Biglaw bonuses this year were insane. In an industry that usually plays “follow the leader” when it comes to associate bonuses, this year felt more like a poker tournament.For a full recap of the 2014 bonus season, fill out this brief form and receive ATL’s Biglaw Bonus Poker infographic.
A look at the some findings from a survey about bar exam prep.
* Here’s a very important lesson for all of the lawyers reading this: thinking about work while you’re on the way to work doesn’t mean that you’re actually working. This novel argument failed miserably for a Biglaw partner trying to get out of a huge insurance claim. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Justice Scalia isn’t very fond of the media’s coverage of SCOTUS: “They don’t like conservatives on the court, or anywhere else for that matter. They do a lousy job. You can’t expect them to do a good job.” Wow, tell us how you really feel. [Arkansas Online]
* “Enough! Enough! Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed. Put her in place. Let her do her job.” After months of watching his pick for attorney general wait around thanks to political gridlock, President Obama has finally had it with this sh*t. [New York Times]
* Good news, associates! If you leave your law firm job for a Supreme Court clerkship, you’ll likely still be able to receive that gigantic SCOTUS hiring bonus — to the tune of $300,000 plus! — if you return to the firm you left when it’s over. [National Law Journal]
* “Hard questions have to be asked at law schools whose modest reputations and forgiving admission standards do not ensure their graduates gainful employment.” High LSAT scores are down, bar failure is up, and law schools still say it’s not their fault. [Bloomberg]
* Authorities have cleared the robot built specifically to buy illegal stuff off the dark web. In related news, officer, all that panda meat was bought by my robot… for an art project. [Hopes and Fears]
* Laurence Tribe’s arguments are getting closer and closer to Homer Simpson’s. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]
* In case you weren’t counting, there’ve been 95 Senate roll call votes while Loretta Lynch has been waiting… [People For The American Way]
* Lawyer suspended for handing out ecstasy to drug women into sex. I don’t disagree with the outcome, but there’s one pretty troubling aspect of the opinion: “The OLR noted… that his victim was much younger.” She was 22! At a certain point can we just admit women are adults? Focus on the drugging predatory behavior instead of constructing her as an addled-brained ingenue. [Legal Profession Blog]
* Daredevil’s courtroom antics evaluated by New York Judge Matthew Sciarrino. [The Legal Geeks]
* If you’re interested in the legal landscape of marijuana, here’s a cool infographic summing up where we are and how we got here. [Diego Criminal Defense]
* If you’re interested in February bar exam results from across the country, Bar Exam Stats is keeping a running tally complete with a nice map. [Bar Exam Stats]
* Not going anywhere for a while? Try a Snickers. Just don’t try to write it off as a business expense. [TaxProf Blog]
* Toilet cameras involve moral turpitude. This is an opinion that needed to be written. [Legal Profession Blog]
* Police decline to charge Dwight Howard with child abuse. He’d allegedly punished his child with his belt, which is nowhere near as bad as letting them walk outside alone (if you listen to Elie’s rants). [ESPN]
* There’s no bar exam too small for his analysis: North Dakota’s February results. [Bar Exam Stats]
* A look back at the Lincoln assassination 150 years later. Something like this would never happen today — probably because Lincoln would still be on the waiting list for Book of Mormon. [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* I knew SeaWorld was in trouble when I saw a glossy commercial during primetime television explaining how great they are. And my instincts were right — they’ve been hit with three salacious lawsuits in a month. [The Dodo]
* Oh, the things you learn from lawsuits! Find out exactly how the WWE feels about your city. Getting dissed by Vince McMahon must sting. [411Mania]
* Brooklyn Law’s dean thinks “too much power rests with the [NCBE],” and that we need a new way to license lawyers. Brooklyn Law’s July 2014 bar passage rate was ~10 percent lower than the year prior, so perhaps he doesn’t like how those grapes taste. [National Law Journal]
* A man on trial for a bank robbery committed in 2013 pooped his pants while on the stand, removed some of said poop from his pants, and started eating it because the Virgin Mary told him to do it. If you couldn’t tell, he’s got an insanity defense. [Inquisitr]
* A new Citigroup report says Biglaw firms are at “high risk for cyberintrusions,” but so few will admit that they’ve been hacked it’s impossible to tell if the problem is growing. Don’t worry, clients, your confidential files might be safe. [DealBook / New York Times]
* People may think “this is a crappy, for-profit school that didn’t make it. But it could have been a great law school.” Charleston Law’s founding dean wrote a damning blog post about his colleagues for their attempts to sell the school to InfiLaw. [Post and Courier]
* “[B]eing well-dressed and having a law school diploma” isn’t enough to ensure that you’ll get a job anymore. Quick, take some advice from the career services dean at a school where 47.2 percent of recent grads are working full-time as lawyers. [Huffington Post]
Anyone who has ever taken the exam will give out advice on how best to prepare for the test. Which pieces of advice should you actually listen to?
