Recent Headlines from Above the Law
Vikram Amar of Illinois Law explains why he’s excited about his new job and outlines his priorities as dean.
* “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be
cowboyspotheads.” Country singer-songwriter and OG stoner Willie Nelson says marijuana will be legal in all 50 states within the next decade. Who knows, maybe his cannabis-crazed dreams will come true. [San Antonio Express-News]
* Where do lonely hearts go? To court. This ex-Illinois Law student was accused of stalking a classmate and barred setting foot on campus for a two-year time period. A new trial was ordered, and now he may be able to graduate. Yay? [National Law Journal]
* Law firms of all sizes are merging at a record pace, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue like this ad infinitum. Eventually, all of the fun is going to stop, and it’ll likely because there isn’t any more profitability to be had for these firms. Womp. [Am Law Daily]
* Corporate legal departments are pushing for more diversity among their ranks, with companies like Xerox leading the way. NAPABA is hopeful that we’ll see 20 Asian-American lawyers as general counsel of Fortune 500 companies by 2020. [WSJ Law Blog]
* For a man who wanted to “get rich or die tryin,” things don’t seem to be working out so well: Bankrupt rapper 50 Cent was busy denying ownership of many of his luxury items in court this week. He says he rents, borrows, and leases most of his bling. [Associated Press]
* Vikram Amar, the incoming dean of the University of Illinois College of Law, says that he demanded a pay cut before taking the job to help make legal education more affordable for students. The piddling amount of money he’ll be sacrificing will absolutely infuriate you. [WSJ Law Blog]
* When law firms break up and partners attack, it can sometimes be pretty entertaining (and a little sad, all at the same time). In this case, former partners have accused each other of being mentally unstable and going online shopping for hours instead of practicing law. [Daily Business Review]
* In case you don’t remember the law school lawsuits about deceptive employment stats, some of them are still alive and kicking. One of the last surviving suits against Widener Law was recently denied class certification. [New Jersey Law Journal via ABA Journal]
* Per Altman Weil MergerLine, 2015 is on pace to be a record year for law firm mergers. Statements like this have been made since the recession, but this time, it’s the highest number of mergers recorded in the company’s history. [Crain’s Cleveland Business]
* According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector lost 800 jobs in June. That’s not exactly a comforting thought for those of you who are studying for the bar exam and don’t have a job lined up yet. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* When it comes to billing rates, starting at the junior level, female law firm partners are still lagging behind their male counterparts by an average of 10 percent less. Boo. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* Just in time for the graduation of one of the largest law school classes in history, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the legal sector is shedding jobs. That sucks. Sorry Class of 2014. [Am Law Daily]
* Law school deans are dropping like flies. Since last week, at least three have announced their intention to leave their positions. We know of one more that we may discuss later. [National Law Journal]
* If you want to work as an attorney, your odds are better if you go to a Top 50 law school. Seventy-five percent of Top 50 grads are working as lawyers, compared to 50% of all others. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* The verdict is in on the latest Apple v. Samsung patent case, and Apple is probably pretty miffed it was awarded only $120M this time, since lawyers for the company requested billions in damages. [Reuters]
* Laura LaPlante, a 3L who was set to graduate from U. Chicago Law on June 16, RIP. [Chicago Tribune]
An aquatic look at which law firms’ alumni have the top spots at the largest U.S. law firms.
Do you have something to say about your law school’s U.S. News ranking? This is the place to do it!
Law school deans are trying to explain away drops in the rankings, but one leading indicator is always on the way up….
Ed. note: Due to the Labor Day holiday, we’ll be on a reduced publication schedule today. We’ll be back to normal tomorrow. A restful and happy Labor Day to all!
* The lone ex-Dewey partner who was sued by Citibank for defaulting on his capital loan is fighting back, claiming that he was “fraudulently induced” into signing up for the plan even though the bank knew that the S.S. D&L was sinking. [Reuters]
* If you’re trying to avoid additional questions being raised about your alleged bad behavior, a resignation amid scandal isn’t the way to do it. Suzanne Barr, the ICE official accused of running a federal “frat house,” has quit her job. [New York Daily News]
* A federal judge taught the members of the Louisiana Supreme court that the year 1994 did, in fact, occur before the year 1995. Justice Bernette Johnson will now ascend to the rank of chief justice. [Times-Picayune]
* Because we’re all a little hopeless these days: given the bleak realities of our economic situation, perhaps it’s finally time to change the standard for a discharge of student loan debt in bankruptcy. [New York Times]
* “The groups that attempt to rank schools are involved in a lot of hogwash.” Even if that’s the case, people are still going to care about the University of Illinois’s rankings nosedive after the Paul Pless to-do. [News-Gazette]
* Don’t be scared by the absurd tuition rates or the abysmal job prospects, because law school is still a great investment for African-Americans — and for law schools in search of diversity, too. [National Law Journal]
* “[T]hat a lawyer would take this kind of case is shocking.” Sadly, it’s not. Angelica Marie Cecora, the alleged escort who filed a $5M suit against Oscar de la Hoya, now has to pay all of his legal fees. [New York Post]