Andrew Sinclair
law school

law school

BU's Professor Pettit on NPR

+ (November 15, 2007)

My law school contracts professor, Mark Pettit, was on NPR yesterday for his (now famous) singing. I had the honor of supporting Professor Pettit on electric guitar back in 2003.... more

I'm hoping that Law School Discussion is fixed. There has been an exceptionally high amount of traffic lately, and the server was in need of some optimization. Over the last two weeks I've implemented lots of upgrades. Most importantly, I... more

For those trying to use Law School Discussion today, I'm doing some maintenance and it will probably be several hours (by Saturday late afternoon / evening) before the pre-law forum is running again. The Students area is working, so try... more

Despite some recent technical problems, the Pre-Law Board of Law School Discussion is about to hit 1,000,000 posts.... more

Did BAR/BRI Overcharge?

+ (December 4, 2005)

In today's New York Times: Are Lawyers Being Overbilled for Their Test Preparation? Stan Chess doesn't say much about the article on his blog, but he does have a link to the complaint [pdf], and a previous post on the... more


+ (October 26, 2005)

LSD is a lot of things to a lot of people. To me and thousands of law school applications, it's Law School Discussion, a site which I run. By popular demand, it's time for a general LSD t-shirt - updating... more

BU Obnoxious Boss

+ (June 23, 2005)

Apparently BU Law provides great training for obnoxious bosses (free reg. required). (thanks Bill)... more

Half-Million Pre-Law Posts

+ (May 11, 2005)

Law School Discussion's prelaw message board reaches 500,000 posts.... more

Student Loan Letters

+ (April 21, 2005)

A note to student loan consolidators: I have already consolidated my loans. You can stop sending your letters. I get a ridiculous amount of mail from student loan consolidation companies seeking to cash in on my the fact that I... more

The 2006 US News Law School Rankings have been leaked. BU rises to number 20. I don't take the rankings that seriously, but it is nice to see my school climbing. I'm not that convinced of the 89.3% employed-at-graduation rate... more

Why Should a School Support Blogs

+ (February 1, 2005)

Cathy Gellis, a BU law student and blogger asked for my opinion of whether the BU law school should support a blogging infrastructure like Harvard's. I thought I'd answer that here rather than in an email. I think every school... more

Extra! Extra! Former BU law school dean marries former BU student, and they start a practice together. More in the NYT Wedding Announcements.... more

LSAT Madness

+ (October 5, 2004)

When I took the LSAT in 2000, I took it alone. I didn’t know anyone else that was even contemplating law school, and I had to have some friends drive me from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles with the understanding... more

The Princeton Review have released their 2005 law school rankings. They stopped doing these for few years and I’m pretty sure this is their first year back. Before the hiatus, Boston University had come in first-place for best faculty for... more

It’s always a little bit amusing to me when I hear about law students suing their law schools. It’s the perfect paradox: they teach us to find legal causes of action, but we find a cause of action in that... more

Moving Servers (again)

+ (August 22, 2004)

Moving servers is a big pain, and Law School Discussion apparently plundered the resources available on my new Cedant server within a couple weeks and has been asked politely to move out within a week. It’s been a mad scramble... more

It’s been two weeks since the first day of the bar exam, and I think I’m fully recovered. Now I’m facing the strange situation of having nothing to do (nothing to study at least), and thus I turn my attention... more

Bar Exam Report

+ (August 2, 2004)

The bar exam is over. It was torture. The studying is one thing, but the exam-day stress and six hours of actual exam taking each day really takes a toll. After three days I was rendered mentally and physically useless,... more

Bar Exam Logistics

+ (July 14, 2004)

As 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... more

There 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.... more

Bar Review Starts

+ (May 26, 2004)

Today was the first day of my $2,400 bar review course. For that amount, I get a massive stack of books and a special badge that allows me to go downtown and watch a video for four hours each day.... more

I Graduated from Law School

+ (May 17, 2004)

I graduated from law school yesterday. Whew – that was a lot of work. It’s nice to be finished, but it doesn’t feel like too big of a deal. There’s still a lot of work to be done (for example:... more

