Law Schools

Duke is having a good month. The Blue Devils are heading to the NCAA Final Four this weekend. (Sorry, haters.) And one of the school’s law students, 3L Stephen Rawson, argued before the Fourth Circuit last week.

Like Duke in its Elite Eight game against Baylor, Rawson struggled early on. A few minutes into oral argument, he fainted.

He may have lost consciousness, but he didn’t lose his cool…

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a good, hard laugh at the expense of Michigan law students. As the recession took hold, Michigan students stopped stealing sandwiches and cell phones.

So maybe the latest spate of on-campus douchebaggery at Michigan is a sign that economy is picking back up? Or maybe it’s simply another example of 1Ls who think law school is College 2.0? A tipster reports:

A secret society has been formed by the rich, straight, white men at Michigan Law, apparently because it’s so difficult to find people like that in the Law School. It appears to be a bastardized version of the old Barrister’s Society. Hostility has been high towards the group of ~20 1Ls, and will probably increase with the leaking of internal memos….

Also, Thursday night they put sheets on our residential building roofs. The biggest problem was that nobody could figure out that the weird scrawling was meant to be a stylized “B”. People were milling about and one could hear “I think that’s an M” “I think that one’s an “IS.” The Barristers don’t have great penmanship.

Yeah, we’ve got leaked memos, and art! And if you caught 30 Rock this week, you should know that these guys are not nearly as cool as Twig and Plums …

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A tipster reports that USC’s Gould School of Law has a new proactive solution to student debt: death or permanent and total disability.

That’s right, USC kids. If you can’t get a job coming out of the Gould School of Law, you could always just die. Perhaps not the J.D. you had in mind when you enrolled there.

But “Just Dying” is only one possible solution for your financial problems. USC has some other advice for those not planning on biting it after graduation…

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CORRECTION AND UPDATE (12/6/2010): We are advised as follows by a knowledgeable source: “There was never a charge of ‘fleeing’ the police or anything of the sort. Todd was, in fact, ‘pulled over’ while parked in the parking lot of his hotel and the only charge against him, driving under the influence, has been dismissed.”

We’ve had quite a bit of fun around these parts with the Northwestern Student Bar Association’s role as PC Police for the entire Northwestern Law community. You’ll remember that the Northwestern SBA admonished students for using “any racial or sexual epithet[s]” around exam time — e.g., “that exam raped me.”

But now tipsters report that outgoing SBA president Todd Belcore is in trouble with duly recognized officers of the law, and it’s got nothing to do with his language:

[O]n a school trip to MS, Todd Belcore was arrested for DUI and fleeing from the police. The people on the trip were warned not to discuss the arrest to avoid the news getting to you guys.

Getting hemmed up on a DUI in Mississippi? That is so gay.

Various Mississippi sheriffs’ departments declined to talk about the incident, but additional sources confirmed the reports….

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Here’s a little rule I just made up: People who do poorly in legal writing at New York Law School should not file pro se complaints against their school. It’s a good rule for people who don’t want to embarrass themselves.

I think I’ll call my brand-new maxim the “Timothy Keefe Rule.” The kid deserves something after getting smacked around by a New York appellate court. Here’s the set up, from the First Department opinion in Keefe v. New York Law School:

Plaintiff, a transfer student at defendant law school, commenced this action alleging, inter alia, that defendant breached an implied contract of good faith and fair dealing with him as a result of a grade he received in his Legal Writing II course. Claiming that he was unfairly disadvantaged because he did not take Legal Writing I at the law school, plaintiff seeks to require the law school to change its grading system from letter grades to pass/fail.

Keefe’s suit was dismissed at the Supreme Court level, and the dismissal was affirmed by the Appellate Division. I sure do hope he tries one more time at the Court of Appeals, because this is the kind of terrible argument I can’t get enough of …

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We’ve written before about clever and mortifying business cards for lawyers. But everyone would agree that business cards are essential for practicing attorneys.

What about for attorneys-to-be, i.e., law students? A reader asks:

Emails have been gone around NYU and Columbia law schools recently about business cards. More specifically, about me needing to buy school business cards.  Is this normal? Do 1Ls and 2Ls actually need business cards that read “Columbia Law J.D. Candidate 2012?”

Consensus seems to be that they’re incredibly douchey and pretentious, but is it actually helpful for networking events and EIP/OCI? I know a few students have them…. but is this something to which I should give serious consideration? Is this the norm among law schools and I’m just ignorant? Or is this just some more junk advice from career services?

One of our tipsters has a very strong opinion….

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You have to love it when law students air the dirty laundry about their school over Facebook. But it’s even better when faculty responds to student concerns on Facebook — and better still when faculty get touchy and defensive on Facebook.

All of that is happening at Mercer University School of Law, where students turned a Facebook status update into a bitchfest about the school’s third tier ranking. The blog But I Did Everything Right gives us the backstory:

Mercer University students, faculty, and staff are in open war against each other and themselves over rankings, hiring decisions, and even the school logo. We have uploaded the facebook argument between Professor Donal Christopher Wells and Mercer Law students on Mercer 3L Charlie Grimsley’s facebook page.

Grimsley’s status update started innocently enough:

Things didn’t really get fun until Professor Wells got involved … double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Mercer Law Students Fight With Faculty on Facebook”

We don’t do a lot of reporting on the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. But when an 1L community gets smacked down by one of their own deans for following the best NCAA opening weekend ever, one can’t help but take note.

The set up is simple, as this tipster explains:

This “professionalism” lecture, a mandatory event for 1L’s, consisted of a very conservative attorney/judge/sheriff from Cincinnati talking about the need to return prayer and spanking to schools, and a very liberal ACLU attorney stressing the importance of pro bono representation of child molesters. Event titled “Lawyers: Agents of change, or Preservers of the status quo?” And yes, the entire class of 1L’s were playing on their iPhones during the entire event, following March Madness.

A mandatory “professionalism” lecture during the first night of the NCAA tournament? Isn’t this precisely why God invented the iPhone?

Sadly, Associate Dean Lawrence Rosenthal didn’t seem to enjoy living in our modern age … double red triangle arrows Continue reading “1Ls at Northern Kentucky Law Are Not Very Professional”

Cooley law school logo.jpgWhenever we write about Thomas M. Cooley Law School, commenters cannot resist reminding us of Cooley’s business model. The school admits a large number of 1Ls. If they can’t hack it, they are dismissed.

So what happens to the kids who couldn’t hack it at Cooley? Well, sometimes they sue the school for discrimination. But, because they washed out at Cooley, sometimes they still haven’t learned some very basic 1L principles — like res judicata. Here’s the summary of the Sixth Circuit opinion in the case of Buck v. Thomas M. Cooley Law School:

Plaintiff appeals from the district court’s dismissal of her lawsuit against her former law school as barred by res judicata and a lack of causation. She previously litigated earlier acts of discrimination against her law school in Michigan state courts, and had secured a preliminary injunction allowing her to attend classes. She was then dismissed from the law school on academic grounds. Because plaintiff should have supplemented her complaint in state court with claims that arose during the pendency of that suit, she is precluded by res judicata from raising these claims now. Therefore, we AFFIRM.

It’s a shame that Cooley admits people who can’t understand basic principles of civil procedure. Even if plaintiff Buck had a good argument for setting aside the principle of res judicata, she does a terrible job of making her case to the Sixth Circuit ….

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Franklin Pierce Law Center.JPGWe’ve got another public university in New England looking to acquire a third tier law school. But don’t worry, we’re not looking at another Southern New England School of Law/UMass situation. There, UMass acquired the unaccredited Southern New England under the guise of making a place for public interest lawyers in Massachusetts — at the tune of $23,565/year.
In contrast, the University of New Hampshire wants to form a partnership with Franklin Pierce Law Center — a New Hampshire institution that has been accredited since 1974. Here’s the top news from the FPLC press release:

University of New Hampshire President Mark W. Huddleston and Franklin Pierce Law Center President John D. Hutson announced today that the two institutions have approved an affiliation agreement, the first step in a multi-year process toward full merger. The Pierce Law board unanimously approved the affiliation March 4 and the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees approved it March 15.

As you parse through the press release, you’ll note that there’s not a lot of the disingenuous public interest lawyer rhetoric that UMass/Southern New England tried to sell.

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