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* Since K&L Gates’s Peter Kalis thinks law is a “contact sport,” you have to wonder kind of impact clients he is looking for out there in Pittsburgh. [Law and More]

* Excessive attorneys’ fees at Akin Gump and Ballard Spahr? Dude, it’s a recession; they gotta make money somehow. [Lawshucks]

* Things that happened in the legal blogosphere that did not involve Elena Kagan. [Infamy or Praise]

* Laugh-off between Kagan and Scalia. [Holy Hullabaloos]

* Statistics on lawyer timekeeping. [Adam Smith, Esq.]

* Superfund is still Constitutional. [Volokh Conspiracy]

As we’ve covered in these pages, a fair amount of talent has departed from White & Case in the past few months. The latest to leave: Kathleen Pakenham, a leading litigatrix in tax, who has moved over to Cooley as a partner.

Is this part of a larger trend? And will it continue?

“In under a year, White & Case has lost nearly 40 partners, most of whom have the largest books of business in the firm,” according to one source. “Many of the partner departures have been widely covered by the media — e.g., the 13 departures to Latham in London — but many more have been under the radar screen.”

We’ve received divergent opinions, however, on the extent and significance of the partner losses. Some say that many of the partners who left are not major names and have limited books of business, and that 40 is far too high for the number of departures in the past year. According to the Lawshucks Lateral Tracker, at least 28 attorneys have left W&C since October 2009, but we don’t know the number for the trailing 12 months.

Who are some of the other White & Case lawyers that have left for other firms? What are the broader implications of these departures? And what does the firm have to say about all of this?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Partner Exodus from White & Case?”

What will be the most fabulous summer associate event of 2010? We don’t know yet, but we are still accepting your nominations.

For those of you who will be in New York on July 12, we’d like to bring this fabulous event to your attention, hosted by Above the Law and the Practical Law Company. It will feature free food and drink (since summer associates won’t accept anything less). Here are the details:

Monday, July 12, 2010
6 PM – whenever
Amity Hall (80 West 3rd Street, New York, NY 10012)

The event is free, but space is limited, with priority given to summer associates and law students. Please RSVP by email, to

Thanks. We look forward to seeing you on the 12th!

Dean William Treanor

Yesterday, we brought you the news of Fordham Law School Dean William Treanor’s appointment as dean of Georgetown Law School, when we posted a message that went out to Georgetown law students at 4 p.m. We soon learned that we blindsided Fordham students and alumni with the news. They weren’t happy to get the “Surprise! Your dean is bouncing!” message from us, instead of from Fordham or from the dean himself.

One alum g-chatted us:

I can’t believe Treanor is leaving Fordham… All of my friends are shocked and now in the anger/betrayed phase.

Treanor was well-liked at Fordham, but his hasty departure left a bitter taste in the mouths of some of his former students. One commenter said:

Congratulations Georgetown you just earned a Dean who left Fordham Law without any sense of warning or notice to Fordham students after years of issuing statements of how Fordham is a “community” and a “home.” Oh! and how convenient after he was a strong cause for Fordham dropping in the rankings from 25 to the 30’s. Oh ya Bulldogs. That was a great steal.

Let this be a lesson to other deans who plan to jump to a higher-ranked ship. Make sure you send your farewell message before your new school sends out its welcome message.

Dean Treanor did send out an email to Fordhamites, but it was sent over two and a half hours after Georgetown kids got the giddy news, and two hours after our post went up. A two-hour delay may seem inconsequential to some, but in the world of instant news and communication, it’s unforgivable in the minds of some Fordham folk. Did he make up for the faux pas in the email?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fordham Students Left With Bitter Taste in Their Mouths After Dean Treanor’s Departure for Georgetown”

The kabuki theater intermission is over. We’re back for the afternoon session on Day 3 of the Elena Kagan Senate Confirmation Hearings.

Kash is liveblogging this afternoon and hoping the senators wrap up earlier than 7 p.m. today…
double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Liveblogging the Kagan Confirmation Hearings: Day 3 (Afternoon)”

While we recognize that some fortunetellers may make fraudulent statements, just as some lawyers or journalists may, we see nothing in the record to suggest that fortunetelling always involves fraudulent statements.

Judge Clayton Greene Jr., writing for the Maryland Court of Appeals in Nefedro v. Montgomery County, which struck down a ban on paid fortunetelling on First Amendment grounds.

