Law School Deans
Which law school may soon have fewer tenured professors?
* Will it ever be easier to meet the challenge of proving you’ve got an undue hardship so you can discharge your law school student loan debts in bankruptcy? Your fate may rest in the hands of this indebted Florida Coastal Law grad and his petition for certiorari at the Supreme Court. [US Law Week Blog / Bloomberg]
* Hate crimes still happen, even at this prestigious law school: Amid increased racial turbulence on campus, the Harvard University Police Department is now investigating the defacing of black law professors’ portraits as a hate crime. [ABC News]
* UVA Law recently joined the minority of law schools that have women serving as dean. Pop your collars with pride, because legal historian Risa Goluboff will take over as the school’s first female dean this July. Congratulations! [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
* Gordon Rees has settled its lawsuit against Alex Rodriguez over the baseball player’s outstanding legal bills, totaling more than $380,000. The terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, but we have a feeling that the firm hit it out of the park. [NBC New York]
* Try before you buy or a bid to increase tourism? Alaska is making bold moves now that it’s legalized marijuana for recreational use. It’ll be the first state to allow the social use of the drug “in public,” i.e., inside pot dispensaries that have yet to open. [Cannabist]
What would you do to avoid having to take your final exams? Would you fake your own kidnapping?
* Despite the fact that people seemed to have been losing their minds over court packing, according to Judge Sri Srinivasan of the D.C. Circuit, President Obama’s appointment of four new judges on the powerful court had little to no impact on the outcome of cases. [POLITICO]
* “Americans are actively being deprived of their rights.” In this excellent longread on arbitration, we learn it’s the best for big companies, but for plaintiffs who are forced into it, it amounts to the “privatization of the justice system.” [DealBook / New York Times]
* Uh oh! Disgraced plaintiffs’ lawyer Stan Chesley — perhaps better known as the “Master of Disaster” — had a warrant issued for his arrest last week after he failed to appear for a hearing related to his refusal to pay a $42 million judgment. [Louisville Courier Journal]
* Florida A&M University College of Law has a brand new dean. We’d like to wish a warm welcome to Angela Felecia Epps, whose salary of $252,000 is likely more than any of the school’s recent and barely employed graduates can hope to make. [Orlando Sentinel]
* A 30-year-old New Jersey man has been sentenced to a 16-year prison term for aggravated arson after the fires he set last year damaged a local law firm (one that was representing him at the time) and the county prosecutor’s office. [Associated Press]
Do extensive research before investing in a law school education — you might be able to uncover ugly facts like these.
Some 1Ls drop out of law school. Some leave flaming bridges as they go. This kid is the latter.
If you decide to go to law school, make sure you’re armed with the facts.
* Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor who handled (mishandled?) the Michael Brown / Darren Wilson case in Ferguson, Missouri, was recently named as “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. This probably wasn’t a good idea. [Slate]
* American Apparel filed for bankruptcy, and rather than Biglaw firms representing the embattled clothier, they’re trying to snatch up fees. Skadden, White & Case, and Paul Hastings are each owed quite the pretty penny. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Which law school dean was just named as senior counsel at Dentons, the largest law firm in the world? That would be Nicholas Allard of Brooklyn Law School. Perhaps this law dean’s academic cash flow wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
* “Unless the industry cleans itself up, we can expect more lawsuits like this in the future.” In an interesting turn of events, the marijuana industry is now seeing its first product liability suit. A protip for growers: No one wants to smoke fungicide. [Los Angeles Times]
* Just when you thought patent trolls couldn’t get any worse, they started to harass members of the fashion industry. Copyright trolls (i.e., Stephen Doniger and Scott Alan Burroughs) are suing over textile prints left and right, and that’s so last season. [Fortune]
People watch short videos to learn pretty much everything. And they do it exactly when they need to learn – whether it’s to tie a bow tie an hour before a wedding or make a martini just before the party starts. Hotshot is bringing that concept to the legal industry. We think you should be […]
* Remember the judge who challenged a public defender to a fistfight in court? He was suspended by the Florida Supreme Court, and has 20 days to explain why he should keep his job. With all due respect, your great right hook isn’t a good enough reason, Your Honor. [Florida Today]
* Screw the historic SCOTUS decision, because this Alabama probate judge really doesn’t want to issue same-sex marriage licenses. In fact, he doesn’t think any judges in the state should have to do so. He wants the federal government to issue them instead. [AL.com]
* In the wake of the latest daily fantasy sports scandal involving DraftKings, FanDuel has hired the kind of legal representation that you’d want on your team for a Hail Mary play. Hut! Hut! Hike! Time to suit up, Debevoise and Kirkland. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* The University of Chicago Law School has a new dean. We’d like to wish a warm welcome to Thomas Miles, a “rookie dean” who likely has enough prestige points under his belt to lead one of the best law schools in the nation with great ease. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* Today is the 25th Annual National Depression Screening Day, so if you’re a lawyer or a law student who’s feeling anxious or depressed, please feel free to take an anonymous online screening quiz. There are people and programs who can help you. [Am Law Daily]
Vikram Amar of Illinois Law explains why he’s excited about his new job and outlines his priorities as dean.
