We have a weakness for the ridiculous and bizarre. So we’re finding ourselves quite taken with all these tales of law school library strangeness.
Here’s an update on yesterday’s item about the “attorney general of the United States,” at the Emory Law School library:
The “attorney general” was a homeless guy that wandered around the whole law school. I was studying in the main common area when he asked me if there were any professors who would be interested in the “largest federal lawsuit ever filed.” He also asked me to vouch for him if security came looking for him.
Apparently he had already done his shtick in the library and was chased out by the librarians. The library was locked, and students needed to swipe their ID card to get in, so a fellow student must have let him in.
I dispatched him to the floor that contained the faculty offices (and was nicely contained). Security was informed. He was discovered changing his clothes, then was escorted off the premises. Nice guy, just a little… err, very creepy.
* Affirmative action not gone quite yet for Michigan schools. [AP via How Appealing]
* Convicted debutante killers not so happy at sentencing. [CNN]
* Nebraska corporate farming ban violates dormant commerce clause; Nebraska will appeal to the Supreme Court. [Jurist]
* Dracula Jr.’s a lawyer. [WSJ Law Blog]
* 13 States and DC sue EPA to get them to, you know, protect the environment. [MSNBC]
We can’t take credit for the title of this post. Here’s an excerpt from an email we received with the subject heading, “Sidley Grinch”:
Sidley matched in New York, but the great story for them is the big f*** you they sent to associates in other offices. Not only did Sidley give associates in non-NY offices nearly half the bonus money, but they made sure everyone knows that they received less. And they try to make it seem like they were so generous last year that there was no reason to increase bonuses this year (don’t buy the “we just got started at 20k” b.s.).
The best part is that associates in the New York office had a lower hours requirement, too. Non-NY associates were strictly cut out of the bonus trough if they didn’t make 2,000 hours. New York associates could get a bonus if they worked 1,800. A great Christmas gift.
Lawyers often draw a distinction between their “legal persona” and their “private-life persona.” A lawyer might be a tiger in the courtroom, but a pussycat in social interactions. For more examples, see here.
Writers and bloggers sometimes also exhibit a “split personality.” A writer who is belligerent in the blogosphere might be mild-mannered in person.
There appears to be a similar divide between the “performing” and “real-life” personalities of our beloved Beyonce:
Beyoncé Knowles is known for being sexy, seductive and provocative when she performs on stage, but she says that’s not really her; that’s her alter ego Sasha.
“I wouldn’t like Sasha if I met her offstage.” Beyoncé tells Parade Magazine in an article for the upcoming issue.
She said Sasha is “too aggressive, too strong, too sassy, too sexy!
An odd question that we’ll toss out for your consideration: Which celebrity best captures your lawyering personality? Or, put another way, if a movie were being made about your legal career, who should be cast as you, and why?
A strange inquiry; not sure if we’ll get any responses. Drafting merger agreements isn’t very cinematic. But if you have any thoughts on this, please share them in the comments.
(An example: One of our favorite partners — alas, we didn’t work with her as much as we would have liked — was a magnificient blonde litigatrix. She was smart, tough, and sexy, and she was the lawyerly embodiment of Heather Locklear.) Beyoncé On Love, Depression And Reality [CBS News] Your legal persona versus your private-life persona [ABA Journal eReport]
* The FCC has eliminated the requirement for Amateur Radio Operators to know Morse code. That is the actual headline of this blog entry, for those of you who complain of the wasted five seconds it takes to click on a link, only to realize you were completely misled. [Jim N Texas!]
* I never understood the reality of a record being “sealed” anyway… If that hilarious yet illegal adolescent escapade is in an official record, sealed or not, it’s not going anywhere. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via How Appealing]
* Do not worry, I will not indulge in any sue/Sioux homonym fun. For the record, it’s absurd that we haven’t ridden ourselves of such disrespectful team names, nicknames and logos that also recall a less-than-glorious history. [AP via Yahoo! News]
* The Italian legislature has decided average consumers/modelling agencies/fashion folks can’t decide for themselves what is or is not attractive, thus depriving underweight 16-year-olds from achieving world domination. [Reuters via MSNBC]
* Authorities have a suspect in custody for the Ipswich prostitute murders. So if you’re a prostitute in Ipswich, you can breathe a sigh of relief. (At least with respect to a serial killer; we hate to break it to you, but you don’t exactly have the safest job in the world.) [The Times]
As several of you have reminded us, associates aren’t the only people who work at big law firms. Hence this quick shout-out to staff attorneys. From a reader email:
You’re forgetting about Staff Attorneys. We’re lawyers, but not associates, so we don’t get the associate pay or bonus.
While we are paid significantly less than a first year (think around 50%) to work a 40 hour week, putting in only 40 hours a week would be looked down upon. But if we put in overtime, we get questioned as to whether or not it was necessary. We’re damned either way.While we do get paid for the OT, working OT is the only way to survive in NYC on the base.
[The firm I work for] pays staff attorneys a DISCRETIONARY, bonus on par with that of the ADMINISTRATIVE staff — roughly 3% of the already low salary. However, the bonuses are PURELY discretionary, at the whim of one person, who determines how much each person shall receive. So the “lock-step” system [the firm] prides itself on does not apply here.
The bonus is in the range of one to two weeks’ pay. When the base pay is alrady insanely low for an attorney at a major firm, one or two weeks’ pay is not that much.
So as you Biglaw associates complain about your bonuses, take a moment to reflect upon the staff attorneys. Sure, this year could have been better for you; but then again, it could have been worse.
(Yes, we know what you’re going to say: The staff attorneys don’t have your credentials, don’t work as hard as you do, don’t get in trouble the way you do when things get screwed up, etc. Tell us all about it in the comments.)
Remember this great lawsuit, which we wrote about last week? In case you don’t, here’s a quick recap: Summary: Pro se litigant George Allen Ward is suing Arm & Hammer and its corporate parent, Church & Dwight, for $425 million. His theory of liability: failure to warn. The company failed to warn him that if he cooked up THEIR PRODUCT, baking soda, with cocaine, he might end up serving a 200-month prison sentence on crack cocaine charges. You can read the full pleading here.
Opinion among ATL commenters was deeply divided. Some found the lawsuit almost offensive in its frivolousness, while others viewed it as presenting a colorable claim.
What do you think? We’d like to know (because commenters aren’t always representative of our entire readership). Time for a quick poll:
We swear we had the idea before reading this Greedy NY item. Truth be told, we didn’t steal it from the message boards. We stole it from DealBreaker:
In business journalism, there are certain kind of articles that get written and rewritten every year. There’s the “How To Behave At An Office Party” article that always comes with the holidays. There’s the “Office Romance” piece which usually hits around Valentine’s Day. And, of course, there are those “How To Spend Your Bonus” articles that have been popping up all week.
We’re not going to write one of those. (Unless you count this.) Instead, we’re asking you to write one. Well, not a whole article. But we’d like to hear your ideas for bonus purchases. We’re interested in everything from the mundane (paying off your student loans) to the ostentatious. Imagined or real-life stories welcome. We’d just really like to hear what you are or would shell out for with your hard earned bonus bucks.
We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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