• Amanda Knox

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.30.15

    * Talk about a Friday news dump! In case you missed these high-profile rulings, Amanda Knox was acquitted of murder charges in Italy (for the second time), and Ellen Pao lost her discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Use this slideshow to compare how North Carolina law schools are doing in terms of job placement. Duke was on top, and NCCU was dead last. Bonus: There were very few school-funded jobs to strip out of the data — the numbers were just that bad on their own. [Triad Business Journal]

    * LSAC doesn’t want to to adopt new disability accommodations for the LSAT because they “show a complete disregard for the importance of standardized testing conditions.” It’d rather show a complete disregard for applicants’ disabilities. [National Law Journal]

    * Widener? I hardly know her! Thanks to the ABA, this saying has new meaning in legal circles. With the law school regulator’s blessing, Widener Law’s Delaware and Harrisburg campuses will officially become two separate schools effective July 1. [News Journal]

    * Following blowback over the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana Governor Mike Pence says he’ll push for legislation clarifying that the controversial law isn’t intended to support discrimination against the LGBT community. Suuure. [Indy Star]

    113 Comments / / Mar 30, 2015 at 9:07 AM
  • Supreme Court pretty Small

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.24.15

    * Justice Anthony Kennedy says that while the Supreme Court is trying to attract more minority law clerks, lower court judges have it easier because they can recruit from local schools. Some justices have an Ivy League addiction, and thus, a diversity problem. [Legal Times]

    * The next step in the confirmation process for Loretta Lynch, the lawyer who will someday be the first black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, isn’t likely to occur until at least mid-April. Why the wait? SENATE SPRING BREAK, WOO! [Reuters]

    * Give me maple syrup, or give me death: According to legal experts from the National Constitution Center, even though Republican candidate Ted Cruz was born in Canada, he still counts as a “natural born citizen” who’s eligible to be president. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Foley & Lardner partner Howard Shipley avoided a supreme spanking from SCOTUS over his submission of a garbled cert petition last year, but the high court took the opportunity to remind all lawyers to write “in plain terms.” [National Law Journal]

    * How badly do you want to go to a top law school? Exactly how desperate you are to feel the warm and gentle embrace of prestige? How hard can you gun? Would you be willing to take the LSAT three times? [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    47 Comments / / Mar 24, 2015 at 9:11 AM
  • Red-tailed hawk. Photo by Greg Hume.


    Non-Sequiturs: 03.20.15

    * People are dogging this, but I wholeheartedly approve. Kids need to learn that Republicans will kill any idea no matter how benign while somehow making it about abortion. It’s an important life lesson. [NH1]

    * Sometimes the help of a friend actually makes the situation worse. That’s why I make it my policy not to help. [Science of Relationships]

    * A second suspect picked up in the triple murder involving America’s Next Top Model Mirjana Puhar. Investigators plan to give him a hot mic and wait for him to take a bathroom break. [Gawker]

    * LSAC’s having a big day. After law school applications hit a 15-year low, we get the news that LSAC has changed their licensing agreement to kill LSAT PrepTest PDFs. That’ll help. [LSAT Blog]

    * When you think about it, contract lawyers are living out the white-collar version of the Industrial Revolution. And doing about as well as the first Proletariat did. [Law and More]

    * Someone thinks the country doesn’t have to be run by lawyers. This is a dangerous idea that could take down the empire we’ve all built. Thankfully it’s coming from the Transhumanist Party presidential candidate. So I think we’re safe. [Motherboard / Vice]

    * That’s not how you use Swiss cheese… [Legal Juice]

    * A new podcast discusses religious liberty bills with Professor Marci Hamilton, Verkuli Chair in Public Law at Cardozo. [RJ Court Watch]

    * Another call to do something nice and simple so you aren’t the kind of lawyer people joke about. [What About Clients?]

