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Brandeis University has made a major free-agent signing in the legal world. The George Washington Law School dean, Frederick M. Lawrence, is leaving GW to become president at Brandeis. And the good people at Brandeis couldn’t be happier. As one Brandeis tipster put it:

Finally, a president that will make Jewish grandmothers (read: Brandeis undergrads) proud: “He’s a lawyer!”

No, but really, the trustees at Brandeis are thrilled….

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Does LeBron James have lawyerly genes?

LeBron James, who’s your daddy? (Unfortunately, it’s not the Knicks, to Elie’s great dismay.) Could it be a Washington lawyer by the name of Leicester Bryce Stovell?

Stovell came forward this week, claiming to have knocked up Gloria James when she was 15 and to have genetic proof that he’s the King’s father. Like all good dads should, Stovell is suing his new-found son and baby mama for $4 million for denying paternity. TMZ reported on the lawsuit on Wednesday along with photos of Stovell, saying the resemblance is uncanny. At the very least, it’s true that they’re both tall.

TMZ was blown away by Stovell’s credentials:

[T]he man making the claim isn’t some schmuck — dude is a Princeton graduate … who earned a law degree from the University of Chicago … and then became a Senior Legal Advisor for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Au contraire. You can get a law degree from the U of Chicago and still be a schmuck. One of Stovell’s former colleagues attests to that…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Leicester Bryce Stovell (aka LeBron’s Daddy)”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

ATL,

I have a pet peeve.  When scheduling conference calls, certain people, particularly associates at firms representing codefendants, frequently identify the time zone as “EST” or “PST” when we’re on daylight savings time.  Of course the writer means “EDT” or “PDT,” and everyone acts as if they wrote that.  But it bugs me.  And I have reason to think that some people see it as a sign of sloppy work.  Is it appropriate to point out this mistake (privately, of course)?

— Timed Out

Dear Timed Out,

You are absolutely right: typos such as confusing EST with EDT are indicative of sloppy work and its first cousin, sloppy thought. Frankly, they’re inexcusable when clients pay lawyers like yourself thousands of dollars to fight their battles – not “they’re batles.”

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Cornell Law School recently circulated to its students in the class of 2012 — i.e., rising 2Ls –a list of class of 2010 and 2011 members who landed jobs through the fall recruiting process. Most of these positions, not surprisingly, are at large law firms (aka “Biglaw”). The class of 2010 graduates will presumably be working for their firms in a few months (or in a year or so, if they’ve been deferred); the class of 2011 students are presumably summer associates at their firms right now.

Many law schools circulate such lists to their students. This gives rising 2Ls an opportunity to connect with graduates or fellow students and maybe learn a little bit more about law firms before fall recruiting really heats up.

The Cornell Law employment lists offer an interesting snapshot of the employment prospects for students and graduates of a top law school. The lists provide the name of the graduate or student, their law firm employer, the city they’ll be working in, and the graduate or student’s email address. We have reprinted the lists, but with names and email addresses redacted, after the jump.

Should Cornell Law students be pleased or pissed off by their school’s track record at Biglaw placement? We hear from one CLS student and then debate the question, also after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Employment Prospects for Graduates of Top Law Schools: A Cornell Case Study (and a Debate)”

There are a lot of angry job hunters in the legal marketplace right now, thanks to lots of debt and little in the way of prospects. They’re desperate, frustrated, and may be dangerous. The Great Recession has turned some of these poor legal puppies into Cujos.

In May, we wrote about a heated exchange between a Massachusetts law student and a potential lawyerly employer. The lawyer, Rose Clayton, had hesitations about hiring the law student as a paralegal and offered to hire him on a trial basis. When he objected, demanding a full-time offer instead, she laid out exactly what he had done wrong. That set him off and the conversation deteriorated into an exchange of unconstructive criticism. The law student, Jesse Clark, ended with this:

It’s amazing that the Ma Bar lets women practice law. Shouldn’t you be home cleaning and raising children? As for your practice, its just Bankruptcy. It’s not difficult, and many Petitioners file pro bono and get discharges.

Clayton posted the exchange online, redacting the student’s name, and Massachusetts Law Weekly picked up on it. And then we picked up on it. Jesse Clark responded on his blog and thus shed the cloak of anonymity.

Noah Schaffer at the Massachusetts Law Weekly’s Docket identified Clark in a second story, which led Clark to create a nude modeling profile for Schaffer.

After corresponding with Clark, my photo and phone number found their way into a Craigslist casual encounters ad. I deflated quite a few, um, hearts when I let the many callers know that it was a prank.

Then all was quiet on the digital terrorism front for over a month. Until this week. Rose Clayton became the victim of a nasty new prank…

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* Appeals Court shuts down Obama, kind of like how LeBron just shut down Cleveland. [New York Times]

* The great spy swap is happening. Too bad we can’t send LeBron to Soviet Russia. [CNN]

* LiLo’s new lawyer is very inexperienced. But at least she passed the bar. “King” James has never won a freaking thing. [THR, Esq.]

