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* New York Times Magazine profiles Justice Stevens. [New York Times Magazine]
* Breaking down the New York Knicks sexual harassment trial. [ESPN]
* Prosecutor contradicts Sen. Craig’s story. [CNN]
* NY AG subpoenas Facebook. [MSNBC]
* Vick may face state charges related to dogfighting. [Sports Illustrated]

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Evil Has Landed New York Daily News Above the Law blog.jpgEarlier today, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a controversial appearance at Columbia University. The decision to invite Ahmadinejad was defended by President Lee Bollinger, who criticized Ahmadinejad and his views while introducing him, but condemned by Columbia Law School Dean David Schizer.
Dean Schizer’s statement provides us with enough of a “law” hook to write about the controversy. Here’s what he had to say:

This event raises deep and complicated issues about how best to express our commitment to intellectual freedom, and to our free way of life. Although we believe in free and open debate at Columbia and should never suppress points of view, we are also committed to academic standards. A high-quality academic discussion depends on intellectual honesty but, unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad has proven himself, time and again, to be uninterested in whether his words are true. Therefore, my personal opinion is that he should not be invited to speak. Mr. Ahmadinejad is a reprehensible and dangerous figure who presides over a repressive regime, is responsible for the death of American soldiers, denies the Holocaust, and calls for the destruction of Israel. It would be deeply regrettable if some misread this invitation as lending prestige or legitimacy to his views.

Our university is a pluralistic place, and I recognize that others within our community take a different view in good faith, and that they have the right to extend invitations that I personally would not extend. I know that we will learn from each other in discussing the difficult questions prompted by this invitation.

Do you agree with President Bollinger or Dean Schizer? Take our poll:


Statement By David M. Schizer Re: SIPA Invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [Columbia Law School]
Tough US Welcome for Iran’s Ahmadinejad [Associated Press]
Columbia law dean slams Ahmadinejad invite [JTA]
QuickSpec- Judgement Day edition [The Bwog]

law clerk judicial clerkship Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgMany judges are done hiring their law clerks for next year. We’re happy to report that several of our friends, whom we were informally advising on the process, landed clerkships with their top picks.
For those of you who are still going through the process, this gossip might be of interest:

Rumor check: word on the street is that a raft judges have made a decision to only hire graduates for clerkships. One person told me that means there are about 60% less positions open for 3L applicants. The end result is that a number of schools are having their worst clerkship hiring year in memory (at least for their 3L’s). Have you heard the same?

We haven’t heard this specific rumor until now. But we do know that some judges have started hiring more graduates simply because the hiring of grads — e.g., junior associates at firms — isn’t controlled by the elaborate timetable of the law clerk hiring plan. With the possible exception of feeder judges, who have no choice but to try and snag top recruits early, most judges probably think it’s less viciously competitive — or at least less of a hassle — to hire recent law school graduates (who come with the added benefit of practical experience).
So, readers, any thoughts?
Earlier: Clerkship Hiring: Today’s the Day

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver Hedges associate salary Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe aren’t the only ones having fun with the story of the Quinn Emanuel recruiting junket to Deer Valley. Check out this cartoon, over at The Recorder.
As noted by some commenters, Quinn Emanuel just launched a new, upgraded website. Sadly, the “Day in a Life of an Associate” video — which featured a fictional associate, a Yale and Stanford Law-educated hottie named “Ivy” (geddit?) — appears to have been pulled. (The site says that the video is “coming soon.”)
Some of the speculation about why the video was pulled is amusing. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quinn Emanuel: No Video for You”

BarBri 2 bar bri bar exam review course prep course Above the Law Above the Law ATL.jpgMaybe not. A summary of the findings of a recent study, from Freakonomics:

[R]esults were unequivocal: no relationship existed between law school courseloads and the passage rate of students ranked in the first, second or fourth quarters of their law school class, while only a weak relationship existed for students who ranked in the third quarter. Overall, Rush writes, “students in the upper two quartiles passed the exam at an extremely high rate and those in the fourth quartile failed at a high rate, regardless of which classes they took in law school.”

