Harold Koh

* “The people who are paying us say this is what we want.” When it comes to cross-border mergers, law firms aren’t becoming behemoths for the hell of it. The end goal is to be able to edge out the rest of the competition. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

* It’s been six weeks since Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, and “[e]verybody wants to go back downtown,” but some Biglaw firms in New York City — firms like Harris Beach and Cahill Gordon — are still stuck in their temporary offices. [New York Law Journal]

* Following Jeh Johnson’s adieu to the DoD, drone-loving Harold Koh will be packing up his office at the State Department and returning to Yale Law to resume his professorship next month. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector is employing 5,800 more people than it was at this time last year. We’d be in good shape if 40,000 people hadn’t graduated law school in May. [Am Law Daily]

* Another day, another wrist slap: Villanova Law has been placed on probation for by the Association of American Law Schools over its grade-inflation scandal. Does that even mean anything? [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* The Lanier Law Firm, known for its spectacular Christmas parties, hosted some country superstars at this year’s event. Guess we know where Faith Hill and Tim McGraw go for legal assistance. [Houston Chronicle]

* A slim majority of American adults think that federal government employees should just sit back, relax, and smoke a bowl instead of enforcing federal laws against marijuana use. [FiveThirtyEight / New York Times]

* “I’m sorry they are confused in the White House.” Puerto Rico’s statehood referendum received a majority of votes, but lawmakers say the results of the two-part plebiscite are too confusing to add a 51st state. [CNN]

One of [my handlers during my confirmation process] said, ‘You know, you might want to apologize for some of the things you wrote.’ I said to him, ‘Can we get one thing straight? I am not apologizing.’

I’ve lived the life I’ve wanted to live. I’ve said the things I’ve wanted to say. If you really want me to say I’m sorry, I’ll say, ‘I’m sorry that my life’s work has been misunderstood.’

Harold Koh, current Legal Adviser to the State Department and former Dean of Yale Law School, in recent remarks he delivered at the American Constitution Society’s annual convention. (In the same speech, Koh voiced support for Yale Law graduate Goodwin Liu, whose Ninth Circuit nomination was successfully filibustered.)

WikiLeaks worships at the shrine of rabid transparency. And it does not just sacrifice government documents to the transparency gods; founder Julian Assange tells my Forbes colleague Andy Greenberg that corporate America is the site’s next big target. A big bank is going down, says Assange.

Greenberg thinks it might be Bank of America. Dealbreaker has some additional theories. Most likely some bank somewhere is going to have a big project for its lawyers pretty soon.

Meanwhile, after the most recent State Department cable leak, government lawyers are trying to figure out how to prosecute Assange.  There’s talk of invoking the Espionage Act of 1917, regardless of the fact that Assange is an Australian citizen and spends his time country-hopping. G’day and g’luck, mate.

So, what about those juicy diplomatic cables? What did State Department legal adviser Harold Koh not want the world to see?

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Update: Check out Part 2: The Conservatives.

As we were planning Above the Law’s Elena Kagan confirmation coverage, we got to thinking (always a dangerous thing around these parts): What if Supreme Court nominees didn’t have to defend themselves to the American public? What if the U.S. Senate’s constitutional privilege of “advice and consent” was revoked? What would the Court look like if the nominees didn’t have to even pretend to be moderate?

It’s a thought experiment that we’re sure has been done countless times before. But we’ve never done it, so we’ll plunge ahead.

Here are the rules: (1) The nominee should be unconfirmable. (2) The nominees on the right should make Elie angry; the nominees on the left should make Lat uncomfortable. (3) Mealy-mouthed moderates need not apply.

We decided to keep the five-four ideological balance of the current Court. Sure, we know that some people think that without the Senate, Presidents would nominate apolitical justices who have no discernible political slant. Sadly, apolitical justices = yawn.

In this post, Elie picks four pinko commie scumbags. In a future post, Lat will select five right-wing fascist nutjobs. Should be fun…

So, who are the SCOTUS nominees in the administration of President Elie Mystal?

