Law Schools

If I’ve learned one thing from Above the Law’s experiment in matchmaking, it’s that throwing two pretty people together is about as effective in generating something that sticks as a DOJ prosecution of [fill in the blank].

I recently matched an “open-minded” female law student with a lawyer on sabbatical in San Francisco, figuring that they would both have unstructured time for hanging out. She was looking for someone “ambitious, confident, and outgoing.” He self-described as “Impossible is Nothing.” So that seems like a perfect match.

I had them meet at Candybar. Superman made a good first impression: “I was hoping for a tall, dashing, Biglaw attorney. But really, as long as he was easy on the eyes and not shorter than me, I’d be happy,” writes our female law student, who given the chance to bed any lawyer, fictional or real, chose Harvey Specter of Suits. “And happy I was.”

Unfortunately, she was no Lois Lane. He says: “I think I’ll start with the tl;dr to hopefully save some of the otherwise wasted billables on my lame story: She is a cute, fun girl who I just unfortunately didn’t feel much of a connection with, probably because of the damage law school is doing to her.”

Hey, you knew you were signing up for a legal matchmaking service. Damaged goods expected….

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In tough times like these, sometimes you have to be resourceful to get what you want, and it seems that some people still really want to go to law school. And rather than taking out additional student loans, in the spirit of Ruth Carter — a 3L at ASU Law who started the “Sponsor a Law Kid” program — an incoming UVA Law student has decided to solicit online donations to help “lessen[] the debt load.” It’s a sad, sad day when a future UVA student can’t afford to pop her collar.

In fact, this young woman wants your help no matter what you think of her, because in the end, so long as she gets her tuition dollars, she doesn’t really care. Hell, even if you’re “sadistic and would enjoy watching” her fail, she’ll still be glad to take your money. She’ll even send you little prizes in the mail as thanks.

If you’d like something to balk at, let’s find out more about this entrepreneurial Cavalier….

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In 2011, the New York Times ran a series of interesting and widely-read articles written by David Segal about the perils of going to law school, and for the first time, it seemed as if the general public was willing to acknowledge the truths that law bloggers had trumpeted over the internet for years prior.

Segal’s first article in the series profiled several law school graduates living under the burden of soul-crushing student loan debt. Just a year later, one of those debt-ridden law grads has made headlines again, but not in the most favorable way.

Carrying six figures of student loan debt? Check. Condemned to temp work? Check. Being accused of murder? Priceless….

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Time and time again, we’ve warned prospective law students about the dangers of applying to law school without first arming themselves with the knowledge that a career in law might not be the golden ticket that it once was. And yet time and time again, those prospective law students have ignored all of the evidence that was presented to them on a silver platter, and continued on their merry way to law school.

These 0Ls don’t care about whether they’ll be employed; hell, they don’t even care how many law schools are sued for their allegedly fraudulent employment statistics. All these “sophisticated consumers” really care about are the U.S. News law school rankings.

But what would happen if a law school were to inform applicants that they may never be employed at all? Perhaps a message like that would stem the tide of willfully ignorant prospective law students….

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Aww, SCOTUS, you made him cry.

* Today’s court session is business as usual for SCOTUS, because the justices always seem to save the “best” for last. And now I’ll have that stupid Vanessa Williams song stuck in my head all day. Sorry if I got it stuck in yours, too. [National Law Journal (reg. req.)]

* Meanwhile, over at the White House, the air was thick with the sound of silence on the eve of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act. More than willing to bet that President Obama probably didn’t sleep too well last night. [Los Angeles Times]

* “If she dies and Romney wins, the Supreme Court will be the most conservative in history.” Oh, please. Stop giving Ruth Bader Ginsburg flak for being too old, and learn to respect your elders — she’ll quit (or she’ll croak) when she damn well feels like it. [New York Times]

* Peter Madoff will plead guilty to two federal charges at the end of the week. He’ll probably serve ten years in prison. In the long run, that’s nothing compared to big brother Bernie’s 150-year sentence. [Bloomberg]

* Reason #11ty-billion why we <3 Flori-duh: a judge rejected the DOJ's request to block Florida's voter purge, and Governor Rick Scott, of course, was pleased as punch, calling it a "common-sense decision." [POLITICO]

