Richard Posner Richard A Posner Above the Law Legal Blog.jpgThe rail-thin Judge Richard Posner (7th Cir.), who favors grapefruit for dessert, has this to say about fat people over at his blog:

It makes sense, as the recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine finds, that friends’ fatness would have an influence distinct from that of the culture as a whole….

In my own ingroup of 16 judges (11 active members of my court, 4 senior members, and 1 nominee, who will replace an active member who will be taking senior status), only 2 are overweight (12.5 percent), compared to a nationwide average of 66 percent. Among my other friends, judicial and otherwise, the percentage who are overweight is probably no greater than 12.5 percent.

When we read this, we guessed that one of the two overweight judges was Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook. After all, a fondness for Arby’s Melts is not a recipe for thinness. But one ex-Seventh Circuit clerk we contacted disagreed:

Actually, Easterbrook has lost a lot of weight. I am not sure who [Posner] meant. Also query whether he used the rigorous BMI > 25 test.

Good point. Did Judge Posner run around the Dirksen Courthouse with a pair of body-fat calipers? Or did he just eyeball his colleagues in the robing room, to see who was sporting muffin tops?
To Seventh Circuit groupies: Which judges are packing a few extra pounds underneath their robes? Please enlighten us, in the comments. Thanks.
Social Obesity — Posner’s Comment [The Becker-Posner Blog]

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re still accepting amusing or embarrassing summer associate stories. If you have one to share, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
And now, on to today’s story:
1. Superhero name: The Claw
2. Special power: The ability to pinch every cent out of the summer lunch budget.
3. Summered: Vault 50-100 firm (DC), summer 2005 [Firm name intentionally omitted to allow more details without danger of revealing identity.]
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:

“Harvard 1L ordered a five-pound lobster during lunch at The Palm (~$100). Wrapped huge (empty) claw in napkin, returned to office, took photo, and emailed photo to a number of people, including several prominent partners who had been at another table in the restaurant.”

lobster claw Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg5. What happened next: “To much astonishment (and consternation) inside the firm, The Claw received an offer to return for 2L summer. Turned this offer down, however, reportedly because it required too long a return period.”
“According to well-substantiated rumor, The Claw then went to another DC firm for 2L summer, where various acts of poor judgment and attitude resulted in a no-offer. The Claw’s success during 3L interviewing is currently unknown.”
The usual rules apply: please do NOT name this former SA, or speculate about his identity, in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of summer associates (scroll down)

Swiss Miss Swiss Mister Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re by no means done with our series of posts about perks or fringe benefits at legal employers (mainly law firms). Here’s one reader request that we just received:

One perk topic that you could do is free food, snacks, coffee, etc. On those Vault surveys, some firms claim to provide free Starbucks coffee and snacks.

So that’s today’s topic: free food and drink, furnished by your legal employer. And we’re not just talking about how, after a meeting breaks up, an email goes around about which conference room has the uneaten sandwiches — that’s standard.
At Wachtell Lipton, where we once worked, each floor has a kitchen — called “the pantry,” but really it’s a kitchen, with space for a small table and chairs — stocked with drinks and snacks. The snacks include Pepperidge Farm goodies, such as a wide variety of cookies and Goldfish crackers, and fresh fruit (but who eats that). The stainless steel refrigerator is full of bottled water and soda — including Fresca.
Fresca soft drink beverage Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgYou don’t even have to get up out of your Aeron chair to go to the pantry if you don’t want to. The firm employs a small army of matronly women, in black and white uniforms, to bring your favorite hot or cold beverage to you in your office. There’s no need to tell them what you want, unless you’re deviating from your usual order, since they maintain a list of all the attorneys on the floor and their favorite things to drink. And did we mention they have Fresca?
We had some discussion of free food and drink in our post about the summer associate who got no-offered for stealing firm-provided Swiss Miss. But this is the “official” post. So please have at it in the comments. Rising 2Ls going through fall recruiting are dying to know who will keep them well-hydrated and well-fed, as they toil into the wee hours of the morning!
Earlier: X-Summers: The Swiss Mister

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgTime for another summer associate story. We’re still taking submissions on these, so if you have one, check the submission guidelines and fire away.

Here’s our latest X-Summer:

1. Superhero name: Crab Stabber AKA Senorita Foulmouth
2. Special power: Crazed Crustacean Impaling / Spanish Profanity
3. Summered: King & Spalding, Houston, Summer 2004 or 2005 (“can’t recall”)
4. Claim to fame: The allegations, according to our tipster:

“K&S Houston used to have this boondoggle of a recruiting trip to the Four Seasons resort in Punta Mita Mexico for a weekend. Excellent way to get to know your summers, their spouses, and how they behave socially. And did I mention it is at a Four Seasons in Mexico?”

crab dead crab Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg“Anyway, a group of people were sitting at a beach campfire, drinking some adult beverages and making smores and other goodies on the fire. Our heroine takes her skewer and proceeds to stab a crab, roughly 8 inches in diameter, that was trying to sneak by the people on the beach. Not a small crab. She then proceeds to roast it on the fire. There is a famous picture, which she more or less posed for, with her holding the crab on the skewer with a maniacal grin on her face. Let’s just say some of the partners, spouses and others sitting around the campfire were a little shocked.”

