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The Fast. And the Furious...Hunger Striking J.D. Revealed

By Neetal Parekh on August 26, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

By now, whether you are a student of law or not, you have probably heard. First, about the hunger strike for law school transparency. And now, about the revelation of the true identity of the hunger striker.

It turns out that the few details that were set forth by UnemployedJD  blogger "Ethan Haines" provided a rather modest modicum of transparency themselves. For example "Ethan" is actually Zenovia. And she is not an entirely unemployed J.D.

The Huffington Post reported on a few of the recent developments in this story. Zenovia Evans, a graduate of Cooley Law School, revealed her identity to USA Today.  That interview found that Evans currently works as an independent contractor at a personal injury firm and is also pursuing an MBA.

Why are some people furious?

The blawgosphere is generally abuzz these days. Even before the days of J.D. food deprivation campaigns, many J.D.'s had coursed their way to the open internet waves in the form of bloggers, commenters, and readers.  So, needless to say, they noticed when a fellow legal blogger among them tried to take a vocal stance on law student concerns such as misleading employment statistics and escalating tuition rates.  And while there weren't many details about the fast and the fast-er, there was interest and even the beginnings of support for the effort.

Thus, for some, the news of Zenovia's identity coupled with past attempts at promoting a self-published book on law school as an option for undergraduates, have clouded these efforts for law school transparency. And, they have made legal bloggers more wary about claims related to this fast.

Does it dilute her cause?

Not necessarily in the long run, but it does seem to in the short run. Fasting for a venerable cause has been a tool for pacifist protest and activism.  Historic figures such as Monhandas Gandhi,  Cesar Chavez, and Margaret Higgins Sanger employed the method to raise awareness about social issues such as political freedom, protection for migrant farm workers, and education on female contraception.

To do so for a more-abstract cause such as law school transparency itself poses challenge.  It's tough to unify behind the cause and rally a broad base of support considering the niche group the campaign aims to serve.

Add to this questions about  motives for the fast and the pursuits of the fasting individual, and suddenly the fasting seems to have reduced leverage power.


However, a conversation has been started. If anything, the movement for law school transparency initiated by a non-profit organization by the same name has received a boost. 

Check out the editable wiki page created on this topic in LawBrain: Law School Transparency.

You can add to the page and share your thoughts in the Opinion Tab.

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