Now that the fabulous Elena Kagan has been officially nominated to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, some folks have been wondering: What does the future hold for the unsuccessful shortlisters? Let’s consider them, one by one.
1. Judge Merrick Garland (D.C. Cir.): The brilliant D.C. Circuit judge — practically a “tenth justice” himself, due to his ridiculous success in feeding his clerks to the Court — could be considered for a future vacancy. He’s young enough, at 57, and the Garland clerk mafia is strong, with representation in the White House counsel’s office and other D.C. power centers.
Garland is the SCOTUS candidate who would be most appealing to conservatives, so his chances of appointment are directly proportional to Republican representation in the Senate. My advice for Judge Garland: vote Republican.
2. Judge Sidney Thomas (9th Cir.): The well-regarded Ninth Circuit judge’s appearance on Obama’s short list surprised some, but it really shouldn’t have. Sid Thomas is very smart and veryliberal, and he would add diversity to the Court (as a Montanan, non-Ivy Leaguer, and Protestant).
“Sidney Thomas is being thrown around in case [Justice Anthony M.] Kennedy steps down in the next two years,” a D.C. insider involved in the nomination process told me. “As far as we can tell, Obama likes [Sid Thomas] and wants to introduce him as a possibility to make him more palatable next time around.”
If Justice Kennedy, 73, were to leave the Court, it would be without any West Coast representation. Nominating Judge Thomas — a member of the Ninth Circuit, just like AMK was before his elevation — would remedy that.
My advice for Judge Thomas: pray for Justice Kennedy to have a heart attack.
3. Judge Diane Wood (7th Cir.): It pains me to say this, because I adore Judge Wood, but this go-around was her last best chance at the Court. This July 4, Judge Wood will turn 60, viewed by some as the upper bound for a nominee in terms of age. As one of my friends observed on Facebook, Wood is on her way to becoming the liberal version of Judge Edith Jones, whose numerous unsuccessful appearances on shortlists led Slate to dub her “Susan Lucci in judicial robes.”
My advice for Judge Wood: enjoy Chicago. Or pray for ill to befall Justice Ginsburg very, very quickly — if RBG leaves soon, you might still have a shot.
In addition, I have a rather significant CORRECTION, concerning some speculation I passed along last night. The rumor was that Daniel Meltzer, the deputy White House counsel who recently announced his resignation to return to the Harvard Law School faculty, harbors a grudge against Kagan — because she beat him out for the HLS deanship — and that Meltzer therefore lobbied against her nomination to the Court.
So…. just how wrong was I about tension between Kagan and Meltzer?
It’s Elena Kagan’s “wise Latina” comment. Just as Court watchers dug up a controversial, eight-year-old statement by Sonia Sotomayor last year, they have unearthed a law review article that Kagan authored in 1995 when she was a young law professor at the University of Chicago. In it, she criticized the Supreme Court confirmation hearings as they existed then (and now) as a “vapid and hollow charade,” in desperate need of reform to get at a nominee’s true judicial philosophy and views.
Now the statement is being thrown back at Elena Kagan as she prepares for her own confirmation hearings. Such is the nature of the modern confirmation process, when everything one has said or written can be found in the immense digital file cabinet that is the Internet (which is not always a bad thing, as Lat and Kash argue in a Washington Post piece today on myths about the confirmation process). A search of “Kagan and charade” in Google returned over 5,000 results this morning.
This seems like an opportune time to take a more thorough look at the 25-page book review from which the sound bite comes, and to highlight other passages that shed light on a 35-year-old Kagan’s opinion of the confirmation process. Not all of it casts a dark shadow when brought to light today. Regarding a nominee’s qualifications for the highest court, she presciently asked:
Must, for example …, a nominee have served on another appellate court — or may (as I believe) she demonstrate the requisite intelligence and legal ability through academic scholarship, the practice of law, or governmental service of some other kind?
Perhaps by serving as Harvard Law School dean, and then as Solicitor General?
What other gems can be found in the 15-year-old document?
The new U.S. News law school rankings are out. Now it’s time to allow students and alumni to weigh in on their law school and their brand new rank.
At the very top, the order remains unchanged. Yale, Harvard, and Stanford continue to be kings of the U.S. News world. If prospective students can get into one of these schools, they should probably go. Biglaw, legal academia, and Article III clerkships await graduates of these prestigious institutions.
We know the stereotypes of the east coast schools. Yale is the elite training ground for clerks and scholars — and Biglaw dollars are available to those students who want a slice of the pie. Harvard is the most prestigious J.D. diploma factory in the world. HLS is all about big numbers: lots of students, and lots of money for graduates who dive into Biglaw.
