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Soul for Sale law student.JPGWe know that many law schools fudge their “employed upon graduation” statistics for the benefit of their U.S. News ranking. But I wonder what it would like if law schools reported their “still employed five years after graduation” numbers. Something tells me it wouldn’t look good.
One well credentialed top law school graduate has been reduced to looking for work on Craigslist. I’m sure he’s not alone:

Ivy League Honors Grad with Substantial Experience Seeking Work (Upper East Side)
Graduate of top-5 law school with big firm and federal government experience seeking employment, preferably full-time but also will consider contract, per diem and part-time work. I have experience in litigation, arbitration, regulatory and administrative matters, among other areas. Will provide resume upon request. I look forward to your inquiries.

Random guess, this guy or girl graduated from Columbia, right? The add says “top-5,” instead of top-3. But it’s an Ivy. Columbia is the only school that fits the bill, right? (Yes, I got every logic game question right on the LSAT.)
In any event, wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many law school graduates are still employed as attorneys five to seven years after graduation? Because people who go to law school aren’t just looking for a job, they’re looking for a career. It’d be great to see how many people actually find a career in the law, broken down for different schools.
As for this particular Criagslist poster, I don’t know what to say. It’s tough all over.
Ivy League Honors Grad with Substantial Experience Seeking Work [Craigslist]

Schillings Logo.jpgSometimes, helping your client avoid media scrutiny has consequences, even in England. The Lawyer reports that the lawyer who helped keep naked, sexy pictures of Tiger Woods out of the U.K. press has mysteriously left his firm:

Schillings partner Simon Smith has left the media boutique weeks after winning a controversial injunction on behalf of golfer Tiger Woods. …
In December, he sparked a media uproar when he won a court injunction from the UK courts on behalf of Tiger Woods banning any publication of “naked or any naked parts of [his] body or of him in any sexual activity” in the British press.
The move, critics said, further restricted freedom of the press and once again showed London to be a centre for so-called libel tourism.
Smith left the firm on 31 December but is yet to take up a position at another firm.

Is it possible for a lawyer to get pushed out of a firm for successfully representing a major client?
More information after the jump.

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Mark Sanford censured.jpgAh, censure. It’s what politicians do when no laws have been broken but they’re still really pissed about what went down.
With little debate, the South Carolina House of Representatives overwhelming voted to censure Governor Mark Sanford. The Palmetto Scoop reports:

After less than 30 minutes of debate, the South Carolina House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to censure Gov. Mark Sanford for misconduct in office.
A total of 102 of 113 present members voted to pass a resolution formally rebuking the governor for misusing state aircraft as well as for his 2008 and 2009 publicly-funded trips to Argentina to visit his mistress. Sanford reimbursed the state for both Argentina trips.

Ooohhh, burn! That should teach him.
SC House censures Sanford [Palmetto Scoop]

Kaye Scholer LLP logo Above the Law legal blog.jpgYesterday, we reported that Kaye Scholer would be paying market busting bonuses to associates who hit their hours.
Today, associates are telling us that “hitting hours” is kind of like shooting the moon in hearts. A tipster reports:

Bonus hour requirements were moved up from 2,000 to 2,200 this year, with the “superbonus” at 2,400 (unchanged from last year). Bonus amounts were $20,000 for 2,200 hundred hours and $40,000 for 2,400 hours, across the board, which is only above market for the 2008-2006 crowd (it would equal other firms at the 2005 year, assuming those other firms had also raised their requirement to 2,200 hours, and below market for anyone after that.)

Well then. Before bonus season started, we mentioned that we would have to pay attention to hours requirements hidden under bonus announcements.
Did any Kaye Scholer associates hit 2,400 hours this year?
After the jump, our tipsters further explain Kaye Scholer’s hours requirements for its lockstep pay raises.

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State Bar of Texas logo.jpgLast year we reported that tuition would be on the rise at the UT-Law. We’ve discussed the fact that American Bar Association appears to be oblivious to the rising cost of legal education.
But for the second year in a row, the State Bar of Texas is offering scholarships to intrepid law students. All you have to do is show that being a lawyer is actually, you know, important to society in any way. Legal Blog Watch reports:

Think you have some talent as a filmmaker? If so, the eyes of the State Bar of Texas are upon you. It is sponsoring a YouTube contest offering cash prizes and scholarships for the best 30-second video showing why either lawyers or the courts are important to our society.

