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avatar Marin ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by MARIN, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Marin's avatar (at right).]
From ergonomic wrist supports to dual computer monitors, law firms wring every ounce of productivity from the attorneys they haven’t axed (yet). But while firms close branch offices and fire scores of lawyers, we submit that the answer to the current economic slump isn’t merging firms – it’s merging people. Everybody knows that two lawyers are better than one. It’s time for firms to get both and pay half; time for attorney mating.
No more legions of staff attorneys or filibuster roll-calls. Say goodbye to team meetings that resemble the Last Supper. Through attorney mating, firms can combine, say, the skills of master litigators with those of corporate powerhouses in order to produce uberlawyers with the efficiency of ten Aeron chairs. Using genetic samples from parent attorneys and the latest in Photoshop technology, we’ll give you a sneak peak at the offspring of some of the most sought-after combinations.
Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What if They Mated: Legal All-Stars Edition”

avatar Alex ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by ALEX, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Alex's avatar (at right).]
On-campus interviews are just around the corner. Biglaw firms are soldiering on with their recruiting efforts despite a crap economy. We can’t help but think, though, that recent layoffs and OCI cancellations have introduced a new level of anxiety into the process. Poor little 2ls; the gravy days are over. If it was critical before, it’s even more critical now: don’t mess up your interview.
It’s hard to say exactly what it takes to ace a 20-minute interview in a cramped hotel room or a cubbyhole in your law school. I’ve been on both sides of the ball for OCI, and I’m still not sure.
hot seat hotseat.jpgI had an interview as a law student where one of the two partners talked on his cell phone (loudly) in the bathroom while the other, feet resting on the bed, spoke without pause for 20 minutes about character. I didn’t say a word. I work at that firm now.
I’ve recommended that my firm hire less accomplished kids because they had funny hobbies and didn’t breath out of their mouths. And, as a general rule, I’ve nixed anyone who recited information from my bio.
The entire process is somewhat arbitrary. It really depends, in large part, on the personality of your interviewer. I think we can agree, however, that there are things that you should never say or do.
Tell us your OCI horror stories in the comments. Awful questions, awful answers, inappropriate comments, etc. We’ll post the best of the worst on Thursday.

LEWW champagne2.jpgWe interrupt the spirited smackdown of ATL Idol to bring you a couple of LEWW-related announcements. First, as expected, Team Ho-Glover scored a decisive win in June’s Couple of the Month voting. LEWW salutes this glorious SCOTUS – WGWAG – Friend-of-Lat juggernaut!
In other news, two notable grooms didn’t make our list of finalists this week. The first is Lee Bollinger, son of current Columbia University president (and former University of Michigan president) Lee Bollinger. And the second is Paul Lieberstein, who looks a lot like that guy who plays Toby in The Office. Because he is that guy.
On to this week’s contestants:

1. Sue-Yun Ahn and Charles Kitcher
2. Jennifer Hare and Jaron Shipp
3. Gena Hatcher and David Lenzi
4. Athena Theodoro and Daniel Adamson

Click on the link below to read more about these impressive legal matches.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 7.13 and 7.20: Columbian Dictatorship”

remote control.jpg* Death row inmate in Ohio: “I’m too fat to execute.” [CNN]
* Court appearance for man who attacked and beheaded a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in Canada. This horrific story makes us reconsider using the NY-DC bus. [BBC]
* Lawsuit in NYC seeks to uncover the race of police shooting victims. [New York Times]
* Freddie Mac CEO ignored warnings from his chief risk officer issued as early as 2004. [International Herald Tribune]
* Osama Bin Laden disciple serving a life sentence in a supermax prison filed a pro se lawsuit because he doesn’t want his food x-rayed. [Smoking Gun]
* Analysis of the “Goodling Report” and the inner workings of the DOJ. [Legal Times]
* Court ruling means you can keep on skipping over the commercials. [Financial Times]

avatar Exley ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This is the farewell post of EXLEY, who was eliminated yesterday from ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Exley's avatar (at right).]
When I was a teenager, some of my classmates and I got bussed to a public high school 40 minutes away. We were part of a program for social outcasts who scored well on a couple of standardized IQ tests, and we applied all of our angst and intellect to harassing our bus drivers — we bellowed Queen’s “We Will Rock You” at the top of our lungs, we threw our lunches and snowballs at other cars to try to cause accidents (sometimes successfully), and once on our way home we all stared stonily at the bus driver by way of his rear view mirror until he finally cracked, turned the bus around, and drove us back to school.
centaur.jpgThrough my brief stint as an ATL Idol contestant, I’ve come to appreciate both what Lat does, and how those poor high school bus drivers must’ve felt. You guys are as unruly as a centaur’s dark and frothy pubes.
Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: Exley’s Farewell”

