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  • 20 Apr 2010 at 6:37 PM

Non-Sequiturs: 04.20.10

* When will the White House put forward its Supreme Court nominee? Expect an announcement between May 1 and 15. [Newsweek]

* Elsewhere in nomination news, Michelle Malkin assesses Professor Goodwin Liu’s performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. [Michelle Malkin]

* Worst oral argument ever? [The Legal Satyricon]

* An explanation of the SEC’s complaint against Goldman Sachs (from the interesting perspective of an Indian lawyer working in the United States). [Bar & Bench]

* Winstead awards scholarship and job offers to three law students. Grouses our tipster: “This is the same firm that no offered an entire summer class a month before they even showed up and fired people a week before they were supposed to start full time employment.” [Tex Parte Blog]

Justice Clarence Thomas — who tends to hire clerks from a wide range of law schools, including some schools far outside the so-called “T14″ — has had to defend himself against (unfounded) allegations that his clerks are “TTT” (an epithet so ridiculous it always makes us laugh). At the same time, because he’s the justice tasked with going to Capitol Hill to beg for money to testify in support of the SCOTUS budget request, he also has to defend the Court against charges of elitism in law clerk hiring, leveled by grandstanding lawmakers.

Hiring law clerks from Ivy League law schools: damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

For this coming Term, October Term 2010, Justice Thomas has steered his chambers back in the direction of elitism. All of his clerks for OT 2010 hail from top schools.

So, who are they?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: Meet Justice Thomas’s Clerks”

Last week, we mentioned that D.C. lawyer Chris Chan was going to be featured on My First Place, on HGTV. The episode aired last Thursday — and, for those of you who missed it, it will re-air on Tuesday, May 11.

Here’s a brief blurb, from HGTV, about the episode:

For Chris Chan, buying a home in Chinatown would allow him to stay close to work in Washington D.C. and also stay connected to his heritage in a neighborhood he grew to love as a renter. After a long search in this expensive city and some tough negotiating, he finally gets a good deal on his dream condo. But surprise lending restrictions on new construction bring everything to a halt. For months, the only thing Chris can do is wait and wonder whether he’ll ever get to close on his first place.

We chatted with Chan, a patent prosecutor and litigator at Finnegan, about his experience appearing on television….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: A Finnegan Associate’s Televised House Hunt”

thank you post it note.JPGA quick word of thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

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Last fall, we gave props to Sullivan & Cromwell for making a high number of women partners — four out of five, or 80 percent. If you consider only U.S.-based partners, S&C had a new partner class that was 100 percent female. (Tax partner Eric Wang is based in London.)

As it turns out, Sullivan & Cromwell wasn’t alone in having a majority-female partner class for 2010. From the Project for Attorney Retention (PDF):

The economy may be looking up, at least for the women lawyers in the 2010 new partner classes. According to a survey released today by the Project for Attorney Retention (PAR), law firms made significant advances in retaining and promoting their women lawyers: 23 firms made new partner classes that were 50% or more female, and 34% of the new partners are female, compared to 28% of the new partners in 2009.

Not all of the news was good, however: 14 firms had all-male classes.

Let’s name names, shall we?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Female Partners Are on the Rise”

Ed. note: This post is written by Will Meyerhofer, a Biglaw attorney turned psychotherapist, whom we profiled. A former Sullivan & Cromwell associate, he holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work. He blogs at The People’s Therapist.

I’ve written a fair amount about lawyers at the office in this column.

Right now a lot of lawyers aren’t at the office.

They’re at home, out of work.

Unemployment is tough on lawyers because they tend to be pleasers – they have to be, to earn the grades to make it into law school.

It’s all about pleasing others at a firm, too. You submit to the whims of a partner and work around the clock.

Like all pleasers, lawyers get used to looking outside themselves for affirmation of their worth.

When you’re unemployed, there’s no one to please but yourself. You’re alone with you – and for a pleaser, that can lead to a plunge in self-esteem.

That’s why, during unemployment, you have to be especially good to yourself.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In-House Counseling: Get a Job”

Speaking of the Supreme Court, which Kash visited yesterday, the justices just struck down a 1999 law aimed at banning depictions of animal cruelty — especially so-called “crush videos,” in which women kill animals by stepping on them with fabulous footwear.

