October 2014

With the weather here in New York today, this Columbia Law umbrella is looking more useful than ever before:

Oh, before I forget, I have a little note to anybody who walks around on bright, hot days using an umbrella as a parasol: go f*** yourself. No, I mean that seriously, please take your heavy vinyl rain protection that you’re using because you don’t know the difference between it and a pretensious, lightweight sunshade and shove it up your backside. For the love of God, buy a hat or something….

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It is not necessarily uncommon for special interest groups of all stripes to invent their own “Olympics.” The Hipster Olympics went viral a few years ago, during my undergraduate years a sorority hosted the Mud Olympics (that was always fun to watch), etc. etc.

But beware, the U.S. Olympic Committee does not take kindly to those who allegedly usurp their trademark. Last year, we wrote about the Redneck Olympics getting shut down by the committee, and this week the organization is at it again, bringing the hammer torch down on an unofficial knitting “olympics.” Oh the humanity!

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The Reema Bajaj story has been highly entertaining. The amount of lewd comments, jokes, and puns that can be made about a lawyers and prostitution is endless. I mean, lawyers are kind of like prostitutes in the best of times.

Here, during the worst of times, it sure feels like the difference between servicing a client for $100 and being a prostitute is nil.

And if there is something that a lawyer is doing to make money, you know her law school will try to take credit in some way…

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CSO officers are usually pretty hot.

It’s been a while since we had a good Xtranormal video. Everybody remembers the brilliant “So You Want To Go To Law School” video.

That video is a cautionary tale for people at the beginning of the law school process. But you don’t need to tell unemployed graduates that the “hilarity” of law school extends beyond your three years on campus.

We’ve go a funny little video about a recent graduate’s interaction with Career Services. One positive thing to look forward to is that most CSO administrators look as good in real life and they do in Lego-esque cartoon blocks…

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We’ve all had bad flying experiences. It is just part of life in modern America. My colleague Elie has been groped by the TSA, everyone has to deal with humorless flight crews, and even the lead singer from Green Day has been kicked off a plane for not pulling his pants up high enough. The list goes on.

Still, our Lawyer of the Day created quite a stir on a Continental flight from Los Angeles to Houston, even by today’s standards. Let’s meet the Mile-High Flasher, who also happens to be (for now) a lawyer in good standing in California and a graduate of Loyola Law School in New Orleans

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Should we pass around the collection jar for graduates, or their law schools?

Have you ever noticed that law schools claim it’s incredibly hard to find all of their recent graduates for the cause of transparency, but when it comes time for alumni giving, they always seem to know where everybody is?

The ink isn’t yet dry on their diplomas, but members of the class of 2012 are already being hit up for money by their law schools. No, we’re not talking about collections on the debts they still owe (those phone calls don’t start for a year). But law schools are already up with alumni giving campaigns aimed at recent graduates.

I used to make fundraising calls for my college and I know that conventional wisdom says that if you get people to give even a little bit early on you’re setting up a lucrative lifetime relationship with the graduate. But I think conventional wisdom needs to be thrown out of the window when you are dealing with recent graduates who don’t have jobs and do have a lot of debt.

Asking these kids for money right out of the gate isn’t a way to make them feel a connection with the school, it’s a way to further solidify how much they regret borrowing so much money to go to law school in the first place…

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In light of some perspectives on women’s fashion that have crossed Above the Law recently (and because I like to beat horses until I’m absolutely sure they’re good and dead), I’d like share a few thoughts. When it comes to what to wear at the workplace, most of us women agree that women should dress professionally. And most of us know what dressing professionally generally looks like, even if not everything is perfectly laid out.

However, there is this “small” issue that there are still too many sexist job interviewers out there who expect women to go beyond just dressing professionally, and demand that we dress in a way that they consider feminine and appropriate for a woman.

Now, some women are perfectly comfortable wearing skirts and heels, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that. Other women suspect that such items are the devil’s handiwork. In any case, most women aren’t happy when other people dictate how any of us dress in the workplace, so long as we’re meeting the basic standards of professionalism. After all, it’s a rare occasion that men at the office are judged for not dressing in more masculine attire….

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Today, we wake up in a world where LeBron James is king. The best player in basketball and the Miami Heat closed out Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Congratulations. Waking up to the reign of King James must be like living in Westeros in a world where Joffrey Baratheon is king. (That makes Dwyane Wade Cersei & Chris Bosh Lancel Lannister.)

Kevin Durant will be back. The supremely talented NBA scoring champion will get better from this, and I think he’ll win championships. On the basketball court.

In a court of law, Durant might not be as successful. Durant’s being sued for trademark infringement, and not by George Gervin. Many have compared Durant’s game to Gervin’s, but in terms of nicknames there is no contest. George Gervin was called the “Iceman,” because nicknames used to be cool and creative. Durant is often called simply “KD,” because younger sports fans don’t seem to know the difference between a nickname and an acronym.

Sometimes Durant is called “Durantula” because of his spindly length. That’s more of a word play than a nickname — and apparently it’s already taken. An 80s guitarist that you probably have never heard of claims that he trademarked the moniker “Durantula” years ago. Mark Durante is now suing Durant, his representatives, and Nike.

And the Durantula guitarist kind of has a point…

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* Dewey still have some folks who owe us money? Yes we do. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Facebook will change its terms of service, specifically regarding the way it handles “sponsored stories” in order to settle a large lawsuit [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* A man opposing a Virginia attorney in a child custody hearing shot at the lawyer outside the courthouse. Luckily, he missed. [Gettysburg Times]

*The Fifth Circuit said yes, the law firm of Smith & Fuller is on the hook for $30,000 for accidentally releasing its client’s secret information. [ABA Journal]

* Recently released interviews with George Zimmerman tell his side of the death of Trayvon Martin. [New York Times]

*The Electronic Frontier Foundation is stepping in represent Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal and the defendant in this mess. [Electronic Frontier Foundation]

Elie here: We’re nearing the halfway point of bar exam study season. The pressure is stepping up. Suddenly getting killed on the practice questions isn’t as funny anymore.

Seems like an excellent time to blow off steam with bar exam “party girls,” as Mr. Bar Exam explains…

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