At the end of August, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in Elane Photography v. Willock that a Christian wedding photographer violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA) when it refused to photograph a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony. (New Mexico does not currently permit same-sex marriage, though all the parties and the court frequently refer to the ceremony as a wedding.) This week, one of the parties in a similar controversy in Oregon, Sweet Cakes Bakery, announced that it would be closing shop, citing its opposition to baking wedding cakes for same-sex couples.
Elane Photography argued that it did not violate the NMHRA but, if it did, this application of the law violated the photography business’s Free Speech and Free Exercise rights under the First Amendment. The court disagreed, writing that “when Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races.”
Personally, I’d vote for same-sex marriage if I lived in a state considering such laws. Polygamy too, for that matter. If you are listening for a full-throated defense of traditional, heterosexual marriage to the exclusion of state recognition of any other arrangement, you won’t hear it here. I’m inclined to support religious understandings of traditional marriage, but I’m libertarian enough to let everyone — straight, gay, or otherwise — suffer through the headaches of having the government divide your assets when you get divorced.
Still, using anti-discrimination laws to mandate that all businesses operating as public accommodations provide services to same-sex couples’ weddings sounds like an unnecessary imposition on the sincere religious beliefs of others — and a great way to end up with lousy wedding photos….
A few years ago, we wrote a story about a law firm with a drive-thru window, lamenting the inevitable future of the legal profession. Instead of passing burgers to customers through the window, lawyers exchanged documents and quick legal advice with their clients. The only thing missing was the familiar Golden Arches — although we suspect a law firm would prefer green dollar signs instead.
Another law firm took it one step further, and appointed Ronald McDonald himself to hail passersby in the hopes of using his fast food charm to lure would-be clients into the office. Would you like fries with that?
Who is this woman? Over at our sister site Dealbreaker, they’ve been talking about her for months and months on end.
She emerged on the banking protest scene back in April, when she dressed as a dominatrix (and later as a police officer) and promised to offer Citi execs a spanking as the “Bank Reform Bitch.” In early May, she reemerged as the “Ethical Fiscal Fairy” to fight the good fight against Bank of America. At the end of the month, “Bank Reform Bitch” came back to stick her stiletto straight up Jamie Dimon’s ass. On the last day of May, she became “Darla, the Desperate for Justice Housewife,” hoping to bring attention to the laundering of HSBC’s money. In July, she emerged from her cocoon and transformed into the “Better Banking Butterfly” to weigh in on derivative reform. Tomorrow, she’ll be at a press conference with the HSBC whistleblower to bitch about the bank’s blood money, all while waving a money fan.
Again, we’ve got to ask: who is this woman? Well, for starters, she’s a lawyer….
One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to go camping. We always used to stock up on supplies in some small town, head out into the woods, and go fishing and hunting. It was an idyllic way to spend a summer weekend.
Just kidding. I stole that story from a friend. I hated camping. People only lived in Sherwood Forest because they were too poor and stupid to hack it in the city. Plus the bugs — bugs that walk, bugs that jump, bugs that can’t be killed with a thump. And for what? Black people respect nature from afar, like in a Jeep with a rifle and binoculars afar. It’s the white people who want to get all up in nature’s face and mess with it. “Ooh, look at the bear Elie, isn’t it beautiful??” You tell me how beautiful it is when it has your head in a toothy vise-grip.
I did like the small towns though. That’s when I felt all David Attenborough: “Bill’s bait and tackle probably hasn’t had an African-American customer since the 54th Massachusetts came through these parts. Let’s see what happens when I go in to purchase one of their dried beef snacks.”
I say all this because I think I would have enjoyed a summer trip to Washington Island, Wisconsin this summer. It seems like a kind of small town tourist trap, and that’s exactly my speed. Also, it’s the kind of place where they eat all the lawyers, so I think I’d be blessedly free of all the commenters for a little while…
One could argue that justices of the United States Supreme Court are underpaid. After all, their former law clerks get wooed with $300,000 signing bonuses upon leaving One First Street, which is more than what the justices earn in a year (as just noted by The Economist).
Even though she’s supposedly “retired,” the super-energetic Justice O’Connor remains exceedingly busy, occupied by iCivics work, sitting by designation in circuit courts, and promoting her new book (affiliate link). But she still has some free time — including time to go to the grocery.
Law school tuition has skyrocketed in recent years, and most people wind up financing their legal education by taking out up to six figures in loans to cover the cost of attendance. But because cuddling up at night next to mountains of debt isn’t a pleasant way to live, some people have found more creative ways to pay their way.
Whether it’s by having very rich and generous parents, keeping a day job and going to law school at night, becoming a sugar baby, or working a part-time job between classes, there are many ways to survive without having to fully rely upon student loans.
If those solutions don’t float your boat, you can just take off your clothes and become a Playboy pin-up….
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.