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Over the past few days we’ve seen an outpouring of support for the proposition that people should go to law school. It’s clear that there are many students in law school or heading to law school who believe that they’ve made the right decision (and it is the right decision, for some people). Moreover, we’ve learned that a lot of people seem to think that ATL — or, more specifically, me — have some kind of vested interest in crushing dreams and making law students feel bad.

Duly noted. I probably should stick my vuvuzela up my butt and let you guys enjoy the excitement of starting out on a new career.

But as Gandalf once said: “I’m not trying to rob you, I’m trying to help you.”

So fine, don’t take my word for it. Maybe you’ll listen to your friend, your God, the U.S. News & World Report

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Even U.S. News Suggests Law School Tuition Is Getting Ridiculous”

Why are University of Bridgeport students / graduates so prone to violence? First there was Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber (Bridgeport ’00). Now there’s Michael Williams:

Police said a University of Bridgeport student angrily confronted Probate Judge Paul Ganim (pictured) during the Puerto Rican parade, throwing candy into the judge’s face.

Michael Williams, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged with breach of peace and threatening. He was released after posting $2,500 bond.

The story gets even more bizarre. What kind of candy?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How Not To ‘Sweet Talk’ A Judge”

* JPMorgan Chase kicks off earning season with strong numbers. You wonder if this will give Jamie Dimon even more clout has he lobbies on the financial reform bill. [CNN Money]

* Argentina legalizes gay marriage. [New York Times]

* Hogan Lovells partner Scott McInnis admits he committed plagiarism in 1984. He’d still like to be Governor of Colorado, though. [ABA Journal]

* Some states are banding together to support Arizona. [Courthouse News Service]

* I bet looking under the hood at the Playboy financials isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds. [Law.com]


The Senate confirmation vote on Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been pushed back one week, to July 20. This gives the Republicans more time to try and persuade a few Democrats to vote against Lady Kaga.

As they try to win over Democrats, the Senate Republicans have some new fodder: a Kagan-related scandal! A hit-and-run car accident, involving thousands of dollars in damage! To a minivan — owned by the mother of a disabled child!

Alas, the Divine Miss K wasn’t at the wheel. Who was?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Finally, an Elena Kagan Scandal: A Hit-and-Run Car Accident!”

Last month, the employee cafe in the D.C. office of Skadden was briefly closed for health code violations. Meanwhile, across town, the Supreme Court cafeteria continues to operate — even though some apparently think it should be struck down like an errant statute.

On what grounds? For serving fare that violates evolving standards of decency. That seems to be the view of a reporter from the Washington Post (via Josh Blackman):

This food should be unconstitutional, we agreed, as my two companions and I sat in the court’s sparsely populated dining area, examining the wan offerings we’d just received.

The restaurant review is part of the WaPo’s ongoing review of federal government cafeterias. Based on the harsh write-up for Cafe Scotus, it sounds like the judiciary is — with apologies to Alexander Bickel — the most dangerous branch.

So, what are some of the specific dishes panned by the Post?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Eating at the Supreme Court Cafeteria: A Cruel and Unusual Punishment?”

* The excellent hiring partner stories continue. This time from Paul Hastings we learn whether or not the firm has a “drive meter,” and how grade inflation is just pissing everybody off. [The Careerist]

* Cravath is getting serious about its image. First it overhauled its website. Now it’s overhauling its marketing department. If only they could do something about the arrogance and self-absorption. [Am Law Daily]

* The timeliness of George Steinbrenner’s death seems to have pissed off a couple of senators. [Going Concern]

* Yay, Bar Exam horror stories! It’s like telling ghost stories to children, only better — because instead of crying, terrified people studying for the bar get drunk, despondent, and send out crazy emails. [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

* Should law schools care if you are miserable? [What About Clients?]

