It's easy, just study

03 March 2012 By Lawyers Weekly

It’s easy, just studyAn eight-year-old boy whose dream it is to be a federal judge has shocked his native country Brazil by passing his law school entrance exam. Those who struggled…

It’s easy, just study

An eight-year-old boy whose dream it is to be a federal judge has shocked his native country Brazil by passing his law school entrance exam. Those who struggled through law school needn’t feel too deflated, however – he did study for a whole week to get there.

The Brazilian Bar Association said the achievement of Joao Victor Portelinha should be taken as a warning about the low standards of some of the nation’s law schools, reported.


“If this is confirmed, the Education Ministry should immediately intervene ... to investigate the circumstances of this case,” said the association’s president in Goiás state, Miguel Angelo Cancado.

The eight-year-old is two levels ahead of normal classes for his age, and is now in Year 5. But he’s going to have to graduate from high school before the Universidade Paulista, a multi-campus private university in Brazil, will take him on.

Despite his achievements, his mother says he’s not a cloistered genius, but a real boy. “He is a regular boy,” she told the Folha de S Paulonewspaper.

Her advice to those wanting to achieve the same goal: “He is very dedicated, likes to read and study, but he has fun and makes friends.”

The boy does intend to follow his obvious aptitude for the legal arena, saying he dreams about being a federal judge. “So I decided to take the test to see how I would do ... It was easy. I studied a week before the test.”

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This reminds Folklaw of that excellent Reese Witherspoon quote from her best role in Legally Blonde. When the bubbly blonde shocks her uppity ex-boyfriend by getting into Harvard Law School, she responds: “What? Like it’s hard?”

Off-the-record off the table in Obama’s aid interview

It’s a nasty mix when both interviewee and journalist mess up – you get the worst kind of off-the-record quote being reproduced the world over by hungry writers. And Folklaw, apparently, is not going to step away from the fray.

The worst example that we’ve heard for a while comes from the US presidential campaign, from the dust of which one top-foreign policy aid apparently spoke too quickly.

Obama’s aid, Harvard Law School graduate Samantha Power, let her words slip in an interview in London with The Scotsman when she told the reporter “We f***** up in Ohio” and “You just look at [Clinton] and think ‘ergh’.”

Apparently Power, who is the new-ish love interest of Professor Cass Sunstein, who has just accepted a position at Harvard Law School, thought she was off the record – of course meaning she couldn’t be quoted in the paper.

But The Scotsman gives an explanation at the bottom of the story. Power had tried to make her comments off the record when she said: “She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything.” But the Scotsman states the rules were established in advance, and so everything that took place in the actual interview was a free for all, basically.

Lawyerly chick turns to lit

Folklaw well knows that all lawyers secretly want to be writers – and, certainly, sometimes not so secretly. One lawyer-turned-novelist is doing very well in the US literary arena, providing a little hope for writers to be.

Julie Buxbaum is a Harvard alumni and lawyer-turned-author. Her first book, titled The Opposite of Love, is getting favourable reviews overall. Buxhaum has just signed a deal for two books, so it’s a good sign that the first is being well-received. For those wondering how lucrative the literary caper is likely to be: her advance was likely in excess of US$500,000 ($537,400).

If it looks like stress and smells like stress …

Can a shot of lavender scent ease the stress of a hostile takeover? Can the aroma from a cup of freshly-brewed coffee alleviate the Monday morning blues? These are the questions neuroscientists are raising as researchers in Japan use near-infrared technology to measure aromas’ impact on our prefrontal cortex.

This may be the answer for firms unwilling to enter the work-life balance space. Check out for more detailed information on the matter, but the gist of the recent research is that scents can really reduce stress if applied over a period of time.

There’s little doubt that many offices do lose productivity due to stress, states the Neuroscience-Based Marketing website. “If you’ve ever worked in an environment where goals aren’t being met, or there are rumors of cutbacks or an acquisition, you know that the response of many workers is entirely counterproductive. Instead of focusing on getting the job done and preventing whatever problem is looming, they seem to become paralysed,” the site states.

“Rather than working, they obsess about what might happen, feed the rumour mill, and engage in other unproductive activity. Even in more normal work situations, prickly co-workers, grumpy bosses, balky computers, tight deadlines, and a million other factors may increase stress and reduce productivity.”

Ring a bell? Time to bring in the verbena and rosemary oil burner.

Model’s breasts save her in court

A Japanese model’s large breasts have helped overturn a court case against her. Bikini model Serena Kozakura was cleared after a court decided she was too well-endowed to squeeze into a room through a hole.

The 38-year-old model was convicted of property destruction last year after a man claimed she kicked in the wooden door of his room and crawled inside. Jealousy had allegedly driven the 110 centimetre-busted model to these measures.

Kozakura turns the blame back on the man himself, and in her appeal the defence counsel held up a plate showing the size of the hole and said that she could not squeeze through with her larger-than-average bust.

Tokyo High Court presiding judge Kunio Harada agreed and threw out the guilty verdict yesterday. The model herself said: “I used to hate my body so much … But it was my breasts that won in court.”

The case was well covered in the Japanese media, with the Asahi network actually having the hide to invite her to demonstrate how she could not fit through the opening.

It's easy, just study
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