Some lawyers are best-served beavering away in the firm where they have worked since law school. For most legal careers, though, there come inflection points where a change of job can open a whole new world of opportunity. Recognizing whether your career has reached such an inflection point, and then knowing whom to trust to help […]
Unsealed court documents offer new revelations about the case.
* Georgetown Law is teaming up with DLA Piper and Arent Fox to open a low bono law firm. The firm will provide two things for those in need: affordable legal services and jobs to bolster GULC’s employment stats. [Am Law Daily]
* Michigan Law will provide summer funding for all of its 1Ls for law-related internships — but there’s a catch. The cash is a loan, and students may have to pay it back if they earn Biglaw money the following summer. [Michigan Law]
* Judge Jed Rakoff sounded off on the judicary’s problem with mass incarceration at a recent conference at Harvard Law, calling for his colleagues and bar associations across the nation to take a stand for the accused with a gentler justice system. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* “It’s positive news. I think it indicates there’s some slight opening of financial services to marijuana-related businesses.” Some banks have finally decided to provide services to weedpreneurs, but others are leaving marijuana moguls high and dry. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “Students should seriously consider going to law school in a state where they plan to practice law.” Unless you like wasting your time, you’d do well to listen to this advice, even if you’re going to a school with national name recognition. [U.S. News & World Report]
Another arrest announcement suggests an accomplice in the killing of David Messerschmitt.
Which top law firm is leading the march to $160,000 in Philly?
* Even more law schools are doing away with their LSAT requirements. Let’s give a great big welcome to Drake Law and St. John’s Law, who are joining the likes of SUNY Buffalo Law and Iowa Law. Woohoo, welcome aboard the bandwagon, folks! [U.S. News & World Report]
* Judge James W. Haley Jr. of the Virginia Court of Appeals held a drunk intruder at gunpoint while he waited for the police to arrive. This unwanted houseguest was only wearing one shoe as he wandered through the judge’s home. Oopsie! [Free Lance-Star]
* Well, that was quick. Fried Frank has hired away James “Jamie” Wareham, DLA Piper’s $5 million man, about four years after he lateraled to the firm from Paul Hastings. April Fools’ Day was his last day at the firm… or was it? J/K, it was for real. [Am Law Daily]
* J. Michael Farren, the ex-White House lawyer who was convicted of attempting to murder his wife and sentenced to 15 years in prison, is now facing the loss of his law license. This should really be the very least of his worries. [Connecticut Law Tribune]
* The U.S. Marshals Service has increased the reward for tips related to the shooting of U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg. Now you’ll get $50,000 if you’ve got information that’ll lead to arrests and convictions of the suspects who shot a federal jurist. [Detroit News]
What did suspect Jamyra Gallmon allegedly tell the police?
Studies have found that 63 million Americans qualify for Legal Services Corporation-funded civil legal assistance. These lower-income persons may have serious legal needs, and when they do they completely mess up the courts smooth operations. In a survey of trial judges, more than 60% of the judges reported that unrepresented litigants had errors in procedure. 78% […]
* If you thought Squire Patton Boggs would be able to meet its projection of $1 billion in combined revenue after its merger, you’d be wrong. If you thought the firm would be able to meet its projection of having more than 1,500 lawyers after its merger, you’d also be wrong. [National Law Journal]
* Use this slideshow to compare how California law schools are doing in terms of job placement. Stanford was on top, and Golden Gate was dead last. Bonus: If you strip out school-funded jobs, the numbers look even worse. [Sacramento Business Journal]
* Uh… oops? Keila Ravelo, the ex-Willkie Farr partner who was accused of stealing millions of dollars from two of her former firms, is now at the center of questions over settlements in credit-card cases she worked on. [New York Law Journal via ABA Journal]
* “Please help us heal.” David Messerschmitt’s widow is begging for information about the DLA Piper associate’s death. The case is being actively investigated, and police believe the person of interest who was seen on surveillance footage is a woman. [Legal Times]
* In case you missed it yesterday, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The first charge could result in up to five years in jail, while the second could result in a life sentence. Yikes! [WSJ Law Blog]
* Last week in court, a murder suspect in Louisiana apparently pooped his pants during a case status hearing, wiped said poop all over his face, and muttered to himself that “life is like a box of chocolates.” Sorry about that crappy candy, dude. [New Orleans Advocate]
* According to early Am Law 100 data, New York’s most elite and prestigious firms have once again broken away from the rest of the pack when it comes to both revenue and partner profits. Biglaw’s best may be back to models and bottles. [Am Law Daily]
* Michelle Lee, the first woman to ever serve as director of the USPTO, was sworn in on stage at SXSW Interactive. Michelle Lee, who worked with the Girl Scouts to issue a patent patch (instead of more makeup and sewing patches), is pretty damn awesome. [Mashable]
