Duke University 2L Andrew Blumberg is a “Simpsons Superfan,” a designation that got him an appearance on the “Food Network Challenge” this past weekend. The challenge was to create a cake inspired by the Simpsons episode, “Last Tap Dance in Springfield”. Four “superfans” were paired with professional cake designers to ensure character fidelity in the final creations.
Blumberg was paired with a professional cake designer to craft a Bart Simpson cake. Almost anyone between the ages of 20 and 55 would likely claim the mantle of Simpson fan. How do you qualify as a “superfan”? From Duke Law News:
Qualifying as one of the show’s four “superfans” took more than just logging hours in front of the television, though. “One of the things I said that I think resonated with them was that I incorporate the Simpsons into the rest of my life,” Blumberg says.
Take, for example, the project he has been working on with Duke Law Professor Barak Richman to create a DVD that explains contracts using clips from Simpsons episodes. “That was one of the things that made me stand out from the crowd,” he says.
Mad points for any ATL reader who remembers the name of the stripper character that appeared in just one Simpsons episode (no Googling).
So how did Blumberg do on the show?
Career service offices can be scary places these days, given the tough job-searching environment for law school students. The summer plans of many 1Ls and 2Ls are still up in the air this year, as firm offers are sparse.
Many law school students have given up hope of finding a job. One law school may be giving up hope too. Boston College Law School is considering an alternative to a summer gig: summer classes.
From an email sent out by BC Law Associate Dean Mike Cassidy:
We have heard from many students that the summer legal job market is very difficult, and that if there were an option to earn credit for summer study (while perhaps working in a non legal setting to pay the bills) some students might find this option very attractive, especially if it would help them accelerate their degrees.
So BC students may be able to spend the summer working as Starbucks baristas while taking classes. Are they really raring to finish up their degrees and get into the job market for real?
Trick-or-treaters can get into serious trouble on Halloween. Especially if their Halloween activities involve arson. Or blackface. Or guns.
A student at BYU Law School donned a costume last week that was police-raid worthy. From the Salt Lake Tribune:
When Attorney General Mark Shurtleff spoke at a BYU Law School criminal procedures class Thursday, one law student came to class dressed in full SWAT gear, including an armor belt, and some students said he had carried a gun on campus, although they weren’t sure it was real.
Yeah, that’s probably taking All Saints’ Day Eve a little too far.
This semester we have received several warnings from our Internet service provider that copyrighted movies and TV shows are being downloaded illegally via our wireless network. The Information Technology office is now ascertaining who is doing this. Once we have names of the individuals involved, we intend to give them to the copyright holders for enforcement purposes.
This stance proved unpopular with BLS students, as well as ATL readers. In a poll, about 75 percent of readers answered “yes” when asked, “Should Brooklyn Law School do more to protect its students from being sued for illegal downloading?”
It seems that Brooklyn Law School has had a change of heart. Check out the email that went out this afternoon, plus selected reader comments, after the jump.
Today we received this e-mail from the administration, which is causing quite an uproar among the student body.
The gist of it seems to be that, contrary to the practice of other schools, BLS will begin actively investigating [illegal] downloading and proactively providing names of people to media [companies] so [the individuals in question] can be sued.
I believe the typical practice at other schools (graduate and undergraduate) and institutions is to wait for a subpoena and either cooperate or fight the subpoena, not to go out of their way to inform on their students.
The total cost of attendance at Brooklyn Law for the 2009-2010 academic year, for full-time students not living with their parents (God forbid), is a shade over $66,000. Shouldn’t that buy BLS’s silence?
Or is the law school in the right here? Shouldn’t law students, i.e., future lawyers, know and follow the law? UPDATE: Brooklyn Law has announced a change in this policy.
Read the email and take a poll, after the jump.
Last week, we mentioned the disturbing employment statistics for the University of Colorado Law School. Colorado Law Week had reported that only 35% of the school’s students were employed upon graduation.
Apparently the publication got it wrong. After doing some digging, a Colorado Law professor explained how the mistake was made:
The news story got the stat backwards: as of May 2009 graduation, we had 35% unemployed, not 35% employed. Of course, even 35% unemployed is unfortunate, and much worse than CU law’s ordinarily strong employment figures: in the prior two years (i.e., pre-recession), we had just 11-17% unemployed upon graduation, and that figure dropped to only 3-6% unemployed 9 months after graduation, a stat that had made us proud. I don’t know other schools’ figures, but it’s very unfortunate the newspaper decided to single out CU based on an incorrect stat.
Well, that’s a big difference. Colorado’s accurate “employed upon graduation” statistic probably brings it in line with quite a number of state law schools.
The numbers are still far from ideal, and prospective law students should take note (and consider learning a marketable skill like plumbing). But at least students heading for the Rockies don’t have to be disproportionately concerned about their career prospects.
The competition between NYU Law and Columbia Law is always fierce — even when it is a race to the penny-pinching bottom. Two weeks ago, we told you that Columbia is now charging students for plastic forks (though chopsticks remain free).
Not to be outdone, a disgruntled NYU Law tipster reports:
So I’m in my last year at NYU Law and just had a fairly shocking experience…. I went to the lounge to get a cup for water from the water fountain. I grabbed a cup and walked away, and the cashier yelled at me. I thought she thought I was stealing a cup of coffee, so I told her I just wanted water. She said “that’s 25 cents.” I said “no, I just want water.” She said “I know,that’ll be 25 cents. We have to pay for those cups.” The worst part? It was a cup from Starbucks with the “we proudly serve Starbucks coffee” logo on the side.
Indignation from our tipster, plus a clarification about Columbia cutlery, after the jump.
Yesterday, UC Hastings College of Law told its students about next year’s prospective tuition. Due to the graphic nature of the content below, viewer discretion is advised. Please remember that Hastings is a public law school:
Let’s put those horrifying figures in appropriate context, Stanford Law School’s tuition for this academic year is $42,420. Stanford of course could go as high as Hastings in 2010 – 2011. But at least right now it looks like students will pay more to go law school at Hastings than at Stanford. Tsu-nami, Snake! Tsunami!
After the jump, the Daily Journal tries to make sense of it all.
CORRECTION: It appears that the jobless rate reported below is INCORRECT. Please click here for the correct information.
I really hope that students at the University of Colorado Law School have enjoyed their time in Boulder. I hear it is beautiful country out there. But it’s no country for old law students who want a job. The ABA Journal reports on the terrible employment situation for Colorado law students:
The numbers are bleak for the class of 2009 at the University of Colorado School of Law.
About 35 percent of the students had jobs at graduation, down from 55 percent the year before, Law Week Colorado reports.
On a totally related note, Law Week Colorado has this interesting statistic from the July 2009 Colorado bar exam:
In 2009, more people passed the July Colorado bar exam than in any other year this decade. But the boom in the number of new lawyers is happening during a bust in the job market.
Future Colorado law students, please take note. There are no jobs for you. Do not apply. I repeat, “The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead. And the dead keep it. The way is shut.”
For those already in the pipeline, is there any hope?
A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned the Princeton Review law school rankings. The rankings are based on law student surveys, which may explain why the rankings bear little relationship to reality.
But Paul Caron of Tax Prof Blog has looked at Princeton Review’s underlying data, and he’s come up with some interesting info about how much law students are studying.
Here are the top ten schools in terms of study hours per day:
Villanova law students, you guys are lying. You cannot possibly average 7.5 hours of study a day unless you are (a) skipping class or (b) really dumb.
After the jump, let’s take a look at the schools that report the least amount of study time.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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