* When Loretta Lynch still worked at Hogan & Hartson (now known as Hogan Lovells thanks to a merger), her colleagues described her as a warm person without “a political bone in her body.” That said, best of luck to her in D.C. [National Law Journal]
* The D.C. Circuit upheld the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive opt-out plan for religious employers, but since “[t]he court is wrong,” we can count on a at least a few organizations that’ll refuse to comply. Gee, thanks a lot, Obama. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Some call the latest Biglaw tie-up “law-firm Darwinism,” but hey, “[i]t’s not like [Bingham’s] a wounded gazelle and we are pouncing on them,” says a too coy Morgan Lewis lawyer. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Fashion law may be a $985 billion global industry, but only five law school courses on the topic exist in the U.S. Why? “There’s no defensible reason except that fashion is perceived as a frivolous subject.” [AFP]
* This woman plans to appeal a $1 billion divorce settlement award because it’s not “fair and equitable.” In her defense, she did get a very small percentage of her ex-husband’s multibillion-dollar wealth. [People]
* Wage and hour laws have never been so sexy: Thanks to this court ruling, Rick’s Cabaret is going to have to make it rain on thousands of strippers to the tune of more than $10 million. [New York Times]
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* Loretta Lynch, America’s would-be attorney general, has been flying under the radar for years, and now senators are searching to find something, anything at all really, that could possibly be wrong with her. [Legal Times]
* “[T]his is the best period of time that we have seen in a long time.” According to Wells Fargo Private Bank’s Legal Specialty Group, Biglaw’s revenue, hours, and profits all rose in the first nine months of 2014. Nice work! [Am Law Daily]
* Biglaw mergers and acquisitions are now on pace to meet or beat last year’s record, and company legal departments are pretty pissed off about it, especially since “[l]arge firm views on conflicts [tend to] drive [GCs] crazy.” [Reuters]
* Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor attended the groundbreaking of Arizona State Law’s new campus, and even shoveled some dirt in honor of the school named after her. [Arizona Republic]
* What’s the price on being blackballed? Condé Nast settled its unpaid intern class-action lawsuit yesterday for $5.8 million, which will result in $700 to $1,900 payouts per aggrieved intern. [Fashionista]
What would you have done if you were in this situation?
Which law school sanctioned this lunacy?
* Look, ma, no Justice Kennedy! Over the dissent of Justices Scalia and Thomas, the Supreme Court quickly lifted its earlier stay on allowing same-sex marriages to go forward in Kansas. [USA Today]
* Sources say were it not for Bingham McCutchen’s malpractice settlement with the former owner of the Dodgers, Morgan Lewis would’ve walked away from the potential merger deal. #blessed [Am Law Daily]
* Mathew Martoma, the would-be lawyer who was expelled from Harvard Law for faking his transcripts, was denied his bid for bail pending appeal on an insider trading conviction. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start: The ex-general counsel to Occulus VR started his own firm and angel investment company to address the needs of video game companies. [Gamasutra]
* New York is holding off on adopting the Uniform Bar Exam, at least for a little while longer, mostly because “the[re] is just not enough turnaround time to do it for July ’15.” Hooray? [New York Law Journal]
Sources allege that the criminal activity occurred after one of the invaders was let go from the firm.
* With all this net neutrality talk, one of the biggest fans of the cause is Justice Antonin Scalia. He may not be tech-savvy, but he may yet save the internet. [National Law Journal]
* And the partners rejoiced? Bingham McCutchen approved a Morgan Lewis merger, and now the firm waits for its valiant rescuer to ride in upon its trusty steed. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A new study says the way to close the law school gender gap is to adopt gradeless grading policies similar to those of top law schools. Honors for everyone, yay! [Stanford News]
* LSAT prep company Test Masters Educational Services Inc. — not to be confused with TestMasters — must pay about $927K in legal fees, because as it turns out, some people were confused. [Legal Times]
* A Texas state representative submitted a bill calling for a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because there aren’t enough lawyers there. Unemployed lawyers, you know what to do. [Action 4 News]
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* While she may have “one of the broadest and most expansive roles” in West Wing history, thanks to this article, Valerie Jarrett can add a new title to her résumé: “Obama Whisperer.” [New Republic]
* Alumni from failed firms — or “dead firm alums,” which makes them sound like ghosts — have been having reunions to remember the good times at their former Biglaw homes. Aww, cute. [Am Law Daily]
* Everyone’s freaking out about the decline in bar exam scores, even deans. Brooklyn Law’s dean got into it with the NCBE’s head over her “offensive” comments about July ’14 takers. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Speaking of the bar exam, here’s a comparison between the amount students pay in law school tuition and the likelihood of passing the test on the first try. Spoiler: it doesn’t really matter. [Huffington Post]
* Here’s how to determine how badly you screwed up the LSAT. Step 1) Realize you took the test because you don’t know what else to do with your life. No more steps. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
What more could you ask for from a small firm aside from the promise of cold drinks?
* “I think the court has to take a case now. This is their job.” It’s time to hurry up and wait: SCOTUS is running down the clock when it comes to taking a gay marriage case this Term. [National Law Journal]
* Zach Warren will be tried separately from the former leaders of D&L on criminal charges in the wake of the firm’s failure. Dewey think lawyers still care about him? [DealBook / New York Times]
* Good news, everyone! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector added 300 jobs in October. This sure is exciting for the fraction of the class of 2014 that number represents. [Am Law Daily]
* A Long Island attorney requested that one of her trials be postponed during her high-risk pregnancy, but lawyers from the S.D.N.Y. allegedly “shouted at and insulted” her in response. Wow. [New York Times]
* Since enrollment dropped off, law schools are competing to attract transfer students. Georgetown, for example, recently took more than 100 transfers — a 75 percent increase in two years. [Washington Post]
* Just because your state puff, puff, passed the vote to legalize smoking pot, it doesn’t mean you won’t be fired for doing it. Careful with your dope, unless you’d like to see your career go up in smoke. [CNN Money]
Cold drinks? That’ll get clients in the door.
Life as a grumpy old lawyer in Alabama certainly sounds pretty entertaining, y’all.
* As mentioned earlier, the Sixth Circuit upheld same-sex marriage bans in four states. Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey’s dissent is a very fun read because it’s dripping with sarcasm. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Sentencing has been delayed for Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s friends during the pendency of the Yates case at SCOTUS. Like a grouper, a backpack may not be a “tangible object.” [National Law Journal]
* Bingham McCutchen and Edwards Wildman Palmer are planning to shed lawyers and staff members in anticipation of their proposed mergers with Morgan Lewis and Locke Lord. Ouch. [Am Law Daily]
* Weekend reading? ATL’s managing editor, David Lat, reviews Blindfolds Off (affiliate link), an interesting collection of interviews with judges about how they decide their toughest cases. [Wall Street Journal]
* Everyone, please stop what you’re doing. Jeffrey Toobin has discovered that law schools are in trouble, and he’s on the case. You can read more information about this new phenomenon here. [The New Yorker]
* Adam Tang, the man who drove a 26-mile loop around Manhattan in 24 minutes, was convicted of reckless driving without being present. Check out the video of his crazy drive, after the jump. [ABA Journal]