It’s called “should I stay or should I go.”  (words modified)

Hey, Dean, you got to let me know
Should I teach online or no?
If you say furlough will be mine
I’ll go teach live and fall in line
So you got to let me know
Should I teach online or no?

Info, you tease, tease, tease
For info I’m begging on my knees
One day Covid is fine; next it’s back
So if you want me off your back
Dean, come on and let me know
Should I teach online or no?

Should I teach online or no now?
Should I teach online or no now?
If I teach online, there will be trouble
And if I don’t it will be double
So come on and let me know

Your indecision’s bugging me (tu indecisión me molesta)
If I don’t want live, set the class free (Si no quiero en vivo, libera la clase)
Exactly what I’m supposed to do (dígame que tengo hacer)
Don’t you know which pedagogy even fits me? (¿sabes que pedagogía me quedra?)
Come on and let me know (me tienes que decir)
Should I zoom it or is that a no? (¿Debería “zoomiar” o no?)

Should I teach online or no, now? (¿Debo enseñar en línea o no?)
Should I teach online or no, now? (¿Debo enseñar en línea o no?)
If I teach online there will be trouble (Si enseño en línea habrá peligro)
And if I don’t it will be double (Y si no lo hago será doble)
Dean, ya gotta let me know (me tienes que decir)
Should I zoom it or my safety blow? (¿Debería “zoomiar” o ponerme en riesgo?)

Should I zoom it or my safety blow now? (¿Debería “zoomiar” o ponerme en riesgo?)
If I zoom there will be trouble (si uso Zoom habrá problemas)
And if I don’t it will be double (Y si no lo hago será doble)
Dean, ya gotta let me know me (Decana tienes que decir)
Should I zoom it or should I go?

*With apologies to Dr. Seuss


the sun did so shine!

But it was too COVID to play.

so we sat in the house

all that cold, cold, wet day.


i sat there with my dog.

we sat there, we two.

and i said, ‘how i wish

we had something to do!’


too COVID to go out

and too COVID to play ball.

so we sat in the house.

we did nothing at all.


so all we could do was to





and we did not like it.

not one little bit.


and then something on Twitter went BUMP!

how that bump made us jump!

we looked!

then we saw him tweet like a bat!

we looked!

and we saw him!

the lawprof with an originalism blog post—just like that!

and he said to us,

‘why do you sit there like that?’

‘i know it is COVID

and the sun is so sunny.

but we can have

lots of good conlaw fun that is funny!’


‘i know some good games we could play,’

said the lawprof.

‘i know some new tricks,’

said the lawprof just like hat.

‘a lot of good tricks.

i will show them to you.

your boredom will not mind at all if i do.’


then my dog and i

did not know what to say.

our boredom was out of the world

for at least 100 days.


but an ACS prof said, ‘no! no!

make that prof go away!

tell that prof just like that

you do NOT want to play.

he should not be here.

he should not be about.

he should not be here

blogging all that totalitarian spout!’


‘now! now! have no fear.

have no fear!’ said the prof with a spat.

‘my theories are not bad,’

said the prof just like that.

‘why, we can have

lots of good fun, if you wish,

with a game that i call

follow the leader’s morality wish!’


‘put the constitution down!’ said the ACS prof.

‘this is no fun at all!

put it down!’ said the said the ACS prof.

‘i do NOT wish democracy to fall!’

‘have no fear!’ said the prof.

‘i will not let it fall.

Our great leader will hold it up high

Using his morality and all.

with the constitution on one hand!

and his morality in his hat!

but that is not ALL he can do!

said the prof just like that…


‘look at him!

look at him now!’ said the prof.

‘with morality and a dream

we don’t need the originalism scoff!

The leader can hold up TWO books!

My book and the constitution!

and a little morality!

It’s quite the revolution!


but that is not all!

oh, no.

that is not all…


‘look at him!

look at him!

look at him NOW!

it is fun to have executive power

but you have to know how.

i can hold up the constitution

with glorious leader’s morality and make

A perfect society

Without civil liberties take!

i can hold the constitution!

and empower a weak little man!

and look! with my tale

i will get an orange-haired fan!

i get more fans with the fan

as i dunk on the originalism wall!

but that is not all.

oh, no.

that is not all…’


that is what the prof said…

then he fell on his head!

he came down with a bump

from up there on the wall.

and the dog and i,

we saw ALL the things fall!


and the prof came down, too.

he blogged like he was on pot!

“Equality and freedom” he cried

was replaced with “Common good” on the spot!”


