We officially declare today to be Ave Maria School of Law Day here at ATL.
This morning, we wrote about a dubious recusal motion, seeking recusal of a judge who hired Ave Maria graduates as law clerks. And now we bring you more detailed discussion about the relatively new, Catholic law school, founded in 2000 by Domino’s Pizza mogul Tom Monaghan.
We’re not the only folks these days who are writing about Ave Maria School of Law, which has been embroiled in controversy for months now. The law school has been the subject of extensive (and generally unflattering) discussion, on such blogs as Fumare, Mirror of Justice, and AveWatch. The story has been picked up by online news sources such as Inside Higher Ed and the WSJ Law Blog.
So what’s the fuss all about? It’s a long and tortured history, but here’s the short version:
(1) the school is scheduled to move in 2009 to the new town of Ave Maria, Florida (the home of Ave Maria University, located outside Naples, FL, and described as “a sort of utopia for devout Catholics and others”);
(2) a number of faculty members vigorously oppose the move; and
(3) things have gotten ugly between these faculty members and the law school’s administration, led by Dean Bernard Dobranski.
In a recent telephone interview with ATL, Dean Dobranski offered his side of the story. You can check out our interview with him after the jump.
Yesterday we wrote about Paulina Bandy, that poor creature who failed the California bar exam thirteen times, before finally passing it on try #14. Her story seems to have freaked out some of you who are sitting for the bar exam later this month next week.
Relax. Take a deep breath. You won’t wind up in a 365-square-foot shack in your mom’s backyard. We think.
Chances are, you will pass. And even if you fail the bar once or twice, you’re still not on your way towards Paulina Bandy-dom.
As it turns out, a number of well-known individuals — some famous for their accomplishments in law, and others for different reasons — didn’t pass the bar on the first (or even second) try.
To get the ball rolling, here’s a short list of a few bar exam failures. Check it out, after the jump.
Congratulations to Professors Eve Brensike and Richard Primus, who pummeled the competition and waltzed off into the moonlight with the title of Above the Law’s Legal Eagle Couple of the Month for May. These liberal lovebirds have bleeding hearts — because Evan “McDeany” Caminker pierced them with Cupid’s arrow!
LEWW salutes Professors Brensike and Primus, their delectable Dean, and the entire University of Michigan Law School. ATL readers, go donate to a worthy cause on their behalf! Or just buy them a salad spinner!
New Orleans native Jack Weiss will become chancellor of LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center this summer after his unanimous selection Friday by the LSU Board of Supervisors.
Weiss, a New York partner for the Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher firm, which has about 800 lawyers, will take over for retiring Chancellor John Costonis as early as July 1, but at least before fall classes resume, Weiss said by phone from New York.
The LSU search committee met in closed session for an hour Thursday before publicly approving Eric Chiappinelli, associate dean at Seattle University School of Law, and Michael Krauss, law professor at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va.
The third finalist named, who does not have approval from a majority of the faculty, is Jack Weiss, a New York partner for Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, a law firm with more than 800 lawyers.
It’s not immediately obvious to us why someone with Weiss’s credentials should be unacceptable to the LSU faculty. He clerked for Warren Burger and John Minor Wisdom, and he has ties to the area, having previously been a partner at a firm in New Orleans. He certainly looks like a law school dean!
More important, isn’t practice at a large firm decent preparation for running a law school, perhaps more so than churning out seldom-read articles in solitude? We suspect that this has something to do with the hostility some law professors harbor toward people who actually practice what they teach (particularly the ones who make good money doing it).
We recently blogged about Kiwi Camara — the young, brilliant, controversial legal scholar — and his mysteriously disappeared job offer from George Mason University School of Law. Camara is a legal Doogie Howser who was 16 when he entered Harvard Law School. At HLS, he caused an uproar after dropping the N-bomb in a group outline. He has apologized repeatedly and profusely for that mistake; but it continues to dog him, years later.
