Category Archives: Fenno

Fenno / Opinion  /  April 5, 2013  / 

Making Work Work for…Something

Note: This series is fictional. On his way home from OPIA, Fenno flipped through The First-Year’s Guide to the Law School’s “SPIF” entry: A pretty good deal. The Law School would prefer to cultivate a public image as something other than a factory mass-producing cogs in the machines that support the powerful, and so in that weakness and desire to throw the public off its scent HLS rounds up enough dough to keep first-years in grocery money during the last two months of meaningful professional activity most of them will ever experience. From here, it’s all shuffling money from one corporate monolith to another, so grab that funding and spend a summer making an insignificant contribution to the greater good. That’s all well and good, but the trick, as Fenno was quickly realizing, was figuring out what sort of job to use that sweet, sweet cash towards. Because, as it … Continue reading

Fenno / Opinion  /  January 31, 2013  / 

Closes a Door, Opens a Bottle

Note: This series is fictional.  —- FROM: Lisa Burns SUBJECT: Fall 2012 Grades Now Available (gulp) —- Fresh off a resoundingly successful run of Solving Problems, Fenno was strolling to his first bit of Crim when his phone buzzed. In retrospect, you’d say “buzzed ominously,” but come on, that thing goes off about 85 times a day with crucial email dispatches (“Queueing Theory, Salad Bars, and You: A Message From Restaurant Associates”), and besides—three weeks of pass-fail stakes have a way of driving these sorts of things from one’s mind. But anyway. With the full benefit of hindsight, we can now say “buzzed ominously,” because that subject line sent a shiver down Fenno’s spine. —- To dispense with the suspense, Fenno’s grades were fine. I mean, they’re not going to be naming any buildings after him in 100 years, but on the whole things could have been a lot worse. The … Continue reading

Fenno / Opinion  /  December 4, 2012  / 

Fenno and the Final Countdown

Note: This series is fictional. The First-Year’s Guide to the Law School has this to say on the subject of Thanksgiving break: They say that time is an illusion; the reading period, doubly so. Law students have for decades observed the strange changes in the rate of time’s passage that occur each and every late-November. Tests that seem, when pondering them over a pile of dried-out turkey, to be eons away, suddenly upon a return to Cambridge accelerate over the chronological horizon with alarming speed. Or, put another way: oh no, tests soon. — Fenno was with his study group, talking through an old Torts issue-spotter and quickly realizing that he had not spotted very many issues at all. He’d barely come up with anything for the question about the landlord who didn’t repair the showerhead with a design defect that caused it to fire ball bearings at near-supersonic speeds … Continue reading

Fenno  /  October 26, 2012  / 

The Craving Contests

Note: This series is fictional. The total area of Austin North’s blackboards rivaled the square mileage of most Midwestern counties; nonetheless, Fenno’s Torts prof was struggling to find a sliver of space on which to write some nonsense about incentives or something. Fenno wasn’t listening—no, it was the rest of the blackboard that had his full attention. That glorious 98 percent of the board was occupied by announcements for Free Lunch. —- The First-Year’s Guide to the Law School has this to say on the subject of “Lunch”: The only thing justifying the existence (and funding) of Student Organizations. It is known that Lunch motivates a greater percentage of a law student’s actions than the next three motivators (fear of failure, a self-image tied totally to academic performance, and the DT’s) combined. This fact, combined with most students’ (at best) ambivalence towards any opportunity for bona fide intellectual or social … Continue reading

Fenno  /  September 25, 2012  / 

Kong Phooey

Note: This serial is fictional.  “Kong. Bar Review. Tonight. You’re going.” Fenno glanced up at Chevy, who had just strolled into the common room with his demanding-face on. The two had met a few weeks back, when Fenno had sacrificed knee-skin to save Chevy from an oncoming Lesley skater; since then, the elder Chevy (sleepwalking through his last year) had taken the 1L under his wing. “Man, I don’t understand that bar. Why would anyone bother? Last time I was there, I lost a good shoe—stuck to the floor, never could get it free.” “What, do you have some crucial CRUPAC’ing to do or something? Don’t care. No time to argue. I’m headed to a pre-pre-pregame.” “It’s 10:45. In the morning. On a weekday. And I’m not going unless you can give me a single reason to head to that bar instead of drinking cleaning solution.” “Just take a look at … Continue reading

