Law Schools

Notice how this is a child? Don't act like a child.

True story: when I was a lawyer, sometimes I’d leave work and fantasize about jumping in front of a slow moving bus or cab and getting injured. Not enough to be in a life-threatening situation, just serious enough to be put in some ward of the hospital where my doctors wouldn’t allow me to do any more work. I knew just having a “note” from the doctor or being “sick” wasn’t enough. If you could see, you could review documents. So I needed an injury where somebody would prevent my employer from making me do any more work.

And an injury that was serious enough to allow me to quit would have kept my parents off my back. That’s the real business. If I had gotten, say, my left arm chopped off (I’m right handed), I figured I could credibly explain to my family that I had “a moment of clarity” and didn’t want to “waste my life in an office” anymore. Then I wouldn’t look like a “quitter” to my friends and family, and I’d look almost heroic for efforts to overcome my new disability. It would have worked!

I never did it, obviously. Eventually, I realized that quitting my job and dealing with the disappointment of my family and the unfounded perception that I “couldn’t cut it” from my friends was way more intelligent than cutting off my arm. And I think history has proven me right.  For instance, I have two arms, which is awesome.

But I thought about it — you think about all kinds of crazy things when you feel overwhelmed with work. It seems like a Brazilian university student took her thoughts a step further. To avoid completing her dissertation, she faked getting kidnapped….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What Would You Do To Avoid Doing Homework? Would You Get Kidnapped?”

* Chief Justice John Roberts might “enjoy that he’s being criticized,” but that’s probably because he’ll get the chance to show his true conservative colors this fall when issues like affirmative action and same-sex marriage are before SCOTUS. [Reuters]

* Dewey know why this failed firm thinks a bankruptcy judge is going to allow it to hand out $700K in “morale” bonuses? You better believe that Judge Martin Glenn is going to tell D&L where it can (indicate). [Bankruptcy Beat / Wall Street Journal]

* It seems like attorneys at Freshfields may actually need to get some sleep, because it was the sole Magic Circle firm to report a decline in in revenue and profitability in its latest financial disclosure statements. [Financial Times (reg. req.)]

* Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. didn’t do George Zimmerman any favors when he set his bond at $1M. Watch how quickly the defense fund Zimmerman concealed from the court disappears as he struggles to post bail. [CNN]

* Whatever it takes (to count you as employed): 76% of law schools report that they’ve now changed their curriculum to include more practical skills courses in light of the dismal job market. [National Law Journal]

* Texas Christian University is expanding its graduate programs, but a law school isn’t necessarily in the works, because TCU is only interested in “programs that promote employability.” Well, sh*t, y’all. [TCU 360]

* Who needs a Declaration of Internet Freedom when the government supports protesting citizens who go buckwild in the streets? The European Union voted against ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. [Associated Press]

* Kenneth Schneider, the former Debevoise & Plimpton associate serving a 15-year sentence for forcing a Russian teenager to be his sex slave, was suspended from practice pending further disciplinary proceedings. [New York Law Journal]

* Glenn Mulcaire, the investigator who intercepted voicemail messages on behalf of News of the World, lost a bid to remain silent about who commissioned his services. Rupert’s gonna be sooo pissed. [New York Times]

* Congratulations to the team from the University of Chicago Law School that won the United States Supreme Court Prediction Competition. They won $5K for betting on their Con Law nerd-dom. [SCOTUS Competition]

* Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. is expected to rule on George Zimmerman’s motion for bond today, and perhaps he won’t be so quick to forget that the defendant already lied to the court to get out of jail. [Orlando Sentinel]

* “You can’t just arbitrarily add anything you want to a sentence.” Well, it looks like you can, because in addition to jail time, a judge in South Carolina tacked on a Biblical book report to this woman’s sentence. [Daily Mail]

Ed. note: Your Above the Law editors are busy celebrating their freedom today (and we hope that you are, too). We will return to our regular publication schedule on Thursday, July 5.

