This one is going to get really weird, really quickly. See if you can spot the civil rights violation.
Issue 1: City council of Alexandria, Virginia, approves a permit for a new barbecue restaurant.
Issue 2: The restaurant will have an open-air, gas grille.
Did you see the potential violation? No? Well, you’re just not thinking like a lawyer — or, at the very least, you’re not thinking like an insane person. The Alexandria Gazette Packet reports:
Del Ray Attorney Ed Ablard is challenging the restaurant as a violation of his civil rights. Because the gas-fueled smoker will release particulate matter into the air, his suit charges, his civil rights will be violated.
Is a white man claiming that a barbecue joint is somehow racist towards white people? No, it’s way more crazy than that…
This was bound to happen at some point. There have been countless associates who were promised jobs at law firms. They stopped looking for other jobs in reliance on that job offer. Then during the recession they were deferred, or their offers were rescinded. They are the leading citizens of the Lost Generation.
Do they have any legal claims against their would-be employers?
Almost certainly not, but it looks like somebody is ready to try to find out. The ABA Journal reports:
A would-be associate has sued San Francisco law firm Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin for deferring and then rescinding her job offer.
A clean test case on the issue of offer rescission? Not quite. As with most things, there’s a racial angle…
Earlier this month, roughly around the time that newly minted law review editors were hearing the good news, we raised the issue of how many minorities and women are being selected for law review.
It’s not a new debate; whether underrepresented minorities (URMs) and women are adequately represented on the nation’s leading law journals has long been a subject of controversy. But in light of the tough legal job market, in which credentials like law review membership are more valuable than ever, it’s certainly a subject worth revisiting.
We kicked off the discussion with this tip:
You may want to investigate proportions of URMs [underrepresented minorities] and women at some top 5 law reviews. I hear that [one school] took 29 1Ls, but only 7 women and no African-Americans. [Another school] took 45 first-year editors, about even male/female, but only 2 URMs in the bunch.
Which law journals are being referred to here? And how are URMs and women doing at other law reviews — perhaps yours is mentioned — around the country?
UPDATE: Please note that a few updates and corrections have been added since this post was originally published. Check them out after the jump.
It’s early August. Law students are getting ready to go back to school. And some students — lucky or unlucky, you be the judge — are going back earlier than others, to work on their schools’ law reviews.
Over the summer, rising 2Ls around the country received the rather important news: whether they made it on to their school’s law review. Serving on the school’s official law review can involve a lot of work. But it’s generally regarded as worth it, in terms of the prestige / résumé boost, intrinsic value of the experience, and networking opportunities with current and former editors. If you’ve been selected, congratulations!
New editors of the Harvard Law Review — former home of President Obama and still the nation’s most prestigious law journal, despite various incidents of ridiculousness over the past few years (scroll through our past coverage) — were notified last month, around the week of July 19. The good news was delivered primarily by phone.
The Yale Law Journal also welcomed its new editors last month, after selecting them through a Bluebook and editing competition. At a mixer I attended here in New York, for YLJ alumni and newly accepted editors, one joyous new recruit told me that he celebrated his acceptance by going out to Hugo Boss and buying shiny silver pants dress shoes. (“I went to Prada at first, but they did not treat me the way I should be treated!”)
Silver pants New shoes from Hugo Boss? Making law review is clearly a big deal.
But is the prize of law journal membership being distributed fairly? This year, at certain law journals, controversy appears to be brewing about the new editors….
We’ve all heard of the crime of Driving While Black. It’s when black people drive around in nice cars — which some cops interpret as probable cause for a stop and search. It’s happened to me (shout-out to Kokomo, Indiana). After my experience I learned how to respect the law (of not ending up in Kokomo, Indiana).
But the ABA Journal now tells us of a whole new crime African-Americans can commit: jogging.
