After the Law School Council circulated a survey the other day about potential 1L section names, David Lat at www.abovethelaw.com suggested naming sections after feeder judges or celebrities with legal problems. While we would have enjoyed being in the Anna Nicole Smith section, we have our own suggestions.
The Law Student Whining Naming Scheme: We already bitch about minor details to whoever will listen. Why not give our petty grievances even more air time? Suggested names: Section “Why are there so many damn undergrads at Hemenway?” Section “Can’t Harvard’s gazillion dollar endowment pay for someone to scrape the ice off the sidewalks in a timely manner?” Section “The Hark Koffee Klatch should have those little lemon bars everyday instead of the endless cream cheese brownies.”
The Seinfeld Parking Garage Naming Scheme: Jerry Seinfeld (who we think used to be funny, but after his Oscar appearance we are no longer sure about that) once suggested that parking garage levels would be easier to remember if they had names like “Your mother’s a whore” or “Your father’s an abusive alcoholic.” We can’t really improve on this idea. Imagine calling home and telling your parents you’re in one of these sections. Or better yet, going to the Coop on your first day to buy books, “Hello, I need the textbooks for the ‘My mother is a whore’ section. Yes, I’ll be paying with her credit card.”
The Hogwarts Naming Scheme: If naming sections would make law school more like Hogwarts, why not go all the way and name them after actual Hogwarts houses. The upside is that sorting HLS students into houses would give the fabled McKinsey sorting algorithm a workout. The downside is that there are only four Hogwarts houses and seven 1L sections, so some groups would be stuck with things like the “Muggles,” the “Squibs,” and possibly the “House Elves,” and then they would have no chance at circuit court clerkships at all. Also, Slytherin would be way overcrowded.
The First Names of Famous People Naming Scheme: We already use important people’s last names for our classrooms and buildings: Pound, Langdell, and even the Kirkland & Ellis classroom. But we’re at Harvard; why feel the need to remain on a formal basis with the rich and powerful? We suggest using first names to be more friendly: the Roscoes, the Learneds, and possibly the O.J.s (see Lat’s suggestion, supra).
The Crimes We May Commit Naming Scheme: Why not have sections named after the crimes that graduates of the law school may commit? Since most of us will meddle only in petty white collar stuff, the section names will probably range from “Insider trading” to “Double-billing”, with a “Rule 10(b)(5)” thrown in for good measure. However, for the savage among us we should have one or two sections with names like “I killed my wife rather then have to pay her alimony” and “I pled no contest to choking my girlfriend when she left me for another guy.”
The “We (Heart) Kagan” Naming Scheme: Continuing our appreciation of Dean Kagan, each section will be named after an important post or position that Kagan has held throughout her illustrious career. As an added bonus, this will provide inspiration for current HLS students. There could be the Supreme Court Clerks Section, the White House Insider Section, the Law Professors Section, etc.
The What I Will Be When I Grow Up Naming Scheme: In case Dean Kagan’s career is too illustrious, the sections can be named after less lofty career paths. We can have the “Starving public interest lawyers,” the “Sleepless cogs of the Biglaw machine,” and the “I only went to law school to gain experience for my writing career.” We are still undecided whether the section name should confine students to that particular job after graduation. For example, only the Cogs will be allowed to do OCI and the Public Interesters will be automatically enrolled in LIPP.