I like this! Law school is too expensive, but you want to go anyway? Fine. Please explain to me why being a lawyer is so damn important.
Unfortunately, the cash prize or scholarship isn’t really going to cover law school tuition. Details after the jump.

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Haiti Presidential Palace destroyed.jpg* General Counsels make bank. [Corporate Counsel]
* Southerners trying to carpetbag New York’s U.S. Senate seat need to get on board with gay marriage. [New York Times]
* Google v. China. [Wall Street Journal]
* in case you haven’t seen it, Conan O’Brien’s letter to Earth is brilliant. But notice how many times he mentions how important the time slot is to the essential character of the Tonight Show? That’s good lawyering. Expect to see the same argument coming to a courthouse near you. [Huffington Post]
* I’m Haitian, through my father. Thankfully, all of my close relatives have been accounted for. Having been to that country I can tell you that Americans don’t generally know how lucky they are to have strong, sensible zoning laws. [CNN]

gay marriage skadden.jpgA disclaimer: we’re not sure how we feel about Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal constitutional challenge brought by superlawyers Ted Olson and David Boies to Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. We are somewhat sympathetic to Jonathan Adler’s position: gay marriage makes perfect sense as a policy matter, but the constitutional case is less clear. (We suspect that Elie may be more supportive of the Perry litigation and its ultimate objective; see here.)

We do know, however, how we feel about cameras in the courtroom: we are strongly in favor of them. For more, see our Washington Post piece. The right to an open and public trial is guaranteed by the Constitution, and understanding what’s going on in our courts is a crucial part of democratic self-governance.

The standard for closing a courtroom to the public is very high, and justifiably so. We the People should be allowed to know — and to hear, and to see — what is transpiring within our courts. After all, these are our laws being interpreted, our rights being adjudicated, and our taxpayer dollars at work.

And in this age of videoconferencing, YouTube, blogging, and Twitter, the distinction between physical and virtual attendance of court proceedings is becoming increasingly artificial. If we can read reporter Dan Levine’s real-time tweets about the Prop 8 trial, or if we can read blog posts published during breaks about what just transpired in open court, why shouldn’t we be able to watch the proceedings ourselves, in livestreaming video? Or, if we can’t watch real-time video, why can’t we watch video posted online after the fact?

This is why we are so disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to kill, at least for now, efforts to broadcast the Prop 8 trial. This is why we strongly support the efforts of Chief Judge Vaughn Walker (N.D. Cal.), who is presiding over the trial, and Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.), who is spearheading a Ninth Circuit pilot project providing for cameras in the courtroom, to offer some wider broadcast of the proceedings (whether on YouTube, an official court website, or even just to federal courthouses outside San Francisco).
More discussion, plus a READER POLL, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cameras in the Prop 8 Courtroom: Why Not?”

Conan Leno.jpg* Boy, it’s going to be interesting to see if NBC’s attempt to screw over Conan O’Brien will succeed because Conan’s lawyers didn’t include every conceivable way NBC could screw over Conan. I hope Conan gets his money, but whatever happens, the show that he’s sure to get to go up against Leno (on Fox or whatever) is going to kill. It’s going to absolutely kill. Book it. [The Vertex]
* Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, and Solicitor General Elena Kagan walk towards a bench … hilarity ensues. [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]
* Good hands, bad taste? [Copyranter]
* Becoming a non-lawyer. [Law and More]
* The Justice Department tries to stop the most inappropriate vacation of the decade. [Politico]
* For all of you begging me to weigh in on that “Harry Reid: Friend or Foe of the Black Man” question, here you go. [True/Slant]
* Law student gets married in the morning, goes to class that afternoon. But it was a marriage between a man and a woman, so it’s super traditional and exactly what the founding fathers and Jesus had in mind. [Legal Writing Prof Blog]

Kaye Scholer LLP logo Above the Law legal blog.jpgAfter being inundated with firms that are trying to cut salaries through the implementation of a merit-based associate compensation structure, it’s refreshing to see a firm cut salaries the old fashioned way. Tipsters report that Kaye Scholer is just going about its paycut in a straightforward manner:

Associates will be paid on a 145K scale for 11 months, and then, provided they are above some level of hours, will have a “keep what you earn” December.
This comes months after Kaye Scholer told half the class they would be making 60K and doing pro bono work for the first year.
Kaye Scholer’s got them by the balls and knows it.

