Blogging

Watch my fat wallet devour its prey.

* Should we allow circuit judges to sit by designation on the U.S. Supreme Court? Here’s an interesting idea from Professor Gerard Magliocca. [Concurring Opinions]

* Hey Yalies: Did your alma mater accidentally make your name and Social Security number available to the public? (I got a letter about this; I guess it was legit.) [Gawker]

* You’ve got mail! It looks like a bill — from Wachtell Lipton. [Adweek]

* My morbidly obese, George Costanza monstrosity gets a shout-out in an article about oversized wallets. [Smart Money]

Bernie Madoff

* Is Harvard developing a course on business ethics based on the career of Bernie Madoff? Madoff apparently thinks so. [Dealbreaker]

* To all of you who say that my home state of New Jersey is good for nothing, read this. [DNA Info]

* Employment lawyers, any thoughts on this type of workplace behavior? [Fashionista]

* To those of you who want us to moderate comments more aggressively — we do moderate, but only in extreme cases, when brought to our attention — consider these wise words from Professor Paul Campos (aka ScamProf): “Law in general and law school in particular is already too full of fake politeness, fear-induced groveling, craven appeasement of dubious authority figures, unappetizing obsessions with hierarchical status, and other forms of soul-crushing inauthenticity.” So there. [Inside the Law School Scam]

Stephen McDaniel

It seems that Stephen Mark McDaniel just can’t catch a break. First the recent Mercer Law School graduate gets accused of murdering his former neighbor and classmate, Lauren Giddings. Then he’s hit with lurid charges of child pornography possession. He has been in Bibb County jail for almost two months, and the incarceration has been taking its toll on him.

And now, according to the Macon Telegraph, Stephen McDaniel is being fingered as the author of some exceedingly creepy postings to internet message boards. If the claims of his authorship are true, they will definitely not help his case.

We’ve called the postings “chilling” and “creepy,” but you don’t have to take our word for it. Check them out for yourself….

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The 'scamblogging' law professor has revealed himself.

Earlier this month, we wrote about an anonymous law professor — a tenured professor, at a top-tier school — essentially joining the ranks of the law school scambloggers. Writing over at a site entitled Inside the Law School Scam, under the pseudonym LawProf, the author offered a harsh indictment of legal education, purportedly from within the ivory tower.

I believed that the author was who he said he was, but others did not. Professor Ann Althouse, for example, opined that the blogger was a student, “uncharitably projecting thoughts onto [a] professor” (who talked about how little he, and his colleagues, prepared for teaching). Professor Althouse explained that she thought was student-written, “because it had some bad writing and simplistic thinking.”

Well, as it turns out, LawProf is an actual tenured law professor, at a top 50 law school. Who is he, and where does he teach?

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Tammy Hsu

This afternoon we wrote about a blog entitled Confessions of an (Aspiring) Yalie. In this blog, Tammy Hsu, a 1L at Wake Forest University School of Law, chronicles her journey through the first year of law school — a journey she hopes will culminate with a successful transfer application to Yale Law School.

As we noted, Tammy Hsu’s blog is now restricted to invited readers. Some posts are still accessible via Google Cache (and in the comments to our original story, some of you identified favorite posts of yours).

Shortly after we wrote about her, we heard from Tammy C. Hsu. She sent us a defense and explanation of her blog’s origins, which we will now share….

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Tammy Hsu, aspiring Yalie.

We begin with a message to our readers. Consider yourselves on notice: we regard almost anything you place on the internet, even if just for a brief hot second, to be fair game for coverage. It doesn’t matter to us if you later try to “recall” your mass email or delete your public blog. Once you’ve put something out there, thereby forfeiting any reasonable expectation of privacy, then it’s gone, baby, gone. [FN1]

And honestly, in the internet age, what privacy expectations are reasonable in the first place? Emails can be forwarded; images can be downloaded or photographed themselves, then re-posted. If it’s not already dead, privacy is rapidly dying. You might as well start living in public now, and make life easier for yourself. Just let it all hang out, and then you’ll never be embarrassed about anything getting leaked. (This is my philosophy on Twitter, where my feed is often TMI.)

Living in public: that’s the premise behind a charming new law student blog by a 1L with ambition. Like a fair number of bloggers — Brian Stelter and his Twitter diet come to mind — law student Tammy Hsu seeks to harness public exposure for her own benefit. Hsu, a first-year student at Wake Forest University School of Law, writes a blog built around her goal of transferring into Yale Law School. It’s right there in the title of her site: “Confessions of an (Aspiring) Yalie.”

By putting her ambition out in the open, Hsu is motivating herself to succeed, because failure would be so public. She is lighting the proverbial fire under her own arse, turning her classmates and the internet into one big Tiger Mother. If she’s not at 127 Wall Street this time next year, people will look down upon her — so now she has every incentive to excel in her 1L year at Wake Forest.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

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A blogging law professor essentially agrees with the scambloggers.