The Washington Post originally broke the story about Camara’s GMU appointment falling through. But their story may have been erroneous, at least in one respect. The Post reported:
At George Mason’s law school, the faculty had authorized [Dean Daniel] Polsby to hire Camara as an assistant professor, but the dean wanted to first see what students, alumni and others thought. He scheduled a town hall meeting for last night, but the meeting was nixed after Camara’s application was withdrawn.
We contacted Camara for comment. He explained:
I was never instructed to withdraw my application, and I never did so. My candidacy was ended by George Mason…
Also, there was a week’s lapse between my job talk and when the faculty voted me an offer (to be precise, voted to authorize the dean to extend an offer). Surely they would have investigated before, rather than after, voting me an offer — and especially before going public and thereby triggering the recent media coverage.
Indeed. This is all very strange.
More discussion, including an interesting mini-scoop from Camara, after the jump.
As reflected in the comments to our recent post, people can’t see eye to eye about Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh. To some, he’s an American hero; to others, he’s a liberal political hack.
But here are two things we believe to be non-controversial:
1. Dean Koh doesn’t look as good without his shirt as Dean Hiram Chodosh, of the S.J. Quinney Law School (University of Utah). A shirtless photo of Dean Chodosh, a nominee in our Law School Dean Hotties contest, is available here.
2. Dean Koh can’t dance as well as Dean Chodosh. Proving that NYU law students aren’t the only ones who can do fun stuff with the Michael Jackson song “Beat It,” Dean Chodosh recently strutted his stuff to that famous eighties classic:
That’s the prospect repeatedly pushed in a two-partprofile of Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh, from the Yale Daily News. The profile has been discussed extensively in the legal blogsophere (see links below).
Oh goodness. We could say something snarky and dismissive (e.g., “Hell to the N-O”). But we will comport ourselves with the dignity you expect from a leading gossip blogger.
We will merely refer you to what others have already said on the subject. E.g., Professor Stephen Bainbridge (“Koh’s appointment to the SCOTUS would be an unmitigated disaster.”); Professor David Bernstein (Koh is “a highly partisan liberal Democrat under whose tenure as dean conservative and libertarian students have felt increasingly uncomfortable”); and commenters at the WSJ Law Blog (“a severe narcissist,” “a political zealot,” and “[Harvard Dean] Elena Kagan would be a better choice”).
(Our favorite comment, from a WSJ Law Blog reader: “Other than that he’d be a sure vote for declaring Gitmo detainees have a constitutional right to Social Security benefits, I do not see the appeal.”)
So we’re holding our tongue. We do not want to have our YLS degree revoked after the fact.
A few more thoughts, after the jump.
The mini-scandal that erupted after it was reported that Fulbright & Jaworski partner uttered “the n word” during a recruiting event at Duke Law School has pretty much blown over.
Much wind was taken out of the racist sails when it came to light that the partner said the magic word while “recount[ing] a story about Leon Jaworski’s defense of an African-American man in a murder trial in Waco, Texas in the 1920s.” The partner uttered the racial epithet “in an effort to display the depth of racial hostility that Jaworski and his client faced.”
In case you’re still interested in this story — and we understand completely if you’re not — an account of yesterday’s meeting, between Fulbright & Jaworski lawyers and law students at Duke, appears after jump.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a government official unwisely shooting his mouth off is just a government official unwisely shooting his mouth off.
When Charles D. Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, criticized lawyers at top law firms for representing Guantánamo Bay detainees, we speculated that perhaps his statements were part of a Bush Administration effort to discourage such representation. It appears that we were wrong.
Today’s Washington Post contains a letter of apology from Stimson. In the letter, he states that he “believe[s] firmly that a foundational principle of our legal system is that the system works best when both sides are represented by competent legal counsel.”
After making his controversial remarks, Charles Stimson was roundly criticized by numerous law school deans. His abrupt about-face raises an amusing possibility: Could an open letter from law school deans — typically as worthless and irrelevant a piece of paper as a parking ticket on a diplomat’s windshield — have had an actual impact in the real world?
The full text of Cully Stimson’s apologetic letter, plus related links, after the jump.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
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