Friday, June 23, 2006

Begging At the Feet Of Gods

Or at least, exalted professors who are leading authorities in their field.

I was social today and actually talked to real human people, instead of to myself by typing into this blog space...and needless to say, this blog has suffered. Apologies.

Other distractions: asking professors to be my advisor. Have you ever tried? It's like pulling teeth. Asking for a letter of rec: inconvenient, but not too cumbersome. There is already a generic version in your head. Your administrative assistant can type most of it up. But advising a student? Like, for a year? Reading bad drafts of shoddy ideas? Having to operate as teacher, editor, and life coach all at once? Let me think about that.....and I'll get back to you.


Dear Professor ________,

Hello, my name is Belle Lettre. I recently graduated from Bourgie Metrosexual Law School, where I concentrated in Critical Race Studies. I have been admitted to the LLM program at Liberal College Town Law School for the 2006-2007 academic year. I intend to research how the current federalism jurisprudence will impact the constitutional analysis of federal anti-discrimination statutes such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. I believe that this question is timely, in consideration of two recent Supreme Court decisions. Gonzales v. Raich arguably expanded the federal government’s regulatory authority, and Rapanos v. U.S. left the determination of constitutional issues in Raich largely unchanged. I would like to interrogate the issue of whether Raich and Rapanos expand government regulatory authority over "non-economic" activity under the Commerce Clause, a power that had been retracted under U.S. v. Lopez and U.S. v. Morrison. I am particularly interested in how the jurisprudential shift affects state and federal initiatives to combat hate and gender-motivated crimes.

I am writing to ask you whether you would be willing to be my thesis advisor for this project. I read your articles ______ and ______ and _______ with great interest, and your work has significantly influenced me and has helped to shape the scope of my project. Attached is my research proposal. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Belle Lettre

Professor ________:


2 days pass

(more silence)

I am hoping it's a summer thing. I would love to work with Professor _______. He is the one of the leading scholars in this area. Such is the pitfall of asking a superstar (or heck, any law prof) to be your advisor. You want me to do what? You want me to commit to what?! For a year?! It's like they're long-term bachelors, used to a measure of independence, who find themselves on their wedding days facing unspeakable horror: advising a young punk who wants their job.