Indiana University – Maurer School of Law (Bloomington)

I think his primary prescriptive advice — in essence, our problems will be cured with the passage of time — is naive and potentially dangerous to those who follow it.

– IU Law professor William Henderson, eviscerating the stupid arguments of WNEU Law professor Professor René Reich-Graefe so I don’t have to. Reich-Graefe went with the whole “lawyers are retiring” and “people need legal services” claims that appeal to prospective law students who aren’t thinking critically about the future market for legal services. If you don’t know why listening to Reich-Graefe’s wishcasting is “dangerous,” Henderson explains it all on Legal Whiteboard.

“The future is already here — it is just not evenly distributed.” If this William Gibson aphorism is true, then there was an extra heavy concentration of the future of the legal profession in Tribeca last Wednesday at the inaugural meeting of a new organization, the Forum on Legal Evolution. (The Forum is spearheaded by some names familiar to ATL readers, Bill Henderson (Indiana-Maurer/Lawyer Metrics), Bruce MacEwen (Adam Smith Esq/JDMatch), and Dan Katz (Michigan State Law/ReInvent Law).

While the rest of the business world has embraced off-shoring, Six Sigma, right-sizing, and what-have-you in pursuit of efficiencies and greater productivity, we are still waiting for the long-promised technology-driven transformation of the legal profession. When compared to other industries, actual changes thus far amount to so much fiddling around the margins. The Forum is premised on the idea that a way must be found to propel earlier and wider adoption of innovations.

The invitation-only Forum is intended as both a high-level networking community and as a resource for briefings on new technologies and trends. Think TED talks, but for senior in-house lawyers, law firm leaders, tech entrepreneurs, and academics. In other words, the entire legal supply chain. Without identifying them, we can confirm the room was sprinkled with the legal world’s equivalent of bold-faced names, including current and former Biglaw managing partners and Fortune 100 corporate counsel.

For such a forward-looking gathering, it was a little surprising then that it began by harkening back to Iowa cornfields during the Great Depression…

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It’s not that cold today, but don’t you worry, the polar vortex is coming, again! This winter needs to be stopped by Dennis Quaid.

Going to work or school in this weather is no fun. That’s why I stay home, but some people don’t have that luxury. This weather is terrible because you freeze your ass off getting to work, and then once you get there you have to disrobe because your office is 5,000 degrees.

Well, one law school has seemingly solved the problem of “layering.” They just keep it so cold in the building that students only have to worry about frostbite…

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When I got to law school, I thought it would be “College II.” I was good at college. I had figured out how to drink the maximum amount while doing the least amount of work without hurting my transcript.

I don’t mean the sad, old-man drinking that you do in your basement while telling your wife you’re changing a light bulb to get five minutes of blessed peace. I mean the exciting, outside drinking. With friends, and games. In college, I engaged in drinking as a sport, instead of drinking as a medication.

In retrospect, that line between college drinking and adult drinking was crossed sometime during law school. I didn’t recognize it at the time. I played a lot of beer pong in law school and even as an associate. But really, the innocence of drinking “for fun” was lost in law school, and replaced by drinking “professionally.”

And so I look at this “challenge map” for a bar crawl at a respected law school — the bawdy, ridiculous, tempting-the-fates-of-alcohol-poisoning bar crawl challenge — and I think, “Don’t these kids know that they’re already dead?”

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Could a K-Mart manager run your law school?

The Association of American Law Schools’ annual conference starts today. I’ll be there tomorrow and I’ll be speaking there on Saturday about law school rankings.

AALS is a giant mixer for law school deans. I don’t like to go, because I don’t like being yelled at or assaulted, but it’s a great conference. You’ve got to remember, law deans are not afraid of the American Bar Association or the Department of Education. The so-called “regulators” of legal education don’t do much actual regulating of established programs. Instead, law deans are afraid of their faculties. Law deans are afraid of law faculties the way kings are afraid of their generals.

Deans are not afraid of their students. Student happiness has nothing to do with whether law deans get to keep their jobs. I don’t expect that a new law dean will care about an impolite greeting from one of his new students. But still, if I see this guy at AALS I’m going to give him a hug….

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Wasn’t this thing invented by Gutenberg?

Maybe it took the snowstorm. I really felt like law students were keeping it together even in the face of impending finals. But it snowed over the weekend, and was very cold in other places, and maybe that wintery snap reminded law students and professors that finals are here and it’s time to go nuts.

This week, we’ve had our share of final exam stories, but they’ve been of the legitimate mistake or concern variety. Today… we’ve just got some weird crap that happens around campus during finals period…

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This is the first in a new series of ATL infographics — visual representations of our own proprietary data, relevant third-party data, “anecdata,” or just plain jokes.

In honor of Shark Week, we take a marine life-themed look at which law schools’ graduates are the big fish of Biglaw…
 
 

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* If you checked out our story about the 3L seemingly taking over the admissions department at Indiana University, head on over again because there’s an update. [Above the Law]

* Two former professors have sued the Phoenix School of Law for valuing profits over students and faculty. If you can’t trust your local diploma mill, who can you trust? [Connecticut Law Tribune]

* On June 11, Atlas Obscura is hosting an interesting event called “Go Directly to Jail: Trespassing and the Law.” Ironically, the event requires advanced tickets. [Atlas Obscura]

* Top myths about law school and the legal profession… from the desk of the dean of Thomas M. Cooley Law School. “Thomas M. Cooley is the second-best law school in the country” is strangely not one of the myths they address. [Cooley Law School Blog]

* Legal blogging worlds collide when Law and the Multiverse guest posts on Volokh Conspiracy. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* And while we’re on the subject of Law and the Multiverse, they update their spoiler heavy piece from a few weeks ago about the criminal liability of the Mandarin in Iron Man 3. [Law and the Multiverse]

* Not much fallout yet, but Chris Christie just set the time for the special election to fill NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg’s seat. As far as I can tell, the date selected fulfills NEITHER of the statutes governing the issue, the relevant portions of which are provided after the jump…

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[Please note the UPDATE at the end of this post.]

Late Friday afternoon, we got multiple tips that a major law school had axed its admissions director and turned over the whole department to a 3L.

Why would the school fire a long-time admissions director while still chasing down prospective students? Why did the school tap a student to run the program? Does this represent a philosophical shift to bring the admissions process closer to the live student experience? Is this a completely Mickey Mouse operation?

But after some poking around, the whole thing got crazier. The school claimed it hadn’t made any personnel changes, but tipsters kept forwarding us emails sent from the school to prospective students that identified the 3L as the “Interim Director of Admissions.”

Now we had something. Either a law school cover-up (or screw-up), or a rogue 3L with delusions of grandeur (if you define “grandeur” as “director of admissions at a law school”)…

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Move over Prenda, there’s a new IP troll in town and it’s New York State.

Or at least the third-party agency assigned to protect New York’s trademark, and it’s harassing everyone it can find over an iconic image that few would recognize as a trademark.

But what elevates this trolling to a new level is that enforcing this trademark actually frustrates the mission of the holder. And isn’t promoting the business of the holder kind of the whole point of intellectual property protection?

And what really elevates this case is that the IP troll is literally sticking it to the Everyman…

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