October 2009

Falcon Heene balloon boy.jpg* There’s one thing that every lawyer thought when they first heard about Balloon Boy. [Law and More]
* Rush Limbaugh was dumped by the group of people looking to purchase the St. Louis Rams. Would the NFL have had a problem with antitrust laws if Dave Checketts hadn’t cashiered him? [Blackbook Legal]
* It appears that the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners put up the results of the bar exam, hosted on a new site, but then yanked the link shortly thereafter. Did somebody call them to inquire? [Virginia Board of Bar Examiners]
UPDATE: Check this list, captured by a reader before the results were removed, to see if you passed.
* Leave Meghan McCain alone. Just leave her alone! [Politico]
* Don’t forget to tell us what — if any — afflictions you’ve suffered during your time in Biglaw. So far the results have been very interesting, and totally depressing. [Above the Law]
* David Lat was on the radio today, talking about the importance of transparency. Click on the link to access the broadcast. [Legal Rebels]

Craigslist small.jpgLike most people, I’m having trouble focusing on my duties given the perils of Balloon Boy, Falcon Heene. According to my television, the balloon is down, there is no boy in it, and as of now we don’t know where the boy is. And the parents were on Wife Swap. Here’s a write-up of the episode the Heene family was featured on. Crazy story.
Of course, multitasking is an important life skill. It’s a skill that one law student hasn’t seemed to master, at least when attractive women are around. Here’s the Craigslist ode from a law student somewhere in the D.C. area to an apparently stunning vixen:

Morally Bankrupt – m4w
I saw you in my bankruptcy class. I was so distracted by you that I could barely pay attention to the riveting lecture about the history of bankruptcy law. I imagine that you are a creditor and I am a bankrupt and I will have to work off my debt for you or risk debtor’s prison. You can have whatever you want; no state law exemptions. I want you to declare bankruptcy all over me.
I am sick of ending my nights pro se. I promise if you entertain my claim that you will have a huge judgment entered in your favor over and over again. We can even violate the Model Rule of Professional Responsibility and engage in a 108(j).
My interests include hilarious law-based puns; and mocking others. If you think we are a match, let’s grab a drink after class. I know it’s a weeknight but my parents let me stay out as late as I want to as long as I call by 11pm to check in with them.
P.S. I am neither the ginger nor the weird guy next to you.

Beautiful bankruptcy babe — you know who you are — it looks like you have a not-so-secret admirer. Let us know if it works out.
Morally Bankrupt [Craigslist]

Misleading Statistics.jpgLast Friday, we reported on stealth layoffs at Nixon Peabody. We’ve previously discussed the difficulty of reporting stealth layoffs. If a firm lays people off slowly, over a long period of time, and refuses to admit it, sometimes the firm can keep the information from becoming public. In the Nixon Peabody case, the firm has still not confirmed the layoff news (unlike Foley & Lardner, which got around to confirming the layoffs we reported on last Friday just yesterday). But Nixon also hasn’t called us asking us to correct anything, which firms often do when they believe we’ve erred. The tipsters who have been laid off from Nixon continue to maintain that they were laid off from Nixon.
In any event, apparently some people think that reporting on people losing their jobs is more hype than substance. Tipsters sent in this post from 3 Geeks and a Law Blog:

Back in February, when the big round of layoffs were taking place, I took it upon myself to take a snapshot of most of the AmLaw 100 rosters via their websites. Nixon Peabody, of course, was one of these. So, I thought I’d dust off that list and compare it to today’s roster of employees. What I found was pretty interesting, but didn’t seem to be as dire as I’ve been reading in ATL or Law Shucks.

A firm’s website is only one part of the story, but let’s check out that part of the story, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: Some Thoughts on Stealth Layoff Calculation”

john roberts.jpgGQ has released its list of the 50 most powerful people in Washington, D.C.
The list is topped by White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.
But Chief Justice John Roberts makes the top ten. CJ Roberts ranks #10, just behind Dick Cheney. Since Dick Cheney doesn’t have a job, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Chief Justice Roberts should be at least 9th.
There are a number of lawyers or former lawyers that are included in the top 50. But one of our favorites clocks in at #45.
See who after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “50 Most Powerful People in D.C. Includes Some Lawyer Favorites”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to [email protected].

pls hndle copy 2.jpgATL,
After busting my ass this summer, I received an offer from my firm which was later rescinded because my firm rescinded everyone’s offer. How should I note this on my resume, if it all?
Resume Roadkill

