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hungry unemployedLaw school has been a wild ride for recent graduates since the beginning of the recession. Would-be lawyers’ employment woes have been chronicled in detail in almost every major publication since 2011, when the New York Times focused on the grim job prospects that awaited people after law school graduation.

This was not the case for all law school graduates, though. Those who were lucky enough to graduate from top-flight law schools often found themselves with jobs at large law firms. If graduates of the so-called “T14,” the upper echelon of law schools, somehow found themselves hopeless and jobless, their schools were quick to create public interest fellowship programs that would employ and pay them for a time. When those jobs ended, they were left to fend for themselves and struggle like the rest of their peers. Some graduates of superior law schools have continued to struggle for years after not being able to get their footing following the conclusion of their school-funded jobs.

Can you imagine what it must be like for one of these people to pass multiple bar exams and be unable to hold down a job? Can you imagine what it must be like to be a degree-holder from a prestigious law school drowning in so much debt that you’ve been forced to apply for food stamps and receive public assistance?

This is exactly what happened to a recent graduate of one of the best law schools in the country…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Graduate Of Elite Law School Forced To Live Off Welfare Due To Terrible State Of Job Market”

shocked billOuting the Biglaw attorney managing your project as callous and mean-spirited is probably not the right strategy for a contractor. Unless, of course, that contractor expects to be living in a van down by the river. Law is a remarkably small world, and these sorts of outbursts have a way of making the rounds — even without ATL getting involved.

On the other hand, through the dry sarcasm of the letter, the contractor’s complaints ring very familiar. It’s hard to blame a lawyer whose dignity is pushed to the limit for a pittance for lashing out.

And at least the parody of a heartfelt farewell is kind of funny….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Contract Attorney Rips Biglaw Supervisor In Farewell Email”

175px-Monica_lewinskyThe Washington Post reported this week that Monica Lewinsky was mistreated by the federal government — and not just by the head of the Executive Branch.

According to the article, a report just became public detailing misconduct by federal law enforcement in the way they approached Lewinsky at the start of her part of the investigation that lead to Clinton’s impeachment.

The report finds that the government’s approach was wrong. Lewinsky shouldn’t have been handled the way the FBI and prosecutor dealt with her.

How did the report reach that conclusion?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Monica Lewinsky and What’s Wrong With How the FBI Talks to People”


This oil law job is rigged.

This FT/LT oil law job is rigged.

* Will we have a nominee for Attorney General Eric Holder’s position “shortly after the election”? Per a White House spokesperson, our lame-duck Congress might just get a chance to confirm America’s next top lawyer. [WSJ Law Blog]

* In the wake of an associate general counsel’s suicide last week, Deutsche Bank has taken steps to further separate its legal and compliance teams to tamp down on its “legal and regulatory headaches.” Well then. [Corporate Counsel]

* David Tresch, Mayer Brown’s former chief information officer, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for his role in bilking the firm out of $4.8 million. Hey, it could’ve been worse, says his lawyer, whose client got off relatively easily. [Am Law Daily]

* Thanks to the rise of the “energy phenomenon,” law schools have started to offer various classes focusing on oil and gas law in the hopes of making their graduates employable. Good luck with that. [Times Online]

* If you plan to retake the LSAT, you need to study smarter. Don’t sweat it too much, though — it’s not like you’ve got a lot of competition trying to apply to law school. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

iStock_000016003404_LargeRemember when state attorneys general used to band together and take down tobacco companies? The diversified power of state actors accomplished what the centralized federal government — so easily influenced by corporate lobbyists — never could. Ascendant state power short-circuited Washington’s carefully cultivated lobbying relationship. Whether working in conjunction or individually (like in New York, where Eliot Spitzer routinely embarrassed the Feds by taking the time to actually do their jobs), state AG offices became the most important public watchdogs in the country, capable of dealing significant blows to corporate bad actors much faster than any legislature.

But the powers-that-be don’t stay on the mat for long. Biglaw lobbyists have since taken the lead in targeting AGs and zealously advocating for their clients by hobnobbing with top cops at lavish functions and political fundraising events….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “State AGs — They’re Just Like Us! (If We Take Big Gifts From Biglaw Corporate Lobbyists)”

LaurenceLeavy* As the World Series draws to a close, be sure to salute Miami-based lawyer Laurence Leavy, who will be sitting front and center behind home plate tonight wearing a garish Miami Marlins jersey. Troll so hard, buddy! [CBS Sports]

* Speaking of the World Series: Do you think you know the law? How about baseball? Here’s a Law and Baseball trivia competition in the form of a crossword. Act fast because the first one with a completed entry is declared the winner. [Dewey B Strategic]

* Thomas Jefferson School of Law restructures its debt and manages to stay alive! Oh happy day! [TaxProfBlog]

