Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Judge cites Wikipedia page in decision

I know. It's crazy. In law school, we're taught to pay attention our citations and make sure that we're cited credible sources. Then a Appeals Court judge pens a decision and cites a transient page from Wikipedia as an authority. I have to wonder: is he just ignorant that anyone can alter Wikipedia pages on a whim or does he actually think the content on Wikipedia pages are authoritative?

The Register, a great source of news, published this article that alludes to the decision. Here's an excerpt:
Judge Rushing cites Wikipedia as a source, a mistake which earns students an 'F' grade today. He talks about the need to disregard economics and sociology in favor of a "memetic marketplace" - whatever that is - and allows himself some flights of technological rapture.
I agree with the sentiment but I disagree with the punishment. Any student who hands in a paper that cites a Wikipedia page as a source should get be severly penalized but I don't think it necessarily and absolutely warrants an "F".

Lawyerly News & TTC Strike

A British news site dedicated to lawyers offers a few headlines every week. The news they select tends to be humourous & law-related - right up my alley. For example, this week's headlines include:
Revealed: the worst law firm website
College of Law caught poaching students
The Lawyer v Legal Week rebrand - YOU decide the winner
In other news, all Torontonians know that the TTC (our subway/bus/streetcar system) was shut downn yesterday due to a labour strike. I was reading the paper this morning and one (lawyery) tidbit stuck out. In the timeline of events, it was the TTC lawyer, Michael Kenneday, who was given the task of delivering the legal order not to walk off the job - at 4:00AM. It was unsuccessful as the recipients were purportedly in "hiding" but he tried.

The story reminded me of an insight that, I assume, all summer students and all articling student know well: not all the tasks assigned to lawyers are glamourous or intellectually stimulating. In fact, much of what we do - the business of law - is mundane and tedious.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Article: Student Punished for Blog Content

A high school student in Chicago is being expelled for the content on his blog, reports the Chicago Sun-Times today.
Superintendent John Harper, who cannot comment on student cases, said the district will take action if it believes there is a safety issue. Meanwhile a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union said school districts must be careful not to discipline students on matters that occur outside school. The student's attorney believes Plainfield School District is overstepping its boundaries.
Based on the article, it seems like they're over-reacting. Blog on.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Long weekends and free evenings

I have to admit, I've been going a bit stir-crazy these last few weeks. It feels odd to leave the office and not have any more work to do. I suppose I have been so accustomed to spending my evenings & weekends reading or preparing for class that this newfound freedom still feels like an untailored suit.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Revamp your resume

There are probably hundreds (if not thousands) of websites that will give you advice on building your resume. I hope your local Career Services Officer is as good as ours (especially our former-CSO-who-is-still-helping-students-on-career-decisions). If not, there are many other sources of help.

Personally, I like the resume advice provided by Legal Aid Ontario. It is geared for lawyers. It is funny. And it is comprehensive. Check it out.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Trends in the Legal Profession

The newest issue of National Magazine (published by the Canadian Bar Association) has a feature article on Trends in the Legal Profession. If you're a member, it was sent to your mailbox. If you're not, you can access the article online in digital format.

The editors of the magazine would really appreciate your feedback on the content of the issue, and the magazine in general. Here's a short survey to help them out.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

From Student to Worker

Over the last few weeks, I have:
  • finished my exams
  • handed in my remaining paper
  • moved from Kingston to Toronto
  • relaxed on the west coast, and
  • started a new job
My first mistake was leaving my law textbooks in Kingston. I figured that I wouldn't need them over the summer. Silly me. In my first week, I could have used my Contracts textbook and my Criminal Law text. Thankfully, the (modest) library at work had alternative texts available.