Media and Journalism

Megyn Kelly

* Barack Obama will not be invited to party with the Supreme Court justices to celebrate his reelection — which is too bad, because from what we hear, they really know how to get down. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Here’s a protip that essentially comes straight from David Petraeus. You can add these to the list of crazy things that your jealous mistress will say to any other woman who so much as looks in your direction. [Althouse]

* “Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?” Career alternative for this attorney: bludgeoning Karl Rove with witty election night insults for his failure to admit Obama won Ohio. [Daily Beast]

* Here’s a list of the five kinds of partners you’ll typically find in Biglaw. All you’ve got to do is find their weaknesses, and use them to your advantage. [Greedy Associates / FindLaw]

* In the days ahead, should law schools cut tuition or cut class size? Obviously the solution is to do a little from column A and a little from column B, but you know they’ll never budge on tuition. [PrawfsBlawg]

‘OMG, you’re totally a fertile octogenarian!’

When surveying an average law school class, among every other stereotypical type of law student — from the gunners right down to the kids you didn’t know were in the class until they showed up for the final — you’ll typically see a nontraditional student, or, in less polite terms, an old fart. Almost every law school class has at least one of them, and they’re usually more than a bit annoying.

These mature law students tend to favor old-fashioned notebooks over laptops for note-taking during class, and they like to rub elbows with their professors, if only because they’re the same damn age. You may even hear a story or two about how one time, they had to walk uphill, both ways, IN THE SNOW, just to get to school. Ahh, memories — but in truth, most of their classmates would prefer that they just STFU about the good ol’ days.

So what happens when you’ve got an older law student in your midst who also happens to be a well-known author and technology journalist, complete with his very own Wikipedia page? Of course, the most logical course of action for budding lawyers would be to hack it….

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What was the most anxiety-ridden ten minutes I’ve experienced under an editor’s gaze?

I had finished the manuscript of The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law. My then-15-year-old son, Jeremy (who, like any teenager, would as soon spit in his father’s eye as praise him), said: “So, Dad, you wrote a book, huh?”

“Yes, Jere.”

Long pause. “Let me see the first chapter.”

I knew exactly what the kid was thinking: “I guess, if my Dad wrote a book, I should take a look. But this is going to be unbearable. So I’ll read a few pages and be done with it.”

Jeremy sat in the family room reading chapter one. I paced anxiously in the kitchen. My wife didn’t understand my anxiety: “Why are you so nervous? It’s only Jeremy.”

“Don’t you see? Jeremy’s my first truly neutral reader. He’s not a lawyer. He’s not inclined to read the thing. He won’t cut me any breaks. If Jeremy likes it, there’s a chance there’s actually an audience for this thing.”

After a few more anxiety-ridden minutes, Jeremy walked into the kitchen. After a seemingly endless pause: “Let me see chapter two….”

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Dear internet, make me a graphic like this, only for law school prices and with, like, a student crying or something.

So we’re all going to vote tomorrow, and then on Wednesday most of us are going to wake up with the same old problems. I’m going to need to lose some weight. Romney’s going to be an unemployed rich guy nobody likes. And America’s law students are going to wake up in the middle of the night worried about getting jobs.

Last week, the Washington Post wrote an important article on the abysmal state of the legal job market. It sounded notes that are familiar to regular readers of Above the Law, but I feel that whenever the facts about legal education make it into the Post or the New York Times, it’s important because parents see it there. The more parents know, the less likely they are to push their kids into law.

While most of us know the broad picture (it’s a figurative disaster), it is still fun to pick through rubble….

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I realized this week my one-year anniversary writing for Above the Law had come and gone. For some of you, it may seem like I have way overstayed my welcome, and for others (especially the hundred or so who sent heartfelt letters to my Gmail account) it may have gone quickly. For me, the year has been, well, interesting.

I “applied” for the position of writing about in-house life in August 2011. To their credit, or not, Lat and Elie asked me to write about what life is like as in-house counsel. I figured that the opportunity would help keep my writing skills sharp, get my name around, and offer me an opportunity to interact with others in the same arena, or those who wanted to go in-house. All have come to fruition.

