These Aren’t Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog

Dear readers,

In case you are one of those curious omnivores who want to read about the Law, here are two people covering the subject in surprising and compulsively readable ways.

Lawyerverse. Wherein a second-year law student at Yale digs for intersections between poetry and the law, and comes up with fascinating insights into both. Lex is just getting started, so a blogroll might be forthcoming, or even a whole new location at one of the other free sites. No matter. She needs to be read starting yesterday. A sample:

The speaker sounds a lot like a law student or young lawyer to this law student. We come to the law and it appears to have an authority and a “shape,” one that “works” and “find[s] what it needs” while it nonetheless remains elastic, “willing[] to change.” There purports to be a “way things work” but we are ignorant to it as we are plunged into its unwelcoming depths. Like the speaker, we are fascinated, perhaps jealous, certainly estranged and “[un]sure/ of what is true or right or real”…

Law and letters. Written by new commenter Belle Lettre. I’ve only just begun with this site; her newest one starts with a description of outcast status and the “shame art” about what happens to forgotten people: they kill you or themselves. (So pay attention.) It moves from there to a close consideration of social relationships, and the line between professional and social obligations in post-graduate studies. A sample:

The problem is, no one really knows Cliff, not even his favorite teacher. The movie then goes back in time to show how Cliff arrived at his fate in the snow, and reveals that Cliff was a lonely, ostracized, and reclusive boy whom everyone ignored actively or failed to notice negligently. Cliff was a cipher, or a zero. Message: this is bad. Don’t let this happen to your students and peers. Don’t exclude, don’t fail to notice or ignore the quiet kid, and make sure that each individual is a part of a group.

It’s funny that this movie stuck with me, because I’m at once torn between wanting to feel more attached to my current institution and really wanting to be left alone. It’s the plight of the academic, to want collegiality and community in the ivory tower (usually reserved for princesses and lepers, right?) or just being left alone to research and write.

In my comment, I forgot to mention that this theme was carried off brilliantly by John Knowles, in his story “A Day In The Sun.” It’s a great one to read if the literature you love best makes you want to commit seppuku.