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Topics - Burning Sands, Esq.

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I don't know if you guys watch the Bill Maher show on HBO but its one of my favorite things to watch on TV.  On his last show he messed around and had brothers Mos Def and Cornell West on his panel and they were clowning for the whole hour dang near. 

Even though Mos Def was throwing some crazy talk out there, he did make some good points on politics and government in general.  And they talk about the Jena 6 towards the end of the show in part 4.  Check it out:

Part 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

I know these things sometimes get lost in the post article thread so I apologize if somebody already posted this somewhere.  This one was worth the study break, so I wanted to get some opinions going. 

It is notable to observe that this is a not an Affirmative Action case or issue, (before somebody goes there) this is a racial segregation/integration in schools issue.


U.S. Supreme Court rejects public school diversity plans that take race into account

MARK SHERMAN Associated Press Writer

(AP) - WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected school diversity plans that take account of students' race in two major public school districts but left the door open for using race in limited circumstances.

The decision in cases affecting schools in Louisville, Kentucky, and Seattle could imperil similar plans in hundreds of districts nationwide, and it further restricts how public school systems may attain racial diversity.

The court split, 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed to by President George W. Bush, announcing the court's judgment. The court's four liberal justices dissented.

The districts "failed to show that they considered methods other than explicit racial classifications to achieve their stated goals," Roberts said.

Yet Justice Anthony Kennedy would not go as far as the other four conservative justices, saying in a concurring opinion that race may be a component of school plans designed to achieve diversity.

To the extent that Roberts' opinion could be interpreted to foreclose the use of race in any circumstance, Kennedy said, "I disagree with that reasoning."

He agreed with Roberts that the plans in Louisville and Seattle violated constitutional guarantees of equal protection.

Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissent joined by the other liberals on the court, said Roberts' opinion undermined the promise of integrated schools that the court laid out 53 years ago in its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

"To invalidate the plans under review is to threaten the promise of Brown," Breyer said.

The two school systems in Thursday's decisions employ slightly different methods of taking students' race into account when determining which school they will attend.

Federal appeals courts had upheld both plans after some parents sued. The Bush administration the parents' side, arguing that racial diversity is a noble goal but can be sought only through race-neutral means.

Louisville's schools spent 25 years under a court order to eliminate the effects of state-sponsored segregation. After a federal judge freed the Jefferson County, Kentucky, school board, which encompasses Louisville, from his supervision, the board decided to keep much of the court-ordered plan in place to prevent schools from re-segregating.

The lawyer for the Louisville system called the plan a success story that enjoys broad community support, including among parents of white and black students.

Attorney Teddy Gordon, who argued that the Louisville system's plan was discriminatory, said, "Clearly, we need better race-neutral alternatives. Instead of spending zillions of dollars around the country to place a black child next to a white child, let's reduce class size. All the schools are equal. We will no longer accept that an African-American majority within a school is unacceptable."

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said he was disappointed with the ruling because Louisville's system had provided "a quality education for all students and broken down racial barriers" for 30 years.

He said he was confident school leaders effective new guidelines.

The Seattle school district said it used race as one among many factors, relied on it only in some instances and then only at the end of a lengthy process in allocating students among the city's high schools. Seattle suspended its program after parents sued.

The opinion was the first on the divisive issue since 2003, when a 5-4 ruling upheld the limited consideration of race in college admissions to attain a diverse student body. Since then, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who approved of the limited use of race, retired. Her replacement, Justice Samuel Alito who, like Roberts was appointed by Bush, was in the majority that struck down the school system plans in Kentucky and Washington.

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« on: May 14, 2007, 08:45:27 PM »
Having officially started Bar Prep today, I invite any and all fellow JD's out there who are sharing in the hazing process to share your tales here; and law students and pre-laws can feel free to ask Bar Related questions. Perhaps we can all get through the insanity together.

DAY 1:

Dear Future, Current, and Past Law Students of the BLSD and beyond,

Today was the first day of PMBR.  That acronym may not mean much to you now as you make your way through the jungle of the law school application process, but trust and believe you will become familiar with it.  Don't worry about what it stands be honest I don't even know what it stands for an I'm a PMBR rep at my law school.  What is important is what it can give you.  And as I write this, I have no idea whether or not any of this crap they have us going through will make the difference in passing or failing the bar, but I have to believe that it does - otherwise what the hell am I doing getting out of bed at 7:45am on a Monday. I don't get up on Mondays anymore. I don't get up on any days anymore for that matter. Haven't done that since we were actual law students (aka 1L's). 