I looked through some of my past columns, and like other writers, am frankly embarrassed by some, and proud of others. Candidly, it is difficult to write a weekly column on a topic such as in-house life. I am awestruck that Mark Herrmann can do it twice weekly. You can discuss how you got here, why you got here, and how others can get here. Then, for the Biglaw folks, you talk about how to get work from here, how to write RFPs for here, and so on. Finally, you can discuss what you do, why you do it, and give some anecdotes about your failures and successes.

You can throw in some gossip from your stint as a clerk and in Biglaw, and some very veiled gossip about in-house life. You can even approach the precipice of being honest about your career, all the while keeping one hand behind you grasping to a root, as you must always remember that this is a highly public forum….

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Two short weeks ago, we brought you news about the lone lawyer who represented the entire profession in Cosmopolitan’s 2012 Bachelor of the Year contest. Ryan Chenevert, also known as Mr. Louisiana, graduated from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center this past spring, and found out that he passed his state’s bar exam last week. October was already shaping up to be a good month for him.

When we last spoke to Ryan, he told us that he didn’t think he stood a chance against the competition — after all, there were professional soccer players and Olympic gold medalists in the running, and he was “just a regular guy with a law degree.” But as it turns out, regular guys with fine physiques and matching legal credentials can win big, too.

We knew that Above the Law had some major pull in the legal community, but never before did we think that we had the power to crowdsource a win in a national competition….

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Heather Clem

Sorry if I’m a little bit late to this story, but did you know that Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker for posting a sex tape of Hogan and his friend’s wife?

Let me back up: Gawker had a sex tape up with Hulk Hogan. Hogan initially used the Shaggy Defense, then came clean and contended that his friend Todd Clem (aka: Bubba the Love Sponge) set him up with his estranged wife, Heather Clem (pictured, and apparently able to be used as a floatation device in case of emergency).

Hogan claims that he didn’t know the sex (which took place six years ago) had been recorded, and he is suing Todd Clem, Heather Clem, and Gawker for posting the video.

And… did you know the Hulkster’s real name is Terry Bollea?

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Maybe it’s just because Elie is out for a few weeks caring for his new mini-Elie, but we’ve recently been feeling a little more warm and fuzzy than usual here at ATL. One of the most widely-read stories this week was Staci’s heartfelt response to the jerkoid attorney who called out a Midwestern news anchor for her weight. As of this writing, Staci’s post has generated more than 200 comments.

Anonymous commenting gets a bad rap, but as our Comment of the Week winner shows, sometimes even the haters can give a lil’ love too…

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Ed. note: This column will be about entertainment, the law, and the intersection of those two things. If you know of a law-related personality you’d like to see interviewed here, please contact us.

Staci here. Are you interested in entertainment law, but don’t have a law license? Or even better, are you interested in entertainment law, but you have no legal training? Not to worry, my friend, because there’s still hope for you in the world of legal journalism.

This week, Mr. Legal Entertainment was able to chat with a leading legal journalist who covers the world of entertainment: Eriq Gardner, senior editor at the Hollywood Reporter and writer at the site’s Hollywood, Esq. blog. Garner gave us the scoop on what really goes into gathering background information and writing stories about our favorite celebrities’ latest legal affairs for the site….

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Jennifer Livingston

Over the past few days, everyone has been talking about Jennifer Livingston, the Wisconsin morning news anchor who responded on the air to a male viewer’s email about her weight. In his letter, the male viewer told Livingston that she wasn’t a “suitable example” for young people because of her physical appearance. Her courageous counterpoint went viral, and ever since, she’s been making her rounds on the TV talk show circuit to address what she thinks is the root of the problem, and why people think letters like this are acceptable: bullying.

Now, you may be asking yourself why I chose to write about this today. To be honest, when I first watched Livingston’s video on Tuesday night, I really had no intention to do so. I thought that she was a very strong woman who chose to stand up for herself, and really, for all overweight people, but that her four-minute segment didn’t need to be addressed here at Above the Law. (Not even after being asked in the comments yesterday whether I thought I was a “good role model,” an obvious jab about my own weight.)

But then I found out a little more about the man who emailed Livingston to criticize her weight. As it turns out, he’s a lawyer….

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