* Chicago Law grad went up to Alaska and challenged an Iditarod musher to an arm wrestling match. That’s when she broke her arm. This decision should trigger an automatic two-spot drop in the U.S. News rankings. [Alaska Dispatch News]
* An interview with Keith Wetmore, former Chairman of Morrison and Foerster, diving into his childhood growing up in a funeral home. From working with one group of stiffs to another. [Hsu Untied]
* Ruh roh. Biglaw partner earns a hearty benchslap for deliberately misleading the court. You can’t do that — save it for the summer associates asking about having a family. [Legal Business]
* California lawyer Matt McLaughlin continues his Quixotic drive to have the state execute all the gay people. Now we have a pithy name for his proposed amendment: “The Intolerant Jackass Act.” [Slate]
* David talks to Bloomberg about why Above the Law hurts people’s feelings. It’s more diplomatic than my answer: because they’re soft. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* A lawyer testifies to the state legislature about how great a right-to-work law will be… for his bankruptcy practice. Troll hard, my friend. [YouTube]
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* 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]
* Analyzing the Supreme Court on style over substance. Probably for the best because the substance has been pretty shoddy for a lot of the last few years. [SCOTUSblog]
* “Constitutional oriented” judge has some issues with the First Amendment. I guess he’s a “pre-Amendment Originalist.” [Popehat]
* Lawyers should find a niche in connected devices. It’s true. But since the partners I used to work with still printed out all their emails, good luck with that. [Law and More]
* The psychic toll of bankruptcy work. [The Docket]
* Ninth Circuit overrules lower court, holding that an arbitrator is not inherently plaintiff-biased because he or she has participated in litigation financing. [LFC 360]
Whatever you do, don’t lie to a judge. They really don’t like it when litigants do that.
* Nothing is f*cked here, Judge: With first-class flights, alcoholic beverages, and hotel movies already nixed, lawyers who worked on the City of Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy case are now being forced to defend their multi-million dollar billables. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “It’s important to have different perspectives in Congress. It really adds a lot to the mix.” That said, which law schools are the best at producing lawmakers? You may be surprised by some of the schools that made the list. [National Law Journal]
* “Going to law school is still a great option,” says the dean of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, a school whose 25th percentile LSAT scores dropped by six points year over year. Toss UA Law a pity application. [Daily Wildcat]
* Per the defense in the Aurora movie theater massacre case, the prosecutor’s “insistence upon the death penalty certainly seems politically motivated” — that, or maybe James Holmes deserves the death penalty for killing 12 people. [ABA Journal]
* By now, everyone’s heard of the woman who’s planning to “marry” her biological father and move to New Jersey. Believe it or not, incestual adult relationships are actually legal in the Garden State thanks to a legislative screw-up. [NJ Advance Media]
* Fried Frank is closing down its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices because they were costing the firm more money than they were bringing in. What’ll happen to the lawyers who work there? Most of them will be huòdé dìyù. [Am Law Daily]
* Not everyone can match the New York market when it comes to Biglaw bonuses. According to disputed rumors, associates in some practices of at least one Chicago law firm didn’t receive any bonus at all. Which firm? [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* We often complain that women are getting the short end of the stick in Biglaw, but today we’ve got a nice little caveat. At some large law firms in at least one city, more women are making partner than their male counterparts. [National Law Journal]
* UVA hired Pepper Hamilton to consult on its inept handling of sexual assault cases while O’Melveny & Myers deals with its Rolling Stone gang rape allegations. Collars shall be half-popped until the school gets serious about these issues. [Newsplex]
* Whittier Law, home to one of the worst full-time, long-term employment rates in the country, hopes to give grads a “legal leg-up” with its new solo incubator program — because “[e]ducation and training doesn’t end when they graduate.” [Daily Pilot]
* Wet Seal joined the ranks of teen retailers like Deb and Delia’s when it dumped lots of locations and filed for Chapter 11. New code provisions might’ve sped things along, but like, being a debtor-in-possession is totally uncool. [DealBook / New York Times]
Check out the magnificent mansion that helped drive a rainmaker into bankruptcy.
