Saturday, September 29, 2007

RIAA in Town

The RIAA has issued a subpoena to obtain the identity of students at the University of San Francisco.

Link to the Order

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Other People's Money

Video of a project for Ethics class. A demonstration of the "Glass Table Method," used in the OPM case for forging the signatures on computer leases. (Starring my classmates, camerawork by me.)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Interview with a Band

My best friend on the East Coast got me on the backstage pass/guest list of my all-time favorite group of musicians: Medeski, Martin, and Wood with John Scofield, an avant guard jazz group that probably falls under the genre of jam band, playing with an old jazz legend.

I've never been backstage at the Fillmore, and I was excited to the point of nervous! I didn't want to be starstruck if I did get to meet them.

So yesterday afternoon I went online and started researching their tour, their most recent news, etc. I called a few friends to find out what the backstage scene at the Fillmore is like, and where our passes would take us. About halfway through this process, I realized, to my chagrin, that I was 'studying' for this show like I'd study for a law firm interview!

The show was fantastic. I got to rub elbows with the band in the backstage room at the set break and after the show. Unfortunately the Fillmore is cracking down these days on photography (maybe due to the Bill Graham Archives lawsuit) and made me check my camera. However, I did accomplish this, which more than made up for it! (Click to maximize.)

Posted by Picasa

Their most recent album cover, signed by the whole band!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Yesterday in Sports Law I noticed with amusement that my professor (a football buff) referred to the class sign-in sheet as "the roster."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Uncertain Security

There's this weird phenomenon that goes on in the law school library. No, I'm not referring to studying. I'm talking about laptop-watching. You're sitting at a table with a complete stranger; this person is clearly a fellow law student, but you've never seen her before in your life. As she gets up to go to the bathroom, she says, "Would you mind watching my stuff?" And you smile, nod affirmatively, and then dutifully keep half an eyeball on her laptop.

Every time I do this (and I've been on the other side too), I shake my head. Why would a stranger care about your stuff? But personally, I can't help myself: if someone puts her most valuable possession under my watch, I gotta respect that responsibility.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Calling Shotgun

Was watching Seinfeld the other day, and Jerry was doing a skit on 'if the legal world obeyed the rules of children.' When you're a kid, all you have to do is call it.

"Your Honor, my client got there first."
"And did he call it?"
"Well, no, your Honor but-"
"If he didn't call it, that's it. Case closed."

In Trademark class, we were discussing the way you can reserve a mark by filing an Intent to Use application, which holds a mark for a period of time while the company develops the product. To obtain the mark, the company must subsequently use the mark in commerce. My professor noted that it doesn't matter if someone else uses the mark before the ITU turns into a mark registration. I got a laugh when he said:

"An ITU application is like saying, 'You can't use this mark. I called it.'"

[Later]: And isn't that what Locke was all about? "First in time equals first in right."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Home Field Disadvantage

During my Art Law class today, my professor put a PowerPoint slide up with two photographs. A magazine had commissioned a photographer to take a photo of a famous basketball player. The magazine and the artist couldn't come to an agreement, so the magazine found another photographer to take a remarkably similar shot.

As my professor put the slide up, he admitted he was embarrassed, but that he couldn't remember who the basketball player was.
"Does anyone know who this is?" He asked.

Silence from a classroom of about 30 kids.

"This is a law school Art Law class..." someone noted.

A Few Comments

About my interview process...

There are 4 things I was never asked:

- Why I wasn't on Law Review.
- Why I've never worked at a big law firm, even though I'm a 3L.
- What my weaknesses are.
- Where I want to be in 5 years.

Here's a few random pieces of advice:
Read this classic book: Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams. It's embarrassingly cheesy, but the info is great. Just reading it will give you confidence and make you feel prepared.

Solicit 30 minute phone conversations from alumni at other firms. Ask them the questions you would get asked if you got an interview, or pieces of information you could put in a cover letter. For example: What do you think is different about your firm? Why did you choose it? Your last question should always be: Do you know anyone else you think it would be good to talk to? Keep the network chain going.

Get in contact with an associate at the firm you want to work for. Cold-email them asking for a phone convo if you have to. If you click with them, they can become your greatest asset and ally at the firm. Plus, the firm will find out; it demonstrates your legit interest.

I talked with a ton of people...every one of them was kind and helpful and gave me at least one piece of incredible advice. You just never know what valuable info you're going to get, which is why you should talk to as many people as possible. And it gets you in the practice of giving your pitch in a professional and smooth way - what area of law you're interested in, your background, etc.


I confess I've been sitting on a piece of news that merits a post. I didn't want to blog on it until it was finalized:

I accepted an offer!

I'm not sure yet whether I should name the firm here, so I'll hold off for now until I figure that out. But I wanted to share the news.

I think this is my dream job. Great people, doing exactly the type of work I want to be doing, for money I didn't have the guts to dream about.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Here's a list of words that have gone into the public domain via genericide, or the loss of trademark protection by the ubiquitousness of the term. These words were originally trademarks, but they were so successful that they named the product for all time - the danger of a perfect name.


Some say "Google" is on its way to genericide because of the way it's used as verb for "searching." Personally I think it's safe for now. When I say I'm going to "google" something, I don't use Yahoo! to do it. Do you?

I recall reading (but forget where) about how word processing programs assist in the maintenance of trademarks by auto-format capitalizing the first letter of major brand names. The idea being that a capitalized proper noun is more trademark-y than a regular word. Similarly, if you type "google" in MS Word, it will be red-underlined; the suggested correction is "Google."