Recent Headlines from Above the Law

  • Silly partners.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.24.15

    * Partners at this law firm tried a threesome, but it didn’t exactly work out as expected, so now they’re scaling it back to just one at a time. (And by this, we of course mean that Porter Scott’s three co-managing partners plan was a no-go.) [Sacramento Business Journal]

    * More than 40 class-action suits have been filed since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, with many litigants alleging that they were “duped” into its purchase. Maybe one of them will pack a better punch than the so-called “Fight of the Century.” [National Law Journal]

    * Just because one Biglaw firm went under, in part, because of its brand-spanking new administrative hub, that doesn’t mean your firm shouldn’t consider opening one. The risk might be worth the reward of saving millions in expenses. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Concordia Law launched a media campaign to attract students, touting the fact that it’s been kind of provisionally approved by the ABA as its selling point. It’s new slogan is likely “Meh, we’re good enough for the ABA, so we’re good enough for you.” [Idaho Statesman]

    * Here’s some good news for the people who are actually considering taking the D.C. bar exam instead of just waiving in like the rest of civilized society: the D.C. Court of Appeals will finally allow you to type the essay portion of the exam on your laptops. [Legal Times]

    23 Comments / / Jun 24, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • This guy just looks like a dick.


    Non-Sequiturs: 02.03.15

    * Who’s the meanest Supreme Court justice of all time? Science has the answer and it’s not Justice Scalia… [Eric Posner]

    * Harper Lee is publishing a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird (affiliate link). We hope for the best, but the circumstances of this announcement should make everyone a little worried. [Jezebel]

    * Following the ridiculous arrest of a public defender for the egregious act of defending her client, some California lawyers are raising money to send copies of the Constitution to the SFPD. Silly lawyers, the cops understand the Constitution, they just don’t care. But still a commendable protest set piece that could keep the local media on the case. [Indiegogo]

    * An interview with Steven Browne of Morgan Lewis on how the merger/non-merger with Bingham McCutchen is working out. The answer is pretty well except for some associates expecting a decent bonus. [Forbes]

    * Uh oh. Emails suggest that Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht hired a Hell’s Angels hitman. The takeaway here is that there are Hell’s Angels running on Bitcoin now. [Gawker Internet]

    * Are you learning how to speak Arabic? Then you’re probably a terrorist. [Lowering the Bar]

    * In a mind-blowingly stupid move, Florida’s legislature legalized teen sexting while trying to ban it. It’s almost as dumb as that time they legalized just shooting people on the street if you get scared. [Slate]

    * Mary Holland, a “Graduate Legal Skills Program Research Scholar” at NYU Law, goes on CNN as their representative anti-vaxxer. As an NYU Law alum, this worried me until I noticed she got her law degree from Columbia. Now it all makes sense. [YouTube]

    * A bitter rejection of corporate-speak. Ha. Good luck. I’m at LegalTech and expect to hear the word “synergy” about 20,000 times over the next 48 hours. [What About Clients?]

    * Yes, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link) is fun, but it tackles important issues too, as noted by Howard G. Franklin in this review. [Howard G. Franklin]

    15 Comments / / Feb 3, 2015 at 5:00 PM
  • young woman having financial problems

    Biglaw, Bonuses, Law Firm Mergers, Money

    Associate Bonus Watch: Half-Davis Bonuses Make For Unhappy Campers

    Even if you’re not a New York firm, some of your associates will be unhappy if you pay a fraction of the Davis Polk scale.

