3

Things TDot Likes: Exceptionalism

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 4, 2011 in Things TDot Likes

Not sure when that bullet-pointed update I mentioned is going to get posted, but this is one of the items I was going to add — and it really merits its own entry instead :)

From the “Ways to Feel Like an Underachieving Underachiever” file, check out this awesome story from the Raleigh News & Observer:1

Motivated 16-year-old enters NCCU law school
BY LANA DOUGLAS – ldouglas@newsobserver.com
Tags: University of Baltimore | Durham | eduation | Ty Hobson-Powell

One look at Ty Hobson-Powell and you may think that he is an average teenager.

N.C. Central University law student Ty Hobson-Powell, 16, with his trademark Washington Redskins hat, waits to see one of his law professors. HARRY LYNCH - hlynch@newsobserver.com

He likes to play basketball and video games; he even occasionally wastes time on Facebook and Twitter.

But Ty isn’t the average 16-year-old.

He began classes at N.C. Central University Law School in August after he became the youngest person to graduate from the University of Baltimore at age 15, finishing a four-year degree in two.

The average age of a daytime student at NCCU is 24, according to Linda Sims, associate dean for student services at NCCU school of law.

“I wouldn’t say that I always knew that I wanted to get finished early,” Ty said. “I can say that from a young age I was driven.”

When he was 3 years old, he learned how to read, write and speak Chinese.

“He’s always been a very above-average kid, but normal,” said Edwin Powell, Ty’s father. “The word ‘why’ was always in his vocabulary.”

His mother, Liz Hobson-Powell, describes him as always being “very inquisitive.”

Ty credits his success to motivation and having a semi-photographic memory.

“If I study very intensely for a week, I can remember some things word for word. For example, I remembered all of the elements of adverse possession in a week,” he said.

Ty’s three siblings also are accomplished.

His older sister graduated from high school at age 17 and college at age 19.

His two younger siblings, Quinn and Reid, also show promise in their areas of interest.

“(There was) no pushing force from our parents,” Ty said. “They just reinforced our passions and did everything in their power to help us achieve our goals.”

‘We’ve encouraged them’

Ty’s father is a professor at Howard University, and his mother is a commander with the U.S. Public Health Service.

“I would have to say that we’ve encouraged them and with all the strengths that they have and given them the tools to go out and do what it is they feel they would like to do,” Hobson-Powell said.

“I’ve always said to my kids, putting letters behind your name does not define success, but leaving behind a legacy and looking behind saying, ‘I’ve helped somebody,’ that’s how you define success,” Powell said.

Ty chose to go to school to become a defense attorney after he met someone from the Innocence Project, which works with people it believes have been wrongfully convicted.

“I want to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves,” he said.

“I chose NCCU Law School because it is rooted in the tradition of breeding lawyers that go out and help the community,” Ty said.

He also has a passion for public speaking. His message encourages students to capitalize on every opportunity they get and parents to help their children achieve success in whatever path they choose.

“I think it’s reasonable to believe that a lot more people could be where I am right now,” Ty said. “Hopefully, I can instill values in youth and even adults to go out and strive to be as good as they can.”

“In a non-cocky way, I want to make sure that there are more stories like mine, because there’s a lot of people like me and a lot of people with potential to be like me, but for whatever reason, be it lack of support at home or lack of drive from within, are not where I am currently,” he said.

After he graduates from NCCU, Ty says he may attend medical school or get into politics.

You can follow Ty Hobson-Powell on Twitter @TyTheOriginator.

Douglas: 919-932-2008

And I thought I was hot stuff when I started at N.C. State at 172:beatup:

Assuming this guy makes it through law school — and if you can master Mandarin at 3, I’m assuming NCCU Law‘s strict-C curve is a relative cakewalk — he’s going to have his education knocked out early enough to do pretty much whatever he wants and still make an absolute killing financially.

Remember the chart I put together on gauging whether law school was worth the expense if I worked the rest of my life as an ADA? Where I intentionally overstated the expenses and understated the revenues?

