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Our contest to determine Elena Kagan’s celebrity doppelgänger has upset a few of our readers (and maybe one of our colleagues here at Breaking Media). One ATL commenter said:

Christ, this is the most insane post, and the fact that a woman posted this is most disturbing. How could you? She’s not sexy Sarah, we get it. I don’t recall a post on Alito’s looks? Perhaps because they’re irrelevant! I thank God everyday that I’m attractive since law school and being a lawyer only taught me something pretty sad – you are judged and treated by how you look.

Congratulations on being attractive!

The simple answer to your question: Alito was nominated in November 2005 and confirmed in January 2006, and Above the Law launched in August 2006. Plus, Samuel Alito is, honestly, not as interesting to look at as Elena Kagan. He maybe, kind of looks like Victor Garber. Boring!

(If we were going to talk about a sitting Justice’s looks, we would start with the hottie chief justice: looks like Rob Lowe, Joshua Jackson, pre-surgery Ashlee Simpson, or Sponge Bob Squarepants? You decide.)

Obviously, we here at ATL spend quite a lot of time thinking about the Nine (and often about how they look). But why does the rest of the country care? After the confirmation hearings, most of them will never see Kagan again, thanks to the High Court’s position on cameras in the courtroom. Lauren Sherman at our sister blog Fashionista explores and explains.

Question: Why Do People Care What Elena Kagan Looks Like? [Fashionista]

Earlier: Who Does SCOTUS Nominee Elena Kagan Look Like?

Am Law Daily has what can only be termed a frightening headline today:

The Am Law 100 2010: Too Big to Fail?

Nooooo! Haven’t we learned that “too big to fail” is terrible? It’s bad for our economy when things are too big to fail — too often, too big means too inefficient to change:

Carrying dozens of offices through the worst recession in a generation might sound like a prescription for disaster. But heads of The Am Law 100′s most geographically diverse firms say that their business model is not only alive, but robust.

Have we learned nothing from everything that’s happened? Do these firms really think that the entire legal recession can be blamed on so-called “entitled” junior associates who had the audacity to accept the money firms were willing to pay them?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Are Am Law 100 Firms Ever Going to Change?”

Harvard and Yale are, by any standard, great educational institutions, but it is not one of their strengths to instill in their students a sense of humility.

Jerome Karabel, a sociology professor and author of The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, commenting on the high number of Harvard and Yale law school graduates on the Supreme Court.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about the steaming pile of poo that Lost dropped in the middle of my living room last night. (Sorry: Spoiled Poo Alert.) Instead, I’m going to talk about a legal television show that could be awesome. Deadline Hollywood reports:

EXCLUSIVE: John Grisham’s The Firm might finally become a TV firmseries nearly two decades after the novel made its author a household name. E1 Entertainment has been shopping a spec pilot script by Lukas Reiter, a series adaptation of the popular legal thriller, which was the base for Sydney Pollack’s 1993 movie starring Tom Cruise.

This will be awesome. But will it be as good as The Good Wife?

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thank you post it note.JPGA quick word of thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email Thanks!

Ed. note: This post is written by Will Meyerhofer, a Biglaw attorney turned psychotherapist, whom we profiled. A former Sullivan & Cromwell associate, he holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work. He blogs at The People’s Therapist.

You pass through a stage when you’re about two years old – the famous “terrible twos.” It’s often marked by stubborn refusals to obey orders, and sometimes downright tantrums. The infant is growing into a person. For the first time, he wants control over his own life.

It’s called personal autonomy. You go where you want to go, do what you want to do, and refuse to do what you don’t want to do. A crucial phase of human psychological development, it marks the inception of an independent identity, a sense of purpose – and a sense of self.

This week I worked with a young second-year from a big firm. She related a hellish story of law firm life.

This past Saturday morning she was at the airport in line with a boarding pass, heading to her best friend’s wedding, when her cellphone rang. It was a partner. He needed her in right away.

She explained that she was about to step on a plane.

He asked, “Well, are you actually in the wedding?”

She said no.

“Then you don’t have to be there.”

You’ve heard stories like this. One of my clients admitted to a partner that it was actually his step-grandmother’s funeral he was leaving the office to attend. This old woman had been married to his grandfather for 30 years and was the only grandmother he’d ever known, but he lost on a technicality. He couldn’t be at that funeral because she wasn’t family. Some court filing was more important.

Young attorneys at big firms don’t have personal autonomy….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In-House Counseling: The Terrible Twos”

We’ve had plenty of unnamed sources insisting on the heterosexuality of Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. The most notable was the anonymous administration official who told the Washington Post that Kagan isn’t gay, in response to an online column by conservative blogger Ben Domenech claiming otherwise.

But there have been other such sources. I previously mentioned one, a Clinton Administration official involved in vetting Kagan when she was nominated to the D.C. Circuit, who insisted to me that she’s straight. Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic cited “[p]eople who know Kagan very well” in reporting that she’s not gay.

Now we have an identified individual going on the record to say that the Divine Miss K enjoys the big D. From Politico:

Elena Kagan is not a lesbian, one of her best friends told POLITICO Tuesday night, responding to persistent rumors and innuendo about the Supreme Court nominee’s personal life.

“I’ve known her for most of her adult life and I know she’s straight,” said Sarah Walzer, Kagan’s roommate in law school and a close friend since then. “She dated men when we were in law school, we talked about men — who in our class was cute, who she would like to date, all of those things. She definitely dated when she was in D.C. after law school, when she was in Chicago – and she just didn’t find the right person.”

