Monday, October 18, 2004

Pet Peeve

Originally uploaded by me....
OK. The renovations of the law school look great, but why didn't they include more washrooms? Just my pet peeve. ;)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Annoying Bloggers

If you haven't already noticed, another law school blogger has called it quits. The Mistress of the "Canadian Law School Admissions Wire," a.k.a. Layla, has given up her title to her bit of vitual real estate. If you try to access her site you will see the infamous:
Not Found

The requested URL was not found on this server. Please visit the Blogger homepage or the Blogger Knowledge Base for further assistance.

From what I remember, Layla ended up actually choosing Queen's over her other choices, so, presumably, she is actually here with me. Hmmmmm. Hopefully she didn't give it up because of this site. If you search for Canadian blogs relating to law there's actually not much out there anymore. The author of the oldest one, The Tiger in Winter, dropped out of law school. Of the five others that he has on his site, two died, and one hasn't been updated since 08/10. That only leaves me and Mel (in New Brunswick). Layla, if you feel so inclined, there seems to be plenty of room out here. :) At the very least it was nice having the site up for archival purposes; who knows, maybe students of the Class of 08 (09, 10, etc) would scour the site for insight. Why kill it?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Class Personality

According to some members of the Class of 2006, my class is too serious. Apparently, we are not getting kicked out of enough bars, getting drunk too seldom, leaving clubs too early, and, in general, acting too mature. Apparently, law school students have a reputation to uphold, and the Class of 2007 is not perpetuating the legacy.

I'm not going to comment on the appropriate behaviour of law school students. My interest is in class dynamics, or, as I have titled this entry: Class Personality. It strikes me as odd that the above comments can hold for a group of about 160 adults. After all, shouldn't this sample size be large enough to include a proportionate number of so-called "nerds" and so-called "jocks" that the ratios within our class are pretty much the same as other classes? (BTW, I have no idea if "jock" came from Queen's, but the sports arena here is called "Jock Hardy Arena.)

My own answer is that despite the class size, dominant characteristics do emerge that might be described as "personality traits." I experienced this as a teacher with my students. I taught classes of about 40 students and it was blatantly obvious the differences between one class and another. Then, on a larger scale, the grades (sample size of about 200 students) also appeared distinct from each other. I have no idea why this is. If any Psyche majors are reading: is this a well-documented phenomenon? I'm thinking it might hold similar roots as the Stockholm Syndrome - after a period of time we all start to empathize with one another. Who knows.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Rate Your Profs (before they rate you!)

OK. We are officially past the one month mark. It feels like much longer, but actually it has been just over 4 weeks since we started classes. I can hardly believe it. Anyhow, here's a site where you can rate your professors (or just see how they've been rated). To find just the profs in law, simply click on "Department" and then click L for "Law." ;)

Have a Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Want a Gmail account?

As you may have seen on the top right, you may contact me using my email account: queenslaw at If you aren't aware, Gmail is Google's exclusive email service. You can only receive a Gmail account by invitation. An entrepreneurial student from McGill created where folks can put up offers for a Gmail account. Earlier this year, Gmail made news because it offers 1 Gigabyte of space online for each member. It's really nice when you want to send 10 MB attachments to your friends.

Anyhow, I'm giving away 5 Gmail accounts. If you're interested, please send me an email answering one (or more) of the following questions:

How can I improve this site?
What is the best piece of advice you received before you entered law school?
What websites are most helpful to you (related to law)?

Keep in mind that I reserve the right to post answers to the questions above on this site (anonymously). The 5 best answers, based on my subjectivity, will receive Gmail accounts.

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Law Blogger calls it quits

I just got an email from a blogger from Fredericton, who has given up on her chunk of cyberspace. She had a blog called Life, Love and Law School (great name, eh?) where she would give a candid account of movies she was watching, stuff she was learning, etc. She also gave rave reviews of Fredericton and the people she met. (Hell, after reading some of her praise I was thinking that I should check it out!) Alas, her studies have won out. Good luck to you!

On another note, check out this site for alternative uses for your Mac once it eventually dies. And when I say "eventually," I mean it. A friend of ours in the States still uses her Mac IIe. I think it's about 12 years old or something.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Getting Involved

Here's the crux: to get the job you want after law school you will need good grades, but profs use the bell-curve for the class so most of us will get Bs. So to stand out from the other Bs you need something besides grades, i.e. you need to volunteer and get involved. So the question becomes: what volunteer positions/ activities will make you stand out while not eating up too much study time? There is no easy answer.

