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Thursday, January 09, 2014

A Plea for Stories...

This post is on behalf of a friend who's interested in writing a law school-based novel. (I swear it's not me; most people who know me know that I endure fiction as well as I do cats.)

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In the wake of all of the media attention on law schools, a Prawf has decided that it’s time for this generation’s epic law school novel.  This Prawf has no interest in writing another Paper Chase (too mean), 1L (too narcissistic) or Legally Blonde (too ditzy).  No, this Prawf wants to tell a tale about what law school’s really like – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
AuthorPrawf is seeking your assistance and wants to hear from you about the following questions:
1)       What was your very best experience in law school? It could be the time you got an A on an exam you thought you’d bombed, or the time you answered a question in class that no one else got, or the guest speaker who motivated you, or the great locker assignment you had 3L year.  The sky’s the limit!  The more specific, the better.  If you can tell a vivid story, you get five gold stars.
2)      What was your very worst experience in law school?  Was it getting humiliated in class?  Getting beat in the first round of moot court?  Getting kicked out of your study group?    The more specific, the better.  If you can tell a vivid story, you get five gold stars.
3)      Do you have any really funny stories of stuff that happened to you in law school?
4)      As a law prawf, what is the most amusing story you have to tell about an interaction with a student?  Do you have an email string or anything you can share?
5)      As a law prawf, have you ever dealt with an honor code issue?  Can you share details?  (Obviously, many facts would be changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty.)
If you are willing to share, AuthorPrawf will gladly give you credit in the book.  AuthorPrawf will also pick the very best story shared and offer a reading at your school after publication – AuthorPrawf will even pay travel expenses.  Law prawfs in Malibu, Boulder, Miami, and other awesome destinations, please apply.
This could be a really fun thread, so please post your stories here if you’d like.  If your law school experience was so humiliating that you just can’t post it (even anonymously among friends), email AuthorPrawf at authorprawf@gmail.com.  AuthorPrawf is a law prawf and a lawyer and promises to hold all stories in strict confidence unless permission is given to use them in the book (with names and identifying details changed).

Posted by Dan Markel on January 9, 2014 at 01:47 PM in Blogging | Permalink

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You're asking law professors for an "amusing" "email string or anything you can share" between themselves and a student? Asking them to "please post" these email strings in a blog comment section because it could make for "a really fun thread," or pass them along to some anonymous law professor on gmail if they "just can't post" them publicly? And if a professor shares a really amusing email string, he just might be rewarded for his discretion with a public acknowledgement in this "novel" (which apparently is less a novel than a potpourri of true-life crowdsourced stories) and a reading at that professor's law school? And even if the email string isn't a winner, you might copy that email string into your novel, which the very student who thought he was confidentially emailing his professor may one day read and recognize, even though you've comfortingly changed his name and certain other identifying details? Other than that, this sounds like a really dismal novel. The reason that novels like Paper Chase exist is that the actual quotidian experiences of law school you're so interested in, e.g. the time someone did well on an exam they thought they bombed, the time they had a shaky or stellar class participation experience, are not very interesting - certainly not to the non-lawyer population, and not even to most law students themselves. So law school novels tell stories about sadistic professors who don't exist in real life, or grossly exaggerate how difficult law school is, or create protagonists who are in comical juxtaposition to the law school setting (although Elle Woodses can be found in law schools, both good and bad).

Posted by: Anon | Jan 9, 2014 4:34:41 PM

Not a law prof, but:

1) What was your very best experience in law school?

Road tripping to another state for a playoff game.

2) What was your very worst experience in law school?

Journal work, generally. Just absolutely awful.

3) Do you have any really funny stories of stuff that happened to you in law school?

Nope.

4) As a law prawf, what is the most amusing story you have to tell about an interaction with a student?

Not a law prof, unfortunately.

5) As a law prawf, have you ever dealt with an honor code issue? Can you share details? (Obviously, many facts would be changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty.)

See no. 4.


Crap, I'm boring.

Posted by: Tony RaLussa | Jan 10, 2014 12:47:30 AM

Once I was surfing the Internet and I came across a threat at Prawfs looking for great law school stories so some unknown person could use them for a book.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Jan 10, 2014 3:47:55 PM

"thread," that is.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Jan 10, 2014 3:48:19 PM

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