“The AAG did it I’m quite sure of that

No Dworkinian arguments were made!”

Said the prof, just like that.

I said, ‘do i like this?

oh, no! i do not.

this is not a good game,’

said pretty much everyone as he lit.

‘no, we do not like it,

not one little bit!’


‘now look what you did!’

said FedSoc to the prof just like that

‘now look at our house!

look at this! look at that!

you sank our constitutional ship,

sank it deep in the lake.

you shook up our planned judicial branch

and you bent our theory, for heaven’s sake.

you SHOULD NOT be here

even when COVID is not.

you get out of this house!’

said the Fedsoc to the prof.



The dominant editorial choice for documents has served its purpose, and we ought to develop a more moral framework of triple spacing.

By Lawprofblawg.  The following is satire, based on Adrian Vermeule’s Beyond Originalism piece in The Atlantic.

In recent years, allegiance to the theory known as single spacing has become all but mandatory for American legal writers. Every justice and almost every judge nominated by recent administrations has pledged adherence this misplaced faith. At the Federalist Society, the influential association of legal conservatives, speakers talk and think of how to eliminate spaces altogether. Even some luminaries of the left-liberal legal academy have moved away from speaking about “two spaces,” “oxford commas,” and “standards of grammatical decency,” and have instead justified their views in terms of not having a typewriter.  One often hears the catchphrase “We are all single-spacers now.”

Single-spacing justifications come in several varieties, but their common core is the view that single spacing was fixed at the time of adjustable fonts. This approach served legal writers well in the hostile environment in which law reviews set page caps and tweeted on Twitter, and for some time afterward.

But single spacing has now outlived its utility, and has become an obstacle to the development of a robust, substantively readable approach to law and literature. Such an approach—one might call it “common-good triple spacing”—should be based on the principles that triple spacing helps direct persons, associations, and society generally toward the common good, and that strong rule in the interest of attaining the common good is entirely legitimate. In this time of global pandemic, the need for such an approach is all the greater, as it has become clear that people aren’t reading sentences so carefully, and creating misunderstanding that are testing legibility.

There are alternatives to triple spacing that have existed throughout history. But circumstances have now changed. The hostile environment that made single spacing a useful rhetorical and political expedient is now gone. Outside the legal academy, at least, legal conservatism is no longer besieged. If President Donald Trump is reelected, some version of triple spacing will become editors’ animating spirit for a generation or more.

Assured of this (due to Russian intervention), law professors ought to turn their attention to developing new and more robust alternatives to single spacing. It is now possible to imagine a substantive moral triple-spacing, not enslaved to the original double-spacing of yesteryear.

This approach should take as its starting point substantive moral principles that conduce to the common good, principles that officials (including, but by no means limited to, judges) should read into the majestic generalities and ambiguities of any writing. These principles include respect for the authority of rule and of rulers, particularly me, in making the determination that we should move to triple spacing; respect for the hierarchies needed for society to function, with me at the top; solidarity within and among families, social groups, and workers’ unions, trade associations, and professions; appropriate subsidiarity, or respect for the legitimate roles of public bodies and associations at all levels of government and society; and a candid willingness to “legislate morality”—indeed, a recognition that all legislation is necessarily founded on some substantive conception of morality, and that the promotion of morality is a core and legitimate function of authority. Such principles promote the common good and make for a just and well-ordered society. And triple spacing is right at the center of these morals.

To be sure, some have attempted to ground an idea of the common good to single spacing, taking advantage of new fonts. Yet that approach leaves editors (who are not the leaders in the previous paragraph) in ultimate control, hoping that single spacing understanding will happen to be morally appealing. I am talking about a different, more ambitious project, one that abandons the defensive crouch of single spacing and that refuses any longer to play within the terms set by single spacer fascists.

Common-good triple spacing is also not legal liberalism or libertarianism. Its main aim is certainly not to maximize individual autonomy or to minimize the abuse of power (an incoherent goal in any event), but instead to ensure that the ruler (me) has the power needed to rule well (get what I want, which is triple spacing). Consider me the philosopher king, knowing what is best for everyone, without any amoral drivers that have defined rulers throughout the centuries. Triple spacing is therefore a moral choice.

Given that it is legitimate for rulers to pursue the common good (and that ruler is me), triple spacing should elaborate subsidiary principles that make such rule efficacious. For example, there should be triple spacing after a colon, semi-colon, and an em dash. Editors must afford broad scope for rulers (me) to promote this common good (whatever I wish).