* The federal judiciary has plans to decrease the word limit of appellate briefs from 14,000 to 12,500, and lawyers are pissed. Lawyers from Brown Rudnick say it could result in more acronyms, confusing construction, and less “punctilious citation,” oh my! [WSJ Law Blog]
* Lee Smolen, the ex-Sidley Austin partner who faked $69,000 in travel expenses while at the firm (and possibly $379K more), has been suspended from practice for one year and will have to undergo psychiatric treatment. [Legal Profession Blog via ABA Journal]
* Taking New York’s lead, California is considering requiring all would-be attorneys in the state to complete 50 hours of pro bono work within one year of being admitted. Leave it to people who don’t know what they’re doing yet to close the justice gap. [Los Angeles Times]
* As we mentioned, U.S. News is giving law schools less credit for hiring their own grads. Rumor has it that a few schools would’ve done better in the rankings but for their high percentage of school-funded jobs. Which ones? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Two students in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity from Oklahoma University were expelled after a video of their racist chanting was leaked online. Lawyers want to know: was their expulsion a First Amendment violation? [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* UC Irvine Law debuted on the 2016 U.S. News law school rankings at No. 30, missing Dean Erwin Chemerinsky’s goal of starting out as a Top 20 school. Not to worry, Dean, there are still ways to game the rankings. Keep your head up! [National Law Journal]
* Don’t bother delaying your law school education just because the economy’s bad. The professors who told us that a law degree is worth $1 million think that its value will only drop by about $30K in times when unemployment is high. Yeah, okay. [ABA Journal]
* The grisly murder of DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt, who was found stabbed to death in a Washington, D.C., hotel, remains unsolved. Police are still searching for the “person of interest” who was seen on video from the hotel’s security camera. [Legal Times]
Was Davis in financial trouble prior to the announcement of its merger with DLA Piper?
* “Taking the bar is like riding a bike. A bike that’s on fire.” Never before has there been a better way to describe what it’s like to take the bar exam. Here’s how some recent examinees were able to survive. Miraculously, no one preemptively sent a letter like this. [California Lawyer]
* DLA Piper is entering into happily married bliss with Davis, a 260-lawyer firm from the Great White North. An April wedding is planned. The couple is registered with American Lawyer and Vault. Give them a few loads of loonies! [Am Law Daily]
* Attorney General Eric Holder took to the op-ed pages to announce the Department of Justice’s official take on the constitutionality of marriage equality in America: “Nothing justifies excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage.” [USA Today]
* Speaking of Eric Holder, the attorney general released another official announcement yesterday. Ben Mizer will take over as chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. (For what it’s worth, people are making a huge deal over the fact that he’s gay.) [Metro Weekly]
* If you’ve missed a law school application deadline, don’t worry, because there are ways you can boost your chances of getting in. Having a pulse is only 98 percent of the battle — you’ll also need a tuition check. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
If you have any information, police are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information in the case.
* “Let’s face it: There are some people here that will not vote for her unless she says what they want her to say, that the president committed an illegal act by these [immigration] executive orders.” Loretta Lynch is having a tough time making Republican friends. [The Hill]
* Some new details have been released on the investigation into DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt’s death. Per police records, he was stabbed in the back, and was found in his hotel room with “lubricant and condom” and an “enema.” We’ll have more on this development later today. [Legal Times]
* The rankings are coming! THE RANKINGS ARE COMING! Rankings guru Bob Morse, the man who holds law school deans’ jobs in his hands, says the 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings will be out on March 10. [Morse Code / U.S. News & World Report]
* A patent lawyer with Asperger’s syndrome is suing Patterson & Sheridan for discrimination. In his suit, he claims that a prominent partner was allowed to continually harass him in a purported quest to drive him out. Ah, law firm life. [The Recorder]
* The case against the ex-leaders of Dewey & LeBoeuf hinges on the testimony of the failed firm’s former employees. Defense attorneys, of course, are trying to get things barred from admission — including one defendant’s link to a mob member. [New York Law Journal]
* “We’re still in the same position we’ve been in. There’s progress, but things are moving at a snail’s pace.” As we mentioned earlier this week, according to NALP, the percentage of women associates in law firms is up… but not by much. [DealBook / New York Times]
* One of the best law schools in the country will have a brand new dean come this summer. Congratulations to Theodore Ruger, a longtime law professor who will assume the deanship at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in July. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* 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]
New developments in the David Messerschmitt killing.