Technology has changed at an unprecedented rate and most law schools have simply failed to keep pace. This law professor, however, is trying to change that.
* Many Biglaw firms seem to be dragging their feet to match Davis Polk’s generous bonus scale. Why’s that? According to one partner, these bonus matches have cut into his firm’s profits by about 4 percent. Yikes! [The Economist]
* Total 1L enrollment in law school is the lowest it’s been since 1973, when there were 53 fewer schools. The next step would be to reduce tuition to 1973 levels, and then no one would have any more complaints. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Just because Bingham McCutchen bit the big one, it doesn’t mean that all of its pro bono cases will have to suffer the same fate. Not only did Morgan Lewis rescue most of the firm’s attorneys, but it’s also saving 500 of its pro bono cases. [Am Law Daily]
* Now that President Obama has decided to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, lawyers are champing at the bit for more business opportunities. Love Cuban cigars? Well, lawyers love trademark disputes involving those cigars. [National Law Journal]
* Greenberg Traurig reminds Florida clerks that if they issue gay marriage licenses, they could be criminally charged. Plaintiffs’ attorneys remind Florida clerks that if they refuse to issue gay marriage licenses, they could be sued. [Tampa Bay Times]
* Our managing editor, David Lat, sat down with Vivia Chen to dish about some of his favorite things, from his new book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), to his new fiancé. Her book review: “I liked it! It’s a fun, breezy read.” Hooray! [The Careerist]
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Do you think recent law school graduates are deserving of lawyers’ sympathy?
* Law school enrollment continues its death spiral for the fourth year in a row, with enrollment down about 28 percent since 2010. Some schools — about 25 of them — have reported enrollment dips of more than 20 percent. Celebrate good times, come on! [National Law Journal]
* Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the queen and king of rap royalty, have been sued over a sample that was allegedly used in their hit song, “Drunk in Love.” When asked for comment on the suit, our bae Bey kept it short and sweet: “Bow down, bitches.” [A.V. Club]
* Yoohoo, SCOTUS, pay attention to this one: The first federal judge has weighed in on President Obama’s executive order on immigration, and in a four-page takedown, found it unconstitutional and “beyond prosecutorial discretion.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Katrina Dawson, an Australian lawyer who worked at Eight Selborne Chambers, was killed during the Sydney terrorist siege earlier this week. She reportedly died in an attempt to save a pregnant law firm colleague from a hail of gunfire. [Am Law Daily]
* Lawyers and law students dressed in suits hosted a “die-in” in the pouring rain outside of a courthouse in downtown L.A. yesterday. Professor Priscilla Ocen of Loyola Law made some great points on a bullhorn. [L.A. Now / Los Angeles Times]
* “If you can’t disagree on the law without taking it personally, find another day job. You shouldn’t be an appellate judge.” You’ve really got to admit that sometimes, Justice Scalia has an absolutely wonderful way of putting things. [Associated Press]
* David Boies sent everyone and their mother and their dog a letter asking them to destroy all docs leaked from the Sony hack, lest they face legal consequences, but there’s just one problem with that pesky First Amendment. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The law students who requested exam delays due to unfair grand jury decisions claim they’re not “coddled Millennials” — no, they’re members of the new regime of lawyers who are willing to ask, “If not us, then who?” [National Law Journal]
* Please keep in mind that these students are likely the same ones who may be missing out about learning the intricacies of rape law because they want their professors to “protect them from causing or experiencing discomfort.” [New Yorker]
* Well, this is an interesting round of musical chairs: Vice Media just poached James H. Schwab, the chairman of the media and entertainment practice group at Paul Weiss, to join the company as co-president. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Undergrad students at Boston University are trotting out the latest edition of the school’s pre-law review. Feast your eyes upon the genius of future gunners, or don’t, because it’ll help them learn early that no one actually reads law reviews. [BU Today]
While the facts of the case are still emerging, what do we know now that might make sense of this unusual claim?
