Bad Ideas

It’s been a week of violence here at Above the Law. Between the murder-suicide guy and the judge who beat his disabled daughter, there’s been too much disturbing sadness.

Here at Above the Law, we prefer violence that is maybe, just a little, funny. For those who appreciate the lighter side of crime, we’ve got Joshua Monson. Here’s a guy who has stabbed his way out of his right to an attorney.

How do you lose this fundamental right to representation? Well, by stabbing all of your representation….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “It’s Like Having Hannibal Lecter as a Client”

Allegedly offensive Halloween costume

I thought the rule for Halloween costumes was “don’t dress like Hitler.” But apparently you are also supposed to wear costumes that are nice and compassionate — or else you might be smacked around in the New York Times.

(We won’t smack you around. Please send in Halloween pics, and you might win a t-shirt.)

Over the weekend, you might have seen the Times story on the Stephen J. Baum law firm. As the largest so-called “foreclosure mill” in New York state, representing banks that kick people out of their homes, it’s not the kind of place that receives hugs and kisses from the community. Which is fine; lawyers there are paid for their work.

Every year the Baum firm hosts a huge Halloween party. Last year, employees reportedly dressed up like the some of the people who lose their homes during the course of Baum’s foreclosure business.

Some people are outraged that foreclosure lawyers don’t have “compassion” for their adversaries….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Buffalo ‘Foreclosure Mill’ Employees Don Mean Costumes For Halloween”

Gun hard!

Last week, we told you about some law students who were holding tryouts — and charging a $20 application fee — to fill the final two spots in their study group.

The students in the group were roundly mocked. Charging an application fee made demanding an undergraduate transcript from applicants pale by comparison.

Now, if the school had been a place like UVA Law, the student body would have gotten defensive and lashed out about how the study group post “didn’t tell the full story.” They’d whine about how the study groupers didn’t “represent” the student body. They’d claim that ATL “planted” the poster, because we “had it in” for the school.

But some students at the Georgia State University College of Law didn’t feel the need to defend their school or the silly students in the study group. They realized that nobody would impute the toolish behavior of a few 1Ls to an entire institution.

Instead, they chose to have a bit of fun with it. Confidence and a sense of humor are beautiful things….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Georgia State Law Students Poke a Little Fun at Their Classmates”

Rapper or criminal mastermind?

I am constantly amazed at how dimwitted some criminals can be. We have covered them in these pages before, from the guy who left evidence of his violent plans open on his desktop, to the robber who reached out to his victim via Facebook.

On Thursday in Pennsylvania, a federal jury convicted Anthony D. Elonis on four counts of threatening his estranged wife, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Berks County Sheriff’s Department, a kindergarten class, and an FBI agent. The vehicle for his litany of threats was none other than Facebook.

The case goes to show that producers of cool heist movies like Ocean’s 11 or The Italian Job have no idea of the context in which your run-of-the-mill petty criminal exists.

What did Elonis threaten to do? Some pretty bad stuff, actually. Keep reading to see why it is lucky he’s no criminal mastermind….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Wannabe Rapper Convicted of Making Criminal Threats on Facebook”

Today, via Craigslist, we have a guy who maybe needs to give up the ghost on going to law school. He’s probably a very nice person who is a credit to his family, but the experience might not be for him. Hopefully he figures that out before somebody takes him up on his $10,000 tutoring offer.

Yeah, there’s a guy on Craigslist who is willing to pay a private tutor $10,000 if he or she can help him get a 160 or better on the LSAT. To this point, he’s taken two test prep courses and studied using various books, but hasn’t broken 155.

At least the kid has the good sense to not go to a law school that would be thrilled to have him at 155. But I think he should continue acting with self-restraint and find something better to do with his ten grand….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sometimes All the Money in the World Won’t Help You on the LSAT”

Want to join them? Bring a writing sample -- and twenty bucks.

In some imperceptible yet significant way, the experience of American legal education has reached a new low.

We all feel this. Between tuition that is out of control, deans who don’t tell the truth, and students who are willing to fight other students to the death to get jobs in a market where there aren’t enough to go around, law school feels like less of a good experience than it used to be.

