A Legal Tabloid - News, Insights, and Colorful Commentary on Law Firms and the Legal Profession
Managing Editor: David Lat
Editor: Elie Mystal
Assistant Editor: Staci Zaretsky
Contributors: Kashmir Hill, Marin, Mark Herrmann, Jay Shepherd
Elie Mystal joined ATL in 2009 by winning the ATL Idol Contest. Prior to joining ATL, Elie wrote about politics and popular culture at City Hall News and the New York Press. Elie received a degree in Government from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was formerly a litigator at Debevoise & Plimpton but quit the legal profession to pursue a career as an online provocateur. He's written editorials for the New York Daily News and the New York Times, and he has appeared on both MSNBC and Fox News without having to lie about his politics to either news organization.
After the July 2012 Michigan state bar exam, we noted that Michigan seemed to be tightening the screws on the people taking its bar exam. The overall pass rate for the exam was 55%, and it was only 62% for first-time test takers.
As people gear up for the July 2013 Michigan bar exam, it looks like the degree of difficulty on the test isn’t a blip, it’s a trend. The February 2013 numbers suggest that Michigan wants to keep its test hard and its test takers nervous….
As we mentioned in Morning Docket today, Gawker has a story about the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, smoking crack.
It’s a delightful tale about how a conservative was apparently caught on a camera phone smoking crack, slurring his speech, and calling people fa**ots. The full video isn’t available, because of course the people who shot it want money. If you want to contribute to that cause, Gawker has set up a Kickstarter fund to buy the video.
That’s all well and good. Personally I would now like to see Anthony Weiner and Rob Ford face off to become the next mayor of Buffalo. But this afternoon I really want to focus on the lawyer Rob Ford apparently hired to try to kill the Gawker story. Because Saul Goodman, he is not…
They would greenlight a mash-up of this movie and Legally Blonde now.
It appears that a lot of you would like to know which law professor authored the “Confessions of a Sociopath” summary and book that we discussed yesterday. I guess it’s news if it appears that one of your law professors has gone on television to say that she might murder someone. Sources have come forward about the author’s possible identity, so we’ll share with you what we’re being told while noting that the anonymous author hasn’t yet officially come forward.
It seems that donning a wig and going on Dr. Phil to talk about your sociopathic thoughts doesn’t protect your identity as much as one would think
She’s the most annoying woman on television, right?
If Staci were here, I’m sure she’d have some punny thing to say about trying to leverage small breasts into a more “prestigious” pair.
But the story really isn’t as salacious as it should be. Yes, there’s a woman trying to extort money for breast implants. And yes, she was trying to extort the money from a lawyer… so we get to write about it. But instead of some kind of hot itty-bitty office sex gone wrong, this story is more like a bizzaro Progressive commercial where Flo tries to get a rack installed on her chassis…
As many of you know, I went straight through from college to law school without taking any time off. And many of you know that I count this as one of my many mistakes. The people I know who took time off between college and law school came back to law school with an appreciation of school and a focus on what skills they needed to succeed in the real world.
People like me who went straight through tended to start out with a “College II” mentality, got book-raped first semester, and muddled through law school kind of wondering why everything was so boring. In my anecdotal experience, these people disproportionately ended up in Biglaw, because people who get on only one train tend to end up at the same destination.
Given that experience, I think this new pilot program from Harvard Law School could be a very good idea. Harvard Law will now admit Harvard undergraduates after their junior year of college, provided they agree to an automatic, two-year, post-graduation deferment. That’s two years after college where you can work, earn money, and experience the real world outside the ivory tower, all the while knowing that you have Harvard Law to fall back on.
At least, that’s the positive view of the program. Our tipsters point out the cynical side….
Have you ever thought that your law professor was a sadistic bastard? Have you ever felt like the prosecutor across the table was an emotional black hole? Would it freak you out if you turned out to be clinically right?
We’ve talked a lot about mental health recently, from panic buttons to Asperger’s (or autism spectrum disorder, if you prefer). But today we’ve come across a truly chilling article from a law professor who admits that she’s a sociopath and writes about how law is the perfect field for people like her.
I’m turning the snark meter way down on this post because, well, I don’t want to be murdered…
Note the UPDATE at the end of this post concerning the professor’s possible identity.
* Jodi Arias news. Something about the death penalty. I didn’t really read the article. Remember, every time you click on something about Jodi Arias, God kills a kitten. [USAToday]
* Obama merely fired the acting IRS chief, Steve Miller. He didn’t execute him in Times Square with his bare hands, so cable news outlets will still have something to bitch about. [CNN]
* How happy is Bloomberg that between the IRS and the DOJ their ridiculous scandal is kind of flying under the radar? [Reuters]
* The Juice, is loose, on the witness stand. Not really loose, he’s in shackles and way too fat now to fit gloves of any kind. [ESPN]
* And now it’s time for the House Republicans to be confronted with their own hypocrisy. In response to the DOJ subpoenas Obama wants to pass “media shield” legislation which would protect reporters from this sort of thing. But will the House GOP pass something that actually limits the power of the government to spy on people? Will the House pass any legislation that the President will actually sign these next four years? Dilemmas, dilemmas. [Wall Street Journal]
Look, we can’t have a final exam screw-up season without something happening at NYU Law School. For some reason NYU is like the ground zero of exam mishaps.
But not all screw-ups are created equally. Today we have a story of a professor who didn’t screw-up his final exams out of laziness or carelessness. Instead there was an honest clerical mistake. One that the professor took responsibility for and moved to correct as quickly and as equitably as he could.
Mistakes are going to happen, but law professors need to take this guy’s class in how to handle them…
We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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