Sunday, December 12, 2010

Congrats FeministLawProfessors.com


Congrats to Feminist Law Professors on being selected as one of the ABA Journal's top 100 Blawgs of 2010. I've read this blog for a while and always been very impressed by its content. Started by feminist professor Bridget Crawford, it has everything from pop culture to legal analysis. Some of the most handy things on the site include a listing of feminist law professors across the country as well as announcements for CFPs and Conferences. The award is well deserved.

Not that you need any more reasons to check out the site, but when you click over check out my guest blog post about the lack of female perspective in the legal classroom.


Links
Follow Feminist Law Professors on Twitter @FeministLawPrfs
Follow Reconstructing Law School on Twitter @ReconstructLaw

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Why I Don’t Want to Take the Bar Exam


Part Two: Them Some Nosy Bitches

Yeah, I did it. I just called the bar examiners nosy bitches. Pretty sure that alone can make me “unfit” to join the ranks of upstanding citizens known as lawyers.

Here’s the thing, the bar application is 29 pages, yes 29. Plus they request several supplemental documents: law school transcripts (ok, that one makes sense), driving records, any records of military service, and divorce records. They want a list of everyone I’ve worked for in the last ten years and every place I’ve lived for longer than a month. They want to know if I’ve ever been more than 90 days late on my credit card payment. They want to know if I’ve been convicted of anything, even if it’s been expunged. They want to know if I’ve been arrested, not charged, just arrested.

Driving records? Divorce records? The address of the place I stayed for a month during winter break of my first year of college? Really? Other than maybe my spouse or someone that’s going to let me adopt their child, why does anyone need this level of information? For God's sake, I’m the kind of person who complained and deleted things when Facebook started cataloging my information.

More frustrating are the horror stories of people who get denied. Law students who went on depression meds for a short period of time following the death of a loved one, people who the (privileged) board deemed to have too much debt, or people who belonged to the communist party. Not to mention the totally subjective nature and lack of transparency regarding how applications are evaluated.

Furthermore, according to experts, the moral character (i.e. nosy) portion of the application was largely constructed to exclude unwanted applicants. The unnecessarily invasive application allowed bar examiners to exclude people of color and the poor from admission to state bars by letting the examiners site "legitimate," although pretextual, reasons for exclusion. Additionally, thanks to racism, people of color and the poor were (and are) more likely to have been arrested or convicted of crimes. Accordingly, they were disproportionately likely to be excluded based on these grounds.

So here I am. I'm feeling protective of confidential information, nervous about a history of oppression, and generally unhappy with the unnecessary invasion into my privacy. And yet, I've invested three years of my life and roughly $100k in this education. Technically, if I want to use that education in practice I have to surrender my privacy. Surrender to the gods (aka bar examiners) or never be allowed to practice, I'm not sure I like those options.

If you haven't read part one of this series you can read it here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Race and Wealth Divide in America

Here's a great interview (that's only 6 min. long) from NPR about the race and wealth divide in the United States.

In my conversations about race I often find that we lack a common history. Some people, usually people of color, have somehow been taught (really taught) about the history of oppression in this country. Other folks have not. I think we could have more meaningful conversations about how to move forward together, how to work together to create a more equitable America, if we all knew our own history. Rose Brewer's The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide sounds like it's probably a great place to start when building that base of knowledge across cultures. I, for one, am really looking forward to reading it over the winter break.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finals Funk


For the last 20 min. I've been looking at fashion blogs instead of studying.

Tomorrow I will shower.

I mean look cute.

Well, I mostly mean shower.

Happy finals!