* Baker Hostetler is making out like a bandit on this whole Madoff thing. I’ve always assumed bandits make out with a lot of tongue. Like the French. [New York Times]
* It will take awhile before the effects of the Obama administration’s decision on DOMA are felt. In the meantime, supporters of the law are relying on Congress’s Boehner to fill the gap. [Washington Post]
* Looks like federal judges are going to have to cut costs. It will be a great day when our federal judges get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale. Not to buy a bomber, but because everyone likes cookies. [ABA Journal]
The volume of applications to law schools nationwide is down by about 13 percent for the fall 2011 class, as noted recently by the Daily Journal (subscription). This is positive news. Maybe it means that people who are thinking prudently about their futures are finally getting the message that law school is no longer a golden ticket (assuming it ever was).
Of course, if all the wise people start avoiding law school, we’ll be left with the Idiocracy paradigm: only the slow and reckless will submit themselves to three years of legal education.
That might be bad for the legal profession, but it will certainly give us more to write about here at Above the Law. It’s been far too long since we’ve had a bunch of law students doing dumb, drunken things at a law school event. (Tulane, I don’t even know who you guys are anymore. The bad economy must be killing your mojo.)
With Tulane sidelined by a case of “let’s try to be respectable,” I’m happy to report that another law school seems ready to step up and fill the embarrassingly drunken void….
* Yes, we have seen the excellent GW Law Revue video based on the Cee Lo Green song (embedded above). No need to send it to us again. In fact, please do not send us links to any Law Revue videos until we announce the start of our third annual Law Revue Video Contest (perhaps next month, but stay tuned). [YouTube]
* The SEC’s general counsel, David Becker, gets involved in the Madoff litigation — as a defendant, in an action brought by trustee Irving Picard. [Am Law Daily]
The lawsuit captioned Dreier LLP v. Judith Regan was filed back in March 2008, months before Ponzi schemer Marc Dreier’s eponymous law firm went bust. But it’s back in the headlines as of today, thanks to some juicy documents unearthed by the New York Times.
The documents in question — affidavits that were supposed to be kept under seal, but inadvertently kept in the public case file (until their recent removal) — implicate a number of famous figures. The boldface names include controversial publisher Judith Regan, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, former New York City mayor (and presidential candidate) Rudy Giuliani, former New York City police commissioner (and current prison inmate) Bernard Kerik, and, of course, the now-defunct Dreier law firm….
Many Above the Law readers are currently facing dismal job prospects as the law-firm economy continues to trail the national economy. Some are law students contemplating graduation without an offer in hand. Others are junior associates who fear the return of mass layoffs. Still others are recent graduates bouncing between contracting jobs and other stopgaps. And the solution that many of these readers are arriving at is to start theirown firms. As someone who did that 13 years ago, I applaud the sentiment. But before you go shopping for shingles to hang, I have one — and only one — question for you:
Do you want to run a business, or do you want to practice law?
I’m not being facetious here; it’s a completely serious question. But I’m afraid it’s not a question that most budding shingle-hangers ask themselves. And the answer is crucial: your future happiness depends on it. Because unfortunately, many lawyers start their own shops for exactly the wrong reason, and they find themselves in the worst possible job they could imagine: working as an underpaid wage slave for a complete idiot of a boss. (Themselves.)
I give a lot of informational interviews to newer attorneys or to law students who (think they) are interested in starting their own practices. And I always ask them this question, and most of the time, they answer: “Both.”
It’s a sad state of affairs when a law school holding the line on tuition is breaking news. But with nearly every other law school rushing to bilk students who will pay anything for a legal education (law schools at Stanford, Arizona State, and Minnesota spring to mind), it’s nice to see at least a couple of schools that regard their students as something more than profit centers.
Maryland announced its tuition freeze in December. The National Law Journal reports that Miami recently announced it would be maintaining a tuition freeze already in place. Now UNH Law is joining their ranks. There’s still plenty of room on this bandwagon if your law school would like to take a brief break from molesting your financial future.
Not that UNH Law is cheap, especially for a third-tier law school. But this tuition freeze is another indication that UNH is at least trying to think about legal education in a somewhat realistic way…
Thank you for all your responses (or attempted responses) to this week’s Career Centersurvey on whether or not you worked on Presidents Day. We received 715 responses before the flood of respondents managed to take the survey offline.
Based on the responses we did receive, the majority of respondents – 73% – reported working on Presidents Day, up from 66% who reported working on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Almost half of these respondents indicated that their firm does not recognize Presidents Day as an official firm holiday, and 38% said that although no one asked them to do work, they had stuff that needed to get done.
What were some of the other reasons given for working on Presidents Day?
* More than 100 law professors are lobbying Congress to apply an ethics code to the Supreme Court. In related news, Clarence Thomas continues to troll the f**k out of a bunch of law professors. [ABA Journal]
* Arizona might have a host of new anti-immigration laws. The state hasn’t been this welcoming since The Brothers Brothers were working for their tourism commission. [New York Times]
* “Teachers accused of steamy lesbian romp fire back at city with $2M suit.” [New York Post]
I hope you were properly dressed for the February bar exam.
Sorry, I wasn’t trying to make a hanging joke in the middle of the February bar exam. I know it’s tough stuff taking the bar in February. Many people who are sitting for the exam right now have already had one bad experience with the test. It’s cold in most of the country. A lot of people feel they need to pass this test in order to hang onto their jobs.
And really, the pain started well before the actual test. How many February bar takers spent the holidays and New Year’s stressing about the exam?
But if you did sit for the bar today, you already know all of this. You’ve dealt with it and hopefully you are in the process of coming through clean on the other side…
Professor Joel P. Trachtman has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
Take this opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:
● The basics of accounting for lawyers.
● How legal accounting differs from regular accounting.
● Report and reconciliation issues surrounding trust accounts.
● How to pick and integrate the best accounting tools for your practice.
● Steps to prepare your tax return for your firm’s income.
Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing!
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!