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Vanessa Hudgens Vanessa Anne Hudgens Filipino Filipina Above the Law blog.jpg* We know you guys never tire of talking about the tough job market for graduates of non-top-tier law schools. Here is Sam Kamin’s take on Amir Efrati’s WSJ piece. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Can’t get a Biglaw gig, perhaps because you’re a Tier 2 (or Tier 3 or Tier 4) grad? Why not hang out your own shingle? [Build A Solo Practice, LLC]
* Still on this week’s non-top-tier law school theme, Dave Hoffman wonders: “[I]s there a point to law school beyond sorting students?” [Concurring Opinions]
* Vault is beloved not just by prestige-obsessed law students, but by investors, too. A private equity firm just bought a stake in Vault that values it at $60-$85 million. [alarm: clock]
* We have no difficulty believing this SCOTUS clerk gossip. [BeldarBlogs]
* Maybe Vanessa Hudgens should pay her lawyer in kind. Autographed nudie pics would surely fetch a pretty penny on eBay. [E! Online]
* Wondering whether there’s a double jeopardy issue with respect to the state charges against Michael Vick? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Want to pick up some advice on the voir dire process — and catch up on the last week of legal blogging at the same time? Check out Blawg Review #127, by trial lawyer and jury consultant Anne Reed. [Deliberations via Blawg Review]

Gibson Dunn Crutcher LLP Above the Law blog.JPGIt appears that Quinn Emanuel isn’t the only law firm with a snazzy new website. The WSJ Law Blog reports:

Okay, we’re not necessarily proud of our law-firm Web site fetish, so forgive us for spilling a few pixels over the spanking-new page the folks at Gibson Dunn put up.

[Ed. note: Racy stuff, esp. for the Wall Street Journal! That sentence -- with its references to a "fetish," "spilling a few pixels" (hehe), and "spanking" -- is chock full of double entendres.]

We’re not sure it offers more or better content than the average firm site… but check out that design! We’re big fans, from the newspapery layout to the McSweeney’s-esque literary feel to the overall minimialist aesthetic….

Take, for instance, the six videos on firm diversity. There’s one entitled Out, with gay partners talking about their sexual orientation. And then there’s one called Red & Blue, about the firm’s political diversity, including an interview with former Congressman Mel Levine (Blue) and former Solictor General Ted Olson (Red)…

Unlike those rascals over at Quinn Emanuel, the GDC folks haven’t pulled their videos. And hopefully they will leave them up, even after we poke (gentle) fun of them.
Which we proceed to do, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Methinks that Gibson Doth Protest Too Much”

Double Indemnity Insurance Law Defense Coverage Litigation.jpgAs we previously mentioned, this week is Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. Even our open threads on job hunting will reflect this theme.
One graduate of a non-elite law school sent us this suggested topic:

Lots of non-top tier law students end up working for insurance companies.

The dumb ones end up doing insurance defense (hired by insurance company to defend slip and fall, med mal, etc). The smart ones do insurance coverage (represent the insurance company which denied coverage).

How about postings where we can compare salary info? Salary info at these firms is much more guarded. I have no idea what anyone else makes.

So, what ARE salaries like in this area? From our tipster:

I’ll get the ball rolling from the insurance coverage perspective. When I started as a first year at one NYC insurance coverage firm, I was making $75,000 with no bonus (and a billable hours minimum of 1900).

Now, I am a fifth year doing insurance coverage at a different firm in NYC, my salary is $128,000, and our firm offers a $7,500 bonus to associates deemed the cream of the crop at year end. Name partners are rumored to make a boat load of cash, but other partners are rumored to be nothing more than senior associates. Our minimum billables are 2100.

More discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Where Do Non-Top-Tier Grads Go? Hello, Insurance Law!”

Bachelor Bachelorettes Above the Law Blog.jpgNo wonder the producers of The Bachelor are so eager to have a lawyer as the Bachelor. With their impressive educational pedigrees and generally high incomes — even non-top-tier law grads earn more than the average American — lawyers are a desirable demographic. And relying upon the contestants to keep lawyers watching might not be a smart idea, since legal eagles keep getting shot down on the show.
From a tipster (a distinguished law professor, which goes to show that even geniuses enjoy trashy TV shows):

[O]n last night’s season premiere of the Bachelor, both of the law students were sent home in the first cut. The Phoenix Suns dancer stayed.

