US Supreme Court Coloring and Activity Book Above the Law blog.jpgThe U.S. Supreme Court Coloring and Activity Book. Crayons included!
Here’s the product description, from the ABA website:

Have fun and learn about the Supreme Court! It’s a coloring book with a surprising educational twist. This 32-page coloring book features expertly rendered illustrations depicting significant Supreme Court Justices of the United States to color in–including all current sitting Justices.

The U.S. Supreme Court Coloring and Activity Book is perfect for the children of lawyers and judges, or for teachers looking for a new resource for Law Day or Constitution Day. Law Firms will want to purchase to book in bulk for their employees–especially for “Take Your Child to Work Day”!

The book also includes Supreme Court related activities and puzzles such as, matching, word-search, and connect-the-dots games for slightly older children. Suitable for all ages, this book is perfect for teachers and young children, law firms and lawyers looking for client or visitor give-aways, and makes a great gift, too!

There are also a number of celebrity testimonials, from stars of the SCOTUS bar. Raves former Solicitor General Ted Olson: “A colorful introduction to a cherished American Institution.”
(Note to the ABA’s book publicist: Please send us a copy. We’d love to review it for these pages.)
Update: We’ve been told that our copy is on its way. Thanks, ABA folks!
We think this book sounds cool, and we look forward to reading (and coloring) it. But some of you disagree:

“I don’t care how surprisingly educational this is, my kids want to color horses, princesses, and trucks, not pictures of pruney old people. If your child wants this coloring book, you may as well just give the money directly to the playground bully.”

“I was hoping that in being ‘educational’ it would have scenes depicting famous moments in SCOTUS history… a back alley abortion for roe, a segregated set of RR cars for Plessy, and then, of course, a picture of a piece of paper sitting in a drawer for Marbury! Alas, I guess we are just left with pictures that will tell us in fact what Justice Stevens would look like with bubblegum pink hair (don’t tell me you haven’t always wondered).”

The U.S. Supreme Court Coloring and Activity Book [American Bar Association]

She's Having A Baby Maternity Leave Paternity Leave Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgDespite all the Biglaw bitching from unhappy associates, it’s generally agreed that the perks of law firm life are pretty sweet.
We continue our series of posts on the fringe benefits of Biglaw. From a reader:

How about a post on (paid) maternity/paternity leave and part-time schedule policies?

We already did a post on part-time policies. But we’re happy to dedicate this post to discussion of maternity and paternity leave policies.
This idea was seconded by another reader (albeit with reservations):

Eventually you may want to get into maternity/paternity leave policies, but I think the comments on that one may be a little out of control.

We’re guessing this reader was alluding to past commenter infighting, on the subject of parenting responsibilities and high-powered legal careers. See, e.g., the child care post and the part-time status post.
Vigorous debate is great. But this time around, please try to keep things civil. Thanks.

WilmerHale Wilmer Hale summer associate pay Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgToday’s Washington Post has a great article, by Ian Shapira, about the adventures of summer associates here in the nation’s capital. This is our favorite part (emphasis added):

[B]udding lawyers say they spend much of their office time looking for better deals. They peruse such Web sites as Above the Law, a must-read legal blog written by David Lat, a former federal prosecutor in Newark and former co-editor of the Wonkette politics and media blog.

One of Above the Law’s scoops this month was headlined “WilmerHale Summers: Where’s Our Raise?” The blog published an e-mail from an anonymous summer associate in the Boston office who complained that the summers weren’t getting the customary pro-rated weekly equivalent of first-year associates. Instead of about $3,100 a week ($160,000 a year), the tipster wrote, they were getting only $2,800 (about $145,000 a year).

More discussion of this delightful piece, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Summer Associates: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Best of Times”

Blackberry Crackberry Blackberries baby Above the Law blog.JPGWe continue our series of perk posts. Today we cover a perk that we expect will generate some heated discussion: part-time status.
From a reader:

In keeping with your recent series of posts regarding law firm perks, I thought I would suggest a thread on the availability of part time options. This isn’t exactly a perk, but some real info might be appreciated by those law students and attorneys who want to have a career and family. It’s especially timely in connection with this recent article.

