Posts tagged ‘Law’

The LG Curve

I recently asked one of my law school classmates if he had heard of the “LG Curve.”  He shook his head and said, “I took statistics in college, so I should remember, but…”

When I realized he was slightly embarrassed about his “ignorance,” I confessed it was the perfect curve, created by yours truly.

The curve at UCI Law is seemingly generous because B+ is the mandatory median.  This is only generous, however, if most students are okay with the fact that they are more likely than not going to end up in the 3.3 vicinity.  It’s also only generous if few grades fall below the median.  One of my first-year professors described his curve as “beautiful.”  I thought, “Honey, that curve ain’t beautiful unless I’ve got an A on it!”

In my perfectly unbiased opinion, the LG Curve is the best way to go because it manages to adhere to the mandatory median while still giving students the benefit of the doubt.  I suggested it to Dean Chemerinsky last semester, and he seemed open-minded.  I actually think he uses a similar curve.  Well, naturally!

September 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm 5 comments

Lies About the 1L Experience

“If you’re a good writer, you’ll have a huge advantage as a student.”

Most first-year legal writing is almost entirely devoid of creativity and requires a penchant for monotony and verbosity.  Even during second semester exams, I was very distracted by my instinct to write good prose.  On a timed exam, your spelling, grammar, diction, and syntax aren’t worth a damn.  And for every second you spend thinking about how to rephrase something so it flows better, you’re losing precious, precious points.

“You should learn to think beyond the legal doctrine.”

Professors will tell you it’s not about the black letter law, but it really is.  And it’s about IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion).  That’s it.  Nothing else really matters.  The most fascinating things—policy concerns, socioeconomic implications, historical backgrounds—are rarely tested and, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant during the first year.

“Having a life is not mutually exclusive with being a 1L.”

You can have a life.  People do it.  But those people do not get very much sleep, or they simply do not care about their grades, or they never had lives to begin with.  To really have a life as a 1L, you have to…painstakingly…carve…out…your…opportunities.

But, hey, at least it’s not med school!

September 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm 2 comments

Penalty Wages: What Every Employee Should Know

Let’s say Joe Blow works as a mechanic at a dealership and earns $17/hour. Fed up with “office” politics and inadequate support from upper management, Joe quits his job. He recently received his bi-weekly paycheck, so he is only owed four more days of pay. Livid at Joe’s inconvenient resignation, the dealership refuses to issue a final paycheck. This obstinacy, however, could cost Joe’s former employers more than they realize.

Colloquially know as the “penalty wage law,” ORS 652.150 requires the timely payment of wages upon termination of employment. If the “employer willfully fails to pay any wages or compensation of any employee whose employment ceases, as provided in ORS 652.140 and 652.145, then, as a penalty for such nonpayment, the wages or compensation of such employee shall continue from the due date thereof at the same hourly rate for eight hours per day or until action therefor is commenced.”

While there are some exceptions and limitations, the bottom line is that Joe’s former employer owes him up to $4,080 ($17/hour x 8 hours x 30 days) more than they bargained for. In Oregon, an employer who refuses to issue final payment in a timely manner owes the former employee up to thirty days of pay in addition to the money withheld. Other states have similar wage and hour laws, but Oregon is known for being particularly “employee-friendly” in such cases. An important thing to note is that “30 days of pay” is not the same as “one month’s pay”; it’s more! (30 days = 30 business or work days)

Some people may wonder why employers who understand such wage and hour statutes continue to cheat employees out of money owed, especially if the potential penalty could be costly. The answer is simple: Most people don’t completely understand their rights as workers. In the long run, corrupt employers profit off of this unawareness because, for every person who acts to recover his pay, many more simply write off the nonpayment as an unfortunate loss.

June 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

ACLU Presents Case of Savana Redding to US Supreme Court

When she was 13, Savana Redding endured a humiliating strip-search (in which she had to bare her breasts and genitalia) after a classmate falsely accused her of possessing ibuprofen pills. The school officials who instigated this traumatic event violated Redding’s civil rights and betrayed the trust and respect of the parents and students of Safford United School District.

Most news articles regarding this event and its aftermath criticize the school officials for acting so rashly on uncorroborated evidence. While I agree that using mere accusations to justify a strip-search is completely uncalled for, I think the act of forcing children to reveal their private parts for any reason needs to be seriously examined. If Redding had been accused of bringing cocaine to school, I still think other avenues of interrogation and corroboration should have been explored. After all, if the officials had found ibuprofen pills on Redding’s person, the civil rights of a child would have still been violated.  Which is worse: Possessing prescription-strength painkillers on school grounds…or forcing a minor to show her body parts to adults?

The other issue this case brings up is that of the “war on drugs.” I remember when, as a middle and high school student, I received explicit instructions (punishable by the wrath of God) not to keep any kind of drug in my backpack, locker, or car. Even asthmatics had to check their inhalers in at the nurse’s office. I was so used to this rule that I endured all of college without using Advil, Tylenol, etc. (it was second-nature not to pick it up at the drugstore without first consulting an adult). Shouldn’t the school have spent more time handing out condoms than taking away aspirin?

And now I’ve been hearing all these ads about how terrible marijuana is and how it will ruin your life. “Above the Influence” commercials air on any TV station that caters to the “under 30” demographic. I recognize that weed, in addition to being illegal (which it shoudn’t be, but that’s for another time), impairs ones ability to drive and operate heavy machinery. That said, shouldn’t we be spending our publicly-funded advertising dollars on preventing the use of drugs like heroin and speed? Again, which is worse: Allowing a bunch of potheads to binge on Doritos and Ding Dongs after school…or overlooking a group of students snorting coke in the locker room?

This morning, the US Supreme Court heard arguments from Savana Redding’s attorney with the ACLU. From one woman to another, I commend the young lady (six years have passed since that fateful day) for having the courage to pursue justice.

April 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm 1 comment

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