Mr. Hobson-Powell can start in that far right column at Year 1 instead of Year 7 if he chooses :crack:

I realize there are a ton of other factors at play of course: law is as much about life experience as raw knowledge, it’s a clique-ish profession based on relationships he still has to build, etc etc etc.  But the inescapable reality is this young man has some pretty amazing talent and a golden opportunity to chart whatever path he wants when he graduates.3

Hats off to him — I’m looking forward to counting him as a fellow Legal Eagle alum! :D

—===—

From the Things TDot Likes archives:

  1. I’ll ignore that the N&O somehow overlooked tagging this story with either their “N.C. Central University” or “NCCU Law School” tags, while it ensures using them to adorn every negative story relating to NCCU from a commencement speech to missing money to the Durham DA’s office… []
  2. To add even more contrast: he’s going to have his second degree finished by 19; I hadn’t even dropped out from earning my first one at that age :crack: []
  3. Not to mention a level of dedication I certainly didn’t have at his age about anything other than basketball and girls :beatup: []

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-

When polysyllabic surnames attack!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 3, 2011 in The 3L Life

I know I’ve been gone for a long time folks, but I kid you not when I say last week has been the week from hell in terms of multiple events going on every. single. day. :crack:

I’m 2 assignments behind in AppAd,1 nearly a week behind on a Tax assignment, couldn’t even tell you how far back I am in reading for Sales, etc etc etc. I’ve got another bullet-pointed update to post at some point this week that will explain in greater detail.

In the interim, however, this past weekend we had our annual tryouts for NCCU Law‘s trial teams — where I got mauled by polysyllabic surnames :beatup:

Once again I ended up being defense counsel for a guy on the hook for murder, with a scant 7 minutes to explain to the jury in my closing why there’s no possible way he could have done it. The biggest challenge for me? The dead guy’s name is McKenzie, the trigger man’s name is Kubinsky, and the widow who financed the hit is the dead guy’s wife Mrs. McKenzie.

Trying to say McKenzie and Kubinsky in the span of a few minutes didn’t turn out so well. See for yourself…2

Folks I’ve gotta tell you, I felt like the closing was going pretty doggone well until I hit that point — but the instant my tongue got tied up on his name, it seemed like time itself crraaaaawwwwwllllled to a standstill. I left out part of what I planned to say, added in stuff elsewhere that I never planned to say, and felt like I speed-talked through the final two minutes to make sure I made it within the time limit.3 :beatup:

No one but myself to blame on that one. I was fighting hard for #1 in the competition but at this point I’ll be content just being on the team again :)

If you want to read through the fact pattern that was used in this case, check out State v. Blizard at TYLA.org.

More to come later this week. Have a great night y’all! :D

—===—

From the trial team competition-related archives:

  1. And missed class this morning because my car needed repairs (again) :mad: []
  2. As a reminder, these videos now use the HTML5-friendly iframes format for embedding video; if you have trouble playing it, let me know! []
  3. I squeaked by, clocking in at 6:57 :surprised: []

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6

Overwhelmed… but I like it (really!)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 23, 2011 in The 3L Life

So the whole “look for a whole bunch of posts around mid-week” thing didn’t quite pan out as planned (surprise! :beatup: )

To be totally candid with y’all, I’ve waaaaaayyy overextended myself this semester — even moreso than my senior year at N.C. State1 — and trying to convert my thoughts into words (and proofread them) just takes a big chunk of time that I haven’t been able to set aside like I hoped.

