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laptop pink girl woman Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgTake this with a grain shaker of salt. It’s based on an anonymous, uncorroborated comment, which appeared on another blog.
But for what it’s worth, from Eric Turkewitz’s New York Personal Injury Law Blog:

The New York State Board of Law Examiners managed to foul up this year’s bar exam, as readers of this space know, by losing many of the essay answers that had been submitted on laptops….

[T]he results were made known 11 days ago, and the examiners claimed to have taken educated guesses on the missing results [by extrapolating from how affected exam takers did on other parts of the test]….

[O]ver the holiday weekend, this anonymous comment appeared on my site, claiming that credit was given for an essay with no answer, and the same credit was given for an essay with a great answer. And there was no indication that this person was told his/her essays were part of the missing ones:

“Here’s a fair summary (having taken the test, having intense problems down loading and uploading the test) and failed: I left one NYS essay blank. (Ran out of time) I received a 3/10. That’s odd… But then, on the essays I KNEW — KNEW so well that I was practically jumping for joy as I took the test — I received a 3/10 on those as well.”

“BOLE claims they have informed all those who had computer essays lost — I suspect not. I have written away for my answers and I will be intensly [sic] interested to see how that blank esay [sic] scored a 3/10… I suspect they were ALL blanks, because of the uploads.”

“If anyone else is in this prdicament [sic], please chime in. There are a few attorneys that specialize in this, and I’ve contacted a few.”

Very strange. Does anyone have a similar experience to share? Or is this commenter off his or her rocker?
How, Exactly, did New York Grade That Bar Exam? [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

Law schools and lawsuits go together like peanut butter and jelly. When vicious infighting involves lawyers and law students, it’s only a matter of time before someone takes the matter to court. See, e.g., Ave Maria.
But at least Ave Maria is accredited. When the law school in question isn’t even accredited, is it still transfixing in that car-wreck sort of way? Or is it just too pathetic to bear watching?
Read about litigation involving the American Justice School of Law, after the jump.
American Justice School of Law Above the Law blog.jpg

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Some Inspiration for Loyola 2L?”

wedding rings privatize marriage Above the Law blog.jpgRapidly climbing the Most Emailed Articles list over at the New York Times is an op-ed entitled Taking Marriage Private, by Professor Stephanie Coontz. It includes an interesting history of the legal regulation of marriage (which Coontz observes is a fairly recent phenomenon):

Why do people — gay or straight — need the state’s permission to marry? For most of Western history, they didn’t, because marriage was a private contract between two families….

The American colonies officially required marriages to be registered, but until the mid-19th century, state supreme courts routinely ruled that public cohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage. By the later part of that century, however, the United States began to nullify common-law marriages and exert more control over who was allowed to marry.

By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos.

A prohibition on marrying fabulous Filipinos? Your loss. Everyone knows Filipinos are great lovers.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Privatizing Marriage: A Proposal Whose Time Has Come?
(And How Would It Affect Business for Divorce Lawyers?)”

graduation cap gown kid Above the Law blog.jpgIn the comments to our post about Thanksgiving horror stories, an interesting (if somewhat off-topic) discussion developed. It started off with a law student complaining about having to study for final exams over the holiday, to which another commenter responded: Why bother? After a certain point, who cares about your law school grades?
The conventional wisdom is that law school grades don’t really matter after your first year. Once you’ve secured your summer associate gig in the fall of your 2L year, you can pretty much coast, according to this theory. Unless you’re hoping to graduate with honors, snag a feeder judge or Supreme Court clerkship, or become a law professor, you don’t need to worry about your law school transcript (as long as you don’t fail anything or lack sufficient credits to graduate, of course).
But in the comments, some readers suggested otherwise. They claimed that if you want to lateral from one firm to another, the firms you’re applying to may request your transcript and consider your grades. Some suggested that grades even matter in the context of partnership decisions.
Thoughts? If you have an opinion or, better yet, hard information, please provide it in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Thanksgiving Horror Stories: Open Thread

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s time as a summer associate may come back to haunt her. And not because she stripped down to her undies and took a swan dive into the Hudson.
Rather, it’s because she worked for a bunch of Commies. From a piece by Josh Gerstein in the New York Sun:

Hillary Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton young woman Communist law firm Above the Law blog.jpgIn a life marked largely by political caution, one entry on Senator Clinton’s résumé stands out: her clerkship in 1971 at one of America’s most radical law firms, Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein.

