In our first two installments of 2008 law school stories, we looked back at our favorite law school students of the year and important trends. For our third post in the series of four, we’re indulging in one of our favorite topics: law school listservs.
When tightly-wound law students use the e-mail list as their forum for airing grievances, the back-and-forth can get rather catty. A mixture of Type A personalities, the desire to procrastinate, and extreme law school stress has resulted in some explosive exchanges in 2008.
Whether you call them list servs, list serves, listservs, listserves, list-servs, or list-serves, we call them extremely amusing. Find out which three law schools made the “Best of” listserv list, after the jump.
There are moments in life when one is confronted with the inconsideration of others and can be moved to despise one’s fellow man — e.g., when stepping in discarded bubble gum, or passing through an exhaled cloud of smoke while jogging.
One Yale Law School student had a moment like this in the ladies’ restroom, and she has blasted the student list-serv urging greater consideration in the future.
Here is an excerpt:
Dear Prissy Chicks of YLS,
WHY do you squat over the toilet seat and splatter it with pee instead of just sitting on it like everybody else — or at least cleaning up after yourself? I just went to the ladies room downstairs by the ATM and two of those friggin toilets were liberally spritzed, thanks to your selfish carelessness. Consider:
1. Yes, toilet seats at our school come into contact with the asses and thighs of many many people. But your ass and thighs are not alone in this world!!! Would it kill you to put your naked buttcheeks on the toilet seat, anyway? It’s not like you’re going to be eating off them! By squatting above the toilet seat and cattily spraying everywhere, you force sensible women to deal with your uric carnage. You either make that toilet unusable, or make the braver women wipe off your peepee…
You might not want to sit on the toilet seat, but *nobody* wants their bum and thighs to be dampened by your prissy potty puddles.
The hazard of being a female. There have been many replies to this, reproduced after the jump. We wanted to highlight this comment, scoring a point for Harvard in the YLS / HLS debate:
You’d think a school with the resources of YLS could tend to its most basic sanitation requirements. (Harvard provides free tampons in the women’s restrooms, and perhaps their toilets function, as well.)
Full angry e-mail — with detailed instructions on bathroom use, and myriad replies — after the jump.
Do you remember the tale of Jeff Murphrey? He was the Houston-based attorney who tried to reschedule a deposition after Hurricane Ike caused significant property damage to his home.
When Dallas-based attorney Dale Markland objected (and requested Murphrey to pay rescheduling fees) Murphrey fired off this letter, which then went viral.
Well apparently Dale Markland (a.k.a J.R Ewing) has responded to Murphrey’s insult by devoting a whole section of his firm’s website to the spat. Here is Markland’s attempt to set the record straight:
* The hurricane in the Houston area occurred on September 12/13;
* Mr. Murphrey cancelled the deposition on September 23 when I was already on my way to Fort Wayne, Indiana for the deposition;
* I first got notice of this cancellation by cell phone message while in Chicago O’Hare Airport rushing to catch my connecting flight to Fort Wayne;
* The voice mail message I received in Chicago stated that Mr. Murphrey cancelled the deposition because he had meetings with contractors and city officials related to hurricane damage. It stated nothing about the horrors Mr. Murphrey addresses in his September 26 letter.
* Our firm’s attorneys attempted to gain Mr. Murphrey’s agreement that our client be recompensed for the unnecessary attorney’s fees and travel expenses entailed in my needlessly going to Fort Wayne. This is appropriate and professional behavior for attorneys who are representing their clients properly under the Texas State Bar Disciplinary Rules and The Texas Lawyers Creed. It is also, in my experience, not abnormal behavior for an attorney properly representing his client. If I had been in Mr. Murphrey’s shoes, I would have paid for the fees and expenses out of my firm’s pocket.
* Mr. Murphrey agreed to pay the travel expenses but declined to pay the attorney’s fees for the useless trip to Fort Wayne.
* It was not my fault or the fault of the client who pays my fees and expenses that Mr. Murphrey did not cancel the deposition until I was on my way to Fort Wayne.
* If Mr. Murphrey had simply picked up the telephone and called me, or had sent me an email or letter sometime between the hurricane on September 12/13 and when I left for Fort Wayne on September 23, I would have gladly agreed to re-set the deposition he had noticed. Then my client would not have been stuck with the fees and expenses of my useless trip to Fort Wayne.
* The first I knew of Mr. Murphrey’s story of horrors regarding his home damage was when I received his September 26 letter–after he cancelled the deposition, after I had made the useless trip to Fort Wayne, after I had appropriately determined whether Mr. Murphrey or his client would pay for the needless fees and expenses and after he had declined to pay my client for the fees.
* I am very sympathetic to Mr. Murphrey and his home situation, but it is not my client’s fault that Mr. Murphrey failed to cancel the deposition before I left, and the client should not bear this significant financial burden. My duty under Texas law is to uphold the interest of my client and that is what I have attempted to do.
