* This would-be POTUS can’t jump? Ted Ruger, Penn Law’s new dean, used to hang out with Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz during law school, and he’d “like to think that [their] legal skills far exceeded [their] mediocre basketball skills.” [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Why do we still need law schools considering the crisis in the legal academy? Please allow Noah Feldman of Harvard Law — an unbiased law professor — to explain why “law school is absolutely essential — not for lawyers with clients, but for our society as a whole.” [Bloomberg View]
* Apparently there’s some major drama going down with regard to which attorneys will argue the same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court. It seems that no one wants to give up their 15 minutes of fame before the high court. Sigh. [National Law Journal]
* These days, law schools are looking at more than their applicants’ GPAs and LSAT scores. Prospective law students now need to be “well-rounded and involved.” For what it’s worth, not minding going into debt is a helpful trait, too. [Omaha World-Herald]
* Another day, another gender bias lawsuit in Silicon Valley: This time around, Tina Huang, a female software engineer who used to work for Twitter, is alleging that the company’s secret promotion process bypasses women and favors men. [CNET]
Should tenured professors take the money and run, or risk staying behind at a school whose standards for admission may drop even lower?
Can you tell the difference between actual CLE courses and ones we’ve just made up? Take our challenge and find out! Whatever the nature of your practice, our friends at Knowledge in Practice can help you navigate your options and find the CLE that works for you.
How much money does YOUR law professor make?
* As we mentioned, U.S. News is giving law schools less credit for hiring their own grads. Rumor has it that a few schools would’ve done better in the rankings but for their high percentage of school-funded jobs. Which ones? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Two students in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity from Oklahoma University were expelled after a video of their racist chanting was leaked online. Lawyers want to know: was their expulsion a First Amendment violation? [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* UC Irvine Law debuted on the 2016 U.S. News law school rankings at No. 30, missing Dean Erwin Chemerinsky’s goal of starting out as a Top 20 school. Not to worry, Dean, there are still ways to game the rankings. Keep your head up! [National Law Journal]
* Don’t bother delaying your law school education just because the economy’s bad. The professors who told us that a law degree is worth $1 million think that its value will only drop by about $30K in times when unemployment is high. Yeah, okay. [ABA Journal]
* The grisly murder of DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt, who was found stabbed to death in a Washington, D.C., hotel, remains unsolved. Police are still searching for the “person of interest” who was seen on video from the hotel’s security camera. [Legal Times]
* “While some argue that going to law school is still a safe bet, little evidence exists to support this position.” This law professor thinks law schools are in a “death spiral,” and that a “top” school may soon be in danger of closing. Uh oh! Which one could it possibly be? [Washington Post]
* “Rascal was the perfect law student because he never missed a class. If Rascal was asked a question he never said ‘pass.'” In 1937, Samford’s Cumberland School of Law graduated its first and only dog. In 2015, dogs bark and howl at Samford because of its new U.S. News rank. [Alabama.com]
* “You do not need to have a law degree to understand how troubling this is.” Politicians are pissed at Hillary Clinton over the email scandal she got herself into at the State Department, but it turns out she technically obeyed the law. [National Law Journal]
* Why do law firms fail? Dean Frank Wu of UC Hastings Law thinks that it’s because “[s]mart people overestimate the importance of being a smart person” — that is, your firm can still flop even if its lawyers are the best lawyers in the world. [Huffington Post]
* According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, after two months of soul-sucking declines in the market, the legal sector gained 3,100 jobs in February. Wow, we only need 40,000 more jobs until all of last year’s class is employed. [Am Law Daily]
Which law school will be flooded with paparazzi thanks to this brainy and beautiful barrister’s presence?
