October 2014

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, you’re up….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “New York Governor David Paterson Will Not Seek Reelection”

Pregnant working mother.jpgIs a miscarriage murder? In Utah, they aren’t quite going that far, but they do want to punish women who “recklessly” miscarry. The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The Utah Senate has joined the House in allowing homicide charges against expectant mothers who arrange illegal abortions.
The bill responds to a case in which a Vernal woman allegedly paid a man $150 to beat her and cause miscarriage but could not be charged. The Senate on Thursday approved HB12 on a vote of 24-4, criminalizing a woman’s “intentional, knowing, or reckless act” leading to a pregnancy’s illegal termination. It specifies that a woman cannot be prosecuted for arranging a legal abortion.

The bill awaits the Governor’s signature.
How do you say “overbroad” in language a Ute would understand?
It seems to me that applying a recklessness standard to prenatal care is Utah’s way of saying “If you are pregnant, you best be barefoot.”
So, what might the Utah law penalize?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Utah Punishes Failed Mothers”

Law Degree on Craigslist.jpgThis should sound familiar to many of you: After several years of practicing law, a San Francisco lawyer has come to regret the decision to go to law school.
Unlike many of you, this lawyer has decided to try to hawk their law degree on Craigslist. From the “For Sale – Collectibles” section of SF Bay Area Craigslist:

Though I spent over $100,000 on it I am willing to sell it for the bargain basement price of $59,250, which is the current value of my remaining student loan balance.
This priceless collectible will permit you to be surrounded by hobby-less a**holes whose entire life is dictated by billing by the hour and being anal dickheads. Additionally, this piece of paper has the amazing ability to keep you from doing what you really want to do in life, all in the name of purported prestige and financial success.

Let’s take a look at the full ad, shall we?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Craigslist Post of the Day: Top-Tier Law Degree ($59,250)”

Charlie Rangel.jpg* House ethics panel reminds everybody why Charlie Rangel needs to resign now. [New York Post]
* Snow and trees conspire to commit homicide. [Daily Beast]
* But only killer whales have the malice aforethought to commit murder. [USA Today]
* Activia is full of s***. [Cleveland.com]
* Malpractice liability gets its place in the sun during yesterday’s health care summit. [National Law Journal]
* Life after Siemens wasn’t great for Debevoise. [Am Law Daily]
* David PaTTTerson needs to abandon his New York state of mind. He’s under too much pressure. [Daily News]

Billy Joel – Pressure
Uploaded by Alexander_Band. – See the latest featured music videos.

William and Mary Marshall Wythe School of Law Above the Law blog.jpgHow long should students have to wait for fall semester grades? Two weeks? A month? Some students at William and Mary School of Law are still waiting for fall semester grades — and they might not be alone.

I understand that law professors would rather drink wine straight from the box than grade a paper. It’s an onerous responsibility. But, it is a responsibility. Especially in this economy, where students are scrambling for scarce job opportunities. If a student has an incomplete transcript, or can’t produce a class rank upon request, a prospective employer might well go with one of the other hundreds of resumes flooding his or her inbox.

Last month, a student at the University of Texas School of Law complained that he lost out on a judicial clerkship because of one professor’s grading delay. Above the Law received this email on January 25th:

UT Austin school of law logo.JPGTexas Law’s Student Affairs Office said over the phone this afternoon that Prof. [Redacted] hasn’t submitted grades yet or filed for an extension. UT’s deadline was Tuesday of last week (which is already hilariously late compared to the University’s undergraduate policies). Supposedly, the Law School will dock [the professor's] pay until the grades are in or until he requests an extension, but he’s big pals with Dean Sager.

I’ve already missed out on at least one internship this summer because I didn’t have grades yet. A judge’s office called me to schedule an interview and asked that I bring a transcript. When I mentioned that, as late as Jan 16th, I still hadn’t received a single grade, they went ahead and hired someone else.

We emailed the professor to see if the grades were still outstanding, or why they were delayed in the first place, but he did not respond.

At William and Mary, the situation is such that the class rank of the entire school has been delayed….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Hey, Teacher … Give Those Kids Their Grades!
Grades delayed at W&M, UT – Austin… anywhere else?

LA Dodgers logo pin.jpg* Nice to see that the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers paid less in state taxes than I did. Hey, maybe it’s part of some sweet loophole California included when they decided to steal baseball from New York City because they couldn’t make their own. [Tax Prof Blog]
* Miranda now offers 14-day interrogation protection. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* Does your firm ever work with forensic accountants? Beware. [Going Concern]
* Ambulance chasing can now be done with laptop. [Althouse]
* I don’t think the Playstation 3 is a useful tool for picking up chicks. But if you’re a cougar who is into little boys, apparently it’s the way to go. [Legal Blog Watch]
* This isn’t strictly legally related. At least not yet. But one day, vajazzle lawsuits are going to be loads of fun. [Gawker]

bar exam success good luck.jpgThe February bar exam is now over, for everyone, everywhere. Rejoice and enjoy that Inuit prostitute.

