O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! On Friday, California bar exam results came out (and 55.8% of applicants passed, with a pass rate of 68% for first-time takers, meaning that just one stat is up (barely) from last year’s results). And today, we’ve finally got a list of the passage rates for the July 2013 administration of the New York bar exam by law school.
In 2012, more than half of the state’s law schools saw their pass rates take a tumble. In 2013, more than half of the state’s law schools were able to improve their pass rates, and in some cases, by epic proportions. The state’s overall pass rate for first-time takers jumped by two percentage points.
So which law schools’ pass rates climbed, and by how much? And which school sank like a stone?
Anytime an email ends with the lines: “Don’t submit this to ATL. It is boring and petty and nobody cares. Plus it’ll just make us sound like Columbia,” I’m intrigued. Boring, petty stories that make law students look like donkeys who take themselves too seriously (no offense, Columbia) is my specialty.
But here, we have a story that isn’t just about grade-obsessed law students taking it to a new level, we also have something that touches on issues of redistribution, unfair advantages, merit, and vigilantism. And we can talk about all of that without losing sight of the fundamental boring pettiness of the student involved.
A law student essentially stole the law review outline bank and posted it to everybody. Like Robin Hood wearing a Guy Fawkes, this kid thought “the people” should have access to the intellectual richness of notes taken by law review types over the years. Welcome to the law student version of Wikileaks…
* The Second Circuit has remanded the New York Stop and Frisk decision, demanding that a new judge hear the case. Among the reasons: that Judge Shira Scheindlin gave “media interviews and public statements purporting to respond publicly to criticism of the District Court.” So basically, act like a contemptuous prick in the press and when the judge calmly reaffirms her impartiality, get her thrown off the case. Thankfully this will all stop being an issue on about January 1, 2014. [U.S. Courts]
* Attorney networking and referral site wireLawyer gave itself a Halloween makeover. Personally I wouldn’t want a Fett as an attorney — they have a tendency to lose their heads or fall into pits of despair. Screenshot if you check out the site after they’ve moved on to what we can only assume is their All Saints Day makeover. [wireLawyer]
* Joe Biden’s niece appeared in court after she clashed with police last month, “swinging at a female officer then slapping another” before being dragged away in handcuffs all while touting how she “studied law.” This actually sounds more like something Joe Biden’s Onion persona would do. [NY Post]
* Penn Law is sporting pumpkins carved with the likeness of all nine Supreme Court justices. [Under the Button]
* Vivia Chen’s epic fail as a mother on Halloween. We still love you. [The Careerist]
* The House of Representatives has now introduced a use restriction on videos of House hearings to prevent the footage from being used for political purposes. That doesn’t sound all that legal. The Republicans just desperately don’t want people to know what they actually do at “work.” [Patently-O]
* Meanwhile, the Senate GOP is going filibuster on Patricia Millett’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit despite lacking any objection to her. [Huffington Post]
* NYU Law carried on its annual tradition of acting out the Erie case. Screw that! They should act out Palsgraf…
When law deans and other law school defenders talk about the high cost of legal education, they try to justify the price in economic terms. They cite ridiculous and largely unsupported figures about the value of a law degree. They point out the cost of the faculty. Explicitly or not, they don’t see a problem with charging the absolute maximum that the market will bear. They feel no shame for enticing young people to invest in law school by any means necessary, fair or unfair.
But the unreasonable cost of law school doesn’t just play out in purely economic terms. Students who graduate with a mountain of debt pay the human costs of hopelessness, deferred dreams, and often the burden of having to rely on parents long past the point when they had hoped to be self-sufficient.
We tend to focus on the plight of unemployed law graduates, but it’s always important to remember that “winning” and landing one of the few Biglaw jobs out there that even gives you a shot to pay off your debts can be pretty awful too. The high debt makes many law graduates feel like indentured servants, forced to work jobs they don’t want, in order to service their loans.
I think there are a lot of people who will empathize with this law graduate from a top school with a Biglaw job who feels like even death isn’t a suitable way around his law school loans…
I’m going to apply to both NYU Law campuses and see what happens, but I’d much rather go to the one in TriBeCa. It’s closer to my boyfriend’s apartment.
– Highlights from a prospective law student’s conversation overheard on the train ride to Manhattan this morning. She later said she was worried about the most recent administration of the LSAT. She had to retake it because her last score was a 148.
(Keep reading to see what happened next during this surreal encounter….)
I’ve been told that, for liability reasons, I’m not actually allowed to “drive” the party bus, but that’s probably for the best as I’ll be showing up after playing about ten hours straight of Grand Theft Auto V.
I posted this on Friday, and then I remembered that law students don’t wake up on Fridays, so I wanted to mention again that the Above the Law Bar Review Crawl (sponsored by Kaplan) now has a sign up sheet, a schedule, and a party bus.
Below you can see our plans, and one person who signs up will be picked at random (on Thursday morning I assume) to join us as we bus around the city. Right now, I’m actually just interested in your music suggestions for the party bus playlist…
This coming Thursday, September 19th, the Above the Law crew will set out to crown the best law school bar in Manhattan. But you knew that already. The first 25 people who show up to hang out with us will have the option of having a free drink sponsored by Kaplan, but you knew that already too.
What you don’t know yet is where we’re going. You don’t know when we’ll be there. And you don’t know how to get on the party bus with us as we travel around to schools, liveblog, and do other party-bus-type things.
Now, after pulling teeth from the people over what bars they drink at, we finally have those details. We’re starting out at 5:30 p.m. around Columbia at The Village Pourhouse.
Check below for the sign-up form to be eligible for some additional ATL swag, Kaplan swag, and a seat on the bus, plus the rest of the schedule….
The ATL/Kaplan Bar Review Crawl is going full steam ahead. The calendar has been cleared, the bus has been rented, the IVs have been commandeered. On Thursday, September 19th, we will be drinking all across New York.
We’ll be starting up by Columbia and slowly making our way downtown on an ATL party bus. We’ll make one bar stop per Manhattan-based law school, and then rate them. The first 25 people at each bar will get a free drink.
The only problem with this awesome plan is that we still don’t have enough bars. Students at NYU Law School have been very forthcoming with bar suggestions… and all signs point to the Wagon. But the rest of you guys aren’t being as helpful.
Columbia, where can we get a drink for happy hour? Fordham, where can we go around Lincoln Center to make fun of opera fans? NYLS… where are you again?
Seriously people… nominate some bars. Stop what you are doing and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post in the comments. I live on the Upper East Side, I have a kid, you do NOT want me picking these bars myself… we’ll end up at a damn Olive Garden.
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The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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