Law Schools

This Bachelor wasn't impressed with the credentials of one Illini 2L.

Still reeling from the producers’ decision to include one Latino contestant four seasons ago, The Bachelor franchise is back in Narnia this season with another all-white cast vying for the heart of Ben Flajnik, Sonoma’s most eligible winemaker and Geico Caveman lookalike. During the opening montage on the first episode, we see Ben drive a tractor, examine dirt, and wear a dusty leather vest — all key indicators that Ben is serious about his business.

Will such a serious career man be able to find love among this season’s pack of Dental Consultants, Trading Clerks, VIP Cocktail Waitresses, and other C-level executives? Luckily, he doesn’t have to. Also available for fake engagement this season is a sexy, seasoned Biglaw attorney.

Just kidding! Erika Uhlig, 23, is a completely average-looking 2L at the University of Illinois College of Law. Before that, she was a poli sci major at the University of Pittsburgh, and before that, she was Miss Chesterfield, Virginia 2006. Here she is singing the national anthem off-pitch in a dress from Dynasty.

To precisely no one’s shock, one of Erika’s law school classmates contacted ATL and opined that “she’s a b**ch”….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Illinois 2L Is Kicked Off the Bachelor, Pranked By Classmates”

When you are a transfer student, you are constantly fighting for respect. If you don’t think your non-transfer classmates look down on how you gunned your way into their school despite whatever faults kept you out the first time, you really aren’t paying attention to your surroundings.

But most transfer students do feel the sting, and they try like hell to prove that they belong.

Which is just weak. Come on, there’s nothing worse than trying to interact with somebody who has a huge chip on his shoulder. Actually, the annoyingness of transfers is directly related to the rank of the school: the better the ranking, the more annoying the kids who transfer in.

Call it “elite law school problems.” One of the pleasures of going to an elite school is that you get to spend time around people who aren’t frustrated that they couldn’t get into a better school with better prospects. There’s a calmness on campus; everybody’s doing their thing, everybody feels like things are going to work out. Then the transfers get there and they’re gunning, and annoying, and have ridiculous bro stories about bombing the LSAT, “But it’s ALL GOOD, ’cause I’m HERE NOW buddy, YEAH. I’m taking a class with PROFESSOR FAMOUS PANTS which will really help in my CALLBACK at [mid-tier firm that is actually a fallback option for people at elite schools] DAY.

Sigh. At least that’s how transfer students talk to non-transfers. We don’t often get to see how transfer students talk among themselves.

But today, we’ve got a whole transfer student email thread from Stanford Law School — and boy, like Fredo in the Godfather, they want respect….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “You Can Transfer the Student into Stanford, But You Can’t Transfer the Stanford into the Student”

There’s a really funny post up on Constitutional Daily, in which the protagonist — who holds a J.D. from NYU Law and was laid off from Biglaw during the recession — recounts his inability to secure a job at Target. It got me thinking of that other great lie that law schools tell incoming law students: “Yada yada, you can do anything with a law degree… also, I’d like to interest you in partial ownership of the Brooklyn Bridge.”

But many J.D. holders have found out the hard way that holding a law degree only opens doors to “law” jobs. They aren’t degrees of general utility.

If anything, they close more doors than they open….

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Robert Ringley

Throughout our coverage of Robert Ringley, the Ave Maria School of Law student accused of attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, many have offered up their comments about the alleged occurrence, and thoughts about law school in general. This comment was perhaps the most fitting of them all:

Law school is a mental illness factory. If you go in healthy, you’ll come out bitter, angry, and depressed. If you go in unhealthy… well, you risk coming out a murderer.

Yesterday, some described Ringley as easygoing, funny, and carefree. But were those traits just used as a cover-up to mask Ringley’s darker side? We’ve got some additional insights on the alleged perpetrator’s state of mind, plus news on his status at Ave Maria Law….

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* Occupy Wall Street supporters, please take note: this is how you stage a protest. Yesterday’s internet blackout definitely made lawmakers think twice. SOPA bill backers dropped like flies. [New York Times]

* The American Bar Association may be taking baby steps toward improving the way law schools report graduate employment and salary statistics, but progress is progress. [National Law Journal]

* A judge has nixed Duncan Law’s request for injunctive relief against the ABA. Because really, what’s the harm in a memo about a lack of accreditation when you never had it in the first place? [ABA Journal]

* Proskauer Rose is down to get dirty with Edwards Wildman. Gregory Rasin, a labor and employment partner, will be representing the firm in its love triangle lawsuit. [Am Law Daily]

* New Jersey needs nugs now! A civil lawsuit against the Garden State’s health department is in the works due to an alleged delay in implementing its medical marijuana program. [Star-Ledger]

Many months have passed since our last report on the hiring of Supreme Court law clerks. We are getting ready to do a new report. If you have SCOTUS clerk hiring news for October Term 2012 or October Term 2013 that we have not yet reported, please email us (subject line: “SCOTUS Clerk Hiring”). In order to check whether or not we’ve already reported a particular clerk hire for OT 2012 or OT 2013, please go back and review our last hiring report before contacting us.