Clean, crisp, this is how your father taught you to cut costs.
Remember, Kaye Scholer cut salaries and then offered a similar clawback provision last year. But our tipsters report that the hours requirements are far from onerous. If you hit 1600 hours by the end of the year, you’ll get your $160K.
The system has the feel of a DLA Piper-esque 10% salary holdback. But, unlike DLA, making the money back is tied to objective factors (hours) instead of subjective ones. And Kaye Scholer won’t be grading on a curve.
And, for 2009, Kaye Scholer will be making a bonus payment that is above the market for associates that hit their hours. More details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Kaye Scholer: Back to More Simple Methods for Cutting Salaries, Plus a Big Time Bonus”

Brooklyn law school logo.JPGAs was evident last year, I kind of get giddy around the time colleges and law schools start picking their commencement speakers. I don’t know why. You remember graduation for the rest of your life and it’s interesting to me to see the people your school picks to give you a proper send-off.
And you never know when commencement will put you in the prime seat for history changing news. Remember, the Marshall Plan was unveiled at Harvard Commencement, 1947.
The highlight of last year’s law school commencement speaker circuit was Columbia’s choice of former California Governor Gray Davis. Obviously, I’m talking about “highlight” in terms of comedic value. I mean, any time you can invite a (failed) Governor to speak at your school, it’s an opportunity you have to take.
It’s a little bit early to start a full tally of law school commencement speakers. But one of the early entries is pretty exciting.
Check out who is coming to Brooklyn Law School this spring, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Let’s Commence Commencement Speaker Watch”

Thumbnail image for Steve Cohen playing cards.JPGPatricia Cohen, ex-wife of SAC Capital billionaire Steve Cohen, has dropped her lawsuit against her ex-husband.
Except she hasn’t.
Dealbreaker is covering all the ins-and-outs of this case. After it was reported that the lawsuit had been dropped, Dealbreaker received comment from Patricia Cohen. Bess Levin writes:

Uh, so Patricia has this to say: “I did not authorize Paul [Batista] to withdraw the case. My attorney, Gaytri Kachroo, will take the necessary actions in response to this.” So we’re back on!

Funny, Batista isn’t even her lawyer anymore. Click on the link below and try to follow along.
Ex-Mrs. SAC Drops Suit Against Stevie [Dealbreaker]
Earlier: Ex-Wife Goes After Deep Pockets
Patricia Cohen Switches Horses in the Middle of the Race

Snooki Jersey Shore NYU Law.JPGOver the break, one NYU Law student started a movement to bring Nicole Polizzi (a.k.a. Snooki from the cast of Jersey Shore) to an NYU party. NYU students thought they could hang out with a drunk girl who likes to party, for just $2,000. Here’s the email that was sent to the NYU Law listserve:

Apparently, Snooki(e) from the Jersey Shore is charging $2,000 to make “personal appearances.” Basically, for 2-large, she will come to your party and get drunk and do cartwheels and fistpump and “battle on the floor” to techno “music” and try in vain to hook up with people and be generally awesome and delightful.
Here is where I got this information from: http://perezhilton.com/2009-12-22-rent-a-jersey-guidette-for-your-next-office-party
I want to note, first and foremost, that I neither agree with nor condone the general tone and candor of the Perez Hilton post. I think it’s not only distasteful and hateful, but dead wrong. Snooki(e) is one of the most delightful human beings ever to walk planet Earth and I need to hang out with her. I’m comfortable calling anyone who wouldn’t want to hang out with
her a “Silly Goose.”
That being said, $2,000 sounds like an absolute steal to me, so long as a good deal of people are willing to get together and throw down on bringing her in for a private party (we could rent out a small open bar somewhere). I have spoken to a number of friends already about this, several of whom are interested, which prompted me to see if Coases might be a fruitful avenue to pursue further subsidization of this event/personal dream of mine that I never knew I had until three weeks ago. If other people are down to get in on this heroic endeavor, which is sure to greatly enhance the lives of all those involved in ways we could never even dream of, please e-mail me saying so and letting me know the max you’d be willing to kick in towards the effort. I would genuinely like to see if we can make this thing happen.

Did they hit that? Details after the jump.

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