February 2010 - Posts
This is another posting in my quest to let you all in on the hidden gems of New Haven. If you are a cheese lover, this entry is especially for you. I am tempted to simply cut and paste the menu from this next restaurant, because it speaks for itself. But that would be cheating...
So, let's talk about Caseus (or cheese). This is a stop for people who appreciate food. The retail store sells over 100 artisan cheeses and products from local small producers. They also stock imported olives and olive oils, balsamic vinegar, chocolates, teas, and preserves. This is the best stop in town for hosting a wine and cheese gathering, following a stop into the Wine Thief (www.thewinethief.com) - another New Haven gem, but we'll leave that for a future blog post.
Before I give you the wrong impression, Caseus is not just a shop for picking up cheese and olives to go. It is also a fantastic restaurant. The bistro is as busy at lunch time as any place in New Haven. In the spring and summer this is the perfect place for a seasonal salad, but it is also ideal for a winter lunch. You can nestle into one of the wooden booths in the back with a warm Onion Soup Gratin or comforting Mac & Cheese.
For the true cheese lovers out there - yes, you can make a meal at Caseus on cheese alone. Order the cheese board.
For everyone else - the menu at Caseus is full of comfort food. At lunchtime they serve Steak Frites, Organic Half Chicken and the yummy Cheese Burger. They also serve a selection of sandwiches, from a Pastrami Reuben to, you guessed it, the classic grilled cheese. And can we talk about the Mac & Cheese? This not your childhood mac & cheese from Kraft or Annie. This is made with Raclette, Gouda and Comte, topped with brioche crumbs for texture and balanced with mixed greens. If you only plan to eat here once, get the Mac & Cheese. In the evening, Caseus has an expanded dinner menu, which includes a Venison Pot Pie, Carbonara and Short Rib. You can also order a charcuterie board of pates, dry cured meats and salami. Both menus are seasonal and centered on available local produce.
Caseus is located a few blocks from the Law School and is open for lunch every day except Sunday and dinner on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Now, go look at the menu, because my descriptions have not done the food justice: www.caseusnewhaven.com.
P.S. Rumor has it Caseus will soon be following in the footsteps of the Cupcake Truck with a Cheese Truck. The truck will stop at locations around New Haven and offer grilled cheese, tomato soup, daily sausages and salads. To stay updated, keep your eye on www.thecheesetruck.com.
So, rather than do a traditional "Ask Asha" post this round, I thought I would answer some of the questions -- and correct some of the off-base answers -- which have been circulating in the online forums. Yes, we do read them. And yes, it's not hard to figure out who some of you are. Please be on your best cyber behavior. (And by the way, you guys have way too much time on your hands.)
@ r6_philly: We do not have GPA/LSAT cutoffs. I am on application #2011. I read Every. Single. One. Regardless of numbers. As I've mentioned before, a weak number does usually need extremely strong everything else to make it through to the faculty, which is why I have to read through the whole thing, including the recommendations. Actually, a better topic for discussion might be what would keep someone with really strong numbers from being passed on... which happens with surprising frequency. It might be because the writing is really, really bad (have I mentioned not writing poetry for your 250?), or there is just something that doesn't fit -- like why does the person have only one academic reference (out of three) if s/he got a 4.0 all through college? Or maybe the recommendation has a big red flag like, "Sometimes Johhny's comments can border on arrogance, but usually he adds to the discussion." So, just like lower numbers don't mean you won't get a faculty review, good numbers don't keep you from getting automatically rejected, either.
@ crackberry: Numbers do not become irrelevant just because you get passed onto the full faculty review. It really depends on the faculty members reading your file. Some faculty are sticklers for the LSAT or your undergrad GPA. Some are more into your story. Some care only about what your recommenders say, because they feel that every other part of your application has been doctored. Some read every LSAT writing sample, and swear by it. It really depends on the combo of faculty reviewing your application which factors matter most. That's why our system produces such an interesting class...because the people who get the required scores have some core elements that three very different faculty members agreed on without even having to discuss them. Unfortunately, neither you nor I will ever know what those elements are.