I can tell you that I was at Cadwalader and saw part time people being treated like utter crap; they worked their tails off and still got treated with contempt by the partnership, and even worse, by senior associates and of counsel who no longer gave them good work. I can also say that, per the article, 9 hours a day in the office doesn’t exactly seem like part time (who can’t bill the cited 1900 hours per year at 9 hours a day in the office, plus extras at home?).

More discussion, plus links to a few recent articles about working part-time, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Part-Time Status”

cockfighting cock fights rooster Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* According to a lawsuit filed by fellow blogger David Oscar Markus, you have a First Amendment right to cocks on the internets. [Althouse; Volokh Conspiracy]
* In other odd legal news from Florida, Holland & Knight has discovered a new practice area: “suing Little League back to the Stone Age.” [St. Petersburg Times via Deadspin]
* Still more Florida weirdness. Avoid wearing black in this judge’s courtroom. [Daily Business Review]
* Speaking of fashion, should federal judges be provided with clip-on ties? Sadly, it might mark a style improvement for many. [Underbelly]

baby babies kid kids day care child care Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe continue our series of posts about perks/fringe benefits provided by legal employers. In prior posts, we covered technology allowances and gym memberships.
Today we’re all about the children. Let’s talk about… child care benefits!
As reflected on the NALP website, here are some of the options that law firms offer:

1. Child care subsidy

2. On-site day care

3. On-site emergency day care

4. Lactating paralegals to breastfeed your infant

We say: As long as rats aren’t eating your kids, it’s all good.
So, what child care benefits does your employer provide (if any)? Please discuss, in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Even Worse Than the Cadwalader Bed Bugs?

Phillip Pilie Phillip R Pilie Philip Pilie Philip R Pilie Phil Pilie Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgMany of you are studying for bar exams at the end of this month. You read ATL while procrastinating — and perhaps you feel guilty about it.
But you shouldn’t. There are far worse ways to procrastinate.
Like using the internet to set up trysts with underage females — who turn out to be undercover detectives. This email was forwarded to us yesterday:

From: [UGA Law grad]
Date: Jul 10, 2007 1:32 PM
Subject: Another great moment for UGA Law!
To: [Various other UGA Law alumni]

Philip Pilie… a graduating 3L this past May. See these links.

More background, from a tipster:

Guy in question was studying for the Louisiana Bar Exam before he got picked up [for computer-aided solicitation for sexual purposes and attempted indecent behavior with a juvenile].

He was a Georgia Law ’07 grad, with a job lined up at Baker Donelson (a big firm for the city) in New Orleans. All of that is obviously not going to happen now.

Kicker is this: If you Google his online handle, it comes up with forum posts for a bunch of fashion sites. In one he gives lengthy fashion advice…

Read more about the Prada Predator, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Bad Way To Procrastinate While Studying for the Bar”

Al Gore III mugshot mug shot marijuana pot Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re driving 100 miles per hour, but in a hybrid vehicle, can you still get pulled over? Unfortunately for Al Gore III, yes. From Reuters:

The 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for drug possession on Wednesday after he was stopped for speeding in his hybrid Toyota Prius, a sheriff’s official said.

Al Gore III — whose father is a leading advocate of policies to fight global warming — was driving his environmentally friendly car at about 100 miles per hour on a freeway south of Los Angeles when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy at about 2:15 a.m.

Speed limits suck. Why can’t we institute a system of “speeding offsets,” like the market for carbon offsets? Grandmothers in Boca Raton, who consistently drive 10 miles under the speed limit, could supplement their incomes by selling the right to speed. Who needs Social Security?
After the traffic stop, things only got worse for young Al. From the New York Daily News:

Deputies then searched the car, and Gore faced an inconvenient truth when they allegedly found a small amount of pot and mind-altering pills – Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall.

“He does not have a prescription for any of those drugs,” [a sheriff's spokesman] said.

Finally, we loved this little detail:

Al the 3rd lives in Los Angeles and works for GOOD magazine, which describes itself as “media for people who give a damn.”

