* 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 email@example.com (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.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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