Empire State Plaza

I mentioned yesterday that I won’t be taking the bar exam in the Pepsi Arena in Albany. Instead I’ll be taking it at the Empire State Plaza. I’ve never been to Albany, so naturally I might not know about this place. After doing a little research, I’m come to the conclusion that the Empire State Plaza is the pulsating central administrative brain that controls all of New York State. It’s part Pentagon and part Death Star – four identical skyscrapers lined up next to a giant concrete egg.
Underneath the plaza is a labyrinth of airport-like tunnels and, apparently, conference rooms. This is where I will take the NY bar exam. Check out this photo tour.

Bar Exam Logistics

wallet on a scaleAs the BarBri bar exam class draws to a close, it’s becoming clear that the bar exam is indeed real and not just the confusing nightmare I was hoping to wake up from at any moment. Actual logistical preparations are now taking place:
The Democratic National Convention is happening at the same time as the bar exam in Boston. I keep hearing reports on the news about how bad it will be. By “bad” I think they mean crowded. Crowded I can handle. The way it’s presented on TV you’d think a tornado warning had just been declared. When I ask people about this, they mention the fact that many of the roads will be closed. Well sure, that will certainly cause a bit of a mess. I’m completely confused as to how the closing of roads will facilitate transportation to and from the convention. Maybe I just don’t understand what the DNC is all about.
Time will tell, but not for me. I’ll be busy being examined in beautiful Albany, NY for the first couple days of the convention. Seat assignments are in and I’m happy not to have been placed in the Pepsi Arena on a football field (see here). “The New York bar exam is brought to you by… Pepsi. Take the Pepsi Challenge!”
In fact you’d be allowed to have a Pepsi at the exam as long as it’s smaller than 20 fl. oz. When I first read this 20 oz. requirement (I added the “fl.”) I thought it referred to the maximum permitted weight of one’s wallet (my brain mis-processed the two column layout – it was late). It didn’t seem that outlandish that the bar examiners would limit the permissible weight of one’s wallet considering the specificity of the other requirements and the seriousness of the bar exam. My wallet weighs in at 4 oz. I think you’d have to be (1) rich or (2) blatantly cheating to need to bring a 20 oz wallet to the bar exam, but it turns out there is no explicit rule against having such a hefty bulge in your pants.

Owning Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry’s architecture brings fame and controversy to any city whose residents can afford him. I love Gehry’s buildings, but I have to wonder how much of the draw is just the Gehry brand. Would a crazy twisted-metal museum be as exciting if it was designed by Joe Architect?
Introducing the Gehry Superlight Chair: For a mere $350 you can bring a Gehry not only into your neighborhood, but into your home. It’s a decent looking chair, but would anyone care (or pay) if it were just one of many new styles available from Ikea?

Legal Reality Show Face Off

A couple days ago, NBC announced auditions for a new David E. Kelly legal reality show. This one sought experienced lawyers to argue real cases, and sounds to me like it will be much more tasteful than Fox’s earlier announced “The Legal Show“.
“The Legal Show” sought first year associates at big firms to compete for “a prestigious job”. I can’t figure out why anyone would want to quit their big firm job (which is already at least somewhat prestigious and probably high paying) to try to get another (probably very similar job), but Fox has apparently narrowed their search criteria. They’re now requiring that applicants be female “with above average looks.”

Law Firms Recruit with Junk Food

bar exam recruiting giftThere are lots of companies that print logos and brands on otherwise generic products to help spread corporate messages through molded plastic junk. At least one such company knows law firm recruiting departments comprise a big class of potential customers. For creative ways to spend that recruiting budget, Big Frey Promotional Products offers a variety of cups, pens, and toy balls. Such products help ensure that a firm hires only the most competent future lawyers.
To maintain a candidate’s positive image of the firm after acceptance of the offer, the firm may wish to follow up with one of several exam support care packages. The Classic Exam Survival Kit packages together about $5 worth of junk food and bills the firm $25. That’s all fine and dandy for regular exams, but to get through the bar exam you’re going to need a little more. The Classic Bar Exam Survival Kit contains almost all the same items, but includes one notable addition: Advil.
If you happen to be legal recruiting professional, I suggest that nothing will make as big an impression on candidates than a new tortfeasor shirt.

Is Kozinki a Cutie?

The 9th Circuit’s Judge Kozinski has been known for writing the more colorful of legal opinions. My first exposure to Kozinski’s writing was Andrews v. United Airlines:

We are called upon to determine whether United Airlines took adequate measures to deal with that elementary notion of physics – what goes up, must come down. For, while the skies are friendly enough, the ground can be a mighty dangerous place when heavy objects tumble from overhead compartments.

You just can beat an intro like that… or can you?. If you think Kozinski is funny when on the bench, imagine what he’s like when he’s not bogged down by, you know, applying the law. What if Kozinski were to write a letter to gossip magazine? It would probably look something like this. (via bgbg)