Yesterday we wrote about Paulina Bandy, that poor creature who failed the California bar exam thirteen times, before finally passing it on try #14. Her story seems to have freaked out some of you who are sitting for the bar exam later this month next week.
Relax. Take a deep breath. You won’t wind up in a 365-square-foot shack in your mom’s backyard. We think.
Chances are, you will pass. And even if you fail the bar once or twice, you’re still not on your way towards Paulina Bandy-dom.
As it turns out, a number of well-known individuals — some famous for their accomplishments in law, and others for different reasons — didn’t pass the bar on the first (or even second) try.
To get the ball rolling, here’s a short list of a few bar exam failures. Check it out, after the jump.
* Maryland becomes the latest state to temporarily halt lethal injection executions, this time because of procedural issues with the way the lethal injection protocol was adopted. [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* Church burners expected to plead in Alabama [CNN]
* No good deed goes unpunished in Libya. [Jurist]
* First the minimum was too much, and now 10 years is not enough. Why doesn’t the appellate court just go ahead and sentence the child-renter?. [CNN]
* And in more bad parenting news…. [CNN ]
Brian T. Valery is our hero. He figured out a way to save $100K on a legal education — namely, by not getting one. From Law.com:
Brian Valery is under fire for his pro hac vice appearance in a 2005 complex litigation case heard in Stamford, Conn. His motion to appear, which went unopposed, was based on his affidavit stating he was an attorney in good standing at the New York City firm of Anderson Kill & Olick. He also claimed to be a member of the New York Bar with no history of discipline.
As it turns out, Valery not only isn’t a member of the Bar, there’s no record that he ever applied or sat for the bar exam in New York or even set foot in a Fordham Law School classroom, which he told Anderson Kill partners he was doing at night to advance his career beyond that of a paralegal, Connecticut grievance officials say….
Valery, after working at Anderson Kill [as a paralegal] since 1996, told the firm in 2004 he had passed the New York Bar. Partners at the 132-lawyer firm have conceded to Connecticut grievance authorities that they regrettably took Valery at his word.
* Emily Pataki, the attractive and accomplished daughter of New York governor George Pataki, failed the New York bar exam — and sent around an office-wide email about it. The story was broken by the mainstream media.
* We heard from some of Emily’s law school classmates about the incident. In a reader poll, you opined that emailing her White & Case colleagues was unwise.
* The Democratic takeover of the Senate could make things tough(er) for the White House’s judicial nominees.
* Despite the sea change in Washington, President Bush resubmitted six controversial judicial picks to the lame duck Senate. Getting all of them confirmed is probably impossible, but getting two of them through might happen.
* The White House has not yet submitted nominees for the two vacant Fifth Circuit seats. (Texas’s Solicitor General, conservative legal superstar R. Ted Cruz, is said to be uninterested.)
* Borat-related litigation shows nosigns of abating.
* O.J. Simpson: He’s back — and he’s still looking for his wife’s killer. Except this time, he’s looking in the mirror.
* Some bad ideas from the past week: getting frisky on an airplane; setting your ex-girlfriend’s kittens on fire; having sex with a deer (even if it’s dead); eating at Burger King or Taco Bell; and getting married without a prenup (if you’re a filthy rich Hollywood celebrity).
* Over the past few days, we’ve been spending some quality time with the Federalist Society. More reports on the proceedings — including lavish photography — will appear in the coming week.
Both Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes have a “message recall” feature. Of course, it’s a bit late for Emily Pataki to invoke it, so as to retract the office-wide email she sent to her White & Case colleagues about failing the New York bar exam.
But if Emily agrees with the majority of you, she probably wishes she had never sent that e-mail. Here are the results of our ATL reader poll:
We’re a bit surprised at the tally; we expected the vote to be closer. We didn’t think so many of you would disapprove of her handling of the situation. But this is your verdict, for what it’s worth.
Maybe the best advice can be found in this reader comment: “Repeat after me: an office wide email is never, ever a good idea.” Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Emily Pataki (scroll down)
I’m disappointed to see that someone forwarded this to David Lat, and that he chose to publish it. The July 2006 New York Bar Exam pass list is not yet public, and while I might expect someone online to pick through the list when it is, pointing out people who were known to have taken the bar yet not passed, to publicize a single person’s failure and her reaction to it is a particular kind of bad taste that I hadn’t expected of either White & Case employees or of Above the Law.
