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For all you know, everybody in this picture hates each other and are about to engage in gladiatorial combat.

We all know how important the U.S. News Law School Rankings are to our system of legal education. The jobs of law school deans depend on the rankings, and they therefore significantly impact what law schools are willing or able to do. It’s crazy that a for profit magazine has so much power over the future of legal education, but that power is well established and undeniable.

Given the importance of U.S. News, I understand why diversity proponents want the publication to start counting “diversity” as a data point when compiling the annual rankings. If you want law school deans to pay attention to something, you have to use small words and speak in the language of U.S. News. If the magazine started caring about law school diversity today, law schools would really start caring tomorrow.

But that doesn’t mean including a “diversity” component in the rankings would be a good idea. That’s just a half measure (and a confusing one to boot) that doesn’t get the heart of any kind of real problem…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Adding ‘Diversity’ to U.S. News Rankings Wouldn’t Accomplish Much”

Last month, we reported that 66% of survey respondents had to work on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with 32% of respondents’ firms not even recognizing it as an official firm holiday.  In today’s Career Center survey, brought to you by Lateral Link, we want to find out whether you were on or off the clock on Presidents Day.

Check back later this week for the survey results.

Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor

Oh, condominiums. To own your own box of air in the sky, subject to the terms and conditions of your neighbors and building managers. Lex Luthor always had this right: either you own land or ponces wearing underwear on the outside can swoop in and ruin your good time.

We’ve got a couple of lawyer/condo issues floating around, so let’s tackle them together. We’ve got a Miami judge who allegedly likes to kick in doors to her own unit. And we’ve a New York lawyer who wants satisfaction over 109 missing square feet…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Why People Don’t Like Lawyer Tenants”

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Small Firms, Big Lawyers, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

Nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between you and Above the Law. It may also constitute attorney advertising, depending on the state you’re in (such as boredom or apathy). Please consult the laws of your jurisdiction. If you have received this post in error, please print it and mail it to Elie. Then delete it (the post, not Elie) from your computer.

That’s right kids: I’m writing about email footers. Squee! I noticed that when Mark Herrmann wrote about email subject lines, he whipped the Commenting Class into a frenzy. Well, get out the chum buckets, Captain Quint.

Nothing says “lawyers” like a good generic email footer. They first appeared around the turn of the century, soon after law firms begrudgingly accepted that “The Email” was here to stay. (Though I’ve heard that some firms still use fax machines. Perhaps only because their telex machines are busted.)

Like most things lawyers create, standard email footers were born out of fear. Such as fear that a single email exchange would lead some moron to think that he’d entered into an attorney-client relationship. Or fear that the authorities would consider an email about lunch plans to be improper attorney advertising. Or fear that an email containing a drunk-kitty YouTube video would somehow destroy someone’s attorney-client privilege.

As if.…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Small Firms, Big Lawyers: Disclaimer — This Post Contains No Tax Advice”

* Something called the “Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act” is moving through the Minnesota Legislature and is described thusly: “If you eat too much and get fat, you can’t sue the food retailer.” The Scales of Justice. [Grand Forks Herald]

* Lat’s alma mater has started an initiative called “Don’t Filter Me, Bro.” [Yale Daily News]

* Qaddafi’s definitely a lunatic war criminal. A lunatic war criminal with serious swag. [New York Times]

* Labor law, the Wisconsin constitution, representative democracy. Sure, sure, that’s all very important. But what about the human angle? Tell me more about these toiletries you speak of. [Chicago Tribune]

* The Supreme Court is set to hear a case that appears to have been taken straight out of one of Sonia’s favorite telenovelas. [Washington Post]

* A New York couple is suing their lawyers because the kid the couple adopted is defective. I’m not a religious man, but maybe God didn’t allow these people to conceive for a reason? [Daily Mail]

* This Wayne State law student has devoted her life to making all of us look bad. [Detroit Free Press]

* Squash enthusiast Arlen Specter has returned to legal practice as a solo practitioner. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* After the revolution, Tunisia naturally has moved onto the important business of deciding what to do with the whores. Sex Cauldron??? I thought they closed that place down years ago. [New York Times]

* This article asks why American law enforcement officials aren’t allowed to carry guns in Mexico after two ICE agents were shot there last week. Bunch of sad guitar cases with nothing but guitars. [Examiner.com]

