Some lawyers have this crazy idea that the hoi polloi are in such awe of attorneys that they bend to your will upon the very mention of a Juris Doctor. It’s one thing to throw around your credentials arguing with a landlord or something like that — that’s an actual legal dispute. It’s quite another to be the person who injects their admission to the bar into every unreasonable demand. “I demand an aisle seat! I’m a lawyer!” There are probably a significant number of students who chose law school in hopes of being able to tell off someone with the threat of “I’m a lawyer!” And that’s incredibly sad.
To rain on the parade of these douchetards, regular people understand that there are a whole lot of lawyers out there and that most of them are middle managers at best and paper-pushers at worst. They aren’t really trembling over lawyer threats.
Which this attorney learned when he tried to bully a non-takeout restaurant into sending him takeout because, of course, he’s a lawyer. The restaurant disagreed and posted an epic takedown to the Internets…
It’s officially fall, and beyond the brisk temperatures and ubiquitous pumpkin spice lattes, that means there’s a new crop of television shows all vying for our attention. This season there seems to be a higher rate of shows that use the law or lawyers as a backdrop for the drama, but few have received as much attention (and as manypositivereviews) as the Shonda Rhimes/Viola Davis joint effort, “How To Get Away With Murder.” And it makes sense; ABC has pretty much gone all in on Shonda Rhimes as their personal lord and saviour, and the talented Viola Davis has joined theflockoffilmactresses who’ve decided the best roles are now on the small screen.
But until now I’ve resisted the the urge to watch. I mean, the show is loosely (very, very loosely) based on attending Penn Law and now that it’s over, who really wants to revisit law school? However, when bad weather and a lingering cold conspire to keep me at home all weekend, the siren call of the On Demand listing just proved too much for me to resist…
In the mists of the ancient past, the American legal profession agreed to cede responsibility for developing a consistent citation method to the most anal-retentive of law school gunners determined to lord their mastery of unnecessary commas over people. Ultimately, the whole thing is an exercise in hazing law students. Torturing students over questions of underlining or italics is kind of a lame hazing ritual, but long gone are the days when a young Louis Brandeis was dared by ne’er-do-well Harvard 3Ls to head down to the local theater and yell “Fire!”
But the Bluebook is also a cash cow because every lawyer needs to own a copy that they’ll promptly ignore because in the real world, everyone blindly trusts their online research database to get it right and barring that, no one much cares about the minutiae of the Bluebook as long as everyone can easily find the source. Besides, you can get close enough for government work with the outdated ratty copy you were issued in law school. Very few judges are going to flip out if you signal “See” where you could just insert the cite.
Now that cash cow is in jeopardy, because one law professor thinks he can get everyone a free copy of the Stickler’s Bible. How, you ask?
* Congratulations to Tony West on his new gig as general counsel of PepsiCo. It sounds like an exciting and challenging opportunity. Plus, you know, free Mountain Dew. [Politico]
* What the hell? The feds stole a woman’s identity and made it into a Facebook page. Well, now she’s found out and she’s suing. Identity theft was one thing, but the way the DEA Agent kept spamming the woman’s friends to play Candy Crush Saga was just unacceptable. [Buzzfeed]
* It’s Nobel Prize time, and one of the winners for Physics has a personal story about how important it is to hire a good lawyer. In fact, it was about $180 million important. [Slate]
* We constantly beat the drum of how law schools need to adjust to reality and stop duping students into terrible financial decisions. But here’s the PR secret that’s kept law schools from, by and large, collapsing: they sell the experience. [Law and More]
* An open letter begging Amal Alamuddin not to quit her day job now that she’s married to some acting guy. [The Careerist]
* New York City paid $50K to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a child who killed herself after school officials allegedly did nothing despite several warnings that the girl was being brutally bullied. There’s a lot of “in my day…” types who read this site who may not care about bullying, but this is more a question of irresponsibility. If your job is to provide a safe learning environment and you fail, you pay. [DNA Info]
* At oral argument, the Court seemed generally supportive of the Muslim inmate hoping to grow a beard. If this intuition is right, soon individual people may have the same religious rights as corporations! [Supreme Court Brief]
* Finally, thanks to the Rutgers-Newark Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society for hosting a great event today where Elie and I previewed the upcoming SCOTUS Term. My personal highlight was watching Elie’s head explode while talking about Young v. UPS.
So far 2014 has been very good to Above the Law. We enjoyed record traffic over the summer, thanks to some bigstories. We announced our partnership with How Appealing, Howard Bashman’s superb appellate blog. We have some great events coming up over the next few months, including our Supreme Court event in D.C. and our second annual conference in New York.
As we continue to expand, we’d like to add new voices to our pages. If you might be interested in writing for our pages or working with us as an intern, please keep reading to find out how to apply….
I am a Gleek. I admit it. And never was I more Gleeky than the week Ricky Martin made his guest appearance on the show singing in Spanglish “I’m Sexy and I Know It” back in 2012.
But, that’s not really what this post is about. What it is about is what Ricky Martin’s character, the new Spanish teacher, said to his night students wanting to learn Spanish: “By 2030 more Americans will be speaking Spanish as their first language than English.”
I was a little surprised, too! That’s less than 18 years away from when the show aired in 2012. The stars then took turns singing songs in English and Spanish, the not-so-subtle message being we all need to hone our Spanish language skills….
It’s time for me to wake up. I do need to read things before I sign them. I do need to understand things before I sign them. … I gotta make sure I fully understand something, or fully read it, or find a lawyer — like a contract lawyer — that could help me. Because, you know, I don’t read contracts every day.
(Giudice claims she was “shocked” to have received a prison sentence, even after signing a plea agreement that called for up to 27 months of jail for her crimes. Why was she so shocked? The answer might make your brain hurt.)
When you’re in law school, you’ll have the option of buying new books, or slightly cheaper used books. If you choose to buy someone else’s used book, then God bless you, because you might be stuck with errant highlighting and incredibly moronic notes in the margins. Since law students can be crass, you might even find some offensive remarks scrawled throughout the pages of your book.
Why go through the trouble of buying used books when you’ll have to deal with so much annoyance? Because you’ll be able to take revenge upon the prior owner with your own clever margin notes…
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.
The JOBS Act created new tools for companies to publicly advertise securities deals online. As a result, thousands of new deals have hit the market and hundreds of millions in capital has been raised, spurring a wealth of new business development opportunities for attorneys.
Fund deals, startup capital raises, PIPE deals and loan syndicates are just a handful of the transactions benefiting from the JOBS Act. InvestorID FirmTM is a platform designed to help attorneys equip their clients with the workflow, marketing and compliance tools to publicly solicit a securities offering online. By providing clients with the tools to painlessly navigate the regulatory landscape of general solicitation, InvestorID FirmTM helps attorneys add value above just legal services.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) went into effect in 2013 and permits Regulation D offerings of securities to be advertised publicly. This means that funds and companies can now use social media, emails and web sites to market transactions to new “accredited” investors.
However, with these new powers come new pain points. InvestorID FirmTM provides a secure, fully hosted, cloud-based platform with a breadth of tools for your clients, including: