Media and Journalism

Oona O'connell law student Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve told you all about Adrienne, the Boston College law student who did a sexy swimsuit spread for a magazine. And we’ve been all over (hehe) Adriana, the Brooklyn Law School 3L who romped naked before the camera for Playboy TV.

But let’s set the record straight. The phenomenon of law students taking it off for the camera is nothing new.

Well before Adrienne and Adriana, there was Oona O’Connell. From a tipster:

“A first year associate at my firm told me about this… He went to U. Miami and knew a fellow law student who posed for Playboy.”

“Apparently, her name is Oona O’Connell (which could be either the name of her first pet or the street she lived on as a kid, if my porn-name generator is correct). She is a 3L at the University of Miami Law School, and she’s also a Hawaiian Tropic model. Apparently she was in the May 2006 issue of Playboy, and she may shoot a ‘feature’ for an upcoming issue.”

“The only female nudity at MY law school took place when the student ACLU girls went topless to protest a local nudity ordinance. They were not airbrushed. OY.”

More about this comely young law student, including links to her Playboy pics, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Mini-Trend: Law Students in the Nude?”

Linda Greenhouse 5 New York Times Above the Law blog.JPGBecause she needs all the help she can get these days. Backlash and insurrection against New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse, the long reigning queen of the Supreme Court press corps, continue to grow.
For years, the courts construed 40 U.S.C. 6134 — which forbids “loud, threatening, or abusive language in the Supreme Court Building” — as prohibiting criticism of Linda Greenhouse. As a result, nobody within the legal or media establishment dared breathe a harsh word about her. But now, after decades of dominance, La Greenhouse is slipping — and increasingly vulnerable to attack.
Fueled by the success of the bestselling, critically acclaimed Supreme Conflict, Jan Crawford Greenburg — ABC News’s young, talented, and utterly gorgeous Supreme Court correspondent — is challenging Greenhouse for the title of America’s top Supreme Court reporter. Last month, a threatened LG tried to mount a snarky counterattack. But rather than damaging Greenburg’s reputation, it merely caused SCOTUS insiders to marvel at Greenhouse’s pettiness.
And now Greenburg’s challenge to Greenhouse is emboldening others. Some dare to claim that the empress has no clothes. Take Adam J. White of Baker Botts, a former Sentelletubby and legal commentator. White had this to say about Linda Greenhouse, in an essay for the Weekly Standard:

The law takes the long view, and so do its chroniclers — none more so than Linda Greenhouse, New York Times reporter and unofficial doyenne of the Supreme Court press corps. But Greenhouse’s recent essay on Chief Justice Roberts exemplifies the risks of racing to write the second draft of history before the first: By attempting to turn a single case into a moment of historic importance, Greenhouse misdescribes the record of one chief justice and severely insults another.

OUCH — and there’s more. You can read the rest of the piece here.
0-for-2: Linda Greenhouse gets both Rehnquist and Roberts wrong [The Weekly Standard via How Appealing]

Ted Olson Theodore Olson Theodore B Olson Above the Law blog.jpgFormer Solicitor General Ted Olson, now back at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, is one of the nation’s top appellate advocates. He’s an amazing lawyer and a distinguished public servant. And he — together with his wife, the beautiful and brilliant Lady Booth — knows how to throw a killer wedding.
But Olson does seem to have an unorthodox sense of client conflict rules. From Howard Kurtz’s media column in today’s Washington Post:

Now it can be told: Matt Cooper thought that Time magazine’s strategy in the Valerie Plame leak investigation was “insane.” He was unhappy when his lawyer wanted to simultaneously represent I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the man whose identity Cooper was risking jail to protect. And Judith Miller got on his nerves.

Cooper, who has left Time, is now Washington bureau chief for Portfolio, the glossy business magazine from Conde Nast that makes its debut today. The launch is cloaked in secrecy….

Cooper says he realized early on that he would probably lose the subpoena battle over his refusal to testify about his 2003 discussions regarding Plame with White House aides Libby and Karl Rove. But Time rejected Cooper’s plea to compromise by seeking waivers of confidentiality from the officials. “Behind the scenes I desperately wanted to make a deal that could get us out of this mess,” he writes.

Norman Pearlstine, then Time Inc.’s editor in chief, decided to hire conservative lawyer Ted Olson. But Cooper’s opinion of the former solicitor general declined when Olson asked if he could also represent Libby, which Cooper saw as a conflict since “Libby’s defense ultimately involved my word against his.” Olson quickly backed off.

Our tipster notes: “I worked as an attorney at a federal agency in Washington for several years right after law school, and was frequently astonished by the casual approach to conflicts issues many private sector attorneys had there. Olson’s is the worst proposal I have seen in many years.”
But perhaps we’re missing something. We’re sure that some of you can come up with a defense of Olson’s ability to represent both Cooper and Libby. We welcome your thoughts in the comments.
A Sorry Story, With Apology Yet to Come [Washington Post]
Earlier: Lady and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Wedding Photos That Rock

Along with London, New York is one of the great tabloid cities of the world. When we opened the door of our hotel room this morning, we were greeted by this sight:

New York Post Anna Nicole Smith Larry Birkhead.jpg

The news has been mentioned in a few places on ATL (e.g., comments, Morning Docket). But for those of you who haven’t been paying attention: Larry Birkhead is the Anna Nicole Smith babydaddy.
(Which may not result in the financial windfall that Birkhead might have been expecting.)
Earlier: Oh Crap. This Baby Ain’t Worth Millions? Then You Take Her!

martini glass Above the Law blog.jpgIf so, then a reporter with a national newspaper would like to speak with you. Here’s the message:

I want to write about the social pressures on summer associates. Specifically, I understand that at a time when firms are competing harder than ever for the best candidates, it’s ratcheted up an already intense party circuit for summer associates.