    * On that note, here’s a cavalcade of lawyer jokes explained. Until things get too real. [LFC360]

    28 Comments / / Mar 20, 2015 at 5:03 PM
  • yale law school

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.17.15

    * A ballsy decision dripping with prestige? It seems that a few too many students at Yale Law School requested access to their student admissions evaluation records under FERPA, so instead of handing them over, Yale deleted them. [New Republic]

    * Here’s some good news for women attorneys visiting clients in Massachusetts jails: you’ll no longer be forced to lift up your shirt and shake out your bra if your underwire makes the metal detector go off. Instead, you’ll get felt up a pat down. [Boston Globe]

    * According to early data culled for the Am Law 100 rankings, from revenue to profits per partner to revenue per lawyer, Winston & Strawn posted record financial results in 2014. Perhaps the days of no-offers and layoffs are long gone for this firm. [Am Law Daily]

    * Just because more people took the LSAT in February, it doesn’t mean that the law school crisis is over. It does, however, mean that law school administrators may soon be wishcasting the year-over-year growth of their first-year classes. [National Law Journal]

    * Rahul Gupta, the graduate student who used the tried and true “my girlfriend did it” defense during his trial for the fatal stabbing of a Georgetown Law student, was convicted on first-degree murder charges yesterday. He’ll be sentenced on April 16. [WJLA]

    24 Comments / / Mar 17, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • arrogant partner LF


    Non-Sequiturs: 03.13.15

    * The law school ranking for the career-oriented: which law schools produce the most Biglaw partners? [TaxProf Blog]

    * Uh oh. More students took the LSAT in February. The bubble begins anew. [LSAT Blog]

    * The saddest part of this story is that it’s impossible to be surprised about it: the NYPD is going into the Wikipedia entries of Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, and other police brutality victims and making selective edits. [Colorlines]

    * Judge throws out “Lebellus” cause of action. [Lowering the Bar]

    * Most people understand the criminal justice system is broken. Fewer understand how busted the civil system is. [LFC 360]

    * Speaking of the broken civil justice system, it looks like class actions are an endangered species, according to Professor Brian Fitzpatrick. Maybe CrowdSuit can help. [SSRN]

    8 Comments / / Mar 13, 2015 at 4:58 PM
  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.12.15

    * 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]

    29 Comments / / Mar 12, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Use your imagination...


    Non-Sequiturs: 03.10.15

    * “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]

    22 Comments / / Mar 10, 2015 at 5:20 PM
  • Photo by Drew Havens.

    Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 03.04.15

    * Meet David King of King v. Burwell, the epic Obamacare case to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court today. [New York Times]

    * And meet the two legal heavyweights who will be arguing the case before SCOTUS. [Politico via How Appealing]

    * Meanwhile, another Supreme Court has put a stop to same-sex marriage down in Alabama — for now. [Buzzfeed]

    * General David Petraeus reaches a plea deal, requiring him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a fine (but no prison sentence). [Washington Post]

    * It’s not as sexy as Obamacare or marriage equality, but the collection of state sales tax on out-of-state purchases made online is a pretty important issue — and Justice Kennedy wants SCOTUS to revisit it. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]

    * In the wake of a leadership shake-up, Cadwalader is beefing up its Houston energy practice — but is that a wise idea, with the price of oil spiraling downward? [American Lawyer]

    * Finally, something that Elie Mystal and Jordan Weissmann can agree upon: dropping the LSAT is a bad idea. [Slate]

    * A jury of eight men and 10 women will start hearing arguments today in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, defendant in the Boston Marathon bombing. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]

    * Legal ethics guru Monroe Freedman, RIP. [ABA Journal]

    14 Comments / / Mar 4, 2015 at 8:54 AM
  • Its a trap

    Law Schools, LSAT

    Killing The LSAT Is A Bad Deal For Students

    Removing the LSAT requirement is just the latest law school trick.

    111 Comments / / Feb 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM
  • Morning Docket, Trials

    Morning Docket: 02.25.15

    * Smart women, foolish choices? Alexandra Marchuk might regret turning down a $425,001 offer of judgment from the defendants in Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi, in which she wound up getting a $140,000 verdict. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    * In other news from high-profile sexual harassment cases, the trial in Harvard Law grad Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against venture capital behemoth Kleiner Perkins got underway yesterday. [USA Today]

    * A guilty verdict and a life sentence in the “American Sniper” trial. [New York Times]

    * Embattled politico Sheldon Silver has turned to the talented Steven Molo in seeking to get the criminal charges against him dismissed. [New York Post]

    * J.J. Nelson v. Adidas: coming to a 1L Contracts casebook near you? [ESPN]

    * Law schools dropping the LSAT: a trend in the making? [BloombergBusiness]

    * The latest in Deidre Clark v. Allen & Overy: is plaintiff Deidre Dare ready for her close-up psychological exam? [New York Law Journal]

    * Is the job outlook for law school graduates brightening? Some thoughts from Jim Leipold of NALP. [National Law Journal via ABA Journal]

    * As he runs for Congress, what does Staten Island district attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. have to say about the Eric Garner case? [New York Times]

    23 Comments / / Feb 25, 2015 at 8:37 AM
  • LSAT 2 RF

    LSAT, Public Interest

    What Should A Prospective Public Defender With A Middling LSAT Score Do?

