Law Schools

Ed. Note: Will the Lost Generation ever find its way back into Biglaw? If recent law school graduates can’t find a Biglaw job straight out of school, or if they were laid off from their initial Biglaw job, the chances of them having a Biglaw career seem unlikely.

But not impossible. This new column is written by a member of the Lost Generation who initially was thrown off of the Biglaw bandwagon but was able to get back on, and is now trying to hang on to his Biglaw second chance.

The first thing many of you must wonder when some new writer infiltrates your daily ATL intake is, “Who the hell is this girl or guy?” Thus, before I begin telling you how it is in my world, let me tell you who I am.

I am T-Fifty. I go by that name because I have learned the importance of law school rankings in the legal industry. I graduated from a T50 law school, and that ranking has now consumed my identity in the legal world. I could tell you all the things I’ve told Mark Zuckerberg and his business partners, but you wouldn’t care. Not when I’ve got T-Fifty emblazoned on my face. It is the way of things.

My journey begins the summer prior to my graduation from my T50 law school. I was no-offered by my Biglaw summer employer, and I soon learned that I was part of the Lost Generation, doomed to be excluded from Biglaw and the accompanying paychecks forever. I will admit that I was distraught. I faced a mountain of debt that I had no chance of paying off….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Introduction to the Legal Recovery (We Hope)”

For the second time in a month, the people at the American Bar Association are making noises about taking their role in regulating law schools more seriously. Earlier this month, the ABA’s “recession czar,” Allan Tanenbaum, criticized the new law school opening at Belmont.

Today the National Law Journal reports that new ABA President Steve Zach is telling law school deans he is considering requiring law school to disclose employment and cost statistics to admitted students.

A victory for law school transparency? Let’s not start sucking each other popsicles just yet. But it does look like the ABA is at least considering doing something to stop the blatant professional misrepresentation being engaged in by some of America’s law schools…

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So you want to go to law school....

It has been a while since we’ve had one of these cut-rate animation movies discouraging people from going to law school. There have been some great ones in the past: A Law School Carol springs to mind, as well as Don’t Go To Law School.

There was a time when I thought little video clips like the two above would actually help someone. I thought that if people won’t listen to the shrill voices of people like me, they might take advice from Lego-lookalikes speaking in a dull monotone.

But those were the heady days of 2009, when the craptastic state of the legal economy finally started to seep into the consciousness of prospective law students and lawyers. Now, thanks to the Great Recession, there’s less of a need to educate prospective law students about what they’re getting themselves into. Now, these little videos aren’t important teachable moments, they’re simply fun opportunities to make fun of people who fail to look out for themselves. They are opportunities for those who have been through the law school wringer to sit back and enjoy themselves — and exchange knowing glances among fellow colleagues.

The one we just came across today hits exactly the right note…

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Today is the official release date of Law & Reorder, a new book by Deborah Epstein Henry, a leading consultant to the legal profession. Henry, whom we’ve interviewed and written about before, is an expert on such topics as workplace restructuring, talent management, work/life balance, and the retention and promotion of lawyers — all topics that are covered in her book.

We chatted with Henry on Friday over the phone, about the changes taking place in the legal profession, whether they’re good news or bad news, and how law students and lawyers can navigate in this new environment….

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A third-year student at Boston College Law School made a very reasonable request of the law school’s interim dean, George D. Brown: Give me my money back.

I say it’s a reasonable request, because it is customary in this country to get a refund when you buy something that is defective in some fundamental way. And the people who won’t give you a refund are usually scam artists or a**holes.

Dean George Brown doesn’t want to pull a Mel Gibson, does he?

Well, the Boston College 3L isn’t sure that Dean Brown will do the right thing. So the student wrote an impassioned open letter to the dean, which was published by EagleiOnline

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Earlier this week, a story in the National Law Journal (subscription) reported that the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is weaning itself off of public funding and trying to become self-sufficient on private dollars. Towards that end, ASU will be raising tuition and admitting more law students.

I wanted to wait until I calmed down before I posted on it, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. So I broke into the Bronx Zoo this morning and stole some elephant tranquilizers. I’m going to shoot up and finish this post, now.

[Mmm... serenity...]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Arizona State Law School Moving Towards Private Funding Model: Prepare to be Gouged, ASU Law Students”

Carl Paladino’s had a bad week. A no duh. It began with a bizarrely homophobic speech to Orthodox Jewish leaders last Sunday. It continued with a sad attempt to apologize for those remarks. And Carl’s crazy exploits threaten to become The Neverending Story (sans flying dog-thing with floppy ears), as yesterday the twitterverse, blogosphere and other made-up words were filled with chatter about pornographic emails, Planned Parenthood, and a Paladino campaign adviser who marched shirtless in a gay pride parade. Really, all those things happened. A full week for anyone.

So why you gotta bring up old sh*t, Juggalo?

Because it looks like we totally missed a story that came out before this week’s avalanche of goofiness. As it turns out, Carl Paladino was a law school student once. And the Syracuse Post-Standard interviewed him about his law school career last week, only to find out embellishment might come as naturally to him as rattling off homophobic rants…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Crazy Carl Chronicles: Was Paladino a Law School Paladin?”

A tale of two Yalies: former president Bill Clinton and aspiring senator Joe Miller.

According to the all-powerful ranking gods of U.S. News, Yale Law School is the nation’s #1 law school. In fact, Yale has been the top law school ever since the magazine started ranking law schools.

Recently, however, controversy has arisen over possible damage to the school’s reputation. As first reported in today’s New York Daily News, former President Bill Clinton and Alaska Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller are pointing fingers at each other for “diminish[ing] the university’s reputation as an elite institution.”

Let’s explore the spat — and review and vote on the seven contenders for Yale Law School’s most disgraceful graduate….

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A gallery of seven rogues and a poll.

Here’s seemingly every affirmative action conversation I’ve had since I started working at Above the Law:

PLEBES: Affirmative action is racist — reverse-racist. It lets an under-qualified minority get into a school I deserved to get into, just because of their skin color! And why? Because 100 years ago things were tough for blacks? Not fair! [Some quote from Justice Roberts I'll care about the minute I care about what an aging white man thinks about racial harmony in America.]
ELIE: Actually, affirmative action can be justified by simply pointing out that diversity of thought and experience is essential when it comes to educating people.
PLEBES: It should be about merit! [Quotes standardized test statistics as if the LSAT is both objective and a standard of merit.] If you get a higher score on a test, you should get in over someone who gets a lower score. That’s merit!
ELIE: But we know that universities look at all sorts of things when considering applicants. They look at whether you have any other talents like sports or music. They look at legacy status…
PLEBES: [Foaming at the mouth now] Legacies are an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THING. We’re talking about discrimination based on RACE. That’s ILLEGAL!

But maybe people shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss concerns about legacy admissions. According to Richard D. Kahlenberg, editor of a new book called Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions, legacy admissions are bad policy — and potentially unconstitutional…

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Let’s close the loop on the latest changes to the Harvard Law School grading system. Last month, we reported on stealth grade reform at HLS. The school decided to attach numerical values to all of its grades — and place students numerical GPAs on their transcripts.

That was a big deal because Harvard made a big show of moving away from letter grading just last year. What’s the point of having no letter grades if your GPA can still be easily reduced to a four point scale?

Well, there is no point. And the latest changes confirm that the school’s experiment with no letter grades was just a useless and annoying show. The most recent changes will remove the GPA calculation from the students’ transcripts — but most employers should still be able to figure it out, provided they understand basic math…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Harvard Law School Will Now Hide GPAs (Or At Least Force Employers to Buy a Calculator)”

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