November 2007

south carolina map bar exam controversy.jpgRemember the alleged South Carolina bar exam shenanigans, which we discussed in these pages last week? There are some updates. See the links collected below, including a fairly barebones statement from the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Also, here’s what appears to be an interesting email that made the rounds in the wake of the results announcement. It was purportedly sent by one of the test takers who initially failed to other individuals who sat for the S.C. bar exam:

Hey Y’all,

First of all I’m so sorry about the bar exam. This sucks. I need to know if any of you failed the Wills part of the exam and your score.

My Dad and [redacted's] dad have been on the phone with the powers that be, and if we can get a big enough group together that failed the Wills section they are going to take it to the Sup. Ct and see if they’ll regrade our exams. Apparently, the examiner for the Wills section has been asked not to come back. We have a slim chance, but I think that it is worth it.

So far I have a list of 10 people that have failed the exam. They are [names redacted]. If you all know of anyone else that failed the Wills section PLEASE let me know so that we add them to the list. The scores are important too because we need to show the court how outrageous they are. Again, I’m so sorry we all failed. I really can’t believe it.

[redacted]
Law Clerk

Please do not identify any individuals by name in the comments. Thank you.
South Carolina Bar Examination Weirdness [Feminist Law Professors]
S.C. High Court Responds to Bar Exam Flap [FITSNews]
Supreme Court Issues Statement Regarding July 2007 Bar Examination [South Carolina Judicial Department]
Bar exam appeal route urged [The State]
20 years ago, state official’s daughter got score changed [The State]
Earlier: What’s Up With the South Carolina Bar Exam?

What’s our favorite law school? Not Harvard, not Yale — at least not for blogging purposes. When it comes to generating ATL material, the University of Miami School of Law tops the rankings.
We previously addressed the U. Miami Law community as follows:

Thanks to your many mentions in these pages — in addition to this YouTube gem [a musical modeling montage by a current student], you’ve also given us an allegedly prostitute-soliciting professor; a train wreck of a People’s Court appearance, featuring a saucy current student and an even more saucy former professor; and UM alumna Oona O’Connell, now prominently featured on a site called Girls and Guns (look under the “Girls” tab) — you’ve been granted your very own ATL category tag. Congratulations!

Jessica Bikini Pool University of Miami Law School Above the Law blog.jpgAnd now we have another post to file under that tag…
It seems that Oona O’Connell : University of Miami :: Felix Frankfurter : Harvard Law School. Perhaps due to its tropical location, UM is apparently populated by more aspiring models than future lawyers.
First we brought you this would-be model, a current UM law student. And now we introduce you to “Jessica” (at right), a red-headed stunner who is currently a 1L at Miami. Check out the video clip below, “Bikini Pool,” in which Jessica and several other bikini-clad women shoot pool — to wit, “a hot, sexy game of Cutthroat.”
Correction: Jessica is not an “aspiring” model, she IS a model. She was on national contracts for both modeling and acting for two years before deciding to attend law school. Very impressive! How many law school students can make such a claim?
[Warnings: (1) As you might expect from a video clip entitled "Bikini Pool," it features women in bikinis. Don't play it if you're in a location where such a sight might be deemed inappropriate. (2) This video features loud music. Turn off your speakers if necessary.]

Bikini Pool [YouTube]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of the University of Miami School of Law (scroll down)

sandra day o'connor 2 justice o'connor.jpgBack in July 2005, shortly after Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her resignation from the Supreme Court, Professor Orin Kerr wrote an L.A. Times op-ed about how the Court might be affected by her departure. Its provocative title: O’Connor’s Successor Will Likely Be a Swinger.
We were reminded of Professor Kerr’s op-ed when we read this piece, by SOC biographer Joan Biskupic, in USA Today:

Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s husband, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has found a new romance, and his happiness is a relief to his wife, an Arizona TV report reveals.

The report, which quoted the couple’s oldest son, Scott O’Connor, focused on Alzheimer’s patients who forget their spouses and fall in love with someone else. Experts say the scenario is somewhat common.

