Attorneys and law students across the country have been on the receiving end of emails from a rabid activist named Leslie Brodie this month. Brodie is waging a crusade to “end racism/sexism in U.S. law firms” by starting a petition.
In a mass email about the petition, she directed her attack specifically at one firm, the small San Francisco-based Kerr & Wagstaffe. Brodie mentions founding partner James Wagstaffe, who is also an adjunct professor at UC Hastings Law, and points out “that out of 10 lawyers, all but one are white; out of seven partners, all but one are males; and all the associates are young and attractive white females.”
Virginia attorney Ken Lammers of Crim Law Blog was one of the many to receive the email. He checked out Kerr & Wagstaffe’s website and offered a measured and convincing defense of the firm, in part arguing that the female attorneys aren’t actually that hot. He also discovered the reason for Brodie’s attack on Wagstaffe:
As I write this, the petition has 13 whole “signatures”, 4 of which call out the author and 1 of which is the author threatening a disagreeing signatory with sanction by the law school. It’s the exchange between these two which clarified what’s actually going on here. I had thought that this was a non-hire who was striking back at the firm, but apparently it’s even more petty than that. This is about a bad grade which the author got from James Wagstaffe in a CivPro class. A BAD GRADE. A law firm, which by all appearances is filled with bright, capable people, is dragged through the mud over a grade. YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
A Berkeley law student responded to the mass email by requesting removal from the mailing list, citing the CAN-SPAM Act — a perfectly reasonable request. But when you’re dealing with unhinged, anti-racist spammers, reason doesn’t often serve you well…
The Boalt Hall School of Law administration has come under fire once again over the undisclosed location of Professor John Yoo’s spring semester California Constitution class.
Yoo, who has been criticized for memos he wrote under the Bush administration justifying alleged torture practices, was scheduled to begin his first class of the semester Tuesday night and is the only professor in the law school whose class location is not listed on the law school’s class schedule. Anti-war groups World Can’t Wait and Fire John Yoo! have targeted Yoo since he returned from sabbatical last fall and criticized the Boalt Hall administration Tuesday.
About 25 people, some clad in orange jumpsuits, gathered Tuesday outside Boalt Hall Dean Christopher Edley’s office, demanding that the location of Yoo’s class be made public.
People in orange jumpsuits, roving the streets of California. Is this Judge Reinhardt’s doing?
We reached out to Professor Yoo to see if he had any comment on the classroom controversy, and he sent us a rather amusing reply.
The Skadden Fellowship Foundation, described as “a legal Peace Corps” by The Los Angeles Times, was established in 1988 to commemorate the firm’s 40th anniversary, in recognition of the dire need for greater funding for graduating law students who wish to devote their professional lives to providing legal services to the poor (including the working poor), the elderly, the homeless and the disabled, as well as those deprived of their civil or human rights. The aim of the foundation is to give Fellows the freedom to pursue public interest work; thus, the Fellows create their own projects at public interest organizations with at least two lawyers on staff before they apply.
Fellowships are awarded for two years. Skadden provides each Fellow with a salary and pays all fringe benefits to which an employee of the sponsoring organization would be entitled. For those Fellows not covered by a law school low income protection plan, the firm will pay a Fellow’s law school debt service for the tuition part of the loan for the duration of the fellowship. The 2010 class of Fellows brings to 591 the number of academically outstanding law school graduates and judicial clerks the firm has funded to work full-time for legal and advocacy organizations.
The 2010 class of Skadden Fellows was just announced. Congratulations to the 27 winners, selected from 20 different law schools. Yale had four, Berkeley (aka Boalt Hall) had three, and Stanford and Fordham had two each.
Check out their names, law schools, and sponsoring organizations — maybe you know some of them? — after the jump.
In parsing the fate of law school students, there’s no point in talking about the 3Ls. Their chances of success in the job hunt are about as bright as Obama’s prospects of winning the war in Afghanistan. In other words, abandon hope all ye who enter here.
The 1Ls can actually pray the economy will improve. And unlike the poor 3Ls, they knew what they were getting into when they enrolled this fall.
But what about the 2Ls? They have a year and a half more to stay in the law school bunker. Is that long enough for the economy to pick up and for firms to open their wallets doors to draw them close to the Biglaw bosom? Many 2Ls report that their dance cards for the summer are empty.
