* At the annual Association of American Law Schools meeting, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg handed out a delightful piece of marriage advice that she sometimes uses when dealing with her colleagues on the Supreme Court: “It helps to sometimes be a little deaf.” [National Law Journal]
* Thomas Gilbert Jr., the man accused of killing his father — who just so happened to be the founder of the Wainscott Capital hedge fund — allegedly shot him to death over a $200 cut in his monthly allowance. This is why rich people can’t have nicer things. [New York Post]
* Litigants on both sides of a First Amendment issue headed to SCOTUS are using a law review article penned by none other than Justice Elena Kagan in an attempt to influence all of the justices. See, people do read law review articles. [New York Times]
* Musical chairs, dean-poaching edition: Fordham Law just named Matthew Diller as its new dean, but he’s still going to remain as dean at Cardozo until the end of the year. Let’s see how he tackles the school’s enrollment decline. [New York Law Journal]
* Per a study conducted by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, law school graduates who participated in a practice-ready program fared better as attorneys than those who did not. Whoa, nice going. [WSJ Law Blog]
Who would dare to do such a thing?
After a decade of 60+ trips to Hong Kong from his former Miami home, our Evan Jowers has finally taken the plunge and moved to Hong Kong on a permanent basis. Since ’06, Evan has been head of Kinney’s Asia recruiting and over that time Kinney has easily placed more US associates, counsels and partners at top tier US and UK firms than any other recruiting firm (we have also made many in-house placements). (…)
How come law professors avoid speaking about affirmative action? How come we as a society can’t civilly debate the merits of affirmative action?
* In his year-end report, Chief Justice Roberts wrote about the high court’s belated adoption of the latest technological advances, but promised SCOTUS briefs and filings would be online… next year. [New York Times]
* It’s been recommended that J. Michael Farren, the former White House lawyer who attempted to murder his ex-wife — a former Skadden Arps attorney — be disbarred in D.C. Apparently the bar considers a conviction for something like this a big no-no. [Legal Times]
* Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s terrorism trial for his involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings will begin in Boston on January 5, despite his legal team’s best efforts to avoid the inevitable. At least fangirls won’t have to travel to admire him. [Bloomberg]
* Here’s one law prof’s thoughts on Harvard Law’s lame response to sexual assault complaints: “I believe … that Harvard University will be deeply shamed at the role it played in simply caving to the government’s position.” Well then. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Remember the Idaho prosecutor who recited the lyrics to “Dixie” during closing arguments at a black man’s trial? The defendant’s conviction was overturned because the prosecutor “inject[ed] the risk of racial prejudice into the case.” [NBC News]
* “People asked me what I want as an epitaph: He tried.” Mario Cuomo, the three-term New York governor and Willkie Farr alumnus who was once considered to replace Supreme Court Justice Byron White, has passed away. RIP. [New York Times]
From distinguished to despicable, who should be Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2014? Please vote in our poll!
* Per the Department of Education, Harvard Law sucks at handling sexual assault and harassment complaints. As it turns out, the DoE only found out about the misconduct because a faculty member from New England Law snitched on the Ivy League school. [Boston.com]
* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the penalties for pot possession. One state legislator wants to change that in the new year, and hopes his colleagues will puff, puff, pass his bill in favor of small civil fines instead of jail sentences. [VICE]
* “If the court has been waiting until the country is more comfortable with gay marriage, they’ve waited long enough.” The first SCOTUS conference of 2015 will focus on gay marriage cases. It’d be fabulous if they took one. [Supreme Court Brief]
* Latham and Fried Frank are going to be advising on Shake Shack’s initial public offering. Hungry attorneys working on the IPO will be disappointed to learn that their client doesn’t have any public offerings for consumption on Seamless. [Am Law Daily]
* The bankruptcy trustee for the late, great, defunct firm of Howrey LLP keeps lining up big settlements for its remaining creditors. This time, Wiley Rein will contribute $1 million to the failed firm’s coffers. Howrey like dem apples? [Wall Street Journal]
* As the year winds down to a close, we take a look back at the amazing time Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had. From her Hobby Lobby dissent to her subtle New Republic shade, the Notorious RBG’s 2014 was better than yours. [Bustle]
* When you’ve allegedly been driving drunk after a holiday party and have gotten into an accident, one of the things you say to the police upon your arrest should not be, “Come on, I’m a judge” — especially if you are one. [New York Post]
* After advising on 221 deals worth about $511 billion, Skadden Arps was the top dog in the M&A game in 2014. While taking a break from rolling around in money, the firm’s managing partner was heard thanking inversions. [MoneyBeat / Wall Street Journal]
* Although we haven’t heard what’s going on with associate bonuses at this firm, Wiley Rein bought itself a bonus subsidiary. Last week, the firm finalized its purchase of lobbying and communications group McBee Strategic. [Blog of Legal Times]
* While many law schools found their student enrollments getting smaller due to forces of nature in 2014, the University of Mississippi School of Law claims it decreased its class sizes intentionally. Oh, the places you’ll go! [Clarion Ledger]
* “Instead of ordering the Marshal to permit a desegregated Christmas party at the Court, the Court hosted no party at all.” Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote in his diary of the SCOTUS Christmas party that never was due to the high court’s unspoken racism. [Supreme Court Brief]
* We know of at least one lawyer who may be receiving a lump of coal in her stocking. A former partner of two major New York City firms allegedly stole millions of dollars from them to live a life of luxury. We’ll have more on this later today. [Bergen Record]
* Since “interest in law schools [is] dwindl[ing] nationally,” the easiest cost-cutting measure comes in the form of faculty buyouts at another school. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game, law professors. It’s a “necessary” evil these days. [The Advocate]
* President Obama is going to nominate Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, for the position of deputy attorney general. If confirmed, there’ll be two women at the top of the DOJ. Yay! [Miami Herald]
* Guess who just got promoted to partner at Boies Schiller & Flexner? It’s none other than Joshua Schiller, the son of the firm’s cofounder and managing partner. Aww. That’s the most precious thing ever. We just want to pinch his cheeks. [Am Law Daily]
* Before you submit your law school applications, you should probably make sure that you’ve read and followed all of the instructions, because just in case you forgot, you’re applying to follow instructions for a living. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
Be vewwy vewwy quiet… We’re hunting for owiginal intent!
