New York

The business of high-end prostitution is enormously profitable.

– Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, commenting on the big bust of a prostitution ring aimed at wealthy Wall Street clients.

(For more on this story, see Dealbreaker.)

And now comes the part in our story where law school administrations, stung by the criticism they just received in the New York Times, start spinning. Yes, yesterday the Times exposed the law school business model to a horrified public of non-lawyers. Today, law schools are obligated to say, “No, no, no, that’s not our business model.”

It’s a perfect response. Law students already believe that they are special and will somehow overcome various odds stacked against them, and so they are particularly susceptible to the argument that while other law schools might have problems, the school they picked is the honorable school standing apart from the disreputable actions of others.

It’s like when women say “I have the best husband in the world.” Sure, 90% of husbands hate chick flicks, wish there was a way to get a hot meal without listening to your BS, and would bone Angelina Jolie 30 times in a row before they even remembered your name, but you found the best husband evah! Because you are so damn smart and discerning.

A bunch of law schools have tried to distinguish themselves from New York Law School since this weekend’s article, but the most outstanding example of this kind of distancing comes from: New York Law School….

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Well, it’s day three of Albany Law School Watch here at Above the Law. This school is definitely on the outskirts of our usual beat, but the craziness keeps rolling in, so we’re going with it.

If you haven’t been keeping up, it seems that Albany Law decided to replace almost all of its admissions office staff. Shortly after our initial story broke, the administration emailed students to inform them about the resignation of the law school’s assistant dean for admissions.

Our sources questioned whether that resignation was voluntary — and claimed that the admissions office staff members in question were escorted from the building by security, late last week.

It seems that alumni from the law school are upset, and some believe that our decision to run this story was premature because we didn’t have all of the facts. Interestingly enough, we’ve received information that provides another side to the story unfolding at Albany Law.

If you thought there was drama before, read on, because sh*t (on the rug) just got real….

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Yesterday we brought you a story about a law school from upstate New York. The pace is supposed to be a little slower and people’s lives are supposed to be a little less scandalous in that part of the state, at least compared to New York City. But all of that goes out the window when a law school apparently replaces almost all of its (well-respected) admissions staff, at a time when many members of the administration carry the word “interim” in their position titles.

Now some alumni are upset and threatening to withhold funds from the school (like they actually have any funds to withhold). You’re doing it wrong, Albany Law School.

When we reached out to David Singer, Albany Law’s Director of Communications & Marketing, he gave us a quick “no comment,” stating that the situation with the admissions office staff was “a personnel matter.” But our readers certainly weren’t short on comments, and we now believe we know more about what might have happened at the Albany Law School admissions office….

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Albany Law School seems to be having a rough go of it this year. The school’s long-time dean, Thomas Guernsey, announced that he would be stepping down from his position on June 30, 2011. Next, after a 20% drop in applications, the school decided to admit ten fewer students for the incoming class of 2014. The school then opted to cut 2% from its $32 million annual budget, amounting to a $600,000 reduction. Finally, just when the administration thought it would be able to name a new dean, the school’s deal with Judge Richard Wesley (2d Cir.) fell through.

When a law school is in the middle of making major cuts all around, you’d figure that the administration would want to keep some people on board who know the ropes — especially the people in charge of admitting new cash cows students. But, apparently, that is not the case in upstate New York….

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This year, we’ve heard a few horror stories from the poor and downtrodden students of NYU Law School –- and that is not the way we’d usually characterize these students.

But when the recession hit, NYU Law’s students were hit even harder. Some 3Ls were unemployed — so unemployed that Barrister’s Ball tickets had to be subsidized. Some 3Ls were so poor that they can’t afford black market commencement tickets. Holla! Livin’ in squala!

How could the school better use student tuition dollars to avoid these problems in the future? How could the school improve its students’ quality of life? These circumstances were likely difficult for the school’s administration to address, so it seems that they decided not to address them at all.

Instead, the school did this:

Yep, NYU Law bought a $3.5 million condo in the West Village….

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Christine Quinn

As we all await a vote on gay marriage in New York, the New York Observer came out with a wonderful list: the 50 most powerful gay people in New York. They’ve called them “power gays,” and that, my friends, is just fun to say. Here, I’ll use it in a scene.

OLD GUY: Is that guy over there… a gay?
ELIE: No. He’s a POWER gay.

The number one most powerful gay person in New York is City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. That makes sense. Christine Quinn could well be the next mayor of New York City, and unlike other potential NYC mayoral candidates, she doesn’t have a penis that can be photographed and disseminated over Twitter.

But, more relevant for our purposes, the power gays include a number of lawyers….

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Moshe Gerstein

The nauseating story of Moshe Gerstein has come to an abrupt end. Gerstein, who had been accused of possessing violent child pornography, has been found dead.

The allegations against Gerstein — who worked at Gibson Dunn and Skadden — were particularly disturbing. Gerstein was accused of stockpiling thousands of images of brutal child porn.

But he pleaded not guilty and was due to appear in court yesterday.

Instead, his obituary ran in The Republican today.

That obit is light on details, but an Above the Law source has attempted to shed some more light on the situation…

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Folks, it looks like New York State might pass gay marriage legislation.

The New York State Assembly has long since passed legislation authorizing gay marriage. But the hold up has been in the much more conservative New York State Senate. This morning, reports surfaced that gay marriage was just one vote shy in the Senate.

Would you want to be the one vote who told gay New Yorkers that their love was “wrong” and shouldn’t be recognized by the state? I wouldn’t want to be that one vote.

Well, Instinct Magazine is reporting — citing the Twitter feed of the Capital Tonight news program — that gay marriage proponents have the 32nd vote they need to break the 31-31 deadlock in the senate over the issue. In addition, the New York Civil Liberties Union claims, also via Twitter, that pro-marriage forces “have more than enough votes” to carry the measure.

But no vote has been scheduled as of now. If you support gay marriage in New York, now would be a good time to contact your senator.

Gosh, when judges just impose gay marriage upon the citizens, it isn’t nearly this complicated. In any event, gay marriage seems to be on the march in New York.

We’ll keep you posted of any developments.

Breaking: Capital Tonight Reports NY Senate Now Has The Necessary 32 Votes [Instinct]

Allegations of criminal conduct can be made against attorneys from all walks of life. An innocent-looking solo practitioner in Illinois can be accused of prostitution. A partner in a well-regarded Minnesota law firm, the incoming president of the state bar association, can be accused of molesting a child (and convicted of criminal sexual conduct, after pleading guilty).

Such seamy accusations aren’t limited to the heartland; we also see them here in New York, at elite law firms. As we mentioned last night, Moshe Gerstein — a 35-year-old corporate associate in the New York office of Gibson Dunn, who also once worked at Skadden — has been charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with child pornography possession. And we’re not talking about garden-variety kiddie porn, but images of a particularly disturbing nature.

Let’s learn more about the charges against this young lawyer, have a look at Moshe’s mug, and hear from some tipsters who know him — including a former colleague….

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