A denial that the likely 112th justice of the Supreme Court is a devotee of Sappho? This is just… so… ridiculous. But fun! God bless America.

And there’s more….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “It’s Official: Elena Kagan Is Straight!”

* Are we witnessing the start of an M&A boom? Here’s a round-up of the firms that have snagged the latest work. [Am Law Daily]

* BP wants the Gulf of Mexico oil spill cases to be consolidated and heard in federal court in Houston (S.D. Tex.). [Bloomberg via WSJ Law Blog]

* The U.S. Chamber of Commerce weighs in against the nomination of John J. “Jack” McConnell — the prominent plaintiffs’ attorney who has donated hundreds of thousands to Democratic candidates’ campaigns, and who will earn between $2.5 million and $3.1 million every year though 2024, in deferred pay — to the federal bench in Rhode Island. [Providence Journal]

* A Louisiana politician is suing anonymous blog commenters. If you go into politics, you ought to have a thicker skin. (In fact, in the internet age, we should all have thicker skins.) [New Orleans Times-Picayune]

* If Elena Kagan is confirmed to the Supreme Court, Ivy League domination of SCOTUS will be complete. [Washington Post]

* Meanwhile, the Kagan nomination has created a headache for Sen. Arlen Specter (R D whatever-PA) — he voted against her as Solicitor General, but now he might support her for SCOTUS. Nice. [New York Times]

Will confirmation hearings remind Kagan of the Pit of Despair?

UPDATE: Vote in our Elena Kagan Look-A-Like Contest here.

Every time we write about Solicitor General Elena Kagan (and we’re writing about her quite frequently since Obama tapped her for the Supreme Court), our readers immediately begin commenting on her looks.

That is not unusual in these parts. Men and women are often superficial. Rather than analyzing her law review articles or performance before the High Court in Citizens United v. FEC, people focus on her face. More specifically, the resemblance her face bears to other faces: Kevin James, a character from the Princess Bride, and Carrie Fisher, among others.

You people are shallow, sad creatures…

But we are too. We’ve written before about how attractive lawyers do better financially than their looks-challenged counterparts in the private sector, and unattractive people’s tendency to migrate out of law firms and into government and public sector jobs.

We’ve also commented specifically on Kagan’s looks. Lat is a devoted fan:

Solicitor General Kagan, you’re quite pretty. There’s a reason you made our list of law school dean hotties, back when you were dean at Harvard Law School. You have great skin, a dazzling smile, and a girlish glow. You definitely possess assets that merit accentuation.

A few years back, Kagan was nominated for our Law School Dean Hotties contest. Now we’re devoting an entire contest to her: the Elena Kagan look-a-like contest.

We’re accepting submissions in the comments, and choosing finalists based on those with the most “likes.” A photo essay on suggestions so far, after the jump….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Who Does SCOTUS Nominee Elena Kagan Look Like?”

* Welcome to the world stage, new British Prime Minister David Cameron. Try to remember that you were elected without a mandate, your predecessor was awful, and most Americans think the Frost/Nixon guy is still in charge. Since you had to pander to the Liberal Democrats to assume your position, maybe you could take some of their ideas about reforming your ridiculous, ancient, electoral system. [BBC News]

* Put him in a body bag, Larry Lessig. [Huffington Post]

* If only law schools feared Rule 10b-5. [Adam Smith Esq.]

* Would someone, of either sex, just stand up and confirm that they’ve had sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Kagan? [AOL News]

* Top Female Antitrust Economics and Law Professors. Jeez, they really have a top ten list for everything these days. [Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog]

* Kagan, the fair use Justice? [The Hollywood Reporter]

* It’s one thing for governments not to have a sense of humor about Twitter threats. It’s quite another thing to convict a man for getting angry. [Legal Blog Watch]

In case you haven’t noticed, Twitter is all the rage right now. Everyone is signing up — including your ATL editors.

Given that bloggers are in the business of taking in and pushing out content, our use of Twitter isn’t surprising. A more interesting development is that lawyers at large law firms, including fairly senior partners, are taking to the social networking site. One notable example is Frank Aquila of Sullivan & Cromwell, the high-powered M&A attorney who was named a Legal Rebel by the ABA Journal in part because of his use of Twitter (where he has over 1,300 followers).

The latest is even more prominent: superstar litigator John Quinn, founding partner of Quinn Emanuel. Over the weekend — because QE lawyers are always working, or at least always checking their email — this firm-wide email went around:

John Quinn is on Twitter. He will be tweeting legal developments, firm victories and events, as well as miscellaneous musings at @jbqlaw.

Firm victories. Like in the Redskins case?

I interviewed John Quinn about his foray into Twitter. What did he have to say?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “john quinn of quinn emanuel is on twitter”

It’s time for us to discuss the third tier law schools. Every year, U.S. News ranks the top 100 law schools, and then throws everybody else into the third tier morass (which is better than the fourth tier morass, I suppose).

We won’t list them all, but you can click here to check them out.

One could argue that the legal profession would be better if there were just 100 ABA accredited law schools (as opposed to 200). One could argue that we should have very different kinds of law schools: a top 100 that caters to Biglaw, big time clerkships, and elite legal work, and another “tier” of law schools that better prepares graduates for small law and the kind of low cost legal services we need more of.

One cannot credibly argue that the price of these third tier institutions should be similar to the first and second tier schools we’ve previously discussed.

But don’t try to get the administration at these schools to reduce the cost of the education just because the debts put their graduates in a bad financial situation…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Open Thread: 2011 U.S. News Law School Rankings (The Third Tier)”

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