The Legal Beat
Freezing Law Student Burns Court Cases To Stay Warm During Power Outage
Posted on Thursday February 18, 2021
Millions of Texans are currently going without electricity, heat, and water thanks to a freak snow storm (and an electric grid that was completely unprepared for the subsequent demand for power). But they’re not the only ones who are freezing because of power outages due to the extreme cold. People in Missouri have been experiencing rolling blackouts meant to conserve energy during this high demand period, but some have seen their outages last for much, much longer than expected.
Take, for example, the case of Alexandria Darden, 27, a second-year student at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law. Earlier this week, she experienced an incredibly lengthy, planned power outage that left her so cold that she had to resort to some extreme measures. The Kansas City Star has the details:
[Darden] woke up to ice forming on the inside of the windows and sliding glass door of her Kansas City apartment Tuesday morning.
[She] threw a stack of old court cases into her fireplace and lit them just to keep warm.
Burning caselaw to keep yourself from freezing is very much a law school problem that we bet no law student ever imagined they’d have, but here we are.
Darden couldn’t attend her online classes because she had no power, so she charged her phone in her car and went on a fruitless search for firewood instead. When she got back home, her aprtment was 43 degrees, so she decided to go to a friend’s house.
“I feel terrible for all the other families and other people who may not have the resources, or may not be able to leave and are just stuck,” Darden said in an interview with the Kansas City Star. We reached out to her to see if she ever got her power turned back on, or if she had any tips or tricks for fellow law students who are stuck in the cold like she was. When we hear back, we’ll provide an update.
In the meantime, bundle up to stay warm and stay safe, everyone.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.