Succeeding as a new associate is a juggling act that will involve balancing your evolving legal expertise with managing your workload, creating relationships with partners, fellow associates and support staff at your firm, and building strong business relationships. Here are a few tips to help you thrive during this pivotal time in your legal career. […]
What happens when Supreme Court justices exercise their Second Amendment rights?
* “If you can’t disagree on the law without taking it personally, find another day job. You shouldn’t be an appellate judge.” You’ve really got to admit that sometimes, Justice Scalia has an absolutely wonderful way of putting things. [Associated Press]
* David Boies sent everyone and their mother and their dog a letter asking them to destroy all docs leaked from the Sony hack, lest they face legal consequences, but there’s just one problem with that pesky First Amendment. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The law students who requested exam delays due to unfair grand jury decisions claim they’re not “coddled Millennials” — no, they’re members of the new regime of lawyers who are willing to ask, “If not us, then who?” [National Law Journal]
* Please keep in mind that these students are likely the same ones who may be missing out about learning the intricacies of rape law because they want their professors to “protect them from causing or experiencing discomfort.” [New Yorker]
* Well, this is an interesting round of musical chairs: Vice Media just poached James H. Schwab, the chairman of the media and entertainment practice group at Paul Weiss, to join the company as co-president. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Undergrad students at Boston University are trotting out the latest edition of the school’s pre-law review. Feast your eyes upon the genius of future gunners, or don’t, because it’ll help them learn early that no one actually reads law reviews. [BU Today]
* Waiting for bar exam results can be super stressful, and now there’s a scientific study to prove it. The psychologists who conducted the study chose would-be lawyers as subjects since there’s a long waiting period for exam results. Protip: they should’ve chosen the waiting period between graduation and finding a job. [National Law Journal]
* You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why: SantaCon hired a lawyer to come to town. All those protesting the annual event will get a lump of coal in their stockings from hundreds of drunk Santas. [NJ.com]
* “We’re quite pessimistic. The operational, legal and political challenges here are immense.” If — or perhaps more likely, when — SCOTUS abolishes Obamacare’s federal tax credits, the law will spin into a “dreaded death spiral.” [Talking Points Memo]
* Per the latest Citi Private Bank report, the legal market seems to be stabilizing. Yay! Litigators might cry, though, because transactional law is on the rise, and litigation is on the decline (and may be through 2016 and beyond). Oh no, boo! [Am Law Daily]
* Call your bookie, because Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA (who just so happens to be a former litigation associate from Cravath), would like everyone to know that he thinks sports betting should legalized. [DealBook / New York Times]
A pro se litigant with a case set to appear before the Supreme Court has… vanished.
What was this partner thinking when he filed this off-the-wall petition with the Supreme Court?
* We know all about the ridiculous lawyer with three Harvard degrees who is apparently considering suing a mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant over a $4 overcharge. We’ll have more on this absolute absurdity later. [Boston.com]
* An English court ruled that a girl with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder couldn’t be awarded damages against her mother because the harm occurred in utero. Remember folks, the unborn aren’t people, only corporations are. [Daily Beast]
* Someone at Harvard Law taped fliers containing the last words of unarmed African-Americans who shot by police over portraits of their law professors. [ABC News]
* Per a recent study, the vast majority of law students have suffered from some sort of mental health issue while in law school. This isn’t at all shocking. [Yale Daily News]
* Whoa, the American Bar Association shockingly deferred action on giving InfiLaw its blessing on the takeover of Charleston Law. Perhaps the ABA is turning over a new leaf as to saving law schools? [National Law Journal]
* Nevermind. The American Bar Association decided to grant provisional accreditation to the beleaguered LMU Duncan School of Law. Perhaps the ABA’s new slogan should be, “Accredit all the law schools!” [Claiborne Progress]
* Like it or not, despite their financial constraints, it’s likely that many law schools will never close, no matter how terrible they are — so as long as ABA regulation remains lax and the government keeps feeding students loan dollars to attend. [Daily Caller]
* If you read one piece of long-form journalism today, let it be this special report on the Supreme Court’s “echo chamber,” perhaps better known as the elite members of the SCOTUS bar who hoard all of the cases on the docket for themselves. [Reuters]
* In other law school-related news, fewer law school graduates are passing the California bar exam. California’s pass rate for the July exam was just 48.6%, and it’s been almost a decade since the pass rate was that low. Ouch! [Los Angeles Times]
According to the New York Times, “for an elite niche,” Supreme Ambitions “has become the most buzzed-about novel of the year.”