Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Writing and Thinking in the Minnesota Autumn

This morning, I had this piece on the op-ed page of The Minneapolis Star Tribune, my new hometown paper. Check out the comments-- very different than the type of responses I get in the Dallas Daily News or the Huffington Post (which are often wise and insightful, but also often pretty harsh). Here is a tidbit:

We may need to make minor personal sacrifices if we want drug abuse to go down. For example, the most promising effort in combating meth is what we have seen in Oregon. In 2004, there were about 400 incidents involving illegal meth labs in that state. In 2008, there were 20. Oregon made the cold medication pseudoephedrine, which is a key ingredient in illegal meth, available by prescription only. This kind of regulatory approach doesn't fill the prisons, but it does solve the problem. So why don't other states follow Oregon's lead? In part, because people don't want the hassle of getting a prescription for a cold medication.

Through former student Jim Dedman, I also had an interview on the Abnormal Use Blog yesterday. Jim was in my very first class on Criminal Practice, along with David Moore. Interestingly, Jim went on to make an excellent movie about the Baylor Law experience ("Pleadings"), while David became the subject of a major motion picture which was set in part at Baylor Law ("American Violet," which I mention in the interview). Here is an excerpt:

5. If you could offer young lawyers beginning their careers one piece of advice, what would it be?

Pick the right mentor. Find someone with enthusiasm for what they do, who views his or her work as a calling of some kind. Do not accept a jaded mentor, or cynicism about the practice of law. If there is no one like that in your firm, you are not in a good place. If that’s where you are, well, we have room for you in criminal law, where there are plenty of true believers on both sides of the bar.

Finding a good mentor is really hard. I had one, but he left my firm a year after I graduated. After that I had to find my own way. Its not like there's mentors out there looking for mentees.
You were my mentor. I have yet to find your equal.
Hey Mark. Just catching up after a couple years. Do you remember me? Think Marshmallow Free for all.
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