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yale law school 2.JPG* Which law schools are the most successful at placing their graduates in legal academia? You can probably guess. [Concurring Opinions]
* Speaking of law school faculty hiring, Dean Kagan and Harvard Law School have the hots for Jonathan Zittrain. [Legal Blog Watch]
* Prof. Ilya Somin to Californians: vote no on Prop. 99. [Los Angeles Times]
* Mistress Ruthie — who kinda reminds us of Chelsea Clinton — does Blawg Review (#160, if you’re counting). [Ruthie's Law via Blawg Review]

Elizabeth Halverson small Judge Elizabeth Halverson Liz Halverson Above the Law blog.JPGTwelve Angry Men, move over; now there’s someone meatier. A juicy judicial celebrity sighting, from the Las Vegas Sun:

Suspended District Judge Elizabeth Halverson returned to the Regional Justice Center on Friday — for jury duty.

While waiting for an assignment, Halverson, who can’t roll through the courthouse on her motorized scooter without attracting attention, turned quite a few heads, including those of several prosecutors at the district attorney’s office, which is on the same floor as the jury service room.

Las Vegas lawyers: If you’re hoping to have Halverson on your jury, sorry. Her Honor wound up being assigned to a civil trial that was subsequently postponed, “bringing an abrupt halt to her brief public service on the other side of the bench.”
Suspended judge can’t even get out of jury duty [Las Vegas Sun]

California Supreme Court gay marriage same sex marriage.jpgLast week, the California Supreme Court struck down that state’s statutory ban on gay / same-sex marriage. The court was closely divided, issuing a 4-3 decision. Six out of the seven justices were appointed by Republican governors, interestingly enough.
Here’s a potentially more accurate way to explain the result in the marriage cases than party affiliation. From an observant — and self-confessed elitist — tipster:

I found this breakdown amusing:

Law schools of judges in the majority: Stanford, USC, Berkeley (Boalt) / GW (first in her class at both schools), Stanford.

Law schools of dissenting judges: Hastings, USF, Hastings.

Correlation or causation? I’m just sayin’….

lesbian marriage Above the Law blog.jpgCorrelation or causation is a fair question. Did the four pro-gay-marriage justices reach a “better” decision because they went to “better” law schools? Or did their attending elite (read: liberal) law schools make these justices more sympathetic to what Justice Antonin Scalia has decried as the “homosexual agenda”? Feel free to opine, in the comments.
P.S. Ah, who cares about where these judges went to law school? Which ones are the hottest — or, to put it more crudely, more “do-able”? For some thoughts on this subject, see 23/6 (which has evaluated these judicial hotties in a manner reminiscent of Underneath Their Robes).
Inappropriate Hottie Rundown: California Supreme Court Justices [236.com]
Earlier: Breaking: California Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage

K&L Gates Kirkpatrick Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThanks to the worsening economy, law firms don’t have enough work for the lawyers already on their payrolls. Some firms have decided to save money by having incoming first-year associates start later than originally planned. What’s the point of bringing new kids on board, at starting salaries of $160,000 each, if you don’t have enough work to give them?
The latest Biglaw shop to push back start dates: K&L Gates. The original firm-wide start date was September 15; the new start date is October 20.
We contacted K&L Gates for comment. The firm’s director of recruiting, Roz Pitts, explained that the change was made not for any economic reason, but due to “crazy scheduling.” She explained that the firm’s partner retreat in Phoenix is taking place in early October, and they didn’t want the first-years to start work only to have the entire partnership disappear a few weeks later. She added that the firm stands by all its offers — i.e., no offers have been rescinded — and that all incoming associates will be notified of the start date change by today. (Some offices started notifying associates on Friday, which is when we learned of this change.)
But even if K&L Gates were making this change for economic reasons, would there be any shame in that? Other prominent law firms have already announced postponed start dates:

1. Pillsbury Winthrop: start dates pushed back, possibly as far back as January 2009 (the firm told the Wall Street Journal that it “is staggering start dates over several months”).

