Curvaceous beauty Monica Lewinsky, who will go down in history as the world’s most famous intern, once joked about going to law school. Instead she went to the prestigious London School of Economics, from which she graduated with a master’s degree in social psychology.
Interestingly enough, Lewinsky wrote a law-related thesis: “In Search of the Impartial Juror: An Exploration of the Third Person Effect and Pre-Trial Publicity.” So maybe she’s leaving the door open to law school at a later point in time.
If Lewinsky decides in favor of a legal education, she might want to consider Washington College of Law (WCL), at American University. Based on an amusing instant-messenger chat that has been making the rounds recently — we received it from half a dozen different sources, so it’s in wide circulation — it seems she’d fit right in.
If you have delicate sensibilities, stop reading now. But if not, check out the quasi-racy IM conversation, after the jump.
As we announced yesterday, we’re doing a series of open threads on career alternatives for attorneys. If you have a law degree, but can’t get into / aren’t interested in Biglaw or contract attorney work, what are some other good options?
We kicked off the series with a post about job opportunities with accounting firms. If you have a suggested career path, please email us (subject line: “Career Alternatives”), and include some basic info about the field that you’re nominating (e.g., how to get into it, pluses and minuses, salary data, etc.).
Back to law librarians. Longtime ATL readers know that they’re hot, as reflected in our law librarian hotties contest (male nominees here, female nominees here, and winners here). And it sounds like their profession is, too. From an enthusiastic law librarian, who works for a university:
Don’t forget law librarianship. Great hours, low stress, academic lifestyle, and the chance to abuse law students at will. Nothing could be finer.
Seriously, this a great profession. The work is interesting, law students and professors are intelligent and fun to work with, the stress level is low, the pace is comfortable, and I feel like I’m doing positive things for people. I have fun at work every day, and get many of the benefits of the law school academic lifestyle in spite of only having been in the middle of my class at [a top 30 law school]. There are plenty of jobs, many in very nice places to live. I highly recommend it.
Sounds promising — especially the part about abusing law students. Read more, after the jump.
We have. So, barring major new developments, we’re cutting back on our coverage of the controversy surrounding Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit. As we suggested yesterday, the story is petering out anyway; but if you’re still interested in following it, check out Patterico’s Pontifications, which has been offering excellent, wall-to-wall coverage.
Before we take our leave of this tale, here are a few notable links:
1. Judges Named To Head Kozinski Inquiry [AP]
This is the only real news to emerge since our last post. Chief Justice John Roberts, responding to Chief Judge Kozinski’s request for an investigation, has named five jurists to the investigatory panel: Chief Judge Anthony Scirica, Judge Marjorie Rendell, and Judge Walter Stapleton, of the Third Circuit; Chief Judge Harvey Bartle III (E.D. Pa.); and Chief Judge Garrett Brown Jr. (D.N.J.). This is a solid group of judges; expect their investigation to be thorough and proper.
2. Cyrus Sanai: Kozinski investigation “is part of a litigation strategy” [Overlawyered]
The Kozinski archenemy who tipped off the Los Angeles Times to the judge’s website — L.A. lawyer Cyrus Sanai, who has been feuding with the judge since 2005 — is a real piece of work. At Overlawyered, Ted Frank chronicles how Sanai has been benchslapped by numerous judges, both federal and state, at the trial and appellate levels. Sanai blames the mountain of adverse on rulings on bias. Frank writes:
One has much sympathy for Cyrus Sanai, who has suffered the extraordinary misfortune of four trial judges in three different jurisdictions who are biased against him, and that does not include the appellate judges like the Chief Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, Gerry Alexander; Washington State Court of Appeals judges Marlin Applewick, Anne Ellington and William Baker; or Judge Kozinski on the Ninth Circuit, all of whom Sanai has accused of bias. We wish that a just result is reached in Sanai’s various appeals, and pray that a just result is reached if a California legal disciplinary body ever decides to investigate what biased judges have been saying about Sanai.
