Law Schools

When we interviewed David Anziska back in December 2011, he noted that Team Strauss/Anziska intended to make 2012 the “year of law school litigation.” Keeping that in mind, they certainly started the year off on the right foot when they sued 12 additional law schools on top of the class actions they’d already filed against Cooley Law and New York Law School. Anziska told us that their strategy going forward would be to sue as many law schools as possible in the first half of 2012. How’s that working out for them?

Anziska recently sat down with Bloomberg Law for an on-air interview where he revealed some noteworthy information about the next wave of law school lawsuits. The most relevant piece of information? Twenty more law school class action suits are coming down the pipeline. Which schools will be named as defendants?

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Gainful employment nine months after graduation, FTW.

We cover the gloom-and-doom in the legal job market quite well here at Above the Law. But there are happy stories out there too — and not just for the top graduates of top law schools.

This is the story of Fred (not his real name; he asked to remain anonymous). Fred graduated in 2011 from a well-ranked but not super-elite law school — a top 50 school, but not a top three, top six, or even “T14″ school. He was not at the top of the class, nor was he on the law review. Many of Fred’s similarly situated classmates are unemployed or underemployed, drifting from one contract-attorney or paralegal-type job to another.

Fred is much better off than many of them. He has a job that he enjoys. He works for two weeks, followed by two weeks of vacation. He makes somewhere between $60,000 and $100,000 a year, with the exact amount depending on how much he wants to work. And if things go according to plan, in a few years he could be earning $250,000 a year (or more).

Right now some of you are dying to know: What does Fred do, and how can I get this job?

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To boldly go where no lawyer that I know of has gone before.

Some of you may know (I did not until an hour ago) that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Space Needle. Pretty exciting, right? I know, not really.

Except for one thing. In honor of the anniversary, the Space Needle is holding a contest to send one lucky person on a trip to space. The 20 contest finalists were recently announced, and among the chosen few is a 3L at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law.

The grand prize winner will be chosen in part based on user votes. Keep reading to learn about this aspiring lawyer-to-be, see why his head is in the clouds, and watch his application video. You can help make his wildest dreams come true

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As I mentioned Friday, the National Jurist (subscription) came out with a very interesting ranking of law schools. As Tax Prof Blog explains, the publication looked at schools that helped people pass the bar despite their low LSAT scores.

It’s an interesting methodology: the Jurist predicted a bar passage rate for people, state-by-state, based on their LSAT scores, then looked at the 25th percentile LSAT scores at each school, and figured out which schools had the largest deviation from the predictions. High-ranking law schools were the ones that significantly outperformed the bar passage rate expected from their low-scoring students.

These could be significant findings: while poor performance on the LSAT doesn’t necessarily mean the student is dumb, it almost certainly means the students is bad at taking standardized tests. If schools have students who go from being bad at taking a relatively easy standardized test (the LSAT) to passing one of the hardest and most stressful standardized tests out there (the bar exam), it sounds a lot like they are educating people, instead of simply benefiting from the achievements of motivated admitted students.

But, should the law school get the credit for the success? Or are there some test prep companies that should take a bow?

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Some people believe that attending a “top 14″ law school will magically guarantee you a job. If that’s the case, why are so many “T14″ law students trying to force their way into law offices?

Or, to be more precise, law school offices. A few months ago, we wrote about a UVA law student who was charged with breaking and entering. The space in question: the registrar’s office. The police alleged that the student might have been trying to steal transcript paper.

Could that have been the beginning of a trend? Over the holiday weekend, two students at another leading law school were arrested after an alleged break-in….

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I would read these horror stories in The New York Times and The Washington Post about how law firms were no longer guaranteeing jobs. But I always knew I was going to go to one of the top 14 law schools, where employment statistics have remained pretty strong. Most of the bad numbers are coming from the worse-ranked schools.

Emily Cusick, a senior at Cornell University and president of the pre-law fraternity Kappa Alpha Pi, commenting to the Cornell Daily Sun on doom-and-gloom stories about the legal job market.

(Additional interesting tidbits from the Sun article, including statistics about the declining number of law school applications, after the jump.)

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Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Ed. note: Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, we will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will still be publishing, but less frequently than usual.

* “Based on history, it’s tough to make the case that there should be mandatory protection [for Supreme Court justices].” That may be so, but the fact that Justice Stephen Breyer was robbed by machete point should at least make the case for SCOTUS sword fighting lessons. [New York Times]

* Speaking of the wealthy and well-traveled Justice Breyer, a suspect has been identified in his robbery. [Associated Press]

* And speaking of the Supreme Court, this week the justices will hear arguments over the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act, which criminalizes lies about military service. Unfortunately, this means you will all have to wait to hear about the time Lat and I fought through 25 Taliban sharpshooters with only our pocket knives in order to save an entire orphanage from certain annihilation. [Fox News]

* Two female students at the University of Oregon School of Law accused a male student of drugging and raping them. How did the student body respond? A listserv flame war, of course. [Portland Oregonian]

* Attorneys representing survivors in the Costa Concordia crash claim that traces of cocaine were found in the hair of the ship’s captain. I’m not sure how, but this needs to be the basis for a Head and Shoulders commercial. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* Heads are rolling over at ESPN after the network made several unfortunate references to a “chink in the armor” of New York Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin. Yes, we get it. Everyone’s a little bit racist. [ESPN via Deadspin]

* Judge Roger J. Miner (2d Cir.), RIP. [New York Law Journal]

This ad campaign sucks!

Back in October, we told our readers about one Boston-area law school’s exciting new advertising campaign. These days, the best way to promote your law school is by hanging posters in city subway stations that proclaim the strength of the nonexistent job market for law school graduates.

Now, just a few months later, the law school’s students have worked themselves into a tizzy over their embarrassment. After throwing numerous hissy fits, the students have finally gained some ground with the administration. Let’s find out what’s going on at New England Law | Boston….

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Johnny Appleseed was carefree -- and unsaddled with law school debt.

Over the past few weeks, it seems Above the Law has unleashed a torrent of populist rage against law school career services’ departments posting crummy job opportunities.

Yesterday, we heard about another unfortunate career services posting, this time from the Vermont Law School. What was almost more depressing than the job, though, is our tipster’s testimony of postgraduate life.

Let’s just say it’s more Grapes of Wrath than A Few Good Men.

Here’s what our melancholy tipster has to say about the recent job posting from his illustrious alma mater….

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As we noted in Morning Docket today, Law School Transparency (LST) wrote to all law schools accredited by the American Bar Association to request the NALP reports for the class of 2010. The NALP reports contain much more detail than that of the reports released by the ABA, such as information concerning part-time and temporary employment, as well as the number of graduates in jobs that do not require a law degree.

LST’s request was made on December 14, 2011. Two months later, LST has presented the results of that request, and the organization has made some significant strides since it first attempted to collect data back in July 2010. This time around, 34 law schools provided their NALP reports, either by sending them directly to LST, or posting them on their websites.

But which schools provided LST with the information? And which schools are still avoiding action?

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