Life After Law School
Flying back to Vegas tomorrow. This has been a great trip to NY and to Mich, but I have to say, the highlight was last night's Mafia game. For those of you who aren't familiar, Mafia is pretty much the greatest game ever. Way to complicated to describe in one quick blog post, but I'll just say the game combines persuasiveness, lying, and logical reasoning. Other trip highlights include: Mene Sushi, Tally Hall concert, and walking my (parents') Norwich Terrier Fruvous (named after the Canadian rock band Moxy Fruvous).
A couple days ago I mentioned that I met Carrot Top in Vegas...but I don't think I ever gave the full story. So here goes:
I met Carrot Top at the Fashion Show Mall. He was in the Guess store with a bored blonde girl. I approached him while he was waiting in line and struck up a conversation about the Gallegher Too lawsuit. He was pretty interested in the discussion, but the blonde girl: not so much.
Comedian Leo Gallegher’s younger brother, Ron looks just like him. Ron asked Leo if he could borrow the Sledge-o-Matic act, and Leo said yes, on the condition that Ron make it clear to audiences that he was not Leo. For a while Ron upheld the distinction, but little by little he began to blur the line. Eventually he offered audiences no indication that he was not his brother. Leo sued him for false advertising and trademark violations—and won. The Gallagher family sided with Ron, though, and no longer talks to Leo.
Allow me to explain: I’m writing a story for Las Vegas Weekly about trying to pass as an 80-year-old man. Long story short: I passed. I’ll post a big chunk of the story here once I have it edited, and you’ll be able to read the full story in LVW in a week or two. For more information on my transformation, visit Rusty Slusser at SPFX Masks.
I wrote this story for Las Vegas Weekly, but we couldn't use it. Enjoy:
On March 13th Clark County nominated the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Just two week’s later the sign’s fate hangs in the balance. Empress Expansions Co., a Shenzhen-based development company opening an American-themed casino in Macau, offered Clark Country $28 million for the historic sign, and the offer is making waves.
“Under normal circumstances we’d never consider an offer like this,” said County spokeswoman Valencia Herman at a press conference held on Tuesday. “But let’s not fool around here: we need money, and twenty-eight million dollars is a lot of it. For starters, we wouldn’t have to put off opening the low-level criminal offender jail by Nellis Air Force Base. Remember, that jail is going to employ more than a hundred.”
To sweeten the deal, Empress Expansions. has offered to replace the 70-year old sign with an exact duplicate. Empress paid contemporary Chinese sculptor Chuck Xu $120,000 to create the replica. Xu completed the sign in late February.
“[The new sign] is indistinguishable from the original,” boasted Empress chairman Wei Zhao. “We’d use the duplicate ourselves, but unlike Americans, the Chinese people are very concerned with authenticity. Everything must be as it is.”
Last week Empress invited Kimberly Batting to inspect the duplicate sign. Batting oversaw the creation of the duplicate Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign that was erected on Boulder Highway near Harmon Avenue in 2006.
“It’s very similar,” said Batting, “but I wouldn’t call it an ‘exact replica.’ It’s got no wear and tear, and it lights up too bright. The real sign isn’t actually that bright—most people don’t realize that.”
In a private meeting, Zhao assured Batting that these inconsistencies could be remedied.
“Oh I’m sure Empress can fix them,” Batting said. “They can do anything over there. But that’s not the point. I know it’s not my place to say this, but I’m going to say it: the offer is an insult. The Chinese think they can buy and sell anything they want, and I’m sorry but that’s not true.”
The Association of Asian Americans issued a press statement calling Batting’s comments “uneducated and unfortunate,” but Batting isn’t alone. In the past few days, the Preservation Association of Clark County, the Friends of Classic Las Vegas, and the Atomic Age Alliance have all come out against the sale of the sign.
“I completely understand where Batting and the [historic preservation] groups are coming from,” said Clark County spokeswoman Herman, “but remember, Las Vegas is a city of replicas. We’ve got a replica Statue of Liberty, a replica Eiffel Tower, a replica Bridge of Sighs, so why not start the strip off with replica Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign? It’s consistent.”