At Queen's, there is an abundance of volunteer opportunities, clubs, and teams to gnaw away at your time. (There is also a constant barrage of social commitments, just in case you had any spare time beyond the obligatory and the non-obligatory stuff.) The school provides some (eg. QLA), former students have created others (eg Pro Bono), there are clubs, sports teams, and quite honestly, I'm probably not even aware of all the possibilities. Here's a run-down of the main ones:

Queen's Legal Aid (QLA). QLA selects about 55 volunteers each year from the 1st years and 2nd years. Each volunteer is assigned to an upper year group leader and a case. Depending on how long each case will take, volunteers will deal with one, two, or more cases during the school year. The huge benefit of volunteering with QLA is two-fold. First, you work directly with clients who you see from the beginning of the case to its resolution. Second, you work under a lawyer who guides you along the way - and, ultimately, it is the lawyer who takes responsibility for the case (if anything should go awry).

Pro Bono. QLA's organizational counterpart is Pro Bono. Pro Bono is a student-run group that works with organizations to help them with their legal problems. And, it's pro bono, so you don't get paid.

Queen's Law Journal. If you recall from OneL, a coveted volunteer position in law school is with the Law Journal. With one volume published annually, volunteers work on checking citations, editing text, and reading over submissions. Honestly, I'm not that sure what goes on with the QLJ, but if I found out more I'll keep you posted.

LSS - There are a lot of positions open if you're interested in the Law Students Society. For us first years, I believe there are 8 positions up for grabs right now. This past week, they've been plastering the notice boards with material. Yesterday they gave their speeches and we'll vote tomorrow and Thursday.

Clubs - There are tons of them. If you don't get into anything else, or if you're just not interested in anything else, I'm sure you can find a club that suits you. I would like to get involved in the International Law Club, but I'll have to see how much time I have.

Study Groups - The dates for our finals are set, so I'm assuming that most of us will start meeting in study groups soon.

I'm guessing that my volunteer commitments will take up a lot of time, so I'm trying to minimize everything else (besides academics, of course).

A bientot,

Friday, October 01, 2004

Another Switcher

More good news today: my fiancée’s mother just bought a Mac. Chalk up another switcher. In a way, this is the result of another debate. On one side, she has a husband with a desktop PC (Acer, I think) and a daughter with a laptop, an IBM ThinkPad. On the other side, she has a daughter with a Mac and a future son-in-law with a Mac.

Over the last 2 years, we have been raving about our Macs. The biggest problem we've had is that the antenna on my internal WiFi card wasn't fully extended so I wasn't getting a good signal. I took it into the (beautiful) Apple store in Soho, New York and they fixed it on the spot. It took about 15 mins and cost zilch.

On the Wintel side, the desktop at home has been plagued by one problem after another. A few months after they booted it up, the problems started. It will turn itself on in the middle of the night, by itself. (They now shut it down and physically unplug the machine to prevent this problem.) They paid a tech guy to come in and look at it, but he couldn't find the problem. Of course, he walked away with a nice wad of cash. And then they got a virus. And then Windoze's settings got all screwed up and they couldn't find the one little box that was checked that shouldn't have been checked. Et cetera. On the laptop front, the problems continue. I don't know how many hours I have wasted trying to fix the PCs I have owned over the years. And by "fix," I also include the hours installing the countless Service Packs that Microsoft sends out, which are essentially fixes, and the time rebooting after a dreaded blue screen. (Awesome link Denise.)

There is a law school student that brings a Mac to class that is about 7 years old. Do you know anyone still using a 7 year old PC? No! Of course not. Why? Because they have built-in obsolescence. (Great story in the The Economist to back me up on this, BTW.) Wintel's growth projections depend on your computer breaking down so that you have to go buy a new one. Apple, I believe, is more interested in created a good product.

Anyhow, I'll let some other guys have the last word on this one.
What is the average lifespan of a laptop?
stnnotop 06-24-2003
The reason I ask is, I know 3-4 people who all have Dell laptop's, and they have all turned into giant piles of shit. The keyboards all have problems, the LCD sometimes doesn't work, and they run like crap. I know if htey reload the OS, it will probalby run better, but as far as hardware goes, what should you expect out of a laptop? Are dell's quality subpar, or is it inline with the rest of the industry?
juanvaldes 06-24-2003
Every single person I know who has had a Dell laptop has had some major problem with them.

Polls: Kerry defeated Bush - OH YEAH!

The polls have spoken: Americans voted overwhelmingly in favour of Kerry after the first debate.

Here are the numbers:

Kerry - 78
Bush - 18

Kerry - 70
Bush - 30

Kerry - 45
Bush - 36

Kerry - 43
Bush - 28

Kerry - 53
Bush - 37

I will sleep well tonight.