Harvard Law School

Jodi Arias

* Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder took a much needed break from attempting to prosecute NSA data-leaker Edward Snowden to “strongly condemn” Stand Your Ground laws in a speech given to the NAACP. [Washington Post]

* So much for “caus[ing] it all.” Disgraced Illinois politician Rod Blagojevich is appealing his conviction and 14-year prison sentence to the Seventh Circuit, and he was this close to missing the midnight filing deadline. [NBC News]

* Yes, Virginia, there’s a law school crisis at hand, but only second- and third-tier schools seem to have been affected. Please don’t worry your pretty little head about the HYS strand; they’re doing just fine. [Businessweek]

* But speaking of highly ranked law schools, are there any reputable institutions of legal education that fall outside of the T14, but are just as good? Apparently there are, are here are the top five. [Policymic]

* Is Marty Singer, lawyer to the stars, guilty of extortion for allegedly threatening to expose a TV host’s sexual liaisons via lawsuit? According to this judge, he isn’t. [Hollywood, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]

* Amid all of the rage over the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, people seem to have forgotten that Jodi Arias is back in court this week. I, for one, hope the femme fatale grew out her bangs. [ABC News]

It’s astonishing to me that there will be games with phenomenal graphics and orchestral scores and there will just be grammar errors. I deliberated about every single word. A lawyer is more likely to have that kind of neurotic attitude about things than your ordinary game designer.

Mark Yohalem — a Harvard Law School graduate, former law clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, and current assistant U.S. attorney — discussing his interesting sideline as a video game writer.

(More about Yohalem and one of his games, after the jump.)

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This week, a Texas House of Representatives committee voted to send a new abortion bill to the full House for a vote next week. The Senate has scheduled a Monday morning hearing on a separate but identical bill. Last week, State Senator Wendy Davis, as she donned her now-famous pink running shoes, attempted to filibuster the bill to death. Davis, branded a fearsome crusader for women’s rights, embraced the national spotlight and admitted that she is eyeing Governor Rick Perry’s job.

Hearing or reading the phrase “abortion bill” in snippets of news coverage, we revert to form. Liberals recoil. Conservatives cheer. All without most people reading the actual text of the bill. Wendy Davis claims to be standing up for Texas women. Liberals nationwide claim to be “standing with Wendy.” Davis is suddenly a feminist hero. She’s pro-woman because, you know, she opposes that bill that, you know . . . um . . . abortion.

This tired script fails because there’s nothing especially “pro-woman” about opposing the legislation at issue . . . .

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Hernandezing!

When I’m watchin’ my T.V.
And that man comes on to tell me
How white my shirts can be
But he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me

–The Rolling Stones

(FYI, this post was written while watching the NBA draft, so it is especially sloppy. I do not, however, have a good excuse for the picture of Elie after the jump.)

Fashion is hard. No one knows that better than I. Currently, I have two suits at my disposal. Two. One’s blue and stretches at the seams when I put it on and the other is brown and it billows out around me at the slightest provocation, looking for all the world like a suit my older brother gave me that I just need to grow into. Brown and blue. I try my best to religiously switch back-and-forth, but most weeks are taken up by only one of the suits. This week has been brown in case you were wondering. I used to rock a charcoal number, but that thing was so big, I appeared to be doing a very sad David Byrne impersonation.

If you’re wondering why my patented “Who gives a f&*%?” personal anecdote this week is dedicated to couture, it’s because we are on the cusp of a revolution. Not since Kriss Kross wore their Starter jackets backwards (R.I.P. the one who died) has a fashion statement arrived with such force and absurdity. And not since Mike Tyson made everyone run out and get face tattoos has a menacing athlete changed the aesthetic game so boldly. This week, Aaron Hernandez got arrested for murder. Miranda means he didn’t have to say anything. It was his right to remain silent, for christ’s sake. Something something something…FASHION STATEMENT!!!

Let’s talk white shirts worn just so…

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This has been an exciting week at the Supreme Court. But nothing on First Street matched the drama of the Texas State Legislature last night in Austin.

If you watch only television news, you might have missed it.

Wendy Davis, a Democratic Texas state senator from Fort Worth, mounted a one-woman filibuster trying to stop Texas from passing restrictive abortion laws that would have effectively closed all but five of the abortion clinics in the state. Her fight was a lesson in small-scale democracy, arcane parliamentary laws, and standard GOP tactics to change those laws when they feel like they’re losing.

But most of all, it was a lesson in the power of the people…

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For those who are brilliant (and lucky) enough to get hired, being a law professor is a great job. You get to write and teach about interesting subjects. You get the summers off — yes, we know you have articles to work on, but you have total flexibility about your hours and location. You get to be a public intellectual, writing for newspaper op-ed pages and magazines. And you get paid well, too.

