(Mike Laussade (a.k.a. BuffaloWings&Vodka) is the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Law Review. He smells nice. )
Having attained a certain level of what I hesitate to call, well, greatness, I often get asked by people, mostly girls, attractive ones, "Mike, How did you do it?" But the important question here is not how, but why. And to that, I say the following:
Look -- I'm not in this for the perks. Yes, I have my own office. And it has its own refrigerator, big screen TV, and massage chair. And it comes with a personal attendant, an English fellow named Gareth, who has worked for my law review for thirty-three years and has spent every one of those years in the service of the EIC, acting as a concierge/ butler/ bodyguard.
And, yes, I have an expense account, good up to $50,000 that allows me to order in for most of my lunches, buy clothes for what has become, without a doubt, the hippest wardrobe in the law school, get any electronic gadget that happens to catch my eye (ex: four different iPods -- one for pop, one for metal, one for reggae, and one for Books on Tape... God, how I love Sue Grafton), and entertain guests in some of the nicest clubs and restaurants in town.
And, yes, I have a monthly use-it-or-lose-it travel stipend that sends me Cozumel or Cyprus or Aspen at least once every two weeks. But I'm not in this for the perks.
Nor is it just about my career. Fine, so I get three e-mails a day from firms wanting to know if I could spend just a week with them this summer so that they might be able to say that they had me as an employee. Fine, so I had to buy a new phone line just to handle all of the preemptive offers from federal judges trying to get me to accept a clerkship with them before the recruiting season starts. Fine, so Iím getting pressure from the administration to drop one of my fall classes so that I can teach a seminar on a topic of my choosing (FYI: Currently torn between "The Nineteenth Amendment: WTF?" and "Advanced Topics in Personal Injury: Making Your TV Ad Work for You"). And, fine, so Iíve been admitted to the super-secret Id Society, whose members include half of the federal judiciary, three-fourths of the 100 most cited American law professors, and five-sixths of the cast of Friends. But this isn't about my career.
This is about the law. This is about the articles, about the editing, about the search for truth. I stay in the office until 9:00 every night because I enjoy nothing more than seeking out improperly italicized spaces and numbers that are in small caps. I stay here because I like putting red pencil all over the work of professors who gave me crappy exam grades. I stay here because, in a legal world short on right answers, I take comfort in the absolute correctness of an accurate quote or a well-formatted journal cite.
This job isn't for everybody. But it's the only job for me. Think twice about applying for your journal's editorial board. But do think about it.