For anyone trying to access Law School Discussion today, the site is down again due to a hard drive failure. Let’s hope it wasn’t Law School Discussion that crashed the server. The hosting company estimates that the site will be... more

Law School Discussion was down for half of yesterday and half of today. It's back up now. There's something of an explaination here.... more

I Am a Lexis Champion

+ (April 13, 2004)

It’s only fitting that Lexis should reward me with 10,000 points for my efforts in determining the true market value of both the Lexis point and the Westlaw point. Actually, this is really a reward for my tireless daily logging-in... more

2005 US News Rankings

+ (April 7, 2004)

Each year my interest in the US News rankings diminishes. I’m not going to analyze ranking importance or anything like that, but to attack US News on a more practical level: Why are they called "2005" rankings when, in fact,... more

First Exam Abroad

+ (March 15, 2004)

I had my first "foreign" law school exam today for my course in Law of the European Communities. It was surprisingly like a law school exam back in the states: Does A have an action? Does X court have jurisdiction?... more

Law School Discussion is launching two new features today. First, there is now a message board for every law school. Traditionally people have been reluctant to use these, except of course for the BU board which I’ve promoted a little.... more

The BU Law Tower is Ugly

+ (March 3, 2004)

This Boston Globe article is quickly making the rounds at Boston University. I really don’t know anything about the matter, and it would be irresponsible of me to comment on the article. I will say though that it is an... more

UVA ExamSoft Article

+ (February 20, 2004)

Virginia Law Weekly, the newspaper for UVA Law School has an article this week on ExamSoft, the popular anti-cheating software used for law school exams. The article (pdf page; pdf issue; archive) includes a mention of my experiences typing the... more

Laptop Exam Report

+ (December 8, 2003)

I took my first laptop exam today. As I mentioned a few times earlier, BU seems to be a little behind the curve in allowing exams to be taken on laptops. First year students were allowed to use laptops last... more

Public Cheating

+ (December 5, 2003)

Exams are fast approaching and I’ll soon by typing away on my ExamSoft-equipped computer. I had argued that law students shouldn’t need such cheat-blocking software, but posts such as this one are making me reconsider my position.... more

1Ls with Moustaches

+ (December 1, 2003)

Check out these 1Ls with moustaches. I can’t help but wonder whether this contest was inspired, at least in part, by a certain BU 3L that has what is probably the most impressive moustache at any law school. Despite any... more

Class Registration Woes

+ (November 13, 2003)

I just got an unsolicited email from “A group of highly motivated BU students.” Informing me that, for the low price of just $3.99 I can have RegAssist notify me of open seats in overbooked classes. Shouldn’t the University be... more


+ (November 8, 2003)

I took the MPRE (Mutistate Professional Responsibility Exam) yesterday at a hotel near the airport. Question 1: Why did I have to take it at a hotel near the airport? Wouldn’t it be a lot more efficient (and less expensive)... more

Textbook Counter-Scam

+ (November 3, 2003)

I wanted to write something about a New York Times article I saw about students importing textbooks from other countries and reselling them in the US. I saw the article last month, but I never got around to reading it... more

Law School Discussion Update

+ (October 27, 2003)

I spent many hours working on Law School Discussion this weekend. I’ve had access to an SQL database on my new server for quite a while, so I thought it was time I finally upgrade a database driven board. The... more

When you think about Lexis and Westlaw points in dollar terms, it becomes pretty clear that they’re essentially worthless. Nevertheless, a few bucks tend to be worth the effort of a few clicks for the average law student. My calculations... more

The Value of a Westlaw Point

+ (October 21, 2003)

Westlaw offers a much more limited selection of prizes than Lexis, but it’s harder to calculate the value of a point because many (most?) of the prizes are not readily available at finer online retailers. Nevertheless, I’ve found a good... more

The Value of a Lexis Point

+ (October 20, 2003)

There are four different types of things that can be purchased with Lexis points: (1) things from Amazon, (2) gift certificates, (3) study guides, (4) other items from Award Cafe. The points have roughly the same value everywhere, but sometimes... more

In a shameless effort to promote use of Lexis and Westlaw amongst law students (so the students will pay a premium for these services later in their professional lives) both companies offer incentives to students in the form of contests... more