(Gavel bang: ABA State and Local Government Law newsletter.)

Ann Althouse did it. So can you.

It’s about the time of year when students studying for the bar exam are gearing up for one of the big BAR/BRI practice tests: the midterm. Many, many people report that they only really step up their study efforts after the 4th of July — and the reason for that is usually a disappointing score on the midterm.

Most people who score poorly on the midterm will either slip into despair or go into crazy, hyper-studying overload. And both of those paths can lead to bar exam failure. For the vast majority of people, passage or failure on the bar exam is not about innate intellectual ability. It’s about managing your nerves and successfully gaming the test. Most people who can graduate from law school can pass a bar exam. But many will not, and their failure is not about being dumb.

To give hope to those who might be feeling hopeless this week, I’d like to tell you how I passed the bar on my first try — after absolutely bombing the midterm just a month before the real thing…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How to Fail the BAR/BRI Midterm and Still Pass on the First Try”

A 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 attorney, he holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work. He blogs at The People’s Therapist.

An editor at Above the Law suggested some months back that I do a piece on the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings. For whatever reason, this stodgy old weekly news magazine — which someone must still read — has created a sideline business publishing rankings of schools, including law schools. I’m not sure what the criteria are, but at least in theory, it’s a big deal for lawyers when the list comes out each year.

The list seems designed to make official what everyone knows anyway, i.e., that there are “prestige” schools that are harder to get into. But like any good opinion piece, they throw in a few twists — familiar names in unexpected places. It boils down to dissing one of the big places, or unexpectedly anointing a second-rank outfit. That way everyone can get riled up over the respective rankings of my school versus your school.

It sounded kind of boring, so I filed the idea away.

Then it started to gnaw at me. The U.S. News list seemed like a good example of the amazing lengths lawyers go to in order to distinguish themselves from one another. The entire profession splits hairs like this because the career path is so conservative there isn’t much to distinguish one attorney from another. Every lawyer lines up to take the LSAT, then get processed and distributed to law schools based on hairline distinctions. In class you sit through identical lectures, take identical exams, and head off — for the most part — to identical firms to do nearly identical work.

You end up arguing over the details….

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Alfred Steiner, artist and MoFo associate

Morrison & Foerster tends to attract quirky types. The firm is demonstrably offbeat, from its mildly bizarre website to its embracing the moniker “MoFo.” So we were not particularly surprised when an artist type auctioning off a piece of conceptual art on eBay turned out to be a lawyer from the firm.

Alfred Steiner is a tech and IP lawyer in MoFo’s New York office. He described the piece to us thusly:

In a conceptually reductive context where works are increasingly defined more by an agreement between artist and collector (whether written or oral, tacit or explicit) than by the tangible manifestation of the work itself, what would a work become if it were reduced to be coextensive with that agreement, that is, if that agreement were the work itself?

Yup, the piece of art is a contract. What we were surprised by was how much a contract from a Morrison & Foerster attorney went for on eBay…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A MoFo Attorney Tries to Capitalize on the Art of Contract Law”

And we’re back. Day 3 of the Elena Kagan Senate Confirmation Hearings. Today, junior Senators will get to finish their first round of questions, and then the Senators on the Judiciary Committee get to go after Kagan for a second round…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Liveblogging the Kagan Confirmation Hearings: Day 3 (Morning)”

* Just in case you didn’t already know, Facebook is really, really helpful for divorce attorneys. [Associated Press]

* DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas plans to sue polling company, Research 2000. [Washington Post]

* Meanwhile, Howrey goes after Nate Silver on behalf of Research 2000. [FiveThirtyEight]

* Make sure that your in-house lawyers all have their licenses in order. Communications by Jonathan Moss, who was chief in-house counsel at Gucci but practicing with a lapsed license, are not entitled to attorney-client privilege in a trademark infringement lawsuit against Guess?. [New York Law Journal; ABA Journal]

* The SEC pays out $755K to fired lawyer Gary Aguirre, who claimed wrongful termination after he tried to investigate a prominent hedge fund. [Associated Press]

* A Texas lawyer and his wife accused of stealing $2 million for military veterans. [Houston Chronicle]

* Judicial minimalism is gone at One First Street. [New York Times]

* Google caves to try to keep its license in China. [New York Times]

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