To Whom it May Concern, Meaning All Deans and Other Important People,
My name is [redacted] and I am resubmitting this letter without attachments, footnotes, and explanatory parentheticals, as requested. I am currently a first year law student—a 1L, if you will—and am writing to you to complain of a grave injustice. As you are no doubt aware, all 1Ls begin their time at Columbia with “Legal Methods,” an introductory overview of the law. Of the four sections one could be assigned to, there is one that is an absolute disgrace and an unsightly blemish on the otherwise impeccable reputation of Columbia Law School. I am speaking, of course, about Professor Bobbitt’s section, which is otherwise commonly referred to as “the party section,” “the lucky ones,” or “the best goddamn three weeks of law school.” My complaints about the section are threefold:
First, Legal Methods is intended to serve as an introduction to law school. Law school, I would submit, is meant to be a test of character—namely, whether or not the student has it in him or her to not only survive three years of unrelenting misery and despondency, but to thrive. Mere academic success and personal enrichment do not suffice—one can only claim to have “owned law school” by ensuring the absolute, debilitating failure of his or her peers. Any Legal Methods section that fails to provide students with a realistic preview of the dark miasma of despair they will be living in is absolutely worthless. In that respect, Professor Bobbitt’s section is worse than worthless—far from preparing students for hell, it seems to be attempting a holistic introduction to the legal profession at large. To that end, it typically assigns no more than thirty pages—thirty!— a night of casebook reading, while bringing in prominent guest speakers ranging from federal appellate judges to the editor of Above the Law (see attachment #1, LMsyllabus.doc). Worst of all, the section regularly holds “class parties,” the most anticipated of which is held at the offices of Covington and Burling in the New York Times Building. These parties actually encourage students to get to know one another, which I submit is an unspeakable cruelty given the aforementioned academic carnage they are about to inflict upon one another.
Second and more alarmingly, students assigned to Professor Bobbitt’s section are instilled with the false belief that they are somehow special—chosen ones, hand-selected by Professor Bobbitt and the administration to have an unacceptably indulgent introduction to the world of law. Any attempt to disabuse these students of such delusions uniformly results in the most infuriatingly smug expression and the entirely predictable rejoinder, “You’re just jealous.” As if jealousy had anything to do with it! The gall! The utterly misplaced elitism! Columbia Law School events, I would have thought, should be open to the entire student body, but the administration, much like the security personnel at Covington and Burling, does not seem to think so. A Columbia Law School ID is apparently worthless if your name does not appear on some “guest list” (see attachment #2, covingtonsecuritylist.pdf), the composition of which was almost certainly determined by the despicable minions that Professor Bobbitt insists upon referring to as “preceptors.”
Which, of course, brings me to my third and final complaint—the preceptors. Oh, the preceptors! A more supercilious and undeserving bunch, thou shalt never meet! I have witnessed first-hand the apparent satisfaction they derive from explaining to the uninformed what a “preceptor” is. They are TAs—nothing more! Nothing more! But you would never know it from the air of superiority that emanates from all twenty-five or however many of them there are. The selection criteria itself is suspect; one can deduce as much from the suspiciously high proportion of past and present preceptors who are undeniably attractive (see attachment #4, allpreceptorssince2006.pdf). There are, of course, notable exceptions, including one particularly pathetic idiot who has the temerity to walk around carrying a motorcycle helmet (see attachment #5, toolwithhelmet.jpg.). The arrogance is misguided in each and every one of them, but particularly so in the most distasteful of them all: Hubert Ahn.
The only thing that would qualify that man as the “army vet” he claims to be is his volatile temperament. Given the opportunity, I have no doubt that I would emerge victorious over him in a hand-to-hand fight to the death. Sure, multiple encounters at the gym reveal that he is, in fact, pretty cut (see attachment #6, ahnprettycut.jpg). And sure, he may have put me in a vice-like headlock from which there was no hope of escape and which may or may not necessitated a change of pants. But that was administered from behind, with almost no warning! I mean, I didn’t even get that close to Professor Bobbitt. Sure, in hindsight, I can admit that lunging towards a man carrying an infant child may not have been the most tactful move on my part. But to administer such a dangerous move on a fellow student with only the briefest of verbal warnings—the barbarity! And in any case, am I not entitled to converse with a Columbia Law School professor? Are his students the only ones who are permitted to approach him? It was actually quite difficult to figure out his address, and I did not let the fact that his apartment is all the way on the Upper East Side deter me in any way—surely that must count for something? Apparently not for that troglodyte, Ahn. As Deans, you should know I am considering legal action against him, but I could be persuaded to refrain if Professor Bobbitt would consider dropping the charges against me. I guarantee that the statements of the other preceptors were inaccurate. Their misplaced sense of self-importance surely induced them to exaggerate what actually happened (see attachment #7, policereport1.pdf). I can assure you that Professor Bobbitt was never in any “danger.” His baby (who, incidentally, is absolutely adorable) was not “crying hysterically.” And “unhinged” is surely no way to describe a fellow student of the law.
In short, the tyranny of the preceptors must end. Professor Bobbitt’s section must institute significant changes to ensure the continued vitality of the Legal Methods program. To begin with, it would probably be useful to bring in the perspectives of outsiders, preferably students who did not have him as a 1L and can provide thoughtful insight on how best to inculcate the killer academic instinct the incoming class will need to own the shit out of law school. To that end, I have attached my resume (attachment #8, lawresume.pdf), which I hope the administration will pass on to Professor Bobbitt on my behalf, as the doormen in his apartment have apparently been instructed to notify the police at any hint of my presence. (I’m sure Ahn is behind this.)
In summary, it is my sincere hope that the administration will submit to reason and good sense and facilitate some sort of dialogue between Professor Bobbitt and myself. I am sure the restraining order was nothing more than a clerical error (see attachment #9, mistakenTRO.pdf). I look forward to your response.
Very Sincerely Yours,