It’s one thing for the loser of a game to complain that the rules are unfair. It’s quite another for a winner to admit the same thing.

We’ve written before about law school scamblogs. According to the scambloggers, law schools rip off their students by (1) misrepresenting the employment outcomes of law school graduates, (2) taking students’ money (much of it borrowed), and (3) spitting students out into a grim legal job market, saddled with six figures of debt that they didn’t have before they became JDs.

It’s not surprising that many of these unemployed or underemployed graduates have taken to the internet with complaints about legal education; they are, after all, victims of the alleged scam. What would be more surprising is if a law professor — say, a tenured professor at a first-tier law school, a clear winner under the status quo — joined them in admitting that law school is something of a scam.

Which apparently just happened, earlier this week….

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* A scam blogger hit it hard last week, calling Cooley out for policing the internet. Guess we know why s/he chose to go by “Rockstar.” [Detroit Free Press]

* Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday to remember the life of slain Mercer Law School graduate, Lauren Giddings. Rest in peace. [Baltimore Sun]

* Other than the fact that this dude waited nearly a decade to sue, Facebook now says it has “smoking gun” evidence that Paul Ceglia’s case is a fraud. Like. [Bloomberg]

* The Innocence Project says that past DNA evidence is a “poor judge of character.” You’d say that, too, if you exonerated a future rapist. [New York Daily News]

* Lady Gaga is being sued for copyright infringement. Seriously? Get it straight, lady: Gaga only copies from Madonna. [Daily Mail]

* In this economy, to get a job you have to make believe you love the law. Career advice for old farts can be applicable for young lawyers, too. [Boston Globe]

Chris Christie

* Some bloggers stand up to dubious defamation lawsuits. [Techdirt]

* And some settle: St. Thomas Law (or its insurer) is paying $5,000 to Joseph Rakofsky. [Simple Justice]

* Another day, another lawyer accused of trying to kill someone — but not succeeding. (We might have more to say about this case next week; send us tips about Jason Smiekel.) [Chicago Tribune]

* My former boss, Governor Chris Christie, defends his appointment of Judge Sohail Mohammed, standing up to some of the Sharia-obsessed crazies on the right. Alas, some of these crazies could create problems for him in 2016. (Where are all the nice, moderate, socially liberal Republicans hiding? Establishment types, please take the GOP back from these icky populists.) [Arab American Institute]

* My co-author, Zach Shemtob, takes to the airwaves in defense of our New York Times op-ed, which has been controversial in some quarters. [AM 560 WIND]

Richard Matasar

* Dean Richard Matasar, outgoing dean of New York Law School, denies that law schools are all about the benjamins; rather, NYLS and other independent law schools “exist only for the benefit of their students.” [Bloomberg Law / YouTube]

* A woman is videotaped saying that she will claim sexual assault, when no such assault happened. (Staci’s take: “Pissed off women do strange things.”) [Houston Press]

* Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, accuses its competitors of being evil. [Corporate Counsel]

* Being a tenured professor can be a pretty sweet gig. Being an adjunct prof? Not so much. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* If you’re looking for something to do on Monday night in New York, check out this fundraising event, sponsored by Weil Pays It Forward (and featuring Survivor hottie and former Weil lawyer Charlie Herschel). [Celebration of Survival]

Our first column for in-house counselInside Straight, by Mark Herrmann — has been received warmly, by Above the Law readers and advertisers alike. Inspired by its success, we have decided to seek a second columnist to cover the world of corporate counsel.

We already have two writers on the small-firm beat (Jay Shepherd and Valerie Katz). Given the importance of the in-house world to the legal profession, we feel that it too should be covered by multiple dedicated columnists, in addition to the in-house stories already generated by ATL’s full-time staff (Lat, Elie, and Staci). There are so many people who want to go in-house; we need to hear more from the people who are already there.

Are you interested in writing about the corporate legal world for Above the Law, or do you know someone who might be? If so, please read on for the details….

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If you are lawyer who is looking for a career change, you really might want to give blogging a try. You won’t make as much money as you would in a Biglaw job. You probably won’t make as much as you would working for a well-respected small law firm.

But money isn’t everything. Take it from me. Or Lat. Or Staci. For instance, right now I’m sitting in my backyard, my dog is curled up by my feet, and I have a fresh pot of coffee. Once I turn the ringer off on my phone (so I can’t hear my creditors calling), it’s a pretty good life. Beat that with a stick.

And it is with that in mind that we welcome another former lawyer to the Breaking Media fold. Check below to meet the new writer for our sister site, Dealbreaker

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