* “I would hope that we’ve already hit the bottom.” America’s legal educators and admissions deans are wishing, hoping, and praying that the upcoming school year will be the last year that merely having a pulse is a prerequisite for law school admission. [National Law Journal]
* Bankruptcy court, here we come: We all know that right now, exorbitant law school debt can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, but judges have started to rally in favor of student debtors, noting that the Brunner test is simply incompatible with today’s high tuition costs. [New York Times]
* “A professional education will never be cheap,” and the ABA has finally decided to give the appearance of caring about the average graduates of private law schools with six figures of loans. Enhanced financial counseling for all! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Indiana Tech Law School won’t be appealing its denial of accreditation by the American Bar Association. Before you get too excited about a law school accepting failure and throwing in the towel, it seems that the school is just going to reapply instead. [KPC News]
* “[O]ne’s face may determine one’s fate, at least in the judicial domain.” Per a new study, the more untrustworthy a criminal defendant looks, the more likely it is that he’ll receive a harsher sentence. Boy, Dewey know defendants in need of a makeover. [WSJ Law Blog]
How does law student borrowing compare to that of medical students, MBAs, or other graduate programs?
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* “I don’t know what you heard about me, but a bitch can’t get a dollar out of me.” Truer lyrics have never been rapped. 50 Cent’s legal team will face off in bankruptcy court against lawyers for a woman owed $5 million thanks to a sex-tape scandal. [Business Insider]
* You may be happy that income-based loan repayment exists and is saving you from defaulting on your law school debts, but in a few decades, you’re probably going to get F’d in the A by a ticking tax time bomb. [Student Loan Ranger / U.S. News]
* If you missed it, James Eagan Holmes, the shooter in the Dark Knight movie theater massacre in Colorado, was convicted for killing 12 people and wounding 70 others. Next up is the sentencing phase of his trial, and the death penalty is on the table. [Denver Post]
* The head honchos at Goldman Sachs are sad their second-quarter profits were reduced by ~half thanks to protracted litigation stemming from the financial crisis. The bank had to put away $1.45B for “mortgage-related litigation.” [DealBook / New York Times]
* The stars at night may be big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but Berg & Androphy, led by attorney David Berg, is trying its hand at big city life in New York. It got the hang of things, y’all: B&A has already poached two Kasowitz partners. [Lawdragon]
Clean up on aisle three: this Charlotte Law grad’s life is in shambles all over the floor.
* With student loan forgiveness earning public approval, the other shoe had to drop. Critics campaigning that any escape is “welfare.” If you were grasping for the proper pejorative it’s “Homecoming Queen.” [Concurring Opinions]
* Hot mic alert! Lawyer broadcasts during recess that prosecutor is “in my pocket.” Only to the extent the prosecutor is now up your ass. [ABA Journal]
* Maybe there’s hope for sentencing reform: 130 former judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials sign a letter advocating for the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015. The key is “former.” I’ll bet while they were running for office harsh sentencing was a-OK. [Sentencing Law and Policy]
* Using the show Serial to teach good brief writing. [Legal Writing Pro]
* Had you considered the marriage equality dimensions of Kerry v. Din? Me neither. But Professor Dorf did. [Verdict]
* Law schools are increasingly hiring deans from within. Just another way of keeping Elie out of that dean’s job he wants so badly. [The Faculty Lounge]
* What to do when hiring a contract attorney? Hm. Look for fear and desperation? Oh… oh, you’re being serious about ethics and stuff. [Daily Report]
* The best description of the conservative argument in King: “the card says ‘Moops.'” [Lawyers, Guns & Money]
* If you’re having trouble making payments on your law school debt, don’t fall prey to a loan-relief scam. You may already be six figures in the hole, but you should take this quiz to see if you’re about to lose your shirt — yet again. [U.S. News & World Report]
* For the second time in two years, the ABA will reconsider whether law students should be able to receive pay for credit-bearing externships. Come on already, give these people a chance to make a buck before they graduate. [National Law Journal]
* Here’s an important memo for Judge Mark Fuller of the Middle District of Alabama: Just so you know, if you don’t resign on August 1 as promised, the House Judiciary Committee is probably going to bring impeachment proceedings against you. HTH. [Daily Report]
* It’s not a merger (yet), they’re just “exploring synergies”: Albany Law School and SUNY Albany will affiliate in order to help students from both schools. Check out the memo, complete with an exploding fellowship offer for new students. [Albany Business Review]
* Vice is suing a small business named Virtue Marketing, alleging trademark infringement. Apparently the media company’s in-house marketing agency is also called Virtue. Hey, Vice, just change the name to Greed and you’ll be set. [THR, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]
Which school would do such a thing to its students? It’s none other than…
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For some people, this is what it’s like to go to law school without financial support from family.
Financial and professional advice for new law school graduates from columnist Shannon Achimalbe.