David Lat, who has feasted on unsubstantiated gossip at Above the Law as well as his blog dedicated to sifting the salacious from the judicious, Underneath Their Robes (where he blogged anonymously as Article III Groupie, or A3G as he came to be known), joins the chorus [of Kozinski defenders]. But does the former AUSA explain his sudden conversion? Isn’t this the guy who is first on line (and online) to publish a smear of any lawyer or judge? In fairness, Lat’s connection to Kozinski is well-known to his long-time followers, but the new reader would be left out in the cold.
As Greenfield suggests, we view our connection to Chief Judge Kozinski as very well-known, and therefore not worth belaboring. But if he wants some sort of formal disclosure, here it is. Disclosure: We have a great deal of respect and affection for Chief Judge Kozinski, whom we consider a friend. He helped launch our blogging career with his support of our first foray into the blogosphere, Underneath Their Robes (started four years ago this month). Our coverage of him is biased. If you’d like to read harsh personal attacks upon Chief Judge Kozinski, you should look elsewhere.
Above the Law is an independent blog. Unlike MSM-sponsored blogs such as the WSJ or the BLT, ATL makes no claim to “objectivity.” Considering that we opine daily on all sorts of topics, in ways that would be unacceptable for pure news reporters to do, we don’t see how anyone could mistake ATL for an objective news source. But if you want an express disclaimer of objectivity, consider this it.
Finally, we’d like to clarify our views of the “Kozinski Kerfluffle,” as Greenfield aptly dubs it. Consistent with our general antipathy to privacy, we don’t entirely agree with observers who see what Sanai and the L.A. Times did as an egregious privacy violation. On this we agree with Ted Frank:
I don’t think I fully endorse Lessig’s view on this — accessing a directory on a public website may be slightly creepy, but it’s not the same as breaking and entering a house to peer inside the photo albums in the den; it’s not even at the level of obnoxiousness as a guest inspecting the medicine cabinets of a host’s bathroom.
Just how versatile is a law degree? To quote one applicant for our new writer position: “If I had a nickel for every time someone told me ‘you can do a lot with a law degree,’ I’d have enough to pay for about a semester of law school.” [FN1]
As just discussed, many law school graduates are up to their ears in educational debt, but can’t land — or don’t want — Biglaw gigs. If they aren’t interested in working as contract attorneys, what other options are available to them?
To help answer this question, we’ll be doing a series of open threads on career alternatives for attorneys. If you have a suggestion for one, please email us (subject line: “Career Alternatives”). Please include some information about the alternative career path you’re nominating — e.g., how to get into the field, pros and cons, how much it pays, etc. — so if we use your suggestion, we have some material to kick off the conversation.
Today’s career alternative: working for an accounting firm. The Big Four accounting firms hire a fair number of J.D. holders. One popular specialty for lawyers at such firms is tax, where a legal education, although not essential, comes in handy.
If you’re curious about this possible career path, read more, after the jump.
* The fall guys for Bear Stearns: hedge fund managers. [Ideoblog via Dealbreaker]
* An AutoAdmit update, and a cautionary tale for anonymous commenters: the motion to quash of “AK47″ has been denied. [Big Law Board]
* Leona Helmsley’s “rich bitch” is a bit less so (rich, that is; still a bitch, as far as we know). [New York Post via WSJ Law Blog]
* Justice Talking no more. [Justice Talking]
* Check out Blawg Review #164, especially if you’re a James Joyce fan. [cearta.ie via Blawg Review]
Last week’s post about Biglaw and iPhones got us thinking about another device that lawyers love (and love to hate): the Blackberry.
Ah, Blackberries: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. The little devices liberate you, allowing you to leave the office while remaining in touch with work. For example, if you work in midtown Manhattan, and if you’re having a slow day — or week, or month (take our survey on slowness) — you can step out for a quick visit to the MoMA, or get some holiday shopping done on Fifth Avenue. If you’re needed, the Bberry will vibrate, and you can be back in your office within minutes (i.e., in less time than it takes for that septuagenarian partner to return from his newspaper-reading bathroom break).
