* Will it ever be easier to meet the challenge of proving you’ve got an undue hardship so you can discharge your law school student loan debts in bankruptcy? Your fate may rest in the hands of this indebted Florida Coastal Law grad and his petition for certiorari at the Supreme Court. [US Law Week Blog / Bloomberg]
* Hate crimes still happen, even at this prestigious law school: Amid increased racial turbulence on campus, the Harvard University Police Department is now investigating the defacing of black law professors’ portraits as a hate crime. [ABC News]
* UVA Law recently joined the minority of law schools that have women serving as dean. Pop your collars with pride, because legal historian Risa Goluboff will take over as the school’s first female dean this July. Congratulations! [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
* Gordon Rees has settled its lawsuit against Alex Rodriguez over the baseball player’s outstanding legal bills, totaling more than $380,000. The terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, but we have a feeling that the firm hit it out of the park. [NBC New York]
* Try before you buy or a bid to increase tourism? Alaska is making bold moves now that it’s legalized marijuana for recreational use. It’ll be the first state to allow the social use of the drug “in public,” i.e., inside pot dispensaries that have yet to open. [Cannabist]
A new report from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) highlights the opportunity gaps faced by women of color.
* Jared Fogle, Subway’s former spokesman, pleaded guilty to federal charges related to sex with minors and child pornography, and was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison. His creative defense? Losing weight on the Subway diet made him choose to erm… “eat fresh.” Yuck. [Washington Post]
* Biglaw firms have been announcing their new partnership classes over the past few weeks, and it goes without saying that the vast majority of new partners attended highly ranked law schools. Take a wild guess at which school was the most represented. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Per the latest report from the NALP, women and African-Americans continue to falter in their career progress at Biglaw firms. James Leipold says it’s “troubling” that the numbers are “reversing course.” We couldn’t agree more. [DealBook / New York Times]
* UnitedHealth recently announced that it expects to suffer in terms of its insurance sales under the Affordable Care Act, and has gone so far as to threaten that it may pull out of the exchange. Here are five things you need to know about that. [WSJ Law Blog]
* One of the members of Survivor filed a copyright infringement suit against Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign after the song “Eye of the Tiger” was played during a rally held for Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. Now it’s stuck in your head. Welcome! [Reuters]
* DraftKings and FanDuel aren’t going to take a knee and allow New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to rip away their
gamblersclients. Both daily fantasy sites have refused to stop conducting business in New York, and have instead filed suit against Schneiderman with some hefty Biglaw backing. [WSJ Law Blog]
* During a recent speaking engagement at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Justice Antonin Scalia explained why he writes such scathingly quotable dissents: “I’m writing dissents mainly for you guys—for law students. I know it will be in the casebooks.” [University of St. Thomas NewsRoom]
* SCOTUS granted cert in a challenge to Texas abortion laws, and some wonder how this decision will affect other states’ laws. If the justices don’t think these restrictions represent an undue burden, then women may as well hang up their ovaries and go home. [Reuters]
* We’ll have to rely on old faithful, Justice RBG, to raise the torch for women. She recently sat down for tea with Gloria Steinem to discuss women’s rights. “Ruth is better at getting along with people with whom we profoundly disagree,” says Steinem. [New York Times]
* The “least sexy” part of a merger? If you want to know what took the Dentons / Dacheng merger so long to be formalized, Dentons CEO Elliott Portnoy says it had to do with website, logo, communications, and marketing issues. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
By openly and directly confronting their diversity challenges, the Journal hopes to spark the difficult reflection and dialogue necessary for meaningful and lasting change.
* A person of interest in the shooting of Texas Judge Julie Kocurek has been apprehended and arrested — not for the shooting, mind you, but for a completely unrelated crime. Judge Kocurek continues her steady recovery after being seriously injured not by a bullet, but by shrapnel and glass. [Austin American-Statesman]
* Barnes & Thornburg partner Vincent “Trace” Schmeltz may be sanctioned for tweeting pictures that he took of the evidence that was presented during a trial. He claims he didn’t see the huge sign outside the courtroom prohibiting “photographing, recording or broadcasting.” [Chicago Tribune via ABA Journal]
* Schneiderman, Schneiderman! Bans sports-betting wherever he can! New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a cease-and-desist order against DraftKings and FanDuel, saying the daily fantasy sites constituted illegal gambling. [New York Times]
* Dentons finally formalized its merger with Dacheng Law Offices yesterday, thus making it the official largest law firm in the world. At 6,600 lawyers strong, just think about how many scandals we’ll be able to cover in 2016. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* According to the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, more women are being welcomed into the ranks of partnership at major firms. Out of 118 firms, women made up 34.4 percent of new partner classes. Let’s celebrate that less-than-50-percent benchmark! [WSJ Law Blog]
* Fred Auston Wortman III, the Tennessee attorney who tried to murder his estranged wife, Staci, by lacing her toothpaste with poison, and later hired an inmate to do the deed after his plan failed, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. [Commercial Appeal]
* Here are three ways you can balance your law school applications with your college responsibilities, but to be honest, if you’re having trouble balancing these things, then perhaps you don’t belong in law school. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
Why should companies care about diversity?
Law firms and in-house groups have failed to diversify their workforce, despite strong efforts and best intentions
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.
Who are Washington’s most powerful women lawyers, which D.C. firm made the “great places to work” list, and why do lawyers write novels?
Hopefully we are not one hundred years away from gender equality in the partnership ranks.
* It’s almost Halloween, so members of the legal profession had to have expected some spooky legal proceedings to occur this week. It seems that Lori Sforza, a witch priestess from Salem, has been granted a protective order against a well-known warlock. [Associated Press]
* Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would like to remove marijuana from the list of dangerous controlled substances that are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which would free up states to legalize it on their own terms. Stoners are really feeling the “Bern” now, in more ways than one. [Washington Post]
* Four federal lawyers spent weeks nailing down the legalities behind the killing of Osama bin Laden, and they weren’t allowed to ask Attorney General Eric Holder for help for fear of leaks to the press. They even had to do the legal research themselves! [New York Times]
* According to a new report by the National Association of Women Lawyers, there’s been no “appreciable progress” made for women in the nation’s largest law firms since at least 2006. This is extremely disheartening. Please do better, Biglaw. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* You know Walgreens is buying Rite Aid for $9.4B, but you might not have known which law firms were prescribing advice in the mega pharmacy merger. Skadden, Jones Day, Simpson Thacher, and Weil Gotshal got billable scripts. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Biglaw leaders aren’t feeling so hot about the future of the profession. What else is new? [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Villanova Law School whining about its fall in the U.S. News rankings after admitting it had artificially inflated its numbers. Listen, it’s this stupid fascination with U.S. News that got Villanova busted in the first place. It’s high time the school stops preening for U.S. News and starts touting its admirable position in the rankings based on what’s best for students. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* It’s time for the Supreme Court to hear the important cases! Enough of these poor people railroaded by the system, where’s justice for disgraced former Governor Bob McDonnell? [Washington Post]
* Everything should be legal! At least when it comes to BS NCAA violations. [Adequate Man / Deadspin]
* Women make less than men when it comes to in-house work. Sort of like all other work. [Law360]
* Hillary was hailed as the big winner last night, but her biggest victory was knowing that Bernie Sanders was going to pull his punches. [Redline]
* Sara Randazzo with the Twitter observation of the day yesterday: lawyer for ex-Dewey chair Steve Davis trolled the jury with his tie pattern. [Twitter]
Diversity and inclusion have a long way to go in our industry, but these markets show signs of progress.
At least rape culture has gotten a little better.