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Bigger fish to fry Among prominent federal appeals court judges in the 1990s, Barack Obama was “the one who got away.” In 1990, Obama had been elected the first African-American president of Harvard Law Review, which made him a blazingly hot prospect as a law clerk for one of the top federal appeals judges, who in turn would almost certainly send him on to the Supreme Court as a clerk. But with a remarkable certitude that still amazes his friends and elders, Obama said no to all that, preferring to return to Chicago after graduating in 1991 to resume community and civil rights work. Now, only 16 years later, he is a top contender for the presidency of the United States. Harvard’s Laurence Tribe remembers counseling Obama that “the benefits of progressing straight toward his goals without making a detour for two years of clerkships outweighed the costs.” Obama might well have returned to Chicago anyway and taken a similar path � but two years later, Tribe said. “He would be on a different cycle,” said Tribe. “But this moment, right now, is so exquisitely right for him and for the nation � not two years from now.” � Legal Times Clothes make the law professor Really, professor, would it kill you to wear a tie? Case Western Reserve University School of Law professor Erik M. Jensen argues for proper neck gear for academicians in a tart paper prepared for the Oklahoma City University Law Review. In it, he decries the drift toward casual dress in the country in general and at law schools in particular. Jensen traces the trend to misguided working class solidarity and efforts to create a “nurturing atmosphere.” Oh, and “male underdressing facilitates sexual poaching, or so it is hoped.” Such leveling doesn’t really work, he argues. “People act better � less like carnivores � when they’re dressed right,” for one thing. “If the professor is sending a signal of seriousness, of civility, students will pick it up.” As Jensen notes, “Even crash test dummies have dress codes.” (They include “tea rose”-colored underwear, a footnote discloses.) Jensen half-seriously proposes a “uniform uniform code” with this bottom line: “Faculty members at accredited schools shall . . . dress in a way that would not embarrass their mothers.” Violators “ought to be subjected to a dressing down for dressing down in public.” As for himself, Jensen confirmed during a telephone interview that notwithstanding a holiday break he was indeed wearing a tie � he wanted to be certain that a job applicant being interviewed that day wouldn’t be the only person in the room wearing one. “Early in my career, some students asked (so I was told) whether I wear button-down pajamas,” Jensen wrote in a footnote to his paper. “I took that as a compliment.” � Staff Report Song of the lawyer What’s more jolly during the holidays than a singing lawyer? Here to make merry is Chadbourne & Parke litigator Lawrence Savell, dba The LawTunes, with a new CD jam-packed with music by a lawyer for lawyers. The disc is called Live at Blackacre � anyone who’s been to law school will know the place. The tunes include “(She’s an) Electronic Discovery,” about a love interest who shows “no evidence of spoliation,” nudge, nudge. Sadly, this is a love “stuck in beta.” There’s an ode to the perfect legal secretary. (“Yes,” he sings, “I became a lawyer to meet Della Street.”) And in keeping with the season, there’s a carol about “Santa’s G.C.” (“Sure, the boss is kinda loud, and the staff a bit short/And you gotta hail a reindeer if you gotta go to court/But I’m certainly glad I signed up for this ride/’Cause it’s nice to be in-house when it’s cold outside.”) Savell is flogging the CD on his Web site, www.LawTunes.com. � Staff Report

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