An attorney representing a man in a Virginia Circuit Court came up with a creative defense strategy for one of his clients. Attorney George Freeman was representing a man who had pleaded guilty to fraud. Due to nine prior convictions, Rodney Newsome was facing serious jail time.
But Freeman got him off with no sentence at all: By telling the judge that Newsome was dead. From the Washington Post:
Rodway told Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Michael F. Devine that in 2008 and 2009, Newsome’s attorney at the time, George Freeman, had filed doctor’s notes, and then a report from the Maryland health department, that “indicated Mr. Newsome had gone to the big courthouse in the sky.”
Newsome claims not to have been aware of the fact that his attorney was filing forged doctor’s notes and death reports. He just thought he had a good attorney?
The law school perspective on grading is wrong. At many law schools, professors look at grades as the least important part of their job. Sadly, it’s actually the most important part of their job. Grades are the only thing law students can’t get from an outline. Grades are VASTLY more important to a student’s earning potential than any professorial pontification about black letter law.
Grades should be produced immediately or as soon as is physically possible.
Law school administrations don’t seem to get that. UCLA Law is just the latest example. A tipster reports:
I’m a rising 2L at UCLA Law — we got this email last night saying that our grades weren’t going to be posted until next week. The fact that we won’t know our grades until then seems like something a low-ranked school would do to discourage transfers, but what struck me right away was the rather condescending tone.
The tipster is right. The tone of this email is kind of ridiculous…
The mainstream media is on to the fact that life kind of sucks for the law school class of 2010. The Wall Street Journal brought your troubles to the attention of the general public earlier this month, and we encouraged you to send the article to your family and friends to explain how screwed you are. But the Wall Street Journal is a subscription-only publication, so maybe your loved ones couldn’t access it.
Now, luckily, National Public Radio has tackled the issue of tough times for law grads. Five Georgetown then-3Ls, now alumni, shared their dismal prospects with NPR on All Things Considered last week. Now those family and friends who either don’t subscribe to the WSJ or are illiterate can also have the opportunity to hear about how screwed you are. Pass it on: Economy Seems Bleak For Graduating Law Students.
Why you gotta hedge, NPR? We think it’s fair to say it IS bleak. Host Robert Siegel asked the five grads how many jobs they had applied for. “I’ve sent out at least 150 résumés and cover letters,” responded one female Georgetown 2010 grad, who scored a government job. “Hundreds,” said another, who is still jobless.
We’ve done a lot of posts about terrible jobs. Here’s another one.
We don’t know which law school is pushing this job, but we know that the National Environmental Policy Act Campaign is looking for the cheapest legal services it can find. A tipster was so very sad about his situation, he emailed us:
As a jobless 3L from a TTT, I have been keeping up on you employment, alternative careers, and general law school news for, well, about 3.5 years now. I have never commented and I have never contacted you until now.
The reason for writing is the disgust and despair I felt when I went to quickly check my email less than an hour before I donned my cap and gown for my graduation ceremony. This email was sent from one of the 3 employees at our Career Services office, specifically noting an open position. I like that he took the time to send it out as a separate email rather than post it on Simplicity or the intranet vacancy board.
We occasionally get emails from “first time caller, long time listener.” Those emails are always interesting.
That means it’s time for law firm HR departments to send out their annual summer fashion memos. Otherwise, associates might start showing up to work in bikinis and speedos. Because after a long winter spent hibernating under fluorescent lights, packing on the cold-month pounds, that’s exactly what law firm associates want to do…
Weil Gotshal & Manges sent around a flyer to its associates today, with the subject, “Reminder: New York Office Guidelines on Business Casual Attire.” It lays out Fashion Dos & Don’ts for its associates. Happily, the bulletpoint list of “Unacceptable” attire is actually longer for men than it is for women.
The list doesn’t seem to be season-specific, as both genders are forbidden from wearing “hiking/snow boots” this summer.
(The session also functioned as a kind of George W. Bush administration mini-reunion, given Olson’s service as Solicitor General, Majoras being the former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, and Leitch’s experience as White House deputy counsel.)
Olson asked the right questions, and these three gave candid answers. A partner at Gibson Dunn, Olson asked a question near and dear to many of our readers’ hearts: “What do you look for from outside counsel?” Olson asked them to talk about other factors than the oft-discussed “low rates and alternative fees.”
Good communication. “Tell us how we can help solve a problem and not exacerbate it. Tell us like it is. Too often, I feel like firms are managing me like a client. Firms never tell us, ‘I’m not as good at this – someone else might be better,’” said Mayes.
A point of view. “Give me the advice. Firms think they do this. But actually, firms want to explain the law, give some legal thoughts, and then let you decide. I want you to understand our business enough, that when you give me legal advice, and we discuss it – it’s not usually yes or no, if it were that simple, we’d do it ourselves – but I want you to have a point of view. Too often, outside lawyers don’t have that,” said Majoras.
Candor. “Just be candid about what we’re doing, what your limitations are, what your advice is,” said Leitch.
Appreciation for how their business operates. (Though this actually got into the forbidden topic of $$$.) Leitch knows he has a target on his back as a GC with a big litigation budget, but he’s cut his legal staff by 40% and is watching life-long Ford workers get laid off. “When I’m seeing people who have been at Ford for 40 years be laid off, and you’re going to call me that day and argue about whether your fee is $500 or $550, I just can’t deal with that,” said Leitch. “Know my business; know that our lawyers have gone without bonuses for the last two years.”
What if you don’t want to work for a GC, and you’d rather be one yourself?
We’ve done a couple of reports on how difficult it is for law schools to raise money through class gifts. Jobs are hard to come by and graduating 3Ls aren’t really in a giving mood.
It’s no surprise that class of 2010 at Harvard Law School reacted negatively when this year’s class gift request came off about as sympathetically as a Toyota fueled by BP. But some schools are trying to do something a little bit different with the class gift this year. South Carolina is asking students to donate time instead of money. And at the kids at Northern Kentucky — Salmon P. Chase College of Law have a particularly interesting idea for 3Ls who want to give back.
Granted, so far almost nobody is participating, but it’s still a really good idea…
* The proposed DADT repeal still seems open to Presidential discretion. [Metro Weekly]
* If a court can force Lindsay Lohan to wear an alcohol detection bracelet like she’s in a damn Orwell novel, I’m not surprised that they can force a father to remove all the guns in his house while his son is home and on probation. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* I haven’t taken any cheap shots at the NFL over American Needle. Yesterday, the NFL gave New York the 2014 Super Bowl. Coincidence? I think not. But here’s a collection of American Needle news (and other sundries) from around the web. [Infamy or Praise]
* I had no idea that the New England Journal of Medicine had any public policy angle other than “please stop suing doctors.” [Drug and Device Law]
* Personally, I think “reverse termination” should replace “self defense” in our legal lexicon — but unfortunately the term already has a legal meaning. [M&A Law Prof Blog]
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.