Law School Survival Series: Prestige Fatigue

Sunday, October 6, 2019

There's nothing new I can say about our culture's obsession with prestige when it comes to education. The recent admissions scandal, the case against Harvard's admissions process, the decades-long squabbling over affirmative action--people are nuts about prestige. And I am sick of it.

Why Copyright Law is Racist as Hell

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Once you start to study The Law, if you have any basic deductive reasoning skills, you become quickly horrified when you see how deeply racism (and sexism, homophobia, transphobia...) is baked into the very fabric of our society through the laws and court decisions that have come down since our slave-owning forefathers wrote slavery into the Constitution. It's like getting an inside view, the sausage factory of racism, how the meat is made. An intro on racist-as-hell court decisions and laws is a blog post for another day, because today I'd like to talk to you about why copyright law, specifically, is racist as hell.

Why Copyrighting Your Nudes Won't Protect You from Revenge Porn

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Please note that this ain't me.
Relationship abuse is nothing new, but the internet has taken it to new extremes. Revenge porn is one way angry (mostly) men are attempting to get back at (mostly) women for their alleged wrongs. Some people say that copyrighting your nudes will protect you from the dangers of revenge porn. Here's why they're wrong.

Kim K and the History of Women in Law School

Sunday, September 15, 2019

By now you're probably familiar with the fact that Kim Kardashian West is using the free time she has, between her instagram posts and whatever else she does, to study The Law. As one of the most influential humans on the planet, if social media followers equate to influence--which they do because it's 2019 (compare her 145 million instagram followers to, for example, Barack Obama's 23 million)--her choice to go into the rather mundane profession that her father famously practiced has created quite a stir. The ruckus includes guffaws over the audacity she has to think she's smart enough to practice law, screaming accusations that she's just using her money and influence to get ahead, and, more accurately, predictions that she'd never be able to actually appear in court because the mere fact of her influence would tip the scales of justice too unfairly. Mostly, though, people are just confused about how she's going to sit for the California bar having never set foot in an accredited law school.

NDAs, #MeToo, and You

Thursday, April 4, 2019

I got the idea for this post this past weekend when I was reading an article in Time (the one with AOC on the cover, I mean, can you even handle it?). The article was about Eliza Dushku (you’ll recognize her face from Buffy and Bring It On) and her “#MeToo Moment” (I have qualms with calling the public reliving of traumatic events a “moment” but that’s a topic for another day). She wrote an op-ed for the Boston Globe about her most recent experience with sexual harassment on the set of her show Bull. She wrote the piece despite signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as part of her settlement with CBS for $9.5 million - a ton of money but not as much as CBS would have paid her had she been able to complete her planned six-year contract with the network. Because Dushku feared litigation if she continued to discuss the settlement, for her interview with Time she tried to talk around the issue entirely. She did state, however, that “NDAs revictimize people. They give more power to the powerful. And as the less powerful person, you have to live in someone else’s fucked-up version of reality.” This quote, and Dushku’s story, are an apt example of why we should all be more aware, and wary, of non-disclosure agreements.

Law School Survival Series: Mental Health

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Lawyers have a bad rap for being callous drunks, greedy cokeheads, and ambulance-chasing creeps, and look that's not entirely unfounded. Some of these people are straight up criminals who are bad at their jobs (lookin at you, Manafort). Turns out, though, that a lot of this behavior can be traced back to the mess that is law school, the high stress of practicing law, and the proclivity for perfectionists with already-clinical anxiety levels to choose the legal profession. Luckily, there's a growing movement of lawyers and law schools that are at least attempting to take on the difficult conversations around mental health in a profession that is notoriously hard-headed and slow to change. This info is not meant to scare you away from law school. Knowing all this will help you prepare for the storm of very unexpected emotions headed your way. Here are some helpful tools to have in your mental health kit from day one.

CDA 230: Why You Should Care

Thursday, February 14, 2019

It's Valentine's Day but instead of spending the whole day staring into the eyes of your loved one(s) maybe take a moment to learn about section 230 of the Communications Decency Act: a trash piece of legislation that gives near total immunity to content-hosting websites, allowing for widespread dissemination of revenge porn while simultaneously endangering sex workers from sea to shining sea. How could one measly statute do so much at once?? Why through the brazenly obtuse magic of the United States Congress, of course!

Law School Survival Series: Should You Go to Law School?

Thursday, February 7, 2019

So you think you want to go to law school, eh? Now that the recession feels like a somewhat distant memory and we have an orange turd wreaking havoc and promoting human rights abuses from the White House, law school enrollment is up for the first time in a decade. That means more and more of you are deciding it's worth taking three years off from work and upwards of $200k in debt to get that fresh shiny JD and a chance to save the world. In the first installment of Pro Se's Law School Survival Series, let me give you a few tools to help you decide whether or not you should take the plunge.

How to Try a Serial Killer

Thursday, January 31, 2019

On January 24th, Netflix dropped a new docuseries called Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, which delves into hours of recorded interviews with Bundy while he was on death row and chronicles the back story of the serial killer and some of the women he victimized. I personally have yet to get through the whole thing because I've needed to take mental health breaks every other episode. Mercifully, Netflix has also released a new batch of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt episodes which are truly the antithesis of the Bundy series.

Amidst the drama of Bundy's escapes, crimes, and trials, some basic criminal law details get left out. I've been asked to take a step back and look at the logistics behind putting someone on trial who's committed crimes in multiple states and is wanted by the FBI and multiple state law enforcement agencies. What follows is a crash course on how to try a serial killer.

Princess Nokia v. Ariana Grande: Who Would Win That Infringement Case?

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Ariana Grande has been dropping banger after banger but her latest "7 Rings" has come under scrutiny after rapper Princess Nokia called her out for stealing the flow of her song "Mine." I'm not really interested in celebrity squabbles but I love music, and potential infringement cases are always fun to weigh in on since everyone has a different idea of what sounds "the same." What your ears may hear and what a federal judge has to say about it are two very different things. Let me break it down for you.

Related Posts