In a recent post about Peter Barta, the Legal Aid lawyer who allegedly videotaped his female colleagues as they were getting undressed, we ranked on policy debaters.
Maybe we should take it back. From a highly informative reader email:
Not all former policy debaters are creeps. Here’s a list of former policy debaters who are current or future legal rock stars:
Justice Samuel Alito, Judge Merrick Garland, Larry Tribe, Louis Kaplow, Erwin Chemerinsky, NYU President John Sexton, Jonathan Massey, David Boies, Tom Goldstein, Rebecca Tushnet, Annie Kastanek (OT 2007/Kennedy), and John Hughes (OT 2005/Thomas; pictured at right, captured in mid-debate).
Former policy debaters, please accept our apologies. We did extemp and L-D debate in high school, and we generally viewed C-X debaters with suspicion. They struck us as kids who talked reallyreallyfast, warning constantly of nuclear war. But maybe we were wrong.
To paraphrase the “ignorant tipster” from the Oona O’Connell story: “We feel kind of bad that we prejudged them. Sorry to sound like an afterschool special. But you know what? Perhaps we learned a lesson today. Good on you. ‘The more you know.’” Earlier: Reading the Bartameter (Part 3): What Is Up With Those Policy Debaters?
In the wake of name partner David Bershad’s guilty plea, the schadenfreude over the fall of Milberg Weiss continues.
Even ex-paralegals at Milberg Weiss are getting in on the fun. Check out this excerpt, from a comment posted at Roger Parloff’s blog:
[F]or anyone who argues that theirs were essentially victimless crimes, how about the competitive advantage Milberg Weiss has enjoyed over firms who really are ethically defending the little guy? It was this idea of evening the playing field for investors and consumers that made me excited about working for Milberg Weiss in the first place, and I passed up more lucrative offers from Defense firms because of my desire to be able to look myself in the mirror every morning. Too bad my employers did not have the same commitment to honesty.
Oh, and as an additional note on class, [former name partner Steven] Schulman actually had the nerve to e-mail the entire firm to ask if they wanted to support his children’s private school by buying gingerbread houses decorated by the kids for $200 a pop. And then, the night of the firm Christmas Party, he sent out a second-chance e-mail offering them discounted at $150!
The following comes from a trial in the Southern District of Alabama, Chief Judge Ginny Granade presiding. It’s from an assistant U.S. attorney’s examination of an accomplice in a bank robbery:
Q: Well, let me just as an aside right now, what kind of a high, what kind of feeling do you get from smoking, and you were smoking crack?
A: Yes, ma’am.
Q: What kind of a high do you get from that?
A: You get a real intense high and you’re not really able to really able to make good — good judgment calls about what you’re doing.
News flash: Crack use may impair your judgment. That’s why all the Biglaw attorneys stick to powder cocaine. Clients pay them big bucks for their sound judgment!
The excerpt from the trial transcript continues, after the jump.
We continue our series of posts about perks/fringe benefits provided by legal employers. In prior posts, we covered technology allowances and gym memberships.
Today we’re all about the children. Let’s talk about… child care benefits!
As reflected on the NALP website, here are some of the options that law firms offer:
Many of you are studying for bar exams at the end of this month. You read ATL while procrastinating — and perhaps you feel guilty about it.
But you shouldn’t. There are far worse ways to procrastinate.
Like using the internet to set up trysts with underage females — who turn out to be undercover detectives. This email was forwarded to us yesterday:
From: [UGA Law grad] Date: Jul 10, 2007 1:32 PM Subject: Another great moment for UGA Law! To: [Various other UGA Law alumni]
Philip Pilie… a graduating 3L this past May. See theselinks.
More background, from a tipster:
Guy in question was studying for the Louisiana Bar Exam before he got picked up [for computer-aided solicitation for sexual purposes and attempted indecent behavior with a juvenile].
He was a Georgia Law ’07 grad, with a job lined up at Baker Donelson (a big firm for the city) in New Orleans. All of that is obviously not going to happen now.
Kicker is this: If you Google his online handle, it comes up with forum posts for a bunch of fashion sites. In one he gives lengthy fashion advice…
Read more about the Prada Predator, after the jump.
We realize that not everyone has been following Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, the salacious case filed by former S&C associate Aaron Charney (at right), alleging anti-gay discrimination and retaliation by his extremely prestigious (and profitable) former firm. But for those of you who are interested in this matter, today we have a special treat.
Remember Gera Grinberg — the former colleague of Aaron Charney who some partners suspected was in an “unnatural relationship” with Charney? Grinberg, who nolonger works at S&C, is a critical figure in this case. But he has been an elusive figure to followers of this litigation. We’ve seen no pictures, and we know few facts about him.
Finally, after months of mystery, we’ve gotten our hands on a photograph of him. It’s kinda old, but hey, it’s better than nothing.
Check it out, after the jump.