Common-good triple spacing will favor a powerful ruler (me) over a powerful editorial bureaucracy (law review editors), the latter acting through my principles of morality, no matter how arbitrary. The law reviews will be seen not as an enemy, but as the strong hand of my legitimate rule. We (me and my minions) should be entrusted with the authority to protect the populace from the vagaries and injustices of single spacers, from editors who would exploit the single spacing, and from corporate destruction of legibility. Unions, guilds and crafts, cities and localities, and other solidaristic associations will benefit from the presumptive favor of triple spacing, as will the traditional family; in virtue of subsidiarity, the aim of my absolute, unquestioned editorial rule (me again) will be not to displace these associations, but to help them be read well.

In this sense, common-good triple spacing promises to expand and fulfill, in new circumstances and with a new emphasis, my commitment to promoting the general welfare and human dignity. Overall, legibility will become easier, and editing more openly moral, less tied to tendentious law-office history and endless debates of dubious claims about events centuries in the past about font selection. Single spacing has done useful work (in Twitter only), and can now give way to a new confidence in my authoritative rule for the common good.

I rule.  That’s the point.




Do you sometimes get bored at AALS? Here are some tips for making sure your AALS adventure is as exciting as mine tend to be.

  1. Pronounce New Orleans (“norlans”) in the old French city way. (“New Or-lay-on”). Watch as people come across the room to try to correct you.


  1. Switch badges with someone.   Dare the security people to call you out on it by standing right in front of them.


  1. Register yourself under a pseudonym and fake law school, if possible.


  1. Burst into one of the afternoon panel sessions and ask when the cemetery tour starts.


  1. At any author’s reception, when asked which book you wrote, explain that you wrote a children’s book on international law. Explain that the hard part was the artwork, but you were proud that Elmo used it for the “extraordinary rendition” portion of Sesame Street.


  1. Walk up to any law professor as if they are the most famous person in the word. “OMG, it’s _____. Your work on _____ is absolutely brilliant! Brilliant I say!”


  1. Keep asking where the price scanner is at any book publisher’s kiosk.


  1. If anyone proudly gushes about having met a (famous in their field) law professor, feign ignorance of the person.


  1. When someone is going on for more than 20 minutes about an article he or she wrote that is groundbreaking, have a friend ring your phone. Answer it, and say, “Yes, Mr. President. Excuse me…”


  1. Make up a field of law, and profess to teach a course in it. For example, say you created a course called simply “Law &….” Suggest what you have done is combine topics from Law & Religion, Law & Society, Law & Economics, Law & Culture, etc. into one exciting blockbuster course.


  1. Make up a course based upon a popular TV show. I know people have used Law & Order and the Wire to teach courses, but really go further than that. Sadly, in trying to come up with hilarious examples, I have discovered that people have already used them in courses. International law and Star Trek? Done. Lost? Done. Sigh. A course on Gilligan’s Island and Coase? How about Contract Drafting using Fantasy Island as the Client? Divorce Law on the High Seas: The Love Boat?


  1. In any discussion, list 3 +/- one reason for anything. For example, there are two reasons for this. One, people like the number 3. Secondly, people don’t like four or two reasons for anything. They aren’t so much convinced by two and four seems like too much.


  1. Go to any law school’s reception and, after doing sufficient homework, insist that you are an alum and are upset with the professors when they don’t remember you from classes.


  1. Refer to Bourbon Street as Whiskey Avenue.


  1. If you go on a Ghost Tour start yelling “CASPER! CASPER!” at the top of your lungs. Explain that you were haunted by a friendly ghost in your youth but that the spirit ghosted you.


  1. If you go on a Voodoo tour express disappointment that it wasn’t a tour about the 80s band Wall of Voodoo.


  1. The theme this year is “building bridges.” Bring Legos and try to build one in the exhibit hall before security is called. Bonus points if you play “Like A Bridge Over Troubled Water” on your phone while doing it.


  1. Refer to the Arc of Career program as Arc of the Covenant program.


  1. Walk into any “Deans Program” and yell “Conspiracy! And you’re all in on it!”


  1. Bring oven mitts to any “hot topic” program.


  1. If someone brags about their school, pretend you have never heard of the school. Example, “I’m sorry, where’s Harvard located?”


  1. Go to the AALS House of Representatives Meeting and ask where the AALS Senate Meeting is being held.


  1. Refer to AALS as the Federalist Society conference.


  1. Live tweet sessions that don’t exist with the #AALS2019 hashtag. For bonus points, pretend you are in the future and live tweet with #AALS2020 hashtag.


