Rap

Does this count as 'employed at graduation'?

This has not been a great weekend for the University of Pittsburgh community. As many of you know, the school’s college basketball team choked disappointed fans with an early round exit from the NCAA tournament.

You should always avoid comparing a school’s basketball team with its law school, but it appears that things aren’t going much better at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While there is some evidence that the legal economy is recovering, the improving fortunes have not trickled all the way down to 3Ls searching for work….

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In other words, my homegirl Kagan was saying people could not be aroused by the lyrics “’cause my dick’s on bone” or “me so horny, me f*** you long time.”

– Luther Campbell (aka Uncle Luke of 2 Live Crew) endorsing Elena Kagan in the Miami New Times based on her work on the band’s behalf at Williams & Connolly.

A little over a year ago, law firms came up with a unique plan to deal with the problem of too many associates and not enough work to go around: the deferral. It did not apply just to incoming associates; it was also offered up to those already at the firm who were open to a year-long sabbatical.

We know that many of you decided (or had to) seek out work in the public sector. But when the mainstream media picked up on the fact that law firms were paying their employees to go away from a year, they focused on those doing fun things, like the Skadden Sidebar associate planning a trip around the world. How many other deferred dreamers have taken the opportunity to do something offbeat?

Or something about beats. Rap Genius, a website that analyzes rap lyrics (called ingenious by Nick Antosca of the Huffington Post for its breakdown of Empire State of Mind), is the creation of a DL Pursuer. The site is now nine months old, and Mahbod Moghadam (Stanford Law ’08) is hoping it’s his escape out of law. Which would be a good thing, since Dewey & LeBeouf is having a hard time reabsorbing its DL Pursuits associates.

Moghadam is quite a character: he sent us a bizarre photo involving a carrot, he’s the ex-boyfriend of Victoria of Downtown Girls, and he convinced two Yale friends to quit their jobs (at Google and D. E. Shaw) to work with him on Rap Genius. What kind of Jedi mind tricks is this guy using?

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Exquisite rap duo.jpgYesterday, the Exquisite Rap Duo dropped a new album. What’s especially exquisite about the album is that it’s the work of Anthony McNamer, an IP attorney in Portland, Oregon.
McNamer is a ’95 Stanford Law grad who has worked for Bingham McCutchen and for Davis Wright Tremaine, clerked in American Samoa, and founded his own small three-person firm, McNamer and Company, five years ago. The firm does IP work and media, entertainment, and sports law.
“I’m probably the biggest music lawyer in Portland… but that’s not saying much,” McNamer told us. He is also on the short list for most extreme athletes looking for a lawyer, he said, representing them when sponsorship deals go awry or in “right of publicity” cases.
McNamer sent us an e-mail last week to let us know about his “rap group” and debut album:

You don’t hear about many big firm lawyer to rap group transitions. Word.

Apparently, McNamer is unaware of his East Coast rival, Mekka Don, who went from being a Weil first year to being a self-proclaimed savior of hip hop. Word.
We surfed over to his website and listened to some of the songs. As for our favorite, we’re torn between the one about not being able to look tough on a BMX bike and “Best Friends with a Gay Dude” about his college best friend coming out after graduation, which McNamer informed us is 100% autobiographical. The latter includes samples from Cher’s “Believe.” If you haven’t guessed yet, McNamer’s rap has a funny side. But he doesn’t consider his work to be pure novelty. “I don’t want to be Weird Al,” said McNamer.
We also watched the music video for Calculator Watch; the humorous approach reminded us strongly of Law Revue videos. We followed that hunch and discovered during our interview that McNamer was once a lead writer for Stanford’s version of Law Revue. None of the songs on Nine Mile (We Go The Extra Mile) employ legal humor, though. “I know from doing [Stanford's Law School Musical] that law stuff isn’t very funny,” said McNamer.
We spoke to McNamer yesterday about his music, founding his own law firm, and how his legal career will help boost his musical stylings. Check out his video and the beauty of having your own firm in Portland — HINT: his target for weekly billables is 15 hours — after the jump.

