UCLA Law School, Class of 1986
I graduated from UCLA Law School in 1986. During my three years there, I was privileged to study with Constitutional law greats Ken Karst and Steve Schiffrim, to learn Evidence and Civil Procedure from Leon Letwin, and Criminal Procedure from Joshua Dressler. Each one had a huge formative effect on my own legal philosophy, because from them I learned that the law is an endlessly diverting, yet deadly serious endeavor in which the lawyer plays a crucial role in structuring how citizens will be treated in their dealings with each other, with the state, and with corporate entities. I am indebted to Prof. Letwi, for sharing his love of precision and indifference to irrelevant matters; I thank Prof. Schiffrin for instilling me with awareness of the importance of the First Amendment; I bow to Prof. Karst for his ability to blend theoretical analysis with humanity; and, I am obliged to Prof. Dressler for inculcating a sense that analytical rigor results from systematic application of steel-trap knowledge of legal doctrine.
John Olin Fellow in Law & Economics:
While there I and about twenty other students received John Olin Fellowships in Law and Economics. The Olin Foundation then proceeded to introduce us to such free-market luminaries as Robert Bork (before his failed bid for a Supreme Court seat) and Steven Breyer (before his elevation to the Supreme Court). We were invited to become members of the Federalist Society, but the people starting it were such nerds that they got no traction. We also were taught basic economic theory by UCLA Professor Armen Alchian, to whom I am indebted for his crap-cutting insistence that all economics was common sense. Click here to read some of my writings on finance and economics.
Federal Communications Law Journal
Thanks to my acquaintance with Prof. Charlie Firestone, I became interested in communications law, and eventually was named Chief Comments Editor of The Federal Communications Law Journal. I edited several articles, and indulged my love of marketing in a recruiting campaign that netter the FCLF forty new staffers – a great thing when there’s lots of proofreading to do!
Law School Tutor for La Raza Law Students Association
Getting a good job after law school depends on getting good grades, and getting good grades results from doing well on law school essay exams. The myth in law school is that essay exams are fiendishly difficult things, incomprehensible to all but the preternaturally gifted. Way to psych yourself out, dude. As I stated previously, Prof Josh Dressler taught me that “analytical rigor results from systematic application of steel-trap knowledge of legal doctrine.” I also learned some incredibly effective exam techniques from the redoubtable Michael Josephson, the founder of what was then called the Josephson bar preparation school. Prof. Josephson taught a fiendishly simple method for conquering the daunting challenge of the essay exam, and I in turn taught it to my law school mates under the aegis of the La Raza Law Students Association. Although most of my tutees were Hispanic, it works for everyone, and someday I’m going to record Prof. Josephson’s pithy instructions in a little essay of my own, crediting him, of course for the idea.
I also created a student organization called Lawpoets, a loosely-organized gang of guys and gals who weren’t wait around for the profession to crush their brains into pulp – we were going to drink and read poetry before our brains were pulped! We actually registered with Dean Barbara Koskella, so we could do bake sales and collect money for beer/poetry bashes at the law school. This put us on an equal footing with fancy lawfirms that also hosted munchies and booze events in the courtyard. We pulled off a couple of events, creating more guerrilla marketing materials up in the FCLJ office, then flooding the law school with our welcome blasphemies. Fellow UCLA 86-er Tom Brill and I started publishing “Furry Chiclets, A Lawpoets Creation.” This turned into a zine that I continued publishing on a yearly or semi-yearly basis from 1989 – 1999. Photos of some of one of our parties and all past editions of this noble work are available at FurryChiclets.com.