“At another point during that summer, our heroine was sitting in at the beginning of a lunch seminar with other summers, attorneys and paralegals. That summer, [a lot] of the SAs happened to be fluent in Spanish and would speak Spanish to each other in the halls, etc. Well, our heroine was talking to another summer in Spanish and apparently cursing like a Caracas sailor in mixed company, when a paralegal politely said: “You may want to be careful, other people speak Spanish here, too.” To which our heroine shot back: “Are you an attorney?” Ummm… no, but let’s just say that the paralegal knew a few.

5. What happened next: “Ummmm…. no offer.”

The rules still apply. Don’t be a d-bag and name the Crab Stabber or try to guess who she is. Thanks a bunch.

falafel Simpson Thacher Chow for Charity Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re late to the party on this one. Many of you have already emailed us this Slate piece, in which Daniel Gross goes to town on Simpson Thacher’s “Chow for Charity” program. Article title: “Fifteen Dollars Worth of Smug.”
We first read about Simpson’s program in this great New York Observer article:

[A]t Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, there’s a program called Chow for Charity: If summers and associates go out for a lunch that costs $15 or less per head, the firm donates the other $45 of each person’s lunch allowance to charities including Legal Aid, inMotion and Human Rights First.

For some, this is an appealing option: “It’s great for [the firms] to be able to say, ‘We realize these $60 meals are sort of stupid, so we give money to something good and everyone is happier,’” says an associate. Noblesse oblige never tasted so much like falafel!

The program is also discussed in the New York Times (fourth item) and the WSJ Law Blog.
What do you think of “Chow for Charity”? Take our poll, and opine in the comments, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Summer Lunchin’: Slate Snarks on Simpson”

hamburger fries Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* We say: Ignorance is bliss. [Althouse]
* The Genarlow Wilson case: let’s go to the videotape! Oh wait… [Concurring Opinions]
* If you’re going to drop the d-word, at least spell it correctly. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Every time an unlawful, creepy houseboat is sunsetted out of existence, a little piece of America dies. [Never Yet Melted via Overlawyered]
* Is Quiznos about to get burned? [Akron Beacon Journal]
* Someday sex-change operations may be tax-deductible. (Can we take a deduction for blogging as a woman?) [MSNBC]

mussel mussels musel muscle Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Washingtonienne, the sequel? But this time around, blame the “backdoor action” on the Spicy Mussel Soup. [Medill Reports]
* A compelling defense of Judge Dennis Jacobs’s “look ma, no eyes” approach to dissenting. []
* “My friends said to me, ‘It would take a murder trial for you to meet the right person.’” [Associated Press]
* Because we need to use the “Weirdness” tag at least once a day. [Underbelly]

gingerbread house gingerbread man Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIn the wake of name partner David Bershad’s guilty plea, the schadenfreude over the fall of Milberg Weiss continues.
Even ex-paralegals at Milberg Weiss are getting in on the fun. Check out this excerpt, from a comment posted at Roger Parloff’s blog:

[F]or anyone who argues that theirs were essentially victimless crimes, how about the competitive advantage Milberg Weiss has enjoyed over firms who really are ethically defending the little guy? It was this idea of evening the playing field for investors and consumers that made me excited about working for Milberg Weiss in the first place, and I passed up more lucrative offers from Defense firms because of my desire to be able to look myself in the mirror every morning. Too bad my employers did not have the same commitment to honesty.

Oh, and as an additional note on class, [former name partner Steven] Schulman actually had the nerve to e-mail the entire firm to ask if they wanted to support his children’s private school by buying gingerbread houses decorated by the kids for $200 a pop. And then, the night of the firm Christmas Party, he sent out a second-chance e-mail offering them discounted at $150!

Rumor also has it that if you bought Girl Scout cookies from Schulman’s daughter, he’d reach into this secret safe he had in his office, and kick back half of the cash to you…
Only Mel Weiss can save Milberg Weiss now [Legal Pad / Fortune]
Earlier: Lawyer of the Day: David Bershad

We all scream for ice cream! And that includes high-ranking officials of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Here’s our latest legal celebrity sighting:

Last night I watched the fireworks from the South Lawn of the White House. The event had a very DC feel to it: everyone there was quasi-famous, even if you couldn’t figure out why.

But I did recognize one person: Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, the second-highest-ranking official at the DOJ. He was dressed casually, in a red polo shirt, and was sitting on a blanket with his wife and kids.

McNulty may not be Brad Pitt — but here in Washington, he might as well have been. People kept going up to him, introducing themselves, and having their picture taken with him. This is clearly the dorkiest city in the entire country (and I count myself among the dorks, since I recognized him too).

I discreetly took two photographs of DAG McNulty munching on a Dove ice cream bar. Here they are.

Paul McNulty ice cream 1 Paul J McNulty Above the Law blog.jpeg
High-ranking Justice Department officials: they’re just like us. They eat ice cream bars!
Earlier: Every DAG Has His Day

Larry King Paris Hilton Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Who says Loyola 2Ls can’t land good jobs? [SCOTUSblog]
* Lobster rolls. And Chipwich. Yum. [Gawker; Althouse]
* It’s nice to know that you can neglect your caseload, fabricate documents, and still get reinstated to the bar. [Boston Globe]
* Law firm ranking schemes are kind of like blogs. If everyone has one, who’s supposed to read them all? [WSJ Law Blog; Wall Street Journal (subscription)]
* Don’t forget: Paris Hilton will be on Larry King tonight (9 PM Eastern time). [CNN]

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