* Could it be? Did Justice Clarence Thomas ask a question during oral arguments at SCOTUS? No, but he did ask a question at Yale Law during a presentation, noting that he doesn’t ask “irrelevant, useless questions” at the high court. [Legal Times]
* Per NALP, gains were made by women and minorities in law firms for the first time in years, but be careful, because Jim Leipold is watching you: “Individual law firms should not be allowed to hide behind the national figures.” [National Law Journal]
* Meet Judge Robert C. Brack of the District Court of New Mexico, who recently earned quite the accolade. Judge Brack has sentenced more defendants than any other federal judge in the past five years. He won’t be celebrating his achievement. [WSJ Law Blog]
* This Georgetown Law professor, who happens to be the cofounder of one of the country’s largest litigation finance firms, wants to see a law firm IPO, but others wonder if lawyers would be able to ethically practice while reporting to shareholders. [Washington Post]
* A Chadbourne & Park employee has been banned from ever working for another law firm again following his theft of $15,360 from C&P’s coffers. Not to worry, no client money was pilfered from the firm — the cash was taken from an open office account. [Am Law Daily]
* If you haven’t heard, David Lat wrote a book called Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), and “[w]riting the novel was almost therapeutic for [him] in a way” — he’s “kind of over” the fact that his résumé doesn’t include a SCOTUS clerkship. [Chicago Daily Law Bulletin]
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* Following NBC’s announcement of his six-month suspension without pay, Brian Williams turned to Robert Barnett of Williams & Connolly to save his career. The pair met when they were Supreme Court clerks — oopsie, we guess that’s another misrepresentation. [Am Law Daily]
* “We weren’t about to ask them to risk life and limb to get in.” As Boston braces for yet another snowstorm, Biglaw firms are trying to figure out how they can continue to operate. Punxsutawney Phil is keeping the wheels of justice from turning. [National Law Journal]
* The Supreme Court has granted Colorado an extension to respond to a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma which claims that its decision to legalize marijuana was unconstitutional. Puff, puff, pass this cert vote, SCOTUS. [Cannabist / Denver Post]
* Regulators! Mount up… and then run away to your new Biglaw firms. Preet Bharara’s S.D.N.Y. roster is constantly changing thanks to the golden handcuffs large law firms offer, but Bharara still “love[s] all [his] children equally.” [DealBook / New York Times]
* David Messerschmitt, the DLA Piper associate who was found dead in a Washington, D.C., hotel room last week, is remembered by his colleagues as “someone so talented and so nice.” There have been no new breaks in his murder investigation. [Legal Times]
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]
It’s been a couple of months now. You’d think Cadwalader would make a move.
This week we are issuing the second part of a special report on trends in the 2014 lateral hiring market.
* Amanda Knox, everyone’s favorite convicted/acquitted/convicted murderess, just got engaged to a musician she’s known since middle school. Aww, that’s cute and nice, but what we’d really like to know is where she’s registered for cutlery. [People]
* Loretta Lynch’s confirmation vote was postponed because per Chairman Chuck Grassley, she apparently submitted dissatisfying answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s post-hearing questions. Some says that she’s being held to a double standard… likely because she is being held to a double standard. [National Law Journal]
* Yesterday afternoon, Judge Callie V.S. Granade ordered that probate judges in Alabama issue same-sex marriage licenses. Sorry Chief Justice Roy Moore, but you better get ready, because the tide of gay marriage is gonna roll. ROLL TIDE ROLL! [National Law Journal]
* Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’s not going to give up on women’s rights cases at the Supreme Court, despite the fact that she’s got male colleagues who “don’t fully appreciate the arbitrary barriers that have been put in women’s way.” [Bloomberg]
* According to the latest report from Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group, Biglaw firms, “across the board,” are doing better than they were last year, but the biggest Biglaw firms are doing the best, of course. We’ll have more on this later today. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill that would appoint legal representation to a fetus if its mother is brain dead. “You’ll hear what the family wants, and you’ll also give the pre-born child a chance to have a voice in court at that same time.” [Dallas Morning News]
* New York Law School is launching a two-year law degree program, and students will only have to pay two-thirds of the $147,720 that they normally would have had to. For the record, not all two-year degree programs are cheaper. [Crain’s New York Business]
Lawyers don’t even TRY to avoid office romances.
