As we discussed yesterday, Emily Pataki — daughter of lame duck New York governor George Pataki, a graduate of Columbia Law School, and now
an associate a supervised legal intern at White & Case — did not pass the New York bar. This fact became widely known after Emily sent around an office-wide email about the matter.
We’re taking a reader poll to obtain your thoughts on whether or not this was a wise move. We’ll close that poll soon; if you’d like to vote, click here. Several of you also discussed the issue in the comments (where opinions were all over the map).
Also, some of Emily Pataki’s law school classmates responded to our request for firsthand information about her. We’ve collected these responses, which you can read after the jump.
One commenter wrote:
I knew her law school… Very sweet girl, really bright and worked pretty hard. I imagine her failing was just a fluke… Sometimes unfortunate things happen to the best of us. Though a mass e-mail to the whole firm may have been a bit much, I think she probably knew this would make the legal / political gossip rounds, so she might as well try to own it. Kudos to her for the attempt.
Another favorable comment, sent to us by email:
I knew Emily from law school where I was involved in a pro bono project with her. She’s quite smart, very friendl,y and genuinely a pleasure to be around (especially compared to many other lawyers that I know). She probably failed the bar because, as you well know, the bar does not test legal acumen, intelligence or aptitude for anything other than memorization…
A fair point. We know a number of smart and successful lawyers who didn’t pass the bar the first time around.
Here’s a less favorable appraisal of Emily, also received by email:
Emily was in my class at Columbia but I never got to know her. Not surprisingly, she exuded an air of superiority.
This would’ve been much less of a story, I suspect, if she hadn’t sent around that e-mail. And seriously, if you’re sending around a hopefully-rehabilitative e-mail like that, why in the hell would you not check for elementary grammar? If people think you’re dumb, the way to convince them otherwise is most definitely not to send around an e-mail with comma splices in it.
And good lord, the thing to do when you fail is NOT to tell everyone that you did your best. She should be cultivating an air of ambiguity around how hard she worked (which, incidentally, wasn’t very hard from what I heard), giving people the impression (without saying it of course) that she slacked off. If she did her best, no one has any reason to believe she’ll pass the next time.
Finally, an email with an interesting question:
Here’s what I don’t get: if she actually is 23 and graduated from Yale undergrad in 2001 (as her bio states), that would mean she graduated college at the age of 18. Something is up with that, and I’m surprised no one has noticed this yet!
Hmm… Has Emily’s bio, on the People for Pataki webpage, not been updated to reflect her current age? Or did Emily skip a number of grades in school?
Update: DUH. Thanks for the comment; we didn’t notice that. We’re having one of those days. So if she was 23 in 2002, she must be around 26 now.
Emily Pataki bio [People for Pataki]
Earlier: Yes, We Have Heard About Emily Pataki
Political Kids and the Bar Exam: What Gives?