my two-minute bathroom break to take a piss or dash to the Hark and buy a heap of cookies. Needless to say, I always chose the latter, and my bladder suffered for it.

But though law school sometimes involves hard choices, this doesn’t have to be one of them. The second-floor hallway will cut your cookie-purchasing time in half. There’s even a bathroom on your way back. This thing is basically the Northwest Passage. Continue reading “Some Useful Things to Know”

Thinking Like a Lawyer

Congratulations on beginning your legal journey. Here are two important questions to consider as you start your first year of law school: first, what are the costs of learning to think like a lawyer, and second, how can you create a meaningful career for yourself while learning to do so?

The legal community that you are joining faces serious challenges. The statistics are sobering: drinking is a problem for one out of three lawyers, and over thirty-two percent of lawyers under 30 qualify as problem drinkers.[1] A study by the American Bar Association and the Betty Ford Foundation found that 28% of lawyers struggle with depression, 19% reported experiencing anxiety, and 23% said they experience stress.

Continue reading “Thinking Like a Lawyer”