Recently submitted to Fortune magazine by “Bored in BlackBerryLand”:
I am a recent law-school graduate and, though I’m not yet working at a law firm, I have friends who are. I understand that things in international firms happen 24/7, 365 days a year, and I want to be as supportive of my friends’ careers as I expect them to be of mine.
My question is, to what degree in social settings, on a regular basis, should friends be checking their BlackBerries, and at what point should I say something? What’s rude and what’s truly necessary?
So, readers, whaddya think? Check out what the expert had to say, express yourselves in the comments, and take our poll — after the jump.
* Um, let me get this straight: a U.S. judge is holding a hearing about whether France will comply with the Geneva Conventions? [BBC]
* Don’t be fooled by the arbitration award that she got; she’s still Jenny from the block. [AP via Fulton County Daily Report]
* Haditha officers sanctioned, but not criminals. [CNN]
* The Law Blog follows through on its whip count promise with a quiz. [WSJ Law Blog]
* And here are the answers (60 lawyers, if you want to cut to the chase). [WSJ Law Blog]
Sigh. Too much to write about, not enough time (or energy). We should have written about this on Tuesday. But since we didn’t, we now have the luxury of assembling a post by commenting on what other people have already written — and snarkily noting that they all say the same thing.
It all started with this article from the Washington Post (via the Huffington Post):
It was John G. Roberts Jr., now the chief justice of the United States, who suggested [Harriet] Miers to Bush as a possible Supreme Court justice, according to the [new] book [Dead Certain, an examination of the Bush presidency, by Robert Draper].
Miers, the White House counsel and a Bush loyalist from Texas, did not want the job, but Bush and first lady Laura Bush prevailed on her to accept the nomination, Draper writes.
Sounds juicy, right? But not so fast.
If you’re already familiar with this controversy, you can probably skip the rest of this post. But if not — or if you are, but want some commentary on the commentary — you can read more after the jump.
* Sadly, the Nixon Peabody theme song didn’t make the cut. [TechnoLawyer]
* “Sonnenschein sued for millions by former partner.” [Legal Times]
* News you can use: “How much income can parents have before losing all financial aid for their kids’ college?” [TaxProf Blog]
* We’re late in linking to this, but here’s Blawg Review #124. [George's Employment Blawg via Blawg Review]
* We’re REALLY late in linking to this, but it’s timely once again in light of the imminent announcement (tomorrow) that he’s officially running for president. Here are some interesting reflections from Fred Thompson on the law and his career as a practicing lawyer. [Power Line]
Not too long ago, we said we had a “gut feeling” that some Supreme Court clerk hiring was going on (despite the Court being in recess). We were right.
Meet Porter Wilkinson. And don’t hate her because she’s beautiful. Or brilliant. Or rich. Or the daughter of a top feeder judge and frequent Supreme Court short-lister, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson (4th Cir.).
Or, for that matter, a future Supreme Court clerk. We hear that Judge Wilkinson’s daughter — yes, Porter is a girl’s name, if you’re a WASP — just landed an October Term 2008 clerkship with Chief Justice John Roberts. Congratulations, Porter!
Not surprisingly, we hear that the young Ms. Wilkinson is fairly conservative — in case you couldn’t have guessed that from the fact that she’s currently clerking for Judge Brett Kavanaugh (D.C. Cir.) (alongside the lovely, and recently married, Zina Gelman).
And where did we hear about Porter’s politics? From Judge Wilkinson himself!
In late July, we attended the excellent national convention of the American Constitution Society, in Washington, DC. Judge Wilkinson was on one of the panels. In thanking the ACS for inviting him, he noted that his son is a member of the liberal organization — but that he’s balanced out by his sister Porter, a card-carrying member of the Federalist Society. We bet the Wilkinsons must have interesting dinner table conversations.
Porter Wilkinson continues the trend of fathers and daughters who both clerked for the Court (as noted by Tony Mauro). See here. Update: A tipster tells us, “FYI, Porter was an All-American lacrosse player at UNC. See here. Her husband [Christian Cook] was lacrosse Defenseman of the Year at Princeton and three-time national champion. Formerly of the Secret Service. See here. They got married this past summer in Charlottesville.”
With Porter Wilkinson added, the current list of OT 2008 clerks thus far appears after the jump. Graduation Awards: Four in the Class of 2007: Porter Wilkinson [Virginia Law] Carter Phillips’ Kin Is Alito Clerk [Legal Times]
Well, this guy — Eduardo Arrocha, who just started as a 1L at Thomas M. Cooley Law School — really IS a freak. Quiteliterally.