* An Alabama Law grad is attempting to heal the rift between Auburn and Alabama fans caused after the attempted murder of two trees. Roll Tide! It’s rolling, baby! It’s rolling! [ABA Journal]

* Customs officials can go ahead and frisk my hard drive if they want. All they’ll find are lolcats and a folder full of pornography, titled “Tax Documents ’07.” [New York Times]

Amazon Eve

* Freakishly tall woman would like to be a lawyer if modeling doesn’t work out. More importantly, here are some pictures of a freakishly tall model. [AOL News]

* Goat poo securities. [Dealbreaker]

* At some point, we’re going to have to take a closer look at the alleged horse rapist. [News Times]

* Republicans, once again, prove they are made of sterner stuff than wussy liberals. [Huffington Post]

* I just refuse to dignify Malcolm Gladwell with a response about his stupid rankings article. [WSJ Law Blog]

* I’ve been enjoying this caption contest all day long. [Forbes]

* Rick Santorum is getting Googled but good. [Roll Call]

* I feel like Groupon should be much more fun and sexy than it is. [The Lawyerist]

* I don’t want to make fun of Mel Gibson. He’s really not that bad of a dude. He’s looking at me right now. He keeps telling me I’m a darky with a Jewish name. Help Please. [L.A. Times]

A report surfaced yesterday claiming that Howrey has now more or less given itself an end date: March 1, according to the report on Shark Tank Legal.

Partners who have received offers to join Winston & Strawn are expected to accept them by March 1st. After that, Howrey will be in full dissolution mode.

Even Howrey people must want this thing to just be over already. But before the end, we could see more ugliness, like segregated floors to keep the partners with safe landing spots safe from their desperate colleagues…

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This is a little bit surprising. Not that Linklaters matched spring bonuses. We’re getting to the point that pretty much every firm that wants to be taken seriously is going to have to match spring bonuses.

No, the weird thing is that Linklaters matched the lower level of spring bonuses set by Sullivan & Cromwell, not the more generous spring bonuses adopted by Cravath (and the many firms that have rushed to join them).

Does that strike anybody else as strange? Why get into the spring bonus game at all if you can’t afford the extra thousands of dollars it takes to make a market level payment?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Linklaters Links Spring Bonuses to the S&C Scale, Not Cravath’s”

From “concept searching” to “cloud computing,” every year there are new buzz words and catch phrases that enter into the lexicon of legal technology. Of course, when you are dealing with technology of any sort, you should expect to update jargon regularly (such as from 3G to 4G to 5G, whatever that means).

2011 is shaping up to be no different. This year’s “it” phrase is already emerging in the industry. It evolved from the buzz words of yesteryear, and if this new phraseology is worth its salt, these new advances could drastically change how law is practiced for years to come.

So what is legal technology’s newest terminology?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Next Big ‘Buzz Words’ in Legal Technology”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

Dear ATL,

One of the things I don’t like about your blog is that you never have anything for Biglaw Bros who are just looking to use their jobs and money to score chicks. It’s fine to talk about women’s issues, debt issues, layoff issues and all that stuff. But aside from casual references to “models and bottles” you don’t seem interested in actually helping dudes who want to find pretty, young, not-too-intelligent slam pieces “on the reg.”

– What About Us?

Marin, the usual author of this column, is on vacation this week — which is probably why I get to address this question that was hurled at me while I was trying to watch the AFC Championship game. I’ll do my best Marin impersonation (if you promise not to tell her), and see if we can’t get the “bros” in our audience pointed in the right direction…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: BroTips”

I wouldn’t have felt good about [Gerald Ung] going to jail for 40 years for a bad decision made in 70 seconds. If he went to jail, it doesn’t take back the year of recovery and rehabilitation my brother has had to endure. There’s no malice towards the shooter here. And I wish his supporters would feel the same towards my brother. These are two guys who didn’t know each other who were thrown into an irreversible situation that ended horribly….

The truest thing I know is that a handgun should not have been on an intoxicated individual at 2 a.m. This is bigger than this specific situation. This is a societal issue that unfortunately has and will continue to kill and maim countless individuals because no one is willing to to say, “Enough is enough.”

— the sister of Eddie DiDonato, on her blog (gavel bang: commenter).

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