* Selling yourself is important, but NOT selling yourself may be more powerful. [Law and More]

* I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising, but there’s a hefty hiring and pay gap between the sexes in the expert witness industry. [The Expert Institute]

* Donald Trump’s “Trump University” can add “RICO defendant” to its list of accomplishments after a federal judge grants class certifications to students suing the school. [Law 360]

* A discussion of the lack of diversity on the Court cites our list of Supreme Court clerks and notes that Justice Clarence Thomas practices what he preaches about expanding opportunity beyond Harvard and Yale. [Los Angeles Times]

* Elie joined Daniel Gershburg on his podcast to discuss legal education, Vegas, and the phenomenon of Walmart Law, Inc. Podcast embedded below…. [I Am The Law Podcast]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Sequiturs: 10.29.14″

thank you spring flowersThanks to our advertisers here at Above the Law:

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This is going to sound like a simple mistake. This is going to sound like a legal “technicality” that has resulted in a sex offender going free. But when a judge upends a central pillar of American law, even accidentally, there’s no other outcome.

Here’s the story, from ABA JournalGuilty not guilty:

The Los Angeles judge erred during the December 2006 voir dire in the sex-crime trial of Bryant Keith Williams, according to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The judge said Williams had pleaded guilty to the charges, though he intended to say Williams had pleaded not guilty.

The judge’s error came to light when jurors who had been deliberating for less than an hour sent the judge a note. “As a group,” the note read, “we the jury feel we heard the judge state the defendant pleaded guilty before the trial. Is this true?”

The judge tried to correct his mistake. He said that the defendant pleaded “not” guilty, and asked the jurors if they could still look back on the trial with that in mind. One juror was dismissed. The rest said that they could, and returned a guilty verdict.

Continue reading on Above the Law Redline…

merger law firm mergerThese are challenging times for the nation’s 200k+ law firms. Just look at the pace of mergers. Combination announcements appear almost weekly.

In fact, 2013 was a record year for law firm mergers. And, based on the first nine months of this year, 2014 will end with a similar number of transactions. Although the mega-mergers grab the headlines, a big number of transactions are between smaller firms or smaller firms being scooped up by larger concerns seeking to gain a foothold in new markets.

Last month, The American Lawyer reported on this record merger pace citing deals closed in the hot southwest legal market. Two notables:

  • LeClairRyan’s merger with Houston’s Hays, McConn
  • Fox Rothschild’s combination with David & Goodman in Dallas

In both mergers, Roger Hayse and Andy Jillson of Hayse LLC advised Hays McConn and David & Goodman in their respective transactions and helped shepherd those two firms through to successful deals. Why are Roger and Andy front and center in this robust merger market? For one, they have walked in your shoes. Here are two guys who led and helped build a strong regional firm that included the strategy of merger. So, how should small to medium-sized firms approach a merger strategy? What are the “rules of the road” for achieving a successful merger? What are the best ways to manage the inherent risks?

Let’s hear from Roger and Andy:

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Strategy Of Merger: 4 Steps To Success For Law Firm Leaders”

Canada View From Up North As most of the world knows, last week a gunman shot and killed a Canadian soldier as he stood at his post near the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Corporal Nathan Cirillo was standing on guard in honour of his fallen brothers-in-arms when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot him with a 30-30 rifle at close range.

Hunters use 30-30s to kill moose.

As ordinary citizens tried heroically to save our soldier’s life, Zehaf-Bibeau rushed over to Parliament Hill, only a few blocks away, bent on destroying more lives. He died in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers, thankfully before he could do further serious harm.

What a horrible day for Canada and an infinitely more horrible day for Corporal Cirillo’s family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his loved ones.

I apologize, because when a young soldier loses his life, politics should be the last thing on anybody’s mind. But, Corporal Cirillo’s death immediately turned political….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The View From Up North: Terror In Ottawa”

Philadelphia_skyline_from_south_street_bridgeNext week, ATL will be in the City of Brotherly Love. So, if you’re a law student, come meet up with us for drinks after class — I mean, we’ll buy you one. Courtesy of our friends at Kaplan Bar Review.

Many of you have told us you’re coming. But for those of you who haven’t, here’s your invitation.

Details and a form to officially RSVP are below.

Tell your friends and come on down…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “RSVP Now For A Free Drink With ATL In Philadelphia”

law_school1-e13663075495591-RFThe past few years have been challenging for U.S. legal education. Law school applications have fallen by 37 percent since their 2010 peak. As a result, law schools have had to accept weaker students, shrink their entering class sizes, or both. Smaller entering classes have meant reduced tuition revenue, which has resulted in layoffs of faculty and staff and even news of a campus closing.

But is legal education about to make a comeback? Survey says….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Admissions Officers Express Optimism (Although Why Is Unclear)”

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