It’s become clear that many college graduates make their decision to go to law school based on apathy, a critical misunderstanding of the legal market, and shocking hubris. As we’ve said many times, the decision to go to law school has become disassociated from the expected value of going to law school.
Prospective law students are flocking to law schools in droves. What’s going on at Duke Law School right now is just the latest evidence. Here’s part of a letter Duke Law sent out to people on its waitlist:
Since our tuition deposit deadline at the end of April, the class has been completely full. Although a few people have requested deferrals or otherwise changed their plans for the fall, we have not yet been able to make any additional offers of admission.
When the reigning champion of our douchiest law school competition is getting inundated with applications, you can see why law schools are quite comfortable charging more and more tuition…
Elie wondered how that was possible given the economic climate in 2008. Though the climate in 2009 was even worse, Duke maintained its perfect score. However, we’re told that Duke will likely not have a 100% in this box for its class of 2010.
As Duke Law News reported, Duke worked hard to ensure its graduates had jobs. While it didn’t go the SMU route of paying employers to “test drive” its graduates, it does now provide stipends to some of its unemployed graduates to allow them to work for a couple months at no cost to employers. Using SMU’s car metaphor, the law school pays for the gas while Dukies and prospective employers take a little spin. Duke calls it “The Bridge to Practice” program.
It started in 2008 — employing the nine graduates who would have otherwise ruined that nice round 100%. The numbers of participants have increased since then, as the economy has worsened.
We interviewed a couple of them about the experience. The escalating numbers and Bridgers’ stories, including how much Duke pays, after the jump.
There’s a crisis at Duke Law School. No, it’s not that the school fell out of the Top Ten in the U.S. News rankings. It’s that the law library is being invaded by filthy little pests: Duke undergrads.
Duke law students don’t appear to think highly of their young classmates. They seem to blame the undergrads for their supposedly undeserved douchiest law school victory.
The icky BA/BS infestation was a problem last semester as well, leading one Blue Devil to leave a sloppy handwritten sign near the printers: “Print double-sided, a**hole. Also, please use your own library.” Much to law students’ frustration, the policy at the university is that all students are granted access to all libraries.
This semester, the war on trespassing undergrads is better organized. Each morning, Duke J.D. wannabes flyer the library with the sign at right (unredacted version after the jump), and one infuriated 2L created a Facebook protest group — It’s still the LAW library (even during finals). The Duke Law School administration has taken note of the problem, and responded — appropriately, via posting to the wall of the Facebook group.
But the war does not look good for Duke Law School. The troops are in retreat, and they appear to be fleeing to the Duke business school library…
Let’s continue our march through the U.S. News law school rankings. Today we finish up the traditional top-14 — and we’ll throw in the schools tied for 15th, because we’re pretty sick of hearing UT and UCLA students whine. To refresh your memory, here’s the next group of schools:
All joking aside, dropping to #6 is really not that big of a deal. NYU Law students will be fine — check out how the kicked it on the basketball court just after the rankings came out…
Supreme Court clerk hiring is once again in the news. This subject, usually of interest just to hard-core legal nerds, migrated over to the mainstream media in Jeffrey Toobin’s recent New Yorker profile of Justice John Paul Stevens. Toobin cleverly used the topic of clerk hiring as a backdoor way of getting at JPS’s retirement plans:
With the election of Barack Obama, the question of Stevens’s retirement has become more pressing. Even though Stevens was appointed by a Republican President, many assume that he would never willingly have turned his seat over to George W. Bush. I asked Stevens about his plans.
“Well, I still have my options open,” he said. “When I decided to just hire one clerk, three of my four clerks last year said they’d work for me next year if I wanted them to. So I have my options still. And then I’ll have to decide soon.” On March 8th, he told me that he would make up his mind in about a month.
April 8 is just around the corner. If you hear of Justice Stevens re-hiring his former clerks (or hiring new clerks) for October 2010, please let us know.
In an interesting online chat with Toobin about his JPS profile, the subject of clerk hiring came up again….
Duke is having a good month. The Blue Devils are heading to the NCAA Final Four this weekend. (Sorry, haters.) And one of the school’s law students, 3L Stephen Rawson, argued before the Fourth Circuit last week.
Like Duke in its Elite Eight game against Baylor, Rawson struggled early on. A few minutes into oral argument, he fainted.
He may have lost consciousness, but he didn’t lose his cool…
At the end of a wild week that included Blue Monday, terrible (or terrific) Tuesday, and corporate-overlord Thursday (sponsored by Justice Anthony Kennedy), we bring you an unusually strong January edition of LEWW.
It features six lawyers in a wide range of practices: public sector, teaching, Biglaw, nonprofit — even personal injury (or “accident law,” as they apparently call it these days). Here are the lucky finalists:
Duke Law School dominated our Douchiest Law School contest earlier this year, beating out Harvard to take home the title.
At the time, some complained that Duke Law and Duke’s undergrad population were being conflated. [Ed. note: As a Duke '03 grad, Kash is mildly offended by that argument.]
One commenter wrote:
Does no one understand that Duke law is way way way way different than Duke undergrad!?!?!? WTF … I went to Duke undergrad and hated just about every person there; however, Duke law students are a pretty cool and laid-back bunch. ATL readers are pretty dumb if they don’t get the difference.
This is a fairly abstract claim. How do you define a douche? How do you determine who is “douchier” or compare “douchiness”? Is the concept captured by what Justice Stewart said about hard-core pornography — you know it when you see it?
An ATL reader was kind enough to send us concrete photographic evidence with which to judge. Exhibit A from the Duke Law library, and a poll, after the jump.
Can you get to the bottom of whether this is a hoax? I assume it is, given how ridiculous the motion and response are. On the other hand, it’s Texas.
It’s a challenge to be an out-of-state attorney in some courts. It may be even more difficult to be an out-of-country attorney.
Here’s the motion from the District Court of Travis County, Texas:
The prosecutor is British (and a Duke Law ’02 grad). His bloody funny response explains that he has already acceded to one of the Defendant’s concerns by wearing cowboy boots, but will not be dropping his accent.
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.
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.
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