Law Schools

Numerous applicants to law school claim that they want to become lawyers in order to serve the public interest — and some of them are telling the truth. Alas, after burdening themselves with six figures of law school debt, they find it difficult to follow through on their public-interest dreams. The path of least resistance, or at least the path to the fastest repayment of loans, is working for a large law firm.

Working for a prominent law firm is great — lucrative, prestigious, honorable work — provided that it’s actually what you want to be doing (as opposed to, say, public interest work in Nepal). Unfortunately, many who toil in Biglaw do so primarily for the debt-dispelling powers of the paycheck.

Well, if you go to the University of Chicago Law School, you might be able to have your cake and eat it too — i.e., obtain an amazing legal education, work in the public interest, and not find yourself trying to invoke the “undue hardship” exception in bankruptcy.

Let’s learn about some changes that Chicago Law just announced to its LRAP, or Loan Repayment Assistance Program (those wonky Chicago types love their acronyms)….

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A couple of participants played Courtship Connection musical chairs

At the heart of our Courtship Connection series is the premise that lawyers play well together in romantic relationships. Hopefully the story earlier this week of an engagement between two lawyers going horribly wrong won’t discourage future participants from taking on a fellow lawyer as a playmate.

Previous Courtship participants aren’t discouraged, at least. Perhaps you remember the whiskey-swigging law student who was “prettier/kinder/smarter” than the Blue Moon-drinking fellow student I paired her with? In her write-up, she expressed an interest in the “nice, smart, and talkative” Big Gov lawyer who wasn’t swept off his feet by a fellow conservative attorney over dim sum on Valentine’s Day. She was up for “steamed buns” but, sadly, he wasn’t.

Our picky Elephant says that “a friend” alerted him to whiskey girl’s call to action. He emailed me to say he was up for it, so I sent them out to The Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle. He wound up getting that action. At least, I think he did…

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Monty, the Yale Law library dog

In the past week, we’ve learned about the best law schools for getting rich and the best law schools according to law firm hiring partners. So let’s do one more ranking: the best law schools for dog lovers.

This ranking, as it turns out, looks a lot like the U.S. News law school rankings: there’s Yale Law School at #1, and then there’s everyone else.

How many law schools let you “check out” a certified therapy dog from the library, for thirty-minute periods of stress relief? As far as we know, YLS stands alone.

We kid you not. And this time around, YLS isn’t denying it….

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* Howrey’d come to this? Robert Ruyak’s ruminations on his law firm’s fall. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Speaking of Howrey, it’s only the latest of several major law firms to go from Am Law 100 status to dissolution. Take a swim in the Biglaw Dead Pool. [Law Shucks]

* Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel, has been hit with his biggest sexual harassment lawsuit ever — one seeking $250 million in damages. [Gawker]

* Bess Levin on the Raj Rajaratnam trial: “People helping people is all this is about.” [Dealbreaker]

Raj Rajaratnam

* “How Ohio State Athletics Flunked the Bar Exam.” Or: I’m going to wait until Elie returns from vacation before tackling sports stories. [Off Tackle Empire]

* Speaking of Elie, we already know his answer to the question posed by Francis G.X. Pileggi: “Does Delaware need another law school?” [Delaware Corporate and Commercial Litigation Blog]

* Here’s a sports-related story I can understand. This fact pattern, dubbed the case of the “wayward weiner” or the “fateful frank,” belongs on a torts final exam. [ABA Journal]

* Professorial catfights can be so much fun. Watch Professor Stephen Bainbridge go after Professor Brad DeLong. [Professor Bainbridge]

Ending class early? She strenuously objects.

And maybe that’s why we’re falling behind the rest of the world educationally. But at least we’re having fun, right?

This story comes to us from Boston University Law School (a top 10 law school by alumni median income, by the way). A professor accidentally ended class 15 minutes early, and it looked like class was about to be dismissed — “until one officious intermeddler promptly strode up to the podium and passionately pointed to her watch,” according to our BU Law tipster.

The objector politely “reminded” the professor that there were still 15 minutes left in class — “on arguably the most strenuous day of the week for our section,” said our source. “We all could have used the extra 15 free minutes.”

Perhaps the officious intermeddler didn’t know about our American customs? “Due to her status as a foreign LLM student, and since no one knows her name, she has been dubbed ‘LLM Lady,'” our tipster explained. “She has been the topic of discussion among our section all day now.”

And “LLM Lady” has also been the subject of some amusing Facebook exchanges….

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Scrooge McDuck must have attended the right law school.

