Columbia University

Some of his best friends were ‘takers.’

In 1920, Lydia C. Chamberlain, a woman from Des Moines who moved to Manhattan, donated her $500,000 estate to create a fellowship at Columbia University. The fellowship had a few restrictions. Notably, recipients were not allowed to study “law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary surgery or theology.” Ha. Seems reasonable. Oh, and the recipients had to be from Iowa and had to move back to Iowa after completing their studies.

This kind of dead-hand control should really not be allowed in our modern, global society, but that’s not why the “Lydia C. Roberts graduate and traveling fellowships” is making news today. It’s making news because the other restriction is that recipients of the fellowship have to be white. “Of the Caucasian race” is the exact formulation.

This isn’t just a story about racism, it’s a story about institutional advantages white people have that some of them pretend to not even be aware of…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Columbia Scholarship Scandal Shows How White People Are Still Helped By Institutional Racism”

* The definitive post on why we cannot sue Rush Limbaugh for exercising his right to have enough rope to hang himself with. [The Legal Satyricon]

* Bill Maher is also defending Limbaugh. Why can’t people understand that most acts of speech aren’t punishable offenses, even if that speech is very stupid. [Entertainment Weekly]

* Go to page three of this article. You’ll find a woman who did horribly on the LSAT, twice, and instead of going to some God-forsaken piece of crap law school, she found something else to do with her talents. And now she’s rich. Because processing new information about your own skills and limitations is what successful people do. [Forbes]

* Footballer blames Baptist Church for ruining his professional career. Similarly, I blame the Catholic Church for that one girl who nearly ruined me one night in college. [Lowering the Bar]

* Do black kids face harsher discipline in law school too? I don’t know, but I know in Soviet Russia, the blacks discipline you. [New York Times]

* The three basics of trial advocacy. Or six. Lawyers aren’t great with math. [Underdog]

* I’ve got twenty bucks for the next employed law school graduate who gets this kind of bitchy paragraph into their alumni newsletter. [Gawker]

* Holy s**t. A few hours ago, several people were wounded after being shot in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse in Oklahoma. We have video from the scene after the jump…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Sequiturs: 03.07.12″

Or, maybe sometimes you should.

Due to the current weakness in the job market for environmental journalists, Columbia’s dual degree program in Earth & Environmental Science Journalism will not be accepting new students for the foreseeable future.

– A note posted on the official website for Columbia University’s Dual Masters program in Earth and Environmental Science Journalism.

(I feel like I’ve heard this before, in some sort of parallel universe. More on this, after the jump.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quote of the Day: Ground Control to ABA, Are You Listening?”

Professor Philip Bobbitt

In 2008, we profiled celebrity law professor Philip Bobbitt. Professor Bobbitt has a breathtaking résumé, featuring degrees from Princeton (A.B.), Yale (J.D.), and Oxford (Ph.D.); distinguished government service, for both Democratic and Republican administrations; and numerous acclaimed books, including Constitutional Fate: Theory of the Constitution (1982), The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History (2002), and Terror and Consent: the Wars for the Twenty-first Century (2008) (affiliate links). For a very thorough enumeration of his amazing accomplishments, read his excellent Wikipedia page.

Our profile drew heavily upon a New York Observer piece that dubbed him “the James Bond of Columbia Law School.” What did Professor Bobbitt do to earn that sobriquet?

“His mannerisms just kind of ooze a James Bondian kind of quality,” says Vishal Agraharkar, a former [Legal Methods] student and a teaching assistant for this year’s class. “Someone who acts like that in class and outside class we assumed must have just an incredible personal life. James Bond has a hell of a personal life, so he must as well.”

Well, it appears that Professor Bobbitt, 63, does have one heck of a personal life. Over the past few days, we’ve received some rather interesting information about the good professor’s love life. The reports go something like this: “Professor Bobbitt married one of his students! Over the Christmas holiday! She’s a 3L at Columbia Law! And a Turkish princess! They were married at the Supreme Court! By one of the justices!”

As is generally the case with juicy gossip, most of this is true — but some of it is not. Here’s the real story, based on my interview with Professor Bobbitt himself. And wedding photos, of course….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Law School Love Story: Prominent Professor Marries Columbia 3L”

Downward dog... kind of.

