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Law school deans come, law school deans go, but this departure hurts. As Dean of Northwestern Law School, David Van Zandt has been a strong voice for a more practice-oriented approach to legal education, and he’s been doing it from the unusual perch of top 14 law school.

But at the end of the year he will leave to become the President of the New School. And boy are they happy. From the New School’s press release:

“We are proud to welcome David Van Zandt to The New School,” said Michael J. Johnston, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Since 1919, New School leadership has stood at the vanguard of American higher education. The New School today has emerged as a major degree-granting university with academic strengths in the humanities and social sciences, design, public administration, and the performing arts. I am confident that David Van Zandt will make lasting and meaningful contributions here, building on our legacy of preparing socially responsible citizens for the challenges of the future. I along with the rest of the Board and the university community look forward to working with David.”

Dr. Van Zandt will assume his new position as president of The New School on January 1, 2011. He succeeds the university’s current president, Bob Kerrey, who will remain as New School president until the end of 2010 to ensure a seamless transition. Kerrey, who was appointed in 2001, led The New School during a period of unprecedented growth.

Dean Van Zandt deserves the praise. But the sadness coming out of Northwestern is palpable. The kids at Northwestern Law were very attached to their dean…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Education Loses a Warrior: Northwestern’s David Van Zandt Leaves to Take Over The New School”

Ed. note: Welcome to ATL’s new column, Fame Brief. Since Kash has left the building, Marin, ATL’s other lady-in-waiting, will be picking up her celebrity beat and filling you in on the latest celebrity legal shenanigans. Before you fall over yourself to post an annoying comment about how this blog be sinking or how nobody cares about celebrities, consider that our celebrity posts are some of the most popular ones on here. So SOMEBODY out there cares about celebrities….

When I got my first credit card, my dad was afraid I’d go hog wild and buy a suit of armor, sconces, breast implants, decorative fireplace accessories, a foosball table, IVF treatments, a boat and a monstrous “Tuscan villa” McMansion in Towaco, NJ. But at least I’m making payments on these purchases, unlike Joe and Teresa Giudice of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, who filed for Chapter 7 back in October 2009….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Is the Giudices’ $60K Post-Bankruptcy Spree Legal?”

Associates are under a lot of pressure these days. But we applaud those junior lawyers who respond to the current demands with initiative and creativity. We found just such an associate in Toronto.

The man’s problems seem trivial to the outside world. His office is crappy. He needs an upgrade, but not because he wants to feel like he’s some hotshot. He just knows that he has to look like a hotshot in order to generate business. This is how he explains it on a Craigslist post:

I work in a large Bay Street law firm. Many of my partners and clients have extensive collections of original artwork. As a struggling associate with a mortgage, no job security and a wife with a penchant for running into things with our car, I cannot afford to buy original artwork myself, so I appear low-rent to the higher-ups. Given the high standards of my clients and partners, I also cannot go out and buy prints or copies of original art – I will be laughed into the unemployment line.

A lot of associates would have noted the problem and left it at that. Maybe they would have gone home crying to their mothers about life’s unfairness. But not this kid…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Toronto Associate Finds Creative Way to Look Like He Belongs”

You write frequently about a higher education bubble. Our law schools are great evidence of that as they continue to churn out untalented, over-educated, over-credentialed snobs who really can’t do anything.

– Anonymous Biglaw partner reacting on Instapundit to the unwillingness of UCLA Law students (and ATL commenters) to chauffeur around their betters.


Looking to spruce up your wardrobe for fall recruiting season? Whether you’re a law student interviewing for jobs, a partner in pursuit of a top recruit, or unemployed and waiting for the Rapture, it’s important to look your best.

Working together with Gilt Groupe, which hosts invitation-only sales of luxury brands at prices up to 70% off retail, we’ve put together a special sale just for Above the Law readers. Here’s your chance to snap up sharp and sophisticated clothing, footwear and accessories, from some of the most trusted names in menswear. See, e.g., Thomas Pink; Cole Haan; A. Testoni; Calvin Klein.

Your Above the Law editors are excited about the deals. Lat’s been on a juice fast and needs skinny slacks. Elie… does not, but his wife likes it when Elie rocks the Elie (Tahari — whose shirts will be on sale).

Check out the wares here. The sale starts today at noon and is for a limited time only — so act now, or your purchase may be time-barred. Happy shopping!

Above the Law Custom Store [Gilt Man]

Ed. note: Adrian Dayton is a lawyer and writer who advises law firms about business development through social media. He will be writing a series of guest posts for Above the Law about social media.

The opening sequence of Enemy at the Gates begins with a volunteer Russian soldier named Vassili being forced into the range of German machine guns in the Battle of Stalingrad. Unfortunately for Vassili (played by Jude Law), the Russian army has more soldiers to spare than guns. So although all the soldiers are given guns, only half the soldiers, including Vassili, are given a clip with five bullets.

As soldiers fall all around him, Vassili can’t seem to find a gun. After the battle is almost over, German machine guns are shooting any wounded men who try to escape. It is a hopeless situation, but Vassili finally gets his hands on a gun — and makes five perfect kill shots, taking down five German soldiers, including a German officer. A nearby witness writes up the account in the military newspaper, and Vassili becomes a famous sniper.