That’s not a complaint; I actually like the insane pace and crushing workload because it prevents me getting bored. I just wanted to make sure you don’t feel like I’ve abandoned you ;)

There’s been a lot going on over the past couple weeks that I can’t really elaborate on at length, so here’s a bulleted list with some quick thoughts:

  • The class schedule I created is unquestionably the single dumbest decision I’ve made in a very, very long time :beatup:  Stacking up nearly all my classes on T/H means I get almost nothing done on those days, then I also fall for the illusory appearance of an empty M/W/F by scheduling meetings and other events when I should be reading for class instead. And there is -0- redeeming value to having Sales at 6pm-7:15pm beyond Prof Sales being highly recommended by the students who came before me.
  • I was reminded by a friend from undergrad that I actually tried a similar T/H-stacked schedule setup my freshman year at N.C. State, with disastrous results…
  • Class performance is all over the map. I’m more-or-less on track in AppAd and ConLaw II, on track but confused in Tax, behind but not confused in Employment Discrimination, not sure where I’m at in Criminal Prosecution Clinic, and completely and totally lost in Sales & Secured Transactions. We don’t get Fall Break this year so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to turn everything around, but I’m hoping now that we’re through appropriations season in SBA I’ll be able to catch up.
  • I feel particularly sheepish about Sales, because Prof Sales has stopped me on at least 3 separate occasions and warned me not to let my extracurricular activities interfere with my academic work… and that’s exactly what’s happened despite my assurances to him that it wouldn’t :oops:
  • Speaking of SBA appropriations, we went from 2pm-midnight last Friday — 5 hours for presentations, 5 for deliberations — and barely finished voting on 9 of 21 groups. Then spent another 7 hours last Sunday before getting through the rest. I’m not sure what other changes SBAs can make to expedite this in the future, but one thing that needs to be done is mirroring NCSU where group presentations happen in the week before the vote instead of a marathon Friday+Sunday session. This year’s challenge was a -40% cut in the funds available for appropriations, from $115,039.83 down to $68,976.22, and unfortunately SBA isn’t likely to get that money back any time soon.
  • On a related note just to vent a bit, just one time I’d really like to preside over a group that has its budget go up while I’m in office. The Student Senate’s first funding increase in a decade kicked in the year after my graduation, my tenure as UNCASG President coincided with the economic meltdown and an ensuing freeze on spending by state agencies, last year as Treasurer we discovered SBA was missing nearly $17K compared to what our predecessors said we had (just before main campus gutted the budget further in January), and my back-of-a-napkin estimate this past weekend suggests I’m currently presiding over the lowest amount of funding the SBA has had since George H.W. Bush was President… and most of our students were too young for elementary school :crack:
  • ♫ One of these things is not like the others... ♫

    While we’re talking about SBA, apparently I’m the oddball of the group :surprised:  As some background, I’m a huge fan of personality assessments to help people learn more about themselves and offer clues on how they can better interact with their colleagues; self-awareness is one of the most-versatile weapons a person will ever have in their arsenal as they go through life. So I took some personal time and went through a trio of them myself2 then asked the SBA to try one we were given during my senior design project in undergrad. I’ve posted the results on the top of the picture at the right (the bottom part contains my 5 “Themes” from StrengthsQuest).  I can’t help but feel like I’m on Sesame Street