* We mentioned earlier this week that Charleston School of Law may suspend enrollment of first-year students next year. Perhaps the law school’s ultimate failure wouldn’t be a bad deal for students — a closed school loan discharge would actually be a blessing for them. [WSJ Law Blog]
* With law school graduation right around the corner, you can kiss your dreams of a Supreme Court justice delivering your commencement speech goodbye. Thus far, not a single SCOTUS jurist will deliver remarks at a 2015 ceremony. [National Law Journal]
* Per the latest report from Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group, law firm expenses outpaced revenue in the first quarter of 2015. Some of the biggest expenses are salaries, so maybe this is another reason why some firms are resorting to layoffs. [Am Law Daily]
* They should’ve just watched The Wire? Under Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s leadership, the Department of Justice is going to launch an investigation into whether the Baltimore Police Department has been involved in any discriminatory police work. [NPR]
* If you’re still trying to decide which law school to attend, you may want to consider one that has robust practicum offerings. Being “practice ready” after graduation supposedly does wonders for your job prospects. (Just kidding.) [U.S. News & World Report]
* Floyd Mayweather’s lawyer says that his client will post Suge Knight’s insanely high $10 million bail if he wins his fight against Manny Pacquiao. Suge says he was “really going to pull for him to win, but now [he’s] going to have to pray for him to win.” [Los Angeles Times]
* Northwestern University School of Law is launching a first-of-its-kind loan repayment assistance program to help grads in “modestly salaried private sector jobs” — that is, if you make less than $85,000, the school will pay your loan interest for up to a year. [National Law Journal via CBS]
* If you haven’t heard, the class of 2014 was much more employed than the class of 2013 by a factor of a few percentage points. Apply to law school right now! (No, don’t do that. The class of 2014 was smaller, so it looks like the job stats were better.) [ABA Journal]
* “[T]he jury is out and the only sane thing you can say about Dentons is check back in three years.” Hot on the heels of the announced merger between Dentons and McKenna Long, many lawyers are running for the exits. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* If you’re interested in going to law school on the east coast, then you may want to take a look at this list of schools, ranked by total employment of the class of 2014. We’d shudder to see what this list would look like if only long-term, full-time jobs were used. [BostInno]
* A lawyer who’s suing former U.S. Representative Aaron Schock on behalf of a campaign donor says he’s been unable to locate the disgraced politician to serve him. What will happen now? We bet you can find out on the next episode of Downton Abbey. [ABC News]
Oy. This person’s net worth is completely negative!
* The job market may be “improving,” but people aren’t going to start applying to law school in droves any time soon. There’s been a 40 percent drop in applicants since 2005, and according to LSAC’s latest data, “the downward spiral is still… spiraling.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Lines to see what could be one of the most historic arguments before the Supreme Court started forming last Friday, but the rest of the country will have to sit back and wait until June to see if a constitutional right to same-sex marriage will be declared. [Reuters]
* Kris Jenner was just hit with a six-figure lawsuit thanks to model Kendall Jenner’s 19th birthday party, which was allegedly complete with more than 100 guests and a male stripper. Don’t worry, mom, the stripper already spanked your daughter. [Ministry of Gossip / Los Angeles Times]
* The latest edition of the Am Law 100 rankings are out, and it looks like gross revenue, revenue per lawyer, and profits per partner are on the way up at most firms. You’ll never believe which firm is the new No. 1. We’ll have more on this later. [American Lawyer]
* Hey, here’s some info you’ve never heard before now! People who graduated from law school in 2010 are still screwed because they’re drowning in debt and some have never worked as lawyers! Never fear, the New York Times is on it! [DealBook / New York Times]
* “Obviously, the concussion affected my judgment — oops, I shouldn’t say that, given my day job.” At 92 years of age, Judge Robert Sweet of the S.D.N.Y. splits his time between legal pirouettes in the courtroom and skating pirouettes on the ice. [New York Times]
* “It’s time for restraint of the federal government’s over-aggressive weed warriors.” States that have legalized pot are tired of the Feds prosecuting their citizens, and that’s what the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015 aims to stop from happening. [High Times]
* “[L]awyers are naturally drawn to writing because we spend our days working with words.” If you’re a lawyer thinking about writing a legal thriller in your spare time, you’re not alone. Just ask Scott Turow and our very own David Lat. [National Law Journal]
On this Tax Day, columnist Shannon Achimalbe looks at two payments that are not called taxes but feel like and have the effect of a tax.
* Georgetown Law is teaming up with DLA Piper and Arent Fox to open a low bono law firm. The firm will provide two things for those in need: affordable legal services and jobs to bolster GULC’s employment stats. [Am Law Daily]
* Michigan Law will provide summer funding for all of its 1Ls for law-related internships — but there’s a catch. The cash is a loan, and students may have to pay it back if they earn Biglaw money the following summer. [Michigan Law]
* Judge Jed Rakoff sounded off on the judicary’s problem with mass incarceration at a recent conference at Harvard Law, calling for his colleagues and bar associations across the nation to take a stand for the accused with a gentler justice system. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* “It’s positive news. I think it indicates there’s some slight opening of financial services to marijuana-related businesses.” Some banks have finally decided to provide services to weedpreneurs, but others are leaving marijuana moguls high and dry. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “Students should seriously consider going to law school in a state where they plan to practice law.” Unless you like wasting your time, you’d do well to listen to this advice, even if you’re going to a school with national name recognition. [U.S. News & World Report]