Law Schools

I’ve never been a fan of U.S. News obsessing over how much money law schools spend on their facilities. I feel it artificially inflates the cost of going to law school in a digital age where so much of what you need can be found online.

But there are some things that you can’t do online. Not yet at least. Like going to the bathroom. Perhaps if Steve Jobs were still alive, the iPoop and the Waterless iPoop would be just around the corner. But we were robbed of that great man.

Maybe all you need to know about the difference between top law schools and not-so-hot law schools really does come down to toilets. At Harvard, they name them after rich alumni. At North Dakota Law School, they barely have them….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Adventures at Low-Ranked Law Schools: Don’t Call It a ‘Toilet,’ They Don’t Even Have Toilets”

* More law school graduates are trying to get their day in court for bankruptcy protection. Looks like these people didn’t read their student loan MPNs carefully (or at all). They state pretty clearly that you’re screwed for life. [Reuters]

* Part-time programs are closing their doors. Even Cooley Law took a hit, trimming its incoming class by one-third. Now, only 57 bajillion students get to attend the nation’s second-best law school. [National Law Journal]

* James R. Silkenat was selected as the president-elect at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting, meaning his ascension to the presidency is “virtually assured.” We can only hope that his leadership is as awesome as his combover. [ABA Journal]

* PETA’s Thirteenth Amendment whale slavery lawsuit is heading to court today in California. Maybe we’ll see if what SeaWorld calls a “baseless” and “offensive” lawsuit has got legs. Or flippers. [CNN]

* Polygamy for all! Kody Brown’s bigamy lawsuit will proceed in Utah thanks to Jonathan Turley’s lawyering. Are we going to see the drama play out on season three of Sister Wives this spring? [Associated Press]

* It turns out that Dr. Susan Friery, one of the Boston Globe’s beautiful Massachusetts lawyers of 2009, is just a doctor of laws. She was suspended for claiming otherwise late last week. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Joshua Monson, the suspected serial lawyer stabber, must regret this missed opportunity. While signing documents with his weapon of choice, he allegedly punched a corrections officer in the face. [Daily Herald]

* Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, otherwise known as “The Law Firm,” was supposed to go to law school. And even even with that loss, it looks like he still picked the right career path. [New York Times]

Insert face of law school student above.

Instead of hiring a new professor to teach Cross-Cultural Comparison of Masturbatory Prohibitions, I want law schools to start paying six-figure salaries to the people they hire to work in their career services offices. I want U.S. News to include the number of CSO professionals and money spent on CSOs as data points in their law school rankings. I want deans to start asking rich alumni if they would like to donate to help fight mental disability and extreme laziness in career services offices.

Because honestly, the lack of effort put in by career services professionals at the nation’s law schools really seems to be out of hand. Maybe they’ve just been collectively beaten down by the years of terrible job prospects and the throngs of students in need of help. Maybe they believe that there really is nothing they can do, and they are significantly more worried about protecting their own jobs than finding jobs for eager law students. Maybe the lack of institutional support and respect for their efforts makes them feel like second-class citizens whenever the Professor of Impractical Studies That Serve No Clients walks into the room.

I don’t know why we’re here, but when you can’t even trust your CSO to effectively cull Symplicity to remove stupid and insulting job prospects like the ones below, it’s time to change the entire approach to law school career services….

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Most law school graduates pass the bar exam with flying colors on the first try. Law schools, of course, are ecstatic when their graduates pass, because it’s something that they can brag about in their brochures. Other law school graduates aren’t so lucky — they fail, and they fail hard. But law schools don’t want you to know about the people who fail the bar exam. They’d like to shove those dirty statistics far, far away from public view.

So what happens when a law school’s graduates fail the bar exam in such great numbers that it becomes national news? Does that law school hang its head in shame and admit defeat? Or does it figure out a way to game the numbers so that next time, it won’t be so embarrassed?

As with most things having to do with numbers, this law school has allegedly made an ill-advised decision to appear more appealing to the public (and the American Bar Association). This law school is allegedly offering its students money in the hopes that they won’t take this summer’s bar exam. But which law school?

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Touchdown Biglaw!

* New York is considering allowing nonlawyer ownership of equity in law firms. If that somehow means we’ll see less Jacoby & Meyers commercials on television, then I’m definitely all for it. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Football’s labor lockout legal fees: which Biglaw firms scored huge touchdowns thanks to their collective bargaining work? The three top billers included Latham, Dewey & LeBoeuf, and Patton Boggs. [Am Law Daily]

* The sanctions for filing a 9/11 conspiracy claim cost $15K, but forever being remembered as the lawyers who got benchslapped for drafting “a product of cynical delusion and fantasy” is priceless. [Reuters]

* Jared Loughner is still incompetent to stand trial, and he’ll remain in the loony bin for another four months. You know what that means? Time to make this kid swallow some more pills. [Arizona Republic]

* A panel of law professors over at Harvard thinks that while law schools have problems, but they’re certainly not in crisis mode yet. Not yet? You hear that Team Strauss/Anziska? Needs moar lawsuits! [Harvard Crimson]

* Well, that was a short-lived victory. Heather Peters, the former lawyer who beat Honda in small claims court, is preparing to do battle with the car company in Superior Court. [Los Angeles Times]

Hey, little boy, do you want to go to law school?