  • Oddball status notwithstanding, we make a good team. The dynamic is vastly different from last year but generally we all play to each other’s strengths. Earlier this week I was actually called “the Lil’ Jon of SBA” in light of my hype-man role… which actually suits me just fine ;)
  • Did I mention that last Friday was the first day of near-winter weather we’ve had this season?  And, in true North Carolina fashion, rather than give us any semblance of Fall the temperature simply dropped from lower-80s to upper-50s overnight :mad:
  • And I hate Fall and Winter btw…
  • On the other hand, I absolutely adore my dog! :D  He’s still incredibly well-behaved, hasn’t soiled the apartment at all, deals with me being in class from 8:30am to 7:15pm three nights a week, and is generally just all around awesome. He has his dog quirks — scent hounds don’t particularly care if the temperature’s dropped from lower-80s to upper-50s overnight — but I’ll happily deal with it in exchange for having a happy and loving dog greet me every time I walk into the apartment :spin:
  • Switching gears over to the “real world” for a bit, way back in the halcyon days of 2004 I got myself fired from the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court’s Office after writing and signing this letter that got published in the Raleigh News & Observer (on the first day of the NCGOP’s state convention to boot). So imagine my (non-)surprise when the now-Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly approved a referendum seeking to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage, an utterly bizarre proposal that was generating unintended consequences before it was even adopted. Even though I’ve mentioned my own reservations about gay marriage, there’s simply nothing conservative at all about this Amendment One business and the government effectively decreeing to churches what will and will not constitute a valid marriage between consenting adults. It’s particularly galling given its timing alongside the repeal of DADT: the self-proclaimed “most military-friendly state in America” is essentially saying it’s perfectly acceptable for homosexuals to die abroad defending our freedoms, just make sure you don’t bother coming back and trying to claim the same government-bestowed privileges conferred upon the other folks who are married… :crack:
  • The most-irksome aspect of Amendment One, from this ConLaw-loving law student’s standpoint, is the timing of the vote: you’re essentially taking a duly ratified constitution adopted by an overwhelming majority of voters in a general election, and which includes among its provisions guarantees of religious freedom3 and equal protection,4 and seeking to have those clauses invalidated through an amendment in a primary election when the politicians know turnout is always less. Never in the history of this country has a primary for a presidential election year had higher turnout than the ensuing general election. The politicians not only knew that when debating when to schedule Amendment One, they intentionally planned it that way. Absolutely outrageous. This facet alone has prompted me to join NCCU Law‘s chapter of OutLaw and start encouraging friends and colleagues to vote “NO” next May.
  • On the Student Government side of things, UNCASG has returned to its habit of epic fail-ness less than 2 years after my term as President ended. It’s not really my place to opine on that failure since I’ve already had my time in the spotlight and put my successors in as good a position as any successors have ever been in the group’s 39-year history. But if any of the delegates still happen to read law:/dev/null I’ll tell you this: screwing around with the organization’s structure isn’t going to fix anything if you don’t have the cajones to hold the leadership accountable. The N.C. State Technician was kind enough to publish a forum letter I wrote to them on the point. I just hope someone actually listens.
  • We’ll see if the Technician’s counterparts at the UNCCH Daily Tar Heel follow suit, as their oft-ridiculed Editorial Board continued its habit of plucking fabricated figures from the ether to attack UNCASG. One of their latest editorials inexplicably claims UNCASG spent $50,000 for our NC in DC advocacy trip back in 2009, even though the actual figure was an order-of-magnitude less: $4,750, spent for a bus so that the four-dozen participants (who paid 100% of the remaining costs out-of-pocket) didn’t have to take a dozen or more cars and the attendant gas and parking reimbursements that would have had to go with them. I truly have no earthly clue how the DTH Edit Board picked this random total when I sent them a spreadsheet at the end of FY09 listing out every single expense UNCASG made, down to the penny. It’s one thing to embrace nixing UNCASG’s ability to advocate federally during an election year — something I’d wholeheartedly embrace on pragmatic grounds alone — but simply inventing whatever data you want to support your arguments reeks of journalistic impropriety.
  • Over in the blawgosphere, I’ve gone through our entire blogroll surveying the law school blog landscape and it’s not pretty: more than two-dozen blawgs shut down permanently or otherwise moved to triple-tilde status (see my Blawgpocalypse 1.0 entry on how I handle categorizing blawgs), roughly a dozen more moved to double-tilde status, and only a collective handful of new and/or newly updated blawgs to replace them. Of the 183 blawgs on the law:/dev/null blogroll, 72 are defunct — that’s ~39%, compared to ~15% at this point just under a year ago.
  • But on the bright side, law:/dev/null finally hit the 1,000,000-pageview milestone way back on September 6th :D  I know it’s a small thing, and it’s a testament to how crazy life has been that I haven’t even been able to put together a Site Stats entry to analyze it yet, but in light of blawgs wilting like roses in a heat wave I’m incredibly privileged to still have y’all dropping in to see what’s going on in my law school life :) Thank you! :*

If you couldn’t tell from the length of this list, there’s been a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to write about! But I’m gonna wrap it up here so I’ve hopefully got some spare thoughts to pen in the near-term future ;)

