Thumbs up to cameras in the courtroom from Judge Alex Kozinski and our own David Lat
The Ninth Circuit sent waves through the legal community earlier this year when Judge Vaughn Walker proposed broadcasting the Prop 8 trial. In January, the Supreme Court swept in and shot down that idea.
The right to an open and public trial is guaranteed by the Constitution, and understanding what’s going on in our courts is a crucial part of democratic self-governance. The standard for closing a courtroom to the public is very high, and justifiably so. We the People should be allowed to know — and to hear, and to see — what is transpiring within our courts. After all, these are our laws being interpreted, our rights being adjudicated, and our taxpayer dollars at work.
And in this age of videoconferencing, YouTube, blogging, and Twitter, the distinction between physical and virtual attendance of court proceedings is becoming increasingly artificial.
Kozinski is a fierce advocate of cameras in the courtroom. On Monday, he stopped by Fordham Law School to talk about why courts need to admit cameras (before Congress forces cameras on them). Beyond the public’s “right to know,” he focused on the fact that cameras are impartial observers that are becoming increasingly necessary as the media devolves into a bunch of highly-subjective blogger-types…
Gucci wants g’s for the use of its big G. Gucci sued Guess Inc. in 2009 for trademark infringement, for allegedly selling knock-offs of its designs and for using the interlocking “GG” pattern.
Guess may be the company making knock-offs, but Gucci’s the company with fake lawyers. Gucci recently fired in-house lawyer Jonathan Moss because he had been working for the company since 2002 with a lapsed license. Gucci revealed this on Friday in a motion requesting that his inactive status not invalidate attorney-client privilege.
According to court documents filed Friday, Gucci America Inc. terminated Jonathan Moss on March 1. Gucci said it discovered in January that Moss’ status with the California bar had been inactive for the whole of his seven-year run as legal counsel with the firm. Guess has sought access to Moss’ communications regarding a trademark infringement lawsuit Gucci brought against it in U.S. District Court in Manhattan last year. Gucci’s disclosure came in a memo backing a motion that the attorney-client privilege should still apply to his involvement in the case.
So why did Moss let his license lapse? Apparently, he wasn’t making enough money in-house to keep his status active…
At the end of a wild week that included Blue Monday, terrible (or terrific) Tuesday, and corporate-overlord Thursday (sponsored by Justice Anthony Kennedy), we bring you an unusually strong January edition of LEWW.
It features six lawyers in a wide range of practices: public sector, teaching, Biglaw, nonprofit — even personal injury (or “accident law,” as they apparently call it these days). Here are the lucky finalists:
The Skadden Fellowship Foundation, described as “a legal Peace Corps” by The Los Angeles Times, was established in 1988 to commemorate the firm’s 40th anniversary, in recognition of the dire need for greater funding for graduating law students who wish to devote their professional lives to providing legal services to the poor (including the working poor), the elderly, the homeless and the disabled, as well as those deprived of their civil or human rights. The aim of the foundation is to give Fellows the freedom to pursue public interest work; thus, the Fellows create their own projects at public interest organizations with at least two lawyers on staff before they apply.
Fellowships are awarded for two years. Skadden provides each Fellow with a salary and pays all fringe benefits to which an employee of the sponsoring organization would be entitled. For those Fellows not covered by a law school low income protection plan, the firm will pay a Fellow’s law school debt service for the tuition part of the loan for the duration of the fellowship. The 2010 class of Fellows brings to 591 the number of academically outstanding law school graduates and judicial clerks the firm has funded to work full-time for legal and advocacy organizations.
The 2010 class of Skadden Fellows was just announced. Congratulations to the 27 winners, selected from 20 different law schools. Yale had four, Berkeley (aka Boalt Hall) had three, and Stanford and Fordham had two each.
Check out their names, law schools, and sponsoring organizations — maybe you know some of them? — after the jump.
A couple of days ago, an attorney sent in an email to the New York State Bar Association listserv. Like many people, the attorney was looking for a job. He decided to ask the listserv for some helpful tips:
Subject: [nysba-nonres] (somewhat) new attorney still seeking first FT position
Its a difficult time for new lawyers graduating with gigantic student loan debts and a bad economy. I’ve been searching for two years sending out hundreds of resumes and applying for an online jobs every chance I get but it now seems hopeless.
