Kaavya Viswanathan

* David J. Stern, the dethroned Florida foreclosure king, will now have to go up against the Florida Bar. Too bad he can’t robo-produce all of the documents they want. [Fort Lauderdale Examiner]

* Peeing on a colleague’s door might have been a great prank in college, but as a professional it’s just sad. Enjoy that $35K bench warrant. [TaxProf Blog]

* Male lawyers work hard and then get a bad rap for not spending more time with their families. Men, do you care more about work/life balance or making money? [The Careerist]

* You can get suspended for doing in law school what transactional attorneys do in real life: borrow from forms. No harm, no foul, because the school recently lost its accreditation. [ABA Journal]

* Folks, it just became a little easier for your clients to buy you dinner. Now all you have to do is press a button, and food will appear. [Gizmodo]

* Dr. and Mrs. Viswanathan — parents of Kaavya Viswanathan, the high-profile Georgetown law student and S&C summer associate — RIP. [New Jersey Newsroom]

Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry

In a few months, Chelsy Davy, the on-again-off-again girlfriend of Prince Harry, will be starting as a trainee solicitor in the London office of Allen & Overy. The blonde beauty’s arrival at A&O will set tongues wagging, no doubt.

Meanwhile, here in the States, summer associates are arriving at their law firms — and surely some of them, like Chelsy Davy, are boldface names. We’d like to know about them, of course.

To get the ball rolling, let’s take a look back at some of the more famous summer associates of recent years….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Who Are This Year’s Celebrity Summer Associates?”

Remember Kaavya Viswanathan? She’s the Harvard graduate who, while still in high school, landed a two-book deal worth a reported $500,000. The first book, a young adult / chick-lit novel entitled How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life, was published in April 2006, during Viswanathan’s sophomore year at Harvard.

And then things fell apart. To quote the blog Sepia Mutiny, “Kaavya Viswanathan got rich, got caught, and got ruined.” Shortly after the publication of Opal Mehta, the Harvard Crimson reported that various passages in the book appeared “strikingly similar” to portions of two young adult novels by Megan McCafferty.

Viswanathan was widely accused of plagiarizing — not just from McCafferty, but from Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot and Salman Rushdie. Her subsequent fall from grace, including the cancellation of her book and movie deals, made national and even international headlines (due to coverage back in her native India). She claimed that the similarities between her book and prior published works were unintentional, but given the number and extent of the apparently borrowed passages, some were incredulous. (For samples, see Wikipedia.)

After graduating from Harvard College in 2008, she went on to Georgetown Law, where she’s a member of the GULC class of 2011. Her arrival at Georgetown made Newsweek in February 2009:

Viswanathan is a first-year law student at Georgetown University, where Stephen Glass earned a J.D. after being fired from The New Republic for fabricating a series of articles….

How’d she manage to get accepted? Applicants can submit supplemental essays to explain themselves to the admissions committee, says Dean of Admissions Andrew Cornblatt. “It’s impossible to get amnesia about what we may have heard,” he says. “But in all cases we treat them just like any other applicant.”

It seems Georgetown isn’t the only institution treating Viswanathan “just like any other applicant.” Despite the tough fall recruiting season and her controversial past, Viswanathan, who just finished her 2L year, has landed a coveted summer associate position at a top law firm — one of Biglaw’s biggest and best names, in fact….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Summer Associate of the Day: Kaavya Viswanathan (Aka the Alleged Harvard Plagiarist)