* At this point, the Supreme Court’s dramatic deliberations on the Affordable Care Act are like a leaking sieve. Now we’ve got dueling narratives on Chief Justice Roberts’s behind-the-scenes flip-flopping. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Life, liberty, and the pursuit of fabulosity! The Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to grant cert on two DOMA cases, contending that Section 3 of the statute is unconstitutional. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* A famous fabulist: according to California’s State Bar, disgraced journalist Stephen Glass is a “pervasive and documented liar,” but that’s not stopping him from trying to get his license to practice law. [Los Angeles Times]

* Clayton Osbon, the JetBlue pilot who had an epic mid-flight nutty and started ranting about religion and terrorists, was found not guilty by reason of insanity by a federal judge during a bench trial. [New York Post]

* After a month of bizarre legal filings, Charles Carreon has dropped his lawsuit against Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal. We’re hoping that there will be an awesome victory cartoon drawn up soon. [Digital Life / Today]

* Northwestern Law is the only American law school to have joined a 17-member global justice league geared toward legal teaching and research collaborations. But do they get cool costumes? [National Law Journal]

* UNC Law received two charitable gifts totaling $2.7M that will be used to fund tuition scholarships for current and future students. Maybe their students won’t have to create tuition donation sites anymore. [Herald-Sun]

* This law is for the birds (literally and figuratively). California’s ban on the sale of foie gras had only been in effect for one day before the first lawsuit was filed to overturn it as unconstitutional. [San Francisco Chronicle]

* The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce recently announced that mermaids do not exist. Not to worry — it’s still legal to believe that Ariel is a babe. [New York Daily News]

Alec Baldwin was such a stud.

* Obama’s win for health care reform didn’t result in a polling bump for him, but it did result in an even higher disapproval rating for SCOTUS, at least as far as Republicans are concerned… [POLITCO; CBS News]

* … which may be why Chief Justice John Roberts escaped to “an impregnable island fortress” to avoid the Right’s fury, criticism, and scorn as soon as he could after the ACA opinion dropped. [New York Times]

* “[W]e have learned from the mistakes that were made.” That lesson only cost a few billion dollars. GlaxoSmithKline will pay $3B in the largest health-care fraud settlement in U.S. history. [Wall Street Journal]

* After losing a bid to quash a subpoena, Twitter has to turn over info about an #OWS protester’s tweets. OMG, please respond to that thing in 140 characters or less. [Bloomberg]

* Unlike most recent law school grads, Yale Law’s Vanessa Selbst hasn’t been hedging her bets in bar prep classes. Instead, she went all in, played her cards right, and won $244K at the World Series of Poker. [ESPN]

* Divorce really does bring out the best in people. Alec Baldwin says that if given the chance, he would murder his ex-wife Kim Basinger’s lawyer “with a baseball bat.” Gee, tell us how you really feel. [New York Post]

Everything's coming up Miami.

The University of Miami School of Law has been one of the schools that has made real efforts to keep law school affordable and valuable for its students. You’ll remember that back in 2009, the school decided to defer some of its incoming class because there were just too many of them. The people who were not deferred just graduated as part of the class of 2012, and I bet they’re happy they aren’t competing with even more graduates for a job. The school’s dean, Patricia White has also fought to keep tuition low.

In fact, Dean White promised the class of 2014 that their tuition would not go up while they were at Miami. A tipster sent us in video of Dean white making the promise — along with an announcement that tuition would be going up at Miami for the 2012-2013 academic year.

But have no worries, Miami friends. After we contacted Dean White’s office, she told us that she’d be keeping her promise to the class of 2014…

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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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Courtship Connection SF: ‘Law School Has Ruined Her’”

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Debt-Laden Law Grad Featured in NYT Article on Perils of Law School Suspected of Murder”

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Law School Finally Admits That Its Graduates May Never Be Employed ‘At All’”

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