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* Per the Department of Education, Harvard Law sucks at handling sexual assault and harassment complaints. As it turns out, the DoE only found out about the misconduct because a faculty member from New England Law snitched on the Ivy League school. [Boston.com]
* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the penalties for pot possession. One state legislator wants to change that in the new year, and hopes his colleagues will puff, puff, pass his bill in favor of small civil fines instead of jail sentences. [VICE]
* “If the court has been waiting until the country is more comfortable with gay marriage, they’ve waited long enough.” The first SCOTUS conference of 2015 will focus on gay marriage cases. It’d be fabulous if they took one. [Supreme Court Brief]
* Latham and Fried Frank are going to be advising on Shake Shack’s initial public offering. Hungry attorneys working on the IPO will be disappointed to learn that their client doesn’t have any public offerings for consumption on Seamless. [Am Law Daily]
* The bankruptcy trustee for the late, great, defunct firm of Howrey LLP keeps lining up big settlements for its remaining creditors. This time, Wiley Rein will contribute $1 million to the failed firm’s coffers. Howrey like dem apples? [Wall Street Journal]
* Florida Judge Cynthia Imperato was “devastated” after a jury found her guilty of DUI and reckless driving charges, but we imagine the judge may be more devastated by the fact that she’s a sitting judge who’s been sentenced to 20 days of house arrest. [Florida Sun Sentinel]
* David Schwimmer, best known for his role as Ross on Friends, has been cast as lawyer Robert Kardashian in an O.J. Simpson true crime television miniseries. He surely knows it’ll take a lot of “unagi” to play the role just right. [Rolling Stone]
* If you have to debt finance your J.D., you’re going to in for a rude awakening when you graduate and the loans start coming due. FYI, “lot[s] of graduates [are] buried in private student loan debt with not enough income to repay it.” [Forbes]
* The parents of James Holmes, who’s better known as the alleged shooter in the Aurora movie theater massacre, have begged for him to be spared the death penalty ahead of his trial, but prosecutors say that in this case, “justice is death.” [Denver Post]
* When it comes to Russia, “[a] lot of firms are thinking about pulling out.” That’s what she would’ve said if she were a managing partner. Biglaw firms that have been rocked by the ruble’s ruin are telling lawyers to leave before they’re laid off. [Am Law Daily]
* Binder & Binder, the National Social Security Disability Advocates® whose late-night TV commercials you’ve grown to love, has filed for bankruptcy. The firm’s headcount will likely drop by more than half because of this. Yikes! [WSJ Law Blog]
How does a rainmaker earning millions of dollars a year wind up in personal bankruptcy?
“Is this an ad for a strip club or a corporate consultant?” That’s a question readers of a respected bankruptcy journal asked after seeing this ad.
* A student at Barry Law claims someone stole her phone and used it to call an African-American blogger an N-word on Instagram. We’ll have more on this believable story later. [Miami Herald]
* Mark Wahlberg wants to be pardoned for a crime committed before he was known as Marky Mark. He should also consider asking to be pardoned for The Happening and Planet of the Apes. [CNN]
* The job market was flat last month, and in 2014, the legal sector lost 3,000 jobs. Don’t worry, you’ll get a job eventually, per the hopes and prayers of your career services employees. [Am Law Daily]
* Shine bright like A. Diamond: Howrey’s bankruptcy trustee says he’ll have a confirmed creditor-repayment plan “well before” the end of next year. [WSJ Law Blog]
* iF*ckedUp? The last named plaintiff in the Apple iPod class action may not have bought an iPod during the time period at issue in the suit. [Bits / New York Times]
* We suppose that with new tech comes new logos, because Covington & Burling is dropping the “& Burling” for global branding purposes. [National Law Journal]
Will Teresa Giudice have to flip a table to get justice?