* Want to visit Cuba? The Obama administration plans to loosen travel restrictions to la isla bonita. [New York Times]
* Two federal judges in D.C., Judges Emmet Sullivan and Ellen Segal Huvelle, refuse to rubber-stamp settlements they view as insufficient, in actions brought by the feds against Barclays (Sullivan’s case) and Citigroup (Huvelle’s case). [WSJ Law Blog]
* Elsewhere in Washington, Harvard law prof Elizabeth Warren, a leading contender to head the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, meets with lobbyists for big banks. [Washington Post]
* The Rod Blagojevich circus will continue, with the former Illinois governor to be retried on hung counts, but ethics reform in Illinois doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. [New York Times]
* Lehman has gone cold in the grave, but the company’s Chapter 11 case continues to be a cash cow for bankruptcy lawyers. [Am Law Daily]
* Speaking of civil litigation, a trial date has been set in the wrongful death suit filed by the family of Robert Wone against his ex-college roommate, former Arent Fox partner Joseph Price, and Price’s two lovers. [Who Murdered Robert Wone?]
* The Obama administration supports creating a United Nations commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma. [Washington Post]
Ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich was accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat in Illinois. The U.S. Attorney for Chicago, Patrick Fitzgerald, seemed to have some great evidence — tape recordings of Blagojevich engaging in apparent wheeling and dealing (and uttering a fair amount of profanity).
Today, on the fourteenth day of jury deliberations, the jury found the former governor guilty on count 24 of the indictment, making false statements to federal agents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. The maximum penalty is five years of imprisonment. This makes Blagojevich a convicted felon.
The applications for our Morning Docket opening were so wonderful — and overwhelming (no more apps being accepted) — that we figured we’d go back to the well to fill another freelance position available here on Above the Law. We’re launching a column aimed at in-house counsel, and we’re looking for a writer.
But now we’re looking for someone who has been on the inside. Someone who has been a corporate consumer of legal services, not just a provider of them. Someone who has had the rare joy of calling up a partner in private practice, bossing him or her around at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday, and getting the desired work product by 8:00 a.m. on Monday. You know, someone who has lived the good life.
But we know the challenges a writer could face with this column. We know, for example, that pesky SEC rules could hamstring a writer who is currently employed at a large publicly held company. If you’re in a position where another lawyer at your company would probably have to review your column before publishing, this job probably isn’t right for you.
But maybe you used to work in-house and now have a private consulting practice, or an academic job? Or maybe you’re still in-house, but at a smaller enterprise? What we’re looking for is a person with experience of and insight into the world where lawyers protect the corporate shield (and sometimes make it home in time for dinner).
You can share your wit and insight with ATL’s thousands of readers (who may insult you; don’t take it personally). You can hone your writing skills (on the non-legal side). You can write under your own name or under a pseudonym (so long as you aren’t breaking any laws). And you will be paid (at a level commensurate with a freelance writing gig like this one).
If you’re interested, please send us your résumé or a brief bio, along with a cover email describing your vision for the column and how you’d make it appealing to corporate counsel readers. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: “In-House Column”).
Thanks for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you.
With fall recruiting gearing up, and the lateral market warming up, we continue our annual series of open threads about the law firms featured in the Vault prestige rankings. These threads provide ATL readers with a forum to discuss the different firms and their various strengths and weaknesses.
The end of the Vault 100 is in sight. We’re covering the firms in batches of 20 now. Here are the firms ranked #61 to #80, which will provide today’s discussion fodder:
Earlier this month, roughly around the time that newly minted law review editors were hearing the good news, we raised the issue of how many minorities and women are being selected for law review.
It’s not a new debate; whether underrepresented minorities (URMs) and women are adequately represented on the nation’s leading law journals has long been a subject of controversy. But in light of the tough legal job market, in which credentials like law review membership are more valuable than ever, it’s certainly a subject worth revisiting.
We kicked off the discussion with this tip:
You may want to investigate proportions of URMs [underrepresented minorities] and women at some top 5 law reviews. I hear that [one school] took 29 1Ls, but only 7 women and no African-Americans. [Another school] took 45 first-year editors, about even male/female, but only 2 URMs in the bunch.
Which law journals are being referred to here? And how are URMs and women doing at other law reviews — perhaps yours is mentioned — around the country?
UPDATE: Please note that a few updates and corrections have been added since this post was originally published. Check them out after the jump.
In August, 2008 the ABA issued a landmark ethics opinion allowing the outsourcing of U.S. legal work.
This August, the ABA is pondering whether to accredit offshore law schools that follow the U.S. system. Because apparently 200 accredited U.S. law schools just isn’t enough. The National Law Journal reports:
The American Bar Association is already tasked by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit U.S. law schools. Now an ABA committee has recommended that it should seriously consider expanding that power to overseas law schools that follow the U.S. model.
In June, the ABA’s Council of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar appointed the committee of law professors, attorneys, judges and law deans to examine whether foreign law schools should be allowed to seek ABA accreditation. The council is scheduled to consider the committee’s recommendations in December.
There was a time when Americans knew how to protest a war. Now is not that time. From the Detroit News:
One protester, Ahlam Mohsen, a Michigan State University senior from Coldwater, was arrested and faces arraignment today on a felony charge of stalking, as well as misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct, Big Rapids police said. She is accused of throwing the apple pie at [U.S. Senator Carl Levin] after her friend Max Kantar made a lengthy statement at a public event at Peppers Cafe and Deli in downtown Big Rapids.
I can accept that money is speech. I can accept that mosque building is religious freedom. But if your political discourse devolves to pie throwing — or shoe throwing, for that matter — you’re just an idiot.
Senator Levin wasn’t injured by the iconic American dessert…
We call it Skaddenfreude: taking pleasure in the misfortune of others who work at large law firms. Today’s tale of Skaddenfreude involves a contract attorney working a project in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis.
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
LexisNexis and OverDrive®, the digital library solutions provider chosen by 22,000+ libraries, schools and colleges worldwide, have joined forces to provide a library management solution that suits evolving legal research requirements mobility, simplified library management, and space and budget reductions.
Reduce your library costs and extend the budget.
With LexisNexis® Digital Library, overhead and administrative costs for maintaining a print library are reduced dramatically. Adopt an easy-to-use platform that requires minimal staff resources so your organization can make the most out of your library budget. Plus, multi-year purchase options let your library lock in savings.
Empower your librarians.
Your firm’s librarians will have more time to conduct value-added research. They’ll have greater insight into what resources the staff actually uses so they can make adjustments to the collection quickly using a single website. Librarians can gain greater control, which can lead to better library utilization and increased strategic value to the firm.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!