Columnist Bruce Stachenfeld asks: why does “pro bono” have to be thought of exclusively as work we lawyers do as lawyers?
Should pro bono be a requirement of lawyers? Managing partner Bruce Stachenfeld shares his perspective.
Some lawyers are best-served beavering away in the firm where they have worked since law school. For most legal careers, though, there come inflection points where a change of job can open a whole new world of opportunity. Recognizing whether your career has reached such an inflection point, and then knowing whom to trust to help […]
In the face of ongoing protests in Baltimore, one law school is doing the right thing.
By following advice from those who lived it, you have a good shot at landing the job you want.
A judge and a community leader shared their thoughts on public service at AEF’s benefit dinner last week.
Is bonus “season” becoming a year-round phenomenon? Check out how this firm just sweetened the pot.
* Last week in court, a murder suspect in Louisiana apparently pooped his pants during a case status hearing, wiped said poop all over his face, and muttered to himself that “life is like a box of chocolates.” Sorry about that crappy candy, dude. [New Orleans Advocate]
* According to early Am Law 100 data, New York’s most elite and prestigious firms have once again broken away from the rest of the pack when it comes to both revenue and partner profits. Biglaw’s best may be back to models and bottles. [Am Law Daily]
* Michelle Lee, the first woman to ever serve as director of the USPTO, was sworn in on stage at SXSW Interactive. Michelle Lee, who worked with the Girl Scouts to issue a patent patch (instead of more makeup and sewing patches), is pretty damn awesome. [Mashable]
* The federal judiciary has plans to decrease the word limit of appellate briefs from 14,000 to 12,500, and lawyers are pissed. Lawyers from Brown Rudnick say it could result in more acronyms, confusing construction, and less “punctilious citation,” oh my! [WSJ Law Blog]
* Lee Smolen, the ex-Sidley Austin partner who faked $69,000 in travel expenses while at the firm (and possibly $379K more), has been suspended from practice for one year and will have to undergo psychiatric treatment. [Legal Profession Blog via ABA Journal]
* Taking New York’s lead, California is considering requiring all would-be attorneys in the state to complete 50 hours of pro bono work within one year of being admitted. Leave it to people who don’t know what they’re doing yet to close the justice gap. [Los Angeles Times]
* Pretty significant typo… [Legal Cheek]
* King v. Burwell plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Carvin of Jones Day has some interesting things to say about Obamacare. Like being sure to characterize the law as the product “by living white women and minorities,” which in some circles constitutes throwing shade. Racist circles. [Talking Points Memo]
* South Carolina makes its potential magistrate judges take the same Wonderlic test given to potential NFL draft picks. The justice system is even based on football down there. I assume occasionally they’ll let a defendant think they’ll get off and then give him the chair and the jury yells, “CLEMSON!” [Lowering the Bar]
* We take a break from our regularly scheduled NS segment, “Louisiana Seems Crazy,” to bring you a great idea out of Louisiana. Effective May 1, lawyers can earn their CLE hours by doing pro bono work. Brilliant. More substantive legal work to fill a huge need and less garbled streaming video. [New Orleans City Business]
* OK now back to regularly scheduled programming: arrest warrant issued for New Orleans lawyer accused of intentionally triggering a mistrial by refusing to participate in jury selection. I think Perry Mason did that once. It was one of the more obscure episodes. [Nola]
* Leave it to the people who wield the awesome punitive power of the state to be the first to give themselves a get out of jail free card. [USA Today]
* Richard Hsu scores an interview with Jon Lindsey of legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. Apparently, the busy founding partner Lindsey really knows how to juggle things. Literally. [Hsu Untied]
* History buffs out there may recall that Emperor Augustus instituted a bunch of moral reforms during his reign that really only succeeded in revealing that his daughter was a total whore. But what if the Emperor’s prude rules actually helped solidify his broader goals? [Law & Humanities Blog]
Studies have found that 63 million Americans qualify for Legal Services Corporation-funded civil legal assistance. These lower-income persons may have serious legal needs, and when they do they completely mess up the courts smooth operations. In a survey of trial judges, more than 60% of the judges reported that unrepresented litigants had errors in procedure. 78% […]
Which outstanding individuals did the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) honor at its recent annual dinner?
