Law Schools

First it showed up in the New York Times. Then it appeared on the Today Show. Now the story of law schools allegedly misrepresenting their graduates’ employment outcomes is in every New Yorker’s favorite commuter rag newspaper, Metro New York:

What news development on the law school lawsuit front brought this story to the front page of Metro?

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'Find someone else to draft your asset purchase agreement. I'm too busy smoking this pipe.'

That’s the provocative question bouncing around the legal blogosphere these days. It was raised last week by Vivia Chen of the Careerist, then picked up by Professor William Henderson on the Legal Whiteboard, and now it’s the top story on the ABA Journal.

There’s actually some data driving this discussion. According to Chen, citing research by Professor Henderson, graduates of Loyola University Chicago School of Law are six times more likely to make partner at a major law firm than graduates of the higher-ranked University of Chicago Law School, located just a few miles to the south. It seems that even though Chicago Law grads may have an easier time breaking into Biglaw than their Loyola – Chicago counterparts, the Loyola folks who do make it in the door tend to have longer-lasting law firm careers.

Let’s not pick on U. Chicago. There are other elite law schools with even higher Biglaw “washout” rates….

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* Two weeks from today, the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on the Obamacare case. Everyone thinks Justice Kennedy’s vote will swing the Court, but Chief Justice Roberts isn’t about to let him steal his sunshine. [New York Times]

* Montana’s Chief Judge stands accused of sending a racist email, but he once counseled law students about the dangers of email. It seems like the man can’t follow his own advice… and that’s some major Cebulls**t! [Billings Gazette]

* Gaming post-graduation employment statistics: the Columbia Law School and NYU Law edition. It looks like it might be time to fire up the Strauss/Anziska machine for the top tier of our nation’s law schools. [New York Post]

* Greenberg Traurig and Alston & Bird think people care about their new, multimillion dollar rental agreements in Los Angeles. No one cares. They just want to know where the spring bonuses are. [Los Angeles Times]

* But speaking of Alston & Bird, some Floridians are complaining about the firm’s bill. $475 an hour for four partners and associates? You really need to stop, because you’re getting the deal of the century. [The Ledger]

* James Humphreys — with a P-H! — donated $1M to GW School of Law so more students can receive scholarships. Maybe one of our favorite Wall Street Occupiers will get one? [National Law Journal]

Two weeks ago, we asked our readers to submit their entries for Above the Law’s “Lawyer Meme” contest.

This week, you voted on the finalists, and now it’s time to announce the winner….

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There goes my hero…

Law school students are becoming more and more vocal about the myriad unresolved problems with the law school industry. Things are getting so bad that yesterday, a Rutgers student (and former Navy SEAL) got into a shouting match with Governor Chris Christie about the Rutgers merger drama.

Something has got to break soon. Right?

If Above the Law’s 2011 Lawyer of the Year Paul Campos has anything to say about it, the answer is a definite “yes.” And he has a drastic idea for fixing what he would call the “law school scam.” It all starts at Stanford University, where he visited earlier this week to talk about his idea.

What did Professor Campos have to say? Does “30 percent unilateral tuition cut” mean anything to you?

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Much to the dismay of students, faculty, and alumni, the Camden campus of Rutgers University School of Law will soon be merging with Rowan University — and doing away with the Rutgers name. Up until now, our coverage of the pending merger has been limited to Morning Docket entries. But last night, during a town hall meeting held by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the debate got interesting.

In what is being referred to as “the most-heated town hall clash of the year,” Christie reportedly got into a shouting match with a current Rutgers Law – Camden student. Harsh words were exchanged, and the scene ended with the law student being escorted from the meeting by police.

Who is this law student, and what was said? Let’s delve into the details….

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* With its lawsuit dismissed, Jacoby & Meyers won’t be accepting non-lawyer equity investments in New York any time soon. Not even from used Mercedes-Benz dealers. [New York Law Journal]

* Former Quarles & Brady partner Jeffrey Elverman has been sentenced to five years of probation for swindling money from a little old lady. Does that count toward PPP? [Journal Sentinel]

* K&L Gates is suing a casino in Macau to recover client funds that were allegedly gambled away by former partner Navin Kumar Aggarwal. Silly Biglaw firm. Don’t you know the house always wins? [Am Law Daily]

* “I am not a lawyer. I’m a server. Lawyers do lawyer things. Lawyers work at law firms. Lawyers do public policy work… Lawyers don’t serve pizza.” Ah, the plight of the New York Law School graduate. [CBS News]

* Cooley Law: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. A former student’s suit over the school’s alleged attempt to keep him from transferring was dismissed this week. [National Law Journal]

Yesterday, we told you about the racial tension gripping Harvard Law School as they prepared to elect a new student government president. And by “gripping,” I mean “annoying the hell out of the HLS students who are trying to study.”

Despite calls to postpone yesterday’s election, the balloting proceeded as planned. We also invited Above the Law readers to vote for the new Harvard Law student leader.

It seems like both communities are in agreement. Cloying d-bags who throw around allegations of racism and impropriety have no business securing open bar events for thirsty law students….

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And we’re not talking about New York Law School.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Am Law is busy flogging law firms for their gross cafeterias. We’ll have more coverage on that later today.

But at least Biglaw associates can afford to go out to Per Se for lunch if they don’t like the catering in the cafeteria. Law students, on the other hand, are more likely to have their options limited to the school cafeteria or street meat.

Well, there’s one New York area law school, one highly ranked NYC law school, where a low-ranked cafeteria is the least of their worries. That’s because there are mice all over the classrooms.

Wait until next year, when tuition goes up to cover the cost of extermination….

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Obtaining a summer associate position at a major law firm remains difficult. That’s the upshot of a recent report (PDF) issued by our friends at NALP. You can read summaries of the report at the NALP website and at the ABA Journal. This quip, by NALP executive director Jim Leipold, pretty much says it all: “This is not a hot recruiting market.”

Given that employers are still in the driver’s seat, at least when it comes to entry-level recruiting — recruiting of lateral lawyers, whether associates or partners, is a different kettle of fish — you’d think that law firms would use this opportunity to experiment a bit with fall recruiting. There are some interesting alternatives out there to the standard model of 20- to 30-minute screening interviews, typically held in the summer before or early fall of the 2L year, followed by callback interviews at the firms. E.g., JD Match (disclosure: a past ATL advertiser).

But law firms, as we know, are a conservative group. They tend to stick with existing models, even if those models are imperfect.

Well, most law firms. Nobody ever accused Quinn Emanuel of not daring to be different….

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