CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

In Lieu of Grading, Humorous Articles

Admittedly, the genre of riotously funny law review articles is smaller than one would have assumed.  But here are two classics (access to Hein, Lexis, Westlaw required):

Eric Muller, What's in a name (tag)?, 52 J. Legal Educ. 314 (2002) (suggestions for improving identification at the American Ass'n of Law Schools annual meeting). Hein Westlaw

James D. Gordon III, How Not to Succeed in Law School, 100 Yale L.J. 1679 (1991) Hein Lexis

Kaimi Wenger suggests Balkin & Levinson's How to Win Cites and Influence People and Kosinski & Volokh's Lawsuit, Shmawsuit

Mike Dimino points to the amusing Nebraska LawProf Steven Bradford, who has this humor page, which includes future classics Book Review: Spring 2002 UNL College of Law Upperclass Registration Packet, I'm a Law Professor; I'm O.K., and How to Keep a Law Review Editor Busy

[Jack Chin]

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Don't forget Volokh and Kozinski on the use of Yiddish in legal opinions.

The article is at 103 Yale Law Journal 463 (1993), and a copy is online at .

It contains discussion such as:

"[W]e were stymied in our schmuck search by the fact that many people are actually named Schmuck. This is an unfortunate circumstance for researchers, and even worse for the poor Schmucks themselves.
The same happens to be true of "putz" and of "mensch." We’d much rather be named "mensch" than "schmuck," but, oddly enough, a search for NAME (SCHMUCK) found 87 cases and NAME (MENSCH) found only 63 cases. Perhaps this is because there are more schmucks than mensches in the world; but wouldn’t the real schmucks change their names so as to better fool people, and real mensches change theirs out of modesty? Besides, the true schmuck-mensch ratio is much higher than 87 to 63."

Also, there's a piece by Balkin & Levinson called "How to Win Cites and Influence People" or something along those lines, with a humorous description of the legal academic process. (The number one suggestion for how to get cites: cite yourself).

Posted by: Kaimi | May 11, 2005 2:18:59 PM

One of my favorites is C. Steven Bradford, As I Lay Writing: How to Write Law Review Articles for Fun and Profit, 44 J. Legal Educ. 13 (1994). Bradford has written two other humor pieces that are also worth reading: The Gettysburg Address as Written by Law Students Taking an Exam, 86 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1094 (1992), and Ten Reasons to Attend Law School, 1993 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 921.

Posted by: Michael Dimino | May 12, 2005 6:50:04 AM

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