If this arrest is BAD for Al’s career at GOOD, we hear they’re accepting résumés over at High Times.
Al Gore’s son busted for drugs in hybrid car [Reuters]
He’s our li’l eco-maniac! [New York Daily News]
Al Gore’s Son Busted! [TMZ via Jezebel]

Rachel Brand Rachel L Brand Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, working at the U.S. Department of Justice may not be a party these days. But the recently announced, imminent departure of Assistant Attorney General Rachel L. Brand — her last day at the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy is July 9 — had nothing to do with recent controversies (contrary to some insinuations).
As tout le monde in D.C. legal circles knows, the fabulous Brand — known to some as the Prom Queen — was planning to step down for some time. The reason? She and her husband, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Cohn, are expecting a baby boy next month.
The lede of this Reuters report, while technically accurate, is therefore misleading. Thankfully, the Washington Post was more accurate:

[T]he Justice Department announced that Rachel Brand, assistant attorney general for legal policy, is resigning….

Justice officials said she plans to leave July 9 and stay at home with her first child, due this summer.

Brand, who worked on the renewal of the USA Patriot Act last year and the confirmation of two Supreme Court justices in 2005, is not known to have played a direct role in the U.S. attorneys’ removal.

“[N]ot known to have played a direct role” — maybe because she didn’t? If she had, rest assured that Chuck & Friends would have invited her over to Capitol Hill for a televised chat.

[D]epartment officials have said that Gonzales’s former chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, asked her whether she might want to replace a Michigan prosecutor who was forced out. Though interested at first, Brand did not apply for the job.

Yes, Brand shrewdly did not throw her hat into that ring. As we previously noted:

In declining to be considered, Rachel Brand showed the excellent judgment that has taken her so far, so fast. Had Rachel Brand replaced Margaret Chiara, she would have been the victim of a mainstream media pile-on. The New York Times editorial board would have derided her as a Bush Administration political hack with no prosecutorial experience (albeit a hack with impeccable academic credentials, including Harvard Law School and a Supreme Court clerkship with Justice Kennedy).

So what’s next for Rachel Brand (in addition to a bouncing baby boy)? She’s rumored to be meeting with various private law firms — and any of them would be lucky to snag this young legal superstar.
Brand has devoted the past six and a half years of her career to government service. She leaves the Bush Administration even more highly esteemed, on both sides of the aisle, than when she came in. This is no small feat, given the controversies that have shaken the DOJ, as well as the highly partisan atmosphere currently prevailing here in Washington.
We congratulate Rachel Brand on her successful leadership of the Office of Legal Policy, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors — including motherhood!
(Disclosure: We’d mention that we are friendly with Rachel Brand, but we know from past experience that many of you don’t like such disclaimers, which come across as shameless name-dropping. So we won’t.)
Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously identified Jonathan Cohn as Deputy Attorney General, rather than Deputy Assistant Attorney General (his correct title).
Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand Announces Departure [U.S. Dept. of Justice (press release)]
Bush Is Told to Justify Executive Privilege [Washington Post]
DOJ Loses Brand [The BLT: The Blog of the Legal Times]
Seventh official quits Justice Department [Reuters]
Justice Department Official Resigns [Associated Press]
Earlier: Rachel Brand: The Prom Queen Stays Out of Trouble

kids schoolkids black white schoolchildren Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgFrom the opinion of Chief Justice John “Sordid Business” Roberts:

“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

From Justice John Paul Stevens’s dissent:

“John, John, John, you don’t even — you’re glib. You don’t even know what Brown v. Board of Education is. If you start talking about school integration, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how schoolchildren are affected by racial segregation. That’s what I’ve done. Then you go and you say that no member of the Court at the time of Brown would have agreed with today’s decision.”

Enough quoting from the opinions. How should we react to this ruling?

1. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin!

2. Brown v. Board has been eviscerated!

3. American schoolchildren will soon be getting after-school milkshakes at lunch counters with Robert Bork!

(Note to diner owners: Keep those floors dry — or at least have a warning sign up while you’re mopping. If Judge Bork slips and falls, he WILL sue your ass.)
Court strikes down school integration plans [SCOTUSblog]
Schools Must Ignore Race in Placing Pupils, Justices Say [Associated Press]

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