Harvard Law School

Atticus Finch was a heroic (albeit fictional) lawyer.

Unlike some of my fellow writers here at Above the Law, I don’t have anything against the legal profession or law school. I don’t have regrets about going to law school myself, and I believe it can be the correct decision for some (even many) people. See my prior post, In Defense of Going to Law School.

Even though it’s no longer my full-time occupation, I also don’t have a problem with the practice of law. Practicing law can be a noble calling, and it can also be financially rewarding. The work of a lawyer is often intellectually challenging and personally fulfilling. In the words of Scott Greenfield, “There is enormous satisfaction, value, to serving our clients. There is great satisfaction in ending a day knowing that someone is better off for your having been there.”

So I’m not a “law hater.” To quote the winning entry from this year’s Law Revue contest, I Like the Law.

But even I, despite my favorable feelings towards lawyers and the legal profession, couldn’t help chuckling at what one four-year-old girl had to say about becoming a lawyer….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Should You Be A Lawyer? Ask A Four-Year-Old.”

Sometimes LEWW scans a wedding announcement with bated breath, praying that we’ll find a law degree so we can write about a couple. We were crushing on Peanut Wong and David Hattaway before we even clicked on their link. But alas, she’s a dental student (of course she is), and he’s an electrical engineer. So we’ll just say this: If you eat the Wong Peanut, you could die.

On to this week’s featured couples:

Elena Saxonhouse and Tulley Rafferty

Kathleen McArthur and Matthew Gross

Alice Brown and Michael Leiter

Get the scoop on these couples — including their registries, résumés, and cheesy wedding websites — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Leiter Than Air”

Here are a couple of things I learned last week:

1) Above the Law readers love commencement train wreck stories.
2) Emory Law students feel picked on.

Armed with this new information, I bring you stories of commencement ridiculousness at schools with student bodies mature enough to take a little scrutiny.

Graduation has come and gone at Yale Law School and Harvard Law School. And while most Yale and Harvard graduates have jobs lined up for this fall, the transition from student to graduate did not go as smoothly as possible. At one school, a Supreme Court justice essentially had to crash the ceremonies. At another school, it seems the smart people organizing the event were totally flummoxed by the naturally occurring phenomenon of rain.

You’d think that with 380-plus years of combined experience, these two law schools could figure out how to run a graduation ceremony. But apparently there’s no accounting for common sense….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Even Harvard and Yale Couldn’t Pull Off Flawless Commencements”

I don’t think it’s going to come as a galloping shock to anybody that law review was not my kind of thing. My conversational style, inattention to detail, and aversion to boredom really didn’t mesh with anything law review was selling.

And after my 1L year, my grades were strong enough that I knew I’d get a Biglaw job somewhere during OCI; I didn’t need the résumé bump. Why in the world would I want to compete with individuals who really wanted it and would cut me to get on, when at the end the “prize” was being on boring-ass law review? No thanks.

When I received my law review application, I quickly ushered it into the trash.

A current Harvard Law student had a more expressive way of saying no to law review — a more combustible rejection…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Setting The Harvard Law Review Write-On Competition Ablaze”

On Friday, we discussed the discrimination claims made against Ropes & Gray by John H. Ray III. Ray, a 2000 graduate of Harvard Law School and an African-American man, claimed that he was discriminated against and passed over for partner on account of his race.

At the time of our prior post, Ray did not comment beyond what was in his filings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). But now Ray has contacted us with his rebuttal to Ropes, explaining that when he previously declined to comment, he “did not know that you intended to rely on a determination letter that had been rescinded and largely discredited in at least its factual description by my reconsideration requests.”

John Ray’s response is lengthy and detailed. Check it out below….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “(Potential) Lawsuit of the Day: More From John Ray About Ropes & Gray”

When I worked in private practice, I once had a case opposite Ropes & Gray. The Ropes lawyers made a highly positive impression on me. They were very talented advocates (and they continue to be talented advocates; note the firm’s recent, high-profile victory in the defense of an in-house lawyer for a drug company).

