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  • 08 Sep 2008 at 11:45 AM

Clerkshipship Advice Roundup

law clerk judicial clerkship Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOver the weekend, many readers and clerkship applicants opined that the federal hiring plan is, once again, FUBAR.

However, helpful advice for applicants also came in over the comments board and email. In anticipation of the today’s noontime green flag, we bring you the best advice from your fellow ATL readers on how to handle the clerkship process.

Don’t answer the phone, ever. A tipster wrote:

What you want to do is let the calls go to voicemail and then set up your interviews in order of your preference. That way, if you get an exploding offer in the room at the end of the first interview, it will be with the judge that you really want.

But don’t be an idiot and change your cell phone. One tipster that thankfully overcame a massive brain freeze reports:

Calls were supposed to go out on the 11th, and on the 10th, I finally decided that my old cell phone was a POS and was going to use my summer associate $$$ for an iPhone. As the Fall progressed, I kept having trouble calling certain folks with my new phone. I could call them, they couldn’t call me. Finally, I figure out that when I switched phones, there was a glitch that prevented a certain percentage of my calls from actually reaching me. D’oh.

Remember: the people you’re replacing don’t know their don’t know their Lexis from their Nexis. As one commenter points out:

Don’t get discouraged. If the phone doesn’t ring on the first day, that’s not always a bad thing…. Us clerks just got on the job and we don’t want to start looking for our replacements just yet. I’m still trying to figure out the phones.

More tips from the readers after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Clerkshipship Advice Roundup”

tills.jpgNew York judge Ronald Tills is the guy you want in charge of your bachelor party. You might think he’s out of touch at 73 years old, but he still knows where to find the ladies. Unfortunately, they’re the kind you have to pay for.

Tills pleaded guilty last week to violating the Mann Act by bringing a prostitute across a state line. Among his other prostitute-related offenses, as reported by the Buffalo News:

  • He was responsible for recruiting out-of-state prostitutes to work a Jesters meeting in Dunkirk “in or about September 2001,” while serving as director of the Buffalo chapter of the Jesters.

  • He recruited an illegal alien prostitute from a North Tonawanda massage parlor to service men at a Jesters event in Kentucky in October 2005.
  • He arranged for transporting prostitutes from Buffalo Niagara International Airport to a national Jesters meeting in Niagara Falls, Ont., in the spring of 2006.
  • A retired acting New York Supreme Court justice and Court of Claims judge, Tills must have been known as the “Grand Poobah of Prostitute Procurement” to the Royal Order of Jesters.

    According to the Jesters website, it’s a Masonic organization descended from the Shriners, but it’s not into charity like most Masonic groups. It has “a fun ‘degree’, with absolutely no serious intent.” Just the serious intent to get busy with prostitutes.

    Former judge Tills faces likely prison term after admitting he recruited prostitutes [Buffalo News]

    Former Judge Pleads Guilty to Transporting Prostitute Across State Lines [New York Law Journal]

    Surely You Jest: Former New York Judge Admits to Violating Mann Act [WSJ Law Blog]

    squire snaders staff attorney offers.gifThe no-offer reports keep rolling in from our readers, but one tip about Squire, Sanders & Dempsey stopped us in our tracks:

    [A summer associate] at Squire Sanders got offered a staff attorney position. Apparently one-third of the class got real offers, some got staff attorney offers, and the rest?

    Staff attorney — i.e., a job with a significantly lower salary than an associate position, featuring endless document review and discovery work, and without any prospect of promotion to partnership. Is that a cold offer, or a coldcock?

    Or is it “creative accounting” for purposes of reporting to NALP, which collects and publishes data about summer associate programs? Presumably Squire Sanders will count the staff attorney “offers” in the number of full-time employment offers made to summer associates that it reports to NALP. But bringing the summers on as staff attorneys rather than associates will save the firm a lot of money. This is one of the most creative ways of dealing with the downturn that we’ve come across.

    Squire Sanders spokesperson Drez Jennings provided us with a prompt and direct response:

    [W]e made offers to 76 percent of the summers, and no offers to 24 percent.

    Ouch. No-offering a quarter of your class is already pretty harsh.

    Jennings declined to comment on the staff attorney question (even though it was explicitly presented), leaving ATL readers to speculate on how many, if any, of Squire Sanders summer offers were for staff attorney positions.