Exam Software

+ (September 28, 2003)

Zipsix and Law v. Life have been complaining that the exam software limits the value of an honor code. I think they’re both right to complain. Law students should be trusted and expected not to cheat, and requiring silly software... more

Public Solitaire

+ (September 15, 2003)

It’s a well known fact that somewhere between laptop technology and wireless internet technology, law school classrooms contained a half-circle of green computer screens beaming solitaire to the eyes of all the back-row kids. Indeed this is still the case... more

Your Application Has Been Received

+ (September 13, 2003)

My roommates and I are having some fun reading and comparing the stack of clerkship application response letters we collectively receive each day. I’m surprised at the variance of such letters. Some are merely a handwritten postcard “acknowledging receipt of... more

Tortfeasor Shirts in the Press

+ (August 30, 2003)

Tortfeasor shirts get their first printed press mention this month as the September edition of The National Jurist magazine hits law schools. (Actually, I think the affiliated preLaw magazine was out first, which also contains a mention.) Thanks to both... more

3L Shirt

+ (August 26, 2003)

I had an idea to produce a new t-shirt for law school... but I'm a couple days late with the idea. Thus I give you only a mock-up. Current 2Ls will find this useful around this time next year.... more

Transcript Market Variances

+ (August 24, 2003)

I just paid $7.50 for a transcript that may or may not arrive by the time I need it next week. My law school (Boston University) can deliver ten official transcripts in one day for free (which makes me wonder... more

There are a lot of law school first days coming up (BU starts on Monday). I was amazed to read that a reference to a Tortfeasor shirt has made it into Lonestar’s orientation packet! “You know you’re that guy/girl when... more

BU to Type Law School Exams

+ (August 7, 2003)

Based on what I hear from friends at other law schools (and a certain discussion board), taking an exam a laptop is no unusual thing. BU has been a late adopter, but this year my laptop will replace my roommate’s... more

No Exam for Me Today

+ (July 30, 2003)

I just dropped off a carload of people at the World Trade Center (Boston) for the event of the year: The Massachusetts Bar Exam. Early reports indicate that some New York test takers sat in the middle of an arena... more

Job Search Begins (again)

+ (July 27, 2003)

It’s time once again to begin another job search. Hopefully this one will go a little smoother than my last search, which only ended a couple months ago. It’s amazing how long it takes to do simple things like update... more

Last weekend I wrote and article about applying to law school for law school discussion. I've been getting a lot of emails from people asking for advice, so I thought an article might answer some of the obvious questions ahead... more

The Tuition Effect

+ (July 8, 2003)

I got a bill for law school this week. Tuition: $15,260. If you think that’s expensive, you’re right. If you think it sounds reasonable, consider this… that’s for one (1) semester! Does this mean the whole year will cost more... more

I just finished grading my assigned stack of memos for the writing competition for my journal. Experiencing the other side of the grading process gave me a lot of insight into what goes on behind the scenes in the exam... more

Summer Job Search: Concluded

+ (June 10, 2003)

Tomorrow is the first day of my summer internship. Technically, I’ve been looking for a summer job for over nine months. Of course that’s not all I’ve been doing, there’s always schoolwork, class, exams, the journal, and fun stuff like... more

Law School Bible

+ (June 3, 2003)

The law school bible promises to help you become a lawyer even if you’ve been “rejected by every single school”. Look – if you’ve been rejected by every ABA law school, maybe you should start to think about alternative career... more

Tortfeasor Madness

+ (May 29, 2003)

Well madness might be an overstatement, but a lot of people seem receptive to the tortfeasor shirt idea – and the shirts are selling well. The first orders should be arriving within days. Thanks to Alice, Katherine, Lane, and jd2b... more

Tortfeasor Shirts

+ (May 26, 2003)

Today I’m officially launching a project I’ve been working on: The website is just a place to buy tortfeasor t-shirts. Basically I wanted to make up some tortfeasor shirts, but I wanted quality (none of this iron-on stuff). This,... more

Leiden Bound

+ (May 7, 2003)

