Posts by Staci Zaretsky
How much does your law degree really cost? Is that terrifying amount actually worth it?
* Justice Anthony Kennedy says that while the Supreme Court is trying to attract more minority law clerks, lower court judges have it easier because they can recruit from local schools. Some justices have an Ivy League addiction, and thus, a diversity problem. [Legal Times]
* The next step in the confirmation process for Loretta Lynch, the lawyer who will someday be the first black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, isn’t likely to occur until at least mid-April. Why the wait? SENATE SPRING BREAK, WOO! [Reuters]
* Give me maple syrup, or give me death: According to legal experts from the National Constitution Center, even though Republican candidate Ted Cruz was born in Canada, he still counts as a “natural born citizen” who’s eligible to be president. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Foley & Lardner partner Howard Shipley avoided a supreme spanking from SCOTUS over his submission of a garbled cert petition last year, but the high court took the opportunity to remind all lawyers to write “in plain terms.” [National Law Journal]
* How badly do you want to go to a top law school? Exactly how desperate you are to feel the warm and gentle embrace of prestige? How hard can you gun? Would you be willing to take the LSAT three times? [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
ATL Academy For Private Practice Volume 1 – Getting Started offers a mix of deeply informed, sometimes contrarian, but always thoughtful insight into meeting the challenges of starting and optimizing your own practice. Click here to download.
Cocaine’s a hell of a drug, eh judge?
* This would-be POTUS can’t jump? Ted Ruger, Penn Law’s new dean, used to hang out with Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz during law school, and he’d “like to think that [their] legal skills far exceeded [their] mediocre basketball skills.” [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Why do we still need law schools considering the crisis in the legal academy? Please allow Noah Feldman of Harvard Law — an unbiased law professor — to explain why “law school is absolutely essential — not for lawyers with clients, but for our society as a whole.” [Bloomberg View]
* Apparently there’s some major drama going down with regard to which attorneys will argue the same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court. It seems that no one wants to give up their 15 minutes of fame before the high court. Sigh. [National Law Journal]
* These days, law schools are looking at more than their applicants’ GPAs and LSAT scores. Prospective law students now need to be “well-rounded and involved.” For what it’s worth, not minding going into debt is a helpful trait, too. [Omaha World-Herald]
* Another day, another gender bias lawsuit in Silicon Valley: This time around, Tina Huang, a female software engineer who used to work for Twitter, is alleging that the company’s secret promotion process bypasses women and favors men. [CNET]
This is creepy and disgusting. Poor kitty!
* Per a recent study, the class of 2010 is still screwed when it comes to securing work as attorneys. There are plenty of would-be lawyers working in “tennis instruction, office management, lingerie sales, and pest control.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Law schools may be admitting less qualified students, but when the bar exam results are bad, it’s obviously the bar exam’s fault. Is it even fair to make new lawyers have to pass a bar exam at all? We should have more on this bar exam backlash later today. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Following layoffs in two other firms’ litigation practices, McDermott Will & Emery is losing three of its top litigation partners. Two are expected to decamp to Paul Hastings, and one is abandoning ship for King & Spalding. Yikes! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Law school applications are on the verge of hitting a 15-year low. Don’t worry, cautions LSAC, because “the rate of decline [in applications] is slowing.” Check out the sad (yet amazing) picture in the article and see if it makes you feel better. [Bloomberg Business]
* Undergrads at Villanova got a crash course in how to pay for law school this week, and were hopefully scared straight when they found out the majority of law students take out loans and “typically accumulate around $100,000-$200,000 in debt.” [The Villanovan]
Should tenured professors take the money and run, or risk staying behind at a school whose standards for admission may drop even lower?
It sounds like working with this woman is a real drag. What would you do in this situation?
* A Connecticut attorney was cited for dropping two ounces of weed on a courtroom floor, and he blames it on his client’s son. They were apparently going to stage an embarrassing intervention, but it was the attorney who wound up being embarrassed. [Hartford Courant]
* While Charleston School of Law bides its time and attempts to resist a buyout from the InfiLaw System, the school has offered many of its existing faculty members buyouts. We’ll have more on this interesting development later today. [Charleston Post & Courier]
* Pace Law is going to slash its tuition for incoming students with qualifying GPAs and LSAT scores to match the tuition of the in-state public law school of the student’s home state. Sorry, folks, but this tuition “fire sale” is only for new students. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Hiscock & Barclay is “dating,” “not engaged,” and “not even close to to getting married” to Damon Morey. There may not be “anything close to official,” but this seems like the very hesitant precursor to an arranged marriage, if I do say so myself. [Buffalo Law Journal]
* Per a recent study, the closer your law firm is to your law school, the more likely it is that you’ll make partner. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if you went to an elite law school — you’re still more likely to make partner if your alma mater is nearby. [New York Times]
* Appalachian Law may be a “fourth tier” school, it may be much smaller than it once was, and it may have lowered its admissions standards, but you better believe the little law school that could is going to be just fine. Don’t stop believin’, Appalachian! [WCYB]
Casetext is offering select students the opportunity to gain real entrepreneurial experience while in school as part of its law student ambassador program.
