In a few hours, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will meet in Denver, Colorado, for the first of three presidential debates (though the second is a town hall debate; are those really “debates?”). As lawyers, you likely possess more than a passing interest in the events of the evening.
You are also Above the Law readers, which means you likely possess more than a passing interest in reckless self-destruction through the massive consumption of alcohol.
As a lawyer, drinker, and college debate coach who gets way too into these things, I have constructed a drinking game to shepherd you through the process of viewing tonight’s debate….
From buying their family’s love to buying luxurious lawyerly lairs, attorneys at the nation’s largest firms do a lot of things with their wallets — and now they’re voting with them, too. Earlier this month, we brought you a story about Obama v. Romney in terms of which presidential candidate was leading in the race to collect campaign contributions from the wonderful world of Biglaw.
At present, Obama has an advantage over Romney, with $1.9 million pouring in from America’s 20 biggest firms, as opposed to just over $1 million for his opponent. When we last wrote about this important issue, lawyers from DLA Piper proved to be Obama’s greatest supporters, while Kirkland & Ellis showed up strong for Romney. But what we really want to know is which other firms are opening their hearts wallets for these political adversaries.
With only a little more than a month until Election 2012, let’s take a look at the firms that are making some of the largest (and smallest) political donations….
Between now and the election, there are going to be a ton of stories about who is up and who is down. Barack Obama is enjoying a modest convention bounce, and with daily tracing polls, the media will have plenty of opportunities to tell us who’s winning while we wait for America to actually vote.
But there are other ways to pick winners and losers. Taking a look at fundraising is a good way to look at who is going to be able to “blitz” the airwaves with a mind-numbing array of ads. Money raised also gives us a way to look at the “enthusiasm” the candidates enjoy among their key constituents. And as we all know, “blitzing” airwaves makes people “enthusiastic” about “moving to Canada.”
I mean, I find it hard to believe that there are people who haven’t yet made up their mind as to who they are going to vote for. Mitt Romney has been running for president for eight years. Obama has been the president for four. The two parties support wildlydifferent platforms. If last minute ads are going to influence your vote, you’ve got the mental capacity of a goldfish.
Of course, there are a few Biglaw firms who have contributed a lot of money to the candidates, they probably know just how stupid the American public can be….
* Good news, everyone! According to Citi’s Managing Partner Confidence Index survey, firm leaders are feeling pessimistic about their business due to an overall lack of confidence in the economy. [Am Law Daily]
* Per the Ninth Circuit, an Idaho statute that essentially criminalizes medication-induced abortions imposes an undue burden on a woman’s ability to terminate her pregnancy. Really? You don’t say. [Bloomberg]
* Kiwi Camara’s circuitous route to SCOTUS: thanks to the Eighth Circuit, Jammie Thomas-Rasset started and ended her journey with $222K damages for copyright infringement. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* Was Barack Obama ever offered a tenured position on the faculty at University of Chicago Law School? Absolutely not, says longtime law professor Richard Epstein — and he was never a “constitutional law professor” either. [Daily Caller]
* “Fashion law is a real career choice,” says Gibson Dunn partner Lois Herzeca. This niche practice area is one of the hottest new trends in the fashion world, and it’s not likely to go out of style any time soon. [Reuters]
* Your clawback suit is a wonderland? John Mayer was named as a defendant in a suit filed by trustees seeking to recover money paid out by Ponzi schemer Darren Berg. [Bankruptcy Beat / Wall Street Journal]
* J. Christopher Stevens, UC Hastings Law grad and U.S. Ambassador to Libya, RIP. [CNN]
* Obama has made more women federal judges than any other president in history. But he still has a long way to go to match Bill Clinton’s record for being judged by women. [Wall Street Journal]
* Let’s agree that neither of the people running for president should be a tax lawyer. [Going Concern]
* This story about law firms involved in a class action suit allows me to quote one of the great Abraham Lincoln lines, as retold by the late Shelby Foote: “There’s too many pigs for the tits.” [Forbes]
See, I never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to be president, anyway. I think attorneys are so busy — you know they’re always taught to argue everything, always weigh everything, weigh both sides. They are always devil’s advocating this and bifurcating this and bifurcating that.
You know all that stuff. But, I think it is maybe time — what do you think — for maybe a businessman. How about that?
Last week, my colleague Elie Mystal wrote a post opining about what Star Wars characters would be like as lawyers. There, he cast Justice Antonin Scalia as Emperor Palpatine, because apparently that was the “easiest Star Wars and the Law connection in the entire galaxy.” But what about mixing Star Wars and politics?
This week, one of our commenters had the chance to do just that after Elie picked apart President Barack Obama’s response to a recent law school graduate’s question about student loan debt. He called the response vapid and annoying (because it was), and with this passionate use of the Force, some thought that Elie might be convinced to join the so-called dark side — the Republican party.
Everything was proceeding as the Emperor had foreseen….
Yesterday, while taking questions from redditors and dodging nuts from the Republican National Convention, Barack Obama got a student debt question. Not just a student debt question, but specifically a law school student debt question. He got the question about one of the most important economic issues plaguing the very young people Obama was on Reddit to impress.
And he answered it.
He answered it in an annoying, vapid way that was replete with platitudes, yet devoid of any deep engagement with the issue. He got the question. And he answered it. But he said nothing at all.
The President offered some remarks about general indebtedness and waxed poetic about his commitment to education, but even Obama’s in-the-trenches appeal to young voters was blind to one of the biggest issues facing them.
Maybe if somebody Tweeted @BarackObama “discharge ed debt thru bk pls thx,” Obama could find a way to give 140 characters worth of a crap….
* Threatening a judge, even in song, is still threatening. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Obama’s White House microbrew is now the subject of a FOIA request. Instead of a bus tour, I think Obama should just travel around the country holding beer summits. [Legal Blog Watch]
* I’m pretty sure the social contract will be unenforceable in a Romney administration. It’s unenforceable in an Obama administration too, but Obama tries to seem sad about that. [Salon]
* I do hope that the GOP has some kind of “Rape: Accepted Definitions” seminar at their convention this week. They clearly don’t seem to understand what the term means, legally, as evidence by the Pennsylvania Republican who seems to think that a consensual out-of-wedlock pregnancy is kind of like rape. [TPM]
* Here are the top eight reasons people are stressed at work. I wonder if anybody wants to see the top eight reasons people are who are unemployed are stressed out. [Huffington Post]
* Yeah, I think we need to make it easier for people to get guns. Sure. Why not. It’s not easy enough to get a gun to carry out a mass shooting/turn a mass shooting into a mass shootout. [Forbes]
* We drafted one of the Above the Law fantasy football leagues last night (I hate my team). Professor Marc Edelman has a fun paper on the regulation of fantasy sports. I’m still pissed at him for causing me to have to spend $2 on my freaking kicker. [SSRN]
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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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.
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