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Duke is having a good month. The Blue Devils are heading to the NCAA Final Four this weekend. (Sorry, haters.) And one of the school’s law students, 3L Stephen Rawson, argued before the Fourth Circuit last week.

Like Duke in its Elite Eight game against Baylor, Rawson struggled early on. A few minutes into oral argument, he fainted.

He may have lost consciousness, but he didn’t lose his cool…

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It’s not American Idol.

– Cravath presiding partner Evan Chesler, explaining that his firm makes offers to all (or almost all) of its summer associates, at a panel discussion today at NYU Law School.

Not everybody from Lovells will be jumping on the Ho-Love bandwagon this May. Legal Week reports that Lovells will close its Chicago office:

Lovells is set to shut down its Chicago office by the end of October following a strategic and financial review of its business.

The office, which has seven partners and 15 fee earners, has been under review since before the firm’s merger talks with Hogan & Hartson began.

Not everybody can benefit from the something about synergy upside of the merger. But will these Chicago castoffs find new homes?

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If someone told you they had a $14,500,000 inheritance from their father stuck in a bank account in Burkina Faso, you would likely laugh in their face and offer them some Viagra and a penis enlarger in exchange for a slice of the fortune.

But what if they told you this while you were sitting in a conference room of a corporate law firm, and the person was flanked by Baker Hostetler attorneys who vouched for the legitimacy of the African fortune?

Under those circumstances, a group of Ohioans invested over one million dollars to help Willia Burton recover her supposed windfall from a foreign bank account. But it’s been five years, and it’s become evident that — sur-freaking-prise! — it’s actually a scam.

Now the nine gullible investors are suing Burton and her Baker Hostetler lawyers, William Culbertson and Paul Feinberg, for fraud, civil conspiracy, and negligent misrepresentation.

Unfortunately, there’s no claim to be made for the public humiliation they shall now suffer for falling for a “Nigerian bank account scam”…

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Readers of the New York Times may have noted an odd correction/apology in the paper last week:

In 1994, Philip Bowring, a contributor to the International Herald Tribune’s op-ed page, agreed as part of an undertaking with the leaders of the government of Singapore that he would not say or imply that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had attained his position through nepotism practiced by his father Lee Kuan Yew. In a February 15, 2010, article, Mr. Bowring nonetheless included these two men in a list of Asian political dynasties, which may have been understood by readers to infer that the younger Mr. Lee did not achieve his position through merit. We wish to state clearly that this inference was not intended. We apologize to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong for any distress or embarrassment caused by any breach of the undertaking and the article.

What necessitated this rather back-handed apology?
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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.

The People’s Therapist received an interesting and important letter a few weeks ago from a 3L (I’ve redacted it and altered some details to preserve anonymity):

Mr. Meyerhofer,

I have a question (or perhaps a topic suggestion for a post, as I’m sure many students are wondering about this) about the character and fitness part of the NY bar application.

I have seen a therapist several times over the years for issues relating to depression, eating disorders, and self-injury. On the NY bar application it asks whether you have any psychological issues that might effect your ability to perform as a lawyer. I have absolutely no idea whether I’m required to disclose my psychological treatment history, or if I do, how much of it. Is the determination based on what I personally think, or is it a reasonable person standard?

As I’ve had to go to the ER several times over the years, objectively I could see how someone could interpret that as something that could affect my performance. However, I personally don’t think that it does.

I don’t really know who I could ask about this, as I don’t really want my school administrators to know about my issues. Any information you might have would be much appreciated. Thank you so much for your help!


“Stumped in Syracuse”

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

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a good, hard laugh at the expense of Michigan law students. As the recession took hold, Michigan students stopped stealing sandwiches and cell phones.

So maybe the latest spate of on-campus douchebaggery at Michigan is a sign that economy is picking back up? Or maybe it’s simply another example of 1Ls who think law school is College 2.0? A tipster reports:

A secret society has been formed by the rich, straight, white men at Michigan Law, apparently because it’s so difficult to find people like that in the Law School. It appears to be a bastardized version of the old Barrister’s Society. Hostility has been high towards the group of ~20 1Ls, and will probably increase with the leaking of internal memos….

Also, Thursday night they put sheets on our residential building roofs. The biggest problem was that nobody could figure out that the weird scrawling was meant to be a stylized “B”. People were milling about and one could hear “I think that’s an M” “I think that one’s an “IS.” The Barristers don’t have great penmanship.

Yeah, we’ve got leaked memos, and art! And if you caught 30 Rock this week, you should know that these guys are not nearly as cool as Twig and Plums …

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In a cover story last year for Washingtonian magazine, on the subject of lawyer incomes, Kash and I posed a question: Are lawyers like white-collar auto workers?

Answer: no. Autoworkers are better paid. Check out this latest job listing, from craigslist for Orange County:

Full time associate attorney start at $12 an hour.

Welcome to the OC, bitch.

Salaries in the legal profession may be experiencing some deflation, but $12 an hour for the holder of a J.D. is… ridiculous. As one of the many readers who sent this to us observed, “I made this much in high school.” Said a second: “They’re looking for an associate who will work for $12 / hour. At that rate, one might as well go for an In-N-Out gig. You’ll probably get benefits there.”

But wait, it gets better….

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* Obama signs the student loan overhaul into law. [New York Times]

* It’s official: Andrew Giuliani’s lawsuit against Duke, for kicking him off the golf team, has been dismissed. (A magistrate judge previously recommended dismissal, in a humorous opinion.) [Durham Herald-Sun]

* Billionaire Mark Cuban, represented by Dewey & LeBoeuf, takes the offensive against the SEC. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A Tennessee businessman who put up some of the money for a recent Sarah Palin appearance has sued a leader of the Tea Party. [Associated Press]

* Bigger regional law firms are in expansion mode, snapping up smaller shops. [Am Law Daily]

* The Supreme Court opinion in Jones v. Harris Associates (previously mentioned here): a victory for opacity? [New York Times]

* Another SCOTUS decision from yesterday places restrictions on certain whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act. [Associated Press via How Appealing]

Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner told the New Yorker he is like his cat, Dinah: "playful, but with a streak of cruelty."

It’s hard to find someone to love who also loves you. It’s a lot easier to find an animal with which to establish a loving relationship. Just make sure it’s not too loving.

Many lawyers are proud pet owners, bringing cats, dogs, small wolves, iguanas, and/or flying squirrels into their apartments and homes. Your ATL editors hold mixed feelings about the four-legged set. Elie and Kash are all in favor of bringing furry things into your bed, though he likes dogs and she likes cats. Meanwhile, Lat dissents.

This brings us to the question for today’s Above the Law roundtable:

What’s the best pet for lawyers?

Your ATL editors debate, after the jump.

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* I don’t think they’ll make a Fugitive type movie about this Boston guy accused of stealing video game code. “A one-armed man — with really spindly and dexterous fingers — took the code.” [Kotaku]

* The distinctive plight of the overqualified unemployed. [The Atlantic Wire]

* SCOTUS unanimously smacks down Chief Judge Easterbrook. [Conglomerate]

* Great, now companies are outsourcing in-house legal work to India. [Legally India]

* A judge throws down with Eric Holder over state secrets. [Politico]

* Posting reams of text on the back of a bus has to be an attractive nuisance that leads to traffic accidents. [Copyranter]

* I guess you can look at the World Cup as one big tax bubble. That bites for the host country, but I suppose it’s nice for the fans. [Tax Prof Blog]

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