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how to get away with murder RFYou guys, I think I have a problem. I think I am starting to like “How To Get Away With Murder.” Yeah, I know what I’ve said about the show in the past. And it’s still all true. Truth time: a basic girl who once dated a law student for all of a week probably has a better grasp of what law school is actually like than the writers of this show. It is kind of like eating a fluffernutter sandwich, it’s sticky and too sweet and is only barely classified as a food stuff but, man is it tasty. Who cares that your teeth will ache from the sweetness and your stomach will protest for hours after it’s finished? It is good going down. So is HTGAWM. It’s outrageous and unrealistic but I have fun screaming at the TV and scornfully glaring at anyone who dares to interrupt.

So what crazy hijinks are the gang getting into this week, what moment had me saying, “that is exactly what law school is like,” and what are the final nine words of the episode ABC kept teasing all week?

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Blogging TypewriterEugene Volokh points our attention to yet another bizarre copyright case, Denison v. Larkin, in which lawyer Joanne Denison argued that the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) infringed on her copyrights by using portions of her own blog as evidence against her during a disciplinary proceeding.

Not surprisingly, the court soundly rejected this particular interpretation of copyright law….

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Africa LF* “There’s too much at stake—too much money and interest.” Biglaw firms in West Africa are surviving, nay, thriving, despite the fact that the area is afflicted by the terrors of Ebola. [Am Law Daily]

* “[T]ake a step back, to pause to consider, I hope, a change of course.” The head of the FBI is pissed about cell encryption, and he wants tech companies to cut it out with this privacy stuff. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has a new chief financial officer. At Pittsburgh’s third-largest firm, the former litigation practice director could really make a name for himself. [Pittsburgh Business Times]

* Former employees — even lawyers — of the recently failed Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie are filing suit, seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance pay. Good luck with that, eh? [Globe and Mail]

* According to NY AG Eric Schneiderman, 72% of Airbnb rental sites in New York City are operating illegally. This is going to be problematic for those who enjoy the services of faux hotels. [New York Times]


A gaggle of Harvard Law professors took to the pages of the Boston Globe to complain about Harvard University’s new sexual harassment policy. Some are siding with the professors who raise serious-sounding concerns about the lack of “due process” in the Harvard policy, drafted in rapid response to the Department of Education’s report calling out a number of campuses for woefully inadequate sexual misconduct policies.

It’s the sort of thing professors like to do because it makes them feel cool to be all contrarian to suggest that cracking down on the systematic mistreatment of women is somehow a bad thing. Throwing the veneer of “rights” in there makes it sound all highfalutin too. And there’s good reason to worry about due process generally. Over at Redline, Elie is super concerned about it. Elie has been duped.

But when you dig into the law professors’ letter, it’s really kind of offensively dumb…

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* TSA vs. the Nobel Prize. [Lowering the Bar]

* A judge accidentally leaked the name of a juvenile in a juvenile sex case. But more to the point, this case is about a boy having a three-way with two of his English teachers on one of the teacher’s birthdays. I mean… South Park. [The Times-Picayune]

* Teaching torts rots your brain. Maybe. [PrawfsBlawg]

* Houston officials are backing away from their subpoena of sermons delivered by anti-gay pastors trying to get their congregation to sign petitions — even if the signatures were potentially fraudulent. [The Blaze]

* Stand Your Ground laws find new ways to be dumb. More cases of abused women trying to evoke Stand Your Ground laws and being told that states really only meant for those to protect white dudes shooting black kids. [Slate]

* A funny and insightful look at exactly how hearings go down at Gitmo. [New Jurist]

* A federal judge has recused the entire Eastern District of California from a case on the basis of allegations that federal prosecutors systematically defrauded the court. Prosecutors misbehaving? That’s unpossible! [New York Observer]

Now that Bingham McCutchen appears to have found a savior, talk is turning to other firms that have experienced a lot of recent partner attrition. One such firm is Dickstein Shapiro, which lost the most partners to lateral moves in 2013 and has continued to shrink over the course of 2014.

Today brings word of more Dickstein departures. Who are the latest lawyers to leave?

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Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts Lateral Link’s team of expert contributors. Ryan Belville is the Principal for Lateral Link’s New York office, where he oversees attorney placements and client services. Ryan also establishes and maintains relationships with new employers in need of attorney placement services on a national level. Before joining Lateral Link, he practiced litigation for several years and then became a legal recruiter in New York in 2004. In 2007, Ryan joined Lateral Link as a Director, and worked both the New York and California markets before being promoted to Managing Director in 2012. Ryan holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, where he attended the Honors College, and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.

It seems that there are few more dreaded tasks for junior associates than creating a résumé from scratch, or even updating an outdated version. However unpleasant, it is critical: a résumé is your 30-second “pitch” to a Partner that will make or break your chances to land that coveted interview. Given the ultra-competitive environment that is today’s lateral market, the importance of presenting a clean, effective résumé is paramount. Here are ten guiding principles and tips- they ought to save you some time and make your résumé stand out as truly interview-worthy…

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Jiminy jillickers! ATL editors are going all over the place over the next month or so. Or at least all over the Eastern Seaboard. If we aren’t heading to your neck of the woods on these trips, never fear, we may hit you up on the next time around. We’ve already hit up Houston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in the past year.

So what all are we up to this time?

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Paul Clement

You would think that someone like Paul would be arrogant, full of himself, a hotshot, but he is none of those things. The truth is, it was the easiest thing in the world to work with him.

Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, commenting about former U.S. Solicitor General and current Bancroft partner Paul Clement, on the occasion of Clement’s 75th oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bruce Stachenfeld

This is a continuation of the past three articles I published in ATL over the past month or so. My first article argued that Profits Per Partner is a great servant for a law firm but a bad master. In my second article, I set forth our Profits Per Partner Emancipation Plan as an alternative. In my third article, I set forth what I believe is the highest level in law firm profitability analysis, which is to “embrace” the volatility inherent in the practice of law. In this final article, I will give some thoughts on how a law firm could indeed Embrace Volatility.

Before getting to that, I will mention as an aside that I wrote a few weeks ago in this column an article entitled “Are Lawyers Only Happy When They’re Miserable?” That article largely dealt with how an individual might in fact Embrace Volatility. This article is directed not at individuals but at law firms.

If you have been reading my past articles, you may be open to at least considering how Embracing Volatility might be a good thing for a law firm. But is this whole concept just a fantasy, like it would be nice to not be afraid of snakes but you can’t help it and just reciting “I am not afraid of snakes” isn’t going to work? I don’t think so. I think the following simple steps would do it quite nicely:

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The terrible way women lawyers are treated in the legal profession has been described in these pages ad infinitum. Whether their necklines are too low, their hair is too long, they’re giggling too much, or their maternity leave is considered an inconvenience, women lawyers aren’t taken seriously, and they certainly aren’t treated with respect by their fellow lawyers in this profession.

But just how much sexism do women lawyers face on a day-to-day basis? It’s astonishing…

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Keith Lee

The first step in putting yourself out there is knowing what you are about. You absolutely need to be able to present who you are to people in a simple, cohesive fashion. Otherwise, it can be difficult to make connections with people.

If you are stumbling on who you are or what you do, people lose interest. You need to be able to simply, and quickly, tell a story about who you are. Something that communicates what you are about — as a person and as a professional. You need to be able to express your personal narrative.

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