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champagne glasses small.jpgAfter two weeks of political chatter over John McCain’s vice-presidential pick, one burning question remains: Will Bristol Palin’s wedding announcement run in the New York Times? If it does, dear readers, it may mark the first time a self-described “f–kin’ redneck” appears in that space. Be assured that LEWW, after stretching to find a legal angle, will cover it with the breathless snark you demand.
As is usually the case, all three of our weddings this week were officiated by Rabbis. So you may safely assume that there are no rednecks, and no pregnant brides. Just silky smooth prestige. Here are the finalists:

1.
Sara Aronchick and Scott Solow

2. Betty Luther and Benjamin Siracusa
3. Annie Kaufman and Tad Fallows

More about these couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 8.31: Enchan-Tad”

bc lsa cruise drinking.jpgTomorrow, the law students association at Boston College Law School will host its annual Boston Harbor boat cruise. Most law schools in the greater Boston area do some version of this. I’ve been on many, though I remember none.
But I guess it’s exactly that kind of drunk boat behavior that the BC cruise team are sick of. A tipster sent along sternly worded email in advance of tomorrow night’s festivities:

Unfortunately, over the past several years, we have had some troubling incidents on the boat cruise that have marred this event. These incidents were all caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Is there any point to being on a boat in the middle of Boston Harbor unless you intend to consume alcohol excessively? It’s not like you can fish, swim, or gamble. What else are you supposed to do?
The email goes on to list specific incidents that have “marred” the boat cruise in the past:

One year, a law student was detained and arrested by the State Police while trying to board the boat while intoxicated. A few years ago, the boat was forced to return to port shortly after leaving dock because of a seriously intoxicated student on the cruise. Last year, there was a fight between two law students and one sustained a serious, and possibly permanent, injury.

As our tipster aptly put it, “I’m still trying to figure out if this was meant as a warning or an advertisement.”
Tickets are still available!
The full email is reprinted after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Stop Screwin’ Around. You Guys Screw Around Too Much”

Andrew Giuliani Duke University Duke golf team lawsuit.jpgOn Wednesday, Duke responded to Andrew Giuliani’s lawsuit. Duke claims that they were well within their rights to kick Giuliani off the school’s golf team.
Duke alleges that Giuliani threw an apple in another teammate’s face, injured a teammate, and was verbally abusive to one of the coaches.
Sounds about right.
You can’t believe everything you read in our comment threads, but one commenter on our initial post seems to have known exactly what Giuliani-time meant for Duke golfers:

Apparently, Giuliani threw an apple at another kid’s face who was also on the Duke golf team. The apple caused some damage to the kid’s face. O.D. [Vincent III, the coach of the golf team] is a class guy and has always been fair to everyone on the team. As evidenced by the fact that Giuliani is not back on the team, his ex-teammates don’t really like him at all. Not to mention the fact that he’s not good enough to be on the starting five. From an inside source, Giuliani was a “virus” on the team.

So maybe the kid has a bit of a temper and is a bad golfer? So what? We shouldn’t make fun of him. It’s not like he’s a community organizer or anything. Those are the people we should ridicule.
Duke defends dismissing Giuliani’s son [Charlotte Observer]
Earlier: Andrew Giuliani’s Golf Team Lawsuit: Open Thread

corporate blog mind control.jpegDoes your firm run a corporate blog? If so, would you post comments to it? Employers are struggling with the question of what to do about employee blogs, and their responses prove just how old and out of touch corporate leaders can be.
In the National Law Journal, one attorney tries to define blogging in a way that Angela Lansbury would understand:

“It’s the modern-day version of the suggestion box,” management-side attorney Zachary Hummel, a partner in the New York office of Bryan Cave, said of employee blogging. “It’s growing exponentially and so more and more employers are facing the issue of how far do we let employees go before we take action.”

A suggestion box? Kind of like how instant messaging is the modern day “carrier pigeon.”
And what does “take action” mean? If an employer wanted to stop employees from blogging about their employers on the firm dime, they could just stop hosting blogs. That’s taking action. What Hummel is suggesting is called “scapegoating” one employee that crosses some intangible and ill-defined line and making an example out of them.
The problem with employer sponsored blogs is that they are not done for the benefit of the employees or for “company morale.” They exist because employers like to pop their collars and this sounds like a great way to do it, so long as they can strip the blog of anything useful, confidential, offensive, or true.
More layers of corporate control after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Work Blogs: Just Another Kind of Control”

Judge Penny Brown Reynolds Penny Reynolds.jpgWhen it comes to the television bench, the great state of Florida seems to be the feeder court. See the list of Floridian judges turned TV judges at the end of this post.
But Florida doesn’t have a monopoly on television jurists. From the Fulton County Daily Report:

Writing that “God has called me to a higher place,” Fulton County State Court Judge Penny Brown Reynolds on Monday notified Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue that she would resign, effective Oct. 22, to embark on her new career as a television judge on “Family Court with Judge Penny.”