* Why are so many law grads failing the bar exam? Law profs, a law dean, and a Biglaw recruiting specialist all have answers to this question… and only some of them come close to being satisfactory. [Room for Debate / New York Times]
* Jurors in the Dewey & LeBoeuf trial have deliberated for five days thus far, and seem to be no closer to coming to a verdict than when they first started. They’re quibbling over thesaurus entries for the word “fake” (i.e., “fake income”). [Am Law Daily]
* Thanks to the OnRamp Fellowship, more women lawyers are making a reentry into the legal profession through Biglaw firms than ever before. Participating firms now include Skadden Arps and MoFo, amongst others. Congrats! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Law school enrollment may be stagnant across the country, but at Colorado Law, it’s booming. The size of the school’s incoming class is 22 percent larger than last year’s was. What can we say other than students were sTOKEd to get in. [Boulder Daily Camera]
* If you’re ever fired from your job, charged with insider trading, and the SEC wants access to your work phone, take heart in the fact that your personal passcode is just that — personal. The SEC can’t treat it as a business record thanks to this ruling. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Richard Cudahy Sr., longtime Seventh Circuit judge, RIP. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
* The outcomes of misconduct complaints against members of the federal judiciary will now be posted online for your viewing pleasure to “provide for greater transparency” — and schadenfreude. This could wind up being entertaining, so keep your eyes peeled. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Apparently there are people out there who don’t know that law schools are in trouble and have been for a while, which is certainly news to us. See how the dean of UNLV School of Law explains the “new normal” to a human interest writer. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
* The White House just launched a nationwide movement to encourage legal immigrants in America to become U.S. citizens. What a happy coincidence that this campaign will likely add millions of voters to the rolls just in time for Election 2016. [New York Times]
* Per a report from The Real Deal, real estate practices are heating up in Biglaw firms across New York City. Firms like Fried Frank, Skadden, and Proskauer are expanding their real estate groups, so be on the lookout, laterals. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Harvard Law is supposed to be overseeing the rollout of a new Title IX program for the reporting of sexual harassment, but so many of the administrators who were in charge of its implementation have left that its come to a standstill. Oopsie! [Harvard Crimson]
* A former DJ is suing Taylor Swift because he claims that he lost his job after he was falsely accused of grabbing the singer’s ass. When contacted for comment, Swift said, “I’ve got a blank motion to dismiss, baby, and I’ll write your name.” [Associated Press]
* BakerHostetler’s partners unanimously agreed to do away with its two-tiered partnership structure. We would’ve been shocked the firm was going to kick its nonequity partner title to the curb, but we broke the news on it last month. [Am Law Daily]
* Albany Law’s new dean thinks she may have a solution to the school’s enrollment problem, which is down by 38 percent since 2010. She wants to hire more professors, even though the school’s existing professors aren’t exactly pleased. [Albany Business Review]
* California’s legislature approved a landmark bill that will permit physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. If Governor Jerry Brown refuses to sign the “death with dignity” law, supporters will likely bring it to a ballot referendum. [New York Times]
* A Brooklyn bride alleges in a recently filed lawsuit that she’s still waiting for her wedding pictures… more than two years after her wedding took place. She’s clearly not a bridezilla, because if she were, a lawsuit wouldn’t have even been necessary. [New York Post]
* “We saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and she just blew that tunnel up.” Massachusetts teen Michelle Carter was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend after she texted him numerous times, encouraging him to kill himself. If you haven’t seen them, her messages are chilling. [Associated Press]
* “If you are a lawyer thinking about having sex with your client, you better think first.” Go ahead, argue that your client’s 30-day suspension from practice was “just” because the woman kept coming back for more. Maybe your judge won’t be as sarcastic. [Knoxville News Sentinel]
* If you’re starting law school, you probably haven’t heard about the biggest law firm bankruptcy in history, and you likely don’t know what the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial is about. Here’s a listicle of reasons to doubt the prosecution’s case. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Biglaw firms are rethinking their office space at the same time as they’re building up their posh amenities. At the end of the day, associates may be forced to move to cubicles, but it’s all for the clients’ benefit, so hooray for them. *golf claps* [Commercial Observer]
* Our congratulations go out to Alicia Ouellette, Albany Law School’s newest president and dean. We’re certainly hopeful that she’ll be able to handle the tenuous employment situation with the school’s tenured faculty better than her predecessor did. [Times Union]
More details in the departure of a prominent dean paint the picture of an overwhelmingly toxic relationship with faculty.
Which law school’s bar passage rate has taken a turn for the worse?
* Baker & McKenzie was dethroned by DLA Piper as the the Biglaw king of gross revenue. The firm is blaming its poor performance — a 4.3 percent drop — on “currency fluctuations.” Better luck on snatching back glory next year. [Am Law Daily; Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* It’s hard out here for a pimp with an allegedly small peen: Terrence Howard’s divorce settlement was overturned by a judge after evidence was brought forward to suggest the actor was coerced into signing it. Apparently his ex was blackmailing him over the size of his manhood. [ABC News]
* There’s a new
sheriffjudge in town, and he’s cleaning up the Ferguson, Missouri, courts. His first order of business was to wipe out all arrest warrants issued before December 31, 2014, in the wake of the Michael Brown police shooting last August. [Reuters]
* Dean Philip Weiser of Colorado Law has announced that he’ll be stepping down from his position in July 2016. He’ll be remembered for keeping costs low and putting asses in seats during a time when it was difficult to do both concurrently. [Denver Business Journal]
* “On one level I give them kudos for playing hide the ball.” Gibson Dunn is fighting a subpoena issued by defense attorneys for computer metadata related to its Bridgegate report that cleared New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of all wrongdoing. [Bergen Record]