* Protip for Mark Hansen, AT&T’s lawyer: when you want a judge to save your merger plans, it’s probably not a good idea to demand that she make a ruling by a certain date. [Businessweek]

* What’s going on in Cooley Law’s defamation suit against Rockstar05 (other than discussion of whether the school’s attorney understands the tort’s defenses)? An appeal. [Lansing State Journal]

* Getting a prep school education in New York isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ask Philip Culhane, Simpson Thacher partner and name plaintiff in the Poly Prep sex abuse suit. [New York Times]

* America, f**k yeah! The Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is suing the DMV over free speech rights they might not have had if they seceded from the union. [Fox News]

* Yoga guru Bikram Choudhury tried to sue his disciples for infringement of his moves, but he ended up getting it downward doggy style from the Copyright Office instead. [Bloomberg]

* “If you want a good grade, you need to have sex with me.” At the height of finals season, many law students wish this were an option, but apparently it only happens in college. [New York Post]

Inviting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at your university is one thing. I don’t agree with what the man has to say, and he’s a dangerous crazy person — but he is the leader of a sovereign nation that plays a vital role in an important region. If you want to invite him to your campus, fine.

I bring that up to highlight the fact that giving a platform to an anti-semitic global strongman is less damaging to your reputation than allowing a cast member from Jersey Shore to address your students.

Vinny Guadagnino, the “smart one” from the Jersey Shore who occasionally talks about going to law school, was actually a guest speaker in front of college students at a Columbia University class….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Vinny From Jersey Shore Now Lecturing Columbia Students”

Our last post on law-related vanity license plates was about two weeks ago. We’re always looking for more photos, so if you’re a fan of the Law License Plates series, please send some in via email (subject line: “Vanity License Plate”).

Today, we are writing about legal professionals who are so proud of what they do that they’ve slapped their titles on their license plates. If this isn’t an invitation to get rear-ended, then I don’t know what is. These submissions come to us from New York, Ohio, and Tennessee, proving that stupid lawyer tricks know no bounds across state lines.

Let’s take a look at what these legal eagles are advertising on their license plates, shall we?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law License Plates: Say It Loud, We’re Lawyers and We’re Proud”

It isn’t easy to wring a correction out of the New York Times. The Gray Lady is notoriously stingy when it comes to confessing error. [FN1]

But David Segal’s very interesting and widely read article about the perils of going to law school — which still sits at the top of the NYT’s list of most-emailed articles, several days after it first came online — now bears a notable correction…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Notable Correction to the New York Times Article on Law School”

Hal Turner: This blogger must go to prison.

* Professor Paul Caron has taken the data gathered by Princeton Review and come up with new law school rankings. Which school comes out on top? (Stanford is #2.) [TaxProf Blog]

* Are business students better than law students at making clever musical parody videos? Check out “Those CBS Girls” (Columbia Business School girls), set to the tune of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” (sic). [Dealbreaker]

* Hal Turner, the New Jersey right-wing blogger / shock jock who blogged “these judges must die,” has been sentenced. How much time did he get? [Huffington Post]

* Congratulations to the fabulous Judge Leslie Kobayashi, who was recently confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (along with other Obama judicial nominees confirmed to various courts around the country). [angry asian man; Associated Press]

* When non-whites play golf, bad things happen. [ESPN]

* The juicy lawsuit filed by Ariel Ayanna against Dechert got lost in the bonus news shuffle around here. But here are some thoughts from Jane Genova. [Law and More]

* Bad news for Howrey: Gary Bendinger, co-chair of litigation, is leaving for Sidley Austin, along with two other litigation partners, Gregory Ballard and Kevin Burke. [Am Law Daily]

* Richard Epstein and Megan McArdle on today’s judicial smackdown of Obamacare. [Instapundit]

* Quipped our tipster: “Three cheers to annoying psychology undergrads getting mugged in West Harlem. At least Dino BBQ is here to stay.” [Columbia Spectator]

* Just like last year, there’s some humorous motion practice going on as a result of Auburn college football scheduling. [Birmingham News]

* My pay during my AUSA days wasn’t great — but at least it was greater than zero. [S**t Law Jobs]

* It’s not too late to submit an entry for our law firm holiday card contest. [Above the Law]

* Or to RSVP for our holiday party (although we’re almost at capacity). [Above the Law]

Page 1 of 212