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Porsha Williams

At the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion that aired Sunday night, cast member Porsha Williams laid the smackdown on cast member Kenya Moore.  At issue was that Moore accused Williams of cheating on her husband, NFL superstar Kordell Stewart.

Moore called 911 from the reunion, though Williams was not arrested on the set.  Instead, an arrest warrant issued and Williams voluntarily had herself booked on a misdemeanor assault warrant and was released on $2,000 bail…

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Well lookie here. After years of being labeled as the “unhappiest job” and “worse than a nail technician,” “lawyer” has finally been named in a survey as the best job out there. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Cue the trumpets.

There’s just one snag….

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Calm down, affirmative action supporters, calm down. Yes, the Supreme Court just gave every state the authority to ban affirmative action in college admissions if they so choose. Yes, Stephen Breyer sided with the majority. Yes, this all looks incredibly bad if you think that race should be at least as allowable a consideration for admission as whether or not an applicant’s daddy went to the school.

But nothing is f**ked here dude. Not really. Colleges will still use some form of race-conscious admissions policies, even state schools. Affirmative action works and nothing that happened today will change that. The Court just made it more likely that admissions committees will have to get creative when putting together a diverse class of students…

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This is not a column about getting bloated Biglaw partners into running shape, as much as many of them need the exercise. Instead, let’s focus on another 10K milestone, one that Biglaw associates chase after, spurred on by a number of incentives, ranging from a simple desire to keep their hard-earned jobs to the burning ambition necessary to even aim for partnership: reaching 10,000 billable hours.

In the popular conception, 10,000 hours of practice at any skill is a critical hurdle to achieving mastery. It does not work that way for lawyers, especially those that start out in Biglaw.

As anyone who has started their career in Biglaw knows, the early years are more about survival than anything else. The most critical skill is adaptability, both in terms of being able to handle the lifestyle stresses presented by the Biglaw junior associate experience, and recognizing just how little law school has prepared one for Biglaw legal practice. In fact, I would say that for purposes of tracking personal progress towards the 10K mark, the first year of Biglaw practice (and maybe two or three depending on whether one is in a firm that “rotates” their juniors to expose them to different practices areas) should be thrown out. Consider that time as the foundation that allows for future productive lawyering if it makes you feel better. And first-years would do well to disabuse themselves of the notion that they will be “contributing” or doing “quality” work. Obviously they need to do their best, and perform up to Biglaw standards, but the hard truth is that the first-year in Biglaw is there to force high-flying and well-credentialed aspiring lawyers to humbly confront two uncomfortable questions. First, do you even want to be doing this? And second, even if you want to, are you good enough?

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Jodi Arias

* Retired Justice John Paul Stevens isn’t exactly too thrilled about the Supreme Court’s opinion in McCutcheon v. FEC: “The voter is less important than the man who provides money to the candidate. It’s really wrong.” [New York Times]

* Neil Eggleston, a Kirkland & Ellis partner who served as a lawyer in the Clinton administration, has been named as replacement for Kathryn Ruemmler as White House Counsel. Please, Mr. Eggleston, we need to know about your shoes. [Associated Press]

* The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office says the D&L trial could last for four months or more. Dewey know who one witness could be? Yup, the partner who allegedly shagged a spy. [Am Law Daily]

* Thanks to the turn of the tide in DOMA-related litigation, a gay widower from Australia is petitioning USCIS to approve his marriage-based green card application, 39 years after it was first denied. [Advocate]

* Here are three reasons your law school application was rejected: 1) you’re not a special snowflake; 2) your LSAT/GPA won’t game the rankings; and 3) LOL your essay. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

* No, Jodi Arias didn’t get Hep C in jail and file a lawsuit to get a restraining order against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Nancy Grace. We have a feeling we know who did. We’ve missed you, Jonathan Lee Riches. [UPI]

You’ve seen the worst of the worst, and now it’s time to feast your eyes upon the best of the best. This year, the competition was pretty stiff, in that we all needed stiff drinks to bring ourselves to watch some of the submissions. On the other hand, those who brought it really brought it.

And by “it,” we mean they were able to carry a tune, had excellent comedic timing, and provided us with some pretty drool-worthy student bodies. Our finalists’ videos were a joy to watch when compared to many of the other submissions, some of which were absolutely cringe-worthy. This was a year of throwback — there was no Miley Cyrus and no Katy Perry. Instead, the competition served up some smooth rap from the early 2000s and… Disney favorites.

This year, your reviewers will be David Lat, Elie Mystal, Staci Zaretsky, and Joe Patrice. We issue only advisory opinions; you hold all the power. Do the right thing: vote early, and vote for the best.

