Last year, my colleague Elie Mystal opined as follows: “Any lawyer who calls himself ‘doctor,’ like a Ph.D., should get punched in the mouth.” Given the self-aggrandizing nature of a lawyer taking on the additional title of “doctor,” I can’t say I disagree with him (with all due respect to the efforts on Facebook to get lawyers referred to as doctors).
But what if lawyers — more specifically, aspiring law professors — actually got Ph.D. degrees in law? That’s what will soon be happening at Yale Law School. The school just announced a new “Ph.D. in Law” program, aimed at aspiring law professors.
How will this program work? And is it a good idea? I reached out to a number of prominent law professors, all graduates of YLS themselves, for thoughts on their alma mater’s plan to grant a new degree….
The average debt of law graduates tops $100,000, and most new lawyers do not earn salaries sufficient to make the monthly payments on this debt. More than one-third of law graduates in recent years have failed to obtain lawyer jobs. Thousands of new law graduates will enter a government-sponsored debt relief program, and many will never fully pay off their law school debt.
Because explaining things to people isn’t always enough, God created infographics. Sure, “infographic” is a modern-sounding internet word, but the concept has been used since time immemorial. I’m sure the first cave drawing was done by a smart guy trying to explain the concept of hunting to a dumbass.
I’ve been trying to explain the pitfalls of going to law school for years, but will forevermore be thankful to Professors Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit for pointing me in the direction of this extremely helpful infographic. Basically, if you took everything I’ve ever written about law schools and distilled it into a picture, it wouldn’t be very long.
That’s one of the topics covered by an impressive trio of law professors — Richard Epstein, Glenn Reynolds, and John Yoo — in an interesting, wide-ranging discussion over at PJTV. Although they all hail from the right side of the aisle, they disagree on a number of issues. Here’s a summary:
Are law schools creating a new generation law fools? Is the bar exam the best measure of a lawyer? Are the best law schools even worth the money? Law professors John Yoo and Richard Epstein of Richochet.com discussion the legal profession on this episode of Instavision.
One of the most interesting parts of the discussion takes place when Professor Reynolds mentions that he decided to attend Yale Law School over free rides from Duke and Chicago. He asks Professors Epstein and Yoo: What advice would you give to a prospective law student facing a similar choice today?
Check out this interesting data about the campaign contributions of Yale faculty and staff, over at Instapundit. It prompted Glenn Reynolds to ask: “Why don’t the Yale Law faculty like Hillary?”
Good question. And here’s another: Even if the Yale Law faculty don’t like this distinguished YLS alumna, why don’t they at least send their (hopefully non-tainted) money her way? Don’t they want her to remember them when she’s President Clinton, looking to fill high-ranking Justice Department posts or spots on the federal bench? As the old saying goes, “Scratch a Yale law professor (or graduate) and you’ll find an aspiring federal judge.”
(The information originally appeared in this excellent Yale Daily News article by Andrew Mangino — who, by the way, helped us out with the reporting for this piece on law firm economics and culture.) Yale’s Diversity Problem [Instapundit] Profs donate heavily to Dems [Yale Daily News]
* A rave review for Saira Rao’s Chambermaid. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
* How could we NOT link to a post entitled “Do Faculty Have a Constitutional Right to Sleep With Their Students?” [TaxProf Blog]
* A very interesting installment of The Glenn and Helen Show, in which they speak with Professor Richard Epstein about drugs and health care. [Instapundit]
So this is the 21st century? Where courts award punitive damages for offensive words and pictures? Isn’t “the scummiest kind of sexually offensive tripe” exactly what we always used to say people had to put up with in a free country? Man, that was so 20th century!
3. Suing Autodmit [Instapundit]
Professor Glenn Reynolds — who kindly links to our post, by the way — largely agrees with Professor Althouse. He sarcastically observes: “Stuff that offends dumb hicks in the heartland is constitutionally protected. Stuff that offends Yale Law Students must be stamped out!”
More links, after the jump.
Shanetta Y. Cutlar, a high-ranking official of the U.S. Department of Justice, oversees the Special Litigation Section (SPL) of the Civil Rights Division. As chief of the SPL, Cutlar is a steward(ess) of our nation’s civil rights laws.
And, of course, Cutlar is a great diva — which is why we adore her so much.*
Those who get to see a great diva up close, or to work with one, are truly blessed. So what if divas are difficult? That’s why we call them divas.
It should come as no surprise, then, that working for Shanetta Cutlar comes with a few occupational hazards. From a former employee at SPL:
I loved my position, duties and responsibilities. Unfortunately, in time I become a victim of Shanetta’s vicious, often brutal attacks, of constant, uncontrolled rage.
I tried to tolerate and persevere. But eventually the stress began to take a physical toll on me. Down to my last few months or so with the Department, I suffered a bout of diarrhea, each and every morning, before going to work.
My nerves were wrecked. I soon realized I had to seek employment elsewhere outside of the Department.
So I left DOJ and Shanetta. Life is good again.
Color us incredulous. You sacrificed the opportunity to work under an amazing lawyer and leader because, well, you had a touch of the runs?
You need to toughen up. Your “problem” wasn’t anything that couldn’t have been solved with a family-sized bottle of Kaopectate. And a lifetime supply of Depends.
* Sorry, Shalini. We will not apologize for having a weakness for divas. We have loved divas for our entire life, ever since we popped out of one’s womb.
For those of you who care (all six of you), we defend our fixation on divas after the jump.
A recent meme of the legal blogosphere: neckties.
We find this subject hard to resist, since it lies at the intersection of two of our favorite topics: fashion and law. Because of the staid fashion standards of the legal profession — dark suits, white or blue shirts, black shoes (or brown if you’re wild ‘n crazy) — one of the few ways male lawyers can express themselves sartorially is through their ties.
Here are a few quick links and thoughts:
* One of the more random things we’ve heard of ex-practicing-lawyers going into. But it’s probably more fun than document review, or two-hour conference calls in which nothing is accomplished. [WSJ Law Blog]
* An excellent taxonomy of neckwear, from Raffi Melkonian of Crescat (who, as we know from his food-related posts, knows how to live the good life). [Crescat Sententia]
We agree with Raffi’s endorsement of Zegna ties (and own about half a dozen ourselves). But we also have a weakness for the Hermès school of ties in fun patterns — and would add Ferragamo to this grouping.
One of our favorite ties is a red Ferragamo, with a zany print of dancing Asian coolies (pictured at right). Back in our law firm days, when we sometimes felt like a highly-paid coolie, we’d wear this necktie as a form of silent protest. A $120 tie, emblazoned with dancing coolie workers, was the perfect embodiment of the Biglaw predicament.
* Finally, here are some necktie thoughts from Professor Glenn Reynolds. Brooks Brothers makes some nice ties, but they can be a little unexciting. So the Instapundit wisely balances these out with printed ties from museum shops. [Instapundit]
P.S. The best personal necktie collection we know of is owned by the Justice Department’s Office of Sartorial Counsel (aka Ryan Bounds, Chief of Staff for the Office of Legal Policy).
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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.
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