  1. During a “Breakout session,” try to spin on the carpet. Apologize and say you misread it as a “Breakdance session.”


  1. When asking a question of a panel, tell the panel members that the question and answers are being recorded for quality assurance purposes.


  1. Tell people you aren’t really a law professor. You’re a cancer researcher and just needed to get a break from reality.


  1. As you walk by the bar area, yell loudly, “OMG, OMG, I passed the bar!”


  1.  In front of the CALI booth, start chanting like the cult in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. “CALI-MA! CALI-MA!”


  1. Ask the people at the information desk the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow.


  1. While we’re on a Monty Python theme, pretend to be one of the ushers to any panel. Stop everyone and ask “What is your name? What is your quest?…..”


  1. Find my most recent coauthor and ask him to a) turn in his updated draft and b) stop wearing the same damned thing every damned day. No, seriously.


  1. Register in person and pay for your registration in pennies.


  1. If someone goes on about their paper, ask them if they know what it is like to save a human life. Feel free to discuss in detail if you have.


  1. Keep saying how much fun you’re having at SEALS.


  1. Wear your badge like a bandana on your forehead.


  1. When someone looks at your badge yell “eyes up here!”


  1. Introduce two of your friends who have never met. Say to one, “this is the one I told you about.” Leave.


  1. Play hide and seek with the coauthor who owes you deliverables.


  1. On the environmental field trip, boast about how your state uses clean coal and nuclear power to safe the planet. Bonus for using single-use plastic water bottle.


Have fun, and good luck!

Tired of the same holiday songs, allow me to let you in on my playlist:

  1.  Five Chinese Brothers, The Fruitcake Song.
  2.  Dar Williams, The Christians and the Pagans.
  3. Brave Combo, Must Be Santa.
  4. DBS, Holiday Spirit.
  5. Descendents, Christmas Vacation.
  6. Leon Redbone, Christmas Island
  7. Five Chinese Brothers, Christmas on I-80.
  8. Steve Earle, Christmas in Washington.
  9. Ella Fitzgerald, Santa Clause Got Stuck in My Chimney.
  10. The Kinks, Father Christmas.
  11. Lou Monte, Dominic the Donkey.
  12. The Waitresses, Christmas Wrapping.
  13. Royal Guardsmen, Snoopy’s Christmas.
  14. Joseph Washington Jr., Shopping.
  15. Run DMC, Christmas in Hollis.

Every Who Down in Whoville Liked Meetings a lot… But the Lawprofblawg, Who lived just north of Whoville, Did NOT! LPB hated meetings! The whole academic season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be his head was screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps, that his mood was too uptight. But I think that the most likely reason of all, May have been that his patience was two sizes too small.

Whatever the reason, His patience or his mood, He stood there on meeting Eve, hating meetings with Whos. Staring out from his office with a sour, LPB frown, At the warm lighted hallways around the lawschool town.

For he knew every Admin in Whoville beneath, Was busy now, preparing for a meeting in which he would seethe. “And they’re writing their agendas!” he snarled with a sneer, “Tomorrow is the faculty meeting! It’s practically here!” Then he growled, with his LPG fingers nervously drumming, “I MUST find some way to stop the meeting from coming!”

For Tomorrow, he knew, all the Who faculty peeps, Would wake bright and early. They’d rush to give a speech! And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That’s one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to vote. And they’d vote! And they’d vote! And they’d Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! They would vote on Who-curriculum, and vote down Who-faculty diversity peeps. Which was something LPB couldn’t stand in the least!

And before the vote they’d do something He liked least of all! Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, Would debate together, with cell phones ringing. They’d stand hand-vs-hand. And the Whos would start talking! They’d talk! And they’d talk! And they’d Talk! Talk! Talk! Talk! And the more LPB thought of this Who Meeting, The more LPB thought, “I must stop this whole thing!” “Why, for what seems like fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now!” “I MUST stop this meeting from coming! But HOW?”

Then he got an idea! An awful idea! LPB GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA! “I know just what to do!” LPB laughed in his throat. And he made a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat. And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great LPB trick!” “With this coat and this hat, I look just like Saint Nick!” “All I need is a reindeer…”

LPB looked around. But, since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found. Did that stop the old LPB? No! The LPB simply said, “If I can’t find a reindeer, I’ll make one instead!” So he called Lawprofdawg. Then he took some red thread, And he tied a big horn on the top of his head. THEN He loaded some bags And some old empty sacks, On a ramshackle sleigh And he hitched up old Lawprofdawg to the max. Then LPB said, “Giddap!” And the sleigh started down, Toward the Dean offices while the Whos Lay asnooze in their town.

