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Let’s hope law schools don’t figure out this trick pioneered by a New Jersey college. Bloomberg Businessweek reports:

Drake College of Business, a for- profit higher education company based in New Jersey, suspended its recruiting of students from homeless shelters while accreditors scrutinize the practice.

For those who keep telling me that discharging student loans through bankruptcy would make banks more cautious before giving out student loans, I say “good!” I’m worried about equal access to education. But I’m somewhat confident a bank can distinguish between a low income student that gets into a T-14 law school, and a homeless person that gets recruited to Drake College of Fleecing Business.

I’m mean, taking in student loan money is the school’s only business model for God’s sake…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Student Loans for Homeless People?”

Exciting news. Starbucks has just launched its new However-You-Want-It Frappuccino® product, “allowing customers to create a blended beverage that is uniquely their own…. the same way they customize their favorite Starbucks espresso beverage.”

Sounds delicious! But if you order your Frappuccino with extra ice, and then experience brain freeze, don’t turn around and sue Starbucks.

Or maybe do turn around and sue Starbucks? Even though lawsuits based on allegedly unreasonable beverage temperatures have become national jokes, memorialized in popular culture (e.g., Seinfeld episodes), they still keep getting filed — and, presumably, settled.

The latest lawsuit has been filed against Starbucks, for excessively hot tea….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of Fifteen Years Ago a Few Days Ago: Inanli v. Starbucks”

Justice John Paul Stevens Above the Law.jpg* Justice Stevens explains the reason for his bow ties (and his stance on the death penalty). [ABA Journal]

* Texas lawyer Adam Reposa‘s law license is on probation for three years. [Austin American-Statesman]

* BP plaintiffs of the world, unite! [BusinessWeek]

* UVA 3L Dean Razavi is headed to Katten Muchin with a Fourth Circuit win under his belt. (Classmate Ellen Valentine also worked on the case though didn’t get to share in the oral argument glory.) [BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]

* Supreme Court nominee announcement more likely to come next week than this week. And Eric Holder thinks the press should have gotten some good shots of Kagan talking to Stevens, though he denies any special insider knowledge. [Washington Post]

* A delicious victory for Seinfeld’s wife. [Courthouse News Service]

Welcome to the top … of the second tier. We are at the point where the value proposition of going to law school is questionable. But the “nailing attractive co-eds” possibilities remain high. Check out some of the schools ranked in this batch. If you are going to spend three years and six figures on something, you’re going to need more than illusory job prospects to keep you warm at night:

52. Pepperdine
52. Cardozo
54. Florida State
54. Yale Law School’s Hartford Campus/University of Connecticut (j/k)
56. Case Western Reserve
56. Loyola (Los Angeles)
56. Cincinnati
56. San Diego
60. Georgia State
60. University of Houston
60. Miami
60. Tennessee
64. Baylor
64. Lewis & Clark College
64. Kentucky
67. Brooklyn
67. Kansas
67. New Mexico
67. Pittsburgh
67. Villanova
72. Penn State
72. Seton Hall
72. St. John’s
72. Temple
72. Hawaii
72. Oklahoma

See what I’m saying. I bet young law students are just cutting a swath through the undergrads at Yeshiva University.

Seriously though, FSU, Miami, Rocky Top, Ha-freaking-Waii. Good times! You know, unless you want to get a job…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Open Thread: 2011 U.S. News Law School Rankings (52 – 72)”

* What does Justice Sonia Sotomayor have in common with Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, and Rush Limbaugh? [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]

* Walter Olson is moving from the Manhattan Institute over to the Cato Institute. Good luck, Walter! [Overlawyered]

* A roundup of the past week of legal blogging that contains an interesting story about Harvard Law School — you might have heard something about it. Also, legal malpractice in Texas. [Infamy or Praise]

* Remember, she’ll always be Crimson DNA to us. [Breaking Media]

* The lawsuit filed by a woman against her daughter-in-law’s comedy act has been resolved, in favor of the young comedian. Let this be a lesson to all mothers-in-law out there. [ABA Journal]

* Nashville and the greater Middle Tennessee area were hit hard by flooding over the weekend. If you’d like to help, here’s how. [Young Lawyers Blog]

* Is there an epidemic of child pornography in the military? [Suits & Sentences]

* … If so, I’m sure some medical marijuana could clear that right up. It’s available in the nation’s capital, surely boys healing up at Landstuhl could use it too. [Underdog]

* Hooters, China style. [What About Clients]

* Happy Cinco de Mayo! And remember, if you want to change Arizona’s mind about something, contact your local sports franchise. The state got its act together on Martin Luther King Day once the NFL threatened to pull the Superbowl. [Fox News]

A local woman is suing the producers of The Real World D.C. over her portrayal in the show. I don’t really care about this woman’s claims or why she thinks she’s owed $5 million, but in case you’re interested, DCist reports:

In the suit, Golzar Amirmotazedi, 22, says that during one episode, cast members Andrew and Josh plied her with alcohol at a bar, brought her home, kicked her out after she refused sex and then proceeded to make fun of her. As a consequence of her brief appearance on one of the episodes (our recap of the episode in question is here; it’s the second of the two), the suit claims that Amirmotazedi was subject to ridicule in online forums, lost her self-esteem and became depressed, left her job and was denied other employment, had trouble sleeping, and suffered from nausea.

