Emails

Sometimes I wonder why law schools don’t institute mandatory nap times. Sometimes law students just need to take a little break — a little “time-out” before proceeding with their day.

Some people will say that today’s stupid law student email of the day comes from a rat. A snitch. A person who betrayed the trust of his fellow classmates.

Others will say it comes from a whistleblower. A person of conscience. A student who saw a wrong being committed and decided to speak up.

Either way, it comes from a person who needed to take a break, a nap, a siesta, before rattling off an email to his entire class….

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Prospective law students always get excited when they’re offered application fee waivers. Law school application fees can run high, and getting tossed a freebie is a nice way to give your bank account a break. Normally, these kind of fee waivers aren’t that out of the ordinary. Offering application fee waivers is standard practice at most law schools.

But what happens when a law school offers prospective applicants a fee waiver after its undergraduate institution is involved in one of the biggest college sports scandals of all time? Talk about bad timing….

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At large law firms around the country, associates and counsel are eagerly awaiting their bonuses. But partners and chief financial officers have their minds on other things: namely, collections. The fourth quarter is when firms step up their efforts at shaking down clients for cash.

As we all know from the law-and-economics reasoning that was taught to us in law school, people — yes, this includes lawyers — respond to incentives. At one leading law firm, bonus anxiety is being shrewdly harnessed in service of collections efforts.

CHECK YOU TIME SHEETS….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “You Want Your Bonus? We Want Your Time Sheets.”

Way back in 2008, I noted with skepticism the University of Michigan’s “Wolverine Scholars” Program. I wasn’t the only one. The initiative allowed Michigan undergraduates with very high GPAs to get into Michigan Law without having to take the LSAT.

The program seemed like a pretty obvious attempt to game the U.S. News rankings. It’s so obvious that the now disgraced former Dean of Admissions for Illinois Law, Paul Pless, who had a similar program at his school, had this to say about it:

I started a new program for U of I undergrads to apply in their junior year and we don’t require the LSAT. We have additional essays and an interview instead. That way, I can trap about 20 of the little bastards with high GPA’s that count and no LSAT score to count against my median. It is quite ingenious.

Pless was talking about Illinois’s iLeap program, which was substantially similar to the Wolverine Scholars program at Michigan.

The Pless quote came out earlier this month, as the admissions director was being ushered under the bus by Illinois Law as the “lone gunman” for its embarrassing admissions scandal.

With the spotlight on a Big Ten school that manipulated admissions statistics for years, Michigan very quietly canceled its Wolverine Scholar Program.

There’s been much less fanfare about the end of the program than there was about its start. In fact, we obtained FOIA documents that contain various emails from Michigan Law Dean Evan Caminker and Dean of Admissions Sarah Zearfoss.

They talk about the program, and the how “the blogs” are covering it….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Life and Death of the Michigan ‘Wolverine Scholars’ Program”

The $215,000 engagement ring.

Voter turnout in our October Lawyer of the Month poll was not high: only 453 votes were cast. In the end, DLA Piper partner Laura Flippin, who allegedly blew a .253 on a breathalyzer test, narrowly edged out Cadwalader partner Ira Schacter, who reportedly bought a $215,000 engagement ring for his Playboy-bunny ex-fiancée — while refusing to pay for his teenage daughter’s $12,000 hearing aids.

A mere 11 votes separated the winner and the runner-up. Given the closeness of the vote, maybe Laura Flippin should have focused more on voter turnout, to boost the tallies of her rivals.

It seems that Ira Schacter did just that. Check this out….

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Attorney Christopher T. Cicero has not had a great year.

It’s not like the general public needs more reasons to dislike attorneys, yet unfortunately, there’s always more fuel for the fire.

If you read the news, you might say they are boozers, they are arrogant, and they are tools. Now cynics can add “cherry-pickers” to that list.

The attorney in the following case acted like the d-bags in Call of Duty who just hide in the bushes the whole game, waiting for people to turn the corner straight into a faceful of buckshot.

Luckily, an Ohio appeals court called shenanigans….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ohio Attorney Sues Over Misleading Emails, Even Though He Wasn’t Misled”

If you’re a law student, you probably checked your email first thing this morning for one reason or another. Maybe you were waiting to hear back from a professor. Maybe you were praying for a snow day and hoping that classes were canceled. Either way, you probably weren’t expecting to see something like this from your law school:

What the hell? If the proposed war on gunners started today, Above the Law didn’t get the memo. Which law school sponsored a “Killing Spree”?

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I am a maverick and a reformer so I started a new program for U of I undergrads to apply in their junior year and we don’t require the LSAT. We have additional essays and an interview instead. That way, I can trap about 20 of the little bastards with high GPA’s that count and no LSAT score to count against my median. It is quite ingenious.

Paul Pless, former dean of admissions at the University of Illinois College of Law, in a 2008 email about iLEAP, a program that offered early admission to University of Illinois undergraduates with high GPAs (and no LSAT scores).

(The reaction of the other party to the correspondence, after the jump.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quotes of the Day: Quite Ingenious — and Quite Busted”

Those blinking lights are important. Seriously.

I’ve been writing about electronic discovery for almost three years now. I’ve learned that most of the time, it’s not worth trying to interest non-attorneys in the subject. My friends’, family’s, and girlfriend’s eyes glaze over pretty quickly when I started mentioning the EDRM model or document review.

So when I saw the story early this morning about big e-discovery news in the litigation following a tragic plane crash, at first I thought I had misread something.

On February 12, 2009, Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed near Buffalo Niagara International Airport in New York, killing 50 people. Later that year, authorities blamed pilot error for the crash. Unsurprisingly, families of the victims have sued the airline for failing to provide trained, capable, and rested pilots. This week, attorneys for the families released internal company e-mails that appear to show Colgan knew the pilot of the doomed flight was having serious problems.

What do the e-mails have to say?

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We’ve been talking a lot recently about the secretly authorized stuff our government does to us — like killing us, or molesting us at airports.

Here’s another one for the list: digging through our emails or Twitter feeds or cell phone data, without probable cause, our permission, or our knowledge. This isn’t necessarily shocking in and of itself; back in April, Kashmir Hill wrote about how often the government requests information about private individuals from tech companies.

What’s shocking is the ease with which the government gets that information and the secrecy with which it does so. Somehow it’s all based on a law that is older than the Internet. The policy recently came to light when authorities ordered a small Internet provider, as well as Twitter and Google, to turn over information about Jacob Appelbaum, an American who volunteers with WikiLeaks.

How does the U.S. government circumvent basic probable cause and search warrant requirements when it wants electronic information? Let’s see….

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