Recent Headlines from Above the Law

  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.12.15

    * President Obama recently authorized a study into whether student loan debt should be dischargeable in bankruptcy. For now, any changes made to the bankruptcy code will likely apply only to private loans, so it looks like many law school graduates won’t be declaring bankruptcy any time soon. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * As we’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, the across-the-board drop in law school applications has inspired some law schools to do crazy things like shortening the length of time it takes to get a degree and lowering tuition. Hmm, more law schools should go crazy. [U.S. News & World Report]

    * In the wake of much criticism of its plan to eliminate the LSAT for some students to gain admission to Iowa Law, the school’s dean offers an explanation: it’ll help her school compete to attract students who would otherwise have gone to T14 schools. [The Gazette]

    * Even though law schools are in trouble, a legislator in Texas is still lobbying the state to subsidize the creation of a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because he has a “hard time believing there are no jobs for attorneys out there.” [Cleburne Times-Review]

    * If you find that law schools aren’t reacting quickly enough to the crisis at hand, there are other options for you out there. While law schools implode as their tuition skyrockets, it seems that those who have fled the law are now trying to become engineers. [Quartz]

    29 Comments / / Mar 12, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Use your imagination...

    Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 03.10.15

    * “A senior Queens judge allowed a bawdy Viagra-themed light-switch cover to remain in his courtroom for at least a year — even after a female lawyer complained that it was inappropriate for court.” Obviously, there will be a contingent trying to write this off as “just a joke” and asking everyone to “relax,” but seriously, how is ANY joke lightswitch cover appropriate in a courtroom? Let alone a penis switch. [NY Post]

    * Teen burglars started sniffing the powder they stole thinking it was cocaine. Instead, it was cremated ashes. It’s part Cocaine Cowboys and part Six Feet Under. [The Smoking Gun]

    * No one can predict how much tuition will rise over the next several years. But this offers the next best thing: an interactive tool to chart how much each school’s tuition has changed over the last few years. [Bar Exam Stats]

    * We’ve featured some of Richard Hsu’s interviews in this space. The Recorder sat down with the Shearman & Sterling partner to discuss his podcast. [The Recorder]

    * Elie went on HuffPo today to discuss the phenomenon of law schools dropping the LSAT. [HuffPo Live]

    * Former Wilmer litigator and 10th Circuit clerk John Ford has a new book out called The Cipher (affiliate link). It’s about the NSA harassing an innocent American citizen. Or as the rest of us call it, “a Tuesday.” [Amazon]

    * In sad news, Dave Frohnmayer, former Oregon Attorney General, dean of Oregon Law School, and President of the University of Oregon passed away at 74. On a personal note, he was extremely supportive when I resuscitated the South Eugene debate program (where his daughters had earlier debated) before I went off to law school. Rest in peace. [The Oregonian]

    * Have you ever wondered about litigation finance and thought, “if only someone would make a cartoon to explain it all to me” then you’re in luck. [LFC360]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrQklMvyuOM

    22 Comments / / Mar 10, 2015 at 5:20 PM
  • Thanks, Davis Polk!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.16.15

    Ed. note: Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, we will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will still be publishing, but less frequently than usual. We will be back in full force tomorrow.

    * The news is in, and it seems that Davis Polk’s financial numbers were at record highs. The firm’s revenue beat the $1 billion mark for the first time ever, and its PPP rose to $3.29 million. No wonder its 2014 bonuses were so awesome! [Am Law Daily]

    * Yes, we know that William Mitchell Law and Hamline Law are merging to survive as a result of a quickly disappearing applicant pool. We’d really love to know how many other law schools are considering this as an alternative to closing their doors. [Star Tribune]

    * How are Nebraska and Oklahoma, which neighbor Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized, handling the situation? Not well. Their AGs want SCOTUS to rule the weed law in the state where you can get Rocky Mountain High is unconstitutional. [PBS NewsHour]

    * Thanks to a recent ABA rule change, schools are beginning to admit students without LSAT scores. One of those schools is Iowa Law (ranked in the top 30 by U.S. News), but those students need to have done really well on other standardized tests. [Daily Iowan]

    * “How have I done as a judge today?” “Not bad, but you could do better.” Judge John Hurley had a run-in with an 80-year-old criminal defendant who wouldn’t stop calling him sweetheart. Flip to the next page to see the entertaining video. [NBC 6 South Florida]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mEQp33kr2O8#t=0

    32 Comments / / Feb 16, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • 01-stick-em-up-kitty-kitten-cat-gun-e1286641024121

    Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 12.22.14

    * “Pay up or the cat gets it!” is an entirely acceptable means of collecting judgments in Russia. Because of course it is. [Lowering the Bar]

    * Conservative Teresa Wagner, the professor who sued the University of Iowa for discrimination, is now irked that she’s been relegated to the library pending retrial. [TaxProf Blog]

    * Mayonnaise manufacturer has dropped its stupid lawsuit over the definition of “mayonnaise.” Litigation dollars well spent. [Slate]

    * A new company, “Assholes on Demand,” threatens to undercut the primary service lawyers provide. [The Irreverent Lawyer]

    * North Korea hacks finally hit trend-chasing lawyers where it hurts. [Twitter]

    * The California bar exam pass rate took a big hit. But big shifts in bar passage are not new in California historically. [Bar Exam Stats]