If you have an unusual personality, don’t sweat it. Legal academia is welcoming to sociopaths. And sadists, too.

If you enjoy inflicting pain on others, being a law prof is a great gig. Using the Socratic Method, you get to torture 1Ls — and many of them will eat it up. As a law professor, the winner of multiple teaching awards, once told me, “The students like it when you’re a hard-ass; they like to be challenged.”

Many law students don’t mind verbal victimization, but they’d probably draw the line at physical contact. Which brings us to a high-profile law professor who goes around sticking needles in people….

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We love baby name trends almost as much as we love weddings, so we’re always interested to watch different names wax and wane among our brides and grooms. Remember back when everybody’s baby sister was named Caitlin? Now those little Caitlins are getting married in droves. Jordan was another popular name for boys and girls (there’s a Jordan among our contestants today).

It makes us feel a bit old to watch the last decade’s parade of Ashleys and Jennifers in their strapless dresses give way to the Caitlins and Jordans in their lace-backed gowns. When the little Olivias and Aidens start tying the knot, we’ll know we’ve got one foot in the grave.

Here’s our latest group of newlywed contestants:

Emily Kuo and Michael Chu

Alice Beauheim and Andrew Borene

Jordan Fasbender and Christos Papapetrou

More on these couples, their résumés, and their registries — after the jump.

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Just yesterday, the latest batch of starry-eyed dreamers sat for the LSAT (although the number of these hopeful 0Ls seems to be in freefall). As they wait for the scores to come in, these aspiring JDs will no doubt be doing their research and narrowing down where to apply. Law school applicants have no shortage of resources at their disposal to help them in making their decisions and navigating the process: from U.S. News to Princeton Review, from Anna Ivey to Top Law Schools. But we all know that there is no decision-making tool as beloved as a ranked list. People love rankings — such time and energy savers! We suspect more application and matriculation decisions are made by perusing rankings than will ever be admitted to.

Regular readers of this site might recall that a little while back we published our inaugural ATL Top 50 Law Schools ranking. We are proud that we, rather than burying our methodology in the footnotes or an obscure appendix, prefaced our rankings release with a detailed discussion about the choices we made in devising our methodology.

Whatever the subject matter, anyone looking to rate or rank anything has to make some choices between three basic methodological approaches:

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You can download the notes, or not. I don’t care. I have to write a law review article that nobody will ever read.

Of course it does. That question has such an obvious answer that it’s kind of dumb to ask. Of course a system that rewards “teachers” with lifetime jobs for focusing on esoteric research that has little or no applicability to the challenges their students will face in the real world is of limited value to the students who pay their salaries.

So why would a professor get in trouble for saying that? Why would a professor get in trouble for saying it to other professors? If there are people who think the job of a big-time legal academic is to service students, they are sadly mistaken.

Why should anybody have a problem with a Harvard Law professor who says that?

Please note the UPDATE added after the jump.

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Erika Harold

* AG Eric Holder sat down and had a little chat about what’s been going on at the Justice Department. He’s not impressed with his agency’s work, but he claims he’s not stepping down just yet. [NBC News]

* “Can you hear me now?” Oh, Verizon, what an apropos slogan you’ve got considering the latest government scandal. The NSA has been spying on you through your phone records since late April. [Guardian]

* Lawyers for Matthew Martoma still want more time to comb through millions upon millions of documents in their client’s insider trading case, but it seems rather pointless after a judge’s kiss of death. [Reuters]

* Looks like she got her wish: thanks to Judge Michael Baylson, a little girl with terminal cystic fibrosis may have a better chance at getting a longer lease on life in this donor lung transplant case. [CNN]

* Being a politician didn’t really work out so well for him, so John Edwards is going to try his hand at being a lawyer again. Just think of all of the lovely ladies he’ll be able to pick up as clients. [USA Today]

* Speaking of former public servants who are getting back into the law, Ken Salazar will be opening the Denver office of WilmerHale — and when it comes to pay, he’s got a “very good package.” [Denver Post]

* And not to be forgotten, famous flip-flopper Joe Lieberman will be taking his services to Kasowitz Benson. We certainly hope the firm will appreciate his superior legal mind. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* The ABA is considering law school job data collection 10 months after graduation, instead of nine, because bar exam results come out so late. Like that extra month will help… [National Law Journal]

* Erika Harold, a Harvard Law grad and ex-Sidley associate known for her reign as Miss America, is running for Congress in Illinois. What will she she do for the talent portion of the competition? [Politico]

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