Tag Archives: administrative law

An Epic Final

Today as I settled down in the law school library to take my 8-hour take home final, the pipes decided to start banging. They do that, upon occasion. Imagine you’re sitting there, in a conversation whe…

Bang bang bang.

Constantly interrupts everything.

It is most

Bang bang bang.

Annoying. And unfortunately impacts every part of the library. The librarians say the pipes bang because of temperature changes. Erg. But the countdown started on my final and I didn’t want to waste time moving all my stuff. 

Bang. Bang. Bang.

To avoid the noise, I put in earbuds and went to my go-to DJs…my siblings. Usually Anna, but this time Elijah had the perfect playlist for me. Epic battle music. 

No, seriously, it is several days worth of the best battle/intense soundtracks out there. (Search Epic/Intense Battle Music on Spotify) My essay on why Chevron deference creates a separation of powers problem is going to be way more exciting than my professor bargained for. It is hard to write sedately with the rising sound of battle in your ears. 


Law School Life: Part II

My Administrative Law Class In A Nutshell

Professor: “So that is a Chenery I analysis in the State Farm context. The court doesn’t get into Vermont Yankee. But remember, we are talking about the APA here. It looks different if the agency is interpreting a statute or its own rules. Then we use our Chevron, Skidmore, or even an Overton Park type analysis.”*

Meanwhile, me:

Image result for I have heard of this before meme

*These are all the short forms for foundational cases we read in class. 

Legal Nerdiness

“Ohio’s Supreme Court is definitely signaling an end to administrative deference! At least, they mentioned in a concurrence that they’d be open to exploring the matter more. That’s how Wisconsin ended administrative deference. With a concurrence in another opinion. And Missouri just recently ended their deference, too, though I’m not sure how they got there. I should look into it. It wasn’t a huge break for them. They’d been inching that way for a while. But they did emphasize separation of powers concerns which totally fascinating because Wisconsin did as well.”

I’m gushing. 

My fellow law students are less impressed. Even the ones that like Administrative Law. They smile politely and mention the weather. 

I blame my bubbling enthusiasm on the fact that my boss is out of town on vacation. I can’t walk into his office and gush to my fellow administrative law nerd! But really, this is fascinating stuff. Law in action! 

Auto Parts & My Writing Support Group

(My last post celebrated hitting 200 followers and then I promptly lost 2 of them. So we’ll get to celebrate 200 again sometime!) 

If you’ve read my post about being a verbal processor, you know that writing is a verbal process for me. Or sometimes not so verbal. I usually bug some poor victim (aka, friend) with constant Facebook messages asking, “Does this make sense?” and “What if I tweaked it some to say…” 

While their feedback provides invaluable assistance, I really just need a sounding board to get the idea out of my head and onto paper. To that end, yesterday I gained not just one sounding board, but a whole store full of them. 

One of my old roommates works at an auto parts store. I was trying to simplify a tricky legal concept so I kept bugging her to see if her smart, but non-legal brain understood it. She assured me she did. However, to make sure it really was understandable, she would then read my sentence/paragraph/analogy to the guys working her shift with her. Her logic was that if they understood it, anyone could. 

I wish I could say my writing passed remarkable muster and I’m a genius at simplifying complex ideas. I don’t think that is the case. However, there is now an auto parts store in Tennessee with workers who know a lot about administrative law. Or at least they pretend to. But I’m going to pretend my baseball analogy is just that clear. 

Why I Make Time For An Internship

“Nerd,” chortles my boss, as I gush about my classes this coming semester. “Who is excited about administrative law?”

He is, for one. His words hold no sting. Administrative law is his passion. Any enthusiasm I show pales in comparison to the years he has poured into crafting laws and writing briefs.

Unlike last January, when I started working for him enthusiastically but wholly ignorant, I now know our cases and the arguments used to support them. Or at least, I think I do. My boss loads me down with easily a thousand pages of new cases and law review articles to read to catch me up to speed. Even with my speed-reading ability, this is going to take a while. But I don’t mind.

I love it. I love the mountain of paperwork and the uncharted arguments. I love overcoming my ignorance. I love the dense sentences that take three or four reads to understand. I love it because when I do understand, a whole new world opens before me. I learn why this topic matters. I learn to care.

I love it because I truly learn, a feeling I do not get from my classes at law school. Perhaps it is the institutional nature of school. Perhaps it is the textbooks with their carefully edited cases. Perhaps it is simply the difference between studying a topic in breadth versus in depth. I do not know.

What I do know is that if a professor tried to give me this much reading, I would howl in despair. My boss does it, and I’m delighted.

That’s why I find the time for an internship, for a chance to get out of the law school. If my world only revolved around school and extra-curricular activities, I think I would go insane. Law school may educate me, but it does not get my blood boiling. Working in the real world does. Knowing what I am doing matters does. Working with people who love their work does. It is a reminder of why I am in law school; a shove to get through the next day, the next week, the next year.

It is a reminder that this is what I get to do when I graduate. This is what makes it all worth it.