Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are the most famous opera aficionados on the Supreme Court. But it appears that they’re not the only ones. Check out our latest judicial sightation:
It appears that the ranks of the opera-attending justices is swelling. My wife and I spotted the Chief Justice and Mrs. Roberts at the Washington National Opera [on Saturday night], where we, they, and a couple thousand of our mutual friends saw the opening of Madama Butterfly. (The female lead — an understudy! — was superb.)
Because it was opening night, it was “black tie optional.” The Chief showed what he thinks of the “optional” modifier by pulling on the ol’ tuxedo. Good look for him.
Delightful. And we concur with our correspondent: It wouldn’t do for the Chief Justice of the United States to be seen on opening night in anything less than a tux. (And we’re assuming the Chief wore a “real” tuxedo, not what passes for a tux on Oscars night — e.g., a black Prada or Thom Browne suit.)
This next tale isn’t really an interview “horror” story, and it’s from many years ago. But we found it somewhat interesting. From another western reader:
This may shock you, but there are white shoe firms in the West. I had an interview with one in 1983.
I showed up for the interview in cowboy boots, Pendleton Wool shirt over a turtle neck and cords. The senior associate that did the first interview was obviously uncomfortable with my attire, but said nothing.
He passed me on to the junior partner who was also uncomfortable and asked if I owned a suit. I replied, “I have spent the last seven years putting myself through college and law school. There were more important things to spend $200 dollars on, like rent and groceries. I have been able to get by with a sport coat in most situations, but if offered a position here, I would like a recommendation on a good men’s shop to obtain a wardrobe suitable for the office.”
He seemed satisfied with the answer, and we moved on to other topics.
We commend this reader for his chutzpah, for his jujitsu-esque ability to turn a potential problem to his advantage. It plays out like a scene in a movie, in which our impoverished but scrappy protagonist breaks into the world of Biglaw. Any casting suggestions?
(We predict, however, that some killjoy commenter will point out that this reader could have obtained a secondhand suit at the Salvation Army, and taken it to the dry cleaners, for minimal expense.)
Lunch was with these two and two senior partners in the firm at the Hotel Utah. So, now you know the firm is in Salt Lake City. During lunch, the managing partner asked me, “Mr. [X], what is the greatest asset you can bring to this firm?” “I can take a client to a three martini lunch, return to the office, and get work out the door,” I replied.
Hmm, not bad — another scene that strikes us as having cinematic possibilities. It’s sort of like the Western meets Biglaw. A young attorney, who makes up for his lack of wealth and polish with intelligence and self-reliance, succeeds in landing the coveted law firm job.
Alas, the real-life story didn’t have a Hollywood ending:
I knew I wasn’t going to get an offer going in. The firm had a rep of hiring only Ivy League grads, but always interviewed top candidates from “Western law schools” to keep from getting sued for discrimination. But, they and two other firms in SLC paid for my plane ticket and a couple of nights hotel stay, so why not have some fun?
It seems that this reader genuinely wanted a job with this firm, and just didn’t get it — with an expenses-paid trip to Salt Lake City as just a consolation prize. Of course, ATL does not condone the practice of interviewing with firms that you have absolutely no interest in working for, just so you can get a trip to some fun city.
(But if you do engage in this practice, do NOT boast about it when interviewing with the firms that you are genuinely interested in working for. They won’t think you’re “cool,” but just ethically challenged.) Earlier: Prior Interview Horror Stories (scroll down)
Some [Canadian] Supreme Court judges seek relief from work stress in the comfort of their families. Others love nothing more than to curl up with a good book. And could it be, for at least one of them, a nude romp on the high seas was just the ticket?
The anonymous judge’s alleged unconventional vacation choice — a nude cruise — came to light in a San Francisco Chronicle travel article in the spring. It quoted a co-owner of the Bare Necessities cruise line, Nancy Tiemann, as saying that its clientele include: “actors, bus drivers, Fortune 500 CEOs, soccer moms, doctors, teachers, priests and at least one Canadian Supreme Court justice.” * * * * *
The story came to the attention of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who swiftly launched an investigation into which, if any, of her eight colleagues was the alleged unrobed sailor.
