Restaurant Ipsa Loquitor: Blue Plate Kitchen

by Adriene L. Harwill, Pro Se Restaurant Critic

From the perspective of a Connecticut plaintiff’s attorney, eating at Blue Plate Kitchen has something in common with winning treble damages from a major Connecticut insurer: Fresh, Local, and Sustainable. If you are visiting Blue Plate Kitchen for dinner it is worth your time to make a reservation. Don’t lose the consortium that the warm lighting, friendly staff, and locally sourced cocktails provide. The open kitchen and bar create a lively environment. There aren’t many decorations other than a bizarre wall of cereal boxes, but luckily its aesthetic charms don’t give rise to nuisance claims.

Try the New England Side Car ($9) made with aged apple brandy from Westford Hills, Connecticut and New England cranberry bitters. The baby kale Caesar Salad was exceptional, significantly better than the standard Caesar.

Most reviews focus on the main course but Blue Plate Kitchen’s side dishes stood out as excellently executed. The mashed parsnips ($4) were the star of the meal, revealing the vegetable’s subtly sweet caramelized perfume. Dinner Plates ($14-$18) came with an absolutely light and airy buttery brioche popover that was a close second.

The only thing to avoid on their menu is the Simple Salad ($9). The farm to table vibe of the restaurant made me expect that “Blue Plate Kitchen Mixed Greens” would include garden cress, dandelion greens, or the winter-hardy mâche. Although it was mostly romaine, the vinaigrette was good enough to make up for it. You might hear your torts professor or Justice Cardozo saying, volenti non fit iniuria, no injury is done to a willing person (remember the Flopper? 250 N.Y. 479.). The professor would be right. I ate the whole thing.

If there is a restaurant that you would like Adriene to review, please contact Pro Se.

Address: 345 N. Main St.

West Hartford, CT 06117

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Diary of a 2L

by Sarah Ricciardi

I’m not technologically savvy at all – like I can barely microwave popcorn.  I consider it a major win every time I successfully use a Keurig.  I also don’t trust technology.  Whenever I send an important email, I check my outbox every three minutes to make sure it actually sent.  Sometimes I even send “test” emails to my mom so that she can assure me that she received them.

So you can imagine, I don’t have much confidence in any of the website “portals” that we are forced to rely on as law students. “PeopleSoft” should be called “Haha You can’t check your grades because your browser sucks.” Or better yet – “Just when you find the class you’re looking for, I’m going to take you back to the search screen so that you have to start all over again! Ha!”

And it’s possible that I don’t have a summer job because I’m not qualified and the market is overly saturated, but I think the better argument is that “Symplicity” is a fake job forum that just makes you think you have a chance at getting hired. Whenever I apply for a job via “Symplicity,” I have this nagging feeling that my resume isn’t being forwarded to an employer at all but is actually being sent to an underground bunker where dreams go to die.

I can’t even begin to complain about the law school email system because quite frankly I don’t understand it. @students? @law? @uconn? How about @consistency? If my Facebook newsfeed can figure out that I bought bath towels from Anthropologie, shouldn’t I be able to access my email all in one central place?

You might be saying to yourself, “wow, this chick is overly sensitive.” But I’ve got one word for you: “Exam4.” You spend an entire semester studying your butt off and the only way you will ever get a job is if you make it through this final and then BAM – Exam4 crash! Don’t tell me that you don’t have nightmares about this at least twice a year.

So in the spirit of this rant, here’s a riddle: who hates math and science; is insanely judgmental; and consistently binge drinks before noon? A law student!! And Kathy Lee Gifford.

UConn Law Launches S.J.D. Program

by Qihao He

UConn Law welcomes its first three S.J.D. candidates from 2013. The S.J.D. Program (Doctor of the Science of Law) is intended for individuals who have demonstrated evidence of superior scholarly potential and who are engaged in, or plan to pursue, careers in academia, government service, or the judiciary, according to the Law School website. The first three S.J.D. candidates are Irakli Kldiashvili from Georgia, Angelina Reif from Austria, and Qihao He from China.

Candidates accepted into the Program must have the ability to conduct sustained and original academic or professional research at a high intellectual level, as most have already completed an L.L.M., culminating in the submission of a doctoral dissertation. The principal researchers and contributors are Professor and former Dean Hugh Macgill, Professor Mark W. Janis, and Professor Kurt Strasser. Professor Mark W. Janis serves as the Program’s academic administrator.

Irakli Kldiashvili received his LL.M degree from UConn in 2005. Before rejoining UConn Law, he held various high ranking positions in the Georgian government, including Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Interior and State Security. Now his research area is Constitutional Law and Administrative Law. He said that over nearly 20 years, his career had gone through the establishment of Georgian government.