One partner at the firm, Doris Walker, was a Communist Party member at the time. Another partner, Robert Treuhaft, had left the party in 1958, several years after being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and labeled as one of America’s most “dangerously subversive” lawyers. The Oakland-based firm was renowned for taking clients others rejected as too controversial, including Communists, draft resisters, and members of the African-American militant group known as the Black Panthers.

To this day, Mrs. Clinton’s decision to work at the unabashedly left-wing firm is surprising, even shocking, to some of her former colleagues there and to those supporting her bid for the presidency. To the former first lady’s enemies and political opponents, her summer at the Treuhaft firm is yet another indication that radical ideology lurks beneath the patina of moderation she has adopted in public life.

Senator Clinton tends to be tight-lipped about Treuhaft. In her memoir, Living History, she gives her summer stint rather cursory treatment:

I told Bill about my summer plans to clerk at Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, a small law firm in Oakland, California and he announced that he would like to go with me. I spent most of my time working for Mal Burnstein researching, writing legal motions and briefs for a child custody case.

Why doesn’t Hillary make more of her time at this ultra-liberal law firm, and embrace her past as a radical leftist? Might the Daily Kos krowd warm up to her, if they knew about her time as a fellow traveler?
Hillary Clinton’s Radical Summer: A Season of Love and Leftists [New York Sun]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWow. It looks like we haven’t had associate bonus news to report in almost a week. Our last Associate Bonus Watch post was last Tuesday’s WilmerHale announcement. (We don’t count last Wednesday’s bonus post, since it dealt with bonuses for support staff.)
So does this mean it’s all over? Has bonus season, which started early thanks to Cravath, ended early as well? If a firm hasn’t announced by now, are its associates S.O.L.?
(And no, that doesn’t stand for “statute of limitations”; it stands for this.)
If you have unreported associate bonus news to share, you know how to reach us. Thanks.
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch 2007 archives (scroll down)

Ladies (and gentlemen — manicures have gone manly, dontcha know):
Please see below. A picture is worth a thousand words — and this picture explains, better than any recruiting brochure or Vault write-up, why you want to work at Latham & Watkins.
Latham Watkins in house nail salon small.JPG
P.S. Why wasn’t this quirky perk wasn’t featured in the recent New York Times piece on the blessings of Biglaw?

Here’s the latest Job of the Week, courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. Check out their new, redesigned website by clicking here.
(Since we didn’t post a Job of the Week last week, due to the abbreviated holiday publication schedule, we’ll give you two this week — one today, and one near the end of the week.)
Position: Transactional tax associate at international consulting firm
Location: New York
Description: International management consulting firm seeks associate to join its Transaction Tax Services group.
More details, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Job of the Week”

* Will SCOTUS shoot down D.C.’s gun ban? [CBS Evening News via How Appealing]
* Willie Nelson takes a moment between tokes to ask Georgians to be nicer to dogs. [CNN]
* Brad Pitt may get sued for screwing over Universal. [One News (New Zealand)]
* Former legal counsel sings on Samsung. [Reuters via Yahoo! Singapore News]
* Former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice dies. [AP via Yahoo!]