[T]he report spotlighted John O’Connor, 77. He and the woman, referred to only as “Kay,” live at a Phoenix facility for people with Alzheimer’s.

A lesser woman might be troubled by the December-December romance. But Justice O’Connor, who understands the nature of her husband’s devastating illness, is fine with it — in fact, more than fine:

“Mom was thrilled that Dad was relaxed and happy and comfortable living here and wasn’t complaining,” Scott, 50, told KPNX-Channel 12 in Phoenix in a story that aired Thursday. The station is owned by Gannett, as is USA TODAY….

Scott compared his father to “a teenager in love” and said, “For Mom to visit when he’s happy … visiting with his girlfriend, sitting on the porch swing holding hands,” was a relief after a painful period.

In any event, Justice O’Connor is too busy with her own work to be consumed by petty jealousies. Her busy schedule of meetings and speaking engagements has kept her on the road, both nationally and internationally. Recently she was in Paris — c’est magnifique!
Earlier today, SOC spoke at Columbia Law School. A report on her visit appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Justice O’Connor’s Bizarre Love Triangle Ailing Husband
(And an ATL Special Report on Her Columbia Law School Visit)”

paralegal Biglaw Big Law firm paralegals Above the Law blog.jpgHere is today’s law firm perk post. From a devoted ATL reader:

Here’s an idea for perkwatch: paralegals. As I’m sure most people can attest to, a good stable of paralegals can be invaluable in systematizing some of the more mundane routine tasks.

One of my old firms had a majority of snippy, incompetent paralegals in Corporate, which often led to first years needing to, for instance, directly call to order good standing certificates. A good paralegal is certainly a “perk” in my mind.

Indeed. Especially when you get to make out with them at the firm holiday party!
Please discuss your paralegal experiences, good and bad, in the comments. Thanks.
P.S. A shout-out to the paralegals at our former firm, who are widely regarded as some of the best paralegals anywhere. You get what you pay for, and Wachtell Lipton pays its paralegals very well.
(Also, they’re really good at Scrabulous.)

Playboy 2 Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, not in the centerfold — we wish. But as we recently mentioned, this fine website is featured in the December 2007 issue of Playboy magazine (p. 61). It’s far more thrilling than a shout-out in the New York Times or the Washington Post.
A reader kindly sent the mention our way; it appears to the right. In case you’re curious about what surrounded the item, check out more of the page, after the jump.
Speaking of playboys, check out this article — an oldie, but a goodie — about Germany’s answer to Hugh Hefner. From Spiegel Online:

Aging German playboy Rolf Eden has rarely taken no for an answer. And he’s not about to start. He has filed charges against a 19-year-old for refusing to sleep with him. The complaint? Ageism….

the 77-year-old Eden has filed suit against a 19-year-old Berlin woman for the following reason: Despite a night on the town with Eden, which ended back at his place, she refused to have sex with him, saying the he was too old for her.

“That was shattering. No woman has ever said that to me before,” Eden told the tabloid. “I was crushed.” He has filed charges with the prosecutors’ office, he said. “After all, there are laws against discrimination.”

Partners whose advances have been rejected by summer associates surely agree.
German Playboy, 77, Sues for Sex [Spiegel Online]
Earlier: Not Everyone’s A Winner at Nixon Peabody

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “My blood runs cold / My memory has just been sold
ATL in the centerfold! ATL in the centerfold!”

laptop pink girl woman Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIf you visit the New York State Board of Law Examiners website, using Internet Explorer (it doesn’t seem to work with Firefox), you’ll see this message scrolling across the status bar at the bottom of your screen (be sure to have the status bar activated under “View”):

July 2007 examination results will be available here for candidate private lookup on Thursday, November 15th at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, the general passing list will be posted on Friday, November 16 at 9:00 a.m…..