So taking Secured Transactions really has no redeeming qualities after all.
The Science of Passing the Bar Exam: Does First-Year Torts Really Matter? [Freakonomics]

Washington Monument small Above the Law blog.JPGWe have to step away for a bit. We’ll leave you with another open thread to discuss year-end bonuses. Today we focus on our base of operations: WASHINGTON, DC.
If your firm has a stated bonus policy, what are the basic terms? If not, what are you expecting by way of a bonus this year? How will the move to $160K affect year-end bonuses in the D.C. market?
Please discuss these and related subjects, in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Year-end bonus open threads for New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Will Work for Food 2 Above the Law blog.JPGOn the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal, there’s an excellent article, by Amir Efrati, about the not-so-hot job prospects for non-top-tier law school graduates. Here’s the lede, which nicely summarizes the situation:

A law degree isn’t necessarily a license to print money these days.

For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. Big law firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as high as $160,000. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand imbalance that’s suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don’t score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000. Some are taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as $20 an hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for failing to warn them about the dark side of the job market.

It’s a most worthwhile piece (although somewhat reminiscent of this article, by Leigh Jones for the National Law Journal). Here’s our favorite part:

Some un- or underemployed grads are seeking consolation online, where blogs and discussion boards have created venues for shared commiseration that didn’t exist before. An anonymous writer called Loyola 2L, purportedly a student at Loyola Law School, who claims the school wasn’t straight about employment prospects, has been beating a drum of discontent around the Web in the past year that’s sparked thousands of responses, and a fan base. (“2L” stands for second-year law student.) Some thank “L2L” for articulating their plight; others claim L2L should complain less and work more.

Loyola’s Dean Burcham says he wishes he knew who the student was so he could help the person. “It’s expensive to go to law school, and there are times when you second-guess yourself as a student,” he says.

One tipster quips: “Loyola Dean David Burcham wants to find and help Loyola 2L. How? By refunding his tuition?”
So, will the real Loyola 2L please stand up — and email us? We’d love to discuss potential opportunities with you. Thanks.
Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers [Wall Street Journal]
The Dark Side of the Legal Job Market [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: It’s Hard Out Here for Non-Top-Tier Law School Graduates

Jeffrey Toobin The Nine Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.jpgMore good press for Jeffrey Toobin’s new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. It scored a front-page review in the New York Times Book Review, which is the Holy Grail of the publishing industry.
But we’re partial to this great Slate piece, by Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick (two of our favorite Supreme Court correspondents). Bazelon and Lithwick conduct a meta-review of critical reactions to Jeff Toobin’s book, which they use as a jumping off point for broader reflections on media coverage of the Court. They include a generous shout-out to ATL:

One of the oddest byproducts of the Internet has been the growth industry that is the Supreme Court gossip blog. These folks are less interested in the court as the place where Law Is Born, or where Politics Really Come From, and more fascinated by which clerks are sleeping with whom, and how much they earn while doing it.

No blog has a better bead on those items than David Lat’s Above the Law. Sure, ATL invariably tends to reduce the entire sweep of modern constitutional history to a form of girl-on-girl Jell-O-wrestling. But then at bottom, what else is there?

As one reader jokingly suggested, “Looks like your Facebook group membership finally paid off!”
Nine Ways To Read The Nine [Slate]
Meet the Supremes [New York Times Book Review]

* Wall Street Journal front page article on bleak JD job market. [WSJ via Law Blog]
* Ohio State must pay former coach $2.5 million. [ESPN]
* Florida dems risk delegates with early primary. [CNN PoliTic]
* If he did it, was it because of football injuries? [Slate]
Update: We’ll be doing a full post about the WSJ Law Blog post, featuring a huge shout-out to Loyola 2L, later today. Please bear with us; it’s Monday morning.

