Recent Headlines from Above the Law
Consider this your preview of the Fisher redux.
This law school dean thinks Justice Scalia is a bad influence on young attorneys.
* Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the UC Irvine School of Law thinks it’s time for California to follow New York’s lead and adopt the Uniform Bar Exam. After all, if doctors don’t have to take separate exams each time they move to a new state, lawyers shouldn’t have to do it either. [Los Angeles Times]
* A jury just returned a verdict of $0 for a police officer who was severely burned after spilling a cup of free Starbucks coffee in his lap. The pictures of the burns that were used as evidence are pretty nasty, so you’ll obviously want to check them out. [NPR; WTVD]
* According to a survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep, 56 percent of recent law grads would have preferred to condense their schooling to two years, while just 34 percent of prospective law students felt similarly. Oh, to be that naive again. [National Law Journal]
* Violent besties? As it turns out, the gun altercation George Zimmerman was involved in yesterday was apparently part of some sort of ongoing feud with Matthew Apperson, the same man he threatened to kill in a road rage incident last year. [Crimesider / CBS News]
* If you’re wondering what you should do during the summer before going to law school, then you can take the advice of this future gunner and possibly enroll in a pre-law prep course and work yourself to death, or you can relax. It’s up to you. [The Diamondback]
* As we mentioned, U.S. News is giving law schools less credit for hiring their own grads. Rumor has it that a few schools would’ve done better in the rankings but for their high percentage of school-funded jobs. Which ones? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Two students in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity from Oklahoma University were expelled after a video of their racist chanting was leaked online. Lawyers want to know: was their expulsion a First Amendment violation? [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* UC Irvine Law debuted on the 2016 U.S. News law school rankings at No. 30, missing Dean Erwin Chemerinsky’s goal of starting out as a Top 20 school. Not to worry, Dean, there are still ways to game the rankings. Keep your head up! [National Law Journal]
* Don’t bother delaying your law school education just because the economy’s bad. The professors who told us that a law degree is worth $1 million think that its value will only drop by about $30K in times when unemployment is high. Yeah, okay. [ABA Journal]
* The grisly murder of DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt, who was found stabbed to death in a Washington, D.C., hotel, remains unsolved. Police are still searching for the “person of interest” who was seen on video from the hotel’s security camera. [Legal Times]
Everything wrong with the U.S. News ranking methodology in one post.
* If you’ve ever wondered what’s being said about Supreme Court justices during the vetting process, we’ve got a great one-liner about Justice Breyer, who’s apparently a “rather cold fish.” Oooh, sick burn. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* The NLJ 350 rankings are here, and this is where we get to see the big picture about the big boys of Biglaw. In 2013, it looks like headcount grew by 3.9 percent, which is good, but not great, all things considered. Meh. [National Law Journal]
* A Wisconsin judge is the latest to give her state’s ban on same-sex marriage the finger, and she did it with flair, noting in her opinion that “traditional” marriages throughout history were polygamous. [Bloomberg]
* The Ed O’Bannon antitrust case against the NCAA is going to trial today before Judge Claudia Wilken. Since it could change college sports forever, here’s everything you need to know about it. [USA Today]
* According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of those employed in the legal sector is at its lowest level since the beginning of 2014, with jobs still being shed. Welcome, graduates! [Am Law Daily]
* UC Irvine Law has finally earned full accreditation from the American Bar Association. We’d like to say nice work and congrats, but we’re pretty sure the ABA would fully accredit a toaster. [Los Angeles Times]
How badly do you want to go to law school? Badly enough to ruin your future admission prospects?