Federal Government

Judge Jeffrey White

At the administrative appeal from the denial of benefits, Chief Judge Kozinski found that the FEHB statute confers on the OPM [Office of Personnel Management] the discretion to extend health benefits to same-sex couples by interpreting the terms “family members” and “member of the family” to set a floor, not a ceiling, to coverage eligibility…. The Court finds this reasoning unpersuasive.

– Judge Jeffrey S. White, in his recent order in Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, which concluded that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

(Context and commentary, after the jump.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quote of the Day: A Reverse Benchslap… of Chief Judge Kozinski?”

Which former Cabinet member sold the house with the blue door?

Are we too New York-centric in Lawyerly Lairs, our inside look at the homes (and occasionally offices) of lawyers and law students? Perhaps. It makes sense that we focus on Gotham, since Above the Law is headquartered here. But we realize that other cities and states boast great real estate too (and not just the 3500-square-foot houses enjoyed by the average associate at a Texas law firm).

Today let’s take a trip down to the nation’s capital. We’ll check out a few Lawyerly Lairs down in Washington, D.C. — including the $2 million Georgetown home shown above, recently sold by a former Cabinet member turned law firm partner….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: The Real Homeowners of D.C.”

Judge Carlos Bea

Judge Carlos Bea is one of my favorite members of the Ninth Circuit. He’s refreshingly conservative, on a famously (or infamously) liberal court. He has a fascinating personal history; how many federal judges can claim they were almost deported? He has an ancestral home — some call it a castle — in Spain, which he sometimes makes available to vacationing law clerks. And he tools about town in a vintage Rolls-Royce (which, rumor has it, he received as payment for legal work before he took the bench).

Well, it looks like one assistant U.S. attorney has some expensive tire marks on his back. Check out the epic benchslap that Judge Bea just dished out — not just to the poor prosecutor, but to the United States Department of Justice….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Benchslap of the Day: Say My Name, Say My Name”


* A tentative deal to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits has been reached. Is anyone else having a serious case of déjà vu right now? Didn’t we do this already? [Washington Post]

* Investigators in Whitney Houston’s drug probe want her prescription records. We should take Tony Bennett’s advice: if all drugs were legal, we wouldn’t worry about stars ODing on pills. [New York Daily News]

* Paul Ceglia didn’t want to pay Facebook’s Biglaw bill for 177 hours of legal work, so the judge slashed the price to $75,776. At just $428 an hour, how will these lawyers feed their families? [Los Angeles Times]

* More and more law school deans and law professors keep jumping ship to run colleges and universities. Hey, it’s easier to milk the campus cash cow when you’re in charge. [National Law Journal]

* Chris Christie took a break from complaining about New Jersey’s gay marriage bill to complain about how his nominees for the state Supreme Court haven’t been confirmed in record time. [Star-Ledger]

* Jeremy Lin fever has reached the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as people try to file applications for the mark “Linsanity.” Weird, doesn’t Lindsay Lohan already have dibs on that? [Businessweek]

The freeze is melting away.

A friend who is a federal clerk just texted me: “I’m gonna buy new bras!”

Oh yes, it’s time federal clerks got back to the good life. A memo just went out from Senior Judge Thomas Hogan who heads the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Hogan informed the system that the freeze on promotions, step increases, and cash awards for federal clerks has been lifted for this year.

It’s cool to be a federal clerk again! Well, it’s cool to be a federal clerk on a two-year or long term clerkship, again.

But maybe only for this moment. Austerity could rear her ugly head right around the corner….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “All Rise: Promotion and Pay Freeze on Federal Law Clerks Has Been Lifted”

Here at Above the Law, we try to notify our readers about job opportunities for law students and lawyers. Some of these positions are less desirable and some are more desirable, but hey: in this economy, a job is a job.

(At least as long as it pays. Some jobs don’t, of course.)

Back in the fall, we reminded you about the application deadline for the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF). In case you’re not familiar with the PMF program, check out the official website.

Now we bring you an update about the program….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Congratuations to the 2012 Presidential Management Fellows Finalists”

Newt, you've made the tiger angry.

* “Members of Congress are not above the law,” and that’s why the Senate will likely approve a ban on insider trading of non-public information by the end of the week. Say hello to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act. [Boston Globe]

* Eye of newt tiger, and toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog. You see, Newt, you screw up one part of the witches’ spell, and you get sued for unauthorized song use on the Election 2012 campaign trail. [Bloomberg]

* Which Biglaw firms have the strongest brands in the country according to high-revenue clients? You’d think that those in the top five would be the firms leading the bonus market, but like most things having to do with money, you’d be wrong. [Am Law Daily]

* As Rutgers Law students take to the streets to protest the school’s merger with Rowan, nontenured faculty members are doing their damnedest to GTFO before all hell breaks loose. [Burlington County Times]

* GW Law will be launching a health care law and policy program next fall for the low, low cost of $5M, but the hordes of law school grads willing to pay top dollar for a useless LL.M. is priceless. [National Law Journal]

Despite the media echo chamber saying that the economy is improving, it’s obviously still tough to find work. Especially for lawyers. Everyone says you’re supposed to have a can-do attitude, but we sometimes prefer to think about all the things that you can’t do as an attorney.

Included in that list is getting a paying job at the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ has had a hiring freeze in place for a year now. We’ve heard reports of some thawing — i.e., selected parts of the DOJ receiving authorization to fill a handful of priority positions — but, for the most part, there are hardly any paying lawyer jobs to be had in that division of government.

Instead, U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country have been posting unpaid Special Assistant United States Attorney positions for some time now. We covered them last May. My colleague (and former assistant U.S. attorney) David Lat defended the SAUSA gigs somewhat, arguing that the nonpaying jobs might not be as bad as they seem. It’s fun, exciting work, and it provides valuable experience and serious professional credibility.

There is a crucial, ominous difference between then and now, though. Previous SAUSA jobs were generally aimed at entry-level or fairly junior attorneys. Now we’ve got a recent opening that’s asking for more.…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The DOJ Wants You, Experienced Attorneys — To Work for Free”

SCOTUS in the house at SOTU.

President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address this evening, and it was even less exciting than last year (which was less exciting than the year before, when the famous Obama v. Alito showdown over Citizens United took place). Tonight was light on drama — one of the most compelling moments came early on, with the arrival in the chamber of retiring Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — and President Obama’s speech was light on new ideas. Considering that we’re in an election year, with no major legislation likely to pass anytime soon, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Your Above the Law editors covered the speech via Twitter. See @ATLblog, @DavidLat, @ElieNYC, and @StaciZaretsky.

Here’s an open thread for discussion of the address. We’ll get the party started with a few legally oriented highlights, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The State of the Union (2012): Open Thread”

Your bonus is freedom.

Here at Above the Law, we spend a lot of time talking about bonuses to associates working in Biglaw firms. As you might have noticed from our bonus coverage over the past month or so, the size of these payouts is underwhelming to many who are receiving them.

But that coverage only deals with those few, those happy few, who are lucky enough to receive any type of bonus whatsoever. For many in and around Biglaw, their bonus this year will be $0. Their spring bonus will not exist. And they won’t even have Cravath to blame for it.

We’re talking about paralegals. We’re talking about secretaries. We’re talking about government lawyers and law clerks and a bunch of other people who worked really hard in 2011 and might get no bonus at all.

We feel your pain….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Shout-Out to All The Legal Types Getting a $0 Bonus This Holiday Season”

Page 17 of 301...131415161718192021...30