Moving from sunny California to cold, rainy, snowy Anchorage might make a person a little crazy. A man who went to law school in San Diego might miss lying on the beach, walking the boardwalk, and seeing the city’s good-looking population in skimpy summer clothes. Such a man might find another way to see people in a state of undress, perhaps by planting a hidden camera in his bathroom.
* Will throwing a bunch of lawsuits at the oil spill help plug that leak? [UPI]
* More than 70 plaintiffs’ lawyers wanted leadership positions in the federal lawsuits against Toyota over its sudden-acceleration problems. Twenty one were chosen. [Tennessean]
* “Only 10 of 875 active federal judges are Asian-American” — One of the many reasons Goodwin Liu’s confirmation process is getting so much attention. [Associated Press]
* Lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb, Davis Polk, and Wachtell representing Bank of America are scared of Judge Jed Rakoff. [Wall Street Journal]
* The civil fraud case against Goldman Sachs will be presided over by Judge Barbara Jones, a Robert Morgenthau disciple who sports a red Santa hat at office holiday parties and who set a tough white-collar crime precedent with a 25-year sentence for WorldCom’s former chief, Bernard Ebbers. [Associated Press]
* Citizen journalists lead the media coverage of the murder of D.C. lawyer Robert Wone. [Washington Post]
Ed. note: Law Shucks focuses on life in, and after, BigLaw, including by tracking layoffs, bonuses, and laterals. Above the Law is pleased to bring you this weekly column, which analyzes news at the world’s top law firms.
May is normally a slow month for BigLaw. There’s generally no recruiting going on, as firms prepare for summer associates’ arrivals.
The highlight is Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off the start of summer and ends a long drought of holidays. Partners start thinking about readying their summer retreats over the long weekend.
It’s also a pretty tame time of year for most clients. It’s the middle of the second quarter, and there aren’t a whole lot of seasonal businesses that spike during the period. Annual reports and proxy statements have gone out, and most companies have held their annual shareholder meetings.
This is as close as it gets to "routine."
For BigLaw, routine means malpractice allegations, billion-dollar deals, bailing out Superman, and acting like lawyers are trained to run businesses….
You don’t know how to ask a question. You don’t know how to offer things into evidence. You keep making stupid speeches. You keep saying you are good at this. You are not. I do not say this to insult you.
– Justice Carol Berkman to Robert Camarano, a pro se litigant representing himself in a murder trial in New York State Supreme Court.
Earlier this week, we published a Lawyerly Lairs post about a graduating 3L named Jimmy. According to the blog Urban Turf, “Jimmy” is a 27-year-old law student with a job in D.C. Biglaw lined up, starting at $160,000. If that’s not enough to make you hate Jimmy, he also has a credit score of 781, $140,000 in the bank for a down payment on his first home, and no student loan debt.
Jimmy triggered envy, player-hating, and other strong reactions in the comments:
“F**k Jimmy. I graduated with 3.3 and couldn’t fund a job with a Biglaw firm in DC. Hence I make $75K, have $90K in student loans, $5K on credit cards and $0 for a down payment. Again, F**k Jimmy.”
“I’m sure there are several women here who are also thinking ‘Fuck Jimmy.’”
Meanwhile, blogger Jane Genova expressed doubt that Jimmy exists. A newly minted law school graduate, with zero debt and (at least) $140K in the bank — is this like believing in Santa Claus?
Jimmy is certainly very fortunate. But is he so fortunate that he’s incredible? No. His financial state could be explained by any number of factors, alone or in combination, such as (1) generous parents or other relatives, (2) a past inheritance, (3) a successful first career before law school (e.g., in finance), or (4) a full-ride scholarship to law school.
In the comments to the Jimmy post, ATL readers started to anonymously share details about their personal finances and net worths. If you found this interesting, be sure to check out this article in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, entitled “Net-Worth Obsession.” It’s about people who obsessively track their net worths over time and compare themselves to others on this front, sometimes with the help of websites (such as NetWorthIQ, featured prominently in the article).
Are you a net-worth obsessive? Tell us your net worth (anonymously), learn the net worths of some of your fellow readers, and see how your net worth stacks up against that of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan — after the jump….
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
We’ve come to the end of the U.S. News Law School Rankings. The Fourth Tier. The schools that are friends to those who will do anything in order to go to law school. Here is an open thread to discuss these schools, collectively or individually, and to compare and contrast.
Are any of these schools worth the price of admission? Well maybe for the Lulz. Check out how even high-achieving students get treated at 4th tier Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School…
It’s official: NBC has killed Law & Order. Victim was age 20, and is survived by “Law & Order: Los Angeles” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (for all those who can’t get enough of child rape and murder). NBC’s motives are not known. It may been an act of jealousy by someone connected to Gunsmoke, who did not want to see Law & Order surpass it as the longest-running drama series ever.
Which was the best season? Who was your favorite prosecutor? For how many years will reruns stay on TV? Will the theme music be stuck in your head for the rest of the day in tribute? Please feel free to examine the evidence and argue about it in the comments.
Need a SCOTUS diversion from the Kagan-Palooza? Look no further (although we will note that FantasySCOTUS.net correctly predicted Kagan would get the nod from the very beginning).
The Supreme Court decided several important cases during the month of April, and in this post we will consider them, and see how accurate the league was in predicting those cases. We take a look at United States v. Stevens, Perdue, Merck Co., Stolt Nielsen, and Salazar v. Buono. While our members did not predict that vandals would reverse the Supreme Court’s opinion in Salazar by stealing the memorial cross, these diverse cases help to explain user perceptions of these issues, and in what circumstances predictions are less precise.
I’m a future 1L and I’m doing a little pre-law education worrying. I have to apply to the bar in my state in October for a background check. The Florida Bar doesn’t check social networking sites right now, but there is the possibility they will begin doing this before I graduate. My Facebook is set as private as it can get, and I’m “friends” with my grandmother, so there isn’t anything on there I wouldn’t show to the Bar. However, I’m an active Yelper and have been writing on that site for about 3 years. I am wondering if it is prudent to scrub all my reviews off the site. Do any bar associations have rules against writing reviews on businesses?
Dear Bar None,
When I first read this question, I thought “she’s got to be kidding me,” but then I activated my legendary critical thinking skills and realized that the answer to your question is not so obvious…
I start out assuming all my clients are guilty and all my clients are lying to me. That’s my operating assumption as a good lawyer, just like any good doctor would start out believing that the chest pain is not indigestion but a coronary, or the patient who says he never smoked or used cocaine may be lying. So I have rarely been disappointed by my clients because I have rarely expected much of them.
– Criminal defense attorney and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, in a fascinating interview about being wrong.
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.