    * Number crunchers conclude that in the UK, people hire expensive lawyers more than successful lawyers. [Legal Futures]

    2 Comments / / Dec 22, 2014 at 5:35 PM
  • pretty pot

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.03.14

    * Everyone’s “BFF” Anthony Elonis, of the Elonis v. U.S. case that’s currently before the Supreme Court, is facing additional scrutiny over a snarky note he sent to an ADA last year about burning a cross on the prosecutor’s lawn. Wow, he sounds like really a “fun” guy. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * I was gonna go to class, but then I got high: DU Law is teaching a class about how to sell lots and lots of weed. Just kidding. According to the professor, the class is actually about the legal issues that come up when selling lots and lots of weed. [Cannabist]

    * The HRC’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index is out, and noticeably absent from the list of Biglaw honorees is Boies Schiller. We suppose the firm forgot one of its name partners is helping to overturn gay-marriage bans across the country. [Am Law Daily]

    * The University of Iowa College of Law is asking — nay, begging — the Supreme Court to block a retrial of Teresa Wagner’s claims of political bias discrimination. This is just one of the things law schools will do to keep their faculties liberal. [Associated Press]

    * From Yale to Wayne State, law students are getting involved in protests to spread the word about social injustice in Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. If you have a problem with this, someone from NYU might too. [National Law Journal]

    * Winter break is the perfect time for undergraduate students to start working on their law school applications, but we’re more than willing to bet the future gunners out there have already sent all of theirs in. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    31 Comments / / Dec 3, 2014 at 8:50 AM
  • 190px-Judge_Judy

    8th Circuit, Baseball, Dahlia Lithwick, Daily Show, Football, Gay, Law Schools, Non-Sequiturs, SCOTUS, Student Loans, Supreme Court

    Non-Sequiturs: 07.15.14

    * There’s a company with no revenue and no profit run out of Belize with a $6 billion market cap. And this lawyer might be the reason why. [Fortune]

    * The discrimination claim brought by former professor Teresa Wagner against the University of Iowa College of Law must be retried. Congrats, Teresa! Celebrate with a round of shots. [Iowa Appeals]

    * Chris Kluwe intends to sue the Minnesota Vikings. He has a good chance because the Vikings can’t beat anybody. [Sports Illustrated]

    * Judge Judy is suing a lawyer over advertisements. [ABA Journal]

    * A-Rod is being sued by his lawyer for $380,000 in unpaid bills. Life’s hard for multimillionaires when the income stream is temporarily suspended. [NY Daily News]

    * Breaking up is hard to do. But it doesn’t have to be difficult to dissolve a law firm ethically if you follow this advice. Dewey know anyone who could have used this advice earlier? [Legal Talk Network]

    * Indiana Tech law school is in desperation mode. Who would have seen this coming? [Third Tier Reality]

    * The horrors of law school debt are becoming more obvious even to non-students. [Law School Lemmings]

    * Jon Stewart chats with Dahlia Lithwick about the Supreme Court. Embed after the jump…. [The Daily Show]

    1 Comment / / Jul 15, 2014 at 5:03 PM
  • change cocktail

    Cheapness, Law Schools, Money, Screw-Ups, Student Loans

    This Law School Is LITERALLY Nickel And Diming Alumni

    Is this what happens in a world of declining tuition dollars?

    16 Comments / / Jul 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM
  • top law schools RF

    Career Center, Law School Rankings, Law Schools, Rankings, U.S. News Law Firm Rankings

    Again With The Law School Rankings: Winners, Losers, Critics, And U.S. News

    Which law schools had the biggest gaps between their ATL and U.S. News rankings? Which law schools had the biggest moves up and down in this year’s ATL rankings?

    23 Comments / / May 6, 2014 at 5:32 PM
  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Airplanes / Aviation, Biglaw, Celebrities, Disasters / Emergencies, Divorce Train Wrecks, Entertainment Law, Health Care / Medicine, John Roberts, Law Schools, Mergers and Acquisitions, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 03.26.14

    * After forcing Solicitor General Donald Verrilli to acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act could force for-profit corporations to pay for employees’ abortions, Chief Justice John Roberts seemed rather pleased with himself. [New York Times]

    * Sidley Austin just hired a major M&A heavy hitter away from General Electric’s legal department. Congratulations to Chris Barbuto. We suppose he can make it rain as outside counsel now. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Because there’s no time too soon for an ambulance airplane chaser, the beginnings of the first lawsuit lodged against Malaysian Air after Flight 370′s probable crash was filed in court yesterday. [Bloomberg]

    * UC Hastings and Iowa are the latest law schools to offer 3+3 accelerated degree programs. What a great recruiting tool for Iowa, which recently saw enrollment levels plunge by 40 percent. [National Law Journal]

    * One month after the internet exploded with rumors of Gwyneth Paltrow having an affair with entertainment lawyer Kevin Yorn, the star announced her split from her husband. Coincidence? [New York Daily News]

    1 Comment / / Mar 26, 2014 at 8:41 AM
  • Lend a hand RF

    Bar Exams, Law Schools, Student Loans

    What’s More Expensive: 3 Years of Law School or 6 Weeks of Bar Prep?

    Eliminating the bar isn’t the cost cutting maneuver people are looking for.

    13 Comments / / Jan 13, 2014 at 12:29 PM