Recent Headlines from Above the Law
What does this mean for current associates at the firm?
* Law school admissions standards have plummeted and bar exam passage rates are circling the drain. This can only mean one thing: an army of dumb would-be lawyers whose degrees aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on will “become criminals themselves — robbing liquor stores, grabbing old ladies’ handbags, selling derivatives.” [Wall Street Journal]
* A Pennsylvania attorney was charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography after it was discovered that he was downloading the images at his law firm. Protip: Don’t leave pictures of nude boys engaged in sexual acts in the copier tray. [The Reporter]
* Law firms where older partners refuse to pass the baton may be in trouble. “Some law firms could crumble after this generation because they don’t have a lot to sell to the next generation.” Only 3% of managing partners belong to Generation X. [New York Times]
* DLA Piper’s London office launched a review of its pay structure in an effort to remunerate partners based on more than just billable hours alone. One wonders if this meritocracy will make its way across the pond to us here in America. [Legal Business]
* According to a landmark decision from the Mexico Supreme Court, it’s a constitutional right for people to be able to grow and smoke their own marijuana. Of course, this ruling only applies to the petitioners, but it’s a step in the right direction. [Los Angeles Times]
Wild accusations in a pair of lawsuits about the man at the center of a famous Biglaw embarrassment.
Some more salary movement in mid-sized markets, but is the bidding war for talent off to the races or limping out of the gate?
How are international firms doing in comparison with the Seven Sisters when it comes to handling major transactions?
* An amazing look at the exact way lawyers should NOT handle cleaning up their reputation after a PR snafu. [Techdirt]
* Even more bad bar results news, with Charleston School of Law taking a particularly bad hit. [Bar Exam Stats]
* A single lawyer — a divorce lawyer no less — cannot bring the NSA to its knees. Color me surprised. [Ars Technica]
* Attention new lawyers! Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s a list of online resources to make your day easier. [Associate’s Mind]
* A detailed look into the how-tos of complying with U.S. anti-corruption laws while conducting business in India. [Forbes]
* Here’s what a real Biglaw partner does in a day — or at least what Christina Martini, Chair of DLA Piper’s Chicago Intellectual Property Practice Group does when a camera is following her around. [Big Law Business/Bloomberg]
* PETA’s general counsel swears his organization isn’t monkeying around when it comes to asserting the IP rights of Naruto the selfie-taking monkey, but he may have to deal with a jungle of jurisdictional issues first. [Motherboard / VICE]
* Mmmm, Dewey smell a mistrial? On the eighth day of deliberations in the criminal trial of D&L’s former leaders, the jurors likely made defense counsels’ hearts skip a beat when they asked the judge for instructions on what to do concerning their undecided colleagues. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Chief Justice John Roberts, who has voted conservatively in 85 percent of the Supreme Court’s most divisive 5-4 decisions, apparently isn’t conservative enough for our conservatives. It’s the damn Affordable Care Act. Thanks, Obama. [New York Times]
* According to the latest Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2015, for the sixth year running, Baker & McKenzie has the most recognizable Biglaw brand in the world. DLA Piper will continue to “churn [those] bill[s], baby!” in second place. [PR Web]
* Take the deal: Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who’s accused of hiding large sums used as hush money to conceal his prior sexual misconduct, is negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors. If he were convicted at trial, he’d face up to 10 years in prison. [Reuters]
* Baker & McKenzie was dethroned by DLA Piper as the the Biglaw king of gross revenue. The firm is blaming its poor performance — a 4.3 percent drop — on “currency fluctuations.” Better luck on snatching back glory next year. [Am Law Daily; Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* It’s hard out here for a pimp with an allegedly small peen: Terrence Howard’s divorce settlement was overturned by a judge after evidence was brought forward to suggest the actor was coerced into signing it. Apparently his ex was blackmailing him over the size of his manhood. [ABC News]
* There’s a new
sheriffjudge in town, and he’s cleaning up the Ferguson, Missouri, courts. His first order of business was to wipe out all arrest warrants issued before December 31, 2014, in the wake of the Michael Brown police shooting last August. [Reuters]
* Dean Philip Weiser of Colorado Law has announced that he’ll be stepping down from his position in July 2016. He’ll be remembered for keeping costs low and putting asses in seats during a time when it was difficult to do both concurrently. [Denver Business Journal]
* “On one level I give them kudos for playing hide the ball.” Gibson Dunn is fighting a subpoena issued by defense attorneys for computer metadata related to its Bridgegate report that cleared New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of all wrongdoing. [Bergen Record]