2. Thacher Proffitt & Wood: the start date for non-litigation first-years has been pushed back to October 20.

3. Thelen Reid: start dates for first-year associates pushed back from September 2008 to January 2009.

Do you know of a Biglaw shop that has announced it’s pushing back start dates? If so, feel free to drop us a line. Thanks.
P.S. When it comes to start dates, maybe there’s no way to please everyone. Back in February, some Sidley Austin associates complained about excessively early start dates.

Sports and the Law 3 Above the Law blog.jpgI previously wrote (here and here) about Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic hopeful who was ruled ineligible to compete in the Beijing Games by the International Association of Athletics Federations (“IAAF”) because he uses Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthetic legs. With help from Dewey & LeBoeuf (disclosure: my previous employer) as his pro bono counsel, Pistorius recently challenged the IAAF’s ruling in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
On Friday, a three-person arbitration panel ruled in Pistorius’s favor, finding that Pistorius’s prosthetics do not provide him with “an overall net advantage” in violation of IAAF Rule 144.2(e). This opens the door for Pistorius to compete in South Africa’s Olympic trials using his prosthetics. The panel reserved the right to change its ruling if new scientific evidence emerges.
With this matter resolved for now, let’s take a look at the big winners and losers from the litigation:
Big Winners
Oscar Pistorius: Finally eligible for South Africa’s Olympic trials, the Blade Runner is a step closer to competing against the world’s finest. In addition, he is also a step closer to earning the kind of endorsement dollars that would make even Dan & Dave envious.
Ossur HF Company: The Iceland-headquartered supplier of the Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthetics is gaining all kinds of free publicity. Most of us have now heard of the Cheetah Flex-Foot. Can anybody name a competitor prosthetic? I didn’t think so.
Dewey & LeBoeuf: Forget the goodwill that comes with pro bono representation. By winning this case, Dewey & LeBoeuf has expanded its sports-law footprint across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as opened the door to secure new business in international sports arbitration.
Debevoise & Plimpton: Real kudos goes to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for their gutsy and articulate 18-page decision that does not pull its punches with the IAAF. David W. Rivkin, a partner in the New York and London offices of Debevoise & Plimpton, was one of the three named arbitrators in this dispute. His work could only look good for the firm.
Read the rest, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sports and the Law: Pistorius is Finally Free to Run”

funny-pictures-cat-furniture.jpgWhile responses to last week’s ATL / Lateral Link survey on summer associate programs continue to flow in (add your 2 cents here), let’s pause to consider what last year’s summer associates are going to experience over the next few months: bar exams (sorry), relocations, and sweet, sweet signing bonuses (or not).
We’ve received about a hundred comments and tips since we posted our “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Starting Bonuses But Were Afraid To Ask” table, which aggregated the results from our ATL / Lateral Link surveys on bar stipends and reimbursements, salary advances, and signing bonuses, relocation benefits and whether you have to pay it all back when you leave.
So today, we’re updating the table to fill in some more blanks.
The table below now shows six things for each firm:
  * which bar exam expenses the firm will reimburse (send us tips to fill in the blanks),
  * whether the firm pays new associates a summer stipend or a signing bonus or graduation bonus (not counting clerkship bonuses, which are discussed elsewhere),
  * whether the firm provides salary advances (i.e., loans) in any particular amounts,
  * whether the firm provides any particular relocation benefits,
  * whether the firm provides a pro-rated bonus (a “stub bonus”) for the period between your start date and the end of the year first year, and
  * whether the firm will make you pay it all back if you leave. As a general rule, payback requirements will apply to everything but a stub bonus, and will include clerkship bonuses.
And now, that introduction aside, read on to see the aggregated table of bar reimbursements, stipends and bonuses, salary advances, moving expenses, stub bonuses, and payback requirements. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Life Survey: Everything (Else) You Always Wanted To Know About Starting Bonuses But Were Afraid To Ask”