It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving. The stock market is now closed — and so are we. We’ll be back with new posts on Monday, barring a surprise weekend announcement of “NY to 190.”
In the meantime, here’s some fodder for possible discussion, for the unfortunate few who are at work today (or were at work yesterday). From a reader:

cranberry cranberries Above the Law blog.jpgI thought it might be interesting to get the best/worst stories from associates that had to work over the Thanksgiving holiday. I fortunately don’t have a terrible story to share that happened to me personally, but I have heard of bad things happening to others. For example, I heard of opposing counsel on the East Coast that scheduled a deposition on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, knowing that the counsel from California will likely have Thanksgiving plans torpedoed.

I also heard of a partner who told an associate that a party was moving for a TRO on the Monday following Thanksgiving. The associate worked on the case on Thanksgiving and the weekend. The associate later found out that the partner learned on Wednesday that the TRO was off-calendar, but the partner neglected to tell the associate — because the partner was preoccupied with getting out of the office for his own Thanksgiving plans.

These aren’t the greatest stories I realize, but I’m sure plenty of readers have some.

Have a tale of your own to tell? Please share it in the comments.
Happy Black Friday! And enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.

Guess what’s at the top of the New York Times Most Emailed Articles list today? A piece entitled For Lawyers, Perks to Fit a Lifestyle, by Lynnley Browning.
We’re pleasantly surprised that an article about law firm perks, a niche topic that we cover obsessively around here, is so popular with readers of a general-interest publication. Or is it just that lawyers are the only poor saps at work today?
Kelis Milkshake boys to the yard Above the law blog.jpgAmong the more notable perks mentioned in the article:

1. Milkshakes and candied apples — yum! (Perkins Coie) [FN1]
2. Mortgage guarantees for the first $100,000 of associate mortgages (Sullivan & Cromwell)
3. Reimbursements for associates who buy a hybrid car or a certain brand of car (DLA Piper; Fulbright & Jaworski)
4. On-site yoga classes (O’Melveny & Myers)

It’s an interesting article; read the whole thing here. There’s additional commentary on the piece over at the WSJ Law Blog, by Jamie Heller (filling in for Peter Lattman, who is on his honeymoon).
P.S. Looks like an NYT correction may be in order, due to a slip-up concerning the amount of year-end bonuses:

The perks come on top of higher salaries and larger bonuses — this year, the top-offs have been doubled at some practices. At the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, an old-line firm, associates will receive special payouts of $10,000 to $50,000, in addition to their year-end bonuses up to $35,000.

Our suggested rewording: “At the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, an old-line firm, some associates will receive special payouts of $10,000 to $50,000, in addition to year-end bonuses up to $60,000.” (The word “some” is needed before the word “associates,” because class of 2007 or “stub year” associates don’t get special bonuses.)
[FN1] The Perkins Coie milkshakes come from Potbelly Sandwich Works. Coincidentally, we enjoyed a PSW milkshake for the first time on Wednesday. It was Oreo, and it was delicious!
Update: One of you sent us this great comment, by email:

I thought the most poignant perk was Fried Frank’s: they offer psychotherapy (through what sounds suspiciously like a bulk discount deal) to help associates deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and divorce. I love it!

I can imagine the therapist’s notes: “Patient distressed re: possibility of negative performance review. Says he has not seen wife or child since, “let’s see … when was that holiday with the fireworks?” Is in constant pain from chronic papercuts and verbal caning associated with ongoing case. Patient noted gratefully that firm is paying for therapy. Possible diagnoses: Stockholm syndrome?”

For Lawyers, Perks to Fit a Lifestyle [New York Times]
Law Job Perks v. Law Job Woes [WSJ Law Blog]

* Feds use real-time tracking data from cellphones to locate criminal suspects. It’s like Dodgeball for the bad guys. [Washington Post]
* Barry Bonds to bulk up… his legal team. [New York Times]
* Spotlight on Justice Stevens — and the SCOTUS post-JPS. [Los Angeles Times via How Appealing]
* Interview with neo-Nazi triggers German lawsuit against Vanity Fair. [Jerusalem Post via Drudge Report]
* And you thought you ate too much yesterday. Try running for President! [New York Times]

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