I received the good news today that I have been accepted to BU’s study abroad program at Leiden University in The Netherlands. This means I’ll be closing out my law school studies next spring in the land of tulips, wooden... more

11 Down, a Bunch More to Go

+ (April 28, 2003)

I took my eleventh law school exam today. Number twelve happens tomorrow.... more

Law School Mind Melt

+ (April 25, 2003)

The phrase, “Vulcan mind melt” is used way too often in law school. What is a Vulcan mind melt? Is that melting someone's mind or getting inside someone's mind?... more

Third Draft of Journal Note

+ (April 8, 2003)

I handed in the third draft of my “note” yesterday. This paper has been haunting me all year, and will continue to do so until I finally satisfy BU’s “upper-class writing requirement”. I don’t think I should have to do... more

2003 US News Rankings

+ (April 5, 2003)

The new US News Law School rankings came out the other day. Sadly, BU has dropped to #28 (from last year’s #25), but how sadly? I really don’t care that much what US News thinks of BU anymore. Someone yesterday... more

Spring Break Travels

+ (March 8, 2003)

It’s spring break at BU this week, and I’m on a little road trip down and up the East Coast. It’s my “Libraries of the East Tour” because I have to write this paper for Friday. Today’s stop: The Law... more

My first-year Contracts professor has a tradition of singing and reading poems submitted by students about the cases. Yesterday, he invited me to play guitar for his class as he sang. It’s been almost a year since I was in... more

Paper? What Paper?

+ (March 6, 2003)

I think I have encountered the law student’s second worst nightmare (second only to sleeping though an exam). One of my classmates yesterday asked me how my paper was going… what paper? It turns out that there is a draft... more

Legal Follies Closer

+ (February 23, 2003)

Last night was the final night of the Legal Follies show. Musically, I think it was the best of the three nights, but Friday’s (sold out) crowd provided for the most entertaining of the three nights. It was a lot... more

Legal Follies Opener

+ (February 20, 2003)

Tonight is opening night for the “Legal Follies” show. I’ve been practicing guitar for about four days straight, dawn to well after dusk, and trekking through the snow to do so. I was a little surprised to hear that other... more

Interview Poetry

+ (February 13, 2003)

It’s been a busy week. I went home to Seattle for a job interview and a wedding last weekend, and now I’m back in action as an overworked law student. I took a couple hours out last night to check... more

Note, Follies, & Crooked Fingers

+ (January 28, 2003)

It’s been a long day of working on footnotes for my “note” for the Boston University Journal of Science and Technology. Writing a 35-page note is a requirement of all of the journals (as far as I know) so that... more

New Classes

+ (January 8, 2003)

It was a long day, but I think I’ve finally sorted out my schedule for the semester. I’m going heavy on the Intellectual Property courses because they fit my schedule and I think they’ll be pretty interesting. The final lineup... more

Halfway There

+ (December 19, 2002)

I am halfway through law school.... more


+ (December 17, 2002)

Evidence is tomorrow. Evidence has been on my mind for a long time. It'll be nice to put it down on paper and forget it for awhile. It should really only be relevant two times in my life: (1) tomorrow... more

The World of Copyright

+ (December 11, 2002)

One exam down, two exams to go. I celebrated with a pint at Bukowski Tavern, only to be haunted by a flashback to my exam (both Bukowski and the exam featured an newspaper article cut out and mounted for public... more

Santa Lives in Colorado

+ (December 9, 2002)

Apparently, FedEx thinks that Santa Clause has relocated to Snowmass Colorado. At least that’s where they deliver his letters. Santa would have felt right at home in Boston today though. At one point it was 17F. My first exam of... more

Law School Exam Fun Facts

+ (December 8, 2002)

Exams are right around the corner (where the weekend = the corner). I have Copyright Wednesday, another corner, and then Evidence and Administrative Law next Wednesday and Thursday. For those unfamiliar with law school exams, here are a couple things... more

BU Printing

+ (November 12, 2002)

I've been spending a lot of time lately in the BU computer lab. It's not that I don't have my own computer; I have two. It's not that I don't have high speed internet access; I have DSL at home... more

$8 Clicks

+ (November 10, 2002)

