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Gary Roberts

Gary Roberts, the dean of Indiana School of Law – Indianapolis, is a bad ass. We’ve mentioned him before: we featured him in a Quote of the Day, when he said, “If you’re a law student and think you’ll make $140,000 right out of law school, you’re an idiot.” At the time I thought the line was a rare moment of honesty from just another law dean.

It would appear now that I was wrong. This is maybe just how Dean Roberts rolls, having the guts to tell the truth as he sees it to his own students.

Yesterday, we told you about the controversial email that someone calling himself “Invisible Man” sent to his fellow IndyLaw students. In the message, he claims he feels unwelcome at his law school because of three banners that prominently feature African-American law students. After our publication, the story made it around the internet, getting picked up by Jezebel and focusing people on a law school many were unfamiliar with.

Well, today Dean Roberts responded, and his message is pretty brilliant. And the copy is clean, so you can’t say I wrote it…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Indianapolis Dean Shows How Indy’s ‘Invisible Man’ Was Merely Blind”

In the first four parts of our Career Center “Tip of the Day” series, focused on how to evaluate a counteroffer, we covered the importance of re-evaluating your current employment situation, assessing what the new firm is offering, analyzing the counteroffer of your current firm, and considering the ramifications (both tangible and intangible) of accepting the counteroffer and reneging on the new firm. Our final tip focuses on recognizing buyer’s remorse for what it actually is: fear of the unknown.

On to tip #5….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Tip of the Day: Evaluating the Counteroffer — Should You Stay or Should You Go? (Part 5)”

It’s a familiar refrain around these parts: it’s tough to find legal employment, unless you got into one of the top law schools. The prevailing wisdom is that students at the “best” (i.e., highest-ranked) law schools have been protected from the recession-dampened job market facing recent graduates of most American law schools. “HYS” (Harvard, Yale, Stanford), “CCN” (Columbia, Chicago, NYU) — these law schools are thought to be safe bets for people who would like to be employed upon graduation.

But are they?

We know that things aren’t as bad for students at top schools as they are for people attending schools that are not ranked as highly by U.S. News. But that doesn’t mean a degree from a “T6″ school parts the jobless sea and leads graduates to the promised land of gainful employment.

In fact, at this late date in the law school calendar, we know that there are 3Ls at great schools staring into the abyss of post-graduate unemployment. The proof comes from the charity that employed students are trying to extend to their unemployed brethren…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Evidence That Students At Top Schools Are Also Getting Crunched By The Weak Job Market”

Paul Clement (left) and John Boehner (right)

* House Speaker John Boehner and former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, now at King & Spalding, have joined forces to fight marriage equality by defending DOMA. Talk about two people who will not be taking their talents to South Beach. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

* The tax returns of Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been made public. Notes Professor Paul Caron: “It’s amazing how much more politicians give to charity in years in which they know their tax returns will be released to the public (although Biden still tosses around gifts to charity like manhole covers).” [TaxProf Blog]

* Sorry, Chief Judge Kozinski: Winkelvii non quitum. [Fox News]

* DLA Piper promotes 53 lawyers to partnership. For the blue wedge, name all the offices that are getting new partners. [Am Law Daily; DLA Piper (press release)]

* If you were underwhelmed with OCI at your law school, a new service — JD Match, founded by law-firm consultant and blogger Bruce MacEwen — wants to try to match you up with employers ready to hire. [WSJ Law Blog]

* People keep acting like their law firms are hunting for associates expressing discontent. But law firms aren’t as paranoid as Roger Ailes. [Gawker]

* It’s always nice when our nation’s legal system comes to the defense of punk bands. [Los Angeles Times]

* It’s almost time for the anniversary of the historical basis for Texas thinking it’s better than everybody else. [The Defense Rests via Blawg Review]

* Happy Passover to everyone. Don’t forget your blowtorches. [Wall Street Journal]

I think we’ve all seen law schools or law firms conduct a “diversity campaign” through extremely selective photography. There might be only four people of color at your law school, but you can best believe that all four of them will show up in the brochure for prospective students. Your 100-person law firm might have only two brothers who can show up to work without wearing a uniform, but both of those dudes will magically end up in a central position on the law firm website.