Even after police apparently recognized him as a downtown defense lawyer, they went ahead and arrested him for no good reason while he was jogging in his longtime neighborhood in West Las Vegas, contends David Lee Phillips.
A lawsuit filed over the incident by Phillips, 58, who is black and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is ongoing. In it, he contends that police threatened and harassed him before knocking him to the ground…
Man. A brother can’t even avoid getting hassled in Las Vegas…
If you thought this whole Shirley Sherrod thing was just going to blow over, well, you’re not thinking like a lawyer interested in generating fees. Burned by Andrew Breitbart’s editing skills, Sherrod says she intends to sue. The New York Daily News reports:
“I will definitely do it,” Sherrod said at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in San Diego.
Sherrod said Andrew Breitbart knew what he was doing when he posted a doctored video that made it appear she was boasting about mistreating a white farmer.
“I knew it was racism, and no one had to tell me that,” she said. “Right will win the end.”
Oh Jesus Christ, please don’t tell me I’m going to have to defend Andrew Breitbart…
When I worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, I’d sometimes hear colleagues joke about handing over their Justice Department credentials along with their driver’s license if pulled over for a moving violation. It was a joke because it was generally understood that trying to get out of a speeding ticket by flaunting one’s status as law enforcement was a bad idea (setting aside the ethical issues). The police officer might give you a free pass, or he might get ticked off at your attempt to take advantage of your position. You could end up with a scandal on your hands — the kind of scandal that could derail career ambitions.
This is a lesson that Iowa attorney Lisa Jones-Hall learned the hard way. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports:
A woman on track to become a Linn County prosecutor lost that chance after police pulled her over in Marion last month for having tinted windows. New dash cam video police released today shows Lisa Jones-Hall called the officer names and tried to use her new job to get out of the ticket. The officer asked Jones-Hall to sign a ticket because he said her windows were illegally tinted. But, she initially refused to sign it, called the officer names and then brought up the job she was supposed to start the following week.
“Ok. I want you to arrest me for having tinted windows. I start with the Linn County Prosecutor’s Office next Tuesday. I want you to arrest me for not signing this,” Jones-Hall told the officer.
After hearing about this incident, the Linn County Prosecutor’s Office decided not to hire Jones-Hall.
A couple of months ago, we brought you the story of Simkins Residence Hall at the University of Texas. The dorm is named in honor of a former UT law professor — a professor who was a Ku Klux Klan leader and organizer. University officials claim they only became aware of Simkins’s KKK past when former UT law professor Tom Russell did some research.
After months of debate, a 21-member advisory group has recommended that UT change the name of the dorm. The proposal will now go up to UT’s Board of Regents. CNN reports:
Gregory Vincent, the university’s vice president of diversity and community engagement, told CNN affiliate KXAN that naming a public building after a self-proclaimed racist compromised the university’s image.
“We’re certainly not erasing Professor Simkins from the annals of UT history,” said Vincent. “All we are saying is that honorific is a very special designation and it should not harm the university’s reputation.”
Sorry Klansmen and Klan sympathizers, Texas needs y’all to be a little less prominent…
Southern Florida has been hit by a storm of insensitivity that has achieved gale force — Peggy Gehl force. Complaints about Judge Peggy Gehl and inappropriate comments she allegedly made from the bench were recently lodged with Chief Judge Victor Tobin of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit.
(The story broke last week in theSouthFloridablogosphere. But it hasn’t received much attention beyond the Sunshine State, perhaps because it happened right before Memorial Day weekend.)
On May 26, Howard Finkelstein — public defender for Broward County, as well as a television personality with his own show — sent a letter to Chief Judge Tobin, describing “four incidents wherein Judge Gehl made racist comments.” Here’s the first fun allegation:
Maybe Judge Gehl should have asked Wright Muir for a Red Stripe too?
This was just one of four incidents. We describe the other allegations against Judge Gehl — and interview PD Howard Finkelstein, a colorful character in his own right — after the jump.
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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