October 2014

[We] had a heart to heart and she profusely apologized.

– Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree, a BLSA adviser and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, after asking CRIMSON DNA to come to his office.

* The feds — this time federal prosecutors, on the criminal side, not just the SEC — might be going after Goldman. [New York Times]

* A lot of talking heads like the idea of a SCOTUS nominee who’s not already a judge — but among the general public, judicial experience reigns supreme. [Washington Post]

* Speaking of SCOTUS, President Obama has started meeting with potential nominees — including Judge Sidney Thomas (9th Cir.). [CNN]

* Bankruptcy god Harvey Miller appears in court — not as a lawyer, but as a witness. [Am Law Daily]

* The right to bear arms may be an individual right, but it’s not one you have at Fuddruckers (or at least certain branches of the popular burger chain). [WSJ Law Blog]

Elie here: just wanted to make sure you all know what’s coming.

Few things embarrass me like the Harvard Black Law Students Association. It could be the most credible foil to systemic racism against black law students. It has instead become a convenient tool to be used by those who wish to ignore the racial tensions in our system of legal education.

Don’t believe me? Earlier this week, we learned that a sole white kid called blacks genetically dumber than whites, and Harvard BLSA backed down — stepped and fetched, if you will — in the face of one solitary white person. It’s not the first time (we’ll get to the tragically impotent reaction to Kiwi Camara later). But at a point when the entire law school world would have at least considered what Harvard BLSA had to say, the organization sought to cover their own ass in the media, instead of standing up on the behalf of maligned black law students everywhere.

I cannot and do not wish to speak for all black law students and lawyers. But when confronted with abject racism, I can find the courage to speak for myself. I believe that gives me more balls than BLSA…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Harvard Law School BLSA and the Banality of Evil”


Sonia Sotomayor, a woman of influence

* As many of you have noticed, our RSS feed no longer gives you all the good stuff. It’s a 30-day experiment. Our CEO explains why we are trying it out. It’s not just about traffic-whoring. [Breaking Media]

* John Roberts, eat your heart out. [ABA Journal; Time]

* Judges, get ready for your close-ups. As Alex Kozinski warned, Congress is making moves to force cameras on the judiciary. [BLT]

* Going on defense of Arizona’s immigration law, cuz someone has to. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Is the Apple 4G iPhone comparable to the Pentagon Papers? [Slate]

* Did Goldman’s CFO slip up in his testimony? [Going Concern]

* Last chance to vote for the 2010 Law Revue video winner. At this point, it’s Northwestern v. Columbia. [Above the Law]

Last summer, we reported that Orrick would be moving into fancy new offices in New York. Earlier this week, the office move took place. From the firm’s press release:

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has moved its New York office to 51 West 52nd Street, the same building that houses CBS headquarters and which is also known as Black Rock. The innovative design of the space reflects Orrick’s progressive culture, integrating technological, environmental and social advantages that enable the firm to better and more efficiently serve its clients.

Non-traditional features for law firms are incorporated throughout the office. Numerous public spaces, transparent glass office fronts and an open floor plan, with low-height components for greater visibility and interaction among staff, contribute to a sense of community. To better connect with other offices and clients, Orrick invested in state-of-the-art telepresence conferencing equipment.

As it turns out, the Orrick offices have a Telepresence Room — not to be confused with the Cryogenic Room, where Ralph Baxter plans to live forever.

So, what do the new Orrick offices look like?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: Orrick’s New Digs in New York”

I got an email this afternoon from Maureen O’Connor of Gawker, letting us know that she had outed CRIMSON DNA:

Great post on the Harvard 3-L who started the racist email war. We just did a follow-up.

We’ve made great efforts to keep the identity of the Harvard 3L under wraps, terming her CRIMSON DNA and deleting mentions of her real name in the comment section. Now that she has been publicly outed, on a site much larger than our own, we will no longer be moderating the comments.

Still, for us, the story was about the fact that a Harvard law student with a prestigious clerkship holds these views and about the reaction from Black Law Student Associations. We did not think that her identity was an important component of the story, nor that she was a typical public figure whose name should be disclosed. Obviously, those of you spamming the comments with her name disagree, as does Gawker.

We won’t say her life is ruined, but it’s certainly not been a good week. People have emailed the judge she’s rumored to be clerking for. She has issued an apology. And the Harvard Law School dean has issued a statement, distancing the school from DNA’s views. And hell, it’s finals time.

Here’s an excerpt from her apology to the incoming and outgoing presidents of the Harvard Black Law Students Association, available in full after the jump:

I am deeply sorry for the pain caused by my email. I never intended to cause any harm, and I am heartbroken and devastated by the harm that has ensued. I would give anything to take it back.