Another day, another set of law school rankings. The world’s appetite for these things knows no bounds. Earlier this week, we covered U.S. News & World Report’s best law schools as ranked by law firm recruiters — and the reader interest and traffic were off the charts. Apparently there’s no such thing as “rankings fatigue.”

(Wait until we launch our list of law schools ranked by the quality of the toilet paper in their public restrooms. Because that’s something that actually matters to law students — probably more than, say, the number of volumes in the library, or even the square footage of the place.)

Today we bring you law school rankings by Forbes. The eye-catching title of Kurt Badenhausen’s post: “The Best Law Schools For Getting Rich.” Because you all went to law school in the hopes of becoming rich, right?

(If so, that was pretty dumb. According to some observers, a junior associate’s salary means you’re poor, and even a midlevel- to senior-associate salary doesn’t make you rich. Partner-level compensation is better, but even a million or two won’t get you access to the top slam pieces.)

Okay, let’s take a look at this list of law schools ranked by their graduates’ median compensation. Some of the schools on it may surprise you….

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Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Size Matters, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

Like many unhappy lawyers, I find Cee Lo Green’s F**k You — which has been picked up by radio stations in a more family-friendly version, Forget You — to be a personal theme song (a la Ally McBeal). Indeed, I often fantasize that I am dancing around my office in an inappropriately short skirt-suit, belting out the chorus to many of my co-workers.

And I am not alone in appreciating the cathartic properties of this special song. We all saw those crazy kids at GWU Law School, in their feather-boa-filled tirade against law school gunners.

Steven Harper, a retired Kirkland & Ellis partner who now teaches at Northwestern Law (and blogs), is the latest to invoke Mr. Lo Green. He seems to be giving the F**k You to Biglaw — and maybe a little bit to former NU Law Dean David Van Zandt, too….

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Harvard Law is #1, according to law firm hiring partners.

We mentioned them briefly in Morning Docket but didn’t do more, figuring that perhaps you might have rankings fatigue. But we were wrong; apparently you can’t get enough of law school rankings. (This really shouldn’t surprise us, based on the traffic we got for this rankings post, and even this one.)

We’ve received several emails asking us for more coverage. And our friends at the ABA Journal and the WSJ Law Blog devoted full posts to them.

So let’s get into them: the latest law school rankings generated by U.S. News & World Report, namely, law schools ranked by law firm recruiting personnel. Which schools made the top ten?

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Are you a law student concerned about this upcoming summer? Perhaps you haven’t figured out what you’ll be doing yet. Or maybe you have landed a coveted summer associate position, but want to make sure that you land that full-time job offer (and don’t get no-offered).

If you’re looking for advice on how to make the most of your summer, Above the Law is here to help. On Wednesday, April 6, we’re hosting a panel discussion, together with our friends at the Practical Law Company, entitled We Know What You Should Do This Summer. The panel will include a wide range of perspectives, including a Biglaw partner, a partner at a small firm, a legal recruiter, and ATL’s very own David Lat (to discuss non-private sector options, like judicial externships and government positions).

There’s a small admission fee (to help us cover the cost of the venue), but from now until this Friday, March 11, at 11:59 PM, we are offering a $5 DISCOUNT. Just enter the following discount code: Y084BG .

But don’t delay, since seating is limited, and the discount code expires on Friday night. You can get details and register by clicking here.

We hope to see you on April 6!

Get Tickets

Lindsay Lohan

* Obama has created an indefinite detention system for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. Because he’s too soft on terrorism to make it definite. [Washington Post]

* Utah’s new immigration laws will create a legal storm. El Niño! Spanish for The… Niño! [USA Today]

* Lilo finally starred in another movie, and former wet poodle perm enthusiast Marcia Clark is here to break it down for you. [Entertainment Tonight News]

* Hiring partners have entered the U.S. News rankings fray. Number 1? Yep, Cooley. [U.S. News & World Report]

Charlie Sheen

* Some New Yorkers are suing over a bike lane in Brooklyn. Four wheels good, two wheels bad! [New York Times]

* “Pow! Appeals court upholds comic con’s guilty plea.” [New York Post]

* Charlie Sheen’s attorney isn’t wasting any time fighting Tiger Blood’s dismissal from that show he starred in with Duckie and the lumpy kid. [Hollywood Reporter; New York City Employment Lawyer]

* Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether Congress may take works out of the public domain and slap a copyright on them. I’m never going to fill this Zune up if I can’t score some free Stravinsky. [Wired News]

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