I believe President Jed Bartlett explained legislative prayer best during the Red Mass episode. When Charlie asked why it’s okay to have a mass to celebrate the beginning of the Supreme Court’s terms, Barlett said, “And so how isn’t it a Constitutional issue? It is, but sometimes you say, ‘Big deal.’ It was the intention not to have a national religion, not to have anyone’s religious views imposed on anyone else, and not to have the government encourage a national display of piety as a substitute for real action.”
I think that’s basically right. I think prayer in schools is an unconstitutional indoctrination into religion for kids who are required by law to be there. I think making marriage laws based on Leviticus is bigoted and stupid. But if grown-ass adults want to have a prayer before they start legislating, I say “big deal.”
And I thought “big deal” was pretty well established law. So like everybody else, I was a little surprised to see that the Supreme Court granted cert in Greece v. Galloway, a case involving legislative prayer.
Maybe SCOTUS just wants to smack around the Second Circuit?
Cheerleading is a big deal in Texas. It’s the sort of thing that can get you killed if you’re not careful.
So when a bunch of high school cheerleaders started cheering less “Be Aggressive!” and more “Be Not Afraid, the Lord Is With Thee,” it stirred up the usual hornets’ nest of grandstanding atheists and civil libertarians complaining about freedom of religion, and an equal number of grandstanding conservative politicos complaining about the “War on Christians.”
Yesterday, the cheerleaders won their case — at least for now — opening the door to a new batch of inspirational cheers ripped from Christian Mingle ads. After looking at the signs (some pics below), the real issue is not constitutional, but practical: these are just terrible cheers….
Over the years, I’ve met a fair number of ministers who have become lawyers and lawyers who have become ministers. Maybe this shouldn’t be surprising, given the commonalities between law and organized religion. Both fields are built around rules, give great weight to precedents and higher authorities, involve age-old institutions, and are generally dominated by men.
So maybe it’s not shocking to hear about someone who went from being a Biglaw partner to a minister and university chaplain. But it’s still quite interesting and unusual.
Let’s learn how one lawyer went from working for The Man to working for The Man — Upstairs….
* Why are people so stupid? Legal threat based on the name of a blog. Not the actual content, just the name. In a related note, we’d like to let everyone know that if we write about you, you are not, in fact, “above the law.” [Popehat]
* This is curious. Convicted of stealing $1 million dollars and walking away without jail time. And no written opinion to explain it. Moral of the story? Commit your crimes in Judge Carney’s court. [Navelgazing / OC Weekly]
* You’ve got to move fast if you want to take the profit off a disaster. Best part? A tipster says the explosion pictured isn’t even of the fertilizer plant explosion. [Baron & Budd]
New York City Councilman Dan Halloran was already mixed up in some trouble. Federal prosecutors had named him in a criminal complaint for wire fraud and bribery arising from an alleged failed campaign to get Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith on the Republican ballot in the NYC mayoral race through bribery.
Now the Republican official can add sex scandal to his problems.
According to the New York Post, Halloran was cheating on his wife with his assistant, then 21, who is today a 2L at a top law school. She’s presumably dealing with finals while fielding calls about her old boss and/or boyfriend…
* Obama is forfeiting $20,000 in solidarity with sequester victims. An excellent opportunity for right-wing hacks to complain about his vacations, as though Secret Service protection is supposed to be free. [Washington Examiner]
* Ken Cuccinelli is running for governor in a state that voted for Obama twice. So, obviously, he’s making a public show of his fight to reinstate a law used to harass gay people. [Washington Blade]
* Conrad Black, the media mogul who served three years in the federal pen, sits for an interview with California Lawyer magazine. Check it out (and earn California CLE credit). [California Lawyer]
Statue of Cooley apparently letting a homeless man go to law school.
I’m sure there is an episode of Mad Men where the team merely changes the name of a product of substandard quality. Surely there are tons of real life examples where something undergoes a name change to throw consumers off the scent of failure.
In the digital age, with Google footprints being what they are, name changes are probably even more valuable. Certainly, if you are a law school that thrives off of people not fully understanding the realities of the legal job market, you’ve got to be worried about Google catching up to you.
Maybe that’s what the powers that be at Cooley Law School are thinking as they contemplate merging with a public university. Have you checked out their Google footprint recently? Today, we have a clip of a preacher taking a jab at the school on Easter Sunday.
Really, the question is: what kind of public university would want to be associated with Thomas M. Cooley Law School?
Oh internet, ye keeper of all knowledge ever committed to your bosom. I do so love when you bring somebody’s crazy ramblings from one sphere crashing down on his basically normal-sounding relations in another.
Today we have a great story about a Law Student Bar Association election that received some holy ghost power… in the form of a student sending around one of the candidate’s religious views.
Freedom of speech, baby. You’re free to say it, everybody else is free to talk about it….
* Prosecutor charges America’s official groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, for failing to accurately predict the weather. Good to know Pennsylvania prosecutors are on top of the groundhog beat after messing up the “sexual predator coaching a football program” beat for about a decade. [Washington Times]
* UPDATE: Judge Easterbrook is getting hitched to former Anchorage City Clerk Barbara Gruenstein on May 12. [Anchorage Daily News]
* Tattoo convention discusses copyrights. As long as I don’t have to remove the giant butterfly tat on the small of my back I’m cool. [Washington Post]
* Defending yourself from solicitation charges counts as “Official Senate Business?” Actually, that sounds about right. [Lowering the Bar]
* UChiLawGo sums up the end of law school. [UChiLawGo]
* Sad news, “Mississippi State Rep. Jessica Upshaw (R), an attorney who had been a lawmaker since 2004, was found dead at the home of former state Rep. Clint Rotenberry (R) in Mendenhall, Mississippi…Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said it did not appear to be a natural death.” This is the fifth Mississippi lawmaker to die in five months. The other four all died of natural causes…so they say. [Jezebel]
* David and Elie will be showing up at Georgetown this Thursday afternoon. RSVP at the linked ACS site. [ACS]
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
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