All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air. All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams about article placement flair. When he came to the first Dean’s office on the square. “This is stop number one,” the old LPB Claus hissed, And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist. Then he slid down the chimney. A rather tight pinch. But, if Santa could do it, then so could LPB. He got stuck only once, for a moment or two. Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue. Where the meeting agendas stacked neatly all in a row.

“These committee agendas,” he grinned, “are the first things to go!” Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant, Around the whole room, and he took every committee meeting agenda! Reports! Power point slides! Proxy ballots! Every addenda! And he stuffed them in bags. Then LPB, very nimbly, Stuffed all the bags, one by one, up the chimney! Then he slunk to the printer. He took the Deans speech! He took the ballots! He took the candidate CVs! He cleaned out the icebox of old alumni reception wine quickly with luck. Why, that LPB even took their last bottle of two buck chuck!

Then he stuffed all that stuff up the chimney with glee. “And NOW!” grinned LPB, “I will stuff up the main agenda, but it will take a push or three!” And LPB grabbed the agenda the size of a tree, and he started to shove, When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.

He turned around fast, and he saw an Admin Who! Dean Cindy-Lou Who, who was Dean for years no more than two. The LPB had been caught by this Who Admin, Who’d stayed at school late to ask money from an alum. She stared at LPB and said, “Santy Claus, why,” “Why are you taking our faculty meeting agenda? WHY?”

But, you know, that old LPB was so smart and so slick, He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick! “Why, Dear Dean,” the fake Santy Claus lied, “in the agenda there’s only one space after a period on one sentence inside.” “So I’m taking it home to my workshop, my dear.” “I’ll fix it up there. Then I’ll bring it back here.”

And his fib fooled the Dean. Then he shook his head, And he got her a stiff drink and into her office she fled. And when Dean CindyLou Who went to her office with her cup, HE went to the chimney and stuffed the agenda up! Then the last thing he took Was the meeting attendance sheet for his fire! Then he went up the chimney, himself, the old liar. On their printers he left nothing but some printed out e-mails for faculty. And the one speck of info that he left in the school’s Dean Suite, Was a crumb that was even too small for a committee meeting.

Then He did the same thing To other law school agendas for meetings leaving crumbs of info much too small for even a committee meeting—no matter how fleeting. It was quarter past dawn… All the Whos, still a-bed, All the Whos, still asnooze When he packed up his sled, Packed it up with their agendas! The handouts! The trappings! The CVs! And the reports! The addanda! All things meeting crappy! Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit, He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!

“PoohPooh to the Whos!” he was some Adele humming. “They’re finding out now that no meeting is coming!” “They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!” “Their mouths will hang open a minute or two, Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry BooHoo!” “That’s a noise,” grinned LPB, “That I simply MUST hear!”

So he paused. And the LPB put his hand to his ear. And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low. Then it started to grow. But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry! It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!

He stared down at Whoville! LPB popped his eyes! Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise! Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, Were in a meeting! Without any agendas at all! He HADN’T stopped the meeting from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same! And LPB, with his feet ice-cold in the snow, Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?” “It came with out reports! It came without video lags!” “It came without agendas, addenda or alumni mags!” And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.

Then LPB thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe a meeting,” he thought, “doesn’t have to be a bore.” “Maybe meetings…perhaps…mean a little bit more!” And what happened then? Well…in Whoville they say, That the LPB’s small patience level Grew three sizes that day! And the minute his patience didn’t feel quite so light, He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light, And he brought back the agendas! And the reports for the meeting!

But he, HE HIMSELF! Was not to be seen at the meeting!

(sung to tune “Music of the Night,” Phantom of the Opera).

Night time sharpens, heightens each sensation
Darkness wakes and stirs star pagination
Silently work’s senses abandon their defenses
Helpless to resist the class notes I write
For I am a composed law student of the night

Slowly, gently night class unfurls it’s splendor
Grasp it, sense it, coffee in a tumbler
Studying is believing, work can be deceiving
We work Hard as lightening, read by candlelight
You can trust the law students of the night

Close your eyes as your prof seeks to tell his truth
and the prof isn’t what you want to see
In the dark it is easy to pretend
That 8 hours of sleep is what it ought to be

Softly, deftly, the law shall caress you
hear it, fear it, secretly possess you
Open up your mind, let your outlines unwind
In this darkness which you know you must try to fight
The darkness of the reading of the night

Close your eyes, and you’ll start a journey to a strange new world
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before
Close your eyes and get the sleep you need
Three hours later, more reading (I’m on call, you see?)

