Movies

It’s December, a big month for movies. This is the time of year when studios trot out some of their most prestigious pictures, hunting for Oscar gold, and when they release their holiday blockbusters, in the hunt for cold hard cash. With Christmas and New Year’s falling on Wednesdays this year (yay!), there should be ample time for moviegoing.

But some lawyers want to do more than just watch movies; they want to make them. Over the years, many lawyers have entered the film world, some on the business side and some on the creative side.

Interested in having some adventures in the screen trade? Let’s meet a Harvard Law School graduate who is now an award-winning writer and filmmaker….

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* Paramount is flexing its legal muscles to stop producers from making a sequel to It’s a Wonderful Life. Wait, Hollywood is trying to stop a mindless and unnecessary sequel? Where was this Paramount when they greenlit Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? [Indiewire]

* Are you a “young, outgoing lawyer[] and recent law school grad[]” looking for your big break? Because it looks like a TV show may want to talk to you. [Get Entry Level Attorney Jobs]

* Remember the woman who accused the Duke Lacrosse team of rape? She was convicted of second degree murder today. Yikes. [The Expert Institute]

* This is an awesome program: a number of lawyers are helping first responders prepare wills for free. [KEZI]

* Overzealous IT guy who tried to keep everyone at work locked out of the system because “he was the only person capable of running the network” is going to jail. If you’ve ever dealt with some form of this guy, this story is like a dream come true. [IT-Lex]

* A majority of students say that a two-year law school program would make them more likely to go to law school. This is the best argument against a two-year program ever. [Valley News Live]

* Full-time jobs will exceed the number of law school grads by 2016. Except this assumes the number of legal jobs holds steady, which is a hell of an assumption when demand for legal services is still in decline. [Tax Prof Blog]

* A company’s lawyer had secret communications with a judge and ultimately secured a multimillion dollar verdict. The Mississippi Supreme Court frowned on that behavior. [Cleveland Plain-Dealer]

* For the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK by Fidel Castro the Mafia LBJ ALF Lee Harvey Oswald, here’s a look at just how difficult it is to kill chief executives these days. [Vocativ]

[W]hat I found most interesting was that their lives were often far more complex than they had predicted. Even the greatest of expectations, it seems, eventually encounter reality.

Florence Martin-Kessler, a journalist and documentary filmmaker, offering commentary on the lives of 21 women who were interviewed by New York Times Magazine 12 years ago. At the time, they were fresh out of law school, incredibly idealistic, and about to begin careers at Debevoise & Plimpton, where they planned to conquer the world. Today, “only a handful” of them are still with the firm.

The Richie Incognito v. Jonathan Martin case raises all sorts of questions about race, adult bullying, and workplace discrimination. We already got Juggalo Law’s take on it this morning.

Now the rest of the ATL editors want to take a stab at it. Specifically, let’s discuss whether discrimination laws have just plain gone too far and whether, in any event, the NFL should be subject to the same laws as any other business given its unique character.

Somehow it all ties back to A Few Good Men….

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I went to see “12 Years a Slave” because I thought it was the story of a lawyer on partner track in a Biglaw firm. Lots of cruelty in the flick, but no lawyers.

– A Biglaw refugee who was “bummed out” when the movie wasn’t what he expected, offering commentary on the struggles associated with making partner.

I’ve been out with the flu, which leaves me a lot of time to look up funny YouTube videos. I have no idea what sick people did before NyQuil and YouTube, but they probably died.

In any event, there’s a fun clip going around where a four-year-old recites the most famous courtroom speech of our generation. If you don’t know what speech I’m talking about, well, you probably can’t handle the truth…

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* A California judge sentenced a man to 53 years in prison and then officiated his wedding. So she gave him 53 years followed by a life sentence? Hey ho! [CBS News]

* Jersey Shore’s The Situation suffers the indignity of a legal defeat. I mean, if he has dignity left. [South Florida Lawyers]

* Who would make a better juror: a non-citizen or Charlie Sheen? I’d prefer to have Sheen… I don’t know if there are many crimes he wouldn’t understand. [The Atlantic]

* The results are in from Kaplan’s just completed 2013 survey of law school admissions officers. The headline is that 54 percent of law school admissions officers report cutting their entering law school classes for 2013-2014 and 25 percent plan to do so again next year. Time to build another law school! [Kaplan Test Prep]

* A comprehensive list of the crimes committed by Batman in Batman Begins. And I’m not entirely sure everything he did in his hostile takeover of Wayne Enterprises was on the up-and-up either. [Salt Lake Tribune]

* Here’s a list of online resources for new attorneys. Here’s another helpful one. [Associate's Mind]

