Continuously opining, intermittently publishing.

Archive for December, 2010


Screwtape and the 1Ls

1 Comment » | Posted by oshane

Dear Wormwood,

It has been several weeks. The 1Ls think they are busy during finals, but little do they realize just how much work goes into writing exam questions to torment them. I, and the other underdemons, are exhausted. We count some of the law professors as friends. Although others are quite distant from us, all in all we feel we’ve done a satisfactory job of convincing most of them to use irreducibly complex grading systems—even if they insist on writing easy questions. It should be quite a slaughter.

Meanwhile, I was proud to read your most recent correspondence. As a newly minted legal writing adjunct, you are doing everything I have suggested, and it has worked, has it not? You focus on the drudgery of legal analogy and the rote mantra of “short declarative sentences.” If the insipidity of the entire exercise doesn’t drive the lemmings to the cliff, the fact that one day they’ll wake up realizing their writing looks like fourth grade hogwash will. Outstanding work, nephew. I presume you’ve developed your own irreducibly complex grading system for the “open memos,” and I presume you’ve included a healthy 20-25% factor for the ever-nebulous “participation.” Keep them guessing.

It’s the only way to train minions. Fear is the best motivator, especially for humans who will work for us directly one day.

Your affectionate uncle,