Money

Last month, we brought you the story of a student bar association dust up at NYU Law School.

The NYU SBA Treasurer, whom we called “Cashing Out,” resigned her position. The SBA President, “Party Law,” wrote an email to the entire student body, accusing the treasurer of making a lot of errors. The treasurer responded, accusing the SBA President of misappropriating funds.

OH MY GOD, WHAT’S THAT BEHIND YOU????

Just kidding. Just trying to keep you awake during this riveting retelling of accounting inconsistencies by two self-important NYU kids who should be preparing for callbacks now.

You’d think something of this magnitude would just kind of fade into the background, but the NYU administration decided to give this thing new life. The administration conducted an investigation into the dispute.

And the administration is coming down on the side of Party Law….

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Poor little white boy.

According to a new study by UCLA law professor Richard Sander, discussed in an article in the Denver University Law Review, “the vast majority of American law students come from relatively elite backgrounds; this is especially true at the most prestigious law schools, where only five percent of all students come from families whose SES [socioeconomic status] is in the bottom half of the national distribution.”

In other breaking news, studies show that the vast majority of people who get into water emerge wet.

It’s beyond obvious that American law schools favor the elite. Talent will take you far, but having a financially sound family will take you farther. Professor Sander — whose prior research on law school prestige generated lots of buzz last year — argues that schools should use socioeconomic factors as a partial substitute for racial preferences.

Well, that’s a false choice if I ever heard one. Why can’t we have both socioeconomic and race-based affirmative action? Look, you can accuse me of playing the “race card” if you want to, but I’m just trying to figure out a way to help white people get into law school….

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Occasionally it’s fun to see what non-lawyers think about the profession. Yes, we know they “hate” lawyers because, well, most people don’t like getting screwed out of alimony or dealing with insurance companies. But it can be interesting to remember just how little non-lawyers understand about the legal profession.

They don’t even really understand why lawyers get paid.

The other day, there was a good question on Quora: “Why are lawyers so expensive even with the excess supply of lawyers?”

You kind of love clients who bitch about the high price of lawyers, yet wouldn’t take a phone call from one of the thousands of unemployed or underemployed lawyers who are begging for work.

But, sure, some lawyers are still highly priced — maybe even overpriced — despite an excess supply of lawyers in general.

Let’s see if any of the lawyers here can actually give some helpful answers to this question….

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It continues to baffle me how this president who was elected thanks to the overwhelming support of young people can’t see the crushing effect of student debt. I honestly think that President Obama has a blind spot on this issue because he was able to pay off his debts with a book deal. Not everybody gets a book deal.

Heck, in this economy, not everybody gets a job.

And if you don’t have a job, paying off your student loans is the last thing on your list. First comes shelter, then food, then dating, then internet (so you can look for jobs), then all the bills where they take something away from you if you don’t pay, then alcohol, and then you see if you have any money left over to pay your student loans.

I didn’t make that last paragraph up. That’s a pretty standard hierarchy of human needs.

For some reason, Obama doesn’t understand that. He seems to think that if you pester people more, they’ll pay off their loans. Thanks to this flawed logic, expect debt collection calls to be coming to a cell phone near you….

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Karolina Stefanski

* Anna Nicole Smith is still screwing old white men from beyond the grave. Biglaw firms want Heller Ehrman’s claims to be decided in federal court, not bankruptcy court. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Kirkland & Ellis is pledging $2.75M to Stanford Law over the next five years in an effort to convince more students to take douchey pictures in front of their office signage. [Stanford Daily]

* Slow and steady wins the race, especially when it comes to reporting the news. A few news sites were eager to let readers know that Amanda Knox lost her appeal… except she didn’t. [Atlantic Wire]

* The Supreme Court has rejected yet another Obama birther lawsuit. Legal reasoning? “STFU, we’ll probably only have to deal with this dude for another year.” [CBS News]

* TWU to NYPD: Please don’t force us to listen to these Occupy Wall Street fools. We’d rather have our regular crazies on board. Of course, their lawsuit says it a bit more eloquently. [Wall Street Journal]

* Karolina Stefanski is being sued by an ex over some blank checks to the tune of $80K. Seriously, who cheats on a Playboy model? I mean, come on, boobs. [New York Post]

Admit it: Your corporation has a lot of legal flotsam and jetsam.

This is probably true no matter what business you’re in. On the corporate side, you have routine business transactions, and you may well handle those in-house. On the litigation side, you have a bunch of routine cases that pose little risk to the company but represent a recurring, and predictable, expense.

I propose that you package up that flotsam and jetsam and sell it off.

What am I thinking?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Inside Straight: Packaging Flotsam and Jetsam”

Last week, we asked our readers to submit possible captions for this photo:

Earlier this week, you voted on the finalists. We should probably announce the winner before another George Mason Law student finances his education with “charitable” donations….

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* Now that DADT has been repealed, the Ninth Circuit has tossed the Log Cabin Republicans case. How does that Paula Abdul song go? Two steps forward, two steps back? [Los Angeles Times]

* Is this a new way of protecting taxpayers? In early 2012, Bank of America is going to start charging $5 a month for debit card purchases. Thanks Dodd-Frank, thanks a lot. [Wall Street Journal]

* Bob Morse of U.S. News wants to know if the ABA will “take more steps . . . to ensure data integrity” in light of the latest admissions data scandal. Aww, you’re so cute. [ABA Journal]

* The DOJ wants Raj Rajaratnam’s medical information, but they probably don’t need it. Just pick some of the usual fat people diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure. [Bloomberg]

* If I only had a brain heart lower recidivism rate. A serial shoplifter is probably going to lose out on a heart transplant because her health insurance doesn’t cover inmates. [New York Daily News]

File this under the category of “better late than never.” Holland & Knight never adopted spring bonuses like other Biglaw firms. Why? Who knows. The firm didn’t want to play ball. Whatever.

Now the firm wants to put a little extra money into the pockets of Holland & Knight associates. Today, sources tell us that Holland & Knight announced it would be paying out a “fall” bonus. I guess it was a good summer at the firm.

But don’t get confused, this is supplemental money to the 2010 bonus, not an advance on the 2011 bonus. As we’ve already mentioned, firms are using 2011 revenue to pay for 2010 performance, so you really can’t count it against the 2011 bonus pool.

And Holland & Knight acknowledges that….

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You can't get your Family Law syllabus until you fill this cup.

When enterprising Ben Seisler ran short on cash in law school, he didn’t get some boring old job at the library. The UVA graduate put his education to use, realizing that — like Dorothy and her ruby slippers — he had been sitting on top of a gold mine all along. Literally.

The gold mine, it turns out, was located in Ben’s pants. Ben “donated” his sperm to a local sperm bank for $150. Apparently he took this charity work very seriously, as he returned to the bank again during his three years studying at George Mason University School of Law.

And again, and again, and again, and again….

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