Stupid Lawyer Tricks

Last week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this picture (click to enlarge):

Let’s have a look at what our readers came up with, and vote on the finalists…

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In this economy, lawyers are being forced to roll up their sleeves and learn new tricks of the trade. Some have even taken up the practice of Door Law — they’ll take any case that walks through the door. Other lawyers have expanded their horizons to offer services that are wholly unrelated to the law. Desperate times call for truly desperate measures.

Check out this advertisement — if you can even call it that — for a lawyer who really seems willing to do just about anything for a buck…

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Every time we do a post about a crazy attorney website, our readers send in even more tips about the seemingly endless supply of wacky websites that are out there (which we appreciate, so keep ‘em comin’). Rarely, however, do we get a tipster begging us to place a fellow attorney in Above the Law’s crosshairs. Until now: “Can you please, please profile this guy, Mark Davis from Toledo, Ohio?” Well, since you asked so nicely….

As far as we can tell from his many, many websites, Mark A. Davis, a solo practitioner in Ohio and Michigan, is a sort of jack-of-all trades who aims to corner the market in all ways possible. In his own words: “Attorney Mark Davis, founder of The Davis Law Office has always lived his life to accomplish nothing less than excellence.”

Here, excellence means, among other things, being able to break bricks with his bare hands (sadly, the video links to these feats are “private” and can’t be viewed). In his opinion, your attorney should not only excel in the courtroom, but “should be mentally tough and a gentleman warrior.”

This gentleman warrior has taken to fighting the good fight on almost all possible legal fronts. Really, it seems that there is nothing that his guy hasn’t tried to do, both in the courtroom and out. From martial arts to starving horses, keep reading to uncover the many talents of Mark Davis….

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Our last post on law-related vanity license plates was about two weeks ago. We’re always looking for more photos, so if you’re a fan of the Law License Plates series, please send some in via email (subject line: “Vanity License Plate”).

Today, we are writing about legal professionals who are so proud of what they do that they’ve slapped their titles on their license plates. If this isn’t an invitation to get rear-ended, then I don’t know what is. These submissions come to us from New York, Ohio, and Tennessee, proving that stupid lawyer tricks know no bounds across state lines.

Let’s take a look at what these legal eagles are advertising on their license plates, shall we?

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On Monday, we talked about the big New York Times article over the weekend about the way law schools use merit-based scholarships to rope students in. When discussing the need to give out scholarships, the Times cites some very familiar language about how fixation on the U.S. News rankings guides the decisionmaking processes of many law school administrators.

Truly, you seemingly can’t have an article that is critical of the way law schools handle their business without there being some jab at U.S. News in there. It’s kind of like how basketball announcers can’t talk about a white basketball player without slipping in unsupported criticism that he might be “soft.” When the U.S. News stuff appeared in the NYT piece, I was so used to it I didn’t even notice it.

But U.S. News rankings guru Bob Morse noticed it. And he’s freaking sick of it….

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After the 1L money runs out....

That’s the question essentially posed in a long and interesting New York Times article, Law Students Lose the Grant Game as Schools Win (which we previously mentioned on Saturday; yes, we do post on weekends). The piece is by David Segal, who also wrote a big and buzzy piece back in January, Is Law School a Losing Game?

Segal’s latest article is more interesting than the January one. His January piece, while well-crafted and solidly (if imperfectly) reported, covered ground that had already been covered by many other outlets. Readers of Above the Law, other legal industry publications, or the numerous “scamblogs” already knew that the value proposition of going to law school was very much open to question (to put it mildly).

This weekend’s piece focuses on a less familiar aspect of the law school process, namely, merit scholarships. You might think that these grants, which help law students pay for their education in an age of ever-growing debt loads and skyrocketing tuition, are undoubtedly a good thing.

Well, think again….

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By the middle of second semester of that first year, everyone saw the system for what it was. We were furious. We realized that statistically, because of the curve, there was no way for many of us to keep our scholarships. But at that point, you’re a year in. They’ve got you. You feel stuck.

Alexandra Leumer, a 2009 graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law, quoted in an interesting and provocative New York Times article suggesting that law school “merit scholarships” can be a bit of a scam unfair in the eyes of some recipients, due to the fact that so many students lose them after their 1L year by not achieving the required GPA.

(We’ll probably have more to say about this piece, entitled Law Students Lose the Grant Game as Schools Win, on Monday — but in the meantime, feel free to discuss it in the comments.)

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In case you’re wondering about the outcome, our tipster states: “Amazingly, the Judge granted the motion.”

We contacted the attorney responsible for this court filing, to verify its authenticity. She responded: “Can I ask what your interest is, please, and how you acquired these?”

We’re taking that as a “Yes, they’re authentic.” We gave the lawyer in question an opportunity to deny authenticity — or to deny her use of a smiley-face emoticon in a court document — and she did not.

We responded to her message, explaining that they were forwarded to us by tipsters (whose identities we always keep confidential, unless they request otherwise).

In her next email, she had a little more to say. We reprint her comments after the jump.

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