Fenno  /  April 19, 2012  / 

Fenno and the End of 1L (Part 8 of 8)

Note: This serial is fictional.  Fenno skipped out of class, his step light. He had finished his 1L classes. The past year was suddenly a blur: it had humbled him, challenged him, shouted him down, shook him to his very core, revealed to him the horrible inconsistencies of the law… And yet it was over. Not quite over: there were three more grueling and  tedious weeks ahead. Three weeks later, he would feel an even greater sense of accomplishment wash over him, after he had completed his last final. He would run wild with his section the last real night of his 1L year, feeling finally like he belonged with his imperfect section mates, each strange and impossible to discern, just like him. There were so many uncertainties still in Fenno’s future: Would EIP bear fruit for him? What would he do after graduation? Where would he end up living? Yet those questions … Continue reading

Fenno  /  April 5, 2012  / 

Fenno and the Firm Decision (Part 7 of 8)


Note: This serial is fictional.  As the summer neared, Fenno could barely focus on his studies. His section was abuzz with a new puzzle, even more shiny and scary than exams: EIP. Although EIP was the path of least resistance and Fenno was not the kind to resist, he had began to be besieged by tiny little doubts. The first of those doubts crawled over him when he was talking it over with Brandon, a 3L in his hall. “Sometimes, they ask to see your transcript right at the beginning,” Brandon said, “And they just stare at it. And if your grades aren’t good enough, those 20 minutes are a waste of time. For everyone.” Fenno imagined himself, trapped in a room with a well-heeled partner, and watching her eyes widen as she finds his LP, and then bowing his head in shame for the entire 20-minute interview. That was not an experience … Continue reading

Fenno  /  March 23, 2012  / 

Fenno and The Order of the Practice Examinations (Part 6 of 8)


Note: This serial is fictional.  Fenno returned from Spring Break with a sense of dread. He had frittered it away enjoying the comforts of home: the praise of his parents and relatives, the relaxed attitude of his high school friends, the now-alien pleasure of reading without his grip tightened around a highlighter. But now that he was back on campus, the ever-present 1L anxiety jumped: finals were only a month away and he needed to do well to atone for the awful sin on his transcript. His study group was meeting Thursday afternoon to go over a practice exam, so he unironically studied for his study group. He remembered how smug he felt when Julie, one of the most articulate students in his section, asked him to join her study group in October. Her study group was quite the collection, with three of the hardest working students in Section, each eager … Continue reading

Fenno  /  March 9, 2012  / 

Fenno and the Prisoner of Concord (Part 5 of 8)


Note: This serial is fictional. “Look, man, I really need your help,” the Prisoner of Concord pleaded. Fenno tried to remain unswayed. Prison Legal Assistance Project received dozens of such pleas a week. Fenno had joined because the time commitment, an hour a week, was negligible and the gaping white space on his resume demanded to be filled. But it was hard, to sit in a room and answer phone calls from prison, and say again and again that there was nothing he could do. He imagined the Prisoner of Concord, trapped in his little box, asking some clueless kid miles away for help. A few days later, he was on his way to Concord. Fenno had taken the case because he was tired of waiting. He was tired of reading about and talking about and thinking about being a lawyer. He wanted to be one already. Cambridge quickly receded into … Continue reading

Fenno  /  February 20, 2012  / 

Fenno and the Perfect Hair (Part 4 of 8)


Note: This serial is fictional. Fenno had entered law school with so many dreams. As a 0L, he had basked in them, colorful and different, each one vibrant and warm. He would wake up every morning during that lazy summer before 1L and try on a new dream: he was an ambassador to Syria, a BigLaw partner, a senator from Georgia, Vice President of some yet unknown tech company, a Circuit judge, an ACLU attorney… Today, as he sat in Professor Feldman’s international course, Fenno had not dreams, but a narrow path to trod. Like so many of his peers, he now knew exactly where he was going and how to get there. He would attend EIP that summer. He would summer at a firm after 2L. He would work at that firm after 3L. After that, his life, no longer his own, would be measured in billable hours. At only 25, Fenno … Continue reading