* 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]
* 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]
Bar exam results from around the country are beginning to trickle in and the results are far from encouraging. The results from July 2014 were the lowest in recent memory, but many had hoped that the drop would prove to be only an aberration. This does not appear to be the case.
So now the real question is: How much longer will law students continue to stick with the major bar review companies that can’t seem to get them to pass?
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…
* Alan Dershowitz vowed to sue the lawyers who alleged he took part in a sex scandal for defamation, but it looks like he was too slow — they sued him for defamation first. The Dersh, however, seemed pleased as punch by the news: “This makes my day.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Illinois passed some of the toughest anti-revenge-porn legislation the country has seen to date. With possible jail time and huge fines, maybe people will be inspired to be decent human beings… but we doubt it. [International Business Times]
* Welcome to 2015: In what’s being called the “running of the laterals,” many Biglaw partners and associates are making their moves and taking their practices to different firms and businesses. We hope everyone collected their bonuses! [Am Law Daily]
* You may be “troubled by a program where people at the bottom pay for the people at the top,” but it’s happening at law schools across the country. Students with low LSAT scores are subsidizing their classmates’ education. [National Law Journal]
* Meanwhile, getting into law school with lower LSAT scores is easier than it’s ever been before. From 2010 to 2013, nearly all of the nation’s Top 20 law schools admitted students with lower test scores. Thank them for paying your tuition. [Businessweek]
It’s mid-December, and you’ve had a week to get over the post-LSAT slump and any anxiety you might have had about canceling or keeping your LSAT score.
* A third-year student from the Louisiana State University Law Center was indicted for allegedly raping one woman and allegedly sexually assaulting and attempting to rape another. He’s currently free on bail under GPS monitoring supervision. [The Advocate]
* Here’s some news you can potentially use (with extreme caution): you may be able to give a law firm partner the finger and still be eligible to receive unemployment benefits after you’ve been fired for flipping the bird. [Madison St. Clair Record]
* Ever go to law school? Ever go to law school… on weed? Lots of law schools are adding courses related to marijuana law to their curricula because “[f]or most students, this is an inherently interesting topic.” Yessir, it is. [National Law Journal]
* Hmm, this advice article says you should evaluate your GPA and LSAT score to determine which law schools to apply to, but we know the only real qualification is a pulse. This is confusing. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
* The Federal Communications Commission renewed a radio license for a station owned by Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder, despite the fact that the agency’s chairman previously called the team name “offensive and derogatory.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* According to the results of the latest Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group survey, law firm managing partners are slowly but surely growing more confident with how the legal industry is turning out as time goes by. Hooray! [Am Law Daily]
* For what it’s worth, Ben Edelman’s threatening emails to Sichuan Garden weren’t his first time at the rodeo of douchebaggery. A few years back, the Harvard-educated lawyer sent similar emails to a sushi restaurant. Fun times. [Boston.com]
* The American Bar Association would like to know what you think the most successful law firm merger in history is. There are so many fantastic failures to rule out, but so few true triumphs in comparison. What’re your thoughts? [ABA Journal]
* The Senate has delayed the confirmation of Michelle Lee as the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until next year. Thus far, Lee’s would-be position has been open for almost two years. Wow, way to go, slowpokes. [Corporate Counsel]
* Started from the bottom now we’re here: this lawyer started out in the records department of his firm, and now, after 15 years of working there as an employee, he’s going to become a partner. Congratulations, dude! [Tex Parte Blog / Texas Lawyer]
* There are 3 types of logic games on the LSAT, and more power to you if you’re able to whiz your way through them. If you suck at logic games, learn how to conquer the mathiest part of the test. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
So, you want to be a lawyer. That means you’ve got an LSAT to take.
* With all this net neutrality talk, one of the biggest fans of the cause is Justice Antonin Scalia. He may not be tech-savvy, but he may yet save the internet. [National Law Journal]
* And the partners rejoiced? Bingham McCutchen approved a Morgan Lewis merger, and now the firm waits for its valiant rescuer to ride in upon its trusty steed. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A new study says the way to close the law school gender gap is to adopt gradeless grading policies similar to those of top law schools. Honors for everyone, yay! [Stanford News]
* LSAT prep company Test Masters Educational Services Inc. — not to be confused with TestMasters — must pay about $927K in legal fees, because as it turns out, some people were confused. [Legal Times]
* A Texas state representative submitted a bill calling for a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because there aren’t enough lawyers there. Unemployed lawyers, you know what to do. [Action 4 News]
We at Kinney are running the search for a fantastic in-house opening in Singapore, at the leading and largest tech company in Southeast Asia. The spot will be filled by a US associate with at least three years experience in M&A, from a top Wall Street or equivalent US firm. Compensation will be competitive with what the new hire is earning at their top tier law firm.
