Elizabeth Wurtzel

What a weird situation…. [But Justice Scalia] is an incredible game player, using intellectual honesty as a trope, and that is the kind of thing that David Wallace would just love.

Elizabeth Wurtzel, the successful writer turned lawyer and legal commentator, on the surprising friendship between her close friend, David Foster Wallace, and Justice Antonin Scalia.

(The background behind Justice Scalia’s interest in Wallace, after the jump.)

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Now that she has been acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges arising out of the death of her daughter, Caylee Anthony, where will Casey Anthony go next? Given her notoriety, it’s a tough question.

One possible answer: law school. As Ann Finnell, one of Casey Anthony’s lawyers, told People magazine, “She’s been exposed to the criminal justice system, and I think that might be a pursuit of hers.”

So should Casey Anthony go to law school? Many observers, including some of my colleagues here at Above the Law, say that going to law school isn’t a good idea for most people.

But Casey Anthony is no ordinary law student. She is an extraordinary young woman and who has had some extraordinary experiences. Conventional wisdom does not apply to her.

Let’s imagine Casey Anthony’s future legal career….

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Let’s say that instead of taking on huge debts while I was in law school, I had taken up a wicked cocaine habit. Let’s say I had done loads and loads of blow from 2000 to 2007 and then went into a 12-step program. If I had been lucky enough to avoid an overdose or jail, you could argue that things would be better for me right now — even if I had a really serious cocaine problem where I spent my all my disposable income on the drug, and even if I put a good job and a good marriage straight up my nose. If I had been through all that and then wrote an essay about the highs and the lows of doing cocaine throughout my legal career, if I was telling kids that they could overcome a wicked cocaine habit even though the consequences were severe, if I was truthfully telling people that even though I’m trying to stay clean and sober now I’m not “ashamed” of my past life, I’d have nearly everybody in my corner.

Instead, I didn’t have a cocaine habit in law school and beyond. I defaulted on my student debts.

Really, the smart thing to do would have been to default on all my loans, then blame it on the cocaine that I was “powerless” to stop. But instead of playing the victim, I marshaled what autonomous power I had and chose not to pay back my loans in a timely manner. I decided to go down on my own terms, not the terms set out for me in a promissory note.

That seems to be what has really pissed everybody off…

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Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry

In a few months, Chelsy Davy, the on-again-off-again girlfriend of Prince Harry, will be starting as a trainee solicitor in the London office of Allen & Overy. The blonde beauty’s arrival at A&O will set tongues wagging, no doubt.

Meanwhile, here in the States, summer associates are arriving at their law firms — and surely some of them, like Chelsy Davy, are boldface names. We’d like to know about them, of course.

To get the ball rolling, let’s take a look back at some of the more famous summer associates of recent years….

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Check it out below — and guess where it’s from….

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Elizabeth Wurtzel hearts Sarah Palin.

* Wachtell pwns Cravath — not just in bonuses, but also in the Delaware Supreme Court. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Crowell & Moring is partnering with UDC Law to help at-risk youth. Like UDC Law students? [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

* Law students: when filling out end-of-semester course evaluations, refrain from telling the professor that she “is kinda hot” but needs to “[l]ose a few pounds.” [PrawfsBlawg]

* Speaking of hotties, Elizabeth Wurtzel actually likes Sarah Palin, and (accurately) observes: “The Democrats are total morons for not finding their own hot mama before the Republicans.” [The Atlantic]

* Five Michigan Supreme Court benchslap their former colleague, Elizabeth Weaver — who secretly recorded private court deliberations and is now releasing transcripts. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Advice from Asian-American attorneys: a report on the recent NAPABA convention. [Law Riot]

A tale of two Yalies: former president Bill Clinton and aspiring senator Joe Miller.

According to the all-powerful ranking gods of U.S. News, Yale Law School is the nation’s #1 law school. In fact, Yale has been the top law school ever since the magazine started ranking law schools.

Recently, however, controversy has arisen over possible damage to the school’s reputation. As first reported in today’s New York Daily News, former President Bill Clinton and Alaska Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller are pointing fingers at each other for “diminish[ing] the university’s reputation as an elite institution.”

Let’s explore the spat — and review and vote on the seven contenders for Yale Law School’s most disgraceful graduate….

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A gallery of seven rogues and a poll.

We touched upon this issue in Morning Docket, both today and yesterday: Is Steven Slater — the JetBlue flight attendant who reportedly unleashed a profanity-laced tirade over the airplane’s public-address system, before fleeing the plane via the emergency-evacuation chute, beer in hand — a criminal?

Slater was hit with felony charges of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, on the reasoning that the deployed evacuation chute could have hit someone below. But his lawyer argues that there was no endangerment, since Slater — a flight attendant with about 20 years of experience, since he entered the business at age 19 — checked to make sure nobody was below before deploying the slide.

Let’s explore the legal issues a bit more — with the help of one of our favorite commentators, memoirist turned litigatrix Elizabeth Wurtzel….

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Last week, Elie and I debated the subject of liberal bias in legal education. Does it exist? Does it matter? Many of you continued the debate, in the comments.

Since our discussion, a number of notable thinkers have also tackled the topic. They include what we’d describe as the legal world’s answer to the McLaughlin Group, a small gathering of highly opinionated and outspoken pundits: Richard Epstein, Elizabeth Wurtzel, and John Yoo. (This same trio recently debated the bar exam and its utility.)

So what did they have to say about liberal bias in legal academia?

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For some of you, the bar exam starts tomorrow. Your friends at Above the Law — and our bar-related advertisers, including Kaplan PMBR and BarMax — wish you the best of luck.

If you’re looking for more review questions, check out our post from yesterday, based on Professor Laurence Tribe’s unfortunate incident at a Safeway supermarket. A few of you have already posted impressive responses, suggesting that you’re going to ace the big test.

But the Larry Tribe fact pattern would have been labeled “EASY.” Here’s something far more challenging, from writer-turned-lawyer Elizabeth Wurtzel, who explains:

When I was studying for the bar for the first time in New Haven, in my total frustration, I wrote a parody of a bar exam question, or may be of a Barbri question. I posted it on the Wall at YLS [Yale Law School's list-serv], and I am told that ever since it has been reposted every bar exam season.

I have gotten suggestions that I publish it, and a couple of people have actually attempted to answer it, which is crazy. In any case, do what you want with it.

It is hilarious, and insane, and it will make your head hurt — or explode. Check it out below….

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