Buy 1L of a Ride Second Edition

1L of a Ride Second Edition coverThe "Companion Text" to Law SchoolIf you’re contemplating or applying to law school, boost your ability to maximize success with the highest-rated law school prep book, 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law SchoolRead the Amazon Customer Reviews.

And don’t forget the loved ones. They’re in for an adventure too.  The “Companion Text” to Law School: Understanding and Surviving Life with a Law Student is the only book written just for them.  Named one of Amazon Editors’ Favorite Books of 2014.

Storm Cloud Law Students, Psychological Distress in Law Students, Part II

1L Word Cloud

A Word Cloud reveals the stress and anxiety of 1Ls.

This is Part II of an exploration of psychological distress in law students. Part I explored empirical research showing the extent to which law students suffer from psychological dysfunction such as anxiety and depression. This part highlights a couple of non-scientific indicators of the problem.

Mid-semester, I asked a class of first-year Torts students to list their three top emotions about law school. Then I dumped all their answers into a Word Cloud program, which depicts entries by size according to how often the words are

Read more…

Rainy Day Law Students, Psychological Distress in Law Students, Part I

And on the serious side …

Rainy Day Law Students

On my way to class recently, I came across this hand-written annotation posted alongside this rainy day painting hanging in our magnificent law school (recently ranked as the nation’s best law school facility).

Click to enlarge the picture and you’ll see it’s a man standing under a raining umbrella. The sign says: “Every day in law school

As law students everywhere approach fall semester exams, it once again brought home the sad fact that many law students struggle with anxiety, depression and other psychological dysfunction.

I learned the depth of the problem researching Read more…

The “Companion Text” to Law School Named as an Amazon Editors’ Favorite Book of the Year

The “Companion Text” to Law School named an Amazon Editors’ Favorite Book of the Year.

The “Companion Text” to Law School: Understanding and Surviving Life with a Law Student has been named one of the Amazon Editors’ Favorite Books of the Year. Pretty cool.

Nice Shout-Out to The “Companion Text” to Law School

The "Companion Text" to Law School

My law school prep book, 1L of a Ride, gets a lot more attention, but my book written for the loved ones of law students–The “Companion Text” to Law School: Understanding and Surviving Life with a Law Student (West 2012)–got a nice shout-out on Paul Caron’s popular TaxProf blog.

Thanks to Al Sturgeon, Dean of Students at Pepperdine Law, for his insightful take on my chapter called Eight Things to NEVER Say to a Law Student:

“Don’t Worry, You’ll Do Fine” “Maybe You Weren’t Meant to Be in Law School” “Remember, It’s Only a Test”

Read more…

Great-Grandma Unhappy About Being in Court

Great-granny unhappy with court appearance.

A fleeing bank robber made the mistake of seeking refuge in his 94-year-old great-grandmother’s home with pursuers hot on his trail. When the police arrived, the only ones present were the accused and great-grandma. At trial, the defendant, Mr. Jones, elected to represent himself, never a good idea.

The prosecution called his great-grandma as a witness. To say she wasn’t happy about the proceedings and, in particular, the conduct of her great-grandson would understate her disenchantment with sitting in the witness box.

We’ll let her explain. Here’s the text of page 209 of the trial transcript shown in the photo, where she concludes her testimony:


Read more…

Hogwarts Torts

halloween pic

For Halloween, we reprise Hogwarts Torts, a Harmless Error column fan favorite, detailing the torts inflicted on poor young Harry Potter.

Death Certificate Shows Man Died from Slipping on Banana Peel

Poor guy died from slipping on a banana peel.

Poor guy died from slipping on a banana peel.

Slipping on a banana peel is, of course, a classic clichéd accident depicted in cartoons. As my 1Ls get ready to tackle the famous trilogy of banana peel slip and fall cases in the Prosser, Wade & Schwartz Torts casebook next week, the nagging question that lingers is: do people really slip on banana peels?

A previous post discussed this issue, but check this out. It’s a 1927 Tennessee death certificate for a 74-year-old hospitalized man. A bit hard to read, but the highlighted note written across the top

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1L of a Ride Cited … On a Business Card

1L Business Card

I was really touched by this. A first-year student at the University of Denver law school asked if she could use a line from 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School on her business card.

If only law students–and all of us–could always remain idealistic.

Warning: Figure Out These Pictorial Warnings

Dehumidifier Warning - Let's Dance 2

“Let’s Dance”

We love pictorial warnings at, as shown by the samples here, here, here, here, and here. These are supposedly universal warnings designed to be understood by everyone. As in these warnings on the outside of a dehumidifier box, they are often accompanied by written warnings. But not everyone can read the written warnings, either because of language barriers or simply an inability

Read more…

When the Ambien Isn’t Working

The Bluebook A Uniform System of Torture

Here’s an exciting PDF list of citations by courts, books, and law reviews to McClurg’s publications as of July 2014, in reverse chronological order.

It reflects the outstanding skill and Bluebook-obsession of some very talented research assistants.

When the Ambien isn’t working, go directly to this:

McClurg Citation List Updated July 2014 PDF

Warning: Smoking Causes Impotence

Graphic cigarette warnings

And a whole lot of other undesirable results.

The World Health Organization (WHO) directs, in Article 11 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, that parties to the convention “implement large, rotating health warnings on all tobacco product packaging and labelling.”

The WHO website shows twenty countries (and their mandated warnings) currently participating, including Brazil, which is where the Florida International University law student who gave me this pack of Marlboros purchased it.

Some of the warnings are much more graphic. Speaking of warnings, here is fair warning: DO NOT LOOK at this larynx warning from Malaysia unless you have a strong stomach.

Other countries

Read more…

Best Case Name Contest

A former student of mine at the Florida International University College of Law sent this along, his entry for “Best Case Name of the Month.”

This month’s contestant is Wise v. Strong, 341 S.W.2d 633, 634 (Mo. Ct. App. 1960).

Spoiler alert: Strong wins. Strong always wins. *Tear.

Send along any entries you come up with!

–Thanks to Michael Hirschkowitz.

Suzy Spikes — America’s Favorite Little Litigator

“We live in a hideously unjust society where the only thing anyone cares about is oppressing precious, innocent children.” — Suzanne Marie Spikes

So proclaimed 11-year-old Suzy Spikes immediately before her parents imposed sentence in Spikes v. Spikes, Case No. 1,094,908, in which Suzy was charged with 48 counts of Bad Attitude with Intent to Act Like a Teenager. Just another day in the life of poor Suzy Spikes.

Check out Suzy’s world by clicking on the links below (or just scroll down). Make sure you’re well-insured and keep your lawyer’s number handy:

Sentencing Suzy ★ ★ ★ ★ (1998 Drama) Litigious adolescent defends herself

Read more…

Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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Product Warning Labels
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Have fun and make the world a safer place. Send in pictures of dangerous conditions you stumble upon (figuratively only, we hope) out there in Tortland.

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Harmless Error
McClurg's twisted legal humor column ran for more than four years in the American Bar Association Journal.