Law deans’ attacks on the bar exam are not serious. They’re desperate.
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* Per a recent study, the class of 2010 is still screwed when it comes to securing work as attorneys. There are plenty of would-be lawyers working in “tennis instruction, office management, lingerie sales, and pest control.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Law schools may be admitting less qualified students, but when the bar exam results are bad, it’s obviously the bar exam’s fault. Is it even fair to make new lawyers have to pass a bar exam at all? We should have more on this bar exam backlash later today. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Following layoffs in two other firms’ litigation practices, McDermott Will & Emery is losing three of its top litigation partners. Two are expected to decamp to Paul Hastings, and one is abandoning ship for King & Spalding. Yikes! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Law school applications are on the verge of hitting a 15-year low. Don’t worry, cautions LSAC, because “the rate of decline [in applications] is slowing.” Check out the sad (yet amazing) picture in the article and see if it makes you feel better. [Bloomberg Business]
* Undergrads at Villanova got a crash course in how to pay for law school this week, and were hopefully scared straight when they found out the majority of law students take out loans and “typically accumulate around $100,000-$200,000 in debt.” [The Villanovan]
* Last week in court, a murder suspect in Louisiana apparently pooped his pants during a case status hearing, wiped said poop all over his face, and muttered to himself that “life is like a box of chocolates.” Sorry about that crappy candy, dude. [New Orleans Advocate]
* According to early Am Law 100 data, New York’s most elite and prestigious firms have once again broken away from the rest of the pack when it comes to both revenue and partner profits. Biglaw’s best may be back to models and bottles. [Am Law Daily]
* Michelle Lee, the first woman to ever serve as director of the USPTO, was sworn in on stage at SXSW Interactive. Michelle Lee, who worked with the Girl Scouts to issue a patent patch (instead of more makeup and sewing patches), is pretty damn awesome. [Mashable]
* The federal judiciary has plans to decrease the word limit of appellate briefs from 14,000 to 12,500, and lawyers are pissed. Lawyers from Brown Rudnick say it could result in more acronyms, confusing construction, and less “punctilious citation,” oh my! [WSJ Law Blog]
* Lee Smolen, the ex-Sidley Austin partner who faked $69,000 in travel expenses while at the firm (and possibly $379K more), has been suspended from practice for one year and will have to undergo psychiatric treatment. [Legal Profession Blog via ABA Journal]
* Taking New York’s lead, California is considering requiring all would-be attorneys in the state to complete 50 hours of pro bono work within one year of being admitted. Leave it to people who don’t know what they’re doing yet to close the justice gap. [Los Angeles Times]
* According to the latest data from NALP, summer associate hiring is up for the fifth year in a row. Hooray! But wait, don’t go licking each other’s popsicles just yet — some law firms (35 percent of them, in fact) actually reduced the number of offers they made. [National Law Journal]
* In response to outcry over bar exam reforms, this Dechert partner took time out of his day to wonder: “Is it too much to expect that future lawyers know the difference between a tort and a tenancy in common, or do we expect clients to pay them $400 an hour to learn it?” [Wall Street Journal]
* Now that oral arguments in King v. Burwell have concluded, it’s probably time you found out what’s at stake for you if you haven’t done so already, procrastinators. This is what will happen if SCOTUS strikes down Obamacare subsidies. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Edward Snowden is reportedly ready to return to the United States, provided, of course, that he’ll receive a “legal and impartial trial.” Attorney General Eric Holder has already promised Snowden that he won’t face the death penalty, so that’s a start. [CNN]