    5 Comments / / Jan 28, 2015 at 2:46 PM
  • gradenfreude

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.14.15

    * In May 2014, we told our readers about the sad state of financial affairs for assistant district attorneys in Massachusetts — they make less money than courthouse janitors. Now is the state finally being encouraged to do something about it. [Boston Globe]

    * The University of Maine School of Law is one of 74 law schools to drop its application fee in the hope of enticing more students to apply. Do these schools legitimately believe it’s the fee that’s keeping students away? [Bangor Daily News]

    * Partners at Bingham McCutchen, the latest Biglaw firm to flop, claim they knew that the end was near about one year ago, when their managing partner informed them that the firm would “active[ly] wait” for money to appear. Yeah… [American Lawyer]

    * The fraud trial for former members of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s top brass was pushed back to April because Joel Sanders hired a new defense attorney. Apparently he had some “irreconcilable differences” with his former counsel. [New York Law Journal]

    * The California Commission on Access to Justice plans to launch a legal incubator program. This will help low-income individuals in need of legal services, and the low-income law grads struggling to put their degrees to work. [National Law Journal]

    11 Comments / / Jan 14, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • Someone didn't meet the minimum...

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.18.14

    * Many Biglaw firms seem to be dragging their feet to match Davis Polk’s generous bonus scale. Why’s that? According to one partner, these bonus matches have cut into his firm’s profits by about 4 percent. Yikes! [The Economist]

    * Total 1L enrollment in law school is the lowest it’s been since 1973, when there were 53 fewer schools. The next step would be to reduce tuition to 1973 levels, and then no one would have any more complaints. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Just because Bingham McCutchen bit the big one, it doesn’t mean that all of its pro bono cases will have to suffer the same fate. Not only did Morgan Lewis rescue most of the firm’s attorneys, but it’s also saving 500 of its pro bono cases. [Am Law Daily]

    * Now that President Obama has decided to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, lawyers are champing at the bit for more business opportunities. Love Cuban cigars? Well, lawyers love trademark disputes involving those cigars. [National Law Journal]

    * Greenberg Traurig reminds Florida clerks that if they issue gay marriage licenses, they could be criminally charged. Plaintiffs’ attorneys remind Florida clerks that if they refuse to issue gay marriage licenses, they could be sued. [Tampa Bay Times]

    * Our managing editor, David Lat, sat down with Vivia Chen to dish about some of his favorite things, from his new book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), to his new fiancé. Her book review: “I liked it! It’s a fun, breezy read.” Hooray! [The Careerist]

    15 Comments / / Dec 18, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • cooley blue

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.04.14

    * “[I]t’s hard to find anybody as handsome as Antonin Scalia.” Some would beg to differ, but as it turns out, legal scholar Bryan Garner can brown-nose with the best of them. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * For the third year in a row, Cooley Law graduates have mostly failed the July administration of the Michigan bar. So much for it being a “highly prestigious” law school. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

    * In a lawsuit filed against real estate database Zillow, a former employee claims she was subjected to the “most heinous acts of sexual harassment imaginable” and “sexual torture.” That’s just lovely. [LAist]

    * Law firm merger activity is still going strong as 2014 winds down to a close. Aside from big-name tie-ups like Bingham / Morgan Lewis and Locke Lord / Edwards Wildman, other firms like Verill Dana also had the urge to merge. [Am Law Daily]

    * “Does it really surprise me? Not all that much.” University of Memphis School of Law students are on high alert during finals time after one of their own was almost robbed at gunpoint across the street from campus this week. Yikes. [WMC Action News 5]

    * In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Above the Law’s managing editor, David Lat, wrote a book called Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), and it’s been receiving rave reviews. If you dig clerkship lit, you should try to check it out. [National Law Journal]

    12 Comments / / Dec 4, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • bananas


    Non-Sequiturs: 12.01.14

    * What’s happening to all the Bingham partners that are not joining Morgan Lewis? Here’s the latest on the lateral moves of “the Forgotten.” [Reuters (sub. req.)]