In the meantime, we have a special gift for you. Last July, we shared with you the Supreme Court’s official list of law clerks for the October Term 2011 (i.e., the clerks currently toiling at One First Street). We noted at the time that “this list does not include law school and prior clerkship information, which the [Public Information Office] will release later this year.”

We now have that updated list of OT 2011 Supreme Court law clerks, featuring law school and prior clerkship data, courtesy of the Public Information Office. Let’s look at the list, and count up which law schools and feeder judges sent the most folks over to One First Street….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: The Updated Official List for October Term 2011, and a Request for Tips”

The faculty at NYU Law are our poster children for law professors who lazily reuse old exams, instead of ripping themselves away from their largely unread law review articles long enough to write a new issue spotter.

Apparently, the school really likes being on that poster. Despite the fact that we’ve been highlighting this issue at the school since at least 2009, the faculty continues to use old exams. Students who find them enjoy an unfair advantage over students who are not skilled in the art of internet sleuthing. In fact, it seems NYU Law doesn’t even have a fully thought-out policy regarding exam reuse.

It must be a great life. Every time an NYU Law prof reuses an old exam (to the outrage of students), I have to write an entirely new post — even though the underlying issues of laziness and disregard for student concerns are the same. But if I were employed by NYU, I wouldn’t even have to go through the motions, I could just take the most recent post I wrote decrying the NYU Law faculty doing this, change the dates, and go back to watching the Australian Open on television. Does anybody know if NYU is hiring?

Actually, the latest example really is deserving of its own post. Because this time an NYU Law Vice Dean got into the mix and exposed a disturbing lack of understanding about the problem…

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With some of the truly horrible stuff going on in law these days — law students allegedly trying to kill each other, managing partners having affairs with their subordinates’ wives — it’s almost reassuring to know that people can still afford to get crazily worked up about good old-fashioned nothing.

Some behaviors are the equivalent of anger comfort food. Crappy parking jobs, really annoying commercials, and school lunch theft.

One of the top law schools in California is embroiled in a lunch thievery epidemic. The situation has gotten so out of hand that the Student Bar Association has sent an email to the entire school about the problem.

Any guesses as to which university needs to bump up its cafeteria security?

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Robert Ringley

Earlier this week, we brought you news about Robert Christopher Ringley, the second-year student at Ave Maria School of Law who stands accused of shooting at and threatening to kill two of his classmates — Christopher Graves and Samantha Morris — during an alleged drunken bender.

In case you missed our coverage, Ringley has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Prior to his arrest, Ringley allegedly shared his feelings with Morris, his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend, while pacing back and forth with a gun:

“Just tell me you love me. I love you. I can kill myself. I can kill you. It’s simple.”

Creepy and melodramatic. Not a good way to keep a failing relationship intact, bro. So, who is the man who stole Ave Maria’s long-worn shroud of infamy from Andrew Shirvell, former Michigan assistant attorney general and outspoken opponent of homosexuality?

A former classmate has stepped forward to give us all the details….

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Kyle McEntee (left) and Patrick Lynch (right), co-founders of Law School Transparency (LST).

Late last year, plaintiffs’ lawyer David Anziska pledged to make 2012 “the year of law school litigation.” Anziska, who’s currently spearheading efforts to sue law schools over allegedly misleading employment statistics, told my colleague Staci Zaretsky that he and his team members “want to sue as many law schools as we can to bring them into the fray.”

That’s all well and good — for plaintiffs’ lawyers, and for news outlets like ours seeking juicy stories to cover. But there are other ways to achieve reform. So here’s another thought: Could 2012 instead be the year of law school transparency? Transparency achieved voluntarily, by law schools coming forward on their own to share comprehensive data about how their graduates are faring in the job market?

In the weeks since we wrote about the University of Chicago Law School providing very detailed employment data about its recent graduating classes, based on our interview with Dean Michael Schill, we’ve heard from deans, professors, alumni and students of other law schools, all with similar messages. They believe that their schools, like Chicago, are also transparent about graduate employment outcomes — and they want to be recognized for it.

This chorus of “me too!” messages raises a promising possibility: Is law school transparency becoming, for lack of a better word, “cool”? Will honesty about employment data become the hot new trend for U.S. legal education?

Perhaps. But there’s still a long way to go, as shown by a report issued this week by Law School Transparency….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Transparency: Who’s Naughty and Who’s Nice?”

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