Do you have something to say about your law school’s U.S. News ranking? This is the place to do it!
Some lawyers are best-served beavering away in the firm where they have worked since law school. For most legal careers, though, there come inflection points where a change of job can open a whole new world of opportunity. Recognizing whether your career has reached such an inflection point, and then knowing whom to trust to help […]
* President Obama recently authorized a study into whether student loan debt should be dischargeable in bankruptcy. For now, any changes made to the bankruptcy code will likely apply only to private loans, so it looks like many law school graduates won’t be declaring bankruptcy any time soon. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* As we’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, the across-the-board drop in law school applications has inspired some law schools to do crazy things like shortening the length of time it takes to get a degree and lowering tuition. Hmm, more law schools should go crazy. [U.S. News & World Report]
* In the wake of much criticism of its plan to eliminate the LSAT for some students to gain admission to Iowa Law, the school’s dean offers an explanation: it’ll help her school compete to attract students who would otherwise have gone to T14 schools. [The Gazette]
* Even though law schools are in trouble, a legislator in Texas is still lobbying the state to subsidize the creation of a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because he has a “hard time believing there are no jobs for attorneys out there.” [Cleburne Times-Review]
* If you find that law schools aren’t reacting quickly enough to the crisis at hand, there are other options for you out there. While law schools implode as their tuition skyrockets, it seems that those who have fled the law are now trying to become engineers. [Quartz]
Unionizing and collective bargaining may be the last hope for average law students to negotiate tuition discounts.
It may be hard to believe, but this elite law firm is willing to hire graduates from law schools that may not be the very best.
* 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]
* “A senior Queens judge allowed a bawdy Viagra-themed light-switch cover to remain in his courtroom for at least a year — even after a female lawyer complained that it was inappropriate for court.” Obviously, there will be a contingent trying to write this off as “just a joke” and asking everyone to “relax,” but seriously, how is ANY joke lightswitch cover appropriate in a courtroom? Let alone a penis switch. [NY Post]
* Teen burglars started sniffing the powder they stole thinking it was cocaine. Instead, it was cremated ashes. It’s part Cocaine Cowboys and part Six Feet Under. [The Smoking Gun]
* No one can predict how much tuition will rise over the next several years. But this offers the next best thing: an interactive tool to chart how much each school’s tuition has changed over the last few years. [Bar Exam Stats]
* We’ve featured some of Richard Hsu’s interviews in this space. The Recorder sat down with the Shearman & Sterling partner to discuss his podcast. [The Recorder]
* Elie went on HuffPo today to discuss the phenomenon of law schools dropping the LSAT. [HuffPo Live]
* Former Wilmer litigator and 10th Circuit clerk John Ford has a new book out called The Cipher (affiliate link). It’s about the NSA harassing an innocent American citizen. Or as the rest of us call it, “a Tuesday.” [Amazon]
* In sad news, Dave Frohnmayer, former Oregon Attorney General, dean of Oregon Law School, and President of the University of Oregon passed away at 74. On a personal note, he was extremely supportive when I resuscitated the South Eugene debate program (where his daughters had earlier debated) before I went off to law school. Rest in peace. [The Oregonian]
* Have you ever wondered about litigation finance and thought, “if only someone would make a cartoon to explain it all to me” then you’re in luck. [LFC360]
What do you think? Did U.S. News get it right this year? Are these new rankings fair?
Studies have found that 63 million Americans qualify for Legal Services Corporation-funded civil legal assistance. These lower-income persons may have serious legal needs, and when they do they completely mess up the courts smooth operations. In a survey of trial judges, more than 60% of the judges reported that unrepresented litigants had errors in procedure. 78% […]
* “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]
Who killed this Georgetown Law student?
Which law school will be flooded with paparazzi thanks to this brainy and beautiful barrister’s presence?
The rankings aren’t out yet, but let’s take an exclusive look at the new Top 10 law schools in the nation!
* 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]
* A Tampa law firm replaced its regular desks to make happier and healthier lawyers. I’d never heard of a tread desk, but I want one. [Bay News 9]
* Prosecutors eviscerated after court finds out that they straight falsified the transcript of a confession. That’s bold. [Observer]
* How can schools keep top faculty? Giving them less to do of course! [TaxProf Blog]
* Eliminating a**hole from your vocabulary. That sounds like a terrible idea. [Katz Justice]
* A handy tool displays bar passage rates by law school. [Bar Exam Stats]
* Berkeley’s Federalist Society chapter is talking about proper policing by inviting a cop who was suspended for striking protesters and ordering a false arrest during an AIDS demonstration. Seems like he’s a good choice. [Berkeley Law]
* If you were wondering how the King plaintiffs would answer for how their reading runs contrary to hundreds of pages of text, the answer is… they couldn’t really. Not that the oral argument really matters to how anyone’s going to vote. [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* Conservative Courts just get no respect. [Politico]