Of course, many top firms have excellent lawyers. The Ropes attorneys were also… nice. They were polite, and genteel, and not difficult to deal with (in contrast to some of their co-counsel). They met my expectations of what lawyers from an old white-shoe firm should be like. [FN1]

In light of this overall Ropes & Gray “niceness,” it’s a bit surprising to see discrimination claims lodged against the firm. In March, we wrote about a lawsuit filed against Ropes by Patricia Martone, a former partner and noted IP litigatrix. Martone, represented by the high-powered Anne Vladeck, alleged age discrimination, sex discrimination, and retaliation.

Today we bring you news of another discrimination lawsuit brewing against the firm. The potential plaintiff has an impressive pedigree. But do his claims hold water?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “(Potential) Lawsuit of the Day: Another Discrimination Claim Against Ropes & Gray”

I recently met Ray Zolekhian at a wedding. He went to Harvard Law School, worked as an associate at Skadden in Los Angeles, and started his own law firm with a friend, Robin Hanasab.

As soon as I heard Zolekhian’s background, I immediately guessed that he started a personal injury firm. Isn’t that the most natural progression?

Apparently so. Founded in July 2009, Hanasab & Zolekhian, LLP began as a firm specializing in restructuring commercial real estate loans. The firm then transitioned to personal injury litigation, because the founding partners found the work interesting and lucrative. But Zolekhian had no background in personal injury; according to Zolekhian, the pair was “thrown into the fire.” They were not devoid of help, however, and benefited enormously from the resources and mentoring given by other attorneys in the close-knit plaintiffs’ bar.

What does Zolekhian like most about his practice?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Size Matters: Does Skadden Do Personal Injury?”

LEWW is still coming off our royal wedding high. We’re not going to lie, people: As much as we love the legal wedding scene, we’ve never gotten out of bed at 5:30 to read about SCOTUS clerks tying the knot. But Will and Kate have flown off to happily ever after in their helicopter, so we’ll have to content ourselves with the princes and princesses of the American legal scene — at least until Prince Harry settles down.

Here are our latest finalist couples:

Katherine Boone and Joshua Geltzer

Marie-Adele Sorel and Jeremy Kress

Mark Maher and Louis Miller

Get all the details on these legal-eagle newlyweds, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Contain Yourselves”

Back in November, we told you that Thomson Reuters was looking to unload BAR/BRI, its bar exam preparation business. The news was huge, given BAR/BRI’s status as a de facto finishing school for would-be lawyers.

Today, it appears that BAR/BRI has found a home. According to various reports, BAR/BRI will be acquired by Leeds Equity Partners. Leeds is a private equity firm that specializes in educational products and services.

Above the Law just spoke with Jeffrey T. Leeds, the co-founder and president of Leeds. He called BAR/BRI a “jewel” for the firm. And since the man is a graduate of Harvard Law School (Class of ’83), he knows just how important BAR/BRI is to our system of legal education… .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Leeds Private Equity To Acquire BAR/BRI”

Harvard Law School

* Attorney Jason Goldfarb pleaded guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy yesterday in a case that originated with the Rajabba investigation. Here’s his firm website photo. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Harvard Law is being investigated for violating Title IX. As someone who did not attend Harvard, I assume IX rhymes with sticks. Which brings me no closer to understanding exactly what was violated here. [Harvard Law Record]

* The Bonds trial ended just in time for us to get super-psyched about the Roger “Frosted Tips” Clemens perjury trial. Let’s start boning up on it! [Reuters]

* Mexico is considering filing a lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers. Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to Remington. [CBS News]

Frank and Jamie McCourt, in happier days.

* Here’s a thorough breakdown of the McCourt mess, including details on the ongoing Bingham divorce debacle. [Am Law Daily]

* So there’s a Canadian lawyer who looks like Kate Middleton? Yeah, well my buddies say I look like Hedo Turkoglu. #humblebrag [Vancouver Sun via ABA Journal]

* Fox News wins the headline contest for Obama’s new gasoline price task force. [Fox News]

* It’s Friday. Let’s consider the better bonobos of our nature, guys. [Times Higher Education]

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