Northwestern University School of Law

* According to Justice Kagan, Justice Ginsburg “is responsible for eliminating sex discrimination from American law.” Whoa, that’s a nice thought, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves with wishful thinking. [New York Law Journal]

* After handing out pink slips staff, Heenan Blaikie lawyers sat down and voted to dissolve the Canadian firm’s partnership and wind up its business. It’s kind of like Dewey, but with maple syrup! [Legal Post / Financial Post]

* Jack W. Butler, the bankruptcy bigwig who managed to negotiate the American Airlines / US Airways merger, will leave his home at Skadden Arps after 23 years and head to Hilco Global. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Vermont Law School has partnered with several historically black colleges and universities in order to put warm bodies in empty seats promote the expansion of racial diversity in the legal profession. [VT Digger]

* David Savner, a corporate partner at Jenner & Block, recently donated $1 million to his alma mater, Northwestern Law, to fund a high-tech classroom. It must be nice to be rich. [Crain's Chicago Business]

* The ABA Journal wants to know what the “oddest” elective course you ever took in law school was. If you took a “Law and _____” class and didn’t get an “A,” you should hang your head in shame. [ABA Journal]

Last week, we looked at which Biglaw firms were the highest rated in 2013 by their own lawyers, according to the ATL Insider Survey. As we noted, we’ve amassed in excess of 15,500 responses to our survey from practicing lawyers and law students. The information from our survey provides our readers with a deep resource for comparing and evaluating schools and firms, particularly in the form of our Law Firm and Law School Directories.

Today, we continue to milk the “it’s a New Year/here’s a list” format and present 2013’s highest-rated law schools. Please note this is not to be confused with the ATL Law School Rankings, which assess schools based on a range of employment outcomes (and which are coming out later this year). These ratings are a pure function of how schools were rated by current students in the areas of academics, financial aid advising, career services, practical/clinical training, and social life.

More clues that these are not the ATL Law School Rankings: Northeastern beats Northwestern, while Yale and Harvard do not even make the cut…

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Congratulations to Northwestern University and Northwestern Law. The university just announced a $25 million gift, and $15 million of that will go to the law school.

The gift comes from Northwestern Law alum Neil Bluhm, who has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion. Although Bluhm made his fortune as a real estate and casino magnate, he took his first steps towards wealth in Biglaw. Bluhm worked as an associate and then a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown.

Speaking of Mayer Brown, the firm’s New York office just announced bonuses. Could they be the first big bucks banked by budding billionaires?

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Is belief in old St. Nick unreasonable?

One of the great things about religious liberty is the ability to believe unreasonable things.

– Professor Andrew Koppelman of Northwestern Law, speaking yesterday at the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention, on a panel about religious freedom.

(If you’re curious, a little explanation appears after the jump.)

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Whenever the topic of financial profligacy arises, I like to remind the assembled audience of my own rectitude in such matters. Why, I didn’t get a credit card until my second year of law school. Until that point, I had no need for credit. And I still didn’t even after I got the card. A twelve-hundred dollar limit is what they gave me on account of my non-existent credit. But that was alright with me. What in the world would ever possess a person to spend more than a thousand dollars that they didn’t have on hand? Do you know how cheap eggs are? I mean, I know this sounds like quite the non sequitur, but do you know how cheap a carton of eggs is? You can get them for a dollar. Maybe a dollar and change. The only reason I bring this up is they are a tasty source of protein for next-to-no-money at all. And so I ask you, why in the world would you ever need to borrow an enormous sum of money? Why would you spend your money like some drunk, and likely ethnic, sailor on shore leave? Are you compensating for something? I beseech you, are you too good for eggs? No sir, I don’t think I’m better than you with your spendthrift waffle iron ways. I just think you must never have truly learned how to run a tight fiscal ship.

I owe several entities close to a quarter-million dollars because of a Northwestern legal education that led me to… well, this.

Let’s talk money.

Let’s talk sports…

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I’m starting to think that law schools should just start offering low cost meal plans so that nobody has to bring their lunch. If everybody buys their lunch, then communal fridges are just used for beer and breastmilk, and anybody who steals lunch from a food truck will at least have to lose their wanted level before they can eat in peace.

