University of Missouri School of Law

Earlier this week, we discussed L.A.-based patent attorney Andrew Schroeder. For those who missed out on the first go-around, Schroeder penned a couple of blistering assaults on the quality of the USPTO’s work that were brought to the attention of University of Missouri Law Professor Dennis Crouch, who posted them on Patently-O.

But the story does not end there. Yesterday, I received an email from Andrew Schroeder pointing me to his blog post responding to Crouch (and, to a lesser extent, me). I found Schroeder’s original work to be professionally over the line — and at times a little offensive — but also very funny, so I was excited to see what the maestro of meltdown letters would say to his critics.

He did not disappoint…

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Paul Cravath does not approve of this post.

Light years away and in the distant future, perhaps some alien grad student in Defunct Planet Studies will stumble onto the ATL archives. He’ll conclude, not unreasonably, that the legal industry was a sort of oligopoly. That there were only a handful of firms: Skadden, Cravath, Latham, Quinn Emanuel, Tannebaum Weiss, and those few others that get such a disproportionate amount of our attention. And of course, there were only 14 real law schools.

This singular obsession with “prestige,” this mindset that the most elite firms and schools are the only worthy ones, is detached from the experiences of the vast majority of lawyers practicing at the 50,000 other firms and the students at the 180+ other law schools. Back in December, we had a little debate about the effect of prestige in the legal industry. In the spirit of the “prestige obsession is bad” side of that argument, we thought it would be worthwhile to see which firms and schools outside of the very top tiers are, according to insiders, great places to work or learn.

Over the course of 2012, we received close to 10,000 responses to our ATL Insider Survey, where lawyers rate their firms based on compensation, culture, morale, training, and culture, and students and alumni rate their schools based on academics, social life, clinical training, career services, and financial aid advising. Based on our survey, the most highly rated firms and schools also happened to among the most prestigious (e.g., Stanford, Davis Polk), but there is certainly not a correlation between prestige and insider rating.

After the jump, we’ll see which schools outside of the T14 and which firms outside the Vault 50 were rated the highest by their own people….

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With all the freak-outs that happen during finals week, one might get a cynical view of how law students (and professors) handle stress. But despair not!

There is still this thing that exists called integrity — and sometimes, when people screw up, they acknowledge their mistakes, then try to fix the situation the best they can.

Today we have two examples, one from a frazzled SBA representative trying to manage peers suffering from caffeine withdrawal, and the other from a professor who spaced out when creating his employment law exam.

Keep reading for the details of the blunders, plus the (seriously) classy apologies issued by both individuals….

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Professor Brian Tamanaha

* Professor Brian Tamanaha: “Not since 1986-1987 have law schools seen total applicant numbers this low.” Good news, or bad news? Actually, a bit of both. [Balkinization via Instapundit]

* Musical chairs: Michael Chepiga, the retired Simpson partner and erstwhile Broadway playwright, has a new and unusual job. [Am Law Daily]

* Elsewhere in job switches, the law schools at Albany and the University of Missouri (Columbia) have announced new deans. [Faculty Lounge]

* Goldman bankers don’t want to own shares in a company connected with sex trafficking. They just want to enjoy its services like normal paying customers. [Dealbreaker]

* One Chicago court seems to think it can quash the social media revolution. #goodluckwiththat [Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]

* Elsewhere in social-media news, thank God for this ruling. Otherwise, everyone we know would be fired and in jail. [WSJ Law Blog]

* If you still aren’t on Twitter, here’s another reason you should jump on the bandwagon. You never know when your boyfriend might get kidnapped in South Africa and thrown in the trunk of a car, and you have to tweet the kidnappers’ license plate so he can be rescued. [Ars Technica]

* Speaking of Twitter, this is unacceptable behavior (unless you’re a federal judge from Montana). [Fashionista]

Jesus would go apes*** in a law school library.

It’s exam time. Kids are living in the library and generally oblivious. This is high season for thieves!

But we’ve got an email from a law student who is determined to take action. He had his textbooks stolen (add sabotage to the list of things wrong with law school), and he’s mad as hell. He wants to do away with his law school’s honor code and go with more medieval punishments should they apprehend the thief.

And since it’s the middle of finals, the whole letter has the scent of desperation clinging to it like the smell of dog poop lingers on a shoe long after it’s been cleansed.

It’s quite entertaining….

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