Le Questionnaire

Questions for the outgoing JLPP Editor-in-Chief Daniel Guzmán adapted by Sarah Hack from Marcel Proust, Inside the Actors Studio, and the Vanity Fair Magazine back page.

What is your current state of mind?


What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Waking up in the morning and thinking that I can’t wait to get to work.

What is your greatest fear about the future of law & legal writing online?

That some will use the medium as an excuse to reduce the excellence we demand in legal writing, with respect to argumentation, analysis, and form.  Also, that some will mistakenly presume that our discipline is less rigorous as a result of its transmission through the internet.

What is your favorite blog?

This one.  Seriously, because I know what goes into it.  With respect to other legal blogs, I really don’t follow many of them because I find them fundamentally uninteresting, except perhaps Dorf on Law. (http://www.dorfonlaw.org/)

Which historical or living lawyer/judge/legal academic/legal person do you most admire?

Historical: Justice Thurgood Marshal; he was a trailblazer.  Living: Justice Sonia Sotomayor.  She’s also a trailblazer, and I met her once, and she’s very kind and always willing to give of her time. I also have a great deal of admiration for Neal Katyal and Seth Waxman for their appellate advocacy before the Supreme Court.  And Cornell Law School Professor Sheri Johnson, who has been a tremendous mentor, confidant, and friend, in addition to being an unbelievably good lawyer.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Probably that I own a desktop and a laptop, and wish I had a newer version of each.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue of law journals?

That they are an essential resume builder and that they could be the difference in getting a job offer or not.  Journal experience cannot turn a poor resume into a good one.  It is merely one factor in something more like a “totality of the circumstances” test.

On what occasion do you lie?

When I ask myself how many calories I’ve consumed in a given day.

If you could change one thing about JLPP, what would it be?

Internally, I would probably establish a separate committee for independent outreach to authors because it takes up a tremendous amount of time.  Externally, the perception around the law school that it is anything less than the second best journal at Cornell.  The division of workspace that the law school has implemented for the three journals, which places us with less space than the other journals, and farther away from the other two journals.

What do you consider your greatest achievement on JLPP?

Managing disparate personalities and conflicts.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My salt and pepper hair and portliness, physically.  I suppose I have been described as polite and considerate by some.

What is your single piece of advice for future generations of the JLPP board?

Publish on time!  Never lose sight of that!  I guess I would also add that any Journal activities that are a little experimental are great, but one should always think about whether a subsequent Board could carry the activity forward or not.  Change, in moderation, is good.

What is your single piece of advice for the future of this blog?

See my answer to the previous question.  I guess I would add that, topical legal issues are excellent sources of blogs, but we should also strive to keep “hard” legal analysis as a part of the blog.  I think The Legal Workshop is somewhat of a good template, and I hope JLPP strives to come together with the other law and policy journals to launch something similar.

How would you like to die?

Gloriously.  Similar to the epitaph on Royal Tenenbaum’s tombstone: “Died Tragically Rescuing His Family From The Remains Of A Destroyed Sinking Battleship.”

What is your motto?

Fail Spectacularly.

Daniel Eduardo Guzmán was born in Harvey, IL, and grew up in San Antonio, TX.  After graduating from Edison High School in San Antonio, he attended St. Mary’s University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in History.  Before attending Cornell Law, Daniel earned a Masters degree in History at the University of Texas at El Paso.  He is the stupendous outgoing Editor-in-Chief of JLPP Volume 20.