* Don’t you hate it when birthing conflicts with your court docket? [Legal Blog Watch]

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It started with DLA Piper. After offering recession salaries to associates for a while under the guise of merit-based compensation, DLA relented earlier this month and restored the $160K base salary scale to its associates. Yesterday, WilmerHale announced that while it too is going forward with a merit-based compensation plan, it will be offering base salaries along the established $160K scale.

It seems that this little experiment of using merit-based compensation to undercut the market for base associate salaries is dying a quiet death. Today we have news that Akin Gump’s 2011 compensation model will once again include base salaries that match the market and are not tied to performance.

And even better, a tipster reports that all Akin Gump offices will be put on the New York market, $160K scale — which should represent a significant bump in salary for some associates…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Akin Gump Back to $160K: Another Merit-Based Plan Offers Market-Level Base Salaries”

The first time I looked at the grand total of what it would cost to get a law degree, I cried. And then I realized that this is what I want to do. I’ll have debt for the rest of my life, and that’s that.

Allissa Klatt, an incoming law student at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa.

In today’s Washington Post (gavel bang: WSJ Law Blog), writer Stuart Taylor Jr. notices that the Supreme Court is a totally partisan institution:

Why does the supposedly nonpartisan Supreme Court split so often along ideological lines, with the four conservatives locked in combat against the four liberals and the eclectic Justice Anthony Kennedy determining which faction wins?

And why do all of the justices so often find in the Constitution a mirror image of their own political and policy views on issues as diverse as abortion, race, religion, gay rights, campaign finance, the death penalty and national security?

If I hear one more person refer to Justice Kennedy as some kind of swinging independent, I’m going to scream. But that’s besides the point. The point is that there are still a lot of people out there who fool themselves into thinking that the political preferences of the judges don’t, or shouldn’t, matter…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Justices Are People Too”

Image from The Ladders' Summer Fashion article

This month’s heat wave forced professional types to start desperately thinking about whether spaghetti straps and speedos are appropriate attire for the office. (Hint: they’re not.)

Many offices do go casual over the summer, though. At Weil Gotshal, for example, you can buy your way into a pair of jeans on Friday. Says a tipster (with some high-rise excitement):

did you hear that weil is starting jeans fridays for july and august as a test run and potentially forever! in order to participate, we must pay $5 to go to a designated charity each month. we have had these $5 jeans fridays in the past maybe every other month… but now it’s every friday!

The downside: Those who don’t turn up in jeans on Fridays are revealed as either ridiculously stuffy or too cheap to give to charity.

Need help with clothing choices this summer? A recent career newsletter from The Ladders had a useful feature on summer fashion, including dos and don’ts. The photo at right is among those featured. Is it a fashion do or a don’t?

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A tale of three Yalies: Elizabeth Wurtzel, Richard Epstein, and John Yoo.

… or talk about the bar. Welcome to one of those “only on the internet” moments, a spirited debate between three people I adore: Elizabeth Wurtzel, Richard Epstein, and John Yoo. The subject: the bar exam (but also law schools and the legal profession more generally).

Here’s one thing the three share in common: they’re all graduates of Yale Law School. The similarities pretty much end there. Elizabeth Wurtzel is a litigatrix at the high-powered Boies Schiller firm, but her real claim to fame is her work as a bestselling and critically acclaimed writer. Richard Epstein is one of the nation’s leading law professors — U. Chicago and NYU folks, you can argue over which school he belongs to — and an outspoken libertarian. John Yoo, a prominent (and conservative) law professor at UC Berkeley, is most well-known for his work in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, where he authored the so-called “torture memos.”

Wurtzel is super-liberal — her reaction to 9/11 was controversial, to say the least — while Professors Epstein and Yoo both hail from the right side of the aisle (to put it mildly). Back in May, I identified both Epstein and Yoo as possible nominees for the conservative wing of an “unconfirmable” Supreme Court.

So how would you react to learning of a three-way debate between Wurtzel, Epstein, and Yoo — in which the dynamic is not La Wurtzel v. Epstein & Yoo?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “John Yoo, Richard Epstein, and Liz Wurtzel Walk Into a Bar….”

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