Have a great night and an amazing weekend y’all! :D

  1. When I was President of the UNCASG, President of the NCSU Student Senate, policy analyst for a state legislator, and graduating senior in Computer Science… all at the same time :crack: []
  2. My Myers-Briggs/Keirsey test has me back to ENFP (“The Champion”), the first time I’ve turned out the same as something I’ve gotten before. []
  3. N.C. Const. art. I, sec. 13: “All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.” (emphases added) []
  4. N.C. Const. art. I, sec. 19: “No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws[.]” (emphasis added) []

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3

Back in a week or so

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 7, 2011 in The 3L Life

Hey folks! :)

law:/dev/null will be sporadically offline over the next week starting tonight, and updates will be queued up in the meantime instead of posted nightly — I’m making a number of behind-the-scenes tweaks to the WordPress install and the layout template I’ve been using,1 archiving server data for this site and others I’m hosting on the same machine, and grabbing some of my content from Facebook (“T. Greg’s Tomes”) that I’ll be trying to HTML-ify for archiving here on the blog.2 And somewhere along the way I need to keep up on law school reading and related events :beatup:

Apologies in advance for the disappearance, and keep an eye out for us mid-week next week!

  1. The layout in particular was never really intended for what I’ve been using it for; if I can get a spare weekend to work on some graphic design stuff, don’t be surprised to see a total layout switch some time in the near-term future if I can’t optimize some of this CSS. []
  2. Since FB can’t keep their @#$%ing layout consistent for more than a month at a time… :mad: []

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3

Law school: putting the labor in Labor Day

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 5, 2011 in The 3L Life

I’ve officially concluded that the course load I signed up for this semester was, in fact, insane :crack:

Scarcely two weeks in to my 3L Fall semester at NCCU Law and I’ve already burned an extended weekend getting caught up on reading for classes. I took some time on Saturday to clean up the apartment1 and enjoy some Wolfpack football, but otherwise have been steadily immersed in my Tax and Sales books.

And the sad part is I’m technically not even caught up yet: I wasn’t able to get my Employment Discrimination textbook until this weekend, I’ve saved ConLaw II reading for tomorrow in between classes, and I’ve got Sales practice problems to knock out somewhere along the way.2 :beatup:

But on the upside (and on a totally unrelated note), either today or tomorrow law:/dev/null should hit its 1,000,000th pageview! So I’ll have another Site Stats entry to queue up later in the week :D

That’s it from me, I’m heading to bed so I can get up for the 8:30am Tax class — have a good night y’all! :)

  1. In what has quickly gone from a bi/tri-weekly ritual to a weekly one, solely to keep the results of Samson’s shedding from growing out of control :beatup: []
  2. And that’s not even getting into the fact I’m behind on SBA work, which in light of my recent and not-so-recent history is almost more annoying than being behind academically… []

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8

First impressions of 3L Fall

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 29, 2011 in The 3L Life

The old saying was “1L year they scare you to death, 2L year they work you to death, 3L year they bore you to death.”

Evidently I’ve become so skilled at procrastination that I’m just now getting to the “work you to death” part, because this semester is going to be crazy :beatup:

Yes, that's nearly 2 feet of textbook for just one semester -- and doesn't even include Employment Discrimination!

With the first week of 3L Fall behind me (NCCU Law started a week later this calendar year) and 1.5′ of books to read, here are some initial thoughts on my classes this semester:

===============
PREFACE
===============

After graduating high school with few accolades — and graduating from N.C. State with none at all — I decided I was going to be one of the most-decorated people to cross NCCU Law’s stage for graduation on May 12, 2012.

So I’m currently signed up for the maximum number of hours you can take in a semester (16 hours / 6 classes) and will be taking a full load next semester too. And I don’t have the option of dropping any of them if I stick with my plan to be blinged out in May.