Who will follow the winners of years past into the annals of Law Revue history? It’s up to you…

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* Mistrial declared after defendant shot in the chest in front of the jury. Judge, remarkably, phrases it like it wasn’t a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, a few minutes ago the FBI confirmed that the defendant has died of his wounds. [USA Today]

* Here are some signs you were meant to be a lawyer. They’re actually not all that great. Probably should have included: “You padded your hours when your mom asked how much time you’ve spent on your homework” or “You introduced your little brother as your associate… and your pets as paralegals.” [Survive Law]

* 21 Jump Fail. Cops embed a 20-something officer in a high school to pester special-needs kid into selling drugs. Judge is not amused. He probably saw the Channing Tatum/Jonah Hill version. [Rolling Stone]

* Prosecutors told a guy to let a newspaper write about his drunk driving case as part of the plea deal. They’re really trying anything to save print media aren’t they? [Jim Romensesko]

* If you went to law school in New York, then the job market’s a little better for you this year. Sorry, rest of the country. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* Congratulations to Paul Lo, who became the first Hmong judge in U.S. [Merced Sun Star]

* The Aereo case going before the Supreme Court in one helpful video after the jump… [Bloomberg News]

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#Picture #of #Harvard #Law #School

I guess a 171 #LSAT isn’t #good #enough for #HarvardLaw … looks like a bunch of #sniveling #little #whiners had their #mommys and #daddys make #phonecalls and #write #checks…

– An unknown student who, I’m guessing, didn’t get into Harvard Law. He took to Instagram to blast the school in a message that can only be described as hashtag abuse. Seriously, hashtagging “write” and “checks” separately?

(If you were hoping this breathless stream-of-consciousness diatribe was longer, and filled with more inappropriate hashtags, then you’re in luck! A screencap of the Instagram photo is available after the #jump.)

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These days, fixed fees (also known as flat fees) are all the rage in the legal profession. Long employed by solos and smalls for practice areas as diverse as estate planning, business incorporation, trademarks, bankruptcy, and criminal defense, today, flat fees are gaining traction  even with the big boys at Biglaw.

While the benefits of flat-fee billing, including cost certainty, increased efficiency, and administrative simplicity are well documented, there’s not much guidance on how lawyers can implement fixed fees in practice. As a result, many lawyers shy away from fixed-fee billing, fearing that if they charge too little, they’ll be stuck working for free if the case winds up taking more time to resolve than originally anticipated.  Meanwhile, many lawyers who experiment with fixed-fee billing claim that it doesn’t work — largely because they haven’t implemented it in a way that benefits the lawyer as well as the client.

So below are a half-dozen tips to help solo and small-firm lawyers implement fixed-fee billing without paying the price. Though not exhaustive, these suggestions may help lawyers currently contemplating fixed-fee billing get started, or convince those who’ve tried flat fees unsuccessfully to reconsider…

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Last week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this picture (click to enlarge):

Let’s have a look at what our readers came up with, and vote on the finalists…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Finalists: The State Of The Legal Profession In One Sad Graphic”

Stephen McDaniel

It was in the summer of 2011 that we first reported on the grisly scene unfolding at Mercer Law School. The torso of Lauren Giddings, a recent graduate, had been found in the garbage outside of her apartment complex. Her neighbor and classmate, Stephen McDaniel, was charged with the crime of murder. The rest of Lauren’s body parts have never been found.

McDaniel, who earned the nickname “Hacksaw,” maintained his innocence throughout the investigation and his time spent in jail — that is, until today…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘You Are The Devil’: Law Grad Pleads Guilty To Dismembering Classmate”

And amazingly, this is the proper use of the word “literally.”

This morning in Morning Docket we learned that Justice Ginsburg demurs on the question of whether or not Edward Snowden is a traitor. It’s a prudent move on Her Honor’s part. Even if Snowden never returns to face U.S. courts, it’s only a matter of time before another whistleblower exposes another government project and Justice Ginsburg wants to avoid appearing biased in any way whatsoever. After all, Judge Shira Scheindlin got thrown off a case for bias because she publicly said she wasn’t biased in favor of one side. The appearance of impropriety and all that.

Meanwhile, RBG’s best buddy on the Court has no such qualms about the appearance of impropriety. After all, Justice Scalia saw no reason to recuse himself from cases when he’s gone on vacations with the litigant.

And on the question of committing traitorous acts, Justice Scalia threw his oath to the wind and told a gathering to go ahead and become domestic threats to the Constitution….

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