Because the television bench is certainly a “higher place” than the real thing. Higher-paying, at least — and God wants us all to be rich.

In her letter to Perdue, Reynolds said she leaves with a legacy that “includes a current case docket, never having been reversed by an appellate court on any criminal matter and only reversed in a few civil matters.”

That’s an impressive record for a judge who was appointed to the bench back in 2000. Georgia’s loss is the boob tube’s gain. We wish Judge Reynolds the best in her new role.
Judge to Resign Next Month for TV Gig [Fulton County Daily Report via Law.com]

alice fisher alice s fisher.jpgThe problem with being a government lawyer is that you don’t have a lot of control over which “government” you are working for. Even if you have a non-partisan, non-patronage position, anytime a new administration takes power there is the possibility of turmoil.
Like the swallows of Capistrano, now is the season we expect public sector birds to leave their mission and return to their Biglaw vacation grounds.
Yesterday Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher announced that she would be rejoining Latham & Watkins. You might remember Ms. Fisher from our former editor’s open crush on the “brassy, blonde, tough-talking Fisher.” I’m staring right now at the 3 golden locks of Fisher’s hair ATL has “acquired” under questionable circumstances.
Fisher’s new position at Latham will be “global co-chair of the white-collar and government investigations practice group.” It’s good work if you can get it.
More new hires after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Last Call To Cash In Before The Election”

obamccain.jpg* Senators John McCain and Barack Obama will appear together today at the September 11 memorial service in New York City. [Time]
* Another scandal from the employees at the Interior Department. Sex, cocaine, and gifts from energy companies. [Washington Post]
* Speaking of sex scandals, toilet stall foot tapper Larry Craig wants to withdraw his guilty plea. [New York Times]
* Superior Court Judge John Suddock tried to warn Sarah Palin in 2005 against pursuing the firing of her trooper brother-in-law. She didn’t heed his warnings, but luckily, it seems like no one really cares about it. [CNN]
* Another suit against the world’s ugliest footwear. [Fox News]

recession california associate pay raises.jpgThe top 25 California law firms are staying in lockstep with regard to associate pay: $160K for first years, $210K for fourth years, $265K for seventh years.
According to The Recorder (via Law.com), only Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold paid below the market rate. They pay $130K to first years and only go to $197K for seventh years.
For the most part, firms have to play “follow the salary leader” in order to draw top talent. But in these times, some firms are desperate to cut back on associate compensation any way they can.
The idea floating around is to abandon lockstep salary progression based on year, and move to performance-based pay raises. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips has already abandoned automatic pay raises:

“I actually think the system in practice is very fair because it allows for those people who are overachievers to really be valued at what their skills are worth,” said Diana Iketani, the firm’s chief recruiting officer. On the other hand, she said, it reduces pressure on associates who would rather pace themselves or have different priorities.

Some firms that are not following suit, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “California Law Firms Still In Lockstep: For Now”

Sarah Palin Alaska Governor Sarah Palin hottie.jpg* Picking up on the law professors for Obama issue, Stephen Bainbridge produces evidence that the link between higher education and party affiliation actually favors the Republican party. The link between readers of “My Pet Goat” and party affiliation also favors the Republican party. [Stephen Bainbridge.com]
* Pepper Hamilton may have no offered 26% of their summer class, but the ones that made it will be well-fed. [Philly.com]
* It might not always seem like it, but getting a law degree is still a better investment than dropping out of high school. Barely. [Law and More]
* Somebody bothered to look at Sarah Palin’s tax returns. There aren’t any shotgun deductions, so everything else will probably blow over. [Jack Bog's Blog via TaxProf Blog]

penn 3 year jd mba madness.JPGThe University of Pennsylvania Law School announced they will begin offering a J.D./M.B.A. program that can be completed in three years.
In order to make it work, Penn will concede a painfully obvious point: one year of law school is really all anybody needs. According to their press release:

Students in the new program will spend the first year in the Law School and the following summer in four Law and Wharton courses designed specifically for the three-year J.D./M.B.A. The second and third years will include a combination of Law and Wharton courses, including capstone courses in the third year and work experience in law, business, finance, or the public sector in the summer between the second and third years.

Applicants will still need to apply to the two schools separately. So, you’ll have to be able to get into Wharton on the strength of that multi-million dollar business you’ve been running out of your treehouse since you were eight.
Penn is not exactly breaking new ground here; Northwestern has been offering a 3-year J.D./M.B.A program for a few years. But maybe Penn just doesn’t fear the purple:

Penn’s three-year J.D./M.B.A. is the country’s first fully integrated three-year program offered by elite law and business schools.

