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Over a year ago, Skadden announced its Sidebar Plus program. Skadden gave associates the option to take a one-year deferral, for one-third of their Skadden salary.

All indications suggest that the program was a huge success. Skadden received so many volunteers that it had to turn some people away. Skadden associates received varied and interesting experiences during their year off. And the program was heralded in the mainstream media.

Skadden associates are set to return to the firm in May. After being away from the firm for a year, what status will these returning Sidebar associates have upon their return?

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Long, thoughtful pauses followed by rambling non-responsive answers can easily devour half of a member’s allotted questioning time.

– O’Melveny & Myers partner K. Lee Blalack II in March, discussing preparing clients for congressional hearings. Goldman Sachs hired Blalack to advise CEO Lloyd Blankfein for today’s Senate grilling.

Wal-Mart logo Walmart AboveTheLaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Wal-mart’s going to have a hard time keeping the price of this one down. The Ninth Circuit grants class action status to gender discrimination lawsuit against Wal-mart, with plaintiffs estimated to number two million women. [New York Times]

* WilmerHale is outsourcing… to Ohio. [ABA Journal]

* Should California AG Jerry Brown investigate the Gizmodo blogger’s computer seizure? [True/Slant]

* Actor Randy Quaid sues his lawyer. [TMZ]

* Carter Phillips and Seth Waxman teamed up to help McDermott, Will & Emery and Medtronic get out of a $4.3 million sanction. [Legal Recorder]

* Matthew McConaughey to play The Lincoln Lawyer. [Variety]

* Anonymous jury to hear the case of an American student accused of aiding al-Qaida fighters. [Associated Press]

On Thursday we showed you the dishonorable mentions from our second annual Law Revue contest. Many of you thought that “les dishonorables” were not that bad.

Hopefully, you’ll like the finalists even better.

This year we chose seven finalists from seven different law schools. But there will be no repeat for last year’s champion, UVA Law’s Con Luv. This year, the school didn’t even submit an entry.

Without further ado, we present the seven finalists — along with commentary from your ATL editors. We each ranked the videos, 1 through 7. The entries are listed in order of worst ATL-editor-combined-score to best. Voting closes on Thursday night…

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* Cross Apple at your peril. It might result in your door being bashed in by police while you’re at dinner with your wife and your computers being confiscated, á la The Insider. [Gizmodo; New York Times; San Francisco Chronicle]

* The nutty Ninth isn’t really that nutty any more, though we do hope Chief Judge Alex Kozinski brings some signature wackiness to his lecture at Fordham tonight. (We’ll be in attendance.) [WSJ Law Blog]

* The reason why the best city to be a lawyer has a redundant name. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* That would be some expensive Facebooking. [Overlawyered]

* Did you feel the Boobquake today? [Instapundit]

* Law students, good luck with exams! Don’t overstudy though. Seriously. [Josh Blackman Blog]

* Hasta la vista, hypocrisy. [Ann Althouse]

On Friday, we told you about Toledo College of Law 1L Kyle Bristow. While an undergraduate at Michigan State University, Bristow was the chairman of the school’s chapter of Young Americans For Freedom (YAF). The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled the Michigan State chapter of YAF a “hate group.”

We reported that Bristow was no longer a member of YAF. Over the weekend, the current leadership of the YAF reached out to us to clarify its relationship with Bristow. The leadership also defends the group’s conservative beliefs…

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It’s a heart-warming story turned cold.

Earlier this year, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law 3L Ted Vogt was appointed to the State House of Representatives, after the previous seatholder was promoted to the Senate. Vogt, who went to Yale for undergrad, wasn’t necessarily a typical law student — age 37, he was the district chairman for the Republican party. Still, it was an exciting final semester of law school. He told the Arizona Capital Times in March:

“We’re actually on spring break now,” Vogt said. “It’s not the traditional spring break, but talk about an exciting spring break!”

Vogt said he is determined to find a way to balance his newfound legislative responsibilities with the last few weeks of his law school studies, and has the blessing of the school’s administration to spend time at the Capitol in Phoenix and away from the school.

He’s been busy at the Capitol. Since he took office, the Arizona House has passed two controversial laws that have made national news: the “birther” bill and the “racial profiling/legal papers” bill. Vogt voted yes on both bills.