And we feel that in the air even if we can’t put our finger on it. And then we see something like what’s happening at one state law school, and the whole sad experience of getting a legal education in America suddenly has a new mascot.

Today we have a flyer from a group of three 1Ls who want to hold “tryouts” for the other two members of their study group. We’ve seen this type of thing before — remember the study group at a top-ten law school that required a transcript? — but this latest application process takes things to another level.

This study group wants to charge people $20 for the opportunity to try out….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “1Ls Hold Tryouts For Study Group Slots, Charge Application Fee”

Last month, there was some controversy out in California about public nudity. In San Francisco, it’s totally legal to prance around naked all day long, but local nudists were upset when they found out they might soon be forced to put down a towel before sitting buck-ass-naked on public seats.

Now a similar controversy has traveled to New York — not over increased restrictions on nudity, but whether there can be public nudity at all. Holly Van Voast, a 45-year-old activist for the cause, has had her fair share to say about it. And by “say,” I of course mean “show.”

Van Voast has grinned and bared it all — in Times Square, on the Staten Island Ferry, and most recently, in the middle of Grand Central Station. One of these public displays of middle-aged nudity landed her in Midtown Community Court yesterday, where the naked truth was revealed….

WARNING: A photo of a topless Van Voast — tastefully redacted, of course — appears after the jump. If you can’t handle it, or if you’re not in a place where you can view a (tastefully redacted) photo of a topless woman, please stop reading here.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Naked Truth Always Comes Out in Court (But Not Like This)”

I feel like we have this story every fall. Every year, new 1Ls get to law school campuses and invariably, some of them quickly look around to see which boots are most in need of licking. The first few weeks they kiss so much faculty ass they look like they’re applying for tenure. And right around now, they start looking for fellow students to suck up to.

Well, there’s a way to suck up to fellow students, and usually kissing butt requires you to be in the same room as your betters. Cold, unsolicited emailing — while fine for general networking — is almost always the wrong way to approach your peers. We’ve explained this to you before.

If you find yourself sending out cold, unsolicited, mass emails, well, welcome to Above the Law, little 1Ls….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How 1Ls Should NOT Approach Peer Networking”

At this point, the lengths companies go to in order to protect data, keep it secure, and prepare for e-discovery is old news. Data breaches — and the news coverage that usually follows — have frightened many companies into at least attempting to ratchet up data security policies. Likewise with retention practices. There have been enough e-discovery horror stories that most companies, and especially their lawyers, know they need to start prioritizing this stuff.

Strangely though, you don’t often hear much about data security within corporate boards. But it turns out that the boards of many multinational corporations with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue are way, way behind the curve on data security.

Company boards are doing everything from printing out physical copies of thousands of pages of sensitive material, to sending unencrypted information to personal e-mail accounts, unsecured iPhones, and home computers. The Thomson Reuters report, released Wednesday, gives a harrowing account of disasters waiting to happen….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Many Corporate Boards Are Pretty Much Waiting to Get Hacked, Report Says”

If learning to do this was mandatory in 3L year, law schools would be doing you a favor.

The stripper with the heart of gold who shakes what her momma gave her to make it through school would be a Disney movie if it didn’t require so much T&A. We know that “I’m doing it to pay for school” is the go-to line whenever you meet a stripper in a situation where she’s expected to keep her clothes on. Most of the women who claim that they need to strip to pay for school haven’t actually read anything since their last visit to the clinic. But for a fair number of strippers, tuition or debt repayment is a chief motivator.

Most women who go to law school think that their advanced education will buy them out of taking their clothes off for money (unless, you know, it’s partner money). But as a practical reality, stripper skills are very useful. It’s a job that can be done while in school or immediately after that pays a lot of money for relatively brainless work. It’s no more exploitative than working a law firm job. And in this economy, that law firm job is probably only available to the few women who are too ugly to strip or are willing to put out.

Hell, as we’ve previously reported, some strip clubs are even proactively screening for advanced degrees.

For today’s tale of a lawyer cum stripper, we have a young lady who has ended up stripping to pay her bills and law school debts. It’s not a sob story, though; she says that in one sense the job is less hostile than any law office she’s worked in…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Stripper?
From the Bar to the Pole

Page 11 of 421...789101112131415...42