    * “Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” That’s not at all what police said after throwing a guy in jail for brandishing a banana. [CBS News]

    * Is it possible to save the Supreme Court from partisanship? [Bloomberg Politics]

    * You think you had a ritzy Thanksgiving dinner? Well, some jackholes somewhere spent $35,000 for a Thanksgiving dinner devoted to conspicuous consumption in a world of inequity. [Daily Kos]

    * Shearman & Sterling’s Richard Hsu continues his wonderful podcast on the lives of lawyers, this week chatting with Sean Patrick Butler, Sr. Corporate Counsel at Cisco, about Butler’s decision to live two hours away from San Francisco to live the rural life. [Hsu Untied]

    * This guy is compiling stats on bar exam testing patterns. He’s got some California data up already. Perhaps with some reader contributions, he can get widespread coverage. [Bar Exam Stats]

    * When it comes to legal scholarship, women are earning more citations than men according to one study. There are a lot of caveats to be had, but it looks like the law has one, finite area where the gender gap is narrow. [TaxProf Blog]

    * One-third of lawyers are taking on more pro bono work these days. Good for them. [Robert Half Legal]

    16 Comments / / Dec 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM
  • cooley blue

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.26.14

    * Indiana Tech Law has yet another new dean after a little more than a year of operations — he currently serves as a dean at the second-best law school in the nation, Cooley Law. [Journal Gazette]

    * A Pennsylvania lawyer allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old girl in his office, and prosecutors have already reserved a “special place in hell” for him, and possibly a jail cell. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * “We feel like we’ve been left hanging in a really stressful time.” While Bingham McCutchen partners and top staffers made moves, less senior staffers were left crying and without a clue. :( [Am Law Daily]

    * Since a grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s death, people are counting on the DOJ to come through for them. “I just don’t think Ferguson has a leg to stand on,” says one negative nancy law professor. [National Law Journal]

    * After being down in the dumps for a while due to the recession, according to Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group, law firm leaders are feeling more confident and optimistic about the economy — as one can see from these bonuses. [WSJ Law Blog]

    27 Comments / / Nov 26, 2014 at 9:03 AM
  • Bill Cosby

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.25.14

    * “Have a taste of this. It will do you good in so many ways.” Louisa Moritz, one of Bill Cosby’s alleged victims, is interested in filing a class-action lawsuit against the comedian. [Fox News Latino]

    * If you’re interested, here’s all of the testimony and evidence that was presented to the grand jury that resulted in no true bill for Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting. [Associated Press]

    * HBO hired a team of 160 lawyers to look at its film adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s book about Scientology. The power of thetans compels them to keep churning that bill, baby. [Hollywood Reporter]

    * “The Constitution is not a math problem,” but it seems like the Supreme Court is playing a numbers game when it comes to its decisions having to do with same-sex marriage. What’s the magic number for SCOTUS to take a case? [New York Times]

    * It’s official: Morgan Lewis has gobbled up most of Bingham McCutchen ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Stick a fork in it, because Morgan Lewis is done — it’s now stuffed full of more lawyers than any other firm in the country. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * Emerson Briggs III, an ex-partner at Hunton & Williams, is facing disbarment in D.C. over the child pornography he downloaded at work. Oh, how the mighty have fallen: he’s been working as a paralegal since being disbarred in New York. [Legal Times]

    * Patricia Nesci, a law firm secretary, allegedly forged a judge’s signature on an order to show cause to keep herself from being evicted from her home earlier this month. She apparently did not get a Biglaw-style bonus from her former firm. []

    * Before you submit your applications, you should try creating a budget to see just how financially screwed you’ll be during and after law school, and then compare it to your pre-law school budget. Try not to cry. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    22 Comments / / Nov 25, 2014 at 9:10 AM
  • Bingham new logo

    Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dissolution, Lateral Moves, Law Firm Mergers, Layoffs, Partner Issues, Staff Layoffs

    More Info About The Morgan Lewis / Bingham McCutchen Deal

    How many Bingham associates are being invited to join Morgan Lewis, and what will happen to Bingham’s Kentucky back-office operation?

    24 Comments / / Nov 19, 2014 at 11:12 AM