Can Canadian judges, like our federal judges, be impeached for violating the norms of “good behavior”? Because we agree with Ann Althouse: “[A] naked cruise? It’s just so perfectly awful.”
Alas, the Chief Justice’s investigation ended inconclusively:
Speaking to an audience at the University of Toronto law school last week, [Justice Marshall] Rothstein read a tongue-in-cheek memo which Chief Justice McLachlin circulated to her Supreme Court colleagues on May 12.
Entitled “Re. Nude Cruising,” the memo said: “I made inquiries into the identity of the judge, but was rebuffed [by the article writer] on a claim of journalistic privilege. . . . All this is to say, that our secret is safe.”
Judge Rothstein assured his audience that, having been appointed only in March, he cannot be considered a serious suspect in the nude-cruise inquiry.
If the justice who likes to vacation in the buff is ever discovered, we can’t really blame him or her for wanting to go au naturel. Here’s what Canadian justices look like in their ceremonial robes (also via PrawfsBlawg):
Last week we asked for your input on the most flattering hairstyle for Judge Janice Rogers Brown, of the exceedingly prestigious D.C. Circuit. Judge Brown, a high-powered and conservative jurist, may someday be the first African-American woman to sit on the Supreme Court.
We offered you a choice of two looks: “Bangs Janice” and “Perm Janice.” And “Bangs Janice” won in a landslide, with 92 percent of the vote.*
We can see why. Consider this reader email (with photographic support):
This is an easy one: “Bangs Janice” all the way. With bangs, Judge Brown looks like the hip and attractive comedienne, Wanda Sykes:
“Perm Janice,” on the other hand, calls to mind a different black woman:
We agree; Judge Brown should steer clear of that second look. Left-wingers already try to reduce Judge Brown to a racial stereotype (as BlackCommentator.com did when it published an offensivecartoon of her). Judge Brown doesn’t need to help them do it.**
Do you know of a prominent figure within the legal profession who sports two (or more) divergent looks? If so, please let us know. We’re always seeking other candidates to go before the jury in ATL’s Courtroom of Style.
* One reader objected to our hairstyle terminology. But even if our terms were erroneous, we provided photographs to make clear which hairstyle was which. So voters should not have been confused.
** Conservatives wereoutraged by the JRB cartoon. In the words of Byron York, the cartoon depicted Judge Brown “as a fat black woman with huge lips, an unruly Afro, and an enormous backside.” Earlier: A Random Friday Poll: The Hairstyles of Judge Janice Rogers Brown
On Fridays, we administer random reader polls here at Above the Law. Last week, for example, we asked you to vote for your Favorite Supreme Court Justice.
(That poll is now closed — and Justice Scalia won, in case you’re wondering. But we’re still taking votes in our poll for LEAST Favorite Supreme Court Justice.)
Today’s poll is a little less weighty. It relates to Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who currently sits on the super-prestigious D.C. Circuit (from whence many Supreme Court justices have come).
Judge Brown, a former justice of the California Supreme Court, is a smart, outspoken judicial conservative — a judicial diva, if you will. She also happens to be an African-American woman. Not surprisingly, JRB is frequently mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee in a Republican administration.
Enough background. For your reference, the top right photo is “Bangs Janice,” and the bottom right photo is “Perm Janice.” Here’s the poll:
We look forward to the results. Thanks for voting! A Preemptive Rebuttal to the P.C. Police: We do NOT need your lectures on the long and complex history of African-American women and their hairstyles. We are NOT making any grand statement on issues of self-image and self-representation, the highly charged intersection of racism and feminism, or any other weighty subject.
This poll is nothing more than the federal judicial version of the “which look is better” polls that appear in celebrity mags like US Weekly and In Touch. We just want to find out which JRB hairstyle our readers prefer. (We have an opinion, but we’ll keep it to ourselves for now.)