    More on Squire Sanders and staff attorneys, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide No Offer Watch: Squire Sanders
    (SSD to SAs: Wannabe a staff attorney?)”

    freddie mac shakedown.jpg* Big government to the rescue. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be taken over and bailed out, with taxpayer-funded infusions of up to $200 billion. [Washington Post]

    * How do you get the youth vote out legally? Virginia says college students shouldn’t register to vote from their college address. If parents claim them as legal dependents, their parents’ addresses should be used. [New York Times]

    * The case of the of U.S. attorneys firing continues to drag out. The D.C. Circuit grants the White House a delay in turning over documents, which means Harriet Miers can keep avoiding testifying before Congress. [Washington Post]

    * Judge Elizabeth Halverson underwent surgery this weekend for her husband-and-frying-pan-inflicted skull fractures. [San Jose Mercury News]

    * A British Muslim lawyer plus an Osama bin Laden joke equals a $1 million dollar payout. [United Press International]

    law clerk judicial clerkship Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLet us turn our attention to judges and the law students who do all their work. Monday marks the first day where judges can schedule interviews with clerkship applicants. ATL will be right there with the applicants, poring over the Clerkship Notification Blog.

    The plan is simple, according to the 2008 Law Clerk Hiring Plan.

    But just like last year the best laid plans sometimes go awry. According to a tipster:

    The hiring plan seems to be falling apart. I knew it was already unraveling in ‘flyover country’ because judges there thought it worked to their disadvantage, but people here are talking about judges even in major markets (DC, NY, CA) who purport to follow the plan are at least calling early, if not offering early too.

    How are applicants coping with the last weekend before the official hiring season? And who is already sitting on secret offers? Discuss, vent, or gloat below.

    Earlier: Clerkship Hiring: Today’s the Day

    mechanical bull toys.jpg* No offer, no problem. Just hang a shingle. Or work for a small firm. Or … dear God could somebody please fix this economy? [Greatest American Lawyer]
    * Just once I’d like to see a judge run on a platform of “In my court, families are the real criminals.” You know, like they do in China. [f/k/a]
    * If you get drunk and ride a mechanical bull, people laugh with you. If you get drunk and fall off the mechanical bull and hurt yourself, people laugh at you. If you sue the mechanical bull operators for your public display of drunken buffoonery, lady justice weeps softly in the night. [Eater]
    * What kinds of deductions can pimps claim? [TaxProf Blog]
    * The LPGA backed off their proposal to suspend non-English speaking golfers. [Golf.com]

    One of the best things about getting a law degree is that you can really help people. People in need who are being railroaded by the system. People in power who are creating jobs for the economy. And occasionally, people suffering from perma-drunk on craigslist.

    WANTED FRESH BARRED VA ATTORNEY

    just graduated college and I was charged with a bull **** drunk in public and vandalism charge in the City of Fairfax.

    What I need is an attorney to come with me on my court date Aug 27 to try to talk to the prosecutor and have him drop the charge or lessen it, since this is the first time I have ever been charged with anything and I have paid back the person and there was no way to prove I was legally drunk since I was not tested.

    I am looking for fresh attorneys or recently barred attorneys.

    I’d make a joke but I am so terrified of getting “barred.”

    Ad reprinted in full after the jump

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Somebody’s Hiring”

    paper chase law school.jpgThe school year has begun for many a fresh-faced law student. Most 1Ls have likely performed the starting school rituals: they’ve bought their textbooks, chosen their classes, and watched “The Paper Chase.”

    Now that these lawyer wannabes have embarked on the three year quest for a J.D. (three years for now at least), it is time for sage ones to offer advice on making the most of the experience.

    Around the web, there are various lists. Here are some of our favorite tips:

    1. From the Listless Lawyer, “your only goal should be good grades.”

    2. From ClassBrain, “prepare to be mystified.”

    3. From the Legal Underground, “don’t be an a–hole.”

    Of course, we also advise that you read ATL regularly.

    All of you lawyers (who still remember your first year of law school), what’s your advice? We invite you to share your law school wisdom in the comments.

    Advice for 1Ls [The Listless Lawyer]

    Eight Tips for New Law Students: Things They Don’t Tell You At Orientation [Class Brain]

    Five Indispensable Tips for Law Students and New Lawyers [Legal Underground]

    ashwin madia nyu congress marine.jpgOnce you get into a top law school, staying on the Biglaw course requires determination, talent and a clear headed focus on your goals. Getting out of Biglaw requires all the same strengths, mixed with a little bit of crazy.
    J. Ashwin Madia has been a law firm associate and a Marine, and now he’s running for Congress. But like so many of us his journey started in the relative safety of a top law school. The friends of his from NYU Law might know him better as Jigar. Madia starting using his middle names when he joined the Marines.
    The few Marines I’ve met all talk about a desire to give back to the community and Madia is no different:

    My parents came to this country with $19 between them, and they bought an $11 bottle of champagne and they started with $8 in this country. So this was a small way to give something back.