In response to last week’s post, “The All-or-Nothing Social Media Skeptics,” a few lawyers expressed frustration that I didn’t provide more concrete strategies, case studies, and tactics on utilizing social media. I won’t cover case studies on this post, although you can find some here, but I will give some specific tactics….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Social Media Lessons from a Russian Sniper”

We apologize again for yesterday’s technical difficulties, but if you thought we weren’t going to weigh in on the Hooters anti-fatty policy you haven’t been paying a whole lot of attention. Yesterday, a Michigan judge ruled that a weight discrimination case brought against Hooters restaurants could go forward.

When the suit was filed, back in May, I sarcastically quipped about fat people being a protected class in Michigan. Apparently, that’s exactly what’s happening. The WSJ Law Blog reports:

According to this story from the Grand Rapids Press, the suit cites Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination by employers based on a number of factors. Height and weight discrimination were added in a 1976 amendment by then-state Rep. Thomas Mathieu.

Mathieu originally introduced the height and weight amendment because he was “flabbergasted” by the number of cases of unfairness involving women seeking office jobs who possessed the necessary skills and personality, but were overweight.

Let’s all take a moment to reflect on the necessary skills and personality needed to be a Hooter’s waitress…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Hooters and the Heavy Consequences of Having Boobs”

Ed. note: This post was compiled by one of our seven Morning Docket finalists. The finalists will be handling MD all week. As always, we welcome your thoughts in the comments.

* At Walmart you can save money and live better, except if you’re a woman. [New York Times]

* Zenovia Evans is fighting for law school transparency, one lie at a time. [Huffington Post]

* Surprisingly, bigger isn’t always better at Hooters. [WSJ Law Blog]

* California jury trials are slower than rush hour on the 405, but a new law might change that. [National Law Journal]

* It’s likely that Lindsay Lohan’s probation-mandated 12 steps will lead her back to her drug dealer. [Associated Press]

* Tiger’s divorce may have affected his golf, but you know his game is still in full swing. [New York Times

* I'm on a board, I'm on a board, SEC look at me 'cause I got proxy access to a board. [Wall Street Journal]

Ken Mehlman: Yup, he's gay.

Back in June, we wrote about the fabulous Chelsea apartment snapped up by prominent Republican lawyer Ken Mehlman. Although his résumé is strewn with achievements — he’s a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School (just like President Obama), a former partner at Akin Gump, and a current executive vice-president at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (ka-ching!) — Mehlman is most well-known as former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Because Mehlman settled in Chelsea — and took up residence in the Chelsea Mercantile building, home to such A-list gays as Marc Jacobs and Lance Bass — we couldn’t resist a little innuendo. Despite his status as a leading official of the Republican Party, which hasn’t always been down with the gays, Mehlman has long been dogged by rumors that he is a homosexual.

Now we don’t have to worry about Mehlman suing us for defamation — and litigating the interesting issue of whether calling someone a big old nelly queen constitutes defamation per se in New York. Mehlman just publicly admitted that he’s gay, in an interview with Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic. (The publication of the interview may have been accelerated, thanks to a nudge from Mike Rogers of BlogActive.)

Let’s take a closer look at the pink elephant in the room….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Gay, Er, Day: Ken Mehlman”

Judge Royce Lamberth

Ed. note: Apologies for the technical difficulties today. Our tech team is investigating.

* This Venn diagram reveals all you need to know about what lawyers put in their bios. [the [non]billable hour]

* Is Judge Royce Lamberth (D.D.C.), the judge behind the injunction on stem-cell research funding, about to get benchslapped by the D.C. Circuit? Professor Glenn Cohen thinks it’s possible — but in the meantime, the ruling is “a disaster for the Obama administration.” [Concurring Opinions]

* If mouthy blogger Hal Turner had threatened this Georgia state court judge, he’d be lucky to wind up in prison. [ABA Journal]

* Here’s a good overview of recent legal blogging, covering the Blagojevich verdict (or non-verdict); some British legal concerns (celebrity privacy, European arrest warrants, Doctor Who, and Top Gear-related legal issues); and associate deferrals. [Infamy or Praise]

* Wachtell M&A partner Craig Wasserman, RIP. [Am Law Daily]

If there was any real spirit of conscientious agitation for liberty left in America, people would be dressing up with Native American war-paint, heading down to New York Harbor, and tossing bags of bagels in the drink. The New York Post reports:

Only Albany could find a way to tax a cut.

The cash-strapped state has been enforcing a bizarre distinction in the tax laws which requires delis and food peddlers to impose a levy on sliced bagels — even though there is no tax when the breakfast staple is sold whole.

The story broke yesterday and since then I’ve been spending most of my time figuring out how many New York State politicians I can vote against this fall. Albany can rape smokers like me as much as they want. But screwing around with New York City bagels is another thing entirely. They may take our lands, but they’ll never take our lox.

I’ve been too apoplectic to think about this from a legal perspective. So I reached out to Caleb Newquist, editor of our sister site, Going Concern. Read about all of the interesting tax implications for a state he calls the “biggest fiscal sh**show.” Meanwhile, once the whether clears up, meet me at South Street. I’ll be the svelte, sexy black man dressed up like the last Mohican trying to appear inconspicuous.

Read about Albany’s oppressive tax plan on Going Concern.

Albany Risking Outright Anarchy Enforcing Taxes on Sliced Bagels [Going Concern]
NY’s cut of bagel ‘dough’ [New York Post]

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