Not the specialty I had in mind…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jun 1, 2010 in Technology | Subscribe

A couple weeks ago I mentioned to y’all how law school’s caste system melts away when 2Ls and 3Ls end up in class together. A comment by Va. suggested the reason for that lack of social division is folks developing their various specialties in given areas and becoming a “go to” person for that topic, regardless of class year.

It appears I’ve been typecast due to this blog, because it seems my specialty is “Computer Scientist Guy” :beatup:

One of the now-3Ls at NCCU Law contacted me last night for help setting up email accounts for a civic organization he leads. He’s a decent guy so I agreed to assist. The project ended up being a bit more expansive than our initial discussion, but about an hour later we’ve finally got everything set up, functional, and properly working with his Microsoft Outlook installation.1 Then literally moments later — we’re talking 10 minutes, tops — a 2L (unaffiliated with the 3L) called asking for IT help for her organization.2 :crack:

Now don’t misunderstand me: I’m truly and deeply grateful to my alma mater and its Department of Computer Science. They took excellent care of me the last four years, and I’ll be giving back as soon as the post-J.D. paychecks start rolling in. I also love being able to help my fellow Legal Eagles be successful. And I didn’t give law:/dev/null the subtitle “Musings of a Computer Scientist turned Law Student” by accident.

But this is now the 5th pro bono web project I’ve done for my NCCU Law colleagues in less than a year (including two for Madame Prosecutor) alongside the normal IT-related questions. It’d be nice to have someone calling me up for CrimLaw or CivPro advice instead :P


Our new favicon! :D

In blog-related news, law:/dev/null now has…

…wait for it…

…a real favicon!  Yes, dear readers, now instead of the blank page or globe or whatever generic image your browser used when it tried to download our non-existent favicon.ico file you should instead see a 16px-by-16px copy of the image to the right.

I thought about doing something fancier, but I figured an image that served as a double entendre was appropriate. You see it’s not only a visual depiction of my nom de plume — it also looks like a body that lost its head, which is a fitting description for how I feel about once every other class :beatup:

That’s all I’ve got for tonight ladies and gentlemen :) Some time this week I’m hoping to pen some thoughts on today’s holding by the Supreme Court in Berghuis v. Thompkins, a CrimLaw case that seems tailor-made for late-night comedy show jokes. Just look at the first sentence of the holding section of the syllabus: “Thompkins’ silence… did not invoke his right to remain silent.”

I happen to agree with the majority, but they probably could have worded that a bit better ;)

Anyhow, if I get through the paper due tomorrow and presentation due Thursday I’ll try to cobble together some thoughts on it. Until then, have a great night!! :D

  1. Unsolicited advice for anyone planning to buy a new laptop for law school:  get a Mac :* []
  2. It must have just been a bad day for technology all around, because as I was working with those two folks I got a text message from a classmate needing help finding where the hard drive was located on his ThinkPad :beatup: []

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Jun 2, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Awesome. Can you fix the interactive paced program for BarBri? It seems like a pretty simple application (um, a checklist with a % completed tracker on the BarBri website), but apparently the good folks at BarBri can’t fix it over a two-week span and have “no timeline” on when it will be repaired. I think it’s cruel to give a bunch of type-A law students a “check-off” list and then just take it away!

Jun 2, 2010 at 1:06 PM

It’s why I play dumb and pretend that I do CS theory (when in reality, I do systems) when people ask me for tech. help. Also, gleefully, loudly, denounce my ability to create websites.


Jun 3, 2010 at 12:44 AM

@Va.: They haven’t fixed it yet? And BarBri costs us how much?? O_o

I could be totally misunderestimating the complexity of it, but that seems like something a Comp Sci student could fix in PHP/MySQL after about 15 minutes of coding :beatup:

@Maggie: Good strategy ;) I may try to replicate your success next year, pretend I forgot how to do websites or something… :)

Jun 3, 2010 at 9:43 AM

The failure of the interactive paced program is the #1 complaint about BarBri among my friends. That and the guy who makes jokes about syphilis all the time and extends the damn lectures by 30 minutes. Oh, and the torts lady who screeches at everyone and just says everything incredulously as though that were inherently hilarious. (“A BEAR CAUSED THE FOREST FIRE??? A BEAR CAUSED THE FOREST FIRE???”) I’m all about some Chemerinsky-style efficiency, giving me more time to watch terrible television shows. And California tuition for the basic package is $3,600. Plus the $250 refundable deposit on the phonebooks they send you.

Jun 7, 2010 at 12:03 AM

On the one hand, I’m glad I’ve got you here to offer real feedback on things like bar prep.

On the other hand, reading this makes me want to preemptively saw off my ears with a dull butterknife and gouge out my eyes with a spork so I don’t have to endure the bar review pain :beatup:


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