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Righteous-IndignationThis week, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) announced that it accepted a hefty donation from Koch Industries.  According to NACDL, the grant will fund an initiative to better train indigent defenders and study best practices of current state level indigent defense delivery systems.  The organization points out that over 80 percent of criminal defendants must rely on indigent defense systems for representation, though the systems are “chronically underfunded and overburdened and, as result, in many instances are unable to effectively deliver adequate representation.”  NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer also said, “[W]e are honored that while Koch is providing this significant funding to support NACDL’s efforts, Koch is deferring to NACDL’s expertise in this arena for the grant’s effective deployment.”

Koch Industries is, of course, the Kansas-based, privately-held corporation of Charles and David Koch, often known to their many liberal critics as “the Koch Brothers.”  (Sort of like the Wachowski Brothers but with more money and without the transitioning.)  Critics such as Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid and increasingly agitated AlterNet writers decry the Kochs, who are reportedly each worth $36 billion, for their donations to the GOP and conservative causes.

So, should we be skeptical of the Kochs’ recent gift to help poor folks get adequate legal representation?  After all, how could a Google search for “Koch Brothers Evil” turn up so many seemingly pertinent results, if they were up to any good?  So, how can an organization like NACDL accept money from the ne’er-do-well billionaires who funneled money into such ultra-conservative, oligarchy-preserving causes as . . . the United Negro College Fund?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A High-Dollar Koch Habit: Should Defense Lawyers Accept Money From The Koch Brothers?”

NFL_logo* NFL blackout rules will be a thing of the past on November 24. So just in time for all you rabid Rams fans to watch them play the Raiders. [CommLawBlog]

* Electing judges is so very stupid. [What About Clients?]

* OK, Alex Rich: it’s time to ditch document review and become a psychic. [Law and More]

* A tumblr of offensive stuff overheard at Yale Law. If these are true, then that place sounds horrible. [The YLS Offensive]

* Exactly where is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? It turns out the government doesn’t really even know. They’re looking to shift the border and possibly allow more oil drilling. [Breaking Energy]

* How to get your Biglaw career right from the beginning. [Medium]

stat imageThe median age of U.S. lawyers is on the rise in a way that cannot be explained by a decline in law school enrollment. Is this due to the decrease in entry-level jobs for law school graduates? Or have the increased number of women lawyers (and related high attrition rates) contributed to this trend?

See the numbers after the jump…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Stat of the Week: Where Are Young Lawyers?”


file-cabinet1-300x299Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts from the ATL Career Center’s team of expert contributors. Today, Ariel Salzer offers advice to overwhelmed law students.

We talked about how you can become a productive law student while being a happy human being at the same time. If you missed our five tips for achieving balance, take a read here. We continue with this series by bringing you four suggestions for taking care of yourself in law school.

Sleep as much as you need to.

Continue reading at the ATL Career Center…

An official Dominique Ansel "cronut."

An official Dominique Ansel ‘cronut.’

@DominiqueAnsel I am so sad I upset you, I started to cry & I immediately reached for a Kleenex… I mean paper facial tissue #NotACronut

Rounds Bakery, the self-described home of Reno’s best bagels, responding to a cease and desist letter from Dominique Ansel. Rounds had offered a hybrid croissant-doughnut and that sticks in Dominique Ansel’s craw as the registered trademark holder of the “Cronut.” What followed on Twitter was epic trolling by Rounds, listing every proprietary eponym they could think of.

ClementAfter John Oliver used dogs to create a recap of the Holt v. Hobbs argument, he asked other media outlets to use his raw footage in their own reporting. As much as we enjoyed the subsequent recreation of the entire Hobby Lobby argument with the aid of Oliver’s raw footage, this may be the ultimate realization of Oliver’s dream yet.