* Megaupload wins again: a New Zealand court ruled that the search warrants used to raid Kim Dotcom’s mansion were illegal because they failed to “adequately describe the offenses to which they related.” [Reuters]

* Loan debt will allegedly make you do some pretty crazy sh*t. Jason Bohn, the law school grad featured in an NYT article about the perils of law school, now stands accused of murdering his girlfriend. [New York Post]

* The ABA Journal wants to know if you think your law school’s name and reputation affected your career path. Well, the first comment on my first post was “the what what school of where now,” so you tell me. [ABA Journal]

This is one law professor you don't want to trap in a closet.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, there’s an interesting ongoing brouhaha at Nova Southeastern between the school and a professor who claims he was fired after the school misinterpreted some of his jokes. Jokes about shooting people, but jokes nonetheless.

Now it seems to me that any professor who actually decided to teach at Nova Southeastern would eventually contemplate things he could do with a gun. But I imagine even students willing to go to Nova Southeastern would think twice about it if they had to dodge a hail of bullets while sitting in class. So I guess they have to take even jokes about this very seriously.

And, hey, for the rest of us, it’s an opportunity to see exactly what you have to do to get fired after you get tenure….

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Since 1955, Fortune magazine has published the Fortune 500, a comprehensive ranking of the top closely held and public corporations in the United States as ranked by gross revenue. In the past, we’ve spoken about other Fortune magazine rankings, like its annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, where top law firms have been included year after year.

But it seems that lawyers have pervaded the Fortune 500 rankings as well, because some of the biggest companies in the nation are headed by law school graduates. As we noted in Morning Docket, of the 498 CEOs named on this year’s list, 46 of them went to law school.

But which schools did they attend? Let’s find out….

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One of the nice things about gunners is that they can’t help themselves. You never wonder, “Oh, is that dude a self-important gunner or a reasonable person?” Gunners like to out themselves. That’s why you can play Bingo with them.

Earlier this week, a tipster sent us in the Facebook status of a law student who feels undervalued by his school’s system of class rank. The school will tell you if you are in the top 10%, but won’t go higher than that (i.e., if you’re actually in the top 5%, it’ll still just say top 10% on your transcript).

You can imagine that fact bothering a number of people in the fiercely competitive environment of law school. But bitching about it on Facebook has that fun head-up-your-ass aroma that makes gunners so special….

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* Pay up or shut up: Dewey former partners need to worry about getting our kneecaps busted by the banks that loaned us money to fulfill our capital contributions? [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]

* Senate leaders reached a tentative deal to keep student-loan interest rates at 3.4%. Too bad this only applies to undergrads — law students are still left holding the bag. [Wall Street Journal]

* Your mom probably told you not to be a tattletale, but evidently that kind of behavior really pays off in court. Adam Smith, formerly of Galleon, was sentenced to only two years’ probation for his “very substantial” aid in Raj Rajaratnam’s insider trading trial. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Forty-six CEOs on the 2012 Fortune 500 list went to law school, but only four hold degrees from schools outside the U.S. News Top 100, and just one went to an RNP school. Yikes. [U.S. News & World Report]

* Was this Nova Law professor “mentally deranged enough to engage in a campus shooting rampage”? That’s apparently what members of the administration thought when they fired him. [National Law Journal]

* Anna Gristina, the accused “Millionaire Madam,” was released last night on $250K bond after spending four months behind bars. Looks like it’s back to the world’s oldest profession for this soccer mom. [Reuters]

Law school deans should bet a dollar on whether or not change the name of a law school makes more people come.

And the band plays on. No matter what happens in the economy. No matter what kind of evidence we get that the market for legal jobs is totally in the tank. No matter what, law schools continue to expand and continue to find new ways to convince more people to spend a lot of money getting an education that might not lead to employment.

Of course, I’m talking about something new and annoying Cooley did, because you basically can’t have a conversation about what is wrong with law schools anymore without referencing some kind of fresh horror enacted by the people who run the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

But this impulse towards MOAR LAW STUDENTS obviously isn’t just a Cooley problem. Even though some schools that are already in the law game have thoughtfully looked at reducing class sizes, there are always going to be schools and universities eager to provide prospective law students with educations they can waste money on.

Time for some stories about law school acquisitions, a plague that has now made it all the way down to Texas

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