Just wanted to throw that preface out there so y’all don’t think I’m insane ;)

 

===============
APPELLATE ADVOCACY I
===============

Those of you who are long-time readers of law:/dev/null1 might notice that I had signed up for this class last year… and promptly dropped it when things got too busy.

The problem is that AppAd is a prerequisite for trying out for our Moot Court Board, which I’ve developed an ever-so-tiny urge to attempt even if I stick with the TYLA trial team this coming year.

Prof AppAd is the same professor I’ve got for Criminal Prosecution Clinic I. Seems to be a good guy, passionate about the subject and has a good sense of humor to keep things entertaining. He also appears to be very very very detail-oriented — which makes me feel better since I won’t be the only one raising an eyebrow when I see a sample appeal in two different fonts :beatup:

 

===============
FUNDAMENTALS OF INCOME TAXATION
===============

This class… yyyeeeaaaahhh…

Remember how I said I appreciated Prof Ks because he was upbeat about the subject?

And remember how I still hated Contracts because it was (i) so @#$%ing early in the morning, (ii) required, and (iii) the subject matter was more dense than a brick wrapped in a neutron star at the center of black hole?

And remember how I ended up with a C- in Contracts I and a C in Contracts II?

The first two items on that list accurately describe Tax so far: passionate teacher, required course with dense subject matter at 8:30am.

I’m praying I don’t end up with the third item on the list too…

 

===============
EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION
===============

MDG teaches this one, which is the only reason I signed up for the class — I might not have loved CivPro, but at least I knew the material when we finished! :)

Class has been challenging so far because the bookstore still doesn’t have the casebook so I only partially know what’s going on.2 The upside is that MDG has focused on teaching the concepts with hypos drawn from real cases, so the debates have been interesting and the class has been pretty engaged.

Not that we have much choice since there are only 9 of us in there, but still…

This also goes toward the elective requirements for me to complete NCCU Law’s Civil Rights & Constitutional Law concentration that I’ll have wrapped up this semester (assuming I pass :beatup: )

 

===============
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II: FIRST AMENDMENT
===============

I’m not sure what to think about this one.

On the one hand, (1) I love constitutional law in general and (2) this is one of the required courses for the Civil Rights concentration.

On the other, I don’t think the professor likes me…

It could just be me imagining things of course, but the first time we met in-person was upon her request to come to her office (I had emailed her to see if she would approve me being added to the course even though it was at the enrollment cap). When I got there, she asked me to sit tight because she had to walk across the hall and talk to MDG about something.

3 hours later and I was still sitting there before finally deciding I had been punk’d :beatup:

That aside, so far the classes have been fun hashing out some of the nettlesome challenges facing the courts in dealing with the First Amendment. I’m assuming it only gets better from here…

 

===============
SALES & SECURED TRANSACTIONS
===============

Contracts IV basically.3  :cry:

Prof Sales sort of reminds me of the mad scientists you see on TV: very passionate, very animated, trying to convince the masses to take an interest in their respective crafts. He’s funny too.

But, again, this is essentially Contracts IV we’re talking about here. I’m trying not to go in with a too-negative mindset, but I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the semester in this class…

 

===============
CRIMINAL PROSECUTION CLINIC I
===============

Not sure what to expect here — this class only meets once a week, and I had to sheepishly ask Prof AppAd if I could leave about an hour in for a required meeting I had with the law school administration :beatup:

Essentially this class will be teaching us how to handle ourselves in the courtroom when we’re trying actual cases under the Third Year Practice Rule next semester when we do the field portion of this class. Since this is what I want to do for a living (assuming I can make enough to pay the bills) I’m looking forward to the experience :D

***

So that’s the synopsis so far :) It’s going to be a long semester, but I hope / pray / expect it will be worth it in the end!

