Earlier today, we wrote about an email controversy emanating from the halls of Harvard Law School. A 3L at HLS — referred to in these pages simply as “CRIMSON DNA,” and please help us keep it that way — sent out an email message that some construed as “racist.” In the email, “CRIMSON DNA,” following up on remarks made during an apparently spirited dinner conversation, wrote as follows:
I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent. I could also obviously be convinced that by controlling for the right variables, we would see that they are, in fact, as intelligent as white people under the same circumstances. The fact is, some things are genetic.
That was just the opening. Read the rest of DNA’s email over here.
We now bring you some corrections and clarifications, as well as additional discussion — in case the 100+ tweets, 800+ comments, and 1,000+ Facebook shares weren’t enough for you….
I graduated law school in 2003, owing Harvard University just under $150,000. At the time, I had no idea what starting my professional career $150K in the hole would do to my life. I figured I’d work hard, make money, and pay my loans out of my general non-disposable income funds — kind of like my cable bill.
Seven years, two careers, numerous deferments and defaults, and one global economic meltdown later, I still owe a ton of money. Now, however, I pay it to various debt collection agencies and lawyers. When prospective landlords run a pro forma credit check on my application, they come back looking at me like I’ve been convicted of multiple war crimes. Every raise I’ll ever get will be eaten up by the collection agencies until sweet death allows me one everlasting and satisfying default. And, oh yeah, I don’t even want to practice law anymore — I quit my Biglaw job because, despite the debt, I really wanted to have a job that I enjoyed. So I essentially purchased a $150,000 disposable good. My time working in Biglaw was kind of like a very expensive vacation that I debt financed.
I mention all this because I am the cautionary tale prospective law students never want to think about. I mention all this because it is noble to crush false hope. I mention all this because there are way too many people poised to follow in my financially ruinous steps….
Fact: Eliot Spitzer had sex with prostitutes. Fact: Eliot Spitzer is a hypocrite. Fact: David Paterson has been a horrible Governor. Conclusion: Having sex with prostitutes and being a total hypocrite isn’t the worst thing in the world?
And so, the rehabilitation of Eliot Spitzer continues. He’s on T.V., he’s writing, he’s teaching a class. I think the lesson here is supposed to be that a man’s inability to keep it in his pants doesn’t mean that he can’t be a useful voice about the economic crisis and regulatory reform.
So it’s not entirely surprising that Spitzer has been invited to speak at Harvard University by HLS professor Lawrence Lessig. The ABA Journal reports on the focus of the talk:
Spitzer’s lecture apparently will focus on law and policy: It is titled “From Ayn Rand to Ken Feinberg–How Quickly the Paradigm Shifts. What Should Be the Rationale for Government Participation in the Market?” according to a Harvard website listing for the free public talk.
Fair enough, but Professor Lessig is the director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. And it’s the Center for Ethics that will be hosting the event.
Ethics + Eliot = Ewww.
You know things are off when a pimp is writing to a Harvard Law School professor to complain. That is precisely what is happening here, according to the Daily News. Details after the jump.
Warning: The penis-to-vagina ratio in this week’s column is quite high. If you’re already on the mailing list for Rick Santorum 2012, you may want to avert your eyes — or go make fun of sissy-boy John Kerry for helping plan his daughter’s wedding.
Our fabulous finalist couples:
The following list provides a representative sample of named gift opportunities. In addition, several naming opportunities exist in the Law School’s Northwest Corner building project currently under construction.
* $25,000,000: International Graduate Student Fellowship Program, The Low Income Protection Plan Program * $10,000,000: The Harvard Law Library Reading Room, Research Program (Academic/Clinical) * $5,000,000: Combined Professorship and Research Fund * $4,000,000: Professorship * $2,000,000: Visiting Professorship * $1,000,000: Research Fund * $250,000: Scholarship/Fellowship Fund * $100,000: Financial Aid Fund * $10,000: Revolving Loan Fund
Remember, Harvard is only called “Harvard” because John Harvard had a nice library.
Maybe graduates of Harvard Business School can still afford to make lavish $25,000,000 gifts; alas, graduates of Harvard Law School probably don’t have that kind of flow anymore. But why should they be iced out of the naming game?
After the jump, let me suggest some low-cost naming rights that HLS could sell.
Commenters often complain that we feature too many Biglaw associates in this space — uninspiring young people who’ve drifted through college and law school and are now drones at soulless firms. We’re delighted that this week, Biglaw associates make up only one-third of our couples. Rounding out the field are a soulless-drone partner and a former associate who abandoned Biglaw for the classic refuge of the disillusioned JD: law teaching. Enjoy this foray into the unexpected!
The stalk-and-eventually-marry-your-doorman phenomenon continues to enthrall the NYT weddings editors. This week they shine the spotlight on yet another bride — this time a producer at CNN — who found love in the lobby. LEWW encourages female Biglaw associates to embrace this trend. You’re in and out of office buildings all day, ladies — open your eyes to the lusciousness perched behind those security desks!
And now, this week’s finalist couples:
Law firm mass emails can be a bitter pill to swallow. Nobody wants to be publicly accused of, say, taking craps on the bathroom floor. In that instance, a simple multiple-choice survey on bathroom habits followed by a marksmanship competition would have sufficed. One legal administrator recently learned the hard way that sending inflammatory mass emails is rarely the route to popularity or success. Or is it? Jordan Reid (née Berkow) is your typical NYC born and bred jerkhat. She went to Dalton private school and then moved on to Harvard, where she got her undergrad degree in cognitive neuroscience. (Ed. note: that’s in the psychology department, nice try.)
Perhaps prompted by her voice coach and by a successful run in a summer camp production of “The Pajama Game,” Jordan went to L.A. to seek fame and fortune. After a few small roles and the requisite appearance on Law & Order, she abandoned ship and returned to NYC, where her she lived in an apartment partially paid for by her parents. As a matter of course, her mom, who worked in a law firm, hooked her up with a job as a legal administrator there. It’s not clear exactly where she worked, but Jordan describes the firm as “a fairly depressing” place, where she sobbed at her desk. If this sounds like your office, join the clubemail us at tips.
A flip-flop and an email, after the jump.
The Harvard Law Record reports that HLS will be cutting back on perks:
On September 4, an email by Dean of Students Ellen Cosgrove detailed the reduction in perks students would begin to notice at HLS, where, under the tenure of former Dean (and now Solicitor General) Elena Kagan ’86, free food for events and even some classes had become common, free coffee abounded from morning until noon, and a logo-emblazoned skating rink animated Jarvis Field during the cold winter months.
The lifestyle changes students face are not stark: the free coffee has not been completely cut, as was rumored, but will be served in fewer locations, and is expected to last only until 10:15. A survey later sent to the student body by Cosgrove asked whether students would share in cost-cutting efforts by providing their own mugs rather than relying on the paper cups the school now buys. Likewise, free food will be rarer at events, and the hours of the dining facilities at Harkness Commons will be reduced depending on demand.
Everybody needs to tighten their belts during the recession. And this new “only limited free coffee” policy should better prepare Harvard Law grads for the rough and tumble employment environment that they’ll face after graduation.
Conference cutbacks are on the way too.
What does it mean to be “newly admitted?” To us, it means endless possibilities!
We recognize that you already possess the ability and intelligence to succeed in a variety of legal professions. Our job is to expose you to various practice areas in a way that ensures those very attributes are successfully applied. Our seasoned and successful faculty present unique programs that provide an approachable and practical understanding of the avenues of achievement available as you launch a fruitful, enjoyable and promising career.
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
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In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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