In future polls, we will ask ATL readers about the hair and fashion choices of lawyers and judges from every conceivable demographic group. So don’t read anything into this poll. We’re starting with Janice Rogers Brown because, well, we think she’s magnificent. And we want her to have the full benefit of these poll results as she styles herself for future public appearances.
Now we have an update to our prior coverage, an ATL exclusive: WEDDING PICTURES!!! And they’re not boring, like the ones your college roommate makes you look at every time you visit her house. Did Justice Sandra Day O’Connor attend your college roommate’s wedding?
Check out the pics — there are just a few of them, it won’t take you long — after the jump.
The Ninth Circuit may be getting slapped around by the Supreme Court lately. (Yeah, what else is new.) But they continue to go about their business. Keep on truckin’, Your Honors!
One of you was kind enough to attend a recent Ninth Circuit sitting — not just any old sitting, but the one graced by that judicial celebrity, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — and send us a detailed report.
That account of the oral argument — plus a bonus judicial sight-ation, and some added commentary from us — appears after the jump.
Now that we have the able assistance of Stella Q for Non-Sequiturs — check out her great post from yesterday — we have no place for random links that catch our eye, but don’t merit full treatment in a separate post. Blogospheric leftovers, if you will.
So here’s a special midday “bonus edition” of Non-Sequiturs:
* “Law porn”: Glenn Reynolds is not turned on. [Instapundit]
* Wherever there’s a financial debacle, the plaintiffs’ lawyers can’t be far behind. [DealBreaker]
* Project Runway: We were thinking (and hoping) that Uli Herzner would win. But Professor Althouse called this one correctly. [Althouse]
* This paper sounds interesting. Can it justify damage awards that include payments for prostitute visits? [PrawfsBlawg]
* “[T]he Nietzschean alternative: a postmodern appropriation of pop culture that turns an entire class into a video game.” Unorthodox? Certainly. But it also sounds kinda fun. [Concurring Opinions]
* Forget about Kansas’Kansas’sKansas’ issues. What’s the matter with Namibia? [WSJ Law Blog]
* CNN has its finger on the pulse of America — and Orin Kerr is giggling. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* So it’s official. I’m not going to get into my spiel about western paternalism, but celebrities, please note: there are countless children in THIS country who need a family. [Associated Press]
* Can you say “Oh no he didn’t!”, when he doesn’t even know that he did? Note to anonymous Australian professional — colonial chic is passé. [Opinionistas]
* Mayor Gavin Newsom, ex-husband of ex-San Francisco assistant DA and Court TV hottieKimberly Guilfoyle-Villency, has some real young arm candy. Yes, she’s legal — just not of legal drinking age. [San Francisco Chronicle]
* I keep forgetting we need a license to do this job. [New York Magazine]
* You may read that a Columbia Law professor has created a searchable site of Posner opinions. They’re funny, apparently, but probably not as useful as his 1996 book. [Project Posner]
* I love to celebrate the adventurous, entrepreneurial spirit of the common lawyer. But, um….maybe not. [Illegal Briefs]
“Nino, you wanna piece of me?” Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Jeffrey Toobin, at the New Yorker Festival. Photo by Startraks.
Somewhat late, but better late than never: part one of the more detailed account that we promised you of Justice Stephen Breyer’s interview with Jeffrey Toobin, at the New Yorker Festival last weekend.
The setting of the interview was impressive. The Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library is a grand, high-ceilinged room, with marble and dark wood trim gracing the walls. Justice Breyer and Jeff Toobin sat on two directors’ chairs on the small, elevated stage at the front of the room, with a gold and brown backdrop behind them.
Before the talk started, one could feel the buzz of anticipation in the room. Our knees were trembling with anticipation, and our heart was beating almost audibly. Supreme Court justices make us weak! (And apparently we’re not alone. Festival publicist Kimberly Burns informed us that the Breyer/Toobin talk sold out on Ticketmaster in three minutes — like a rock concert.)
More notes, 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.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!