You hear that Kellogg? Penn is calling you out.
Expect U.S. News & World Report’s highly anticipated “Best 3-Year J.D./M.B.A Programs In the Lower 48 States” issue to be coming out soon to help college graduates make a decision.
Penn Law and Wharton Create 3-Year JD/MBA Degree [University of Pennsylvania Law School]

Homer Simpson Doh Above the Law AboveTheLaw blog.jpgYesterday we solicited stories from you about on-campus interview bloopers — this time by the student interviewees, rather than their law firm interrogators. We received an embarrassment of riches — or riches of embarrassment — in response.
In terms of favorite stories, it seems the people’s choice was comment 177. Do a ctrl-F on the page for “177,” and you’ll encounter some pretty funny stuff. Comment 83 also had some crowd support, but it was completely disgusting, and some people read ATL during the lunch hour.
Not convinced that 83 and 177 are true stories, we decided to go with these as our top tales:
1. The People Person
Interviewer asks inevitable, everyone-is-prepared-for-it question: What do your consider your weaknesses to be?
Candidate (stratospheric GPA to offer and little else): Well, I don’t really like other people very much.
Job not offered.
2. Revenge of the Nerd?
I heard a story here at Cleary Gottlieb from this recruiting season, not terribly exciting but a nice foot-in-mouth moment. At one of our OCI’s, during this kid’s interview, he remarked that he’s the perfect lawyer for Cleary because he’s “like, a big socially awkward nerd.” The mid-level associate interviewing him deadpanned: “So I’m a socially awkward nerd?” Ouch. I don’t think he got a callback.
It’s unfortunate, because his assessment of Cleary lawyers was pretty spot on.
3. “Forget it, Jake, it’s Koreatown.”
I was conducting a callback lunch interview in Los Angeles when the interviewee starts talking about how he can’t stand living in Koreatown because Koreans were so rude and also bad drivers. I said, “Dude, my last name is Kim. You know I’m Korean, right?
After an uncomfortable ending to the lunch I called HR and told them if they gave this kid an offer I was quitting. Needless to say, no offer for this guy.
4. To Catch A Thief
At an OCI reception for a mid-sized Firm X, a few students are engaging in polite conversating with partner in Firm X. The partner asks each student what they did the summer before. One student, who apparently took full advantage of the open bar, begins talking about spending his 1L summer working with general counsel for an apartment complex, often dealing with tenant evictions.
Completely unsolicited, the student begins talking about how they used to break into the [tenants'] apartments and if they found weed/drugs in the place, they’d steal the drugs and some electronics from the apartment like it was their own personal Best Buy. He said, and I quote: “what were the tenants gonna do? They can’t tell the cops that we took their stuff or we’ll just report them for the drugs.” Partner and other students (including me) look at each other and then stare at the floor.
5. Veggie Girl
To an applicant with no special interests or activities listed on her resume: “So what do you do with your free time outside of school? Do you have any hobbies?”
Applicant: “Vegetarianism.”
No offer.
6. What’s the difference between a law firm and a paint store?
During a Shearman & Sterling interview, a friend once asked the interviewer, “So, how have you liked your experience at Sherwin & Williams?”
**********************
Vote for your favorite of these six stories, and check out seven more stories that get honorable mention, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “OCI Bloopers By Students: Selected Stories (and a Poll)”

Barack Obama Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.jpgIt’s been a tough week for Camp Obama. We’ve learned that it is not cool to compare Sarah Palin to a pig, but empowering to compare her to a pit bull. But this news should brighten their day, and prove everybody’s suspicions about liberal bias at the nation’s top law schools.
According to the Huffington Post, 635 law professors have contributed to the one of the presidential nominees, with a whopping 95 percent of those contributions going to Obama. Paul Caron at TaxProf Blog has the full breakdown here.
You can’t get 95 percent of law professors to agree on the definition of the word “law.”
Does Obama have a secret plan to raise the salaries of law profs or lower the cost of white poster-board seating charts? At 95 percent, you’d expect Obama to have promised something very specific that is important to academia, and since the only important thing in academia is how much b.s. class-time they have to put in while they struggle to publish enough to make tenure, I don’t know what Obama could have offered them.
Did Obama somehow meet all of them while he was a professor?
Maybe it’s not surprising for the Democratic nominee to garner broad support from law professors. But I’ve got to think that 95% of any subset of the legal profession thinking the same way is unprecedented and slightly frightening.
But I don’t know what it means.
Law Prof Presidential Campaign Contributions: 95% to Obama, 5% to McCain [TaxProf Blog]

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