Recent Headlines from Above the Law
* It looks like some pretty big changes are going to be coming down the pipeline at Washington & Lee University School of Law. From faculty and staff layoffs to payouts from its endowment, this generally doesn’t look pretty. We’ll have more on this news later today. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]
* The 87th Academy Awards ceremony is this weekend, and you know what that means: IP lawyers are doing their damndest to protect the Oscars brand. Can you imagine the sheer number of cease and desist letters that have been going out? [National Law Journal]
* Congratulations to Marci Eisenstein, who was recently elected to become the first woman to serve as managing partner of Schiff Hardin in the firm’s 150-year history. FYI, the firm’s most recent partner classes have been 2/3 women for the past three years. [Am Law Daily]
* New Jersey Governor and would-be Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie made five firms really happy in 2014 thanks to all of the legal work he handed to them. Gibson Dunn, for example, earned $7.9 million from the Bridgegate affair. [Courier-Post]
* Which state will be the next to legalize recreational marijuana? It may be Vermont, where Senate Bill 95 would allow those 21 and older to possess, use, and sell pot. Just think, you can save the environment and get high while you do it! [Huffington Post]
How much does law school pedigree correlate with other measures of law firm “success”?
How does expected talent (as measured by law school credentials) correlate with other indicators of “success” (as measured by profits per partner)?
* Next time on Nancy Grace: A recent graduate of Michigan State Law allegedly got a master’s degree student from the school pregnant twice before he left the country. The woman allegedly murdered one of the babies, and the other is now missing. [Detroit Free Press]
* I’ll just leave this right here so I won’t get fined. It looks like a partner from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton helped Marshawn Lynch trademark his nickname “Beast Mode” — a trademark that may lead to Lynch getting a $100,000 fine from the NFL. [Am Law Daily]
* In other trademark news, Taylor Swift got approval for catchphrases from her album. “Nice to Meet You, Where You Been?” Her IP lawyers “Could Show You Incredible Things,” but you could’ve been getting down to “This Sick Beat.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Gibson Dunn earned $459,000 for successfully challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, which was apparently a “sharp cut” in the fees the firm initially requested for star litigator Ted Olson’s time. Poor Teddy. [National Law Journal]
* According to Am Law’s latest Lateral Partners Survey, there was a 7 percent increase in lateral moves — 2,736, to be precise — between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014. Guaranteed pay packages, though, seem to be a thing of the past. [American Lawyer]
* The K&L Gates Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, a clinic that’s perhaps better known as the firm’s revenge porn project, is assisting a California law student whose nude pictures and videos were allegedly put online by an ex. [DealBook / New York Times]
Gibson Dunn does right by its associates outside New York.
The tale of Gibson Dunn’s bonuses gets a bit more sordid.
Which firm is acting the Scrooge this year?
The divorce started as amicably as one could reasonably hope for, but as distrust bubbled, the split escalated from a perfunctory proceeding into contentious brawl.
* SCOTUS justices added 11 cases to this term’s docket yesterday following their megaconference earlier this week. Alas, no same-sex marriage cases have been added yet. [New York Times]
* The Fifth Circuit allowed Texas to enforce its new abortion clinic restrictions. The only thing that will stop its “devastating impact on abortion access” is SCOTUS intervention. [MSNBC]
* Two more women just joined the ranks of the highest tier of Biglaw firm leadership. Congrats to Jami Wintz McKeon of Morgan Lewis and Therese Pritchard of Bryan Cave. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Gibson Dunn poached a prominent partner from U.K. firm Ashurst following his fall from grace as its leader last year. He’s thrilled to work for “one of the strongest U.S. firms around.” [Am Law Daily]
* The Thomas Jefferson School of Law may be “California’s worst-performing law school,” but it certainly performs well in terms of providing entertainment for those who are big fans of schadenfreude. [City Journal]
* Many schools pay their grads to count them as employed — but not UNC Law. Its career services office is aware that “jobs don’t grow on trees,” but hey, at least they’re trying to be transparent. [Daily Tar Heel]