* An ADA in Texas apparently referred to defense counsel as a “motherf*cker” in front of jurors during a trial. We think now would be a great time to add this to the list of things that will get you kicked off a case. [Austin American-Statesmen via ABA Journal]
* “Taking the bar is like riding a bike. A bike that’s on fire.” Never before has there been a better way to describe what it’s like to take the bar exam. Here’s how some recent examinees were able to survive. Miraculously, no one preemptively sent a letter like this. [California Lawyer]
* DLA Piper is entering into happily married bliss with Davis, a 260-lawyer firm from the Great White North. An April wedding is planned. The couple is registered with American Lawyer and Vault. Give them a few loads of loonies! [Am Law Daily]
* Attorney General Eric Holder took to the op-ed pages to announce the Department of Justice’s official take on the constitutionality of marriage equality in America: “Nothing justifies excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage.” [USA Today]
* Speaking of Eric Holder, the attorney general released another official announcement yesterday. Ben Mizer will take over as chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. (For what it’s worth, people are making a huge deal over the fact that he’s gay.) [Metro Weekly]
* If you’ve missed a law school application deadline, don’t worry, because there are ways you can boost your chances of getting in. Having a pulse is only 98 percent of the battle — you’ll also need a tuition check. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
Why have a bar exam if it is going to be more of what law school is supposed to test and does not test something important to the state giving the test?
No one wants to see a bar examinee piss himself during the test — except for the National Conference of Bar Examiners, that is.
* A comprehensive look at Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project and how it could easily throw open the doors on racial discrimination. Texas? Racism? Nah. [Huffington Post]
* Getting nailed with 170K counts of accessory to murder. [Gawker]
* The big question on a lot of minds: should New York adopt the UBE? [Bar Exam Stats]
* FAA unleashes drones upon the public. [LXBN]
* In honor of an interview with Justice Ginsburg, MSNBC created a quiz to tell you just how RBG you are. I scored pretty well because I want sleep through the State of the Union too. [MSNBC]
* And while we’re at it, here’s video of their interview. [YouTube]
 One, but the lightbulb has to really want to change.
What do you do if you don’t know the rule? There is a way (trick) to make it up, but you need to be trained on how to do it.
* Lindsay Lohan and her mom are suing Fox News with claims the TV network defamed them by saying “Lindsay Lohan’s mom is doing cocaine with her.” Legal experts are of the opinion the Lohans must be doing lines if they think they’ll win. [U.S. News & World Report]
* A prospective juror in the Colorado movie theater massacre case was released after telling a judge she brought her unvaccinated grandchild to court and ripping her hair out. Well, that’s one way to get out of jury duty. [Aurora Sentinel]
* Justice Elena Kagan says that if she hadn’t left her Harvard Law deanship to become solicitor general, she “[doesn’t] think [she] would be doing law, quite honestly.” The Supreme jurist says that “[i]t shows you how weird life can be.” [Supreme Court Brief]
* Lawyers in New York are worried that if the state adopts the Uniform Bar Exam, the “gold standard” of having passed the tougher version of the New York exam will be devalued. Aww, sorry about your butthurt. Get well soon. [New York Law Journal]
* Fresh off an 18-month tour of racking up insider trading convictions as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, Richard Tarlowe will join Paul Weiss to focus on white-collar criminal defense. Best of luck. [DealBook / New York Times]