I've been working on a draft of a my "note" for the BU Journal of Science and Technology Law all weekend. In the course of my research for the note, which is about FTC regulation of paid listings on search... more

Beacon Hill Tour

+ (October 26, 2002)

The Arts Law Association's Historic Architectural Walking Tour of Beacon Hill was today. I've been planning this event for a few weeks now and it has turned out to be quite a bit of work. I was worried that the... more

Thanks to Westlaw and their "reward points" system, I am the proud owner of a brand new Panasonic cordless phone. The phone is worth a whopping $129, the most expensive phone I've ever owned. What makes it so good? Hell... more

2L v. 1L

+ (September 29, 2002)

Given the choice between the stress of last year (first year of law school) and this year, I'd have to say last year was actually easier. This is horrible news for a first year law student, but I'm done with... more

T-Shirt Design Contest

+ (September 16, 2002)

This T-Shirt Design Contest has stolen my evening. (No, none of the designs are mine.)... more

Smarter Than the Number 10

+ (September 14, 2002)

"On a scale of one to ten, how smart would you say you are?" This and other questions have now been answered. Time to head back to Boston.... more

New Arts Law Association Website

+ (September 9, 2002)

Announcing the launch of the new Boston University Arts Law Association website! I've been working on this here and there, and I'm really happy with the results. The old site was no more complicated, but somehow lacked style - maybe... more

New York Job Fair Report

+ (August 30, 2002)

New York was fun and really strange. There were probably fifty or so employers, each with their own suite in a fancy hotel. Every twenty minutes an appropriately dressed law student would knock on the door of one of these... more

Job Fair Prep

+ (August 28, 2002)

So much to do, so little time. I'm off to New York tonight for a couple interviews tomorrow morning. I haven't researched the firms yet but hopefully I can do that this afternoon. I haven't thought about what I'm going... more

Start of the Semester

+ (August 27, 2002)

Classes have begun and school is off to a busy start. I'm still trying to get a couple books from and other avenues to avoid the insane markups at the "Barnes & Nobel at BU" bookstore. They list used... more

It was orientation day today

+ (August 24, 2002)

It was orientation day today for the Journal of Science and Technology Law (note the updated staff list). It sounds like the Journal is going to be a lot of work, but at least somewhat interesting. Monday is the first... more

San Francisco hasn't changed much since I lived here (it's only been a year). There are some new buses, and the rents seem to be a lot more reasonable. Otherwise it's the same city. The weather is gloomy and cool... more

Clients and 1Ls Emerge

+ (August 5, 2002)

It looks like the flyer for Law School Discussion has finally gone out to all the new BU 1Ls. People are starting to actually use the "Students' and Graduates'" board on that site. It's funny to think back to one... more

Big Selling Law School Book?

+ (August 1, 2002)

Why is a book about law school the number 115 best selling book on the Barnes Noble website? Are there that many people going to law school? The same book is number 148,970 on Amazon. Wierd. Don't be fooled by... more

Job Search Begins

+ (July 30, 2002)

I can't believe it's only Tuesday. This week is going to take an eternity. The deadline for city-specific off-campus job interviews has passed, which means the first "applications" are officially out there now. Wish me luck on getting some jobs!... more

Another update from work... DSL is still down. I called them yesterday and they let me know that, despite everything working fine for six months, I apparently might not have everything hooked up correctly. "Your DSL modem should have its... more

Resume in Palatino

+ (July 15, 2002)

Resumes are no fun. I've spent most of my evening trying to cram those last three lines (you know the ones) onto the one page that will summarize my professional (a-hem!) career-thus-far for my future employment prospects. Jobs are like... more

Professor Lineup

+ (June 10, 2002)

I finally got around to checking my Fall 2002 schedule today. The idea is to sign up for as many classes as possible (six) and then drop whatever you don't want. Otherwise you don't get any alternatives if for some... more

I finally got a chance to watch The Paper Chase last night. The movie follows a student through his turbulent first year at Harvard Law School. Like most popular films about niche topics, this one has a reputation for being... more

Writing Competition Update

+ (May 15, 2002)