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Harold Koh Yale State.jpgIt looks like former Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh will in fact be the next Legal Adviser of the State Department. The cloture voted just passed, 65 – 31 according to Congressional sources.
The cloture vote ends months of debate over Koh’s nomination. An up-down vote on his nomination should follow soon.
We’ll see if American foreign policy is immediately transferred to the control of a secret transnational body hell bent on taking our freedoms.
Koh cloture vote passes [The Cable]
Earlier: New York Post Writer Takes A Hatchet to Dean Koh
Yale Law School Conservatives Defend Harold Koh

Harold Koh Yale State.jpgAs we predicted last month, Harold Hongju Koh is stepping down from the deanship at Yale Law School. President Obama is nominating Dean Koh to serve as the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State. Dean Koh previously served in the State Department, as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, from 1998 to 2001.

Dean Koh is relinquishing his day-to-day deanly duties immediately, to prepare for his upcoming confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If confirmed, he will officially resign as dean, after five years of service. Professor Kate Stith is taking over as Acting Dean of Yale Law School.

When we visited our alma mater back in December, Dean Koh was most gracious and welcoming (even though he has occasionally been on the receiving side of snark here at ATL). We wish Dean Koh well in his new position.

Memos after the jump.

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Harold Koh Yale State.jpgThe Yale Law School campus is buzzing with rumors that their popular dean, Harold Hongju Koh, could be leaving for a job in the Clinton State Department. The Yale Daily News reports that Koh could be appointed as legal adviser to the State Department:

In that position, Koh — a former assistant secretary of state and a leading expert on international law — would serve as principal counselor on all legal matters to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton LAW ’73.

Rumors have swirled for months around the Law School and in Washington, D.C., that Koh, whose five-year term as dean ends in June, might leave Yale to serve again in government. Koh, however, has repeatedly dismissed talk about a possible appointment as pure speculation.

Koh and the YLS press office did not respond to ATL’s requests for comment.

Even though Koh’s five year term is up in June, Yale has given every indication that Koh can keep his current job if he wants it:

University President Richard Levin said Wednesday that a routine review of Koh’s tenure at the Law School — timed for the end of his first term as dean — had yielded positive responses.

“It was clear that the community supported his reappointment,” Levin said. “There’s no question: If he stays here, he will be reappointed.”

If Koh leaves, he’ll be creating yet another opening on the Law School Dean circuit — which is one of the few jobs in the legal profession that is hiring.

Details after the jump.

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Yoshino.jpgNYU School of Law announced today that it has hired Professor Kenji Yoshino as a tenured faculty member. He was a visiting professor at the school last year and again this spring.

Professor Yoshino graduated from Yale Law in 1996 and is influential in the fields of constitutional law, anti-discrimination law, and law and literature. It’s quite a score for NYU. Read the original email announcement, from Dean Ricky Revesz, after the jump.

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yale law school.jpgAs promised, here’s an update on the recent, sudden passing of a first-year student at Yale Law School. From the Yale Daily News (which we alerted to the story):

A first-year Yale Law School student was found dead in his apartment Thursday night.

“From what we know at this point, we only have reason to believe he died of natural cases [sic],” Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh said in an address to the entire law school community Friday afternoon. “We need to draw on our sense of community.”

More details — although not many more, since right now so much is unknown — appear in Andrew Mangino’s article.
Our condolences go out to the family of this student and to the Yale Law School community.
Update (9/15, 2:30 PM): Additional information appears in this YDN article, as well as in this Facebook group.
Law student found dead in apartment [Yale Daily News]
Joseph Hanzich LAW ’10 found dead in apartment Thursday [Yale Daily News]
For Joey Hanzich, In Memory and Love [Facebook]
Earlier: Breaking: Yale Law School First-Year Found Dead
What’s Up At Yale Law School?

yale law school.jpgA first-year student at Yale Law School was found dead in his apartment last night.
You read it here first; the story is developing. More details to appear in this space; refresh your browser for the latest updates.
Update (12:40 PM): We just got off the phone with Bliss Bernarda in Yale’s Office of Public Affairs. She confirmed that a Yale Law School student has died but said the university does not have further comment at this time. We provided her with our contact information, and we will let you know if and when the school issues a statement.
Update (1:05 PM): We are hearing that the death may not have been violent (as some people appear to be assuming) — that he may have died of natural causes. But we don’t have confirmation or details.
Further updates appear after the jump.

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