Dear Resume Roadkill,
Picture it: Sicily Philadelphia, 2003. Penn Law OCI. A sprightly blonde law student walks into one of the interview rooms and hands an O’Melveny& Myers attorney her resume. Under “Interests,” her resume lists “historical disasters.” The interviewer asks her what she means by that.
“You know, things like the Titanic, the Hindenburg, the Challenger,” the student explains. “I LOVE that stuff.”
“Oh, so did you ‘love’ 9/11?” the interviewer snaps.
In the distance, a seal is clubbed.
END SCENE
That law student, dear readers, was me.
As the above example demonstrates, jobs are won or lost in the details of a resume. Writing “Offer Retracted” sounds harsh, and implies that they took the offer back because they discovered something horrifying about you, like you don’t wash your hands after using the bathroom or are in a book club. You need to phrase it in a way that succinctly conveys the facts of the situation while blaming the firm and completely exonerating yourself. Since many ATL readers are in similar resume predicaments, I’ve compiled a list of suggested positive resume spins for the bad news:
Offer Received Then Later Revoked Through No Fault of Own
Invalid Offer Received
Don’t Ask
Srsly Don’t Ask
Offer Retracted, Outrageously
Offer Rescission Statement from Firm Attached as Annex A
Offer Redeemable in Narnia
Flaked
Offer Exchanged for Store Credit
Why Do You Think You Have My Resume
Long Story
Do Not Get Me Started
Offer*
Offer Refunded for 2 Cent Deposit in CA, MA, NY & PA
I hope this helps.
Your friend,
Marin
*Valid while supplies last
Worst. Advice. EVER. after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: An Offer You Cannot Refuse”

Weil summer boot.jpgLast month, we asked you to share your stories of summer associate craziness. Based on the responses we received, I feel very sorry for the 2009 summer associates. Obviously the days of summers peeing off the side of a Duck Boat are long gone.
This story we received from summers at Weil Gotshal in New York illustrates the difference between summer 2009 and actual fun:

Did you hear about the Weil partner who got a summer so wasted from shots the summer barfed on himself in the bathroom at a firm event?

Were this year’s summers really so dull that partners had to be the ones to encourage after-work debauchery? I mean seriously, if you can make it to the bathroom, you probably could have had at least one more shot.
The Weil summer rallies after the boot, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Does a Perfect ‘Boot & Rally’ Net You An Offer at Weil?”

OMelveny Myers OMM logo.jpgLast month, we wrote about a five-year strategic plan created by O’Melveny & Myers. In our initial post, we focused on O’Melveny’s expectations for partners and associates in the future. We skipped over this piece of the plan, focused on summer associates. From a section of the plan entitled “Talent Development”:

Identify future junior associates who will advance the vision of the firm by…creating an intensive summer program experience — “Experience O’Melveny” — that prepares incoming associates for the successful practice of law.

We particularly like that the summer associate program will be “Experience O’Melveny” going forward. It made us think of the Imax Experience — like a real movie but better — or a roller coaster at Six Flags — sure to thrill and cause nausea.
We imagine what “Experience O’Melveny” will look like, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The ‘Experience O’Melveny’ for Summer Associates”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg cancer surgery.jpgThe Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Health Watch continues. This just in, from the AP:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had cancer surgery earlier this year, was briefly hospitalized overnight after having a bad reaction to some medicine.

A statement from the court says Ginsburg was taken to the Washington Hospital Center Wednesday night and released Thursday morning.

Doctors say Ginsburg had an adverse reaction to a sleeping aid combined with cold medicine. She took the medicine in preparation for an overnight flight to London, but was taken off the airplane after she experienced extreme drowsiness causing her to fall from her seat.

At least she didn’t fall asleep on the bench this time. We’d wish RBG a speedy recovery, but it seems that she has already recovered.
Ginsburg Briefly Hospitalized, Released Thurs. [Associated Press]
Earlier: Breaking: Justice Ginsburg Hospitalized
Update: Justice Ginsburg Is Back on the Job

Southern New England School of Law logo.jpgSouthern New England School of Law (which is not accredited by the American Bar Association) is trying to sell itself to the University of Massachusetts. The Boston Globe reports:

UMass President Jack Wilson received a letter last week from trustees chairwoman at the 235-student school offering to enter into discussions that could lead to the donation of its assets to UMass Dartmouth, higher education officials said today. Under the terms of the possible donation, UMass would receive cash assets and the campus that now houses the 235-student law school. The offer is valued at approximately $22.6 million.

This is situation is different from the issues we’ve explored regarding new law schools in Tennessee and Texas. First of all, Southern New England is not a new law school. It is already there, providing unaccredited degrees to needy New Englanders.
Also, the state of Massachusetts has zero public law schools. Not a single one. If we are going to add law schools despite the general oversupply of attorneys, it seems like getting a public law school in a state that doesn’t yet have one is a palatable idea.
Still, I hate the plan. Let me explain after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How Much Is a Law School Worth?”

Maria Shriver Maria Owings Shriver First Lady of California.jpg* The Justice Department is implementing reforms to avoid another Ted Stevens-style snafu. [Washington Post]
* Foley & Lardner officially confirms the 39 lawyer layoffs that we previously reported. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via ABA Journal]
* Chief Judge Vaughn Walker (N.D. Cal.) denies a motion to dismiss the gay marriage case brought by David Boies and Ted Olson. [Christian Science Monitor]
* Judicial hottie Ricardo Urbina (D.D.C.) has blocked public access to certain pretrial proceedings in the case of five Blackwater security guards charged with manslaughter. [Washington Post]
* More death sentences handed down for July’s ethnic riots in western China. [New York Times]
* More about what’s going on down in Puerto Rico — it’s not just the law school that’s in a state of unrest. [True/Slant]
* Maria Shriver, aka Mrs. Arnold Schwarzenegger, has apologized for using a cell phone while driving (a violation of California law). [CNN]
* Bruce Wasserstein, Harvard Law School graduate and former owner of the American Lawyer and the National Law Journal, RIP. [Am Law Daily]

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