I’ve heard incoming first-year associates often get nervous about whether they’ll be able to keep up and, more importantly, not get too drunk and blow it. I wanted to get your thoughts on the topic and find out if there were any examples of students doing anything interesting to prepare themselves (e.g., build up their tolerance) for the summer. I’m equally interested in whether there are groups of sober students for whom this is a particularly stressful time.

I can be reached by email at legal DOT story AT gmail DOT com. Thanks.

We think this will be an interesting story. There are tons of tales out there about summer associates who get wasted and do stupid things. E.g., Aquagirl. It would be refreshing to hear about prudent students on the other side of the fence, who consciously try to avoid getting trashed and making fools of themselves.
If you have some insights to share on this subject, please do contact our reporter friend, by email. Much thanks!

laptop computer web surfer Above the Law.jpgYes, we have seen Georgetown Law Professor David Cole’s recent Washington Post op-ed, complaining about students using their laptops to surf the web during class. This led him to ban laptops from his classroom.
It’s provoked lively discussion in the blogosphere. See, e.g., PrawfsBlawg; Obscure Store; WSJ Law Blog. So we’re creating this post to facilitate some comments discussion here at ATL.
(But we weren’t terribly excited to see the piece. It’s actually very similar to a New York Times op-ed that our contracts professor, Ian Ayres, wrote back in 2002.)
Laptops vs. Learning [Washington Post]
Lectures vs. Laptops [New York Times]
Laptops and law-school learning [PrawfsBlawg]
Georgetown Law Prof David Cole: “No Laptops for You!” [WSJ Law Blog]
Law professor: Why I don’t allow laptops in class [Obscure Store]

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGWe will soon be posting an update to our earlier, draft report on clerkship bonuses. Thanks to everyone for all the tips, corrections, and additions. If you have info to share, please email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”).
In the meantime, here’s another useful little resource for you. It was sent to us by a tipster with this message:

Looks like the NY Law Journal JUST picked up on the trend of listing the $160,000 firms. Don’t they know that every associate in the city already got this list from Abovethelaw?

Indeed. But in case you’d like to refresh your recollection (or want your salary information with an MSM seal of approval), the NYLJ listing of $160K firms — aka the “List of Pride,” the opposite of the “List of Shame” — appears here (free subscription may be required).
NY First-Year Salaries: Who Pays $160,000 [New York Law Journal via]

* Those wacky middle-school art teachers. [Daily Southtown]
* Not the lawsuit we’d expect from an office party gone wild. [CNN]
* Metal will always be big in Scandinavia. It’s not like a German couple calling their kid “Knight Rider.” [Yahoo! News]
* He’s free at last, the douche is free at last! In my defense, it’s been a boring day. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Monica Goodling 5 Monica M Goodling Monica Gooding Alberto Gonzales Above the Law blog.jpgBut so is the mainstream media. The articles about this high-ranking Justice Department official, at the heart of the controversial U.S. Attorney firings, just keep on coming.
We can’t get enough of the coverage. We are completely intrigued — and quite taken by — Monica M. Goodling. She’s the most fascinating and appealing personality we’ve encountered since Alexandra Korry and Shanetta Cutlar (whom we also adore — what can we say, we love strong women).
In the face of widespread media and blogosphere criticism of Monica Goodling, we intend to stake out our position as the leading pro-Monica outlet. It’s all too easy to rank on her non-Ivy League background or her strong conservative beliefs. We will provide a counterbalance to the negativity, by vigorously praising and defending Monica Goodling in all of her fabulosity.
The latest Monica Goodling profiles are by Jonathan Last, for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and by T.R. Goldman and Emma Schwartz, for the Legal Times. Here are some excerpts from Jonathan Last’s article:

Now 33, [Monica Goodling] graduated from Messiah College, an evangelical Christian school, in 1995. After a year at the American University Washington College of Law, she enrolled at Pat Robertson’s Regent University Law School in 1996 – the year it received full accreditation from the American Bar Association. She graduated from Regent in 1999. That November, Goodling went to work for the Republican National Committee as a junior research analyst in the opposition research shop. When her boss, Barbara Comstock, left the RNC to head the Office of Public Affairs in the Ashcroft Justice Department, Goodling went with her.

After spending two years in Public Affairs, Goodling was detailed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for a two-year stint in order to get the “field experience” typically required for the attorney general counsel’s job. She served only six months. (The head of EDVA at the time was Paul McNulty, who, having since become a deputy attorney general, also played a role in the firing of the eight U.S. attorneys.)

According to my research, Goodling was the lead attorney on three felony cases while at EDVA. All three ended in plea agreements; none was of particular importance. To give a sense of the magnitude of her work, the highest-level defendant was sentenced to four months in jail; the other two were given three years of supervised release – one of these also received a $100 special assessment. Nevertheless, upon her return to Justice, Goodling assumed the senior counsel and White House liaison posts. So much for the best and the brightest.

OUCH. Mr. Last, that’s no way to treat a lady!
More discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Monica Goodling: Yes, We’re Obsessed”

US News World Report law school rankings ratings Above the Law blog.jpgWe even got you a gift: the newest U.S. News & World Report law school rankings!
We previously linked to coverage at several other blogs of the USNWR rankings, which were leaked earlier in the week. But now the official rankings are available to all, both on the magazine’s website and at newsstands.
America’s Best Law Schools (2008) [U.S. News & World Report]

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