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  October 29 — Painting the Town!

As always, the first news from New York is the fashion report, and, as you can see from this photo, the city didn't need much help; it had already painted itself!

New York footwear 2011

 

In fact, this photo (and 20 others) is the reason the report is so late; I left my camera in a hotel in Connecticut, and had to wait for its return. Thank you, Dino and Rebecca.

This year's big news is that nothing is "in." There's an early 60's "Going to a Go-Go" feel, but also a late 50's fraternity look. Boots are in — in suede, patent, or just plain leather, from the demi-boot to the thigh-high, from Peter Pan flats to stilettos. But the people in the street —all up and down Fifth Avenue — were wearing whatever. Fendi, Ferragamo, Escada, Gucci. Diesel, all failed to impress, or were just too expensive for this economy. There is an odd fur look in some stores reminiscent of Vikings, but I can't see that going over at a job interview.

The New York "play day" for getting acquainted with new clients was a blast. Emily, Mom (a/k/a/ Katey), Aunt Mary, and family friend Amanda walked with me from the 2nd Ave. Deli, at 23rd and Lex, all the way to Trump Tower at 57th and 5th. We got to experience New York as it's best experienced -- strolling up the same Avenue that Fred and Judy enjoyed in Easter Parade. I got so many good pictures from the New York jaunt that I'm giving it a spread of its own.

As to data-gathering, we tried. Gary came up from DC to help, and we quickly learned that almost every bit of data we gathered was meaningless. Why? Because we were missing a year. The ABA-LSAC Official Guide has data for the entering class of 2009. We were gathering data for 2011. But without knowing the stats for 2010, we couldn't correctly interpret the data. For instance, one school reported having a 28% decrease in 2011, but a 28% increase the year before, leaving it right where it was. So my official answer is, "Schools are concerned about their 2012 applicant pool, but there's no hard data to rely on."

FYI, the 2010 data is available on the web, but a deliberate bandwidth slowdown to discourage people from trying to watch whole movies on their cell phones made visiting 200 web pages impractical.

Day one at the New York Forum showed me that a lot of the habits of my clients that frustrate me are generational, not just idiosyncratic. The two clients were chatting away about people, while we oldsters studied architectural styles, trying vainly to make a point or two about Art Deco and Art Nouveau, Louis Sullivan and Louis Tiffany.

We skipped a fancy dinner Friday night for MoMA's "Free Friday" visits, sponsored by Target. (Yes, I believe we should support any steps toward equal access.) Sadly, I was disappointed. The two huge Monet paintings were crammed into way too small a room. Two Seurats, one or two DalĂ­s, and way too many Picassos (capitalizing on the current tour), combined with the closure of the outdoor sculpture garden because of rain (clearly not MoMA's fault), left me with less than I had hoped for. However, I did discover that I really like Tanguy, am fascinated by Max Ernst, and would love to see what a psychiatrist has to say about Kandinsky.

Day Two at the Forum confirmed the only firm data point I'd stick my neck out for: whereas two or three years ago 166 defined "no man's land," this year 164 plays that role. Too low for the top schools unless you have a GPA to carry you to a May offer, so high that the edge of the top fifty will "throw dollars at you," as a dear friend used to say, and no place where the fit is "just right."

Before New York, there was Philly. Drexel's Law Fair was in a great space, but the crowd wasn't very large. Also, a dearth of top schools made my client's 164 LSAT score seem very — perhaps overly — attractive. The prevailing feeling was that schools fear losing a point or two on the LSAT, perhaps justifying it by increasing the GPA, but no one wants to simply admit to a decrease in either apps or LSAT scores. We heard an awful lot of "well, it seems low compared to last year, but compared to three years ago..."

Also, I must confess that the Larry's cheese steak wasn't what it used to be. But then, hardly anything ever is, I guess. The other Philly restaurants might stay on the list, or we may have to go exploring.

A symptom of the decline of the city is the number of places where the poorly maintained abutted the wealthier sections; at the same time, the number of efforts to repaint and rehab in the poorer neighborhoods spoke either of gentrification or determination, and I don't have enough info to pretend to know which. The Mural Project makes determination the more likely answer, and it certainly adds a dash of panache to what would otherwise be a ghetto.

My next journey will probably be in mid-November.

Western Washington's Law Fair is on Tuesday, Nov. 15th. On Wednesday the 16th I'll attend UW's Law Fair here in Seattle. I'll look for a flight to Houston to get me there in time for dinner Thursday. Friday I'll get acquainted with new clients, Saturday is the Law Forum, and Sunday I'll fly back.

Look for any breaking news on Monday, November 14th, and the last Form Report over Thanksgiving weekend.

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