Law Schools

Maybe law schools should be more like strip clubs?

There’s been an interesting lawsuit filed in Florida. The father of a woman killed by an allegedly drunk driving law student (who also died in the crash) is suing the driver’s law school for allowing the kid to get liquored up at the school’s “Barrister’s Ball.”

We’ve done a fair amount of stories about drunken shenanigans taking place at these Barrister’s Balls (or law school proms) at law schools across the country. It really makes for a perfect Above the Law story: take booze, add law students, mix with camera phones, and the thing writes itself.

But usually people don’t end up dead. The only thing a Barrister’s Ball is supposed to kill is your Google footprint. Then again, usually there isn’t a (cough, cough) intervening cause between the Ball and the ride home…

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I want you to digest that headline for a moment. This weekend, a rising 2L is going to share his “system” for succeeding in law school, a system he honed — for a whole year — at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The kid is trying to charge people money to attend his seminar.

Oh, but he was really good at law school. He was able to transfer out of TJLS to George Washington University Law School. He starts there in this fall. Success!

Actually, let me give you the full, prestigious biography he posted to Top Law Schools. We’ve also got video footage of the guy, providing “The 21st Century Approach” to succeeding in law school.

That approach, by the way, doesn’t involve books…

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* The ABA is gearing up for its annual meeting in Chicago. I’ll note (with a lack of surprise) that I was not invited. [ABA Journal]

* At that meeting, the ABA will once again consider accrediting foreign law schools. American lawyers have shouted down this idea twice before, but if the ABA has a chance to screw over its constituents it simply must keep trying. [National Law Journal]

* Here, we see NYU’s Dean Richard Revesz defend the economic value of an “expensive” NYU Law degree without actually using any economic facts or statistics. [Constitutional Daily]

* Please tell me this Ted Cruz yahoo wackjob Republican Senatorial candidate isn’t going to become an ongoing part of my life. [Mother Jones]

* Only lawyers could complicate the word “shall” to the point that it loses all meaning. [Legal Blog Watch]

* I thought casinos killed you with the expensive gambling, not the free alcohol. [Overlawyered]

* Another positive review for Mark Hermann’s Inside Straight. [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

* An interesting conversation with NYU professor David Garland about the death penalty. It won’t kill you to check it out. [Cruel and Unusual]


Law students are coming back to campus now, mainly for on-campus interviewing. How is 3L recruiting going for you, class of 2013?

Ha ha, just kidding. Hopefully when these kids decided to go to law school back in 2010 — despite overwhelming evidence that it was a risky proposition — these kids had some kind of back-up plan for just this situation.

Speaking of “overwhelming evidence,” there’s been a fun little infographic making the rounds around the blogosphere. It’s about the “new” trends in the legal market.

I’m not sure these trends are particularly new. In fact, I think these are trends that people should have been aware of for years. But since so many people show up to campus without critically thinking about their post-graduate job prospects, I’m going to guess this infographic is breaking news to a lot of returning law students…

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Florida State College of Law rotunda.

A third-year student at the Florida State University College of Law was arrested and charged in a shooting over the weekend.

An FSU 3L, Jeffrey Heller, allegedly shot another law student, a rising 2L, during an off-campus incident on Saturday morning. Tallahassee police confirm that Heller was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

We understand that the victim is expected to make a full recovery. The booking report is here. (Look for “Jeffrey S. Heller” on the second page of the document.)

We’ve got additional details, including a mugshot and a statement from the school

UPDATE (4:15 PM): We now also have the arrest/probable cause affidavit from the Tallahassee police. According to the police report, this shooting started with a cup of water….

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It’s not every day that the student selected to speak at a law school commencement admits that he went to law school because he watched the movie My Cousin Vinny. You certainly don’t often hear Mr. Cousin Vinny admit that he thought going to law school would be the key to a job with a top salary.

But then again, you don’t often watch the valedictorian’s speech for the class of 2012 at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

The thing is… instructive. I’ve heard a bunch of commencement speeches, but mainly from Ivy League types. The student speaker at a school like Cooley is, well, different.

Take a look, and a listen….

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* Vietnam is now getting on the right side of history. A song, played on a same sex saxophone. A gay man sound, a lesbian sound, a cry that tells us love isn’t just for heteros. It’s telling me, to hold you tight, and dance like homophobia makes no sense in the world. [WSJ Law Blog]

* If corporations are people, that means they also get to have religion. We can’t be too far away from social conservatives trying to ban same-industry corporate mergers. [The Atlantic]

* Yeah, what I really want to hear is a 0L giving advice about how to choose which law school to go to. [Huffington Post]

* Once again, Romney really seems to support some kind of government-mandated health insurance so long as he’s not talking to Americans while he’s running for President. [Wonkblog / Washington Post]

* Whistling at whales could be a crime, because you don’t want to encourage them. No, I’m not making a BBW joke. I’m talking about actual whales. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* So if we ban illegal immigrants from getting government assistance for an abortion, then aren’t we kind of supporting anchor babies? [Associated Press]

* Lat and friend model t-shirts designed by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (for His Honor’s Romanian barbecue). [Twitter]

There was also mention in the story about the school losing its accreditation, which is a minor mistake.

Ron Southwick, city editor at The Patriot-News, commenting on one of the “minor” errors made in the paper’s incorrect report about Penn State’s supposed plan to close the the Carlisle campus of the Dickinson School of Law, which allegedly would have threatened the school’s accreditation. The paper has issued a correction.

Extra credit?

Have you ever thought about having sex with a professor in exchange for a good grade? Don’t lie, we’ve all thought about it. Here in America, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if someone found out about your illicit tryst. Someone might get fired, you might have to retake a class, but that would probably be the end of the story.

But if this had happened in another country, perhaps a country with stricter laws, then the professor in question could be looking at multiple criminal charges, a pretty stiff sentence, and huge monetary fines. And as luck would have it, a sex-for-grades scandal recently occurred in Singapore of all places — the same country that recently “relaxed” its death penalty standards in favor of lifetime imprisonment with caning.

Let’s discuss the allegations of a professor’s hanky-panky with a law student coming straight out of the “Fine Country,” a place where defendants cower in fear over the fines they may face for their alleged behavior….

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When you don't have the facts on your side, just pound the table.

At some point, the students themselves at Rutgers Law – Camden have to stand up and demand better from their dean and their law school administrators.

We’ve done a number of reports about the shenanigans taking place at Rutgers. The school has been caught pushing questionable job statistics that are arguably misleading to prospective students. The school has been caught in a lie (or an incredible mistake) about the indebtedness of students who graduate from Rutgers Law.

But instead of owning up to these mistakes, or (gasp) apologizing for errors that have brought shame and scorn onto the school, Rutgers Law dean Rayman Solomon continues to produce statements that manipulate and obfuscate the truth of the matter.

Rutgers Law students deserve better from their administration. But they won’t get it until they demand that the people running the law school stop trying to sugarcoat everything, and start trying to improve the school’s commitment to transparency….

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