    Law school can be expensive, and sometimes mid-tier law schools may be a worse investment than one lower down the food chain.

    24 Comments / / Feb 24, 2015 at 11:35 AM
  • Damn Dewey dollars...

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.16.15

    Ed. note: Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, we will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will still be publishing, but less frequently than usual. We will be back in full force tomorrow.

    * The news is in, and it seems that Davis Polk’s financial numbers were at record highs. The firm’s revenue beat the $1 billion mark for the first time ever, and its PPP rose to $3.29 million. No wonder its 2014 bonuses were so awesome! [Am Law Daily]

    * Yes, we know that William Mitchell Law and Hamline Law are merging to survive as a result of a quickly disappearing applicant pool. We’d really love to know how many other law schools are considering this as an alternative to closing their doors. [Star Tribune]

    * How are Nebraska and Oklahoma, which neighbor Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized, handling the situation? Not well. Their AGs want SCOTUS to rule the weed law in the state where you can get Rocky Mountain High is unconstitutional. [PBS NewsHour]

    * Thanks to a recent ABA rule change, schools are beginning to admit students without LSAT scores. One of those schools is Iowa Law (ranked in the top 30 by U.S. News), but those students need to have done really well on other standardized tests. [Daily Iowan]

    * “How have I done as a judge today?” “Not bad, but you could do better.” Judge John Hurley had a run-in with an 80-year-old criminal defendant who wouldn’t stop calling him sweetheart. Flip to the next page to see the entertaining video. [NBC 6 South Florida]

    32 Comments / / Feb 16, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • cakepops

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.27.15

    * “She’s kind of like Eric Holder in a skirt.” Well then. No one else really seems to care about longtime prosecutor Loretta Lynch’s nomination for the position of replacement top dog at the Department of Justice, but hey, maybe that’s actually a good thing. [National Law Journal]

    * Yael Krigman, who left her job at White & Case to open up her own cakepoppery in Washington, D.C., doesn’t miss being a lawyer. In fact, these days, she says she uses her law degree “much more than [she] did as a practicing attorney.” [GW Hatchet]

    * It’s official: the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court had no shame in their game when they denied certiorari on a civil rights case involving shirtless Wade McCree. It’s too bad judges are immune from lawsuits like this. [Associated Press via Detroit News]

    * If you’re lucky enough to have power, then boy, Dewey have a wonderful longread for you to take a look at on this “historic” snow day. It turns out that this failed firm’s management painted a “rosy picture” to mask an “ugly truth.” [ABA Journal]

    * Should you submit a law school application with a crappy LSAT score without first telling the schools that there will be another, hopefully better LSAT score coming? Please. They’ll be thrilled you have a pulse. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    15 Comments / / Jan 27, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • debt shackles

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.22.15

    * Dentons is on the verge of finalizing a mega-merger that would make the combined firm the largest in the world, beating out even Biglaw behemoth Baker & McKenzie. Which law firm is Dentons wooing this time? [Wall Street Journal]

    * “We say law school is expensive, but it’s not expensive for everybody.” People who do poorly on the LSAT finance their classmates’ schooling, and thanks to this chart, now we know what the cost of a low LSAT score really is. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

    * Senate hearings for Loretta Lynch are scheduled to begin next week, but thus far, she’s only received eight letters in support of her nomination for AG. Eric Holder, who is apparently far cooler than she is, received tons of ’em. Aww. [National Law Journal]

    * The next edition of the Am Law 100 will soon be released, but until then, Am Law is sating our desire for rankings with little tidbits of interesting information. This just in: Apparently Weil Gotshal posted a major, double-digit increase in PPP. [Am Law Daily]