Have a great night y’all! :D

–===–

From the law:/dev/null First Impressions archive:

  1. *THANK YOU* :heart: []
  2. Apparently the folks at Follett (the vendor NCCU contracts with to run the store) noticed that the 7th edition was no longer in print, but never took it upon themselves to discover that the 8th edition was out. So we have 8th Edition statutory supplements at the store, but no 8th edition casebook. Needless to say that’s been on my list of complaints our SBA is dealing with… []
  3. I consider Business Associations to be Contracts III… []

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4

Grrr…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 22, 2011 in Fail

Right as I was about to scrawl down an entry about how excited I was for the first day of 3L year and how awesome today went, life decided to throw some lulz my way  :beatup:

From the “be-happy-with-the-blessings-in-your-life-instead-of-complaining-about-minor-annoyances-on-teh-intarwebz” file, we have this:

This is the kind of sh*t that makes less-mentally-stable people think the CIA is out to get them...

Yes, ladies and gentlemen: that’s a flat tire.

And not just any flat tire, mind you, but the exact same now-flat tire I just fixed barely a month ago :mad:

I got my car in 2002, and can recall only 2 flat tires before moving to Durham (and both were the result of the car getting hit).

But since starting at NCCU Law in August 2009, I’ve now had 3 “nailed” tires in 2 years — the first at the intersection a couple blocks from my apartment complex en route to our 1L Mary Wright Closing Argument competition, the second one last month at the intersection at my apartment complex, and now this one earlier tonight in the parking lot at NCCU.1

My car evidently thinks nails in the street are a grave safety hazard, and so it’s determined to roll over every single one it can in the name of preserving public health…

At least I’m slowly approaching my lifetime goal of reaching NASCAR-esque speeds in how quickly I can change a flat tire? :beatup:

  1. Where the gym and the Criminal Justice Building are both being repaired, which presumably has resulted in nails getting littered around… []

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4

Most expensive. semester. evah.

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 20, 2011 in The 3L Life

Hey everybody :)

Unlike my past disappearances, I actually intentionally left law:/dev/null un-updated the past few days so the new folks could find outlines without a problem.1

Which is probably a good thing because otherwise I would have spent the past 4 days complaining about how f*cking expensive my penultimate semester of law school is getting :mad:

Now some of this stuff I knew was coming even back when I was a 1L, like the $2,667 I still owe BarBri for my bar review. And some of it I didn’t know about my 1L year (like the MPRE) but the cost isn’t that significant ($63).

The rest may just be my own ignorance, but $700 just to submit an application to the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners??  :surprised:  And textbooks!

I’ve already spent $729 on books this semester — more than I’ve ever spent at any point in the 24 separate semesters I’ve been buying them2and I’m not even done yet! :crack:  The bookstore is still missing the casebook for my Employment Discrimination class, and the statutory supplement for my Tax class :(

I’ll be a hair’s breadth under $1,000.00 (just on textbooks) by the time 3L Fall is over…

Then there’s the $310 tuition increase requested back in December by NCCU (not the law school), approved by the UNC Board of Governors in February, and then skimmed off the top by NCCU (not the law school) as part of a 14% budget reduction handed to the law school a couple weeks ago.3 And of course the unexpected costs of getting old, like (in the case of my car) spending half a grand to fix something in the engine block earlier this week or (in the case of me) dropping just-under-a-grand to get a cap put on one of my molars last week :beatup:

Sorry for venting y’all, the past couple days with these textbooks have just crystallized my general frustration with being a broke law student and watching everything I saved up over the summer vanish paying for unexpected expenses. I’ve got no earthly clue how I’m going to get everything paid for by the time I’ve got to pay it, but I’m ready to graduate, pass the bar, get my license, and start making real money.

Hope all of you are having a less-expensive start to your school years! Have a great night! :D

  1. If you’re a 1L, copy and paste www.lawdevnull.com/docs/1LStuff.zip and if you’re a 2L/3L copy and paste www.lawdevnull.com/docs/2Land3LStuff.zip — send me an email if you have any trouble! []
  2. 6 years of undergrad, 2.5 years of law school, and 7 sets of summer sessions between them. []
  3. Which, coincidentally, is the exact same percent as the 14% budget cut the UNC BOG gave NCCU as a whole. Looks conspicuously like an “across-the-board” cut by NCCU despite the BOG’s explicit instructions not to engage in across-the-board cuts… []

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TDot’s Tips: “A penny for your [outlines]?”