I only caught the beginning, when they were all being introduced, and I noticed the two law students – couldn’t figure out for sure what schools they were at. I’m guessing this show was taped over the summer, so this may have been their substitute for a summer associateship. In hindsight, a bad decision….

I was on the phone the rest of the time, and only learned later that they were both cut. They were decent-looking, though, so I wonder if it was their winning law school personality that made the difference…

We agree. The eliminated contestants — Juli, 24, of Chicago, and Natalie, 25, of Duncanville, TX — are quite comely. We’re guessing they go to non-top-tier law schools, which have hotter students.
We don’t watch The Bachelor; we prefer to spend our trash TV time on Gossip Girl. But if you saw the season premiere, and paid more attention than our tipster, we welcome your thoughts on why the law students got cut.
Update: From another source:

“Not sure what law school Juli attends (I believe it’s Michigan, but I don’t have confirmation on that), but I CAN confirm that she was a summer associate at Katten’s Chicago office. She left partway through the summer to film the show, and she STILL got an offer. True story.”

Hopefully she left Katten early enough to avoid having her ass grabbed.
Season Premiere: Episode Recap [The Bachelor (ABC)]
Earlier: Here’s One Way To Escape from Biglaw

Boston MA small Boston Massachusetts skyline Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOur recent open threads, dedicated to discussion of year-end bonuses in different legal markets, haven’t been generating THAT many comments (at least compared to prior open threads). Maybe it’s too early for bonus discussion. Or maybe people just aren’t expecting much this year, given the recent base salary increases. So this may end up being the last post in the series.
Some of you have requested an open thread for discussion of law firm bonuses in BOSTON. Here you go.
Please discuss Boston bonus policies and expectations, in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Year-end bonus open threads for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

David Boies New York Law School Boies Schiller Flexner Above the Law blog.jpgIt’s only Tuesday morning, and we’ve already done several posts on the professional plight of non-elite law school graduates. So we’re declaring this week Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. If you have a story idea that fits into this theme, please email us.
Here’s our latest tale about the plight of “non-T14″ law school grads. It suggests that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn’t the only person making controversial appearances at New York area schools.
From a tipster at New York Law School (a Tier 3 school, not to be confused with fourth-ranked NYU; if you ever want to piss off an NYU grad, refer to their alma mater as “New York Law School”):

“New York Law School in Tribeca had David Boies speak at our graduation this past July. Yet his firm does not hire from New York Law School. The only NYLS alum there graduated in 1968.”

Ouch. But for the record, our tipster later emailed us a correction: there’s one more New York Law School grad at Boies Schiller. That makes for a grand total of two (2) NYLS alumni at the firm. But the point is still the same. As our source observes, “they still don’t even do on campus at NYLS.”

“Anyway, this is intended to be more damning of NYLS than it is of Boies Schiller, which has the right to follow any hiring practices they desire. However, NYLS should maybe be a little more selective in who they choose to speak to us third-tier graduates.”

Do you agree with this tipster? Is NYLS degrading itself by, in the words of our tipster, “giving out honorary degrees to people who don’t even hire its graduates”? Or would the tipster’s approach unduly limit the universe of possible graduation speakers?
More discussion, including some email correspondence between an NYLS student and the school’s dean, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More Tier Two Three Misery: The Boies Schiller Controversy at New York Law School”

Never heard of Duval & Stachenfeld? Well, that’s about to change, thanks to the firm’s innovative approach to associate compensation, which is getting some media mentions. From an article by Kellie Schmitt in The Recorder:

The 50-lawyer firm, based in New York but with a small L.A. office, starts first-year associates at $60,000 — or $100,000 below the starting salary at many Am Law 100 firms.

Mid-year and senior associates, however, are promised the same total pay — or more — that they’d earn at Latham & Watkins or Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

For third-years on up, the firm says it checks what top New York firms like Cravath, Swaine & Moore are paying in base salary and bonuses, and matches that. Last year, the firm added a $10,000 sweetener.

So what exactly is the point of this unusual system?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Attention Tier Two Grads: Duval & Stachenfeld Wants You”

* 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]

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