Law Students

Thinking of going to law school? Don't say she didn't warn you.

Here at Above the Law, we like to give our readers after-hours video content. Watching videos can be difficult if you’re at work or in class. But in the evening, when the office is more quiet or when you’re at home, you can enjoy videos without worrying about a colleague or classmate giving you a hard time.

Last night we put up a video about law student debt, in which Professor William Birdthistle crunched some numbers regarding whether it’s financially wise to go to law school. If you haven’t already done so, check it out here.

This evening we have another video about legal education. This one relies primarily upon cultural rather than economic factors in arguing why you shouldn’t go to law school….

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Star Jones thinks some of you are whiners.

When William Robinson, president of the American Bar Association, gave an interview in which he suggested that unemployed or underemployed law school graduates “should have known what they were getting into,” he was widely criticized. His emphasis on “personal responsibility” didn’t go over too well in some quarters of the legal profession and blogosphere.

But in defense of Bill Robinson, other people share his views. And some of these people are prominent personages.

Take prosecutor turned television personality Star Jones, who seems to have little sympathy for jobless law grads….

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Professor William Birdthistle

Welcome to the latest installment of Lawyers & Economics, our occasional video series on financial topics by Professor William Birdthistle of Chicago-Kent College of Law. He’s joined in some of these videos by an acting professional: Johnny Kastl, television actor turned 2L at Iowa Law, better known to some of you as Dr. Doug Murphy of “Scrubs.”

In the last video, Birdthistle and Kastl tackled the Greek debt crisis. Sadly enough, that problem remains unsolved, to the detriment of the world’s financial markets.

Today’s topic isn’t going away anytime soon either. If you have — or are thinking of taking on — student loans, keep reading….

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* Apparently attorneys at a “prestigious firm” in Washington, D.C. are fans of hobo hunting. What the hell does that mean? Well, there’s an app for that (one that Apple has rejected three times for its outrageous offensiveness). [VICE]

* “I want to (blank) Michelle Bachmann in her (blank) with a Vietnam era machete.” First of all: eww. Second of all: not a proper use of Twitter. Third of all: this is going before a grand jury. [Suits & Sentences / McClatchy]

* When your kid is an alleged aficionado of pilfered products, it helps to have friends in high places — like judges who look like Christopher McDonald and expect people to respect his authoritah. [Houston Chronicle]

Justice Jim Sharp

* I don’t think “gunner” means what you think it means. A 1L from Osgoode Hall Law in Toronto is accused of shooting up a residence hall with a 12-gauge Remington 870 shotgun. O Canada! [CityNews]

* It’s been a while since we wrote about law license plates, but just in case you’re thinking of getting vanity plates that read “NO TAGS,” don’t do it. You could get $20K in tickets like this clever guy. [Legal Blog Watch]

* FYI: you can only sometimes get away with paying kids to slap you in the face and pee on you. The rest of the time, you’re going to jail. [Legal Juice]

... to take a survey.

The ATL School and Firm Insiders Survey continues to roll along at a nice clip: we expect our 3,000th respondent any minute now. While we’re pleased with this response, of course we encourage all of you who haven’t yet to take 3-5 minutes and head over here to take our absolutely confidential survey. Thanks in advance.

Last week, we shared a few broad trends we’re seeing, and today, we’ll get a little more specific and name some names.

Among other things, the survey asks law students for their perceptions of a select group of firms as potential employers. In our analysis, we’ll look at which firms are considered the most (and least) attractive by law students. We’ll also consider how these perceptions jibe with what lawyers at these firms are telling us….

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To boldly go where no lawyer that I know of has gone before.

Some of you may know (I did not until an hour ago) that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Space Needle. Pretty exciting, right? I know, not really.

Except for one thing. In honor of the anniversary, the Space Needle is holding a contest to send one lucky person on a trip to space. The 20 contest finalists were recently announced, and among the chosen few is a 3L at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law.

The grand prize winner will be chosen in part based on user votes. Keep reading to learn about this aspiring lawyer-to-be, see why his head is in the clouds, and watch his application video. You can help make his wildest dreams come true

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What is this, I don't even...

* It looks like the Biglaw buzzwords for 2012 are “challenge” and “uncertainty.” Good! Great! Grand! Wonderful! Speaking of uncertainty, where are the spring bonuses? [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Kodak got the go-ahead for a $950M bankruptcy financing deal. Just think, if you had taken pictures using a film camera instead of a digital one, we probably wouldn’t be telling you about this. [Bloomberg]

* Rod Blagojevich will report to prison for his 14-year sentence on March 15, and he hopes to do so with “dignity” (i.e., no cameras). But you can be damn sure he’ll have his hair did, just in case. [Chicago Tribune]

* To be fair, the University of Maryland School of Law doesn’t really have time to worry about that parking job. The university might have to pay up to $500K in legal fees thanks to a lawsuit filed by the school’s environmental law clinic. [National Law Journal]

* Duncan Law’s got 99 problems, and another lawsuit is one. In addition to the school’s troubles with the ABA, a law student is suing because the school “negligently allowed her to enroll.” [Knoxville News Sentinel]

* George Seward, the founding partner of Seward & Kissel, has died at the age of 101. RIP. [Businessweek]

After the Patriots lost the Super Bowl, some people in Massachusetts got really riled up. Students at UMass Amherst rioted, and hundreds of crybaby Pats fans could be seen Bradying up and down the streets of Commonwealth’s capital. But when all of that was happening, a girl and a boy met by chance while attempting to catch a cab. The young couple shared the ride home, but perhaps they could have shared much more if only phone numbers had been exchanged.

We’ve wondered in the past if Above the Law readers could crowdsource a lawsuit, but could it work for a budding romance? Let’s find out….

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In case you haven’t noticed, 2012 is going to be the year where I try to take a more critical look at the level of career service that law students are receiving from their law schools. The legal job market has been crappy for a long enough time that law schools and career service officers should have adjusted their game plan. Rolling into 2012 with 2007 career service programs is simply unacceptable.

A couple of days ago, I offered some networking advice to the functional alcoholics in the audience. Sure, my thoughts were a little bit outside the box, but they were better than the kind of standard networking tripe most law students get from their overmatched CSO administrators.

Case in point, take a look as some networking advice sent around by the Dean of Students at a New York-area law school just last week. The advice was perfect if the dean was trying to ensure that the students made no impression, and left all employers wondering why they bothered to show up for a silly networking event in the first place….

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Austrian law student and founder of the websit...

Max Schrems, a 24-year-old law student from Austria, has become one of Facebook's fiercest critics.

While most law students are shaking off the winter break and settling back in for the second semester, Max Schrems is busy doing his best to bring Facebook to its knees.

Last year, the 24-year-old University of Vienna law student spent a semester abroad at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley. His privacy law professor there, Dorothy Glancy, invited a privacy lawyer from Facebook to be eaten alive by speak to the class. Schrems was shocked by the lawyer’s limited grasp of the severity of European data protection laws, and decided to write his final paper for the class on how Facebook was flunking privacy in Europe.

In the course of his research, he discovered that Facebook’s dossiers on individual users are hundreds of pages long, and include information users thought had been deleted. When he returned to Austria last summer, he formed an activist group called Europe v. Facebook (to legitimize his campaign and make it seem like more than just one law student), filed dozens of complaints in Europe about Facebook’s data practices, and publicized his findings online, leading to widespread media attention, a probe by a European privacy regulator, and questions from Congress.

On Monday, Facebook’s European director of policy (and former MP) Richard Allan and another California-based Facebook exec flew to Vienna to meet with Schrems for a whopping six hours to discuss his concerns.

Continue reading at Forbes.com….

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