Law Professors

* Some West Village pet stores won’t let you buy a puppy if you are drunk. I don’t know if this fact represents a high point in intelligent rulemaking or a reason to bomb a place like the West Village that makes a law like this necessary. [Village Voice]

* People under 30 are most satisfied with their standard of living. I think that’s because people under 30 assume things will get better for them one day, so I’m not sure they’re “satisfied” so much as “delusional about a future that will be hotter, wetter, and has already been sold to the Chinese.” [Huffington Post]

* The only thing worse than an unaccountable judiciary is an underpaid, disgruntled, unaccountable judiciary. [Faculty Lounge]

* Embattled Widener Law Professor Lawrence Connell is now suing students? Be careful man, “embattled” is usually the stage where the wheels start coming off. [FIRE]

* You can once again purchase “Raging Bitch” beer in Michigan. See, now that we know Jim Tressel bought his dominance over Michigan, I think the whole state will lighten up a bit. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Before rising 3Ls realize nobody is coming to interview them, maybe we should point them towards the Schola2Juris program of Waller Lansden one more time? [Schola2Juris]

This year, we’ve heard a few horror stories from the poor and downtrodden students of NYU Law School –- and that is not the way we’d usually characterize these students.

But when the recession hit, NYU Law’s students were hit even harder. Some 3Ls were unemployed — so unemployed that Barrister’s Ball tickets had to be subsidized. Some 3Ls were so poor that they can’t afford black market commencement tickets. Holla! Livin’ in squala!

How could the school better use student tuition dollars to avoid these problems in the future? How could the school improve its students’ quality of life? These circumstances were likely difficult for the school’s administration to address, so it seems that they decided not to address them at all.

Instead, the school did this:

Yep, NYU Law bought a $3.5 million condo in the West Village….

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Ralph Richard Banks

Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories about black women. Things can be tough. African-American women get all of the sexism white women have to deal with, and all of the racism black men have to deal with. Successful black men tend to fulfill their own self-loathing destiny by running away from black women (not me, I’m married to one). Cultural representations of them are used to sell syrup or chicken, or involve a black dude dressed up in a fat suit (if William Tecumseh Sherman were still alive, he’d be waging war against Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry). And law professors at prestigious universities try to profiteer off of their difficulties.

That last one is somewhat recent. But I don’t know how else to describe the new book by a Stanford Law professor, Ralph Richard Banks. His upcoming book is entitled Is Marriage for White People? (affiliate link).

Now, if I were a blogger looking to make a quick buck, that’s exactly the kind of book I’d write. In fact, look for my upcoming book, “Why White People Can Afford To Piss Away Time & Money in Law School, But Blacks Can’t.”

But Ralph Banks isn’t a blogger, he’s a Stanford Law professor. Shouldn’t we expect less sensationalized bullcrap from him?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Stanford Law School: Why Are Your Professors Writing Books That Sound Like They’ve Been Written By Bloggers?”

Uga, did you eat the grades?

Well, it’s the middle of June, and it seems that some law students are still waiting for their grades. As we know from past discussion of the issue, this is a fairly common practice. The only problem with it is that it keeps law students fiending for their last grade like a crack addict searching frantically for his last rock.

The worst part of this situation is the fact that the grade delay may be keeping these law students from becoming gainfully employed. The legal job market may allegedly be on the rise, but when law students can’t do more than offer two-fifths of their updated transcripts to prospective employers, you can take a wild guess as to where their résumés will be headed.

So, while the professors are taking their sweet time grading their exams and possibly costing you a job, your classmates are banding together to try to figure out how to resolve the problem. First, they go to the Student Bar Assocation. Then, when they don’t like the answer they get from the SBA (“there’s a grading deadline, I’m sure we’ll get our grades soon”), they go straight to the source, the administration. Finally, when the administration’s response isn’t good enough (“it’ll be okay, you’ll get your grades when you get your grades”), they come to Above the Law. And we’re happy to help.

Hey, University of Georgia School of Law, we’re looking at you. Where are your grades?

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We know that tuition keeps going up at American law schools. And, for the most part, we know where the money goes. Law schools use tuition money and alumni donations to fund capital projects and law professor salaries. And, at some schools, the law school kicks back some money to the larger university. Law schools are cash cows, and everybody likes money.