Paul Cassell Judge Paul G Cassell Above the Law blog.jpg* As a judge, Michael Mukasey cited Shakespeare in snarking on — and striking down — the federal sentencing guidelines. [AP]
* Speaking of district judges, the well-regarded Judge Paul Cassell (D. Utah — at right) is resigning from the bench — partly due to low judicial pay. [Sentencing Law & Policy via WSJ Law Blog]
* What not to wear when you go to the airport. [Boston Globe]
* Unlike, say, the Ninth Circuit, the Second Circuit follows on-point Supreme Court precedent. [TaxProf Blog]
* Your submissions for Blawg Review #127 are respectfully requested. [Deliberations]
Update: The citation for the Mukasey opinion is United States v. Mendez, 691 F. Supp. 656, 663-64 (S.D.N.Y. 1988).
Back in this post, in which we incorrectly predicted that Mukasey wouldn’t get the AG nomination, we wrote: “We’d also add that Judge Mukasey probably isn’t solidly conservative enough for the White House. See, e.g., his views on the federal sentencing guidelines.”

Ursula Mancusi Ungaro Judge Ursula Ungaro Above the Law blog.jpgFederal judge Ursula Mancusi Ungaro was sighted at a recent “Constitution Day Party” down in Miami. She posed for photos with other guests — including TV judge Alex E. Ferrer, better known to television audiences as Judge Alex.
This photo of Judge Ungaro and Judge Alex, by lawyer-blogger David Oscar Marcus, was our favorite. Behold how the taut white fabric stretches tantalizingly across Her Honor’s ample bosom. Here are some suggested captions:

“They’re real, they’re spectacular — and they have life tenure.”

“Guess they have strong air conditioning down in Miami.”

“Underneath her robes, indeed.”

Wow. We fully expect to see Judge Ursula Ungaro as a nominee the next time we hold a judicial hotties contest.
Update: We have been offering irreverent commentary about the physical appearance of federal judges, male and female, for years now. If the Washington Post can parse the cleavage of Hillary Clinton, then surely a blog — which is not bound by the standards of decency and respectability that apply to the MSM — can parse the cleavage of a federal judge (who is also a public figure).
If you are so deeply offended by the playful, good-natured paying of compliments to a federal judge who also happens to be attractive, then don’t read ATL. This isn’t the first time that we’ve engaged in such commentary, and it won’t be the last. Thank you.
For the record, our admiration for Judge Ungaro is not prurient in the least. Trust us.
Further Update: We are now authorized to share this information with you, which we’ve known for a while. It may change your view of things:

After her nasty divorce in 2003-2004, [Judge Ungaro] got a boob job. She bragged about it to her clerks and asked them how “they” looked.

If Judge Ungaro is proud of “them,” who are you to tell her she shouldn’t be?
P.S. Speaking of cosmetic surgery, if you’re looking for a plastic surgeon in the New York / New Jersey area, check out our dad. He’s a talented, board-certified plastic surgeon. Be sure to ask for the special discount for friends of ATL!
Pictures from Constitution Day Party [Southern District of Florida Blog (via Google Cache)]
District news (item #3) [Southern District of Florida Blog]
We the People [Miami Herald]
Judge Ursula Mancusi Ungaro [Federal Judicial Center]
Judge Alex [official website]

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver Hedges associate salary Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve devoted an insane amount of coverage to Quinn Emanuel’s plan to take recruits to a resort in Deer Valley, Utah (in lieu of callbacks). Now The Recorder has this interesting article:

Instead of bringing students met during on-campus interviews back to the office for a series of sit-downs, the firm will take them on the road. Quinn Emanuel is arranging an all-expenses-paid October weekend of dining and drinks in Deer Valley, Utah, for about 40 students. They’ll stay at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, a Scandinavian-inspired chalet where a suite runs more than $2,000 a night in peak season.

“We stole the idea from an investment bank — I don’t think any law firm has tried it,” said firm leader William Urquhart.

Reporter Kellie Schmitt confronted Quinn Emanuel partners with some choice comments from ATL readers. Learn about their reactions, after the jump.

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