Last week, we tangentially touched on the issue of California’s Proposition 8, which is titled: “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry.” The issue touched off a firestorm of comments, with many strong opinions for and against the measure.
Apparently, senior attorneys at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe also hold strong opinions about Prop. 8. Political divisions at the firm came to a head when Dean Criddle, a tax partner in the San Francisco office, made a $5,000 contribution to the Yes On 8 campaign. Upon learning of Criddle’s contribution, his colleague in the tax department and San Francisco office, of counsel Cameron Wolfe, sent out this email:
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2008 9:57 PM
To: SF ALL ATTORNEYS; SV ALL ATTORNEYS; SC ALL ATTORNEYS
Subject: Orrick and the Proposition 8 Campaign
The publicity attendant to the $5,000 contribution to the Yes on 8 Campaign by an Orrick partner damages the reputation of Orrick as a progressive law firm supportive of equal rights for gay and lesbian people. This can adversely impact the firm in many ways, including hurting our ability to attract gay and lesbian recruits; turning off clients, existing and potential, that support equal rights for homosexuals; and making our current gay and lesbian work force feel like second class citizens.
Chief justice George’s eloquent exposition of the reasons why same sex marriage is a right that should be guaranteed to all gay and lesbian people need not be elaborated upon here. Obviously, the partner who made the $5,000 contribution had a right to believe the Chief Justice to be wrong and to make the contribution he did. It can be debated whether he should have foreseen that this action could damage Orrick. What can’t be debated is that we should try to counteract the damage that has occurred.
One thing that we as individuals working at the Orrick firm can do is to make personal contributions to the No on 8 Campaign. If enough of us do so, that may be newsworthy enough to generate positive publicity offsetting the present negative impression in the community on this important issue.
I urge each of you to make a contribution to No on 8, which can be sent as follows:
It takes two lawyers to schedule a deposition. And while a third-year associate might view a deposition as the most important event scheduled in a calendar year, most seasoned attorneys can be expected to show some flexibility when it comes to scheduling conflicts.
After Hurricane Ike struck Texas, attorneys at Markland Hanley and Tekell, Brook, Matthews & Limmer tried to reschedule a deposition. But the people at Markland Hanley wanted Tekell to reimburse them for travel expenses.
Hilarity ensued when Tekell attorney Jeff Murphrey responded to Markland Hanley’s request for reimbursement fees:
I am sorry that a hurricane hit Houston
I am sorry that upon returning to my home Monday, September 22, 2008, I discovered a roughly 50ft. x 6ft. swath of human excrement, used condoms, and all the other niceties that come with a raw sewage leak into one’s backyard which drains into one of the main bayous in Houston.
I am sorry that I had to threaten City of Houston officials with lawsuits and local news exposure in order to get them to even agree to meet with me about cleaning up the problem.
I am sorry that these city officials chose a date that interfered with our deposition and gave me no other options.
Murphrey goes on to explain the extraordinary steps that were taken to cleanse his backyard. He also claims that he agreed to pay reasonable travel expenses.
Murphrey then adds:
I am sorry that you think the judge should be involved in this matter. I wonder if the judge will be sorry about that, too.
We don’t know all the details of the back and forth between Markland Hanley and Tekell. But maybe they need to add a “hurricane aftermath” section in the MPRE.
Well it’s time to show that ATL can get as good as we give. Our reporting has provoked an angry response from some Michigan Law School students:
I have one question to ask the ATL e-mail forwarder: Why would you want to make a laughingstock out of *the school you attend? In case you overlooked that fact, you go here, friend. As in, you are affiliated with this school, and when ATL and a bandwagon of commentators talk smack about this school, they’re talking about you by affiliation.
It’s not humorous, because–believe it or not–there are actual people with actual jobs centered around fostering good PR about this school. When there are people forwarding embarrassing, curse word-filled e-mails to ATL, or e-mails denigrating poor people, it kind of goes against the grain and makes all of us look bad.
So, maybe you could stop?
Just to be clear, we are fans of Michigan. You will not find a sweater-vest among us. It just never occurred to us that the law school student body had been conscripted into the University Spin Team.
But apparently some students believe that one bad apple spoils the bunch:
Gossip magazines and gossip e-magazines fall short (understatement) of the student body here at Michigan Law. As a student and recipient of AbovetheLaw interview requests, I feel strongly that any contributors from our student body to a gossip column make us ALL look bad. Our allegiance should lie with our Law School (as our future jobs depend a great deal on the University’s prestige) and I encourage my peers to rise AbovetheLaw for the sake of our collective good. We are Michigan Law and We will one day have “the province and duty… to say what the law is.” — Chief Justice John Marshall.