* Charges coming in “collar bomb” case. [CNN]
* Size matters. And bigger isn’t always better, as the Ninth Circuit demonstrates. [Los Angeles Times]
* That’s some hardcore pwnography. [Click 2 Houston (KPRC, Houston NBC affiliate)]
* Deal reached in Libya foreign medics AIDS trial, with details to come tomorrow; Libyan Supreme Court had been expected to uphold death sentences. [Jurist]
* Facing child sex charges, but don’t want that fact to slow down your legal career? Check out the Solomon Islands. [CNN]
Based on the comments to our last post, it’s clear that many of you want to talk about job opportunities — or the lack thereof — available to folks who aren’t at so-called “top tier” law schools (or who aren’t at the top of their class at non-elite law schools).
As it turns out, we have a good vehicle for such discussion. Check out this interesting National Law Journal article:
Despite news of record-breaking employment figures for law school graduates and first-year salaries of $160,000 at many top law firms, a significant contingent of job seekers — including those with strong credentials — are living a much different story after graduation….
But the eye-popping salaries are the reality for a small fraction of law school graduates, and all those stories of big money may be creating unrealistic hopes for the vast majority of law school students. Contributing to the situation is the effort by law schools to portray their employment numbers as robustly as possible to boost their ranking scores.
The upshot means dashed expectations for lots of graduates, many of whom are saddled with high debt as they struggle to start their careers.
The depressing discussion continues after the jump.
In the discussion about Peter Barta, the Legal Aid lawyer who allegedly made secret videotapes of his female colleagues getting dressed in the office, one question keeps coming up, again and again.
This comment is representative:
“[C]an someone explain why people are getting dressed/undressed at the Legal Aid office in the first place?”
We were curious ourselves. So we undertook an ATL investigation, contacting a few sources with firsthand knowledge.
If you’re curious, the results of our investigation appear after the jump.
We are still accepting your colorful anecdotes about Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legendary Supreme Court correspondent, and a celebrity within legal and media circles. Past installments appear here and here.
Today we have two more stories to offer, both variations on a theme. Here’s the first:
I really have to mention here a little semi-encounter I had with Totenberg during the day I covered the Scooter Libby trial. When I arrived, I sat down in a random spot — and quickly discovered that Ms. Nina had apparently managed to convince all the journos covering the trial that a certain portion of the court bench was her personal property.
Sadly, the trial did not go on further. I really wanted to sit in her chair!
We’re not surprised. It’s completely consistent with our second story — which you can check out, if you’re interested, after the jump.
A female Muslim juror has been arrested in Britain after allegedly listening to an MP3 player under her hijab headscarf during a murder trial, police said Monday.
The woman in her early 20s was spotted by a fellow juror listening to music as she was meant to be helping try the case of a pensioner accused of bludgeoning his wife to death after 50 years of marriage.
The judge in the case thought that something might be up:
Judge Roger Chapple, presiding, said that he thought he could hear “tinny music” in the courtroom at Blackfriars Crown Court in Central London, but dismissed it as a figment of his imagination until another juror sent him a note.
As we mentioned yesterday, over the next week or two we’ll be doing a series of posts on fringe benefits at law firms. Each day we’ll have a post dedicated to discussion of a specific type of perk.
Today’s fringe benefit: gym memberships. Although you might never have guessed, based on the proliferation of pasty and portly associates, many top law firms offer free or discounted gym memberships for their lawyers.
Some firms even have on-site gyms. The market leader here may be Skadden, which has gyms in some of its larger offices, like New York and Washington. We’ve visited the gym of Skadden DC, and it’s impressive. Personal trainers are available, and they’ll even furnish you with freshly laundered workout clothes, emblazoned with the Skadden logo (down to jockstraps — although we don’t think those have the logo).
An in-house gym is great. You can head down for an afternoon pick-me-up, before settling in for the evening session of work. Or you can squeeze in a quick work-out while waiting for word processing to turn around some document.
But exercising with co-workers has its downsides. When we were at a firm, a former colleague who worked out at the super-high-end gym frequented by partners once returned in a shellshocked state. She declared: “I just saw [partner X] on the elliptical. In a tank top and short-shorts. I didn’t need to see that.”
Please discuss free or discounted gym memberships, in-house exercise rooms, and similar law firm perks, in the comments. Thanks. Earlier: An Open Thread on Tech Allowances
Hey, have you read Above the Law for like one single minute in the past month? If so, you probably know that we’re having this big blogger conference on March 14th at the Yale Club. Yeah, the Yale Club. You’ll be able to recognize me: I’ll be the only big… blogger guy surreptitiously holding a can of crimson spray-paint.
Speaking of coming, you should come. We’ve got CLE and all that. Click here to buy tickets to get CLE credit for listening to bloggers scream about stuff on the internet.
To refresh your memory, details on the panel that I’m moderating — almost entirely sober, mind you — follow.
My panel is called Blogs as Agents of Change, and we’re going to talk about whether all of these spilled pixels are actually making a difference. You know my view… just ask Lawrence Mitchell, but here are the panelists:
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
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