We have the makings of a trend: inappropriate contacts between participants in jury trials. These contacts can be problematic because a jury trial constitutes a delicate ecosystem, in which contacts and communications between actors are regulated strictly to ensure the fairness of the proceedings.
We recently mentioned a case where a juror got sentenced to community service after trying to friend the defendant on Facebook. Well, at least he didn’t try to “poke” her (although perhaps a desire to poke her is what prompted the problematic friend request).
Now we bring you news of, er, more intimate contact between a witness and a lawyer — which culminated in a mistrial….
UPDATE (11:00 AM): Photo of massage therapist Liudmyla Ksenych, a petite and pretty brunette, added after the jump.
Which schools manufacture the most law firm partners?
Now here are rankings worth paying attention to. Professor Theodore P. Seto of Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) has published a research paper showing the law schools that produce partners at large law firms.
This list seems useful in at least two ways. First and most obviously, if you want to make Biglaw partner money, it’s worth knowing which schools produce Biglaw partners. But this list is also useful when you are thinking about the kind of alumni network that a school can provide.
Obviously, this list is going to favor the elite diploma mills, but there are some interesting surprises…
Meet the Cavers: the cutest ginger attorney family ever.
In this rough economy, a job offer can be really exciting, even for the most seasoned attorney. A job offer is even more exciting when you find out that your future employer has also decided to make your husband an offer. And last week, that is exactly what happened to a husband-and-wife legal team from Rockford, Illinois.
Eileen and Brendan Caver, both graduates of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, quickly began to pack up to move half-way across the country for their new jobs in New York at the City of Syracuse corporation counsel’s office. With August start dates and two adorable children in tow, the Cavers quit their jobs in Illinois, put their house on the market, and canceled their daycare contract.
So, you’d think that even a city government would realize that offering attorneys jobs 780 miles away from home and then revoking those offers a week and a half later would be life-ruining. But apparently, that’s not how things work in upstate New York….
Falling snow? Not in sunny California. Falling bar exam passage rates? Yes — at least for 2010.
A few days ago, the State Bar of California released overall statistics for the July 2010 administration of the (notoriously difficult) California bar exam. The overall bar pass rates went down by a little — but at some schools, the pass rates went down by a lot.
Which law schools’ pass rates tumbled, and by how much?
* Loyola of Los Angeles has launched a new faculty blog. In the latest post, Professor Cesare Romano asks: Do states have human rights? [Summary Judgments]
* And what happens if a nation-state disappears underwater — is it still a nation? [Associated Press]
* Speaking of global warming, it’s going back to SCOTUS; here’s Professor Jonathan Adler’s take on the cert grant in American Electric Power v. Connecticut. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* Marc Randazza on the TSA: “[T]he TSA is ‘making us safe’ by letting the dumbest, most uneducated swine in the country (TSA agents) have a blanket license to feel up our kids, AND to try and make a GAME of it?” [The Legal Satyricon]
* Former Northwestern SBA president Todd Belcore — who, by the way, was exonerated of the charge against him (note the update) — is now writing for HuffPo. [Huffington Post]
* Congratulations to everyone who just passed the MPRE — you can learn your score on the MPRE website. [MPRE Services]
Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) hoped to quietly jump on the grade-inflation bandwagon in order to help make its students more competitive in the legal marketplace. The school bumped letter grades up a notch, so that a C- became a C, a B became a B+, and an A+ became an A+you’reasuperamazinggunnerrockstar.
And last night, Loyola had its big moment on the Colbert Report:
The upside is that Loyola-L.A. just broke through to a whole new audience of potential applicants. The downside is that we can hear the deflation of the hopes of all the Loyola law school grads who planned to wow employers with their amazing GPAs.
We reached out to Loyola about being mocked by one of America’s most influential people. A response from Dean Victor Gold, after the jump.
Welcome to the top … of the second tier. We are at the point where the value proposition of going to law school is questionable. But the “nailing attractive co-eds” possibilities remain high. Check out some of the schools ranked in this batch. If you are going to spend three years and six figures on something, you’re going to need more than illusory job prospects to keep you warm at night:
54. Florida State
54. Yale Law School’s Hartford Campus/University of Connecticut (j/k)
56. Case Western Reserve
56. Loyola (Los Angeles)
56. San Diego
60. Georgia State
60. University of Houston
64. Lewis & Clark College
67. New Mexico
72. Penn State
72. Seton Hall
72. St. John’s
See what I’m saying. I bet young law students are just cutting a swath through the undergrads at Yeshiva University.
Seriously though, FSU, Miami, Rocky Top, Ha-freaking-Waii. Good times! You know, unless you want to get a job…
We reported in November that Loyola Law School of Los Angeles was thinking about artificially raising grades. In response to the terrible economy, the school has acted on the proposal. Here’s the opening line of the message from Loyola Law Dean Victor Gold:
Last week the faculty approved a proposal to modify the grading system. The change will boost by one step the letter grades assigned at each level of our mandatory curve. For example, what previously was a B- would be a B, what previously was a B would be a B+, and so forth. All other academic standards based on grades, such as the probation and disqualification thresholds, are also adjusted upwards by the same magnitude. For reasons that will be explained below, these changes are retroactive to include all grades that have been earned under the current grading system since it was adopted. This means that all grades already earned by current students will be changed. It also means that all grades going forward will be governed by the new curve. The effect of making the change retroactive will be to increase the GPA of all students by .333. The change will not alter relative class rank since the GPA of all students will be moved up by the same amount.
Loyola students are having difficulty getting jobs. In response, did the administration consider dropping tuition? Nope. Instead, they just gave everybody an extra third of a grade — retroactively, no less. That’s not just inflation; that’s a rewriting of history.
Really, are employers out there going to fall for this? Loyola hopes so….
Jeff Hughes graduated from Loyola Law School – Los Angeles in 1992. Then, like now, law jobs were hard to come by. Hughes didn’t need an LLM in entrepreneurship to come up with an interesting business idea though. He and his paralegal wife decided to start a “coffee & counsel shop” aimed at middle class customers in need of legal services. It sounds like Starbucks, except you can get a skim latte with a shot of probate law.
Improbably, this California business succeeded. Fourteen years later, the baristas are still serving up espresso and express legal services.
Perhaps frightened by the competition, Jeff and Anne Hughes decided to go on the Shark Tank to get help franchising their business of serving up cheap legal services in a coffeehouse setting.
For the uninitiated, the Shark Tank is an ABC reality show, in which entrepreneurs present ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in hopes of getting funding. As you might expect based on the name, the VCs are not cute and cuddly.
When the Hughes made their pitch for $200,000 this week, the VCs smelled blood in the water. The gruesome footage, after the jump.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!