We asked 850 attorneys and students how they choose a bar prep provider. Check out the answers here.
Horrific news, as associate identified as victim in brutal stabbing.
* Today’s inspirational human being: An ordained minister in Alabama was arrested after offering to perform a same-sex marriage inside a probate judge’s office. She says she’ll do it again, even though she knows she’ll likely be rearrested for doing so. [USA Today]
* Meanwhile, Judge Callie V.S. Granade will hear arguments on whether she must order Alabama judges to issue marriage license to gay couples. Granade is the one who ruled the state’s ban was unconstitutional in the first place. [New York Times]
* Per Major Lindsey & Africa’s 2014 Partner Compensation Survey, women partners have finally beaten men when it comes to law firm compensation. Wait, no, that’s not true, it’s just an “anomaly,” and “[t]hese women might be outliers.” [The Careerist]
* Blank Rome’s ex-chairman donated $5M to Villanova Law to establish an ethics and compliance center. You’re a few years too late, pal. The school could’ve used an ethics and compliance center to avert its admissions scandal. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* “The legal profession can benefit from more diversity. Should those students only attend low-ranked law schools? Absolutely not.” As we mentioned previously, law school diversity has improved, but only at the bottom. [National Law Journal]
Junior associates, do you exhibit these valuable traits?
* “The reality is, the university has done a lot to be a part of the solution. This undoes a lot of that work.” Students and professors at St. Louis University School of Law are up in arms because Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor in the Ferguson case, is coming to speak at an event on police practices. [ABC News]
* “Travel by coach will make it impossible for the attorneys to work and or sleep effectively upon our arrival.” Defense lawyers for three suspected terrorists motioned for a judge to give them business-class seats on a plane while federal prosecutors bum it back in coach. [New York Daily News]
* SCOTUSblog has been denied a Supreme Court press pass, yet again. Lyle Denniston, the site’s main reporter, had to go to great lengths in an attempt to circumvent the high court’s new journalist credentialing process. [Associated Press]
* “I would really think long and hard before defying a federal court order.” SCOTUS declined to issue a stay that would keep gay marriage at bay in Alabama, but some judges are still refusing to marry gay couples. Thanks Roy Moore. [Los Angeles Times]
* Paul Weiss: lookin’ nice! In a look at some of the early numbers from the latest Am Law 100 rankings, the firm increased its gross revenue year over year by 10.9 percent, allowing Paul Weiss to finally break the billion-dollar mark in revenue. [Am Law Daily]
* People keep asking Justice Ginsburg how many women she thinks will be “enough” for the SCOTUS bench, and she keeps giving us the same amazing answer. Flip the page to find out what the Notorious R.B.G. thinks. [Mother Jones]
* Law school deans gone wild! From sex scandals to rankings rumpuses, here’s a look at the crazy and sometimes criminal activities that law school administrators and faculty members have been accused of over the years. [National Law Journal]
* “That’s it. Case dismissed. Your behavior is contemptuous.” Adriana Ferreyr, the on-again, off-again girlfriend of George Soros who filed a $50 million lawsuit over a $2 million apartment, allegedly went “berserk” in court… yet again. [Dealbreaker]
* The job market would like to wish the legal profession a very unhappy New Year. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector lost 1,400 jobs in January, with overall jobs down by 4,500 since last year. [Am Law Daily]
* “I felt like my head was just mush inside, and I thought, ‘I’m dying.'” Mary Margaret Farren, the former Skadden attorney who survived her ex-husband’s brutal attack on her life, recounts the flashlight bludgeoning that nearly killed her. [ABC News]
* Is there no relief in sight for law schools? Moody’s says: “This continued decrease in student demand is consistent with our belief that the legal industry is experiencing a fundamental shift rather than a cyclical trend.” [Indianapolis Business Journal]
(Flip to the next page to see how many women Justice Ginsburg thinks SCOTUS needs.)