Some of you have suggested on open threads that things went reasonably well. Others are hot messes, desperately trying to figure out firm policy when it comes to second-time failing of the bar.

Many February takers are bar veterans. Maybe you can advise this soon-to-be lawyer gearing up for the July bar. She’s trying to make her bar review course decision:

I can already see the angry people who say it’s idiotic not to take BarBri. But, honestly, Kaplan’s complete bar review course in Cal. is seeming ever-more seductive. I would love to make an informed decision based on real information, but it appears to not be out there (ie pass rates for the two).

In addition to courses, there are other tools.

Since quantifiable data is lacking, anecdotal evidence shall have to suffice. Who is feeling the least screwed after taking the February exam — your Inuit friend aside — and which bar review course did you take? Or did you eschew a formal course and prepare in some other way? If so, how?

covington burling logo.jpgThis morning, we wrote about the partners at DLA Piper sharing in the pain of 2009. The trend at many firms reporting 2009 numbers has been the revenue line heading south while the profits-per-partner line heads north. At DLA, however, revenue and PPP were down at the firm, so Elie gave them a shout-out for not cutting deeply enough.
But perhaps more striking is Covington & Burling: Last year’s revenue was actually up at the D.C.-based firm — but PPP was down.
Covington is über white-shoe, but this seems oh-so-radical-populist. What happened?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Covington & Burling Partners Did Not Plunder in 2009″

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

pls hndle copy 2.jpgATL,
I am a junior associate with a good job, but sadly, job security for attorneys in this market is virtually non-existent. Especially in the secondary market in which I work. If I were ever to lose my job, finding another one here would be extremely difficult, despite excellent credentials: T-14 law school, honors, moot court, executive editor of journal, and substantive corporate-law related experience.
Thus, I am considering taking bar exams in some of the major markets (NY, IL, CA, TX) so that I would be licensed elsewhere and could hopefully job-search in a number of cities. Assuming I can still meet and exceed my billable requirement and maintain positive reviews, would I be wasting my time acquiring additional licenses because of the difficulties lateraling from secondary markets or would I be wise to collect bar licenses to expand my job search into several cities should I ever find myself unemployed?
Garbage Collector

Dear Garbage Collector,
Yes…let’s say you embark on this “ingenious” plan of yours, and start scheduling two bar exams a year. What could possibly go wrong?
For starters: after slogging away for 14 hours at work, you’ll arrive home, exhausted. You won’t feel like studying for the 87th day in the row, but since your ringer’s been off for the last three months and you’ve been ignoring personal emails, your friends aren’t talking to you anymore and you might as well crack the BAR/BRI books again this evening. So as usual, you pound a latte and a Marie Callender and study in your filthy apartment until you become delirious and pass out, only to wake up four hours later, pick some rumpled clothes from the floor and drive to work where you’ll attempt to stay awake by eating a bag of Sun Chips having a fan blasting cold air two inches away from your face. But your billables suffer anyway and you’re too lazy to pad them and this all comes to a head when you eventually miss a key issue when reviewing ground leases for a diligence memo. The head partner calls you into his office and fires you, so you text your girlfriend that you got fired and ask if she wants to come over and test you with crim flashcards, at which point she calls you screaming that you’re a selfish asshat who’s turning into Howard Hughes from The Aviator, but you point out that while you may have lost your job because of your incessant bar taking, you now have a large selection of places where you can look for new jobs. After your girlfriend dumps you and retrieves her Wii, you start papering every law firm located in New York, Illinois, California and Texas with your resume, and the three firms that are hiring in those jurisdictions look at your credentials and Google your name, whereupon they discover that you’ve taken four bar exams in the space of two years and assume you are a polygamist with wives in different cities, so they tear up your resume and notify Dateline.
My recommendation is to calm down, stop having heart attacks over a job that you do not appear to be in danger of losing and try for once not to be a complete nerd.
Your friend,

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: On Multiple Bars & Migrant Workers”

Vault Diveristy logo.JPGYesterday we wrote about NALP’s decision to allow firms to blur the equity / non-equity partner distinction. Today, the WSJ Law Blog, the ABA Journal, and Business Insider have coverage of the issue.
But NALP isn’t the only organization attempting to gather information on law firm partnerships. Vault is also in that game, and according to a senior law editor Vera Djordjevich, they have no problem getting the very equity versus non-equity partnership information NALP ignores:

[O]ur diversity survey requests — and most law firms provide — separate numbers for equity partners and non-equity partners. …
The database includes statistics for equity vs non-equity partners for each of the demographic groups the survey addresses (gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability). Of the firms that participate in the survey, a small percentage refuse to distinguish between partnership tiers in their reporting, but that fact is generally disclosed in a footnote. For example, Kirkland & Ellis reports that it has more than one partnership tier but includes all data in the equity partner category, explaining that the firm “does not distinguish between equity and non-equity partners for the purpose of external surveys.”

So Vault is at least asking the questions — but are they getting answers? Details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Vault Explains Why It’s Better Than NALP”

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