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 15, 2011 in TDot's Tips

In addition to law school Orientation — if you’re a NCCU Law 1L, make sure to  read yesterday’s Orientation entry — this is the time of year where the 2Ls and 3Ls start hitting up everyone they can to accumulate outlines for the upcoming year :beatup:

Starting last year I’ve tried to compile as many of those as I can and bundle them into a ZIP file hosted here on law:/dev/null. If you’re looking for outlines, follow these steps:1

  1. In your browser’s address bar, type in the base URL for this blog; if you came to this specific entry’s page and don’t know the base URL, just click this link to go to the law:/dev/null main page ;)
  2. After the “.com/”, if you’re a 1L you’re going to type in “docs/1LStuff.zip” (without the quotation marks), or “docs/2Land3LStuff.zip” (also without the quotes) if you’re a 2L or 3L.

If you have any trouble with that, send me an email (address at the bottom of our About page) or contact me on Twitter.

Now for some obligatory caveats and 1 contractual obligation on your part:

  • On the contractual obligation side:  in exchange for downloading this file, you’re agreeing to help spread the word to your colleagues at the law school about its existence; I want everyone to have access to the outlines, even if they don’t necessarily take advantage of the opportunity to download them.
  • These files are large, and they come from a lot of different sources so there are some duplicates. If you’re on a Mac, the easiest way to find what you need is to use Spotlight; if you’re on a PC… well… I don’t know how to help you on that one :beatup:
  • Many of these outlines will need updating. The 1L classes introduce new cases, and many of the 2L and 3L classes have either new cases (CrimPro) or new statutes (ZombieLaw) or both.
  • These outlines are for NCCU Law classes, so if you’re one of my non-Legal Eagle readers and download them you probably won’t get much utility from them.
  • Most importantly:  the benefit to briefs and outlines is in creating/editing them, not in getting them from someone else. You’ll still need to read for class, and you’ll still need to study. Don’t come back to me in December crying because you have all these outlines, did no work on your own, and then failed your classes. :*

Hope that helps! I’m heading to bed so I can go help with the first day of 1L Orientation for the Day Program in the morning. Have a great night y’all! :D

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Past TDot’s Tips entries:

  1. Sorry for being so tedious about it, but spambots like to link to file URLs so I’ll end up with folks in Russia or China downloading these over and over again without actually using them if I posted the links directly :mad: []

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Orientation starts… tomorrow! O_o

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 14, 2011 in The 3L Life

It’s pretty much just now really sinking in that 1L Orientation at the N.C. Central University School of Law is taking place this week  :eek:

To highlight how totally out of it I’ve been: law:/dev/null actually turned 2 years old back on Thursday (!)… and I didn’t even notice because of my router issues :beatup:

I’ll forgo waxing sentimental over how much has happened over the past 2 years, how crazy it is that I’ve actually somewhat kept up with the whole blawging thing throughout that time, or how totally @#$%ing stoked I am to be wrapping up law school this year. Instead I’ll link to some old entries for any incoming 1Ls/1LEs curious about my perspective on things  (assuming such creatures exist).

If you’re curious about how the whole Orientation schedule will play out, read this synopsis I compiled when I was a 2L. If you’d prefer reading my first-hand account as I went through Orientation myself, check out Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Have some questions you want to ask? Go to the bottom portion of this Mailbag entry, which links to all the past questions I’ve answered here. If you’ve got something you want to ask that don’t see listed, feel free to send me an email!1 :D

My role with Orientation will transition a bit this year: instead of helping to check in volunteers and then wandering aimlessly through the school, I’ll be helping to check in volunteers and wandering through the school with a purpose — trying to meet as many of you as I can to help answer your questions and get you prepared for what will be the most intense 3 years of your life ;)

Let the fun begin… :angel:

  1. You can find the email address on the bottom of our About page. []

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