    * Nixon Peabody has had the urge to merge for quite some time, and now the firm has finally found a willing partner. If everything works out, the firm will gobble up Ungaretti & Harris, and everyone will be a winner! [Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * “There is a large overhang of unemployed law graduates looking for jobs. Whether employers will hire them over 2015 grads is hard to predict.” Which is the lesser of two evils: dumber law grads or law grads with huge résumé gaps? [CBS News]

    19 Comments / / Jan 22, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • United States Capital

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.21.15

    * Nothing is f*cked here, Judge: With first-class flights, alcoholic beverages, and hotel movies already nixed, lawyers who worked on the City of Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy case are now being forced to defend their multi-million dollar billables. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “It’s important to have different perspectives in Congress. It really adds a lot to the mix.” That said, which law schools are the best at producing lawmakers? You may be surprised by some of the schools that made the list. [National Law Journal]

    * “Going to law school is still a great option,” says the dean of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, a school whose 25th percentile LSAT scores dropped by six points year over year. Toss UA Law a pity application. [Daily Wildcat]

    * Per the defense in the Aurora movie theater massacre case, the prosecutor’s “insistence upon the death penalty certainly seems politically motivated” — that, or maybe James Holmes deserves the death penalty for killing 12 people. [ABA Journal]

    * By now, everyone’s heard of the woman who’s planning to “marry” her biological father and move to New Jersey. Believe it or not, incestual adult relationships are actually legal in the Garden State thanks to a legislative screw-up. [NJ Advance Media]

    17 Comments / / Jan 21, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.16.15

    * Fewer people are applying to law school. According to LSAC, the number of would-be lawyers who submitted applications is down by 8.5 percent compared to last year. Serious question: How low can we go before all schools are officially in crisis mode? [WSJ Law Blog]

    * You’ll never believe how this guy paid off his law school debt. His parents got a home refi loan, and with the money ($210,000), their son got rid of his student loans. Now he’ll pay his parents’ loan for 30 years. Wow. [Business Insider]

    * Justice Samuel Alito took a break from the SCOTUS docket to receive an award named for the late Judge Edward Becker of the Third Circuit, a man who he said “tried to get federal judges to act in a more sensible way. That’s a real task.” [Legal Times]

    * “[T]hings are getting back to where they were before the recession,” so naturally, state judges — like those in California — are suing over the salary increases they were denied while the recession was in progress. Bless their hearts. [National Law Journal]

    * Hey lawyers, want to seem like you’re smart? Stop sprinkling your briefs with SAT vocabulary words. Just put on a pair of glasses and start using your middle initial more often. For the record, speaking in a pleasant voice is also helpful. [ABA Journal]

    11 Comments / / Jan 16, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • beer craft beer


    Non-Sequiturs: 01.15.14

    beer craft beer* Lagunitas sued Sierra Nevada over beer. Beer connoisseurs pulled themselves out of their own vomit to tweet their disapproval. And it worked, Lagunitas dropped the suit. Imagine if we could harness the power of drunks for good. Or evil. Just anything. [SF Gate]

    * Musing that maybe that daunting LSAT was the obstacle keeping students from filling seats, University of San Diego Law just opened up the school to USD grads — no LSAT required. [University of San Diego School of Law]

    * Saks has heard the public backlash against its assertion that transgender people deserve no legal protections in the workplace and responded by… reasserting that transgendered people have no rights. [Slate]

    * Fashion law isn’t just for Elle Woods acolytes anymore. [Racked]

    * Ninth Circuit does not take kindly to a state prosecutor who lied under oath. [Seeking-Justice]

    * SCOTUS justices don’t have to recuse themselves, and when they do, they don’t have to explain why. Let’s look at the recusals this Term and venture a guess at why each justice sat out. [Fix the Court]

    * NY subways boast some ridiculous safety posters to cover themselves legally. Here’s a breakdown of their latest efforts. [NY Observer]

    * Checking in on the always messed up developments down at Manhattan Supreme Court. [Wise Law NY]

    * “Good news for law grads and law schools!” article ends up buried in a sea of caveats. Because of course it does. [TaxProf Blog]

    8 Comments / / Jan 15, 2015 at 5:33 PM
  • career-files-180x100-RF

    Career Files, LSAT, Pre-Law

    From The Career Files: The Best Way To Use Your LSAT Practice Tests

    Getting ready for the LSAT is awesome! It’s like going to the dentist every day, or that scene at the end of Reservoir Dogs with the ear…

    / Jan 9, 2015 at 1:47 PM