Thanks to the many tipsters who wrote us about this. Especially this person:

On another note, what kind of crappy web designer does BOLE have?! Probably the same ones who programmed the SecurExam software that screwed up all the laptop exams this year…

Indeed. Compare this site with this one.
New York Board of Law Examiners [official website]
July 2007 New York Bar Exam Fiasco [unofficial website]
Earlier: What’s Going on with the New York Bar Exam Results?

Pakistan Flag.jpgSorry we didn’t get this to you earlier — it starts in less than two hours. But for those of you who are following recent events in Pakistan (as we have been), and who are based in New York, you might want to attend this event:

Lawyers to Rally in Solidarity with Pakistani Lawyers and Judges
Tuesday, November 13, 2007 1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

What: Rally in support of lawyers and judges affected by emergency rule in Pakistan
Where: Steps of the New York County Courthouse; 60 Centre Street

Join the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association and other organizations in rallying support for the lawyers and judges affected by the emergency rule in Pakistan.

For more details, see here.
Update: For those of you here in Washington, DC, you can participate in this march, taking place tomorrow:

What: Lawyers’ march to support the rule of law in Pakistan
When: 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, November 14
Where: Meet at the James Madison Building (101 Independence Avenue SE) before walking around the Supreme Court
Attire: Black suit

For more details, see here.
Lawyers to Rally in Solidarity with Pakistani Lawyers and Judges [New York City Bar]
American Lawyers Will March to Supreme Court to Show Solidarity with Pakistani Lawyers [American Bar Association]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWhere have all the bonus announcements gone? Have firms stopped issuing them? Or have you stopped sending them to us? For information about the many ways you can submit bonus memos to us, see here.
In the meantime, we bring you another bonus non-announcement, similar to those previously issued by Kirkland & Ellis and McDermott Will & Emery. This one is from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Morgan Lewis’s Non-Announcement”

* You’ve got mail! And you better hold on to it. [CNN]
* Both sides shooting to get SCOTUS to hear D.C. gun case. [New York Times]
* Milberg Weiss asking for home court advantage in trial. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Can anybody do anything based on the Mitchell Report? [Sports Illustrated]

McKee Nelson LLP AboveTheLaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe previously commended the firm of McKee Nelson for the steps it’s taking to accommodate its associates in the wake of the credit crunch. Credit market woes have significantly affected the firm’s once booming capital markets practice, but the firm is bending over backwards not to do layoffs.
So far backwards, in fact, that we’re going to go even farther: we wish we worked at MN. To paraphrase Crazy Eddie, the offers they’re making to associates are INSANE.
On Friday, the firm offered these options to its associates:

(1) a full bonus, and four months’ pay, to anyone willing to depart from the firm; or

(2) the option to take a year-long sabbatical, at 40 percent pay, AND with a full bonus for 2007.

Wow. How is option (2) — or even option (1), for people who wanted to change jobs or career paths anyway — not the sweetest deal ever? You get a year off from the Biglaw grind, at 40 percent of your pay (McKee is on the $160K scale), AND with a year-end bonus? (Their bonus table appears here — the firm is paying standard year-end bonuses, although not “special” bonuses.)
There are some caveats, according to our tipsters. First, there’s no guarantee of a job at the end of the sabbatical — whether you can return to the firm will depend on what the business climate looks like in a year. Second, you’re supposed to do something public-interest-oriented during that year — or, as the managing partner put it, “something that makes the world better.” So you can’t just go to Ibiza and party for twelve months (although cynics claim that turning lawyers into layabouts “makes the world better”).
On the other hand, there’s no requirement that you work for a 501(c)(3) during your sabbatical; the concept has some flexibility. Could you perhaps use the year — and the money — to study painting, or to finish the novel you started writing back in law school?
So many lawyers talk about the dreams that died when they went to law school. How is the McKee Nelson sabbatical program not a great opportunity to resurrect those dreams, with the luxury of free time and financial security?
Earlier: Nationwide Personnel Reconfiguration Watch: McKee Nelson

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