Legal%20Eagle%20Wedding%20Watch%20NYT%20wedding%20announcements%20Above%20the%20Law.jpgNow that the wedding season is in full swing, it’s time for a poll to crown a Legal Eagle Wedding Watch couple of the month. We have two outstanding entries for April:

1. Keira Driansky and David Simon
2. Kristy Hong and Jonas Blank III

You can read all about these newlyweds after the jump. But if you’re ready to vote, here’s the poll:


And don’t forget, we’re still soliciting ideas for a new LEWW logo. Send your contributions here.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: April’s Couple of the Month”

Barack Obama small Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.JPG* Microsoft proposes a new collaboration with Yahoo. [New York Times; CNN]
* Obama administration would pursue more aggressive antitrust regulation. [Reuters]
(But Sen. Obama maintains a monopoly on 80,000 person rallies. See MSNBC.)
* Judge orders arrest of terror operative in Yemen. [Washington Post]
* Previews of the Obama, McCain, and Clinton Justice Departments. [WSJ
Law Blog
]
* National Museum of Crime and Punishment opens in DC. [MSNBC]
* Outside companies allow Facebook users to access their data through other sites — but Facebook isn’t happy about it. [Techcrunch via Washington Post]

Cadwalader Wickersham Taft new logo CWT AboveTheLaw blog.jpgSome folks, including Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, think that we’ve seen the worst of the credit crisis. Let’s hope that they’re right.
But the business climate is still less-than-fabulous for finance lawyers. Here’s another sign of the times: at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, the Global Finance department, a former powerhouse within the firm, has been folded into the Corporate department.
From a tipster at Cadwalader who sent along the announcement:

See below re: CWT’s recent departmental merger. This has also affected the way summers will receive offers. In the past, summers received department specific offers. While this will remain true for litigation, tax, and IP, those wishing to pursue a transactional practice will receive a transactional offer. It is unclear at this point whether new transactional associates will then be placed into one pool from which any transactional department can draw or whether there will be a departmental rotation.

If you’re interested, the memo appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cadwalader’s Global Finance Department Is No More”

springer.jpgThis just in, from a Northwestern Law tipster (who emailed us using his wireless device):

As I predicted, Jerry knocked the ball out of the park. Only standing ovation at NUs commencement…

Whole audience stood. Haters should STFU.

If you were there, please share your review of Jerry Springer’s remarks, in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Jerry Springer to be Commencement Speaker at Northwestern Law School

Jeremy Anderson.jpgSeveral loyal ATL readers (and Bachelorette watchers?) tipped us off to a lawyer being among the 25 bachelors competing on the ABC reality TV show this season.
The eligible bachelor is 30-year-old Texan Jeremy Anderson. ABC cites his profession as “real estate attorney.” He’s a December 2007 grad of SMU Dedman School of Law.
Speaking of layoffs at Hunton & Williams, our tipster says Anderson (who summered there in 2007) was let go from their Dallas office when he went on the show:

A first-year Dallas associate (who took the February 2008 bar) was placed on probation by Hunton Williams after asking for a leave of absence to do The Bachelorette. The firm is apparently waiting for the season to air before making a final decision, although they obviously plan to fire him. Who has the gall to ask for a leave of absence during their first year, especially to do a reality TV show? But assuming it’s a legitimate reason to request time off, is Hunton’s reaction reasonable and fair?

His name is Jeremy Anderson… There’s a rumor that he makes it to the final three. His bio was taken off Hunton’s website.

When we called Hunton about the layoff rumors in Charlotte, we also asked about Anderson. The only comment we got from their spokesperson was, “On a personal note, I love the show.”
We appreciate your sending this along, ATL readers. As one of you predicts, we will “enjoy covering Jeremy . . . and his abs.”

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