Law Schools

At some point law students have to take responsibility for their own choices in professional schools.

Yes, we know that schools purposely mislead prospective law students about the glories of going to law school. And we know that the American Bar Association won’t hold law schools accountable. And we know that the economy is tough and going to school, any school, can seem like a good place to hide for three years.

But there really is enough information floating around on the internet warning potential law students about what they are getting into. If law students choose to disregard that information and instead rely on the fantastical promises of some unranked regional law school, they really have nobody but themselves to blame. You can marry the reformed prostitute, but you can’t be surprised when you find out she’s had sex with half of your buddies.

So, while normally I’d feel sorry for this kid who wrote a “Dear John” letter breaking up with his law school, I also what to grab this guy by the throat and scream, “What did you think was going to happen?”

At this point in time, if you believe what American legal education is trying to sell you, it’s your own damn fault….

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New partners, jumping for joy.

Is making partner at a major law firm as desirable as it used to be? In an interesting article in the New York Times about the growing trend of lawyers leaving large firms to start their own boutiques, Margie Grossberg, a partner at the legal recruiting firm of Major, Lindsey & Africa, offered these observations: “In the past, associates found if they worked really hard and did the right things, they made partner. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. The odds are a lot slimmer, and it’s also not as coveted as it once was.”

These are all fair comments. Note also the number of partners who leave Biglaw behind for other opportunities, such as in-house posts, or government or judicial service.

At the same time, however, let’s face it: being a partner at a top law firm is still highly desirable. The pay, prestige, and perks are tremendous. In a recent survey of new partners by the American Lawyer, over 80 percent of respondents said their new jobs were either what they expected or better than they expected. As Aric Press of Am Law noted, “new partners are basking in the land of more: more money, more responsibility, and more information about their firms.”

This is especially true of partners at firms near the top of the Biglaw hierarchy — places like Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, with profits per partner in 2010 of $3.17 million and $2.64 million, respectively. They both announced new partnership classes this month.

Let’s learn about the new partners at CSM and STB. Maybe you know some of them — from college, or law school, or a case or matter you’ve worked on….

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Sometimes I wonder why law schools don’t institute mandatory nap times. Sometimes law students just need to take a little break — a little “time-out” before proceeding with their day.

Some people will say that today’s stupid law student email of the day comes from a rat. A snitch. A person who betrayed the trust of his fellow classmates.

Others will say it comes from a whistleblower. A person of conscience. A student who saw a wrong being committed and decided to speak up.

Either way, it comes from a person who needed to take a break, a nap, a siesta, before rattling off an email to his entire class….

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* The American Bar Association can’t handle law schools, yet Obama trusts them to vet potential judicial nominees. Well, seems like they’re doing a bang-up job with that, too. [New York Times]

* First the New Jersey bar exam results, and now more MF Global drama. Angry investors want to know if a lawsuit will help Jon Corzine remember where he put the missing $600M. [Bloomberg]

* Law school debt increased by $475M between 2008 and 2010. Grab a raincoat, because this bubble’s going to burst soon, and it’s not going to be pretty (except for Cooley Law; they’ll be rich). [Am Law Daily]

* And on that note, what on earth was Cornell Law thinking? Did they fail to realize that their Cooley rankings would plummet if they decimated their library square footage? [Cornell Daily Sun]

* UC Berkeley: “We never like to hurt our students.” Yeah, apparently that’s what the police are for. Occupy Berkeley protesters are suing the school over police brutality allegations. [Huffington Post]

Dear Suffolk University Law School Administrators: Your Michael Avery problem is not going away (and not just because he has tenure).

On Veterans Day, we told you about Avery, a Suffolk Law professor with a real bug up his ass when it comes to care packages for troops serving overseas. Not long after our story, Suffolk released a wacky statement in which they tried to seem supportive of everybody and everything.

I told them at the time that wouldn’t work.

Now, an adjunct law professor currently in Kabul has cut ties with Suffolk because of Avery, and Suffolk is now in the uncomfortable position of de facto supporting Avery’s comments against a pissed-off military.

What should the school do now?

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Can a Westlaw or Lexis print-out hide your booze stash? I didn't think so.

* Are Asian American lawyers too nerdy to climb the Biglaw or corporate ladder — or is this just an outdated stereotype? [The Careerist]

* Does having your law school sob story featured on national television count as “employed upon graduation”? (Or, more seriously, here’s an opportunity for an unemployed law school grad.) [Inside the Law School Scam]

* A Notre Dame law professor, Mark McKenna, offers some courageous and deeply personal commentary on the Penn State scandal. [Slate]

* How will SCOTUS vote on Obamacare? Two political science professors, Michael Bailey and Forrest Maltzman, offer predictions. [The Monkey Cage via How Appealing]

Ted Frank

* Congratulations to Ted Frank and CCAF on a big win in the Ninth Circuit. [Center for Class Action Fairness]

* Following in the footsteps of its former employee, Gregory Berry, Kasowitz Benson seeks to conquer Silicon Valley. [Am Law Daily]

* In the age of Lexis and Westlaw, hardbound law books still serve a valuable purpose. [Kickstarter]

* It’s a briefcase branded with your favorite team insignia. But real subtle-like, so other people won’t immediately know you are an alpha jock fan boy. But you will. You’ll always know. [The Fandom Review]

[L]aw school is a very risky (and expensive) investment; it should not be entered into lightly…. [E]ach potential student’s calculus will be based on a host of factors unique to him or her. For some, like an English major (relatively low opportunity costs) who gets some scholarship assistance (somewhat lower out-of-pocket costs) to attend Harvard Law School (relatively high pay-off), the investment in a legal education is almost surely a no-brainer.

– Professor Herwig Schlunk of Vanderbilt University Law School, in a new working paper entitled “Is a Law Degree a Good Investment Today?”

(Additional excerpts and discussion, plus links, after the jump.)

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Prospective law students always get excited when they’re offered application fee waivers. Law school application fees can run high, and getting tossed a freebie is a nice way to give your bank account a break. Normally, these kind of fee waivers aren’t that out of the ordinary. Offering application fee waivers is standard practice at most law schools.

But what happens when a law school offers prospective applicants a fee waiver after its undergraduate institution is involved in one of the biggest college sports scandals of all time? Talk about bad timing….

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Maybe Amora Rachelle missed the day they talked about fraud statutes at Hofstra Law?

There is a crazy story coming out of Long Island, my homeland, about Rachelle, a woman who was arrested for fraud for posing as a psychiatrist and billing insurance companies despite not having a medical license. Rachelle already made the news for secretly videotaping her ex-husband/rabbi meeting with prostitutes on the Sabbath.

But Hofstra students simply know her as the 1L who always wore green….

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Peter Huang

She told me that I had not only embarrassed myself, but also her, my entire immediate family, all Chinese people, all Asian people, all humans, and in fact all carbon-based life forms.

Asian-American law professor Peter Huang of the University of Colorado, opining on the wrath of his tiger mother in an essay entitled “Tiger Cub Strikes Back: Memoirs of an Ex-Child Prodigy About Parenting and Legal Education.”

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