* The FCC declares net neutrality. Now an explanation of what that really means. [Gizmodo]
* Today in “delightful things police departments do,” we have the tale of a woman held in a black site by Chicago police for 18 hours before being allowed to contact a lawyer. That’s the Chicago way. [The Guardian]
* Former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers — of Bowers v. Hardwick fame — now supports LGBT rights. That’s got to be the last one, right? Is there anyone still out there against this? [Buzzfeed]
* We should have more lawyer unions. To the barricades, colleagues! [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]
* Updating a previous item: Cooley filed its opposition to the federal government’s motion to dismiss in the troubling case of Judge Tabaddor, whom the government ordered to stop hearing immigration matters involving Iranians because she is Iranian-American. [Cooley LLP]
* The Harvard Law School Association Entrepreneurs Network invite you to a legal tech pitch night. It’s March 4th at 6:30 p.m. in NYC. Talkin’ law and technology. Be there and be square. [EventBrite]
* The CAC’s “Roberts At 10″ series continues, turning its gaze on the racial equality protections we used to have. [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* It’s law journal submission season — please publish something more practical than, “the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th Century Bulgaria.” [The Legal Watchdog]
* Many Biglaw firms seem to be dragging their feet to match Davis Polk’s generous bonus scale. Why’s that? According to one partner, these bonus matches have cut into his firm’s profits by about 4 percent. Yikes! [The Economist]
* Total 1L enrollment in law school is the lowest it’s been since 1973, when there were 53 fewer schools. The next step would be to reduce tuition to 1973 levels, and then no one would have any more complaints. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Just because Bingham McCutchen bit the big one, it doesn’t mean that all of its pro bono cases will have to suffer the same fate. Not only did Morgan Lewis rescue most of the firm’s attorneys, but it’s also saving 500 of its pro bono cases. [Am Law Daily]
* Now that President Obama has decided to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, lawyers are champing at the bit for more business opportunities. Love Cuban cigars? Well, lawyers love trademark disputes involving those cigars. [National Law Journal]
* Greenberg Traurig reminds Florida clerks that if they issue gay marriage licenses, they could be criminally charged. Plaintiffs’ attorneys remind Florida clerks that if they refuse to issue gay marriage licenses, they could be sued. [Tampa Bay Times]
* Our managing editor, David Lat, sat down with Vivia Chen to dish about some of his favorite things, from his new book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), to his new fiancé. Her book review: “I liked it! It’s a fun, breezy read.” Hooray! [The Careerist]
* What’s happening to all the Bingham partners that are not joining Morgan Lewis? Here’s the latest on the lateral moves of “the Forgotten.” [Reuters (sub. req.)]
* “Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” That’s not at all what police said after throwing a guy in jail for brandishing a banana. [CBS News]
* Is it possible to save the Supreme Court from partisanship? [Bloomberg Politics]
* You think you had a ritzy Thanksgiving dinner? Well, some jackholes somewhere spent $35,000 for a Thanksgiving dinner devoted to conspicuous consumption in a world of inequity. [Daily Kos]
* Shearman & Sterling’s Richard Hsu continues his wonderful podcast on the lives of lawyers, this week chatting with Sean Patrick Butler, Sr. Corporate Counsel at Cisco, about Butler’s decision to live two hours away from San Francisco to live the rural life. [Hsu Untied]
* This guy is compiling stats on bar exam testing patterns. He’s got some California data up already. Perhaps with some reader contributions, he can get widespread coverage. [Bar Exam Stats]
* When it comes to legal scholarship, women are earning more citations than men according to one study. There are a lot of caveats to be had, but it looks like the law has one, finite area where the gender gap is narrow. [TaxProf Blog]
* One-third of lawyers are taking on more pro bono work these days. Good for them. [Robert Half Legal]
* Justice Scalia spoke at CU-Boulder last night. For his sake, we certainly hope he didn’t speak about any issues that might someday appear before SCOTUS, lest he be asked to recuse. [Boulder Daily Camera via How Appealing]
* Another one bites the dust over at Main Justice: David O’Neil, the head of the criminal division, is stepping down in the wake of the BNP Paribas case, and will likely have many white-shoe law firm suitors. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Fox Rothschild picked up a 18-lawyer boutique firm in Texas, which will serve as the home of its first outpost in the Lone Star State. Energy law, surprisingly, wasn’t the driving factor. [Legal Intelligencer]
* “I have a heart and I have two kids.” That’s a pretty damn good reason for Biglaw attorneys to take a break from their corporate billable hours to represent undocumented children pro bono. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Scott Greenfield reviews Lat’s forthcoming novel, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link). Of course, in SHG style, it contains a spoiler. Try to skip that clearly marked paragraph. [Simple Justice]
Professor Tribe spoke at the UJA-Federation last night and provided an awesome evening of reflection upon his career, his take on the Supreme Court, and his plea to Biglaw.