* While she may have “one of the broadest and most expansive roles” in West Wing history, thanks to this article, Valerie Jarrett can add a new title to her résumé: “Obama Whisperer.” [New Republic]
* Alumni from failed firms — or “dead firm alums,” which makes them sound like ghosts — have been having reunions to remember the good times at their former Biglaw homes. Aww, cute. [Am Law Daily]
* Everyone’s freaking out about the decline in bar exam scores, even deans. Brooklyn Law’s dean got into it with the NCBE’s head over her “offensive” comments about July ’14 takers. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Speaking of the bar exam, here’s a comparison between the amount students pay in law school tuition and the likelihood of passing the test on the first try. Spoiler: it doesn’t really matter. [Huffington Post]
* Here’s how to determine how badly you screwed up the LSAT. Step 1) Realize you took the test because you don’t know what else to do with your life. No more steps. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
What caused bar exam pass rates to drop across the country? We don’t know — and we can’t know….
* Will we have a nominee for Attorney General Eric Holder’s position “shortly after the election”? Per a White House spokesperson, our lame-duck Congress might just get a chance to confirm America’s next top lawyer. [WSJ Law Blog]
* In the wake of an associate general counsel’s suicide last week, Deutsche Bank has taken steps to further separate its legal and compliance teams to tamp down on its “legal and regulatory headaches.” Well then. [Corporate Counsel]
* David Tresch, Mayer Brown’s former chief information officer, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for his role in bilking the firm out of $4.8 million. Hey, it could’ve been worse, says his lawyer, whose client got off relatively easily. [Am Law Daily]
* Thanks to the rise of the “energy phenomenon,” law schools have started to offer various classes focusing on oil and gas law in the hopes of making their graduates employable. Good luck with that. [Times Online]
* If you plan to retake the LSAT, you need to study smarter. Don’t sweat it too much, though — it’s not like you’ve got a lot of competition trying to apply to law school. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
Are we about to witness a turnaround in legal education?
* Uh oh! The Second Circuit is having a copy/paste problem in that it copied and pasted the wrong legal standard into twelve of its immigration opinions from 2008 to 2012. Embarrassing. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Am Law named the grand prize winners of the magazine’s Global Legal Awards for the best cross-border work in corporate, finance, disputes, and citizenship. Was your firm honored? [Am Law Daily]
* An attorney at this Louisiana law firm was apparently attacked by a co-worker’s husband who claimed that the lawyer was behind his cuckolding. We may have more on this later. [Louisiana Record]
* A computer systems engineer at Wilson Sonsini has been charged with insider trading. This is the second time in three years that an employee from the firm has been charged with this crime. [Bloomberg]
* The best way to navigate common mistakes in the LSAT logical reasoning section is to display your logical reasoning capabilities by not taking the LSAT right now. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* Sweet billable hours: Congrats to Proskauer Rose on its efforts to keep the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo, New York. It’s the largest deal for the sale of an NFL team in history. [Am Law Daily]
* Your firm brings in billions in verdicts, but that’s not prestigious enough. It needs to be on the inaugural list of America’s Elite Trial Lawyers. See if yours made the cut. [National Law Journal]
* The best way to dodge traps in the LSAT analytical reasoning section is to display your analytical reasoning capabilities by not taking the LSAT in the first place during a time when law schools are in turmoil. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* Law professors Zephyr Teachout (Fordham) and Tim Wu (Columbia) were defeated in the Democratic primary election for New York governor and lieutenant governor, but they lost well. [New York Daily News]
* The world wants to know if Ray Rice can be prosecuted for domestic violence, even though he’s enrolled in a pre-trial intervention program. Like the answer to all legal questions, it depends. [WSJ Law Blog]
Perhaps we’ve finally plugged the brain drain away from law schools.