I'm a bit under the weather today and it's affecting my ability to study. "Study? I thought this guy was done with law school for the year?" Ah, that's what I thought too, but the writing competition is a major... more

End of First Year

+ (May 12, 2002)

My first year of law school is officially over. The last exam half easy (essay questions) and half impossible (multiple choice). It doesn’t really matter though, the entire year of work is completed, and our grades will be determined without... more

Last 1L Exam

+ (May 9, 2002)

It's the final countdown to my last exam of my first year of law school: Civil Procedure. I was feeling pretty good about it this afternoon after taking last year's exam as a practice test. After arguing about collateral estoppel... more

Law Site Suit

+ (May 7, 2002)

The Contracts exam is now over. It was as difficult as expected so keep your fingers crossed for me. By the time I get the grade it will probably be long forgotten, but then I can pick up my bluebook... more

Looming Contracts Exam

+ (May 6, 2002)

My Contracts exam is less than one day away. (I capitalize "Contracts" to show my respect.) I always liked Contracts. I'd say it was easily my favorite class this year. Still, I'm a bit worried about the exam. The issue... more

Changing Lanes

+ (May 2, 2002)

My Constitutional Law exam is now over and I can go on with my life. Next item on the agenda: tomorrow’s Property exam. I think I’m ready for it so now I’m trying to figure out if I should try... more

Long Exam Part 3

+ (April 30, 2002)

48 hours is too long for an exam. One last look tomorrow morning - then I'm done with Constitutional Law forever.... more

Long Exam Part 2

+ (April 29, 2002)

I'm halfway through my Constitutional Law take-home exam and frankly, it's torture. I'm not going to get into the details but I find it extremely frustrating. (So much so that I had to stop working on it to update this... more

T = -1 day. Tomorrow I pick up my Constitutional Law exam. It's a take home so I'll be subjected to a grueling 48 hours of eat, sleep, and Constitutional Law. Oh yeah!!! It's "limited open book" so I'll be... more

Just Studying

+ (April 25, 2002)

Through sun, rain, and yes, snow, the studying continues. Due to the fact that I have four major exams coming up, I've nothing interesting to share here.... more

Boxing Law

+ (April 19, 2002)

I have been introduced to the great sport of boxing. We had a couple boxing lawyers come talk to us today for the Arts Law Association career panel. I'm really not a fan of boxing, but it was interesting to... more

Last Day of First Year Classes

+ (April 18, 2002)

A long last day of classes - complete with barbecue and annoyingly timed meeting for the Public Interest Project. Unfortunately, the real work is only beginning, as exams are now closer than ever (that's the nature of time, you're always... more

Entertainment Law Conference

+ (April 13, 2002)

The Harvard Law School Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law held their annual Entertainment Law Conference yesterday. I, of course, was there for the entire five hours. To my disappointment, Donald Passman, author of “All You Need to Know About... more


+ (April 11, 2002)

Lawrence Lessig gave a presentation at BU Law today for our annual "Distinguished Lecture". Luckily, my Constitutional Law professor was losing his voice and let the class out an unprecedented 15 minutes early. This allowed me to catch Professor Lessig's... more

Today was the judging for the BU Arts Law Association's "Samuel Postbrief Photo Contest". This year's theme: "Torts Illustrated". Two of us ran around the school this morning posting flyers for the event. We seem to have prompted a school-wide... more

Site of the Week

+ (April 8, 2002)

Well it's a new week and Law School Discussion is no longer the site of the week on The new site of the week is CourtTV. It's cool to see Law School Discussion mentioned along side big commercial sites... more

Site of the Week!

+ (April 3, 2002)

Holy Guacamole! Law School Discussion is the site of the week on! It's like.., US Commision on Civil Rights, ABA Pro Bono, LAW SCHOOL DISCUSSION - the great legal websites of our time... Also - I didn't notice... more

New Law School Rankings Soon

+ (April 2, 2002)

The new US News & World Report Graduate School Rankings come out soon. I have to admit I'm interested to see where Boston University School of Law will rank. What's really interesting though is not the rankings themselves but the... more

I found out today that I will be getting a grant for public interest work over the summer. This is great news. I'm going to be working at the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center of Harvard University. To apply... more