But Blackberries aren’t a total blessing. They make it that much harder to truly leave the office behind. People check them at the dinner table, or during their kid’s school play. You’d also be surprised by the number of exotic vacation destinations that have strong, consistent Blackberry reception.
This got us thinking: What are some of the strangest places and/or situations that you have sent and/or received Blackberry messages from? Here are three real-life examples we’ve heard about:
1. An associate has all four of his wisdom teeth removed (in a single procedure, to obviate the need for multiple, time-consuming visits). Minutes after the painful procedure is over — before the anesthesia has even worn off, and while still seated in the dentist’s chair — he’s shooting off emails to paralegals about binders.
2. An associate gets married. He and his wife jet off to a tropical locale for their honeymoon. He takes his Blackberry with him, then proceeds to send dozens of messages from the beach. (Hopefully he didn’t get sand in the device — or take the Blackberry into the honeymoon bed.)
3. A partner goes out on maternity leave. Half an hour after popping out her baby, ensconced in her comfy, adjustable hospital bed, she sends out a slew of work-related emails to her beleaguered associates.
Do you have a tale to tell about Blackberrying from an unusual destination, or under extraordinary circumstances? If so, please share it, in the comments.
Welcome to the latest post in our recent series on the 2008 National Convention of the American Constitution Society. We attended lots of excellent events as part of the conference. Prior posts appear here and here.
One of our favorite events was the Saturday lunch panel, “Covering the Court.” It was moderated by Thomas Goldstein, of Akin Gump and SCOTUSblog fame, and featured the following distinguished members of the Supreme Court press corps:
Robert Barnes, of the Washington Post;
Linda Greenhouse, of the New York Times;
Dahlia Lithwick, of Slate; and
Tony Mauro, of the Legal Times.
For the Court-watchers among you, a detailed write-up is available below the fold.
Apologies for the downtime. We were off being interviewed by CNN Headline News about the controversy surrounding Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit. We’ll post a link to the interview if and when it becomes available.
Speaking of Chief Judge Kozinski, here’s the latest news:
The 9th Circuit judge, who posted sexually explicit material on his own site, according to a Los Angeles Times story yesterday, has just released this statement:
I have asked the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit to take steps pursuant to Rule 26, of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct and Disability, and to initiate proceedings concerning the article that appeared in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. I will cooperate fully in any investigation.
This may not happen to men, but many a woman has put on an outfit and discovered later that it is more sheer than she realized in the dim light of her home. In sunlight, or in an office’s bright fluorescent glow, the underthings suddenly become visible — if one is lucky enough to be wearing underthings. Usually, a good friend will point this out to the inadvertently scandalously-clad woman.
A reader sent us an excerpt from a recent deposition transcript, currently making the rounds by email, which apparently captures an occurrence of just this sort. It seems that the not-to-be-named lawyer, aka “Ms. B” (pictured), did not have a good friend to point out the sheerness of her attire.
Instead, an expert witness did so, at the end of a long deposition. Then “Ms. G,” counsel to the witness, echoed her client’s concerns.
The exchange got a little testy. Check out the depo transcript, after the jump.
Like so many ATL Lawyers of the Day that have been honored before him, Gerald Hamelburg falls into the camp of attorneys who practice the law but don’t respect it. Hamelburg has gotten caught up in a “disabled placard abuser” sting.
A similar scam was run in this episode of Desperate Housewives. Gaby Solis (Eva Longoria) takes advantage of her husband Carlos’s blindness to get a disabled parking sticker and score sweet parking spots.