Yes, yes, yes. Terrible. Men are pigs, they only buy girls drinks in order to sleep with them and get pissed off when they don’t put out. (Kash here: I felt duty-bound to watch this season as it was set in my old hometown, and if I remember that episode correctly, Andrew was playing wingman to Josh, and thus entertaining Golzar while greasy Josh hooked it with her friend. Golzar was trying her best to get Andrew to dump his gf and hook up with her. He declined, because he surprisingly had a very hot gf.)

But can we get to the waiver this woman signed? That’s what allowed MTV to air her decision to play a drunken cock-tease in front of the cameras…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Did You Know That the Real World Has an STD Waiver?”

Now that President Obama has interviewed the four finalists for the U.S. Supreme Court seat he has to fill — Judge Merrick Garland (D.C. Cir.), Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Sidney Thomas (9th Cir.), and Judge Diane Wood (7th Cir) — the nominee could be announced any day now. Who will it be?

We realize that the betting men (and women) favor Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Kagan is also the pick of Tom Goldstein, the veteran Supreme Court litigator and founder of SCOTUSblog, who correctly forecast the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor (a nomination that the White House sought his counsel on).

But we’re going to go out on a limb and make a crazy prediction: President Obama is going to nominate Judge Diane Wood, of the Seventh Circuit, to the Supreme Court. He’ll announce the nomination on Monday, May 10 — the Monday after Mother’s Day. (That’s significant, for reasons we’ll get to later.)

Right out of the starting gate, immediately after Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement, Solicitor General Elena Kagan emerged as the frontrunner for his seat. And Kagan is still widely regarded as the leading candidate.

But, in the past week and a half or so, we’ve felt a slight, almost imperceptible shift in the wind, in favor of Judge Wood….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “SCOTUS Speculation: Could It Be Wood?
Ten reasons Obama might appoint Diane Wood.

blind item AboveTheLaw legal blog.jpgNo matter when it’s done, job hunting usually sucks balls. When done in the middle of the Great Recession, it feels like the balls are covered in tangled hair and pointy skin-piercing spikes. It’s painful and you have to be careful.

One disgruntled attorney recently emailed us about a company that he suspects is trying to take advantage of desperate job hunters. He calls it “a new type of scam preying on unemployed lawyers.”

He responded via an ad on Craigslist to an “assets management company” seeking IP attorneys for full-time or part-time contract work. We’ll call the company Pay To Work, LLC. In the ad, PTW says it’s looking for “entrepreneurial” attorneys to do intellectual property work. It says its clients include scientists, inventors, writers, artists, celebrities, universities, and multi-national corporations. That sounds pretty sweet!

But there are some big catches. First off, “partners” are supposed to pay $295/month for “administrative fees.” Second off, the company has no clients at the moment. It’s a start-up in the “set-up phase.” So if you sign up and start paying $300 a month, what exactly are you getting for your money?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is Anyone Desperate Enough to Do This?”

We’ve received tips, texts, and phone calls about Blank Rome. As spring hurtles towards summer, the firm is letting incoming associates know that they won’t be starting any time soon. A tipster reports the firm is “rescinding” offers, but that’s not technically correct:

I just heard from a friend that Blank Rome has rescinded offers to Blank Rome 2009 associates … It’s pretty awful that a firm waited this long to finally rescind offers to its 2009 associates–and the legal gossip market ought to know about it.

Actually, the firm is not rescinding offers, it’s merely extending the deferral period for a few incoming first year associates. Indefinitely. With no expectation that the job offer will ever result in a job. And no stipend.

Yeah, I think the indefinitely deferred associates will get the point…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Blank Rome: Indefinite Deferral Isn’t A Subtle Signal”

Career Center AboveTheLaw Lateral Link ATL.jpgWith all the salary freezes, thaws and permanent meltdowns over the past year, it’s hard to keep track of what associates at law firms are actually making these days. And associates are learning that an annual lock-step raise is no longer a sure thing under new compensation systems at many firms.

This week our ATL / Lateral Link survey asks about starting salaries and annual salary increases at your firm. We’ll use the information to update the ATL Career Center and bring you the results next week.

If you have information about your firm that you want to share with other career center users, please email us at careercenter@abovethelaw.com.

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.

When I summered at Shearman & Sterling back in the late ’90s, the partners had just voted on whether to install a gym in the building or create a formal dining room.

Needless to say, they went with the dining room.

It was strictly lawyers-only. At the center stood a buffet fit for a cruise ship, replete with heaping chafing dishes. On certain days, they even had a “prime rib station,” manned by a guy wearing a toque.

This was the golden trough. We fed with complete abandon – at least on days when we weren’t being whisked off to The Four Seasons by a partner pretending to remember our names.

The joke was that all summer associates at Shearman gained 15 pounds.

It wasn’t a joke. We did.

Almost overnight a relatively in-shape pack of law students morphed into a fresh, pudgy litter of big firm attorneys.

It’s no secret law firms ply you with food to address the fact that they’re denying you everything else.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In-House Counseling: The Golden Trough”

The Village Voice has an explosive exposé today. The publication exclusively obtained hundreds of hours of tape recordings of cops being cops. The Voice explains:

Two years ago, a police officer in a Brooklyn precinct became gravely concerned about how the public was being served. To document his concerns, he began carrying around a digital sound recorder, secretly recording his colleagues and superiors…

In all, he surreptitiously collected hundreds of hours of cops talking about their jobs.

Made without the knowledge or approval of the NYPD, the tapes—made between June 1, 2008, and October 31, 2009, in the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant and obtained exclusively by the Voice—provide an unprecedented portrait of what it’s like to work as a cop in this city.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a police officer (or have never watched The Wire) you’ve got to listen to the tapes

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What It’s Like to Be a Cop”

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