But there may be hope for current 2Ls without summer suitors, reports Zach Lowe at AmLaw Daily. Some firms are coming back for another round:
[A] small number of those 2Ls stand to benefit from an added mini-round of recruiting, which law school officials and firm recruiters attribute to the cautious stance some firms took the first time around in August and September. The reason, according to about a dozen sources we interviewed: Firms shooting for smaller class sizes limited their offers to the best of the best in the class of 2010. The students in that group found themselves with several offers to choose from, leaving firms short of the already smaller-than-usual targets they’d set. Now those firms are going back to top law schools and asking about candidates who have not yet secured a gig for summer 2010, according to career services deans at law schools, law firm recruiters, and industry groups.
Which firms are still looking? What are they looking for? And, if Adolf Hitler was a 2L, what would he do?
Find out after the jump.
Yesterday, we told you that big tuition hikes could be coming to schools in the University of California system. But we didn’t know that Berkeley students had a plan to do something about it. They’re going out on strike! With university workers who want a raise! Or something!
Hey, it’s the Berkeley way. When they are pissed about something, they protest. It’s better than the Harvard way; when we’re pissed about something, we ask Daddy to fire somebody.
[Yale way = invite SCOTUS justice to speak about the issue, ask justice only clerkship application questions. UT way = shoot it. NYU way = wait to see how Columbia handles the problem. I could go on and on.]
The protest was scheduled for today. Those hardcore Berkeley students were even asking professors to reschedule classes so more people could participate in the strike.
(Wait for it)
Yes, you read that correctly. Students wanted to strike, but didn’t want to risk missing class.
After the jump, the Berkeley law blog, Nuts & Boalts explains the problems with this plan:
Last month, we reported that UC Hastings College of Law was set to become the most expensive law school in California. Apparently, the good people at Berkeley and UC Davis took that as a challenge.
Tomorrow, November 18th there will be a meeting on the proposed budget for the California university system. The tuition numbers for law schools would be terrifying for prospective law students — if only they were able to exercise common sense.
First let’s look at the proposed tuition and fees for California residents at Berkeley and other California public law schools over the next three years:
Notice that these numbers are up from the proposal that was on the table just this past August. I can’t imagine what tuition will look like when we actually get to 2012 – 2013. By then they’ll be charging people in Euros and organ donations.
After the jump, we look at what these schools plan for non-resident students (hint, it’s obscene enough that I considered putting up NSFW warnings), and why UC administrators think students will accept the tuition hikes.
The stalk-and-eventually-marry-your-doorman phenomenon continues to enthrall the NYT weddings editors. This week they shine the spotlight on yet another bride — this time a producer at CNN — who found love in the lobby. LEWW encourages female Biglaw associates to embrace this trend. You’re in and out of office buildings all day, ladies — open your eyes to the lusciousness perched behind those security desks!
And now, this week’s finalist couples:
Notorious B.O.A.L.T. is a UC-Berkeley law school student who enjoys setting law school lessons to music. He appeared on our pages before, rapping his way through CivPro.
Now he’s back. Notorious has gone acoustic, but this song embraces the rebellious roots of rock & roll. Notorious writes, “As a protest against the lunacy of the Socratic Method and the staggering lack of imagination on the part of the Boalt Hall administration in clinging to a cobwebbed curriculum, I will not be taking any final examinations this semester.”
“Do the Torts Shuffle” is his submission to Professor Patrick Hanlon in lieu of a written final exam. He asks that Hanlon consider giving him a “sub-standard pass in the course.” Here it is:
We think rapping lends itself more easily to talkin’ ’bout the law, but this is a worthy effort. The question is: is it a sub-standard pass level effort?
A lyrical excerpt, and speculation about the future of Notorious B.O.A.L.T., after the jump.
Relax, folks. We are aware that the 2009 law school rankings of U.S. News & World Report have leaked, in advance of their official Friday publication date. They’re all over the blogosphere and the message boards (links collected below).
We’ve been sitting on this item for a little while — coordinating with our other posts this morning, taking into account our traffic patterns, etc. There is a method to our madness.
Ideally we’d hold this item even longer (which would allow us to do a more detailed write-up). But it’s clear that you’re all dying to talk about the rankings RIGHT NOW. And we don’t want to get any more emails and comments of the “why aren’t you writing about U.S. News” variety.
So here you go. Rankings and discussion, after the jump (i.e., click on the “Continue reading” link below).
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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