Emails

Being a small firm lawyer usually means that you’re not a cog in the wheel of some multi-national corporation while enjoying their stream of business sent to your firm because of someone on another floor. Small firm lawyers either have to blow their brains out on ads featuring their angry mugs (arms crossed in aggressive, “fight-for-you” anger), direct mail, or the art and science of talking to people and developing relationships, otherwise known as networking.

In this arena, there are two types of lawyers: Those that “don’t do networking,” and those that do it because it is required to establish a word of mouth practice. I know you think there’s a third — those that love networking, but those lawyers are to be avoided at all costs. Lawyers that love going out after work and eating bar food, drinking low-level vodka, and asking “so, where’s your office,” are rejects. Ignore them. They just want to give you their business card the minute they lay eyes on you and tell you to “call (me) whenever you have a (usually PI or real estate) matter.”

For those that want the word of mouth practice, and the reputation in the community as a go-to person (assuming you are a competent lawyer, and these days, that’s a big assumption), here are some things to consider….

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As we mentioned in Morning Docket on Friday, prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty against Stephen McDaniel if he is convicted of the murder of Lauren Giddings, his former neighbor and classmate at Mercer Law School.

The Bibb County District Attorney calls the crime “outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved depravity of mind,” which is one standard the prosecution has to meet to seek the death penalty in Georgia.

The Macon Telegraph conducted a long interview with Lauren Giddings’s boyfriend, David Vandiver. The King & Spalding lawyer wonders if Giddings’s final email to him was entirely hers….

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Last week, we covered the apparent epidemic of snitching happening at USC Gould School of Law.

(Yes, at the law school. If this snitching took place at the college, people would be dropping bodies instead of emails to Above the Law.)

As we first heard the story, somebody allegedly ratted out a popular law professor to the administration for his unorthodox teaching techniques. While many students wanted to find the “snitch,” a person who sympathized with the snitch wrote a sarcastic email making fun of those who were outraged by the tattletale:

TO THE PERSON WHO BETRAYED THE SANCTITY OF OUR CLASSROOM: HAVE YOU NO SHAME? I HONESTLY HOPE THAT YOU ARE CAPTURED BY TERRORISTS AND THAT THE RANSOM VIDEO IS LOST IN THE MAIL! AND NOBODY EVER FINDS YOU! I HOPE THAT WHEN YOU GO ON YOUR NEXT JOB INTERVIEW, AN AIDS-INFESTED BABOON TAKES A S**T ON YOUR CHEST!

And he was just warming up. Read on for updates, amusement, and enlightenment….

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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….

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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….

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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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