So like I was saying, Day 1 was contracts.  They had us sit down in this crowded auditorium and take a 2 1/2 hour practice exam of the MBE.  The MBE is one acronym that is probably worth knowing - that's the Multi-state Bar Exam.  That's a fancy way of saying "Multiple Choice."  Yes, just when you thought that standardized testing was over and done with, POW! Here comes the MBE upside your dome.  The MBE...taking the substantive law that took you 4 months (or even up to a year) to memorize and fully comprehend and reducing it down to nothing more than a commercialized and meaningless "fill in the bubble" answer sheet.  What a concept.  All those nuances you learned - gone. All those exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions - gone.  All those hours spent trying to argue "both sides" of every legal issue - gone.  Just fill in "C," Pal and keep it moving.

Oh you'll get the opportunity to write the essays that you know and love on the bar exam itself, but that's not until day 2 of the actual bar exam.  That's what BarBri prepares you for.  (if you don't know what BarBri is yet, you soon will).  Day 1 is the multiple choice day of the exam.  That's where the real fun is.  At no surprise, this is also the day that makes or breaks most law students.  People fail the bar because they fail the multiple choice half of the bar, not because they failed the essay half.  You've been writing essays on law school exams for 3 years by now, you got that *&^% down to a science (hopefully).  Mutliple choice either know it or you don't.  And sometimes, even when you know it, you still don't.  They go by this "pick the best answer" bull that basically means that more than one answer can be correct, and you have to choose the "Best" correct (or incorrect) answer out of what you are given.

So they'll say some stuff like NYU Law School is located in:

A. California
B. Ohio
C. New Jersey
D. Virgina

The answer being "C" because Jersey is the "most correct" answer, even though it is wrong.

So anyway, getting back to Day 1 of PMBR - the multiple choice people.  Today was Contracts.  I hate contracts. I probably hate contracts b/c I hated my professor who "taught" contracts. I say "taught" but let's keep it real, he didn't teach jack *&^%.  I learned contract law from Examples and Explanations, with a touch of Crunch Time.  Which basically means I know the general concepts and that's about it.  Rather, I should say I knew the general concepts, because after todays mock test I can clearly see now that I don't know jack about contracts. 

50 multiple choice questions.  I got 20 correct.  What's worse is that when the professor polled the room to see how many people got right, the overwhelming majority got no higher than 25 correct.  That's 1/2 man!  WTF? 

So there I am, graduating 3L, managing editor of Law Review, teaching & research assistant for multiple classes, on top of my game and got a whopping 20 out of 50 contracts questions correct.  HA!  :D  Gotta laugh at that one.  Straight comedy. But the cool part was nobody was really trippin off of it because as today's lecturer told us, it does not matter how many you got correct or incorrect today - the Bar Exam is in July.  You have 2 months to build on today and make sure you get these questions right when it counts. 

And in case you're wondering what type of questions they ask, since the fair use doctrine applies here and there's no copyright infringement I'll give an example of a short one (one of the very few that I actually got right):

In a written contract Singer agreed to deliver to Byer 500 described chairs at $20 each F.O.B. Singer's place of business.  The contract provided that "neither party will assign this contract without the written consent of the other."  Singer placed the chairs on board a carrier on January 30.  On February 1 Singer said in a signed writing, "I hereby assign to Wheeler all my rights under the Singer-Byer contract."  Singer did not request and did not get Byer's consent to this transaction.  On February 2 the chairs while in transit were destroyed in a derailment of the carrier's railroad car.

In an action by Wheeler against Byer, Wheeler probably will recover

(A) nothing, because the Singer-Byer contract forbade an assignment
(B) the difference between the contract price and the market value of the chairs
(c) nothing, because the chairs had not been delivered
(D) $10,000, the contract price

Yeah.   :P   I'll let ya'll figure that one out. 

Day 2 tomorrow: Property. More to come later....

Borrowed from the Meta Discussion Board:

Our moderators are wonderful people but they are few in number and understandably busy with other things.

The time has come for a new generation of moderators.

ITT, we support the above statement.  If we are feeling saucy, we also nominate others for the job.

and, go...

There has been recent concern for more moderation with the recent influx of former/current xoxo members (allegedly some xoxo cat lost his future law firm job over some posts on the site). Currently, LSD has four moderators: myself and Groundhog (GH) are probably the more active 2, plus Andrew (the LSD admin) pops in every now and again to frequent the site for any trollish or just outright offensive posts.  I don't know if Andrew plans to add any more moderators in the near future but regardless of whether that happens or not, don't hesitate to reach out to us.  Between Groundhog and myself, we are pretty good about responding quickly to any reported problems you guys send our way (via the "Report to Moderator" button in the bottom right hand corner of each post)

You would expect future lawyers to act right for the most part but unfortunately we don't always get that lucky.


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