A couple of days ago, we did a story about one woman’s plea to have her fork and Tupperware returned to her after her lunch was stolen. Yesterday, we did a story on law students starting a fund to compensate a kid who had a laptop stolen. Now… worlds collide and charity funds are springing up for hungry victims of lunch thievery.

As with most everything in life, there’s nothing here that couldn’t be solved with free tacos for everybody…

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For law students, nothing is more devastating than something happening to their precious laptops. They are the very tool that allow the future lawyers of America to survive the rigors of law school. A law student’s class notes are priceless, and if anything were to happen to them, it could have disastrous effects. Trust us when we say that you do not want to mess with a law student’s laptop. You could end up having the crap beaten out of you if you do.

We’re pretty sure there’s a special place in hell for anyone who would dare to steal a law student’s laptop, and this week, someone at one of the top law schools in the nation earned a ticket straight to the inferno. You’re probably a disgusting human being if you think it’s alright to steal a law student’s laptop. You deserve to be punched in the face.

So what happens when a fellow law student’s most prized possession in the world is taken away?

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Amanda Knox

* “The multimillion dollar question is: Is it going to happen and for how long?” Surprisingly, health care attorneys from large firms are being quite blasé about the Congressional battle over Obamacare. [Blog of Legal Times]

* The 2013 Global 100 is out, and with an 8.6 percent growth in revenue, DLA Piper was able to really show the world the benefits of churning that bill, baby! We’ll have more on this news later today. [American Lawyer]

* This is getting exhausting: Dentons, the three-way merger product of SNR Denton (a merger product itself), Salans, and Fraser Milner Casgrain, is in talks with McKenna Long & Aldridge for yet another merger. [Am Law Daily]

* The director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s enforcement unit will be stepping down to spend time more with family. The countdown until he returns to Skadden Arps starts now. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Ted Olson and David Boies, perhaps more commonly known these days as the gay marriage dream team, will be working together to challenge Virginia’s ban on marriage equality. [National Law Journal]

* Should law school be two years long? Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency (3 points) is beating the pants off Northwestern’s dean (-4 points) in this debate. [Debate Club / U.S. News & World Report]

* If you’re still considering applying for law school despite all of the warnings seen here and elsewhere, then you’ll probably want to follow this advice. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

* The Italian Court of Appeal is retrying Amanda Knox of a crime she’s already been convicted and acquitted of, and the chances she’ll be extradited if convicted again are slim to none. Buon lavoro. [CNN]

On the one hand, people who steal other people’s lunches are kind of the worst. Nobody accidentally steals lunch from a communal fridge. They know damn well that they are taking the food out of somebody else’s mouth.

On the other hand, people who have a conniption when their lunch gets stolen need to chill. You wouldn’t put your iPad or your wallet in a communal fridge. Not just because it would be a weird place to store such things, but because the very definition of “communal” means any random person with low moral character can take your stuff. If something is so precious to you that you’re going to have a fit if you lose it, you should keep it on your person or under lock and key.

But I guess overall I’m happy that law students keep leaving their lunches in communal fridges and are then surprised when somebody else in the community takes their food. Because watching a person lose their minds like their blood sugar has bottomed out in front of the whole freaking class is fun to read about….

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It looks like this ‘real’ housewife needs to get a real lawyer.

* The debt “vultures” are still circling Argentina’s carcass, but later this month, the justices of the Supreme Court will convene to decide whether or not they’ll take up the country’s bond case. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Judge Robert Wilkins managed to sail through his D.C. Circuit confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee with great ease, but let’s see what happens when he gets to the full Senate. [Blog of Legal Times]

* An in-house attorney in Pennsylvania was suspended from the practice of law for six months because he attached a camera to his shoe to secretly film up women’s skirts. What a classy dude. [Legal Intelligencer (sub. req.)]

* Massive open online courses are trending in the world of higher education, and some law schools — e.g., Harvard and Northwestern — decided to get on the bandwagon while the getting’s good. [National Law Journal (sub. req.)]

* “I’m prepared to drop everything and go to law school,” says the man appealing his age discrimination suit against Baylor Law School because his GPA predates grade inflation. [Texas Lawyer (sub. req.)]

* The man who represented cast members of the Real Housewives of New Jersey was arrested for the unauthorized practice of law. We bet these “reality” TV stars wish they had a real lawyer. [Bergen Record]

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