Vogt had been a popular guy on campus. Prior to his appointment to the House, Vogt was voted by the class to be one of its graduation speakers. But now some of his classmates (and friends) — who see the bills as “racist measures” — have chilled towards him and changed their minds about wanting him as a speaker next month. Vogt plans to speak despite opposition from fellow students, according to the Arizona Sun. A debate has broken out on the list-serv about Vogt and the bills, and a number of students are planning to protest during his speech. What do they have in mind?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Immigration Debate Causes University of Arizona Law Students to Turn on Fellow 3L Ted Vogt”

Over the weekend, Casey Greenfield — Yale Law School graduate, Gibson Dunn litigatrix, and daughter of political pundit Jeff Greenfield — made a foray into film criticism. Greenfield published a review of the new Jennifer Lopez movie, The Back-Up Plan, in the Daily Beast.

Adrian Chen of Gawker breaks it down:

The mother of CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin’s purported love child has written an essay about being a single mom….

It has long been thought that married Jeffrey Toobin—CNN analyst and New Yorker contributor—impregnated Casey Greenfield…. Neither Toobin nor Greenfield has ever confirmed this, which probably means it’s true. This weekend, The Daily Beast published an essay Greenfield about raising the-baby-which-probably-belongs-to-Jeffrey-Toobin. (His name is Rory.)

If litigating for Gibson Dunn (and against Jeffrey Toobin) doesn’t work out for Casey Greenfield, perhaps her “back-up plan” is a journalism career. As noted in her firm bio, “[p]rior to obtaining her law degree, Ms. Greenfield worked for magazines and newspapers in New York and Los Angeles.”

(Maybe she could even land a book deal for a memoir about her affair and subsequent experience as a single mom? That’s one book we’d definitely buy.)

So, what’s her Daily Beast essay like?

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I talk a lot about what legal education doesn’t prepare you for. You know what it does prepare you for? Any future interaction with police officers. By the time I finished 1L year, I knew the golden rule for dealing with officers of the law: keep your mouth shut. Knowing the law and knowing your rights helps. But whenever you deal with a cop, you should say as little as possible.

Look, as a black man that lesson probably increases my life expectancy. But every person with legal training can benefit from simplicity of silence when cops are around. If I was the victim of a home break-in and called the cops myself, I wouldn’t say anything to them when they showed up. I’d just kind of point at things and shake my head.

You don’t even have to be a practicing lawyer to reap the benefit of these skills. On his blog, Concurrent Sentences (gavel bang: Volokh Conspiracy), a Michigan area law student explains how he masterfully handled a recent traffic stop. It’s a skill all lawyers should have…

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Around this time last year, we ran a story about a person at Wake Forest going ballistic at the school’s Career Services Office.

There must be something about springtime weather that brings out the crazies at Wake. A tipster reports that this year a student once again has lost his mind because of the challenging job market:

[J]ust wanted to let you guys know that another lame student at Wake Forest Law has had a meltdown because he/she could not find a job. Earlier today, this student sent out a school-wide email that threatens career services and slams the dean, the library, those in charge of LLM program, etc. Unlike last year, this year’s message was sent under an anonymous gmail account instead of an actual student account…

This latest email is both funny and pathetic — the author threatens to release information about career services’ coffee breaks unless the career services department resigns. Apparently these breaks have been observed by a group of secret agent students over the course of the year. Why does this always happen at this school? This kid should seriously concentrate on studying for finals.

Honestly, how many times do we need to tell law students that threatening people will get you nowhere? Every lawyer knows that you can threaten laypeople with impunity. But lawyers and legal professionals don’t take well to bullying because they know the law.

In any event, let’s take a look at the student’s ravings and the fairly measured response from the Wake Forest Dean…

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That’s the question posed by Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times, in an extremely interesting post on the Opinionator blog. In attempting to address “why other countries [don't] suffer from the same toxic confirmation battles that we do,” she first notes that other nations don’t give their judges life tenure:

High-court judges [in other countries] typically serve for a single nonrenewable term of 9 to 12 years — a period during which Supreme Court justices in the United States are just getting warmed up. These shorter terms ensure frequent turnover and allay fears about a party in power being able to lock up the court for decades through the fortuity of a large number of vacancies; each vacancy naturally carries less weight.

But we’re guessing that Greenhouse, whose politics tend to fall on the left side of the aisle, actually likes having life-tenured judges who are completely unaccountable insulated from the political process. So she tosses out another idea….

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Last June, we reported that Howrey decided to make a big change to the law firm business model. The firm cut first year starting salaries to $100,000. In exchange, the first year program would involve a heavy emphasis on training. Associate billables would be capped at 700 hours and Howrey reduced the rates charged to clients for first year work. The low-salary/training emphasis carried on into the second year.

As we mentioned this morning, the Washington Post took a closer look at Howrey’s new program.

How is it going? Well, it seems great, unless you like money…

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