Poor Alberto Gonzales. Even Romy and Michele had a better time at their reunion. From the AP:
A small group of student protesters, including one wearing a black hood and an orange jumpsuit, heckled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as he posed with old classmates Saturday during their 25-year Harvard Law School reunion.
“When the photographer was getting everybody set up and having people say ‘cheese,’ the protesters yelled: ‘say torture, instead,”resign’ and ‘I don’t recall,’” said Nate Ela, a protester and third-year student.
Law school spokesman Mike Armini said the impromptu protest was so small that some of those attending the photo shoot did not notice it.
We hate to quibble, but saying “torture” doesn’t make you smile. Your lips end up in a peculiar, puckered position (try it yourself). C’mon, HLSers — couldn’t you have come up with something more clever? Students Heckle Gonzales at Harvard [Associated Press]
The Harvard Law Review is cited less and less in decisions by federal courts, in keeping with a trend across several major law reviews, according to a study published last month by staff at the Cardozo Law Review of Yeshiva University.
The researchers found that the Harvard journal was cited 4,410 times in federal courts during the 1970s, but only 1,956 in the 1990s, and 937 so far in this decade—despite an increase in the number of cases brought to courts.
Houston lawyers who have tried cases before [Judge Elrod] say she has earned a reputation as a fair and smart state district judge.
“I think the most disappointing factor about her getting nominated is losing her off the bench in Harris County,” says Stephen Boutros, a Houston plaintiffs attorney.
“She often won’t rule in my favor, but it doesn’t matter,” says Boutros of Stephen Boutros LTD. “I would rate her the top judge I’ve ever been in front of. She understands the law. She can get a grasp of the issues in a matter of moments as if it were her own case.”
Boutros believes Elrod has the potential to follow in the footsteps of [Judge Patrick] Higgonbotham — a seasoned and respected judge who was a moderating force on the 5th Circuit — a court known as one of the most conservative federal appellate courts in the nation.
“She’s going to be an absolute centrist,” Boutros says. “She is intellectually honest and she’s not an ideologue.”
Judge Elrod sounds like a great pick. Our only disappointment: that President Bush didn’t nominate this Jennifer Elrod instead.
(But then again, in terms of qualifications for the Fifth Circuit, a JD from Harvard Law is probably more relevant than a 36D from Boobs ‘R Us.)
P.S. To those of you who think that we overuse the term “diva,” please note that we have NOT applied the term to Jennifer Elrod. Based on what we’ve heard, she’s extremely nice and down-to-earth, with a great sense of humor. 190th District Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod Nominated to 5th Circuit [Texas Lawyer] Earlier: Some Judicial Nomination News
Last week we wrote a little bit about internecine warfare going on within the Harvard LLM community. It’s a silly and trivial story — which is, of course, ATL’s stock in trade. So we intend to keep following it.
Today we’re happy to bring you an update. This email went around over the weekend:
From: [xxxx] Date: 3/24/2007 5:12:01 AM To: [LLM community]
Dear Fellow LL.M.s,
We would like to bring to your attention, an untoward incidence that augurs badly for the general reputation of the LL.M class. We fear, someone on this forum (God forbid) might be trying to cause antagonism between the diverse members of our community. Following our International Party, the advertisement flyers of this most successful event, were, apparently for the sake of ridicule, sent to a contemptible website — the one for which Dean Kagan cautioned restraint.
Alas, the writer has confused his “contemptible website[s].” The site that was the subject of Dean Kagan’s recent message is the site discussed in this Washington Post article. That site is not ATL (even if, one could argue, there isn’t much of a difference at the end of the day).
More from our irate LLM, after the jump.
Remember this flyer, for the recent “International Party” sponsored by LLM students at Harvard Law School?
Some of you, in the comments to our post, made some disparaging remarks about the English-speaking abilities of Asian LLM students.
But as it turns out, this flyer wasn’t written by the Asians. And many of them found it highly offensive.
For those of you who are curious, we provide the backstory — including an earlier version of the party flyer — after the jump.