Here’s why Arrocha is leaving the Coney Island Circus Sideshow to go into law:
“I know it sounds weird, but I want to be a freak lawyer. I hope to have a little office in New York and work with the alternative people . . . all the so-called riff-raff, to give them legal representation that is not judgmental.”
Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas is ATL’s Judge of the Day. He takes the prize for his innovative approach to sentencing. From the Mobile Press-Register:
Authorities are investigating allegations that now-suspended Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas periodically removed prisoners from Mobile County Metro Jail and spanked them in a room at the courthouse, according to courthouse sources involved in the inquiry.
Once inside the room, according to the sources, the judge would ask the young men to drop their pants and prepare to be spanked with what they described as a wooden or fraternity-like paddle.
To quote ex-inmate Paris Hilton, “That’s hot.” We agree with these commenters:
“[I]n San Francisco we have lots of people who pay $200 a session for that kind of treatment. Perhaps this judge has a bright future in Bay Area.”
“That’s some kinky place. I think Senator Larry Craig would like to break INTO that prison!”
For those of you who might be interested, here’s another version of yesterday’s story about the Bruised Booze Cruiser — a Kirkland & Ellis summer associate who got slugged by a local lass in Chicago (after getting drunk on the firm-sponsored booze cruise and calling said woman a “fat bitch”).
We actually received many accounts of this event. The one that we decided go with came from someone who was at K&E this summer and attended the events in question, so we viewed it as fairly reliable.
But here’s a second version, also from someone who claims to have been there. And we like it — in some ways, it’s even better than the original — so we’re passing it along.
According to our latest tipster, the Bruised Booze Cruisier (hereinafter “BBC”) was acting up even before the after-party where he got punched by a girl woman. From this second source:
[The BBC] had upset one big-time partner before ever getting to the bar that night (and, if the golf outing story is true, he had notes from two partners sent to recruiting). The cruise ship played music during the 3rd of July fireworks, and at one point, the “Imperial March” from the Star Wars movies came on.
The summer (maybe a big fan of the movies?) decided to narrate the song by attempting to recreate Darth-Vader-esque breathing noises. His wanting everyone to hear, though, meant the noises were less breaths and more zombie moans, which weren’t appreciated by the young children on board.
A senior partner near the summer, whose children were frightened and upset by the noises, wrote to recruiting about the guy before the story of the bar fight ever came out.
That’s pretty great — but there’s more. Check it out after the jump.
A tipster drew our attention to this Craigslist posting, to which he appended a single line of commentary: “Discriminatory? Ha Ha.”
It seems that only the title of the posting implicates motherhood. The main body of the listing refers to the candidate as “he or she,” and the job responsibilities do not require a maternal figure. E.g., breastfeeding the CEO is not required. Moms Wanted – General Counsel, Part time/flexible hours (Midtown East) [craigslist]
Lately we’ve been talking to a lot of 2Ls about the law firm recruiting process. From these conversations, we’ve learned that (1) a fair number are interested in working abroad, especially in the fabulous (and fabulously expensive) city of London, and (2) many law students treat the Vault law firm rankings as the Gospel.
In light of these two facts, we expect that many of you will be interested to learn that Vault just released its second annual Top 50 UK Law Firms Rankings. You can check them out here (main page) and here (prestige rankings).
Not surprisingly, the so-called “Magic Circle” firms still hold the top five spots on the list. But they have played musical chairs amongst themselves.
Please treat this post as the open thread for U.K. law firms. If you’d like to discuss what it’s like to work for one of these shops, this is the place to do it! The Vault 50 Top UK Law Firms [Vault]
We’ve made this point before in these pages, and we’ll make it again: not every recent law school graduate is on the $160K (or even $145K) scale. Many newly minted lawyers are pulling down salaries that fall well short of the six-figure mark.
Check out this interesting graphic, which shows the distribution of full-time salaries for all members of the Class of 2006 who reported income data to their respective law school (22,665 graduates):
As you can see, the median salary for class of 2006 law school graduates is $62,000. There’s a peak around the $135K-$145K mark (recall that the jump to $160K took place in 2007), but there’s an even larger peak around the $40K-$50K mark.
Professor William Henderson has these observations:
What are the implications of this chart?
* For law students. Let’s face it: $40K to $55K per year is just not enough to pay down the avg. $85,000 debt (especially as interest rates climb) and still enjoy any kind of lifestyle that a professional degree is presumed to confer. The national median starting salary for a 2 to 10 lawyer firm is $50,000. There are a lot of struggling alumni out there. And do we really need more law schools? For many, getting a JD is a very risky financial proposition, especially when you factor in bar passage.
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