Qihao He had a similar educational experience at UConn. He received his LLM in Insurance Law from UConn last year and now does further research on Insurance Law with the support of the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Angelina Reif joined UConn Law at the beginning of the 2013 academic year as a doctoral candidate in the S.J.D. program. Prior to joining UConn Law, she studied at the University of Vienna, Austria, where she earned both a Masters in Law and a Masters in Political Science. Angelina’s main fields of interest lie in the area of international human rights law. For her S.J.D, she intends to focus her research on the justifiability of the right to food.

What To Do If You’re Still Looking For A Job

by Nina Pelc-Faszcza

The post-graduation job search for graduating students is undoubtedly one of the most, if not the most, stressful times of law school. Anxiety and nerves skyrocket in the winter, when many start to believe the clock is ticking for finding employment after graduation. But hope should not be lost.

For those students without an offer, there is no set time window for finding employment, and it is never too late. The government, public interest employers, and many small and medium-sized firms often hire later in the spring semester. Also, many opportunities also come after graduation for the important reason that many employers, especially smaller law firms, require bar passage before hire.

For those students still searching and eager for a job by May, the Career Planning Center offers the following pieces of advice:

1. Network.

The word we all love to hate. The reality of the situation often is that the key to finding a job within your realm of interests is maintaining and building contacts. Attend the events on campus that attract members of the outside community, even if that event doesn’t necessarily match your goals. We live in a very small world, especially in Connecticut, and you never know how the people you meet can help you. Take advantage of the bar associations and attend events off campus to meet practicing attorneys in your field(s) of interest, or even other law students who may be able to help. Consider contacting previous employers to keep those connections alive. Keep in mind that small and medium-sized firms may not even advertise open positions, but rather fill them through word of mouth or references from current employees. And make sure to let people know you are still looking for a job! Mention your search to law school faculty members and the individuals you meet at networking events, so that they know they have an opportunity to be of assistance.

2. Be proactive

Although it is true that many employers do not necessarily post openings until later in the semester, this does not mean that it’s best to sit and wait for that dream job to pop up on Symplicity in April. Get your resume out there. Getting your application materials in early could make a tremendous difference and put you at the top of the pile once those later-hiring employers do start the candidate search process.

3. Stay focused on your goal, but be realistic.

It is not yet time to abandon your hope of landing that dream job. By April, it might be time to consider your plan B, while still not losing complete focus on what you really want. But keep in mind, alternate plans can, and often do, serve as necessary stepping-stones to get you to where you really want to go. Be open to the opportunities that present themselves to you, even if you would not have considered them previously. Consider looking into a clerkship, a part time position, or even volunteering your legal services. Although these options may not be ideal for your situation, they will provide you with experience and more contacts that will be invaluable to your ability to secure that dream job in the future.

Although these are all important pieces of advice to follow, you should always do what feels right to you. Continue the process of self-assessment, and decide when it feels right to you to move onto your plan B. And as always, career planning counselors are available to talk to anyone about employment questions, plans, and goals. Good luck!

Student Organization Spotlight: Asian Pacific Law Students Association

by Jaime Welsh

APALSA Bowling

The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (“APALSA”) is an organization for students interested in all aspects of the Far East. According to their student organization page, the group’s mission is “to establish a network with graduates and Asian practitioners in the greater Hartford area to learn about career opportunities and obstacles they have encountered and overcome.”

APALSA President Nicole Ackerman stresses that students of any background are invited to join. “We are a small group on a big campus, which makes it feel like a family,” said Ackerman.

APALSA puts on several events each semester. This past fall, APALSA’s main event was the Annual Mid-Autumn celebration, which featured Chinese food and music. They also planned an informal social gathering in West Hartford Center, and a night of dinner and bowling aimed to allow 1Ls to network with upper classmen. In February, students attended a conference on Law and Public Policy hosted by Harvard Law School’s own APALSA group. At the conference, panelists showcased the accomplishments of Asian Americans in the legal community, as well as presented a diverse range of perspectives on social, political and cultural issues.

APALSA also maintains a relationship with the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association (CAPABA), and APALSA facilitates students forming mentor/ mentee connections with local practitioners through a program hosted by Lawyers for Collaborative Diversity.

Other events planned for this spring semester include: a Diversity Week panel on Asian Americans and Invisibility in Places of Power; a Tea Tasting on April 7, which is co-hosted with SALSA; and a social event such as laser tag or roller-blading, said Ackerman. APALSA’s election meeting for the 2014-2015 executive board will be Monday, April 21st, at 12:30pm in Chase 210.

“The executive board has the freedom to make APALSA whatever they want to, and it would be great to see new ideas brought to the table,” said Ackerman. Consider running for a position if you would like to get more involved.

If you have any questions or are interested in joining APALSA, contact them at UConnAPALSA@gmail.com, join their TWEN page, or look out for community emails.