Is Stanford the Yale of the west or Harvard of the west? Or would Stanford be ranked even higher but for “east coast bias”? Aside from U.S. News prestige, what’s special about Stanford that Berkeley students wouldn’t understand?
The subtle differences between the top-3 are questions for only a few LSAT rockstars.
Next, let’s check in on Chicago’s march up the rankings…
This afternoon, the Federalist Society at the University of Chicago Law School sponsored an interesting debate. It featured Berkeley law professor John Yoo, author of the so-called “torture memos,” and Bob Barr, the prominent libertarian and former congressman, debating the following subject: “Presidential Power v. Civil Liberties in Times of War.”
(Executive power is the subject of Professor Yoo’s new — and well-reviewed — book, Crisis and Command.)
Reports on the proceedings from attendees — plus comment from Professor Yoo, who apparently accused the Bush Administration of “incompetence and stupidity” — after the jump. UPDATE: Photos added, after the jump.
Loren Friedman earned Lawyer of the Day honors here back in 2008, when the then-Curtis Mallet associate was busted for doctoring his law school grades from the University of Chicago, by changing Cs into Bs and As.
Almost two years after the ethics complaint against Friedman was filed, the Illinois Review Board has rendered its verdict.
(We’re a little late in bringing you the news; the Legal Profession Blog noted the judgment last week.)
UPDATE / CLARIFICATION: As noted by a commenter, Friedman won’t automatically be reinstated after 18 months. Rather, because the suspension is 18 months “and until further order of the court” (UFO), he will have to “satisfy his obligation of establishing his character and fitness before resuming practice.”
No big deal. Friedman has other things to occupy his time these days….
Dear Members of the Classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012,
A little over five years ago I came to UCLA School of Law from the east coast to become dean of one of the greatest educational institutions in the world. From the moment I arrived I appreciated the strength and depth of our student culture. Indeed, you are part of the reason my five years as the dean of this school have been the happiest and most fulfilling years of my life. Thus, it is with mixed emotions that I announce today that I will be leaving the deanship at the end of the calendar year for a new challenge as dean of the University of Chicago Law School.
Why is he leaving so suddenly? Why was this decision made now instead of over the summer? University of Chicago Dean Saul Levmore announced he was stepping down back in February. Why the late trigger at UofC?
Dean Schill offers some additional information about his decision process — and the University of Chicago touts its new dean — after the jump.
The cast for the latest season of Survivor, which premieres on September 17, has been announced. This season, the show’s nineteenth, takes place on the tropical island of Samoa.
Four of the 20 contestants, or a fifth of the field, are either lawyers or law students. Is appearing on a reality television show the best way to wait out the recession?
We believe this to be the highest number of law-related contestants in a single season. We reached out to Charlie Herschel — the former Survivor contestant and current Weil Gotshal associate, who has encyclopedic knowledge of the show — and he said that, as far as he knows, four would be a record. Herschel explained:
Lawyers are making a better showing than bartenders for once on Survivor! There was a lawyer on the first Survivor who sued producers for rigging the show. Word was that they avoided casting lawyers after that.
Also, it’s generally difficult for lawyers to drop everything at a moment’s notice for the casting process and also for the show (which is required), so they have trouble casting lawyers. Most of the lawyers on survivor dont practice anymore.
Perhaps you know one of these four. Let’s learn more about them, shall we?
How young is too young to get married? Or more to the point, how young is too young to appear in the NYT weddings pages and not look foolhardy or vaguely scandalous? We ask because these newlyweds, ages 22 and 24, strike us as shockingly young. (And it’s definitely not a shotgun wedding — click on the link and you’ll see why.)
At any rate, this week’s featured newlyweds are all older than 22, so it’s a moot point. (If you want to ponder the trends in MAFM [median age at first marriage], here’s more.) Our finalists:
What does it mean to be “newly admitted?” To us, it means endless possibilities!
We recognize that you already possess the ability and intelligence to succeed in a variety of legal professions. Our job is to expose you to various practice areas in a way that ensures those very attributes are successfully applied. Our seasoned and successful faculty present unique programs that provide an approachable and practical understanding of the avenues of achievement available as you launch a fruitful, enjoyable and promising career.
Our Live Bridge the Gap weekends satisfy the entire year of New York Newly-Admitted CLE Credits in only two days!
After physically attending a full weekend, you will receive:
• 3.0 Ethics CLE credits,
• 6.0 Skills CLE credits, and
• 7.0 Professional Practice and/or Law Practice Management CLE credits
Date: Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 2013 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:35 p.m. (EST) Location:
55 Exchange Place
New York, NY 10006
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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