Rather than matching the audio of the whole argument uncut, these folks used the footage as part of an otherwise straight-up report on the Court’s shortcomings in addressing technological innovation. And included scenes like the Court’s back-and-forth about whether cutting-edge innovator Aereo operated “more like a car dealership or a valet service” but with the aid of Oliver’s dog footage. Check it out below….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “SCOTUS Dogs Don’t Understand Aereo Either”

Above the Law Job boardLooking for a job? Check out Above the Law’s new job board. You can find it under the “Career Center” navigation tab on the top of the page, and the five most recent jobs posted can be found in the column on the right side of the page. While there, you can easily find jobs like:

Need help updating your lateral résumé? Check out Lateral Link’s advice here. You can always find additional career resources in the ATL Career Center. Best of luck in your job search!

Are you an employer interested in posting employment opportunities on the Above the Law Job Board? You can find packages here or contact advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thank you very much.

need a job LFEarlier this week, we learned that Whittier Law School was one of the “most challenged” in the nation when it came to its graduates’ ability to get jobs as lawyers. The administration, of course, isn’t pleased that about 40 percent of graduates are unemployed, so they’re “working very hard to implement programs and changes that should help … graduates with employment.”

Alas, the school might have to try harder — especially since it looks like not even its professors are quite sure what “lawyering skills” are…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Flagging Law School Seems Unsure About What ‘Lawyering Skills’ Are”

Professor Hans von Puppet

Professor Hans von Puppet

My number one rule of lawyer advertising is to always avoid “old guy in suit in front of books,” but there are limits. And that limit falls somewhere beyond a dark Metallica tribute and somewhere around putting an ersatz Muppet in front of a camera to shill for a law firm.

Yes, this is a puppet. Promoting a law firm. Specifically, Professor Hans von Puppet.

What the holy hell?

I had to watch it a few times to convince myself I wasn’t having an acid trip. Or watching some high-concept sitcom.

With all the hubbub over cigarette companies advertising to kids, where was the outrage over a law firm making lawyering look fun?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Uses Puppet As Pitchman And This Feels Like An Acid Trip”

Ultron1As the saying goes, death and taxes are both certainties — as is the fact that politicians lie. But another near universal certainty is that Marvel will totally freak out whenever it gets the slightest inkling that its intellectual property is threatened. The latest head-scratching example of this was yesterday’s leak of a trailer for The Avengers 2, which Marvel promptly DMCA’d.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Marvel Goes DMCA Crazy Over Leaked Avengers 2 Trailer, Then Puts It On Its Own YouTube Page”

HTGAWMSo in last week’s legal recap I expressed some mild appreciation for this show, but I think I just must have been overwhelmed by the ridiculous amazingness of Annalise confronting her husband over his sexting habits. Either that or I was a feverish as a Doctor Without Borders volunteer going bowling in Brooklyn fresh off a plane from West Africa (yup, it’s an Ebola joke — too soon, bro?) when I said that I enjoyed this show because holy plot holes Batman! Well maybe they won’t prove to be giant as there is still a lot of information to be filled in about the season-long arc regarding the night Sam Keating gets murdered, but there are definitely enough legal and logical inconsistencies to pull me right out of enjoying the show. HTGAWM cares way more about being sensational than being intelligent.

By now I’m guessing you’re wondering just how does HTGAWM play fast and loose with reality?

Continue reading over at Redline…

Fire* Thanks to this Government Accountability Office ruling, the company that cleared NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis may lose a $210M contract. [Legal Times]

* After being acquitted on insider trading charges, Rengan Rajaratnam agreed to settle the civil suit filed against him for a cool $840K. At least he’s not in jail like his brother. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Those interested in going to law school may want to know that Philadelphia is purportedly home to some of the cheapest law schools in the country — not Penn Law, though, sorry ’bout that. [Main Street]

* Professors at WUSTL Law held a “teach-in” to discuss the Michael Brown police shooting case. According to them, the likelihood Darren Wilson will be federally charged is “slim to none.” [Student Life]

* Attack of the aggrieved ex: a man drove a burning pickup truck loaded with explosives into a law firm, destroying much of the building. He had apparently dated one of the firm’s former clients. [Virginian-Pilot]

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