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Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with Chubbies shorts at all. I’m simply using the shorts as an analogy.

As a law student, most of my experience with the intellectual property regime has been fairly removed and abstract. But I also happen to have an awesome big brother who is a genius of a businessman. His new business was doing stunningly well, although, he recently got sued. Why? Another company is alleging he has infringed upon their intellectual property.

Chubbies_short_shorts_for_menI was never certain where I stood in the whole IP debate, and I am still not certain where I stand now. But, with one phone call, my brother made me realize that there are serious problems with our current approach to IP. Indeed, there are some forms of “intellectual property” that cause a hell of a lot more harm than good.

Struggling to find something to compare my brother’s situation to, I landed on Chubbies shorts as being a pretty great analogy. Chubbies, the frattiest thing known to mankind, are in pretty hot demand. Now, let’s say my brother — who we can imagine as the model of a frat boy — saw an opportunity in creating his own brand of short shorts.

Since he has pretty good business sense, he made sure to roll out his own brand of shorts in time for Christmas sales. Turns out Chubbies, the brand everyone wanted to put under the tree, couldn’t meet demand, so my brother’s shorts were right there to pick up the slack and he did pretty well for himself throughout the holiday season. Fear not, for he made everyone’s Christmas wish for short shorts come true… and better yet, for half the price. After all, it is always fun to imagine your favorite frat boy donning a pair of Chubbies on christmas morning… (more…)

How should we respond to Muslim communities in the light of recent acts of terror? Ask someone with a Jesuit education.

8696581956_b86ffa52a6_bThis might sound strange coming from someone who is not religious, but if there is one person who appreciates her Jesuit education (and the way it has benefitted my life for the better), it’s me. Learning about different belief systems and religious communities throughout my undergraduate studies taught me the importance of religious freedom, and respect for the free expression of religious (or nonreligious) beliefs — no matter what someone’s opinion is.

After receiving an incredible backlash of pure, unadulterated hatred, for posting a video of a man slamming a Muslim neighbor at a town hall meeting, I decided that it was high time to speak up. I hope that by sharing what I learned from my Jesuit education can encourage others to view religious thought and practice with an open and tolerant mind.  

Liberty is about so many things, at the core of which is freedom of thought. I may not agree with what you believe, but I have to trust that you developed that opinion based on your own investigation and volition. Part of that investigation is remaining open to new ways of thinking and allowing that exposure to change you for the better. (more…)

GRITSWhile at my parents house before moving to law school, I ran across a copy of “G.R.I.T.S.” The book serves as a handbook for the behavior of a true southern belle, a set of rules for girls raised in the American south. Seeing that I have never been involved in some of the quintessentially southern activities like debutante or parading around in hoop skirts, I will by no means claim to speak for all of my fellow southern ladies.

Admittedly, I fall short of the majority of suggestions in this book, including the suggestion that “if it takes you less than 30 minutes to get ready, then you shouldn’t be leaving the house at all.” I am, however, a sorority woman and I do know the importance of sweet tea. This, and the fact that I am an Alabamian, born and raised, gives me at least some authority to speak on the south-bashing that has been flooding the media recently. (more…)