Law Schools

Professor William Birdthistle

Welcome to Lawyers & Economics, a new video series on financial topics by Professor William Birdthistle of Chicago-Kent College of Law. Professor Birdthistle, who teaches corporate law, has been preparing well-received videos for his students on a variety of subjects related to economics and finance. We’ve previously linked to some of his work, which received positive reader feedback, so we thought we’d give you a bit more.

After the jump, here’s a short primer on the Greek debt crisis, which remains ongoing. Watch it, so you can sound enlightened the next time this topic comes up at a cocktail party.

It features not just Professor Birdthistle but also a television actor you might recognize, who left Hollywood to become a law student….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyers & Economics: The Greek Debt Crisis”

Law students, we know that finals time is rough, because we’ve all been there. Sometimes getting together with a study group is a great way to take the edge off (not to mention a great way to “suceed” with friends). Amid the excitement of the fall 2011 bonus season, these kids are buckling down and studying their tails off, in the hopes of some day getting a dime of what Biglaw associates are currently complaining about.

And like good little scouts, these law students are prepared. Okay, maybe some of them are a little bit too prepared. When your classmates email us to let us know that they hate studying at the law school because of you, maybe you need to give it a rest….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Finals Give Students the Chance to Occupy Their Law Schools”

Rima Fakih: should she go to jail?

* Close, but no cigar? The ABA has updated the way that it will collect graduate employment and salary data from law schools, but the new method could still use a few tweaks. [National Law Journal]

* Kilpatrick Townsend is expanding into Saudi Arabia. I don’t really have anything witty to say about this, but now the “Arabian Nights” song from Aladdin is stuck in my head. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

* British barristers behaving badly: Kevin Steele, a former Mishcon de Reya partner, was convicted of fraud and forgery charges in connection with a $28M loan scam. They don’t serve tea and crumpets in jail. [Legal Week]

* Joshua Monson, the serial defense attorney stabber, was in court yesterday for sentencing. Still no word on whether he was wheeled in on a Hannibal Lecter-esque gurney to prevent more stabby behavior. [CNN]

* No, Ophelia, when you’re a transgender prisoner in Virginia, the state is not going to pay for your sex change operation, no matter how many courts you appeal to. [Houston Chronicle]

* Will Rima Fakih, 2010’s Miss USA, have to do jail time in Michigan for reportedly being a “super-drunk”? Check back after we get the results from the swimsuit competition. [MLive.com]


Last week, we asked you to pick your choice for the worst law school in New York. It turned out to be one of most active polls on the site. So many of you had strong opinions.

Your choice for the worst law school was overwhelming — so strong that one would hope that the administration would notice and do something to improve the school’s reputation in the community.

But the battle for the worst school in the five boroughs was heated. Let’s check out the results….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Landslide Choice For Worst Law School In New York”

For most law students, finals start this week. For the class of 2014 1Ls, it’s their first finals period.

Good luck to all.

I had a very strict, almost superstitious, regimen to get myself in the mood to take a series of eight hour exams for 100% of my grade. Before finals period, I would watch the fight at the end of the first Rocky. Because the point of finals period isn’t necessarily to win, it’s to go the distance.

My motto was always, “you can learn a lot in eight hours.” My school generally had eight hour take-home exams for 100% of your grade.

The students at Rutgers Law about to encounter their first finals period have a different sort of motto. It’s a very good one….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Let’s Get Ready For Finals”

* Apprenticeship programs sound great (especially to Lat), but will they help you to become a lawyer? Of course they will, but only if you don’t mind failing the bar exam a few times. [National Law Journal]

* According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 100 jobs were added to legal sector in November. Cue unemployed lawyers singing: “Santa baby, slip a law job under the tree, for me?” [Am Law Daily]

* Things you can sell as a practicing attorney: your soul, your dignity, and your standards. Things you can’t sell as a practicing attorney: babies (but it sure is a great way to abort your career). [Daily Mail]

* When you earn $1.50 in attorney’s fees, it’s just not worth it to be nice. Something to remember before you take out six figures of loan debt to become a public interest lawyer. [Wall Street Journal]

* A lesson to be learned by all mothers-in-law: you do not question a man’s sexual prowess, even if there’s a chance that he might be shooting blanks. [New York Post]

In the before times, in the long, long ago, everything about law school was hard. Getting in was hard. Completing the training was hard. Passing the bar was hard. Everything was hard and everything was stressful.