“Son, it’s not about what you are called, it’s about what you answer to.” — My Mom.
A curious dissent from a Michigan law student after the jump.
Michigan people, I feel your pain. The seven fumble loss to “The School That God Built, Then Abandoned” was terrible. You guys are trying to enjoy these last days of summer before the arctic wind sends you into underground bunkers. And clearly, you can’t lend out a cell phone/ask for your cell phone back without getting dragged into a heated exchange that is mocked by all.
I understand how in that environment petty slights can turn into glorious insults. You demand satisfaction! But you justice seekers might want to turn somewhere other than the University of Michigan’s law school list-serv. The following email was sent by a 1L who has been on campus for approximately 11 minutes and 6 seconds:
Dear Student Body,
Whoever the SLEAZE is who likes taking people’s lunches (in particular, 1/2′s of subway sandwiches bought on one day and saved for the next) from the refrigerator in the student lounge, STOP. In case you aren’t aware, it’s stealing. Perhaps you’re practicing for a career in corporate law, but law school isn’t the place to practice this particular skill. Also, in case you aren’t aware, here are a few reasons not to do this:
1) Stealing lunches erodes collegiality among the student body.
2) Stealing lunches inconveniences the person from whom you steal by forcing them to go get lunch elsewhere, thereby wasting time and resources.
3) Stealing lunches can cause an additional inconvenience with having to buy lunch elsewhere. For most of us, the couple dollar loss isn’t really the issue, but imagine not having your wallet with you on a day when someone has stolen your lunch? You must either do without or seek out somebody to borrow from, both of which are annoying.
If you’re really so poor you can’t afford lunch, the law school will provide you with an emergency loan. If you’re just a sleaze, either take an ethics class or come talk to me.
Well allow me to retort.
1) I once got robbed and to make myself feel better, I called it “sharing” instead of “stealing.”
2) Isn’t forcing someone to get their lunch somewhere other than Subway kind of a good thing?
3) Not having your wallet? The only guys I know that don’t carry around their wallet whenever they leave the house are super rich or homeless. Which one are you?
The rest of the maize and blue electronically punch this guy after the jump.
We recently offered some helpful hints for new law students, distilled from over 200 reader suggestions. We now have an addendum to our list of tips, based on an ill-advised email that found its way into our inbox. Some background:
Today, all members of last year’s Law Review Editorial Board at [George Washington University Law School] — who have since graduated — received the unsolicited mass email (reproduced below) from a current 1L student whom no one knows or has even met….
Talk about a great example of what not to do as a 1L. What a way to endear yourself to your new classmates, not even a month into the school year! Can you say G-U-N-N-E-R?
Could it be? A message for ATL from Paul Clement, the 43rd Solicitor General of the United States?
(It’s not completely out of the question. We have written about Clement a fair amount, and we have also met him in person.)
The lowercase type for his name seemed a little odd. But some very prominent attorneys, like John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel, use lowercase type for email messages. Based on the subject line, “Order,” we guessed that perhaps the former SG wanted to share a funny court order with us.
Read the message from Paul Clement, after the jump.
Full disclosure: we do not know exactly what is going on over at Foley & Lardner. But we are hearing a lot of chatter.
By way of a quick summary: we posted information that Foley offered only 43% of their summers out the Chicago office. Then Foley issued a firm wide email saying that they offered 81% of their Chicago summers (we posted that too). Meanwhile, the firm has rebuffed multiple attempts to verify any of this information directly. For more details read here and here.
After we updated Foley’s hiring numbers and posted Foley’s CEO Ralf Boer’s statements, our tipsters wagged their fingers and said “oh no he didn’t.” This email is indicative of many comments we received:
Just FYI–Ralf Boer’s email is a load of crap.
Many believe that Foley did in fact tell summers that they would not be receiving an offer, but then reversed course early this week, after our initial post on Foley’s no offers went up. The thought from these tipsters is that the public backlash was so bad that Foley had to rethink their hiring decisions. Initially we found it hard to believe that a firm would have the gall to no offer somebody, only to call them up weeks later with an offer. But the tips kept rolling in.
We are happy (rolling around like a pig in sweet, sweet slop, happy) to think that ATL had some small role to play in securing additional summer associate jobs in this economy. But there are two sides to every story. Some tipsters think that Foley’s delay in completing the offer process is par for the course:
I just want to say that I know first hand that .. many people had not yet heard either way about offers. That is for both 1Ls and 2Ls. … I think you should update your main posting for the sake of all the comments calling b.s. on Ralf Boer’s statement that they only just finished making all the decisions. … I know for a fact first-hand that several people had yet to hear as of yesterday and even today.
On an historical note, right about now is exactly how long it took Foley to get back to many folks last year.
So did Foley ding people and then change their mind, or did they just take a long time to finish their hiring process? More tipsters weigh in after the jump.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
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