I’m a Fordham Law School graduate and have an internship working at a small bankruptcy/divorce/immigration firm and also have been doing debt collection in state court and attending 341 hearings as a per diem attorney. I also have an interest in criminal law and litigation and therefore took hands on courses in law school: civil litigation drafting, trial advocacy, fundamental lawyering skills, criminal procedure.
I want a full time position but contract work would be helpful also.
If anyone has any suggestion as to where to apply or what to do please advise.
Everybody tells you to network to find a job in this economy. But what if you don’t know anybody? One can understand how the state bar association listserv could seem like a viable option to a recent Fordgam graduate.
Were the employed attorneys helpful to the young Fordham ram? What do you think?
Yesterday we covered the decision of Fordham Law School to ban Reed Smith from recruiting on-campus for the next five years, in response to the firm’s last-minute withdrawal from on-campus interviewing at Fordham. The decision was announced by Dean William Treanor in a strongly worded email message.
Dean Treanor’s email, while harsh, seemed to be well-received, at least among ATL readers. In our reader poll, over 80 percent of you deemed it an appropriate response to Reed Smith’s late pullout from Fordham EIW (Early Interview Week).
Reed Smith has now addressed the situation. From the Legal Intelligencer:
Michael B. Pollack, global head of strategy at Reed Smith, said this certainly isn’t a situation the firm was looking for and he suspects the ban isn’t a good situation for the firm or the students. He said he hopes Treanor would reconsider.
“We’re trying to run a business just like he’s trying to run a law school and I appreciate the pressures that he is under and I would hope he would appreciate the pressures we’re under,” Pollack said.
Additional comments by Pollack appear in Gina Passarella’s article.
We also reached out to Reed Smith, which sent us a detailed — and dignified — statement. Check it out, after the jump.
We’ve heard from many frustrated law students who bid on a particular law firm for on-campus interviewing only to learn, after using up a bid or an interview slot, that the firm in question wouldn’t be coming to OCI after all. We’ve even heard from students who were told, mid-interview, that the office they were supposedly interviewing for wouldn’t be having a summer program (but more on that later).
Law firms are certainly entitled to pick which schools they want to interview at. But, as a matter of basic professional courtesy and respect, they should make those decisions as early in the process as possible. When a law firm withdraws from the fall recruiting process at a given school at the eleventh hour, it causes great inconvenience to law students and schools.
What do most law schools do when firms pull out from OCI at the last minute? As far as we know, nothing. In this economy, law firms are in the driver’s seat. They’re the people with jobs to dole out.
But at least one law school has decided to take a stand against rudeness. After Reed Smith announced its late withdrawal from the recruiting process at Fordham Law, the school struck back, banning the firm from recruiting at Fordham for the next five years. Dean William Treanor announced the move to the law school in a saucy email that truly puts the “F.U.” in Fordham University. The Fordham law folks are located at Lincoln Center rather than Rose Hill, but this message suggests they can brawl like their Bronx brethren. Update (8/13/09): The firm’s response to the situation appears here.
Read the dean’s complete email message, and vote in our reader poll — yes, another one, we can’t help ourselves (we love to get your opinion on such matters) — after the jump.
Graduation usually marks a high point in our lives. Ceremonies celebrate graduates’ achievements and their bright futures. But this year, grads are faced with a rocky economy, a terrible job market, and predictions that things will stay this way for quite some time. A sign of the dire times: Harvard grads used their ceremony as a staging ground for a protest against layoffs. New York Magazine conducted an unscientific survey of 2009 graduates to see what they think about the future. New York City may be ground zero for the fiscal meltdown, but NY Mag managed to find people who are bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and hopeful about the future:
We were startled by the fact that, circumstances be damned, we found very little bitterness at all — caution, yes; worry too — but judging from the responses to our questions, this is a reflexively optimistic cadre of graduates, feeling, if anything, existentially freed up by this era of radical change. They’re nervous about the job market but figure it’ll sort itself out.
The survey included 200 students from 10 schools. Among the allegedly hopeful lot are a bunch of Fordham Law students, photographed above.
If your depression over the End of Biglaw is still weighing on you, read on. Maybe the delusional optimism of the 2009 grads is contagious. (Or read on if you’re curious to find out when the majority of those surveyed lost their virginity.)
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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!