I got home from New York last night, exhausted and ready to sleep in my own bed instead of a different couch every night. I noticed a couple things as soon as I set foot into the San Francisco airport. Everyone here wears jeans. Us Californians love our casual clothes. Also, fried food and all meat products and candy are outlawed here, so we are all in excellent shape. We have and enjoy trees, and we live in apartments large enough to have closets.

For better or worse, there are a lot of things about California that make us different and drive Newt Gingrich to say he wants to shut down our region’s federal appeals court.

One of our specialties is our penchant for unaccredited law schools. Say what you will about them — there are advantages and disadvantages — but what about an online only, unaccredited law school that spams law school students who have already enrolled at other, more prestigious institutions?

Shady? Or brilliant marketing strategy? Decide for yourself, courtesy of a generous tipster….

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The last time we wrote about somebody on the Emory Law faculty trying to “help out” struggling, jobless Emory Law students, we were covering the train wreck of a commencement speech by professor Sara Stadler. She told graduating law students, many of whom didn’t have a job, to “get over” their sense of entitlement.

You’d think that the Emory faculty wouldn’t risk condescending to their students again, even in the name of trying to help them. But sitting in my inbox is a series of emails from Sarah Shalf, the director of the Emory field placement program, offering students the opportunity to babysit kids and “network” at her Super Bowl party.

Condescending? For a certain point of view, absolutely. But Shalf is honestly trying to help, and she’s using her party to do more for students than Emory Law career services is really doing right now. It’s not her fault that Emory Law students are so desperate for job opportunities that babysitting at a Super Bowl party where judges and lawyers will be represents a good deal.

Such a good deal that Shalf had to devise an application process for the babysitting gig….

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Or, maybe sometimes you should.

Due to the current weakness in the job market for environmental journalists, Columbia’s dual degree program in Earth & Environmental Science Journalism will not be accepting new students for the foreseeable future.

– A note posted on the official website for Columbia University’s Dual Masters program in Earth and Environmental Science Journalism.

(I feel like I’ve heard this before, in some sort of parallel universe. More on this, after the jump.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quote of the Day: Ground Control to ABA, Are You Listening?”

As we noted yesterday, it seems like law schools are eager to sell off the naming rights to, well, just about anything that exists within their hallowed hallways. At top-tier schools like Harvard Law, they name their men’s bathrooms after notable alumni. At lower ranked law schools, however, it seems that notable law professors aren’t even worthy of a urinal cake.

Instead, they’re being treated like yesterday’s garbage. That’s right, folks, BYU Law has outdone Harvard by slapping a former professor’s name on an itsy-bitsy trash can….

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Professor Philip Bobbitt

In 2008, we profiled celebrity law professor Philip Bobbitt. Professor Bobbitt has a breathtaking résumé, featuring degrees from Princeton (A.B.), Yale (J.D.), and Oxford (Ph.D.); distinguished government service, for both Democratic and Republican administrations; and numerous acclaimed books, including Constitutional Fate: Theory of the Constitution (1982), The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History (2002), and Terror and Consent: the Wars for the Twenty-first Century (2008) (affiliate links). For a very thorough enumeration of his amazing accomplishments, read his excellent Wikipedia page.

Our profile drew heavily upon a New York Observer piece that dubbed him “the James Bond of Columbia Law School.” What did Professor Bobbitt do to earn that sobriquet?

“His mannerisms just kind of ooze a James Bondian kind of quality,” says Vishal Agraharkar, a former [Legal Methods] student and a teaching assistant for this year’s class. “Someone who acts like that in class and outside class we assumed must have just an incredible personal life. James Bond has a hell of a personal life, so he must as well.”

Well, it appears that Professor Bobbitt, 63, does have one heck of a personal life. Over the past few days, we’ve received some rather interesting information about the good professor’s love life. The reports go something like this: “Professor Bobbitt married one of his students! Over the Christmas holiday! She’s a 3L at Columbia Law! And a Turkish princess! They were married at the Supreme Court! By one of the justices!”

As is generally the case with juicy gossip, most of this is true — but some of it is not. Here’s the real story, based on my interview with Professor Bobbitt himself. And wedding photos, of course….

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