This week, the law school press has been focused on the UC Hastings College of Law. Hastings Law Dean Frank Wu announced that his school would be voluntarily reducing its enrollment by 20 percent over the next three years.
The mainstream press has noticed, too. The Wall Street Journal did an article about Wu’s attempt to “reboot” legal education, and the Dean gave a long interview to USA Today.
Hastings isn’t the first law school to reduce enrollment, but the school’s move is more significant because of the rhetoric Dean Wu is putting behind it. Wu is making the philosophical case against huge law school class sizes in this challenging job market.
But is it all about changing the nature of legal education, or is Hastings being pushed into these moves by the familiar forces of disappointing employment statistics, and a desire to climb up the U.S. News rankings? Critics have said that the school isn’t “voluntarily” doing anything.
Then again, if Hastings is doing something objectively good for prospective students, maybe it doesn’t even matter how the administration came to the decision….
* Starting next year, if you want to be a lawyer in New York, you’re going to have to work for free. Because nothing says “we care” like indentured servitude. Thank God for law school clinic hours… maybe. [New York Times]
* Mo’ law schools, mo’ problems? That’s what Dean Wu thinks. Here’s a new trend to watch: UC Hastings, like other law schools, will be reducing its incoming class sizes. [USA Today]
* MOAR TRANSPARENCY! Support has been shown for the ABA’s proposed changes to law school disclosure requirements. All the better for those “sophisticated consumers,” eh, Judge Schweitzer? [ABA Journal]
* “Dogs are always happy to see you, no matter how you do on your Evidence exam.” Only real bitches would throw shade. Emory has joined the therapy dog pack for finals. [11 Alive News]
* In trying to dismiss a $50M suit against billionaire George Soros, his lawyer claimed that his ex would have had to suffer an “unconscionable injury.” Dude, she did. She banged an octogenarian. [New York Daily News]
* Ann Richardson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the UDC School of Law, RIP. [Washington Post]
I wish I could name names; I really do. But I work at the world’s leading insurance broker for law firms, and I can’t go around offending the clients (or potential clients). You’ll just have to guess.
All of these interviews actually took place. I swear it.
First, there was the senior partner at a major New York firm, interviewing me at the start of my second year of law school: “You know, a lot of students want to make excuses for not having perfect grades. Sometimes, those excuses are pretty good: You hear from the single mothers. You hear from people who are working full-time and going to law school at night. The excuses aren’t bad.
“But I have to tell you something: If you have to give me an excuse, I don’t want to hear it. We have too many people who are perfect looking for jobs here. If you’re perfect, we’ll hire you. If you have to make an excuse, don’t even bother telling me. If you have to make an excuse, we’re not making you an offer.”
I didn’t say these stories were uplifting. I said only that they were true.
The picturesque Richard H. Chambers Courthouse in Pasadena, home of the Ninth Circuit.
California has released some macro-level results from the July 2011 administration of the bar exam. The California bar is notoriously difficult, and every year we like to take a look at which schools prepared their students well for the exam, and which schools did not.
Last year, the overall pass rates were 68.3% for all takers and 75.2% for graduates of the twenty ABA-approved law schools in California. This year, overall pass rates clocked in at 67.7%, while students who went to ABA-accredited law schools in California passed at a 76.2% clip.
But you might be surprised at which California law school had the best passage rate on the California bar. Hint: it’s not Stanford, or Boalt Hall, or UCLA….
Along with all of the other passengers, according to the Washington Post. The plane reportedly experienced engine trouble.
United Airlines Flight 586 was scheduled to depart Dulles for San Francisco at 12:34 p.m. The engine problems apparently started before the plane took off. The passengers were evacuated from the smoky plane via emergency chutes and sent back to the terminal. They will board a flight scheduled to depart at 3 p.m. today.
There were reports of three injuries — but Justice Ginsburg, 78, is doing fine, according to Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe Estrada. RBG is on her way to an appearance tomorrow at the UC Hastings College of the Law.
Elie wonders: “Is this God’s way of telling RBG to retire? Things aren’t looking so great for 2012.”
As many might guess, I’m not a big fan of walking. I find the activity primitive in terms of travel, and I think people under the age of 70 who use walking for “exercise” should be hunted by wild animals for my amusement.
But as a form of meeting, walking makes a lot of sense. I’ve heard of people who have running meetings, and that seems stupid to me. One’s ability to make a decision should not be artificially limited by one’s physical fitness. But a walking meeting would seem to attract only those who really wanted/needed to be at the meeting, and the informal nature of the strolling activity would probably limit self-centered monologues.
It should go almost without saying that the person ready to implement this concept is an academic out in California. That’s right, a law school out west is ready to bring you the walking office hours….
If you took the bar exam last month, you might be trying hard to forget the experience, or you might be flying far, far away on an exotic vacation. Maybe you are counting the days until results come out in November, or maybe you’re frantically searching for employment before those organ bill collectors startknocking.
This is the final installment of the Bar Review Diaries. We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into the lives of three recent law school graduates as they prepared for the bar.
Let’s check in one last time with Mariah, Christopher and Mike, to see where they are headed next.
And if anyone has cool bar trips coming up or strange end-of-summer plans, please share them with us in the comments….
This is the Final Countdown. Exactly a week from now, many of you will be stuck at desks for upwards of two days, working to finish that little formality they call the Bar Exam. This is the last time we’ll hear from our Bar Review Diarists before they cross the threshold.
They are leaving behind their anxiety, fear and anger about the test. They are starting to accept their fate — whether that means proudly entering laywerhood in the next few weeks… or sometime next February.
Let’s check in on Mike, Mariah and Christopher one last time before they leap out of the nest, hoping to fly on wings of truth and justice…
This week at the Bar Review Diaries, we hear some crowd-sourced opinions about studying for the bar, we learn the secret to not feeling stressed (hint: spell it backwards), and we even get a little immigration policy lesson.
Let’s check in with our bar-taking correspondents….
When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
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…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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