So what set this all off? A cat fight, apparently…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “CRIMSON DNA Apologizes, But Gawker Outs Her”

If somebody is mildly angry, they might just give the middle finger. If they’re very angry, they might give it with some sort of words or facial expression that shows anger. And if they’re off-the-charts angry, they may give a double.

Professor Ira P. Robbins — author of Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law, and “an actual legal expert on flipping the bird” — explaining the significance of the middle finger on the Colbert Report (with gestures).

Ted Vogt, University of Arizona 3L and Arizona Representative

Arizona’s harsh new immigration laws are causing debate across the country. Apparently, having to show your papers for being brown might not conform with federal law. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is considering getting involved, threatening to file a federal lawsuit against the state, according to the Washington Post, based on the “doctrine of ‘preemption’ — arguing that the state’s law illegally intrudes on immigration enforcement, which is a federal responsibility.”

As we’ve written before, the national debate has caused some local acrimony at the University of Arizona College of Law. Third-year law student Ted Vogt was appointed to the Arizona State House of Representatives in March, and voted yes on two of the controversial bills. Prior to becoming a state politician, he was voted by his classmates to represent the class as a student speaker at the Law Center’s graduation ceremony in May.

As the immigration debate heated up though, some students regretted their decision to give Vogt a platform. They said they wanted him to step down or they would protest by holding big signs, turning around when he speaks, handing out flyers, and demanding “a certified copy of his birth certificate” before he will be allowed to talk. A vicious debate broke out on the law school list-serv, between those who oppose and support Vogt, those who oppose and support the new immigration laws, and those who see the laws as fundamentally racist.

The dean has weighed in on the debate, stating that he is in support of both Vogt and those who wish to protest him. We also reached out to funny 3L and now-controversial politician Ted Vogt and have a statement from him…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Update on Ted Vogt and the Immigration Law Controversy at the University of Arizona”

Martha Minow, Dean of the Harvard Law School — and, by the way, a possible Supreme Court nominee — has issued a statement regarding the allegedly racist email by a third-year Harvard Law School student that has been making the rounds. (We refer to the 3L in these pages as simply “CRIMSON DNA” or “DNA”; please do not post DNA’s real name in the comments.)

Not surprisingly for a law professor, Dean Minow avails herself of the teaching moment that the Harvard Black Law Students Association apparently passed on. She writes:

This sad and unfortunate incident prompts both reflection and reassertion of important community principles and ideals. We seek to encourage freedom of expression, but freedom of speech should be accompanied by responsibility. This is a community dedicated to intellectual pursuit and social justice. The circulation of one student’s comment does not reflect the views of the school or the overwhelming majority of the members of this community.

Dean Minow condemns the substance of the email in question:

Here at Harvard Law School, we are committed to preventing degradation of any individual or group, including race-based insensitivity or hostility. The particular comment in question unfortunately resonates with old and hurtful misconceptions. As an educational institution, we are especially dedicated to exposing to the light of inquiry false views about individuals or groups.

She also highlights a point we emphasized last night, namely, that BLSA did not publicize the email or pressure DNA’s future employer (a federal judge) to rescind a job offer.

The dean’s statement refers to an apology written by DNA. We haven’t seen the apology in question (although we’re trying to obtain it). If you have a copy, please email us (subject line: “HLS Apology”).

Dean Minow’s full statement appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Harvard Law School ‘Racist’ Email Controversy:
Dean Martha Minow Weighs In”

As you may have heard, I’m in Puerto Rico covering the 2010 NALP Annual Education Conference. There are so many panels and talks scheduled at precisely the same time that I’ve had to prioritize what will matter most to ATL readers. I’m tweeting about the conference, so if you want me to check something out, just let me know.

Sadly, I already decided to skip the “How to do a body shot when you’re 40″ break-out session. Instead, I went to “Recruiting in the Aftermath of the Recession.”

It was a fascinating talk. The panelists:

– Frank Kimball, Owner, Kimball Professional Management
– Helen Long, Director of Legal Recruiting, Ropes & Gray

I figured ATL readers would like to get a peek at this one because Kimball and Long were talking directly to firm recruiters about lateral hiring. I was not disappointed. During Kimball’s opening, he wondered if “some legal recruiter will say in 2013, ‘In order to gain the competitive advantage, let’s raise starting salaries to $185,000.'”

Meanwhile, Long predicted “The Lateral Hiring Crisis of 2013.” I don’t know who this 2013 person is, but I’d sure like to meet her.

But sadly, Kimball and Long predict that 2013’s potential bounty will fall on only a select few associates…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “NALP 2010: New Litigators be Warned”

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