* How long before wrestler Diamond Dallas Page sends Mayer Brown a cease and desist letter? [Unusual Activity]
* How should law school deans deal with a weak U.S. News ranking? [Law and More]
* How can you succeed in law school? [Res Ipsa Blog]
* Blawg Review #171 — with a shout-out to the Material Girl herself. [IP ADR Blog via Blawg Review]

Cadwalader Wickersham Taft new logo CWT AboveTheLaw blog.jpgThis shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but résumés from refugees of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft are all over the street right now. One recruiter, at an outside headhunting firm, described receiving “a flood” of CWT résumés in the past week. An in-house recruiting coordinator at an Am Law 100 firm agreed, noting that, interestingly enough, a number of the CWT submissions appear to be from lawyers in departments largely untouched by the layoffs. People at Cadwalader seem to be heading for the exits, in droves — even lawyers in “safe” practice areas.
We can hardly blame them. When it comes to career planning these days, being proactive and playing defensively is smart. If you think there’s even a chance you might be laid off from your law firm (or that your law firm might dissolve), start exploring your options early. As the conventional wisdom goes, it’s generally easier to find a job when you have a job.
To be sure, five months of severance, which is what Cadwalader is giving the 96 lawyers it axed last week, is generous (but justified — lawyers who survived the January layoffs were told they’d have jobs at least through the end of the year). But five months goes by more quickly than you’d think — and the job market, as everyone knows, is crappy not great. As reported by Am Law Daily, ten of the victims of the January layoffs at Cadwalader have yet to find new jobs, some seven months later.
Perhaps surprisingly, however, Cadwalader continues to bring on new people, even as it sends almost 100 attorneys into the unemployment wilderness. We got our hands on an email that was sent around firm-wide today, without even taking the dismissed attorneys off of the distribution, announcing the arrival of a new bankruptcy associate.
Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “It’s Raining Men. And Women. From Cadwalader.
(Plus: CWT is hiring?)”

Elizabeth Halverson small Judge Elizabeth Halverson Liz Halverson Above the Law blog.JPGAmerica’s favorite plus-size jurist, Judge Elizabeth Halverson, is back in the news. The disciplinary hearing to remove her from the bench — figuratively, not literally — got underway today.
Earlier this afternoon, from a Halverson-following reader: has live video stream of the Judge Halverson trial/hearing. I just started listening to it, so there hasn’t been anything real juicy yet. The first issue was Judge Halverson’s ability to use the restroom and the adequacy of the facilities at the hearing location.

And an update:

[So far] nothing that is new news. Her bailiff has been testifying about all the things he had to do for her. They are on a lunch breach until 4 PM Eastern time.

Ah, Judge Halverson’s lunch break. Expect the proceedings to resume around…. 8 PM?
In defense of Judge Halverson, is she getting a fair shake from the State Commission on Judicial Discipline? From the AP:

Nevada’s state judicial disciplinary panel is being asked to ban a suspended judge from calling witnesses or introducing evidence during hearings next week that could strip her of her elected position.

Insert Guantanamo joke here.
Panel Asked to Limit Judge Halverson’s Defense in Hearings [Las Vegas Now]
Panel asked to limit judge’s defense in hearings [AP]

Room of One's Own.jpgApologies for the tardiness — this news is from last month. But it’s about the bar exam, which is still fresh in the minds of many, so it’s fair game.
Some of you who took the New York bar exam last week complained of a loud, distracting, feedback-type noise in one of the rooms at the Javits Center. There were also reports of cell phones going off during the test.
Wouldn’t you have liked a room of your own, quiet and distraction-free? Or maybe an extra day to take the bar exam? From the West Virginia Record:

West Virginia’s Board of Law Examiners printed its examination in big type for Shannon Kelly last year, gave him a room to himself and allowed him an extra day to complete the test, and he blames them for his failure.

Kelly sued the examiners July 21 in U. S. District Court at Charleston, demanding four days to finish an exam that most law school graduates finish in two days.

“He has severe deficits in processing speed, cognitive fluency and rapid naming,” wrote his attorney, Edward McDevitt of Bowles Rice McDavid Graff and Love in Charleston….

Kelly received a score of 253 last year, 17 points fewer than he needed to pass the exam. He had asked for four days to take the exam, but the board had granted three.