Herman assured Clark Country residents that the commissioners will respect the opinions of the citizens: “The commissioners and managers recognizes that many of you feel strongly about the iconic sign, and they want to hear your input.”
Clark County residents can voice their opinion on the potential sale of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign at WelcomeSign.ClarkCounty.Gov@gmail.com.
“I plan to read every email myself,” said Herman.
Empress chairman Zhao wants a final decision by April 10th. “I will respect the county’s decision, whatever it may be,” said Zhao, “but as a businessman—a successful businessman who understands what you people are going through right now—I must say, rejecting this offer would be foolish and prideful.”
Here’s my #1 poker tip: when you first sit down and a table, say or do something totally moronic.
It probably should (but doesn’t necessarily have to) be poker-related. Then everybody thinks at the table will think you’re an idiot, and for the next few hours and they’ll call your bets and raises with the most awful cards.
It’s a great way to alienate people and make some money.
Played poker until 3:00 AM last night. I meant to leave around 1:00, but everybody kept throwing their chips at me. This was a 3/6 limit game, and I walked away from it $301 richer. People were asking me if I was a pro.
To my left were two University of Chicago Law students. To my right was a twenty-seven-year-old Chicago attorney. Dear God I feel awful for everybody else at the table; legal jokes all night long (objection this, Blackacre that).
The attorney to my right said that guys at his firm were getting laid off left and right. And some of my very talented law school buddies are struggling to find solid employment right now. Searching for jobs, having offers pushed back. One of my fellow DePaul College of Law 2008 graduates just enrolled in CPA school. Scary times. All of a sudden the poker table doesn’t look so risky.
Got a terrible haircut an hour ago. Just terrible. Not at all what I wanted.
The stylist greeted me in Spanish, and I returned the greeting in English. She asked me what I wanted, again in Spanish, and I answered in English.
Then she started cutting away without confirming that she understood what I was after. I didn’t ask her whether she fully understood because I didn’t want to offend her.
Bad decision; hair looks terrible; self to blame.
In the first chapter of Lawyer Boy: A Case Study on Growing Up, I said, “All of my friends and ex-girlfriends are lawyers, law students, or soon-to-be law students currently denying their inevitable legal futures.”
Maybe you thought I was being facetious. If so, check out this recent article from The Onion, titled Year Of Law School Now Mandatory For Nation's 25-Year-Olds:
WASHINGTON—Under the provisions of a bill approved by Congress and signed into law Tuesday, every 25-year-old American, regardless of prior life commitments, is now legally obligated to enroll in a full year of study at one of the nation's accredited law schools. "This new measure gives us the means to compel 25-year-olds to simultaneously placate their parents, impress their friends with complex-sounding legal jargon, and effectively avoid any real-world responsibilities for another full year," said Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN). "We can think of no better way for our young people to squander their postcollegiate aimlessness." Congress is reportedly seeking further legislation that would provide for an additional nine months of grumbling over LSAT prep, and up to five years of whining about paying off student loan debt.”
The jacket flap of The Associate reads, “If you thought Mitch McDeere was in trouble in The Firm, wait until you meet Kyle McAvoy, The Associate.” For those of you not in the field of publishing, that’s industry talk for, “The plot of John Grisham’s new book is very similar to that of The Firm, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.”
McAvoy was chosen as editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, so you’d think that when a group of men in dark suits show up claiming to be FBI agents and wanting to question McAvoy about an alleged rape that happened a few years earlier, he’d ask for a lawyer. But McAvoy signs away his Miranda rights and opens his big mouth.
Luckily for him—though not for the plot of The Associate—McAvoy isn’t one of the alleged rapists caught on the cell-phone video. Still, the men in suits use the video to blackmail McAvoy into taking a job at Scully & Pershing, “the largest law firm in the world.” The men want McAvoy to be a spy and feed them classified information regarding an upcoming contract dispute involving two weapons manufacturers. So McAvoy packs his bags and heads to New York City.
...you can read the rest of my review at LasVegasWeekly.com.
RickLax.com has been going strong for about a year now. My web designer (a.k.a., my mom) and I subscribe to this service that tells us the TOP 100 keywords that lead people to the website. Here are five of the more random ones. Make what you will of them.
“Rule Against Perpetuities”
“Most Disgusting Cocktails”