Who is to blame for this? It’s hard to say. I tend to blame the American Bar Association, since the ABA is one of the few entities with regulatory authority over legal education (some law students are trying to get the Department of Education involved).

If the ABA will not act, it’s only natural for people to make as much money as possible, with reckless disregard to who gets trampled along the way. But one can find other culprits if you look hard enough. You could blame law school administrators, who are more concerned with money than education. You could blame the students themselves, for willingly forking over all of this cash. You could blame the federal government, for seemingly giving away money without making sure the taxpayers are getting a return on their investment.

But you know who you shouldn’t blame? Law school faculty. That’s right — they might get fancy new buildings and make six-figure salaries, but it’s not really their fault that the cost of a legal education has outstripped its value.

Who among us would not take more money and more perks for doing our same job?

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There is this automatic assumption in any legal environment that Asians will have a particular talent for bitter labor. There was this weird self-selection where the Asians would migrate toward the most brutal part of the labor…. White people have this instinct that is really important: to give off the impression that they’re only going to do the really important work. You’re a quarterback. It’s a kind of arrogance that Asians are trained not to have.

Tim Wu, Columbia law professor and author of The Master Switch, quoted in a very interesting New York magazine piece by Wesley Yang, Paper Tigers: What happens to all the Asian-American overachievers when the test-taking ends?

You have seen our dishonorable mentions; now it’s time to take a look at the very best videos law students were able to come up with. It’s time to meet the finalists in this year’s Law Revue Video Contest.

Some of these videos you have seen before. Others will be new to you. All of them will provide a modicum of fun and a welcome break from the drudgery of finals or whatever post-graduate job you’ve gotten yourself into.

So check them out and prepare to vote. It will work like American Idol: expert judges Kashmir Hill, David Lat, and Elie Mystal will share their thoughts, but the voting is up to you, the viewers.

Who will follow in the footsteps of UVA and Northwestern and bring the funny all across the land? Did your law school or alma mater make the cut?

Let’s find out…

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Where’s she going? Let’s find out….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “It’s Official: Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, aka the Tiger Cub, Has Made Her College Decision!”

[T]he never-ending stream of futile petitions suggests that habeas corpus is a wasteful nuisance. By almost any measure, the use, and abuse, of habeas by convicted state prisoners is a failure, one that could corrode one of the most revered pillars of our legal system.

– Professors Joseph Hoffmann and Nancy King, in an interesting and persuasive New York Times op-ed piece, arguing that habeas review of state criminal cases should be limited to “capital cases and cases in which the prisoner can produce persuasive new evidence of his innocence.”

Yale Law School

* The delightful Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, daughter of Yale law professors Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld, explains how she turned out so normal, despite having a Tiger Mother. [new tiger in town]

* Elsewhere in Yale Law School news, congrats to YLS student Vanessa Selbst, who successfully defended her title at the North American Poker Tour championship at Mohegan Sun. How much did she win this year? [Law Shucks]

* Selbst won her money in person — which is lucky, because the feds just brought the hammer down on online poker. [New York Times]

* Speaking of money, here are some ideas for how to spend your spring bonus money. [Vault]

* There are too many wives conflicting judicial authorities in this litigation involving the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. [Salt Lake Tribune]

* Some tips for young lawyers looking to get active online. [An Associate's Mind]

* Instead of adopting humane practices, Iowa farmers and ranchers would rather cover up the way they kill animals and slaughter the First Amendment while they’re at it. [Legal Planet]

* When extreme pro-life views turn monstrous, they reduce women to mere vessels, who exist only as incubators. Check out this Indiana woman who is being charged with murder for attempting to kill herself while pregnant. [Feministe]

* Okay, we’ve extracted our pound of flesh from Professor Stephen Bainbridge. Can we please move on now? [The Daily Bruin]

* Justice Kennedy on the “quiet revolution” wrought by information technology with respect to coverage of the Supreme Court. [Josh Blackman]

* Don’t forget: the deadline for the ATL Law Revue Contest is this SUNDAY, APRIL 17, at 11:59 PM (Eastern time). [Above the Law]

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