April 2012

Yesterday, we brought you some pretty gruesome news about the state of the legal hiring market: there isn’t one (which comes as no surprise to graduating 3Ls and the class of 2011). In fact, according to one former law school student who was profiled by Business Insider, almost everyone he knows from law school is unemployed. Another recent law school grad is on food stamps.

Lawyers can deal with unemployment and food stamps, but are any of them homeless?

Here’s the photo for our latest caption contest….

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Some people say that all’s fair in love and war. Regarding love, at least, I would have to disagree. Some behavior is neither fair, considerate, or legal.

Take stalking, for example. But love, especially when it’s unrequited or broken (that’s your cue, ATLCommentBot), leads people to do crazy things. This week, a Midwestern law professor and former high-ranking CIA lawyer, was on the receiving end of a restraining order based on allegations that he harassed a woman with whom he was reportedly having an affair.

Keep reading to learn more about our Law Professor of the Day and see what happens when Minnesota Nice turns into Minnesota-leave-me-the-hell alone….

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George Zimmerman

I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not.

George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who stands accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, apologizing to Martin’s parents, who were in the courtroom during his bail hearing.

(Did Zimmerman make bail? Find out, after the jump.)

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A few years ago, at a conference hosted by Penn APALSA, I had the pleasure of meeting Dean Jim Chen of the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law. He gave a luncheon keynote address that was deeply thoughtful and inspiring. Attendees of the conference were quite impressed.

Students and staff at U of L have also praised Dean Chen. And he does have achievements to crow about (besides, of course, his glittering résumé and impressive record of scholarship). In the most recent U.S. News law school rankings, the Brandeis School of Law climbed 11 spots (from 100 to 89).

When law schools fall in the rankings, their deans often follow. But U of L fared well in the latest rankings. So why is Dean Chen departing?

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What must it be like right now to be working at Dewey & LeBoeuf? One imagines a lot of whispered conversations, furrowed brows, and closed office doors. It’s a difficult and stressful time at D&L. To our friends at Dewey, keep your chins up (but, at the same time, do what you need to do to protect yourself and your career).

The anxiety at Dewey is increased by the firm’s cash crunch. Lawyers and staff at the firm are having a harder time doing their jobs because certain resources aren’t available to them.

Even in the digital age, with so many documents transmitted electronically rather than physically, FedEx is still a mainstay at major law firms — but not at Dewey. “We are restricted from using the account and now have to rely on UPS or express mail for overnights,” a source at Dewey told us. “Even if a package is labeled to go out via FedEx, when it goes down to mailroom it is relabeled for one of our new shipping methods. Do you know any other company that can stay afloat without FedEx?”

Will Dewey be staying afloat? Let’s hear the latest about other services that D&L lawyers and staff can’t use, some possible partner departures, and the firm’s ambitious plan for saving itself — via bankruptcy….

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(Plus more potential defections, and bankruptcy planning.)”

Welcome back to our series of open threads on the latest batch of U.S. News law school rankings. Last time, readers weighed in on the law schools that traditionally made up what used to be the alphabetically listed third tier. Last year, however, the law schools that once constituted the “third tier” received the gift that keeps on giving: numerical rankings.

Today, we’ll be talking about the law schools that used to comprise the fourth tier, but now have a new name. These days, this segment of the U.S. News list is referred to as the “second tier,” and although they are all ranked, those rankings are not published (presumably because no one wants to brag about going to the worst law school in the nation).

Let’s use this post to discuss these schools, collectively or individually, and to compare and contrast….

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* George Zimmerman will appear before Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. today to request bail. What kind of evidence will the prosecutor have to present for bond to be denied? [Miami Herald]

* Should prostitution be legalized? 70% of our readers think it should be (and not just because it’d mean they’d be employed nine months after graduation). But let’s get some more input from others on this topic. [Room for Debate / New York Times]

* “Bring me Solo and the Wookiee. They will all suffer for this outrage.” Rajabba the Hut seems to have had a second Goldman Sachs tipper. Say hello to Rajat Gupta, who has pleaded not guilty. [Bloomberg]

* Counsel in the Gucci v. Guess trademark case wrapped up their closing arguments in court yesterday. It’s generally not a good thing when the judge interrupts you to question your late filing. [Businessweek]

* Uh, apparently there’s a legal battle concerning intellectual property having to do with a Three Stooges porn parody. I personally shudder to think of how Curly is portrayed. [Hollywood, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]

* After taking a blow from that fake beef lawsuit, Taco Bell’s sales are up thanks to its Doritos taco. Because getting your fingers covered in orange crap totally makes up for the “taco meat filling.” [Washington Post]

This is a case with shocking facts.

Few things fill a junior associate with more dread than a partner beginning a sentence with the following words: “There must be a case that holds….” Much of the time, there is no such case (especially when the issue concerns some annoying e-discovery dispute that no judge would ever want to write about).

But if a partner says to you, “There must be a case addressing whether an insurance company is liable for accidental death benefits when the decedent accidentally kills himself while engaged in masturbation that involves intentional self-electrocution” — well, now there’s a case that’s on all fours. With an electric cattle prod.

Keep reading, to learn about an ERISA opinion that is very… stimulating….

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(Or: The most interesting ERISA opinion ever.)

Now this is a radical nun.

* In America, secret agents drive awesome spy cars. In Soviet Russia, awesome cars spy on you. Actually, cars spy on Americans, too. [Not so Private Parts/Forbes]

* An accused inside trader used his ill-gotten gains to buy a jet, four houses, and an island help the homeless. The government is still prosecuting him. Sir, with all due respect, you are doing it wrong. [Dealbreaker]

* The Vatican is going to crack down on radical nuns. I can’t even think of a good joke because radical and nun so obviously don’t belong in the same sentence. Unless you’re having some sort of nun surfing contest and the Mother Superior catches a really sick wave. [BBC News]

* I frequently get upset with schools that punish students too quickly and harshly for relative nonissues. But hacking into the school attendance system and “selling” absences — yeah, that’s probably not okay. [Bay Citizen]

* Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance the law firms, and then the law schools go out… and the corporations sit there in their… in their corporation buildings, and… and, and see, they’re all corporation-y… and they make money… Matt Damon! [Centre Daily]

* Don’t forget to vote for your favorite ATL Law Revue entry. Also, tune in tomorrow to see our picks for honorable mention. [Above the Law]

Almost everyone I know from law school is unemployed or seeking alternative employment.

Richard Komaiko, a former student at Chicago-Kent College of Law, lamenting the plight of young lawyers in a story profiling “10 Faces Behind the Incredible Law School Underemployment Crisis.”

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