But Hamelburg had it even better — he got to park for free, too. From the Boston Globe:
He lives in one of Wellesley’s most exclusive neighborhoods, owns a $1.8 million Nantucket vacation home, and has a small fleet of luxury cars at his disposal. But when Gerald Hamelburg drives downtown, he doesn’t like to pay his way, according to investigators with the state inspector general’s office.
The Boston lawyer, they say, uses his deceased mother’s handicapped placard to park his Mercedes convertible, free of charge, at meters near the High Street firm that bears his name…
According to an investigator’s report, Hamelburg seemed unclear about what he had done wrong.
“He denied that he was ‘displaying’ the placard,” wrote the investigator, who videotaped this week’s exchange, “and stated that it was merely ‘hanging there.’ He questioned why he was being sanctioned for the use this time, saying that he had used it ‘half a dozen times’ before that and ‘no one’ had ever had an issue with his use of the placard before. [The trooper] asked him why he believed that was an appropriate defense to his having committed a serious violation by using the placard illegally. Hamelburg had no response to his question.”
Not the most impressive defense skills there. We assume that this is his law firm: Greenbaum, Nagel, Fisher and Hamelburg, though he gets no love (or bio write-up) on their website. The Massachusetts crackdown turned up hundred of placard abusers, and Hamelburg wasn’t the only attorney among them: “Among the worst violators were a state lawyer and his wife.”
This may sound cold-hearted, but we can’t help wondering: We understand the disabled getting premium parking spots close to building entrances, but why do they score free parking, too? Disabled placard abusers targeted [Boston Globe]
In the wake of a former Harvard Law Review president securing the Democratic nomination for United States president, it’s timely to do an update on the Harvard Law Review Note controversy (or Statue-Gate, as Glenn Reynolds dubbed it). If you haven’t been following the story, background appears here, here, and here.
Whenever a leader stumbles, bloggers swarm. The mini-scandal at America’s top law review has spawned a cottage industry of blogs. First there was a blog claiming to be written by Note author Phil Telfeyan, Do the Right Thing at Every Moment. It was under password protection for a time, but it’s once again open to all. And now there are at least two other blogs dedicated to covering perceived scholarly lapses at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Law Review, Harvard Clown School and Harvard Law Review Review (both via Prettier Than Napoleon).
There have been all sorts of rumors going around about Phil Telfeyan, his Note, and the blog dedicated to the Note (which may or may not be his). We made an effort to get to the bottom of some of them, talking to people with firsthand knowledge of the situation, including current and former HLR editors. We didn’t find out everything we wanted to know, but we learned a few new things.
If you’re curious — some of you may be tired of this story, and we don’t blame you — you can read more below the fold.
Time flies. It’s hard to believe, but Above the Law turns two this summer. We started writing for ATL in July 2006, and the site went live in August 2006.
We’re happy to report that things are going swimmingly — so swimmingly, in fact, that we’d like to (and need to) hire another full-time writer. Law firms are firing, but ATL is hiring. This gig may not pay $160K, but we guarantee it’s more fun than document review or due diligence.
This is a full-time position. The pay is quite competitive for a media/journalism job, and standard benefits — health insurance, a 401(k), abuse from anonymous commenters — are included. If you’re looking to transition from law into the writing life, this is an excellent opportunity.
If you’d like to apply, please email us (subject line: “New Writer Application”). Please describe yourself and your background, and explain why you’d be a great addition to ATL. If you have a particular vision for the site or ideas for new features, do share. Feel free to include a résumé, a writing sample, a link to your own blog (if you have one), or any other information you think might be relevant to evaluation of your application.
We will take applications through Friday, June 6 (and will probably throw in another plug for this next week). Thanks for your interest; we look forward to hearing from you.
Professor Joel P. Trachtman (JD Harvard Law School) has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
Take this opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:
● The basics of accounting for lawyers.
● How legal accounting differs from regular accounting.
● Report and reconciliation issues surrounding trust accounts.
● How to pick and integrate the best accounting tools for your practice.
● Steps to prepare your tax return for your firm’s income.
Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing!
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!