* Amal Clooney, the attorney who tamed George Clooney’s heart and is now considered one of the most famous human rights lawyers in the world, will be teaching at a New York law school this spring. Which one? We’ll have more on this fun news later today. [USA Today]
* Talk about a Hail Mary play: The ACLU has decided to come to the defense of a very unlikely cause. Per a recently filed federal brief, the organization thinks that the USPTO’s cancellation of the Redskins trademark was unconstitutional. [WSJ Law Blog]
* According to a new BARBRI study, the vast majority of third-year law students think they’re ready to go when it comes to practicing law, but the lawyers who have had the (dis)pleasure to work with new graduates don’t seem to agree. [National Law Journal]
* “Those kinds of jobs are never going to be enough to absorb the number of people graduating from law school over the next five or 10 years.” Northeastern’s dean laughs in Biglaw’s face — his grads measure their success in other ways. [Boston Business Journal]
* Ellen Pao’s “racy” gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins serves as a harsh criticism of the sexist culture of Silicon Valley. Luckily, jury members will be able to busy themselves with the case’s more lurid details. [The Upshot / New York Times]
* Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency is working on a new podcast that will help prospective law students to see what working in the legal profession is really like. “I Am The Law” debuted in January 2015, and it’s worth a listen. [U.S. News & World Report]
Thoughts from columnist Renwei Chung on Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld’s controversial, bestselling book.
We asked 850 attorneys and students how they choose a bar prep provider. Check out the answers here.
* If you’re looking for a hell of a procedural fact pattern, try to unravel the gay marriage situation in Alabama. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Do law professors get lazier over time? [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* Our own Tamara Tabo joined the folks at The Docket to discuss 50 Shades of Grey. [MSNBC]
* The USPTO is dumb enough to think people might confuse the Angry Asian Man blog and a children’s comic book called Angry Little Asian Girl, and now a trademark fight is brewing because the author of the latter has… become the latter. [Angry Asian Man]
* Lawyer and bike enthusiast tells bikers they’re part of the problem. Did this need to be said? [Outside Online]
A federal judge offers a spirited defense of using legislative history in statutory interpretation.
Have any of you actually slept with one of your law school professors?
* People keep asking Justice Ginsburg how many women she thinks will be “enough” for the SCOTUS bench, and she keeps giving us the same amazing answer. Flip the page to find out what the Notorious R.B.G. thinks. [Mother Jones]
* Law school deans gone wild! From sex scandals to rankings rumpuses, here’s a look at the crazy and sometimes criminal activities that law school administrators and faculty members have been accused of over the years. [National Law Journal]
* “That’s it. Case dismissed. Your behavior is contemptuous.” Adriana Ferreyr, the on-again, off-again girlfriend of George Soros who filed a $50 million lawsuit over a $2 million apartment, allegedly went “berserk” in court… yet again. [Dealbreaker]
* The job market would like to wish the legal profession a very unhappy New Year. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector lost 1,400 jobs in January, with overall jobs down by 4,500 since last year. [Am Law Daily]
* “I felt like my head was just mush inside, and I thought, ‘I’m dying.'” Mary Margaret Farren, the former Skadden attorney who survived her ex-husband’s brutal attack on her life, recounts the flashlight bludgeoning that nearly killed her. [ABC News]
* Is there no relief in sight for law schools? Moody’s says: “This continued decrease in student demand is consistent with our belief that the legal industry is experiencing a fundamental shift rather than a cyclical trend.” [Indianapolis Business Journal]
(Flip to the next page to see how many women Justice Ginsburg thinks SCOTUS needs.)
Members of law school administrations are just like us: they sometimes get arrested for salacious crimes.
How can law students use social media in a professional context? This professor has an idea or two.
Ever wonder why there’s a gender wage gap? It’s because of tired stereotypes like these.
Why aren’t more law school deans willing to protect the women of this profession?
* Another benchmark in the Ninth Circuit’s ongoing war against prosecutorial misconduct: a panel of judges — Kozinski, Wardlaw, and Fletcher — suggest trying prosecutors for perjury. [New York Observer]
* Lawyer and blogger Eric Turkewitz finds himself in the New York Post’s Page Six gossip column. Just what was he doing with Selena Gomez while Justin Bieber wasn’t looking? [New York Personal Injury Attorney Blog]
* Kristine Sperling left her position as a senior associate at Latham to start her own organic soap company. And, I’m assuming, an underground fight club. [Good Day Sacramento]
* The 2015 Social Media Subpoena Guide. Everything you need to know about getting all their best cookie recipes off Pinterest. [Associate’s Mind]
* Tom Petty’s lawyers “Won’t Back Down” and now he’s getting royalties for that Sam Smith song. [Consequence of Sound]
* Which law professor rules the Twitterverse? A comprehensive numerical analysis provides the answer. [Ryan Whalen]
* A new, easy to use online version of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If you’re into that kind of thing. [Federal Rules of Civil Procedure]