* An attorney bit his 3-year-old son. Hurray for bath salts! [KRQE]

* A record label threatened to sue a guy. Unfortunately for them they threatened to sue Professor Lawrence Lessig. [NPR]

* Student loan default rates are at the highest level in 20 years. Seems like a sustainable model. [Chronicle of Higher Education]

* The recycling of policy debaters into litigators brings good and bad habits to the legal profession. On the plus side, there’s the refined research skills. On the other hand, stenographers have a hard time keeping up. [Houston Law Review]

* The new song “Lady Justice” by lawyer-artist DNA (featuring Zoha). He’s already figured out that all the good songs these days have to be “featuring” someone. Song after the jump…

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* Update: Yesterday we reported about the California courts denying class certification in the Thomas Jefferson School of Law case. Apparently that was a tentative ruling and the parties have since had a lengthy argument in front of the judge. So there’s still hope! [San Diego Courts]

* A Houston-area law grad is hoping to crowdfund her law school debt repayment. While that sounds annoying, instead of blaming her, let’s blame Zach Braff for giving her the idea. Always blame Zach Braff. [Go Fund Me]

* Law school as explained by a bunch of GIFs from Titanic. They missed the one about the Captain looking hopelessly at the iceberg as metaphor for deans staring at employment statistics. [Buzzfeed]

* Could you charge Marty McFly in 1985 for things he did in 1885 since he knew they were going to be illegal 100 years later? [The Legal Geeks]

* The former chief legal counsel to the old governor of Missouri is accused of posting naked pictures of an ex-lover online. This continues today’s theme of “Missouri lawyers that should know better.” [Missouri Lawyers Weekly]

* More on the legal storm surrounding the Danzinger Bridge killings: veteran prosecutor Karla Dobinski self-reported her involvement in making online comments and is being investigated. Dobinski posted under the alias “Dispos,” which means alcoholics. So someone might want to keep an eye on her drinking after she loses her job. [The Times-Picayune]

* M.I.A. has been largely MIA since the Super Bowl when she flipped off the masses. The NFL is suing her for $1.5 million for breach of contract and she refuses to pay, noting that the shameful display of the cheerleaders was far more offensive. [TMZ]

* An essayist wants to stop being judged because she doesn’t have student loans. “I am responsible and fortunate for the resources I have.” Totally. Except when you read the whole article you have to replace “I am” with “my parents.” [Thought Catalog]

* Congress could throttle tech innovation with two words. Thankfully, I don’t think Congress knows any two words beyond “defund Obamacare.” [Slate]

* The University of Washington was slapped with a $720,000 fine for withholding documents from a professor suing the school for gender discrimination. Every time something bad happens to the University of Washington, an angel gets its wings. Go Ducks! [Chronicle of Higher Education]

* The ABA has issued its draft report on the future of legal education. Highlights include recommending a 50% tuition cut. Ha! Just kidding. [Associate's Mind]

* Congress is targeting the people who are really making off like bandits: poor people on food stamps. But there’s another link in the federal agriculture spending chain that might make more sense to target if you really wanted to save the government money. Silly me, budgetary discipline has nothing to do with budget cuts. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Here are 15 things wrong with the criminal justice system. Only 15? [Boston Review]

* Lessons on the defense of others from Back to the Future. I’m still waiting for a legal analysis of buying plutonium from Libyans. Is that legal? I’m kind of fuzzy on that one. [The Legal Geeks]

* Overrated: Government surveillance is out of control. Underrated: Government spending massive amounts of money making the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command look like the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation is out of control. [Lowering the Bar]

* Helen Wan explains “The 5 Rules Every New Associate Must Know.” Not included: learning all the technical details required to convincingly say your smartphone failed to get that 1 a.m. message. [The Careerist]

* Another post in the fascinating series about creating visual maps of Supreme Court doctrine. It’s like a nerdier version of the The Atlas of Middle-Earth (affiliate link). [PrawfsBlawg]

* Ilya Somin reviews the Supreme Court’s most recent Takings Clause jurisprudence. It’s a lot harder for the government to take your property away. But don’t worry, it’s still really easy to lose all your property to unregulated markets. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* The Office of the Solicitor General may have inadvertently helped out Frederick Oberlander and Richard Lerner, the two lawyers charged with criminal contempt for talking about a cooperator’s sentence (if you can call a $25,000 fine for admitting to a $40 million fraud a “sentence”) that the feds claim was sealed. [Wise Law NY]

* A somewhat sad art show based on requests from prisoners in solitary. Some beautiful stuff here. Though I’d have expected more “Rita Hayworth” photo requests. [Gawker]

* The Daily Show takes on biotech patents. Video after the jump…

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