@ Pausanias: There is no correlation between when you are admitted and whether you were a presumptive admit or read by faculty (I really don't see why this would make any difference once you are admitted, but anyway). Both I and the members of the faculty are reading files from early fall into April. So, it's entirely possible for an application to make it through a round of three faculty readers by December, just as it is possible for me to admit someone directly in the spring (it would be kind of odd, wouldn't it, if a must-have applicant applied on February 15 and I had no choice but to send the person to the faculty gamble?). In fact, I believe two years ago the very very very last file I read was a presumptive admit. Again: your chances of admission remain the same regardless of when you apply.
@ notanumber: Speaking of presumptive admits and numbers, the purpose of admitting someone directly is not to game the system so that we keep our 75th percentile high, or whatever the suggestion was. Someone who is admitted automatically is just a must-have applicant in every way. Academic promise is one part of it, but you don't need a perfect score or GPA to demonstrate academic promise. I can't really define what would make someone so compelling, since the people who fall into this category are so different, but just trust me when I say that we really use the numbers the way they are meant to be used: to predict their academic performance in law school. Beyond that, we try to put together the most diverse and talented class possible. How the numbers fall out once we do that is not something we are trying to control, though between my picks and the faculty's we do end up with an upper quartile with very high scores and GPAs.
@ Ben J: I probably do miss some typos. However, I catch a fair number of them, and whether they are fatal to your application really depends on the overall strength of your application and the egregiousness of the typo (as in, are you just sloppy, or does it call your literacy into question?). I saw some scuttlebutt about how applying late might suggest you are not really serious about YLS. We don't really interpret the date you choose to apply as having any correlation with your interest (in fact, it might suggest that you chose to spend more time applying to us than to anyone else!). On the other hand, even a typo in the "just sloppy" category might call into question how serious you are about Yale. Also, a typo will pretty much guarantee that you're out of the running for being a presumptive admit, and so even if I let it pass, you're then thrown in with the sharks for a faculty review (and I can't say how the faculty who read your application will look at it). Bottom line, please take the time to review your application for mistakes. I'll do a post this fall about the major mistakes I've seen -- I'll spare you all the list since most of you have already submitted your apps and I see that our Twitter posts are already causing you hypertension.
I hope this is helpful. Please discuss.
In my blog posts I frequently make passing references to the numerous centers and programs at YLS. There are over twenty centers, programs, and workshops that focus on a wide range of subjects, from legal reform in China and legal topics in South America, to corporate and public interest law. These organizations sponsor conferences, lectures, and panel discussions throughout the school year. They bring in leaders from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors; prominent legal practitioners; and scholars at the cutting edge of their respective disciplines to educate and engage our students and faculty. The centers are a natural extension of our curriculum and ensure that learning at YLS is not limited to a traditional classroom setting.
This week I'd like to focus on one of our largest centers, the Information Society Project (ISP). The ISP is an intellectual hub at YLS and serves as the umbrella organization for many of our co-curricular activities dealing with intellectual property, information technologies, and the Internet and their implications for law and society. The ISP sponsors several research programs, including programs in intellectual property reform and law and genomics. In addition to topics more commonly associated with the broadly-defined term "intellectual property," the ISP has research programs focusing on the intersection of law and the media, civil liberties online, digital education, and access to knowledge.
The ISP's research programs sponsor events on an almost weekly basis. Last week they welcomed their first speaker in the First Amendment Online Colloquium who spoke on search engine law and the First Amendment. This weekend the ISP's Access to Knowledge (A2K) program will host a major conference at YLS focusing on the intersection between access to knowledge and human rights.
The A2K program focuses on a host of issues affecting access to knowledge worldwide, including patent and copyright policy, media openness, access to information and communication technologies, access to government information, open-access scholarship, spectrum allocation, interoperability standards, and the preservation of traditional knowledge.
Conference speakers and attendees from around the globe will participate in panel discussions on gene patents and right to health, political expression and dissent in a digital world, using technology to expand access to education, copyrights and access for persons with disabilities, and establishing information access and ethics frameworks in Africa.
The A2K4 conference is open to the general public, like many of the events at YLS. There is still time to register for the program, which begins with a film screening on Thursday evening. Visit the conference's website to register and to access a complete list of panels, speakers, and conference schedule.