Congratulations to the celebrated defense lawyer and distinguished law professor on this good news.
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* “It’s unconscionable, and I believe they have breached the fiduciary duty to the law school, to the students and to the public.” Appalachian Law is struggling, and some believe its trustees are preventing the school from saving itself. Will this be the first school to fold? [Inside Higher Ed]
* “We were all running this ATM machine called big law firms.” Before 2008, it was easier for large law firms to make money, but now, there’s an “insurmountable gap” in revenue between the industry’s heavy hitters and the rest of the pack. [Wall Street Journal]
* You’ll pry their job security from their cold, dead hands: William Mitchell Law professors know that layoffs may be coming thanks to the school’s planned merger with Hamline Law, and have filed suit to protect the Tenure Code. [Minnesota Public Radio News]
* Bonus season isn’t the only thing that Davis Polk has cornered the market on. According to the latest Bloomberg M&A rankings, the firm came out on top during the first quarter of 2015 when it came to advising on major deals. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* “Whatever happened to The New York Times’ fact-checker?” Here’s yet another harsh critique of Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon’s cringeworthy defense of law schools, and this time it’s from a fellow law professor. Ouch. [The Belly of the Beast via Am Law Daily]
* Jay Edelson of Edelson PC may be the “most hated person in Silicon Valley,” but he probably doesn’t care about being Liked — after all, he recently filed suit against Facebook over the social networking company’s face recognition software. [New York Times]
This is a bit ridiculous, isn’t it?
* We’ve seen the future and it’s drones shoving commercialism down your throats 24/7. Get ready America! [DigiDay]
* Federal judge mistaken for a maid because she’s black and everything is awful all the time. [South Florida Lawyers]
* While everyone focuses on the Supreme Court, the fight for marriage equality is still raging in the state courts. [Huffington Post]
* Yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of Attorney General Robert H. Jackson’s “The Federal Prosecutor” speech. Among many quotable admonitions against prosecutorial abuse: “While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst.” Perhaps he shouldn’t have given this speech on April Fools’ Day. [John Q. Barrett]
* The New York Court of Appeals has upheld St. John’s Law’s decision to rescind the admission of a student who admitted that he’d pleaded guilty to possession because he’d been arrested for intent to distribute. But only after taking three semesters worth of his money of course. [Legal Profession Blog]
* A law professor invites colleagues to break the mold of legal scholarship to build a “more authentic ethos.” In entirely related news, congratulations on tenure. [TaxProf Blog]
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* “You can do all you want! Four days. You don’t have the jurisdiction. Five days.” Judge Joe Brown lost his appeal over a contempt charge he earned last year after he allegedly “lost control” during a juvenile court hearing and yelled at the presiding judge. [WREG]
* According to a recent study, law faculties are lacking in white Christians and white Republicans. The most underrepresented demographic of all is that of Republican women. By all accounts, it looks like that particular group needs to sue to to get full-time teaching positions. [National Law Journal]
* Law firms are constantly being inundated with solicitations for rankings and awards, and while they often complain that there are too many, let’s face it: lawyers’ egos are huge, and there will never be enough prestige to sate them. [Business of Law / Bloomberg BNA]
* Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins has turned into a circus, with two area law firms fighting each other tooth and nail, and witnesses on the stand questioning lawyers with the judge’s intermittent approval. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Paul Ceglia, the alleged Facebook huckster who claimed he owned half of the social media company, may have escaped justice by removing his ankle monitor and disappearing, but his family had to forfeit his $250,000 bail yesterday. Like? [Reuters]
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* Following his surprise resignation, the University of New Hampshire School of Law has banned the former director of its public policy center from stepping foot on campus. There must be something more to this story. Tipsters: time to assemble! [New Hampshire Union Leader]
* With his divorce lawyer’s blessing, George Zimmerman released a video where he says he still doesn’t think he did anything wrong when he killed Trayvon Martin, and that he feels victimized by President Obama’s “racially charged comments.” Paint a picture and get that angst out, Georgie. [Gawker]
* You were gonna walk your dog, but then you got high? You’ve heard of medical marijuana for people, but you probably haven’t heard of medical marijuana for pets. Nevada has a bill that’ll allow animal owners to smoke a bowl with sick pets. [LXBN]
* In case you missed our Converge conference last week, here are four essential tips that you’ll need to know if you intend to make a pitch to members of the mainstream media or legal press in the future. Tip #3 here is clutch. [Hellerman Baretz Communications]
* What’s so bad about Biglaw gossip? Absolutely nothing! In fact, ATL’s managing editor thinks that “Biglaw firms should [only] be afraid of us if they have something to hide.” You can thank us for your firm’s transparency, lawyers. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* 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]
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* 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]