And legal educators and successful lawyers were proud that it was hard. The hardness is what made it mean something. I remember one of the reasons some people in my family told me to go to law school instead of business school was that law school was harder, and thus it intrinsically had more value.

But now, we don’t want law school to be hard. We don’t want thousands of students to break their dreams against high barriers to admission. We don’t want kids to be so stressed out that they spend their first year crying themselves to sleep at night like a new, fleshy prisoner in a penitentiary.

We want law schools to be like a goddamn camp — a goddamn hippie law learning camp where the professors are “down to earth,” and the administrators are there for “encouragement,” and there’s freaking ice cream in the student lounge. Look to your left, now look to your right: all three of you will be getting smiley faces on your transcripts!

This trend to make law schools the “aww shucks” destination for regular folks has made all the way down to Texas, the state that’s supposed to be the balls of this country….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Admissions Office ‘Keeps It Real': Except for the Part About the Value of Going to Law School”

Does George Will look like the protector of Black America to you?

People who think giving charity to those less fortunate also gives them the right to direct the personal choices of those receiving the charity are some of the worst people on the planet. The biggest offenders are religious organizations: “Ooh, here’s some food. Yes. You like food, don’t you? I bet you’re hungry — I can tell ’cause I can see your ribs. Well, it’s all you can eat in here… first, just say you accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. SAY IT. Wonderful. Bon appétit!”

Organizations do it all the time, but there are plenty of individuals who also think giving a guy a buck gives them the right to tell the recipient how to spend the money. This behavior is the worst because it takes what should be a generous gesture (giving somebody money) and turns it into a cheap way to make a BS point about your moral superiority (“If this man did just one thing more like me, he wouldn’t have to beg for my scraps.”).

If you want to help, help. But don’t use “helping” as an excuse to further some ridiculous personal agenda. You’ll just look like an idiot. You’ll just look like George Will prancing around the pages of the Washington Post trying to act like he is against affirmative action because he suddenly wants the Supreme Court to step up to the plate and “help” black people….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “George Will’s Disingenuous Idea on How SCOTUS Can Help Black People”

'She was just asking me for directions, officer.'

* Three days after arguing that an alleged Sandusky victim’s lawsuit lacked any factual basis, Second Mile decided to settle. Better strike while the iron is hot (and the wallet is open), lawyers. [Bloomberg]

* So much for that “real shot,” huh? After a failed bid for bail, Galleon Group’s Raj Rajaratnam will begin serving the longest insider trading sentence ever come Monday. [DealBook / New York Times]

* A memo to all Biglaw bachelors: if your game is anything like that of Kenneth Kratz’s, then it’s not just ethics boards who will think you have an “offensive personality.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

* In Tampa, purchasers of prostitutes’ services will now have their cars impounded. Good thing Miami isn’t adopting this law, eh, Professor Jones? (Allegedly, of course.) [St. Petersburg Times]

* Law school is really tough, so the GMU Law administration has some advice for you: the best way to avoid becoming an alcoholic basket case is to play with cuddly puppies. [Washington Post]

It’s an intriguing question. There are 11 ABA-accredited law schools in New York City and Long Island (I’m including Pace, even though the law school is in White Plains). Personally I love them all. Seriously, any one of them can produce a story about great idiocy that I can make fun of on the internet. That’s all I really care about.

But law students in New York argue over the strengths and weaknesses of their law schools all the time. Or at the very least they often mutter about the idiots across town under their breath.

While some students like to argue that they go to the “best” law school in New York, that’s a less interesting question. And there are so many Yale students running around town (New Haven is only 90 minutes away), so saying you go to the best law school in New York feels a little bit like saying you’re the tallest midget.

It’s a bit douchy to argue over who’s best, but it’s pretty fun to argue over which law school is the worst. Nobody thinks that they go to the absolute worst law school in the city. But that means one student body is dead wrong.

Let’s find out who!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What’s The Worst Law School In New York?”

Page 223 of 3611...219220221222223224225226227...361