The dean of the University of Texas Law School, Lawrence Sager, decided to weigh in on the mess created by three of his 1L students. He kind of had to. For over a week, the legal world has been questioning the worth of a UT Law degree.
But Sager is a man with a marvelous wit, so you just knew that when he decided to light up the 1Ls pissing on his school’s reputation, it was going to be good. Sager penned his response in the Daily Texan:
I am writing in response to the opinion piece written by three students which appeared in The Daily Texan on March 4 under the title, “Law students need a practical education.”
A little more than halfway through their first year of law school, the authors of this call for practicality have not yet confronted the law school’s extraordinary array of courses, ranging from Admiralty Law to Wind Power Law.
Ouch — laying down the black-letter smackdown. Dean Sager’s going to blow these 1Ls out of the water….
The reaction to three Texas 1Ls slamming the University of Texas Law School came in fast — so fast, in fact, that the Texas administration was on the defensive even before we published our post yesterday.
Over at Legal Writing Prof Blog, Professor Wayne Schiess, Director of the UT legal writing program, responded to the students’ criticism:
It is true that the University of Texas School of Law has a first-year legal-writing curriculum without brief writing. When the law school administration removed credits from the required course five years ago, brief writing was lost. Needless to say, the legal-writing faculty thought it was a mistake. So we’ve been teaching a brief-writing elective that only some 1Ls can get into. We’re optimistic that brief writing will return to the required first-year curriculum. Indeed, a proposal to do that comes before the faculty this week.
Wow, who knew that students and some faculty took the legal writing class so seriously? I thought that professional legal writing involved completely ignoring your legal writing course when a partner tells you to.
But legal writing isn’t the only problem the UT law faculty will try to address….
Everything is bigger in Texas — even the law student explosions. A tipster gives us the lowdown on some super-sized bitching, spearheaded by three UT Law students:
It seems that three 1Ls took it upon themselves to lambaste our curriculum, our professors, the “Institution” of law school, etc. due to what they perceive as a lack of practical education. That would be pretty un-newsworthy had they not published their cavalcade in The Daily Texan.
I love it when law school communities air their dirty laundry in the press. There’s something so, je ne sais quoi, mais je sais que c’est merde, about it. Here’s the lede for the item from The Daily Texan:
The University of Texas School of Law was recently embarrassed in legal-industry news by a story claiming a law professor delayed releasing his class’s grades by two months — so long that employers had to tell a student they had filled all of their summer internship vacancies while he was waiting for this grade.
The incident is a symptom of a deeper problem at UT Law that has drawn criticism from all corners of the legal industry: Lax institutional standards have marginalized the law school’s role in society of preparing its students to be competent, ethical lawyers.
It looks like the UT 1Ls noticed our little story on grade delays last month.
But that’s just the teaser. Hey, UT – Law students, tell us what you really think …
Last year we reported that tuition would be on the rise at the UT-Law. We’ve discussed the fact that American Bar Association appears to be oblivious to the rising cost of legal education.
But for the second year in a row, the State Bar of Texas is offering scholarships to intrepid law students. All you have to do is show that being a lawyer is actually, you know, important to society in any way. Legal Blog Watch reports:
Think you have some talent as a filmmaker? If so, the eyes of the State Bar of Texas are upon you. It is sponsoring a YouTube contest offering cash prizes and scholarships for the best 30-second video showing why either lawyers or the courts are important to our society.
I like this! Law school is too expensive, but you want to go anyway? Fine. Please explain to me why being a lawyer is so damn important.
Unfortunately, the cash prize or scholarship isn’t really going to cover law school tuition. Details after the jump.
Last week, we reported that Latham & Watkins officially raised salaries, all the way back to where they would have been had the firm not frozen salaries in the first place.
Today, we have news that Latham is opening up new offices: one in Houston and one in Beijing.
