Monthly Archive: April 2007

Book Review

On the heels of my confession that I couldn’t let go of any opportunity to put one more feather in my law school hat, I decided to compete for yet another feather. The Law Review recently sent out its invitation for Book Notices, which are essentially student authored book reviews, to appear in our annual survey of books, typically volume 6, along with the professor-authored book reviews. This is another chance for a student editor to publish scholarly work, and I wanted to give it a try. Of course, like any other law school feathers, this one must also be earned with quite some effort: first I will have to write a proposal, then it will be up to the book review office to select from a pool of proposals which ones to publish, then, if I get lucky, the review has to be written, reviewed by the board, edited, and bluebooked.

My inexplicable competitiveness aside, the main reason I wanted to write the reviews is because the books I have in mind happen to touch upon issues that I deeply care about. Both are written by American legal scholars on China. One explores the history and modern practice of China’s death penalty, and the other examines the modernization of China’s rule of law and its implications for China’s global competitiveness (there’s that c-word again). Reviewing either one would be a fun summer project and a chance to learn more about my home country, in addition to the summer job, and grading 1L writing competitions.

In the not-too-distant past I resisted the idea of writing a China-related paper. I didn’t want to be seen as taking advantage of my nationality and ethnicity in getting something published–It wouldn’t be hard to infer that an American student isn’t really serious about his academic work if he goes to study in China, only to produce a paper about America, and I didn’t want to be seen that way. But now I figure I have to start reducing my level of ignorance in Chinese law sooner or later, so might as well start now.


考完前两门以后立刻往家赶,可以在家里住一个星期再回学校去考最后一门《英国法史》。回家的火车上连续看了数集《the practice》以后无事可干,才发现这个学期过得慌慌张张的,不是在安娜堡和芝加哥之间奔波,就是在课业和杂志社任务的压迫下喘息,一个学期过下来,却不知道学了什么东西。如果说有什么长进的话,应该是对自己矛盾心理的一点认识。












Finally, I got to do a few things over the weekend other than 1) reading articles, 2) reading casebook, and 3) making outlines.

I got together with some of my tutees from last year and went over some material from their property class with them. Not surprisingly they also found the chapter on future interests, including the rule against perpetuities, rather confusing, as did I last year. Tutoring students is a lot of fun, and I got to be good friends with some of them.

After that a friend of mine and I wandered aimlessly in the quad trying to figure out something to do for the Saturday night, and eventually decided to watch a movie. Noontide showed up shortly thereafter, joyfully hinted that two guys watching a movie together on Saturday night was somewhat pathetic — I was about to invite him to join the pathetic endeavor when I realized he was going to have dinner with this beautiful girl from my sec reg class — beautiful by my standards anyway (my standard, according to another friend of mine, is entirely off the mark, but, noontide, if you are reading this, kudos to you, and save all the just-friends crap).

The rest of the evening was rather uneventful. I checked my mail for the second time in a week, and found a starbucks giftcard from my summer firm. That gave me about an hour’s worth of stuff to do: $25 worth of free money in hand, my friend and I rushed to the nearest Starbucks store and went on a shopping spree, consisting of two coffees and one brownie. Before we left the store, we were offered a stale (but FREE) vanilla cupcake — before they were about to throw it out and close the store. I happily took the free offer and ate the cupcake with gratitude.

At about 6 a.m. Sunday morning I woke up with severe stomach pain, and after several runs to the bathroom I felt much better, at least well enough to meet a professor, a number of current students and one prospective student for brunch. Maybe the free cupcake wasn’t free, after all.