Floating, falling, sweet intoxication
Friday, Sigh day, savor each libation
But then Saturday begins, your darker side gives in
To the power of the course outline that you must write
The power of the law student of the night

I alone can make the final take flight
I am a law student of the night


Thinking about this as I think about law review submissions:

“Wherever the circumstances or traditions of life lead to an habitual comparison of one person with another in point of efficiency, the instinct of workmanship works out in an emulative or invidious comparison of persons. …In any community where such an invidious comparison of persons is habitually made, visible success becomes an end sought for its own utility as a basis of esteem. Esteem is gained and dispraise is avoided by putting one’s efficiency in evidence.”

*Sung to tune Hotel California by the Eagles

In a dark deserted library, cool AC in my hair

Warm smell of avocado toast, rising up through the air

Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light

My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim

I had to stop studying for the night.


The Barbri rep stood in the doorway;

I heard the elevator bell

And I was thinking to myself

‘The Cal Bar could be heaven or it could be Hell’

Then she lit up a video and she showed me the way

There were voices down the corridor,

I thought I heard them say


Welcome to the Bar Exam in California

Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)

Such a lovely pace.

Plenty of room at the Bar Exam in California

Two times per year (two times per year) you can find us here


Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she’s the rep Barbri sends

She got a lot of pretty, Barbri books, she shares with friends

How they cry in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat

Some cry “I can’t remember,” some cry “I must not forget.”


So I called up the Barbri Rep,

‘Please let this be my last time’

She said, ‘we haven’t had such a low bar passage rate here since the beginning of time’

And still those voices are calling from far away,

Wake you up in the middle of the night

Just to hear them say”


Welcome to the Bar Exam in California

Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)

Such a lovely pace.

They livin’ it up at the Bar in California

What a bad surprise (what a bad surprise), a rejection letter lullaby


Staring at the ceiling,

The double latte on ice

A bar prepper said, ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’

And in the Cal Supreme Court chambers,

They gathered for a feast

They could have stabbed it with their steely knives,

But they decided not to kill this beast


Last thing I remember, I was

Running for the border

I had to find the bar passage rate that had a better scorer

‘Relax’ said the Barbri rep,

‘Cal Bar is programmed to deceive.

You can’t pass any time you like,

But you can always leave!’

When you’ve been in this business long enough, every movie plot sounds like something you’ve experienced or seen.  Here’s a sample:

The Devil Wears Prada – Delightful story about what it is like to be a secretary to a law school faculty member.

Lawrence of Arabia – Newbie Dean tries to unite a factional faculty.

Apocalypse Now – Story of a faculty candidate attempting to engage in curriculum reform, put up against a more senior faculty member.

Gladiator – Story of a faculty member who was a favorite of the old dean.  The old dean is ousted.  Under the new evil dean, our hero is forced to do battle with faculty members until he is able to oust the evil dean.

Hidden Figures – The story of a group of admissions staff having to battle faculty and a dean to successfully bring in a entering class for U.S. News Rankings purposes.  Ultimately, they get no credit.

Wonder Woman – Story of an embattled female dean who eventually has to take on her Provost while a group of white men naysay her the whole way.  I’ve written about this before.

Dead Poet’s Society – Story of a professor who teaches subjects in a manner that violates ABA rules, despite emphasis on experiential learning. Also, he’s later denied tenure despite stellar teaching evaluations.

The Martian – Story of the isolation everyone who has written a dissertation feels.

Hunger Games – I don’t need to tell you. It’s about faculty hiring.

Psycho – story of that one faculty member who seemed normal until he got tenure.

Full Metal Jacket – the first portion of the movie is about an abusive associate dean and a new faculty member the associate dean didn’t want hired.

V for Vendetta – Story of that one faculty member who cares about faculty governance in a school where the faculty…don’t.

The Wizard of Oz – story of a failed Dean search, with committee members occasionally harassed by the Provost.

Zelig – Story of that one faculty member who manages to agree with everyone all the time.

Ratatouille – Story of a Dean who refuses to give any credit to his hard-working and innovative staff.

The Fugitive – Story of the lengths I’ll go to avoid allowing the dean ask me to be on a committee.

The Maltese Falcon – Clearly the black bird refers to the gang’s obsession with rankings.

The Shawshank Redemption — Of course, someone writes his way out of the Shawshank For-Profit Law school .