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If you are looking for a good reason for Stanford and Harvard to stay away from a modified pass/fail grading system like they have at Berkeley and Yale, here you go:

Yes, you are seeing that video correctly. That there was a self-styled Boalt student rapping the Rules of Civil Procedure, replete with dance interludes.

I don’t know if this will help you pass Civ Pro, but it might help you become the Court Clerk for the Miami-Dade County.

Earlier: A Rapping Clerk of Court? Meet Harvey Ruvin

When you think of clerks of court, you probably think of those annoying people who bounce your filings because you used the wrong font size. They don’t seem like a fun bunch of people.

But Harvey Ruvin, Clerk of Courts for Miami-Dade County, is not your ordinary court clerk. How many clerks do you know who can rap?

Okay, “rapping” may be a generous characterization. Ruvin sounds less like a rapper and more like a stand-up comedian who superimposed his routine over some throbbing beats. “Climate change — what’s up with that?”

But we’re not rap aficionados, so judge for yourself. Our observant tipster points out: “Note at 1:49 in the video, in the ‘o’ in the Stop the Hatred sign, you’ll find a marijuana plant.”

P.S. And where, you’re wondering, did Harvey Ruvin go to law school? None other than the University of Miami School of Law — one of ATL’s favorite law schools.

Maybe Just Maybe – Harvey Ruvin [YouTube]

Harvey Ruvin for Clerk of Court [official website]

Superdome Louisiana Superdome New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Above the Law blog.jpg* NRA defends the rights of hurricane victims to shoot at the National Guard keep guns. [AP via How Appealing]
* French “aid” workers sentenced to eight years of hard labor in Chad “orphan” case. [Jurist]
* Apparently if you’re a rapper you can show up at court when you damn well please. [Athens Banner-Herald]
* If you feel guilty about it, at least you can take comfort in the fact that you’ve helped set up an appeal. [CNN]

Linda Greenhouse 6 New York Times Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgTo follow up on our earlier post, here’s an update on L’Affaire Linda, from the Columbia Journalism Review:

Linda Greenhouse has written a letter in response to C-SPAN in which she defends herself against their accusations. In it she claims that the “issue is not one of ‘open media access to public policy discussions,’” as C-SPAN’s Terence Murphy wrote in his letter, but “one of communication and simple courtesy.”

Ignoring the question of whether she received an email warning her that C-SPAN was going to be present, Greenhouse writes, ” I learned about the plan to cover the Supreme Court panel only when I showed up and saw the cameras. Prof. Gajda told me yesterday that she had only learned at 5:00 p.m. the day before that C-Span intended to cover our panel.”

Read the rest — plus a bonus Linda Greenhouse Rap!!! — after the jump.

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No, this has nothing to do with Bill Clinton. We’re talking about the other Monica — former Justice Department lawyer Monica Goodling, one of our favorite personalities here at ATL.
Over the weekend, the New York Times published the best article we’ve read in a long, long time. Check it out (annotations ours):
You Have a Monica Problem Monica Goodling Monica M Goodling.jpg
Now this is the point in the post where we should start highlighting the best parts of Eric Lipton’s article, followed by mildly snarky quips. But the entire piece is so delicious that it would be wrong to pick out excerpts. Please read the whole thing for yourself, by clicking here.
Okay, are you done? Great. Discussion continues after the jump.

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Queen Elizabeth II QE2 Above the Law blog.jpg* Still excited about last weekend’s Kentucky Derby? Here are the rules for betting on the Iowa and NH Derbies. [Slate]
* NBA playoffs as a metaphor for the presidential race. [
SI]
* World Bank panel finds Wolfowitz violated rules in getting his girlfriend a job. [MSNBC]
* Prominent U.S. lawyers to dine with Queen of England. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “A series of sometimes bizarre events, including a judge’s tumble from a ladder and a case of appendicitis, have delayed” R. Kelly’s trial for five years. [CNN]

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