* An Arkansas judge was mauled by his father’s pet zebra. We hope the judge recovers, but what we’d really, really like to know is how the hell one comes to own a pet zebra in Arkansas. [KARK]
* Pregnant women on poles may officially be sexy under color of law. [EPLI Risk]
* If your law firm is trying to make you complete a marketing project in order to get your year-end bonuses — like Quinn Emanuel — here are some ideas for you to try. [Hellerman Baretz Communications]
* According to Robert Durst’s lawyer, Chip Lewis, people mutter triple murder admissions under their breath on hot mics all the time, and it’s usually not that big of deal. [Gawker]
* An Ohio attorney was charged with making bomb threats at two state courthouses, but only after he was indicted for allegedly making bomb threats at a third courthouse. Wow, it’s almost like this guy didn’t do his
homeworkmotions or something. [Northeast Ohio Media Group]
* Loretta Lynch, our would-be replacement for Eric Holder as attorney general, still hasn’t been able to get confirmed, and the delay — which is being blamed on our Senate Majority Leader’s “inept leadership” — is now being referred to as “unconscionable.” Lovely. [CNN]
* Earlier this week, Morgan Lewis combined with Singapore firm Stamford Law Corp. Effective April 1, ML&B will become one of the largest Biglaw firms in the world, rivaled only by the likes of Baker & McKenzie and Dacheng Dentons. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* More federal prosecutors are stepping down from their jobs and returning to their former Biglaw homes in private practice. Once you realize government work is a giant revolving door, soon enough, it’ll be your turn to leave. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* If you’re still making a decision about which law schools to apply to, you can use the U.S. News rankings to help yourself. In the alternative, you can use the ATL Top 50 rankings to see if you’ll be able to get a job after graduation. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
How much money does YOUR law professor make?
Which law school graduates have the most debt of all? U.S. News has a ranking for that!
* A ballsy decision dripping with prestige? It seems that a few too many students at Yale Law School requested access to their student admissions evaluation records under FERPA, so instead of handing them over, Yale deleted them. [New Republic]
* Here’s some good news for women attorneys visiting clients in Massachusetts jails: you’ll no longer be forced to lift up your shirt and shake out your bra if your underwire makes the metal detector go off. Instead, you’ll get
felt upa pat down. [Boston Globe]
* According to early data culled for the Am Law 100 rankings, from revenue to profits per partner to revenue per lawyer, Winston & Strawn posted record financial results in 2014. Perhaps the days of no-offers and layoffs are long gone for this firm. [Am Law Daily]
* Just because more people took the LSAT in February, it doesn’t mean that the law school crisis is over. It does, however, mean that law school administrators may soon be wishcasting the year-over-year growth of their first-year classes. [National Law Journal]
* Rahul Gupta, the graduate student who used the tried and true “my girlfriend did it” defense during his trial for the fatal stabbing of a Georgetown Law student, was convicted on first-degree murder charges yesterday. He’ll be sentenced on April 16. [WJLA]
* Last week in court, a murder suspect in Louisiana apparently pooped his pants during a case status hearing, wiped said poop all over his face, and muttered to himself that “life is like a box of chocolates.” Sorry about that crappy candy, dude. [New Orleans Advocate]
* According to early Am Law 100 data, New York’s most elite and prestigious firms have once again broken away from the rest of the pack when it comes to both revenue and partner profits. Biglaw’s best may be back to models and bottles. [Am Law Daily]
* Michelle Lee, the first woman to ever serve as director of the USPTO, was sworn in on stage at SXSW Interactive. Michelle Lee, who worked with the Girl Scouts to issue a patent patch (instead of more makeup and sewing patches), is pretty damn awesome. [Mashable]
* The federal judiciary has plans to decrease the word limit of appellate briefs from 14,000 to 12,500, and lawyers are pissed. Lawyers from Brown Rudnick say it could result in more acronyms, confusing construction, and less “punctilious citation,” oh my! [WSJ Law Blog]
* Lee Smolen, the ex-Sidley Austin partner who faked $69,000 in travel expenses while at the firm (and possibly $379K more), has been suspended from practice for one year and will have to undergo psychiatric treatment. [Legal Profession Blog via ABA Journal]
* Taking New York’s lead, California is considering requiring all would-be attorneys in the state to complete 50 hours of pro bono work within one year of being admitted. Leave it to people who don’t know what they’re doing yet to close the justice gap. [Los Angeles Times]
You may be surprised by some of the schools that made the list…
Which law school in this section took a gigantic nosedive in the rankings?
* Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams will officially be appealing the $7.4 million “Blurred Lines” verdict that was handed down against them earlier this week. Both musicians were likely decidedly unhappy about having to give up their spare pocket change to pay for a lawsuit they thought they should’ve won. [Hollywood Reporter]
* Another law school is teaching a marijuana law class, and it’s scheduled on Fridays so students won’t take it as a novelty course. For potheads, having to drag your ass out of bed when you don’t have other classes is a disincentivizer. [Columbus Dispatch]
* After reaping the benefits of serving as lead counsel in Detroit’s bankruptcy, Jones Day decided to pay the city back by opening an office. The firm will recruit for the new office internally. Raise your hand if you’re excited to move to Detroit, associates. [Am Law Daily]
* “I don’t know where he is. I haven’t got a clue.” Paul Ceglia, the man who claimed he owned half of Facebook based on a faux contract and is now facing fraud charges, has suddenly and conveniently disappeared ahead of his May trial. Dislike. [Bloomberg]
* If for some reason you’re still interested in applying to law school, here’s a timeline that will help you get through the application process. Step 1: Figure out if you actually need to go to law school. Step 2: Abandon the rest of the steps. [U.S. News & World Report]