We don’t mean to sound callous or, even worse, politically incorrect. But if one has “severe deficits in processing speed, cognitive fluency and rapid naming,” one should perhaps explore professions other than law. Some people just aren’t cut out for it. E.g., Paulina Bandy (who failed the California bar exam thirteen times, before passing on try #14).
Meanwhile, in other complaints about bar exam administration:

Thought you might be interested. Prefer to be anonymous lest it sound like I’m whining.

One of the rooms of CA Bar test takers received five additional minutes as a consequence of the earthquake. This was the room with the metal grate and bakery. [Ed. note: Bakery???] Older male Caucasian announcer.

Ballroom A/B/C, with an older, white-haired, female Caucasian announcer, got no extra time.

To those of you who just took the bar exam, especially in California: Is the tipster’s complaint fair, or frivolous? Does it affect the fairness and integrity of the exam? Or is five minutes just too trivial to get worked up over? It’s certainly not as big a deal as getting an entire extra day.
Well, Californians, look on the bright side: here’s an even worse exam to have interrupted by an earthquake.
Student with disability sues after failing law exam [West Virginia Record]
L.A. quake catches Twitter user in ladyparts exam [Valleywag]

Mrs Henderson.jpgThis summer associate (or “vacation schemer”) story comes to us from across the pond. An attorney in the London office of Shearman & Sterling had an interesting take on appropriate summer associate events.
Legal Week reports that a bunch of Shearman partners and attorneys took the “trainees” out to the bars one Friday last month. As the night wound down, one of the attorneys decided to take a female summer to The Windmill (NSFW). Not a wise decision:

Shearman & Sterling has dismissed an associate in its London office after a vacation scheme student made a formal complaint about his behaviour during a night out.

The student, who has subsequently accepted a training contract position with another firm, lodged a formal complaint to Shearman alleging that she was taken to Soho strip club The Windmill by the associate last month.

An internal investigation at Shearman has resulted in the associate in question being dismissed for bringing the firm into disrepute.

The attorney in question should have done more to defend himself. He could have cast this as a highly reputable outing… or at least a little bit reputable. The Windmill is not just any old strip club; it’s an historic strip club. From its (NSFW) website:

Great Windmill Street in London’s Soho… where Laura Henderson was to create her world famous theatre staging the first nude stage shows in London in 1931….

[A] host of great British comedians began their careers at the Windmill. Among them were Peter Sellers….

[T]he story of Mrs. Henderson has been made into a hugely successful film starring dame Judi Dench, nominated for Hollywood’s presige’s [sic] Oscar.”

We’d think that mentioning the names ‘Peter Sellers’ and ‘dame Judi Dench’ in England would lead to all being forgiven.
Perhaps it would have been wiser to take a male summer, who could have better appreciated the “historic nature” of the club. But hey, you never know. Some female summer associates, far from having a problem with strip clubs, actually enjoy performing at them.
Shearman sacks associate after student strip club complaint [Legal Week]
Earlier: Summer Associate of the Day: Girl Gone Wild

ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgThanks to everyone who voted in Round 1 of ATL Idol, the “reality blogging” contest that will determine the next editor of Above the Law. The polls just closed, at noon. Voter turnout was strong, with almost 1800 votes cast.
It was a competitive race. The top three finishers were within a few points of each other (and the top two were especially close). Here are the results:
ATL Idol Round 1 results.jpg
Congratulations to MARIN, SOPHIST, ALEX, and FROLIC AND DETOUR, who will all move into Round 2 of the competition. Saying farewell is EXLEY (who plans to pen a farewell post that we will bring you later).
Here’s what to expect from your ATL Idols this week:

  • a feature — i.e., a longer piece that will span multiple posts and days — starting tomorrow, and going through the week;
  • another head-to-head round, on Wednesday, to be reviewed by our celebrity judges; and
  • a freestyle post, on Thursday, on a topic of the contestant’s choosing (humorous or serious).
    Check back soon, to read more from your fabulous Idols!
    Earlier: Prior coverage of ATL Idol (scroll down)

  • If so, then you might enjoy this short video, in which a Houston Chronicle reporter hangs out with a few folks who just took the test.
    In response to the “what are you going to do now / I’m going to Disney World” question, interviewee Masoud Darvishi says he wants to “kiss…. girls.” One gets the sense, however, that that’s not all he’d like to do.
    The first interviewee, Adam Curley, is super-cute. But why no women in the video?

    Celebrating the Bar [Houston Chronicle]

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