Natasha Lydon

Posts by Natasha Lydon

It’s that time of year. The never-ending winter is finally retreating and we’re getting the few weeks that pass for spring in New York, before the city turns into a humid swamp for four months. The lucky ones who pocketed spring bonuses want an excuse to spend them. Minds drift to thoughts of vacation — a temporary escape from billable hours and fleeting chance to remember what sunlight feels like. If only it were that simple.

Fact: Americans on average get far fewer paid vacation days than workers in other developed countries, including Japan, which invented the concept of karōshi (death by overwork). Sadder fact: most Americans don’t use the precious few vacation days that they have.

Lawyers are particularly bad about this. Biglaw attorneys are lucky enough to get four weeks of vacation each year, but most don’t use them. These 20 paid, get-out-of-jail-free days are part of your compensation package. Refusing to use them is essentially giving your firm 20 days of free labor. I don’t know anyone who negotiates a lower salary or feels guilty about taking advantage of the firm health plan. Why should vacation be different? The Firm has no qualms about taking up all 24 hours of every one of the other 345 days of your year. Why wouldn’t you use your vacation days?

Associates whine that taking vacation from Biglaw is impossible. No it isn’t. Sure, it may be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible.

All it takes is little common sense….

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Having known many, many lawyers over the years, it seems clear to me that the typical overworked lawyer spends most non-working moments daydreaming of one of two things: an exit strategy and meeting another attractive human being. The demanding hours of the legal profession can make it difficult to meet a potential mate. After too many long hours at a desk without any real social interaction (trolling the ATL comments doesn’t count), even the dorky associate down the hall in the tax department can start to seem attractive. I’ve heard far too many stories from fellow associates about how sleep deprivation and loneliness can lead to some pretty bad decisions.

One New York lawyer has decided to get more creative in his quest to spend some actual face-to-face time with a real live attractive woman. This attorney, we’ll call him “Mr. Model,” has turned to Craigslist — and not the Casual Encounters section — in search of a smokin’ hottie….

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It’s been a rough year in South Bend. A promising new head football coach led the Fighting Irish to a disappointing 7-5 regular season. The #5-ranked basketball team forgot to show up during March Madness (but at least the women’s team exceeded expectations). It was a year that many Irish fans would like to rewrite.

And now a few 1Ls at Notre Dame Law School would like to do some rewriting of their own. A tipster informs us that controversy has been brewing for a while regarding NDLS’s first year legal writing program. It appears that some students believe that they work too darn hard to only receive one measly credit for their second semester legal research and writing course.

So, what do angry law students do when they feel that they are not being properly credited for their writing efforts? They write more — a petition, to be exact. Find out what these future lawyers are demanding, after the jump.

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Geoffrey Fieger

In the past, Above the Law has kindly taken the time to mock provide constructive feedback to firms that choose to take more unconventional approaches to their attorney website photos. Among our favorites have been the “body shots” of Ballard Spahr and Cox Smith.

Today’s installment of bad lawyer photography comes courtesy of a tipster who brought the website of Fieger Law to our attention. Fieger Law is headed up by none other than Geoffrey Fieger, who gained notoriety by repeatedly winning acquittals for Jack Kevorkian, aka Dr. Death, and by obtaining a $25 million verdict in the Jenny Jones case.

But life at Fieger Law isn’t all about trying serious cases. These lawyers have fun while loving the law!

In what I can only guess is an attempt at creativity, Fieger’s website photographer has abandoned all lessons learned in Photo Composition 101 in favor of a more… artistic approach. The result is a collection of lawyers peeking around edges of photos, missing foreheads, and appearing to fall out of frames.

But the fun photography doesn’t end with the off-kilter headshots. Check out some stellar action shots, after the jump….

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Ed. note: Natasha Lydon is a new writer who will be helping out around Above the Law. She graduated from NYU Law School and spent years at a Vault top 50 law firm. She’ll be writing posts and working on some long-term projects. Also she’ll occasionally stop Elie from murdering the English language.

While most of us have been busy watching the worst championship game in history, scandal continues to brew over in that other college sport. Investigators recently issued their official report cataloging all of the alleged wrongdoing that has gone down in relation to the Fiesta Bowl, one of college football’s most prestigious bowl games. If you have a weekend to spare, you can read the public version of the Final Report here.

The Fiesta Bowl commissioned an initial investigation in early 2009 after rumors of campaign contribution improprieties first surfaced. This investigation was conducted by Grant Woods, a former Arizona Attorney General, who offered the Fiesta Bowl the oral conclusion that he had found “no credible evidence” of wrongdoing.

After The Arizona Republic went public with the rumors and people started to suspect that Woods’ investigation was improper (more on this later), the State of Arizona initiated a more serious investigation. Two Fiesta Bowl representatives teamed up with a former Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court to choose an appropriate investigator. The winner was the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.

After five months of investigating, the firm issued a 276-page tome that reads like an issue spotting nightmare…

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