* Pro se litigant beats Toyota at the Ninth Circuit. It’s kind of like what’s going to happen when Cleveland beats Miami in the playoffs. [Law.com]

* Shooting unarmed men in the back is still cool. Just ask LeBron. [Daily News]

* New Florida bar rules manage to anger the ACLU and the FTC. Kind of like how the new Florida basketball team will unite the country in anger. [ABA Journal]

* Also, screw you LeBron James. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

This summer is not as thrilling for law students as summers past. Firms have tightened their belts, and the law students lucky enough to snag one of the few summer associate positions out there are not getting the royal treatment. Or they are, but now the royal treatment is defined as allowing summers to order anything they want off the McDonald’s Dollar Menu (“All the McChickens and baked apple pies you can eat, 3Ls! But get it to go. There’s work to be done.”).

The Philadelphia Inquirer laments the decline of the summer associate experience:

The programs themselves, with trips abroad and lavish entertaining, could seem more like summer enrichment for precocious college students than real employment. But as a general rule, that sort of treatment is a thing of the past.

More typical is the summer program at the Wilmington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom L.L.P., where Temple second-year Nick Mozal is spending his summer in corporate law. Mozal said there has been some entertaining, but the big event so far has been a night at a Phillies game.

Well, it is Wilmington. Are there better options than that?

But even in much more glamorous Philadelphia, the summer experience is lackluster:

James Lawlor, a Reed Smith partner who recruits and hires summer associates, said the firm has been doing less entertaining of summer associates, and when it does, it is more likely to schedule events at the firm’s Center City offices rather than at costly restaurants.

“We took away some of the bells and whistles,” Lawlor said.

Not all firms have silenced their bells and thrown out their whistles, though. After the jump, check out this year’s contenders for best summer associate event. And vote for the firm that should take home the shorter and smaller prize…

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A federal judge in Boston — Judge Joseph L. Tauro (D. Mass.), appointed to the bench by President Nixon back in 1972 — just struck down down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As you may recall, DOMA is the 1996 law that effectively bans recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes of federal law.

The last substantive paragraph of Judge Tauro’s opinion summarizes the reasoning nicely….

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* There’s nothing quite as sad as a failed presidential candidate. John McCain, John Kerry, Al Gore, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale — you all need to get a room; a room that doesn’t have a microphone in it. [WSJ Law Blog]

* When I saw the headline for this story I was really hoping, nay praying, that assailant involved wasn’t black. Alas, I was disappointed. Whatever, I guess we’ll have to fight against historical stereotypes about the endowments of black men another day. [Nothing To Do With Arbroath]

* Constitutional Law might not be required for Harvard Law students, but maybe it should be required for county sheriffs. [Bad Lawyer]

* Civil unions get vetoed in Hawaii. Maybe this is a ploy to convince Tea Partiers that Hawaii really is a part of the Union and Obama is a citizen? [Huffington Post]

* The Dos and Don’ts of sending an email at Citibank. Apparently, sarcasm and exaggeration are no longer acceptable. [Dealbreaker]

* Legal scholar to become next Governor General of Canada. Yes, I know what you are wondering: what the hell is a “Canada” and why should we care who is governing it, generally? [Vancouver Sun]

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A paralegal tries to cool himself off.

It’s getting hot in herre
So turn off all your lights.
I am… getting so hot…
I wanna turn my lights off! [FN1]

Here on the East Coast, things are heating up. Unfortunately, we’re not talking about the legal job market.

We’re speaking much more literally. For the past few days, New York, Washington, and places in between have been in the grips of a brutal heat wave. On Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures in NYC broke record highs, entering triple-digit territory.

Today, mercifully, has been a bit better. In D.C., temps will top out in the mid-to-upper 90s this afternoon. As a Washington Post reader quipped, “Only in the mid 90’s today… better grab a jacket before leaving the house!”

They say lawyers are cold-blooded creatures — but we get hot too. How are law firms and law schools coping with the heat?

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I kind of blew my Star Wars referential load when we found out that the Star Wars Kid was going to law school. But that was weeks ago. Who could have known that in the past month Lucasfilms would become embroiled in some actual legal battles? Earlier this week, we found out that pregnant women have a bad feeling about working for the company. And on Tuesday, CNN reported that Lucasfilms sent a cease-and-desist letter to a laser pointer company because their product looks too much like the iconic lightsaber:

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas wants to force a laser company to stop making a new, high-powered product he says looks too much like the famous lightsaber from his classic sci-fi series.

Lucasfilm Ltd. has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Hong Kong-based Wicked Lasers, threatening legal action if it doesn’t change its Pro Arctic Laser series or stop selling it altogether.

I actually own a full sized lightsaber replica (of course I do — do I look like I got laid ever in high school). It lights up (red, d’uh, have you met me?), and it makes all the sounds when you swing it around. And let me tell you, this laser product looks nothing like a real lightsaber…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cease-and-Desist Letter of the Day: Is That a Lightsaber in Your Pocket?”

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