Everybody knows the game. Black people, brown people, women, and people in the majority all know what the PR department is trying to do. Back when I was in law school, there was this sister in a wheelchair who had Harvard photographers following her around like paparazzi.

I never thought of these attempts to represent through photography what cannot be achieved in reality to be particularly problematic. I never thought that over-representing minorities in law school brochures was painful or offensive to the overwhelming majority that would therefore be underrepresented in the pictures. I guess I thought that one of the benefits of being in the majority is that you don’t need a stupid PR photo shoot to make you feel like you might be able to get through school without being discriminated against.

But maybe I was wrong about all that. Maybe there really is one law student in Indiana who is ready to blow the lid off of a serious case of reverse racism that has just been staring us right in the face…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Giant Pictures Of African-American Males Make Law Student Feel Unwelcome”

It’s a dilemma that women have faced for a long time: some of them need to work and take care of their children at the same time. During the recession, the problems for working mothers have been exacerbated. There are fewer jobs, but day care is just as expensive as ever. What are you supposed to do when caught in that bind?

On Craigslist, there’s an attorney trying to find work — which is difficult enough in this economy. But she’s carrying extra baggage: she’s got a one-year-old baby that she says she needs to bring into the office with her every day. She claims she was able to bring the baby into work at her previous office, without a problem. And if there are firms that provide on-site day care, it obviously wouldn’t be a problem.

But if a firm doesn’t have those facilities (either because it is too small or because it decided not to care about such things), then would the firm even give this woman a shot? I mean, we’re talking about a one-year-old, germ-infested, bundle of bawling, in a legal office. Does anybody want a piece of that?

I sure hope this lady is one hell of an attorney…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Would You Hire An Attorney Who Needed To Bring Her One-Year-Old To Work?”

In the first, second and third parts of our Career Center “Tip of the Day” series, focused on how to evaluate a counteroffer, we covered the importance of re-evaluating your current employment situation, assessing what the new firm is offering, and analyzing the counteroffer of your current firm. It is now time for you to consider the ramifications, both tangible and intangible, of accepting the counteroffer and reneging on the new firm.

On to tip #4….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Tip of the Day: Evaluating the Counteroffer — Should You Stay or Should You Go? (Part 4)”

Whenever it feels like things are getting better in the legal economy, Craigslist shows up to remind everybody just how crappy things still are. If you want to know why there is a higher education bubble (and there is a higher education bubble), you need only look at the kind of pathetic salaries offered to people with years of higher education.

Now, if you were exploring the Above the Law jobs board, you wouldn’t be peppered with offers like the ones we’re seeing on Craigslist. But we can’t beat Craigslist for comedic value.

After the jump, check out two “jobs,” which you need years of expensive education and experience to even be in the running for…

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People think that I believe that nobody should go to law school ever, and that anybody who is currently in law school should drop out immediately. And, to be fair, I do think that many people in law school today have made terrible personal and financial decisions and have entered a world of pain that they will dwell in for much of the rest of their lives.

But I don’t think that every person in law school is there idiotically. I don’t think everybody who is there should drop out of school at the earliest available opportunity. I don’t even think you need a special “love of the law” to justify three years of legal education. The internet is not a great medium for nuance, but on a case-by-case basis there are a lot of situations where a person might be smart to go to law school and/or smart to stay in law school.

Take this one kid who emailed Above the Law asking for advice on whether or not he should drop out after his 1L year. I bet he’s going to be surprised that I’m of the opinion that he should stay in school…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A 1L Who Should Stay In Law School”

In the first and second parts of our Career Center “Tip of the Day” series, focused on how to evaluate a counteroffer, we covered the importance of re-evaluating your current employment situation and assessing what the new firm is offering you, to determine whether it addresses the issues/shortfalls of your current firm. Today we’ll discuss how to carefully analyze your firm’s counteroffer to see if it is really better than the new offer.

More on tip #3…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Tip of the Day: Evaluating the Counteroffer — Should You Stay or Should You Go? (Part 3)”

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