    Where Madia is different is that his post-bar trip was disturbingly similar to boot camp, insofar as he had to go to boot camp.

    The marines are kind of unique in that if you fly a plane or drive a tank or are a lawyer, you all go through the same training. It was funny, after I took the bar exam I had 8 months of crawling around in the mud and shooting a machine gun and learning martial arts and learning how to be a rifle platoon commander.

    Madia helped the Iraqi government formulate their legal system, focusing on getting suspected terrorists competent defense lawyers, fair trials, and if guilty, speedy incarceration.
    He has also had more traditional legal jobs. After his tour with the in the Marine corps, Madia went back to Minnesota (where he is from) to work at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in their IP department.

    But, you know, sometimes I would look out of the window there and just think of other things I could be doing.

    More about Ashwin Madia and his G.I. Joe advice to Biglaw associates after the break.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What Can You Do With A Law Degree?
    Join The Marines and Run For Congress “

    broken heart Gunderson Dettmer Cooley Godward.jpgFans of Sex and the City will recall the famous episode in which Carrie was dumped via post-it note. If law firm mergers are like relationships, here’s a tale that seems as classy as breaking up by post-it. [FN1]
    The New York office of Gunderson Dettmer was all set to move, en masse, to Cooley Godward. The 30 or so Gunderson attorneys had new, Cooley-issued Blackberries and laptops, with new email accounts and software already set up. They were set to start this past Tuesday.
    On the Friday before Labor Day, the main partner in Gunderson’s NYC office simply called to let the Cooley crew know the move was off. This was not taken well by Cooley, since this had been considered a done deal for some time. The Gunderson lead partner did not even bother to call the CEO of Cooley, but instead called a relatively junior partner to break the news.
    “Cooley is really pissed,” according to our tipster, “but they are moving forward.” Just like a jilted lover, Cooley seems to take the view that doing well is the best revenge: “They happen to be about to open a new office in a strategic location in the U.S., with a big bang, and with double-digit numbers of lateral partners as part of the potential deal.”
    There is a body of law that governs who keeps the engagement ring when a wedding is called off. Could it be applied by analogy to those Cooley-issued BlackBerries and laptops?
    Gunderson did not respond to our requests for comment. We reached out to Cooley, which declined to comment through a spokesperson.
    [FN1] We adore post-its, and we love those little colored flags even more; but they can’t be used for everything.

    Elizabeth Halverson small Judge Elizabeth Halverson Liz Halverson Above the Law blog.JPGLast month, after Judge Elizabeth Halverson lost her reelection bid, we lamented her imminent departure from these pages.
    It seems that we spoke too soon. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

    Embattled District Judge Elizabeth Halverson is in the hospital after she was assaulted by her husband, Las Vegas police said this morning. Her injuries are not life threatening.

    Police were called to her house late last night to respond to a domestic violence call. Police said her husband, Edward Halverson, 49, hit her with a frying pan.

    They always said the frying pan would be the death of her.

    Edward Halverson was booked into the county jail on one attempted murder, one count battery with substantial bodily harm and one count battery with a deadly weapon.

    This is not Ed Halverson’s first brush with the law; he’s a convicted felon. Judge Halverson may have been prescient when she nicknamed her hubby “Evil Ed.”
    Domestic violence is a serious issue. We wish Judge Halverson a speedy recovery from her injuries. (We also remind her that our offer of a column on Above the Law still stands.)
    Judge Halverson hospitalized, husband jailed after attack [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

    law firm merger.jpgThelen has laid off attorneys and changed its name, the law firm equivalent of hitting the gym and getting a makeover. Now they’re back in the club and looking for a mate.
    Leigh Jones of the National Law Journal reports:

    Thelen and Nixon Peabody are in merger talks, with a possible agreement pending, according to sources close to the situation. The law firms have been in extensive talks, with Nixon Peabody leaders traveling to San Francisco to meet with Thelen leaders, according to two sources.

    Wasn’t this the plot to the movie Made of Honor? Nixon plays the role of Dr. McDreamy, with its dulcet law firm song. Thelen is the cute platonic friend, who suddenly starts looking really hot when she’s about to get hitched to somebody else.
    Given the amount of coverage ATL devotes to these two firms, we wholeheartedly endorse the pairing. Maybe we could convince them to adopt a firm mascot — Nixlen Kittens, anyone?
    Thelen in merger talks with Nixon Peabody [National Law Journal via Law.com]
    Earlier: Law Firm Merger Mania: Thelen Sending Out Feelers?
    Law Firm Merger Mania: Everyone’s a Winner at…. Nixon Pillsbury?

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