August 2014

Hey 1Ls, is law school getting you down? Are you tired of doing your 1L bitchwork, like briefing cases? Then have we got a deal for you! For the low, low price of a weekly cup of coffee, you can outsource all of your undesirable tasks to an up-and-coming sucker! Because why try your hardest to succeed when you can get someone else to do it for you?

As one tipster puts it, this is exactly what an “unbelievably entrepreneurial 1L” is doing at a top-tier, southwestern law school. Watch out, law schools: you’re not the only ones who can play the game of duping unsuspecting undergraduates.

Does this kid have what it takes to farm out his work to a gunner in training? Let’s find out….

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* Squatters rights, FTW. As long as you are not on an oil field or a electric chair factory, they probably don’t even care about squatters in Texas. [Dallas Morning News]

* Cops can’t buy touristy gear with the NYPD logo on it? But I thought the Taser was a toy. [DNAInfo]

* Student loan forgiveness just got a little bit easier. [Heather Jarvis]

* You don’t have to work abroad to learn how to mix with different cultures. Just try working on the lower east side. [What About Clients?]

* Remember when we could f*** with them just by giving out some diseased blankets? Man, those were the days. [Washington Post]

* There is a job opening at the ACS for somebody with legal skills. I know the guy you’ll likely be sharing an office with, and I can vouch that he’s cool and won’t mind if you spend a lot of time reading ATL. [American Constitution Society]

* The Onion has a funny story about our criminal justice system…

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I am more depressed than usual. I blame Mystal and his expose on What You Can’t Do With a Law Degree. I know if given the chance, I could make the most divine half-caf-extra-whip-extra-hot-mocha. But, alas, I am destined to stay a lawyer.

That is little solace, of course, because it is hard to get a job, hard to keep a job, and in my experience, hard to stomach the job. And, according to that Wall Street Journal article that everyone posted as a Facebook status, law firms want to keep the number of associates low, work them like dogs, and pay them like, well, high-paid professionals. This means that recent graduates are still screwed, and I am having trouble taking off my sweatpants today.

Just when I thought all was lost, however, I found a positive story about law firms. And, of course, because that is how we roll, it involves a small firm….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Size Matters: To Sir With Love”

Here at Above the Law, we try to notify our readers about job opportunities for law students and lawyers. Some of these positions are less desirable and some are more desirable, but hey: in this economy, a job is a job.

(At least as long as it pays. Some jobs don’t, of course.)

Back in the fall, we reminded you about the application deadline for the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF). In case you’re not familiar with the PMF program, check out the official website.

Now we bring you an update about the program….

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You realize your kids won't even learn how to do this.

Given the tough job market, law students are doing everything they can to get a leg up on the competition. Whether that means showing up with freshly baked cookies before the interviews, or pumping out handwritten thank you notes after they meet people, students are going to the mattresses.

I’m serious about the cookies and notes. I had a person ask me if she should bring cookies to her interview (to which I said, “I think they’ll be more eager to receive their blow jobs…. you realize I’m joking, right? Do not bring cookies or blow people in interviews.”) For thank you notes, even some career service professionals suggest handing them out. Because nothing says “I’m desperate to have one more second of your attention before you throw this away” like a thank you card.

But why should a law student hand-write his own handwritten thank you card? This is American legal education in 2012, baby. Surely, there is a law student out there who is just desperate enough to write another law student’s thank you cards. At least that’s what one student at a top law school was hoping….

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This week, Lateral Link Director Scott Hodes gives us some insight into the increase in lateral hirings in the Empire State of the South.

Atlanta has emerged as one of the best lateral associate markets in the country. While 2009 was slow as in most markets, 2010 signaled a comeback, and 2011 confirmed the upward trend.

Corporate and litigation positions represented the largest amount of lateral openings, which is fairly typical in large markets. Corporate positions seemed to peak in the second and third quarters, while litigation was fairly steady throughout the year. There was also a huge boom in intellectual property positions, especially in the last three quarters, followed not too far behind by labor and employment, which remained steady throughout 2011….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: State of the Market – Atlanta”

Back in 2009, we wrote about a Title VII suit that a former associate filed against Mayer Brown. To make a long story short (read our prior posts for the full background), Venus Yvette Springs, an African American woman, alleges that the firm discriminated against her because of her race, and eventually fired her in 2008 during the height of layoff season.

Springs filed her complaint against the Biglaw firm more than two and a half years ago, and in the time since, both parties have filed lengthy motions for summary judgment. Springs, who apparently had some time on her hands, also filed a lawsuit against Ally Financial, claiming that she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for her suit against Mayer Brown.

On Friday, a federal judge ruled on the motions, and we’ve finally got an update. Will this discrimination suit be allowed to proceed?

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They took on six figures of (non-dischargeable) debt to go to law school, and now they hang their laundry in the street.

Most installments of Lawyerly Lairs, our inside look at the nests of legal eagles, involve residences (and occasionally offices) of utter fabulosity. Just look at our latest Lairs: a $5.9 million apartment on Park Avenue, a $4.6 million prewar coop on the Upper East Side, and a $1.7 million penthouse on the Upper West Side.

We realize that most Americans, or even most lawyers, don’t live in such luxury. And we’re interested in learning about how the other half lives. If you’d like to have your home featured in Lawyerly Lairs, even if it isn’t a million-dollar mansion, feel free to email us, subject line “Lawyerly Lairs.” (If you’re trying to sell your home, send us the listing; exposure to Above the Law’s large audience could be beneficial.)

We’ll get the 99 percent ball rolling with a look at two current law students who braved the brutal renters’ market here in New York. What school do they attend, and how did their hunt turn out?

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So, I’ve been in New York for a few days now. I’ve eaten pizza the way you are supposed to, I’ve spent a lot of time underground, and I’ve stayed out drinking until 4 a.m. Just the usual stuff people do here.

But I didn’t fly 3,000 miles just for Fat Sal’s. I’m spending this week at LegalTech, a seriously huge conference centered around, you guessed it, legal technology.

On Monday afternoon, everyone was caffeinated, and the halls of the New York Hilton were crowded. I attended my first panel yesterday morning: “Global Trends in Law and Technology.” The panelists covered some familiar topics, and the discussion revealed an important shift in the way attorneys relate to technology.

The times they are a-changin’….

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We like to talk a lot about prestige around here, but at Cravath, associates are learning that you can’t spend “prestige points” on your student debt repayments.

Branding is a little easier to take to the bank. It’s something that firm managers and leaders work hard to develop and maintain that can directly lead to business opportunities. As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Am Law Daily published an Acritas report on firm branding. The results will surprise the prestige conscious among you.

This list of firms with a stronger brand than the erstwhile bonus setters at CSM is astounding….

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