Reprinted below is the comment that we left on De Novo in response:
I actually can’t take credit for breaking this story. I actually first learned about it in a mainstream media blog, the WSJ Law Blog:
So, PG, please don’t hang this all on me just because I’m a blogger (and we bloggers are such easy targets, especially on matters of journalistic ethics). I only touched this story after two MSM organs did — even though I had the email much earlier.
Of course, once the Wall Street Journal and the New York Observer decided to cover this story — a story which, you must admit, lies squarely within the territory of Above the Law — I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines.
As we discussedyesterday, Emily Pataki — daughter of lame duck New York governor George Pataki, a graduate of Columbia Law School, and now an associate a supervised legal intern at White & Case — did not pass the New York bar. This fact became widely known after Emily sent around an office-wide email about the matter.
We’re taking a reader poll to obtain your thoughts on whether or not this was a wise move. We’ll close that poll soon; if you’d like to vote, click here. Several of you also discussed the issue in the comments (where opinions were all over the map).
Also, some of Emily Pataki’s law school classmates responded to our request for firsthand information about her. We’ve collected these responses, which you can read after the jump.
Failing the New York State bar exam. And emailing her White & Case colleagues about it.
We’ve already covered this story; click here. But since it’s what everyone is buzzing about today, we’ll give in to your appetite for more discussion. Two requests for your assistance:
1. If you work at White & Case, went to Columbia Law School or Yale College with Emily Pataki, or are otherwise acquainted with her, we’d love to hear from you.
What’s Emily like in person? Any thoughts on why she didn’t pass? How are people at the firm reacting to her email? If you have information to share, please email us.
2. We’re curious about whether other people think it was wise or unwise for Emily to send out that mass email to her White & Case colleagues about her failing the New York bar exam.
So please share your views in the comments to this post. And cast your vote in this reader poll:
The late JFK Jr. failed the New York State bar exam twice, before passing it on the third try. And now Emily Pataki, the highly attractive daughter of outgoing New York governor George Pataki, is halfway towards matching that feat.
Here’s the email message that Emily, an associate a supervised legal intern at White & Case in New York, sent to her colleagues yesterday morning, shortly after bar exam results were released:
From: Emily R. Pataki Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 10:05 AM To: NY All Subject:
There are many things I have been blessed and graced with in this life.
I am blessed to work at a brilliant place like White and Case. Although failing the Bar Exam is not something I would wish on my worst enemy, it is something I have to accept at this point in time.
I do not know all of you personally, and I may not ever get to know you all, but for those of you I’ve had the pleasure of working with and getting to know, I hope you know I did my very best, and have come to a crossroads where my best just was not good enough, the first time around.
I’ll try and keep my chin up and will work even harder to earn the respect of you all, please know already that you have mine.
Sincerely, Emily Pataki
Hmm… Emily, a graduate of Yale College and Columbia Law School, has impeccable academic credentials. She has obviously aced many a test in her life. So in the weeks leading up to the bar exam, was she spending too much time partying, and not enough time at BarBri?
But look, it’s a lovely and gracious e-mail. We commend Emily for her damage control skills. It’s a wise move to get in front of a story like this one, to manage the bad news (which would have gotten out sooner or later).
We’d also tell Emily not to be too hard on herself. In not passing the bar exam the first time around, she could very well be in good company.
P.S. While we have your attention, Emily: Please convince your dad not to pursue a doomed bid for the presidency. Thank you.
P.P.S. As is always the case here at ATL, please note that our merely linking to something does not constitute an endorsement or acceptance of the content we’ve linked to. The internets contain all kinds of crazy rumors. First Setback [New York Observer via WSJ Law Blog] Emily Pataki: Republican Babe of the Week [JerseyGOP.com] Guessing Game Results: The Cokehead Daughter [Wonkette]
Hey, have you read Above the Law for like one single minute in the past month? If so, you probably know that we’re having this big blogger conference on March 14th at the Yale Club. Yeah, the Yale Club. You’ll be able to recognize me: I’ll be the only big… blogger guy surreptitiously holding a can of crimson spray-paint.
Speaking of coming, you should come. We’ve got CLE and all that. Click here to buy tickets to get CLE credit for listening to bloggers scream about stuff on the internet.
To refresh your memory, details on the panel that I’m moderating — almost entirely sober, mind you — follow.
My panel is called Blogs as Agents of Change, and we’re going to talk about whether all of these spilled pixels are actually making a difference. You know my view… just ask Lawrence Mitchell, but here are the panelists:
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
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