We could probably get away with an editorial comment or two, under the “Chris Rock Can Make Black Jokes” rule, since we’re Asian ourselves (and have numerous relatives and friends who don’t speak the Queen’s English).
But we will restrain ourselves, and just pass this flyer along with the comment of our source: “I think this ad speaks for itself.”
This has nothing to do with Sectiongate. It’s actually about something of greater significance, if that can be believed.
Alex Angarita — a Harvard Law School graduate, former associate at O’Melveny & Myers, and star of the “Survivor: Fiji” reality TV show — has been arrested. From TMZ.com:
“Survivor: Fiji” star Alex Angarita faced off with a judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court today after cops claim he attacked a peace officer who responded to a 911 call on February 9.
According to the felony complaint, Angarita, a Harvard Law grad, “used threats and violence to deter and prevent” two officers from performing their duties. The 28-year-old reality star was charged with two felony counts of resisting arrest, one felony count of battery with injury on a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana. It is unclear why the police were called, but the National Enquirer reports that Angarita was involved in a “brawl” with his girlfriend.
Angarita spent three hours behind bars at a Los Angeles County Jail, before he was released on $20,000 bail.
We have a second correction to run in the unfolding “Sectiongate” saga at Harvard Law School. Normally running corrections makes us unhappy. But Sectiongate gets better with each subsequent correction.
Here’s the background. Last week we made fun of the dubious idea to use names rather than numbers to refer to the different 1L sections at Harvard Law School. The names would be “themed” — e.g., “porn stars, Care-Bears, and favorite sections of the MPC.”
After we put up our post, we received a correction:
[I]t’s not the HLS administration’s idea to do this; it is basically the idea of a single 1L. I was at the student government meeting in which this idea was first proposed, and it came from a 1L section representative. Because 1L participation is strongly encouraged, no one wanted to shoot him down (even though many people thought the idea was silly).
Our tipster was hoping to save HLS from looking ridiculous, by pinning the blame on a single 1L student. But the “correction” may have had the opposite effect. As one commenter observed:
This post doesn’t help HLS. Because one person made a patently absurd suggestion, they circulated a poll, knowing full well that the contents would end up on this site and others? They should have informed the 1L that the idea was ridiculous and made her transfer.
As it turns out, the truth is even better. We’ve now received another correction — which we’ve vetted with multiple HLS sources, so we are fairly sure this will be the final world. Here it is:
Actually, the proposal to name the sections did not originate with a 1L. It came from a 2L. This second-year student ran for student government on a platform that included naming the sections. And he won.
Until recently, Justice Emily Goodman was probably our favorite member of the New York Supreme Court — mainly ’cause she was nice enough to write to us.
But Justice Goodman has been displaced; we’ve found a new object for our affections. From Judicial Reports:
Is Carol Berkman the least popular Supreme Court Justice in Manhattan? We know a slew of attorneys who have put her at the top — or perhaps that’s the bottom — of their lists.
To say that Acting Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman of Manhattan is unpopular among litigators would be an understatement. More than a dozen lawyers recently cited her penchant for extraordinary verbal abuse of counsel.
One called her “ornery.” Another said “nasty.” Still another opined that she was “vindictive.”
In 1999 the Legal Aid Society took the highly unusual step of publicly petitioning against Berkman’s reappointment to Criminal Court. The society wrote a letter to the Mayor’s Committee on the Judiciary that accused the justice of “systematic rudeness and mistreatment of both defense and prosecution lawyers and defendants (and occasionally even belittlement of other judges).”
We love Justice Berkman: she’s smart, and she’s tough. On the smarts front, note her impressive resume, including Cornell and Harvard Law; her low reversal rate (5.4 percent); and the attorney testimonials in the Judicial Reports piece, noting her intelligence.
The Judicial Reports article also contains ample evidence of Judge Berkman’s tougheness — especially with respect to her handling of psychiatric evidence she perceives to be dubious. You can read the report in its entirety by clicking on the link below. Wielding a Mean Gavel [Judicial Reports]
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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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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