* Thanks to a former Skadden attorney’s failed attempt to kill himself, police were able to retrieve a suicide note — entitled “A Sad Ending to My Life” — that revealed the lawyer’s $5M Ponzi scheme. We may have more on this later. [Am Law Daily]
* “I’m not one who believes there are too many lawyers in the country,” says Dean Thomas Guernsey of Thomas Jefferson Law. Conveniently, only 29% of TJSL’s ’13 grads are working in full-time, long-term jobs as lawyers. Kudos! [U-T San Diego]
* The government just paid the least amount of money to legal services contractors since 2008. As far as Biglaw firms are concerned, Curtis Mallet-Prevost posted “significant losses,” receiving $2M less than it did in 2013. [National Law Journal]
* Because not everyone wears gas masks, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to keep police from using tear gas on peaceful protestors in Ferguson without first issuing “clear and unambiguous warnings.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Ladies and gentlemen, this is the main event of the evening! IT’S TIME! FIGHTING out of the blue corner, angry UFC combatants who are planning to use “renowned” antitrust firms to secure “hundreds of millions of dollars”! [Bloody Elbow / SB Nation]
* An “America’s Next Top Model” contestant sued Tyra Banks, claiming she was disqualified from the title because Banks found out she had worked as an escort. You’re looking for people who can walk back and forth in heels over and over. Who did you think was trying out for the show? [Courthouse News Service]
* Dewey know which DLA Piper department head just declared personal bankruptcy? [New York Times]
* Coming soon to the hipster haven near you: the artisanal attorney. Hilarious satirical piece by John Frank Weaver. [McSweeney’s]
* Are you getting married? Are you planning to change your name? Huge mistake. The name part at least. Maybe the married part, I don’t know your deal. [The American Lawyer]
* The Onion surveys the reaction to the Columbia Law exam policy. [The Onion]
* You can’t force welfare recipients to get drug tests. Which was kind of obvious but still required a court to weigh in. [Pathologyblawg]
* A New York judge allegedly stroked his secretary’s face, forced her to give him hugs, and regaled her with explicit tales of sex with his mistress. [New York Post]
* There’s a wealth of information in this post about the ABA 509 Information Reports. Keith Lee does a year-over-year comparison of the top ten and bottom ten schools, looking for trends. [Associate’s Mind]
Biglaw bonuses this year were insane. In an industry that usually plays “follow the leader” when it comes to associate bonuses, this year felt more like a poker tournament.For a full recap of the 2014 bonus season, fill out this brief form and receive ATL’s Biglaw Bonus Poker infographic.
Are any of these approaches any goofier or less scientific than predicting the upcoming College Football Playoff by using law schools?
After his tenure application was denied, he wasn’t offered an extension on his employment contract with the school.
* A registered sex offender wins the lottery. $3 million buys a lot of windowless vans. [Orlando Sentinel]
* Judge to federal prosecutor: “You’re branded as a liar and you’ll remain a liar for the rest of your life.” [New York Observer]
* A New York lawyer has been arrested and charged with running down 5 people in Herald Square. Alcohol and crack pipes are involved. And topless selfies. Look, you’re going to see more on this from Staci in the morning, so just sit tight. [Inquisitr]
* If you want to live in a mansion, all you need to do is forge a few documents. [Gawker]
* The Supreme Court of Canada says cops can search your phone when they arrest you. But only to check the Habs score. [Ars Technica]
* Another installment of Posner on Posner. This time focusing on the First Amendment. [Concurring Opinions]
* This week we learned there’s a thing called “rectal feeding.” Professor Michael Dorf on why it’s totally a war crime. [Dorf on Law]
* How many law schools will close by 2020? [TaxProf Blog]
Will more law schools adopt initiatives like this one?
Please, hate this lawyer — it’s what he deserves.
* We know all about the ridiculous lawyer with three Harvard degrees who is apparently considering suing a mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant over a $4 overcharge. We’ll have more on this absolute absurdity later. [Boston.com]
* An English court ruled that a girl with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder couldn’t be awarded damages against her mother because the harm occurred in utero. Remember folks, the unborn aren’t people, only corporations are. [Daily Beast]
* Someone at Harvard Law taped fliers containing the last words of unarmed African-Americans who shot by police over portraits of their law professors. [ABC News]
* Per a recent study, the vast majority of law students have suffered from some sort of mental health issue while in law school. This isn’t at all shocking. [Yale Daily News]
African-Americans should show up for their exams, but they don’t have to be insulted while sitting for finals.
* Whoa, the American Bar Association shockingly deferred action on giving InfiLaw its blessing on the takeover of Charleston Law. Perhaps the ABA is turning over a new leaf as to saving law schools? [National Law Journal]
* Nevermind. The American Bar Association decided to grant provisional accreditation to the beleaguered LMU Duncan School of Law. Perhaps the ABA’s new slogan should be, “Accredit all the law schools!” [Claiborne Progress]
* Like it or not, despite their financial constraints, it’s likely that many law schools will never close, no matter how terrible they are — so as long as ABA regulation remains lax and the government keeps feeding students loan dollars to attend. [Daily Caller]
* If you read one piece of long-form journalism today, let it be this special report on the Supreme Court’s “echo chamber,” perhaps better known as the elite members of the SCOTUS bar who hoard all of the cases on the docket for themselves. [Reuters]
* In other law school-related news, fewer law school graduates are passing the California bar exam. California’s pass rate for the July exam was just 48.6%, and it’s been almost a decade since the pass rate was that low. Ouch! [Los Angeles Times]
Will the government be forced to grant loan forgiveness to all lawyers with unbearable debt burdens?