Ahh, ah, AHHH, ah. Don’t call it a comeback:
Latham continues to rock peers and put suckas in fear, after the jump.
We have done a series of posts about the terrible jobs being offered to attorneys and law students during the recession. There will be a contest to crown the Worst Job of the Year — please send us your tips on jobs we might have missed. To make the finals, we need something more than an employer looking for vastly overqualified people to do menial work for little pay. That’s almost standard in this market.
No, to be a contender for worst job of the year, you need to have something special. You need a particularly onerous requirement, or you need to show a real flair for being unreasonably cheap with your new potential employee.
This job has both. A law firm in Houston Texas is looking for a licensed attorney to do low-level file management. The pay is craptastic, the benefits are insulting, and there’s a special requirement:
• Non-smokers only
Really? Non-smokers only? I swear smokers are being positively discriminated against in this country. We should be a protected class. You shouldn’t be able to discriminate against people just because they might get lung cancer and don’t really care.
But maybe smokers would self-select out of the applicant pool for this job anyway. After all, smokers know that life is way too short (their lives particularly) to waste doing file management, for $25K, while hoping to one day be eligible for a vacation.
The other job details and an update after the jump.
The Houston Press has written an exposé on the kind of lawyer that makes drunk Texans proud. DWI specialist Tyler Flood is revealed in all his glory as the Press discusses why he is so skilled at helping drunk drivers in their time of need:
“Listen, most of the people we get off are intoxicated. But that’s the justice system,” [Tyler Flood] says. “I’ve always thought people would be very concerned if they knew what we were doing.”
Really? You think people would be concerned by your practice of setting drunk drivers free to careen down the streets of your city? Who would have a problem with that?
More from Flood after the jump.
Congratulations to everyone who passed the New York bar exam. To those who did not pass, we wish you good luck if and when you take it again.
As we noted last night, results were scheduled to be made available to exam takers today and to the general public tomorrow. But it seems that the NY bar exam results are already available to all, courtesy of Buffalo Business First. To see whether your law school friends (or enemies) passed (or failed), click here and use the alphabetical dropdown menu.
The next big state set to release its bar exam results: Texas.
[T]he official day for Texas Bar results to come out is tomorrow, but historically (wtf that means) the bar results have come out the Thursday before, which is today.
I realize telling you this probably will result in the more visits to the site and it crashing, but oh well. Law examiners should just state a specific time that results will be posted and stick to that.
We wanted to give people an opportunity to reminisce about John O’Quinn, the legendary personal injury attorney, who apparently died this morning in a car accident. The Houston Chronicle reports:
Prominent Houston attorney John O’Quinn was one of two men who died this morning when their SUV slammed into a large tree on Allen Parkway after the driver apparently lost control, police said. …
It wasn’t immediately clear whether O’Quinn or the other, still-unidentified victim was driving.
O’Quinn is a huge name in Texas and around the country. He made his mark in PI work:
O’Quinn, who made his fortune largely in personal injury cases, most notably in successful breast implant cases in the early 1990s, was a local philantrhopist. He gave money to the Harris County Children’s Assessment Center, the Houston Council on Alcohol and Drugs and various Texas Medical Center institutions including St. Luke’s Hospital, which has a tower bearing his name.
Deal work isn’t just about substance. Style points will help you go far, at least according to Jim Woolery of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. In an interview he gave to the Dallas Morning News (gavel bang: ABA Journal), Woolery explains that his success is due in part to his ability to look like a New Yorker but talk like a Texan:
“They like me in Texas because I’m from this fancy New York law firm, but I talk Texan,” says the 40-year-old partner of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. “When [Dallas attorney] Phil Smith from McKool Smith tells me, ‘Things are going to get Westerned,’ I know he means things are going to get sideways or upside down.”
My friends, this is why it is important to have diversity in the partnership ranks. Sometimes you need a guy like Woolery to make that special Love Connection.
Just how much has Woolery’s western charm been worth to Cravath?
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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