The vote was 8-1. The opinion was by Chief Justice Roberts; Justice Alito dissented. For more, see links below.

(Gavel bang: commenters.)

First Amendment left intact [SCOTUSblog]
Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Banning Animal Crush Videos, Cites First Amendment [ABA Journal]
High Court Shoots Down Animal-Cruelty Law [WSJ Law Blog]

Yesterday, I paid a visit to the Supreme Court to sit in on oral argument for City of Ontario v. Quon. The case is about a California SWAT officer who alleged that his privacy and constitutional rights were violated when his superiors reviewed the messages he sent out on his work-issued pager. A good number of them had more to do with scheduling sex romps with his girlfriend and estranged wife than housing raids.

The facts in the case make it complicated enough to warrant SCOTUS review. But what seemed especially complicated to The Nine were the technological issues.

Stepping into One First Street is like stepping back into the 1950s. No Blackberries or electronic devices allowed. No cameras (in spite of C-SPAN’s fervent wishes). The most technologically advanced items in the courtroom are the microphones. So it seemed appropriate then that many of the justices’ questions strayed away from reasonable expectations of privacy and proper searches, and got into how exactly texting works…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Text-ual Analysis at the Supreme Court”

So what is Eliot Spitzer, former attorney general (and governor) of this great state of New York, up to these days?

Spitzer is not the type to be idle for long. After all, he’s famed for his stamina. Could he possibly run for office again?

As it turns out, it seems that the man formerly known as Client No. 9 is seeking elective office….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Update on Eliot Spitzer”

Gregory Craig

* Discovery in the Pennsylvania spycam case turns up thousands of screen shots and web cam photos of Lower Merion youngsters. [Threat Level/Wired]

* Goldman Sachs taps former White House counsel Greg Craig — now at Skadden — for its SEC defense team. [Politico]

* Bryan Cave’s James M. Cole may be tapped to serve as deputy attorney general. A DOJ veteran, he would also bring to the position white collar defense experience and a 1970s ‘stache. [Propublica]

* Supreme Court denies Charles Hood’s request for review of his death penalty case. That would be the case where the judge and the prosecutor used to sleep together. [Associated Press]

* Meet the Pope’s lawyer. [Associated Press]

* Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones beg New York judge for leniency. [New York Daily News]

* Happy birthday, Justice Stevens. [Associated Press via ABA Journal]

How big of a problem is suicide on law school campuses? Recently, a suicide tragedy affected the UNC Law community. In December, a student at Michigan Law took his own life. And there have been sad and high-profile suicides in Biglaw too.

It’s impossible to assess the precise role the recession may have played in these recent tragedies. It’s a little too easy to blame everything on a shaky economy and uncertain job prospects. The thoughts that flash through the head of a person about to take his or her own life are deeply complicated .

The old platitudes — e.g., “if you are feeling overwhelmed, get help” — seem meaningless in the face of actual death.

It appears that some law school and university communities are taking more aggressive steps towards suicide prevention. At NYU and Cornell, officials are trying to limit access to potential suicide points on campus.

Are these steps necessary? More to the point, will these steps be effective?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “NYU Law and Cornell on Suicide Watch?”

* How do you persuade Justice Scalia? [ABA Now]

* Here’s a podcast that includes me going absolutely apes**t about Hollywood misconceptions of lawyers. Usually these rants are lost in the din of an open bar. Michelle King, executive producer of The Good Wife, and Michael Asimow, a law professor at UCLA, add more reasonable perspectives. [Law School iPodcasts]

* It’s not enough that summer associates programs have been scaled back. Some people want them eliminated entirely. [TechnoLawyer]

* What if Oliver Wendell Holmes were a frontrunner for a SCOTUS nomination today? [Suits & Sentences]

* The DOJ is planning on prosecuting a leading porn director in D.C., instead of a more socially conservative jurisdiction. [Politico]

* If DNA day existed in the 90s, O.J. would have been convicted. Just saying. Good to see Blawg Review doing its part on behalf of science. [Genomics Law Report via Blawg Review]

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