As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals announced yesterday that a new bar admission hurdle would be foisted upon would-be lawyers in the state, in the form of a 50-hour pro bono requirement.
Apparently poor people in the Empire State have been having trouble securing legal services, so what better way to assist them than to force similarly situated people to come to their aid? Instead of relying upon existing attorneys to lend a helping hand to those in need, Judge Lippman has chosen to force the task upon those who have no choice but to obey.
Chief Judge Lippman had a good idea, but it’s a bit misplaced. Let’s discuss what the new pro bono requirement means for you, and delve into what others are saying about it….
The results of the February New York bar exam are available for private look-up.
They’ve actually been available for nine hours. If you didn’t know that, it’s because the New York State Board of Law Examiners decided to release this crucial information at midnight last night/this morning.
Who does that? Well, remember that a couple of years ago the NY BOLE accidentally released the results for full public viewing and then pulled it back. This is not an organization that has its act together.
In any event, let’s check out some of the late night reactions to the bar results…
* He may not have authoritah to respect! George Zimmerman received more than $200K in donations for his legal defense fund, but Judge Lester isn’t going to increase his bail just yet. [New York Times]
* Is Joe Amendola’s client, Jerry Sandusky, rubbing off on him? First he advises people to call a gay sex hotline, and now he’s spilling loads (of info) on boys all across Pennsylvania. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Thanks to an inquiry by the New York Post, Columbia Law has changed how it reports its post-grad employment statistics. Perhaps more publications should get their b*tch-slappers out. [New York Post]
* If every day were filled with science experiments, laser demonstrations, and art projects at Crowell & Moring, then maybe lawyers would think twice about allegedly embezzling millions. [Washington Post]
* Lawyers need to know how to be lawyers before they can be lawyers? “Way too meta, dudes,” say law school deans in California. Maybe next time, bar examiners, maybe next time. [National Law Journal]
* “With these grades, you could be a stripper.” That’s quite the report card! Guys Teachers in my high school used to allegedly sexually harass former students all the time, it was no big deal. [Connecticut Post]
* Walter L. Gordon Jr., a groundbreaking lawyer in the era of segregation, RIP. [Los Angeles Times]
Well, it’s that time of year again. Where 3Ls don gowns, walk down the long carpeted aisle, take photos with their families, get drunk, and then a few days later arise from massive hangovers… and head straight to the library to study for bar exams for the next three months.
But Above the Law — along with our sponsors at Themis Bar Review — want to help. That’s why we are holding our second annual Bar Review Diaries contest. Our three contest winners will receive free bar prep from Themis, as well as the opportunity to earn fame and fortune (or, fame at least) blogging about their experiences studying for the bar on the pages of Above the Law.
Sweet deal, right? For contest rules and entry instructions, keep reading…
Ah, the February Bar; the exam where people who failed the July Bar go to redeem themselves or perish. It feels too early to start waiting for the results of this dreaded test, but apparently it’s already time for them to start trickling in.
For some of these February Bar takers, even Cory Booker couldn’t save them. But there is a lot to be said for getting back up on the horse on and trying again.
Especially if you live in a state which either has a supremely difficult bar exam or woeful legal education. I just got back from a trip down the Mississippi, and evidently the gators ate everybody’s Bar/Bri books….
I think that law schools should focus more on making sure their students are able to get jobs after graduation. But emphasizing career services doesn’t help anybody if students can’t pass the bar. Making sure that students can pass the bar is perhaps the first goal of a competent law school.
Unlike Thomas Jefferson Law, where apparently they think an atrocious bar passage rate doesn’t have anything to do with the faculty, most law schools try to make sure that their students can pass the bar. Except perhaps for elite schools. At top schools, the faculty assumes the strong academic record of their entering students will result in dutiful bar preparation with a test prep company. The elite law school curriculum instead focuses on theory.
But if you don’t attract the very best students, then your law school needs to focus a little more on the nuts and bolts of passing a state bar exam. A law professor at a lower ranked school made that point to the rest of the faculty and students during a debate about a change to the school’s curriculum. But some of the students are getting a little butthurt after being called “average”….
Did you miss me? It has been a few weeks since I last laid down some knowledge on all my small-firm peeps. I was busy studying for, taking, and hopefully passing the California bar exam. During my time trapped in the Oakland Convention Center, I reached out to attorney hopefuls to see what issues they cared about for future articles. They all said the same thing: getting a job. Well, except for one person. A mousy girl who ate homemade ham sandwiches during the lunch break and sat alone near the garbage wanted to know how to land a man. Apparently, she did not think she had a decent chance of passing the bar (or was not actually taking the bar, but instead trying to pick up a lawyer — in which case, bravo, girlfriend).
I cannot really offer any more advice about how to find a job other than networking, networking, and going on informational interviews. Oh, and occasionally allowing yourself a good cry. I can, however, offer some priceless advice for how to get married thanks to a recent New York Times article. Unfortunately for Bar Poser Lookin’ For Love, the advice will not help her find a lawyer husband. It will, however, help her find a husband if she goes on to be a lawyer.
One problem I’ve noticed with law schools: they always seem to be speaking to the dumbest audience possible. They’re certainly not addressing the smartest guys in the room. They’re not even trying to speak to average, reasonable people. Instead, law schools seem to be talking at the very slowest people who might qualify for their programs, to people who have an irrational fear not just of “math,” but of “numbers” themselves.
Unfortunately for American law schools, most people are not as dumb as the law schools would like them to be. And when law schools engage in this Bobby Jindal style of patronizing double speak, neutral observers are forced to conclude that the law school is just communicating with its student body in the guttural words and expressive gestures the school figures they can understand. With each increasingly pathetic response to a problem, the so-called “value” of the school’s law degree goes lower and lower.
Sorry, the TL;DR version of the previous paragraph is: one of our favorite law schools is up to it again….
As I mentioned Friday, the National Jurist (subscription) came out with a very interesting ranking of law schools. As Tax Prof Blog explains, the publication looked at schools that helped people pass the bar despite their low LSAT scores.
It’s an interesting methodology: the Jurist predicted a bar passage rate for people, state-by-state, based on their LSAT scores, then looked at the 25th percentile LSAT scores at each school, and figured out which schools had the largest deviation from the predictions. High-ranking law schools were the ones that significantly outperformed the bar passage rate expected from their low-scoring students.
These could be significant findings: while poor performance on the LSAT doesn’t necessarily mean the student is dumb, it almost certainly means the students is bad at taking standardized tests. If schools have students who go from being bad at taking a relatively easy standardized test (the LSAT) to passing one of the hardest and most stressful standardized tests out there (the bar exam), it sounds a lot like they are educating people, instead of simply benefiting from the achievements of motivated admitted students.
But, should the law school get the credit for the success? Or are there some test prep companies that should take a bow?
We’ve previously written about all of the problems that have befallen Duncan School of Law’s hopes for provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association. With motions pending in Duncan Law’s antitrust lawsuit against the ABA, perhaps the school thought that it could enjoy a momentary respite from all of the negative media attention it’s been receiving.
No such luck. As we mentioned in Morning Docket, a law student has now sued the school — but not because she couldn’t get a job, like the plaintiffs in the other law school lawsuits we’ve seen this year. Instead, this law student is suing the school because she claims that Duncan Law “negligently allowed her to enroll.”
Who is suing the law school, and what are her allegations?
We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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