William Birdthistle

Tomorrow, many readers will begin the last exam of their lives (excluding DMV renewals). Most are hunkered down poring over notes, taking last-minute practice exams, and generally questioning the life decisions that brought them to this moment.

But more than a few are searching for almost anything to distract them from incessant studying today. This post is for them. We’ve gathered together some random thoughts on the exam, some time-wasting links, and of course a thread to commiserate.

Gear up for some ATL Classic tales of bar exam woe, a Downfall video, tales of a dumb test-taker, and cat pictures!

Good luck!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “10 Links To Distract You From Studying For the Bar Exam”

* Everyone’s happy about the Dewey & LeBoeuf settlement except the Ad Hoc Committee and its LeBoeuf retirees, who called Judge Martin Glenn’s attempt to slap them down an “insult to injury.” [WSJ Law Blog]

* While South Carolina’s voter ID law wasn’t found to be inherently discriminatory, its enforcement was still blocked because people will be unable to get their sh*t together in time for the election. [Bloomberg]

* VP debate moderator Martha Raddatz’s 1991 wedding guest list has come under fire because Barack Obama was invited. Clearly there’s a conflict of interest worth arguing about here. [Washington Post]

* This man is nobody’s “butt boy”: Tom Keefe, the interim dean over at Saint Louis Law School, will be footing a $14,212 bill for his students in the form of ABA Law Student Division memberships. [National Law Journal]

* Strippers in California, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Texas, and Nevada will be making it rain, because they just scored a $12.9M class action settlement. That’s a whole lot of “college tuition”! [Courthouse News Service]

Professor William Birdthistle

Welcome to Lawyers & Economics, a new video series on financial topics by Professor William Birdthistle of Chicago-Kent College of Law. Professor Birdthistle, who teaches corporate law, has been preparing well-received videos for his students on a variety of subjects related to economics and finance. We’ve previously linked to some of his work, which received positive reader feedback, so we thought we’d give you a bit more.

After the jump, here’s a short primer on the Greek debt crisis, which remains ongoing. Watch it, so you can sound enlightened the next time this topic comes up at a cocktail party.

It features not just Professor Birdthistle but also a television actor you might recognize, who left Hollywood to become a law student….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyers & Economics: The Greek Debt Crisis”


That headband looked much better on the Childlike Empress in Neverending Story.

* Next week, people in Mississippi are going to vote on whether a clump of cells is a “person.” Are we really going to put this into the hands of people who can’t even spell the name of their own state? [New York Times]

* If you’re a trial lawyer, even imaginary friends will do. [Underdog]

* Finally, something entertaining and informative from a law professor that doesn’t cost $100,000: a series of rich shorts to give junior associates enough basics to avoid embarrassment when corporate assignments are handed out at the firm. [YouTube]

* I really wish that this comedian would actually sue Kim Kardashian over her sham marriage. Seriously. Next time, try to stay married until I finish watching your two-part wedding special. [VICE]

* Have you guys been wondering about Juggalo Law’s whereabouts? This might explain his absence. [Hit & Run / Reason]

* I am the 1%. And by that, I mean that I’m probably in the 1% of people who do not give one damn about this social movement. [Actually You're the 47%]

Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo

* Over the weekend, while I was at the gym, I listened to this engaging and entertaining podcast, with Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo. They discuss Libya, Obamacare, and — perhaps most interesting for ATL readers — the U.S. News law school rankings (around the 13-minute mark). [Ricochet (subscription); accessible for free for ATL readers over here (mp3)]

* Speaking of law professors and Libya, my friend and former co-clerk, Professor William Birdthistle, is writing an interesting series of posts about his childhood in that now war-torn land. The first appears here. [The Conglomerate]

* Joining the ranks of law professors: former Supreme Court shortlister Larry Thompson, who’s retiring as general counsel of PepsiCo and entering legal academia. [Corporate Counsel]

* Hey Raj Rajaratnam, look on the bright side: at least you’re not Barry Bonds. [Dealbreaker]

* A close and critical look at the PayScale salary data used by Forbes in its recent analysis of law school graduate salaries (as well as its ranking of “best law schools for getting rich”). [Constitutional Daily]

Ken Kratz wins 'The Prize' of no criminal charges.

* A post-mortem for Yoss LLP (formerly known as Adorno & Yoss), the once high-flying Florida law firm. [Daily Business Review (registration) via WSJ Law Blog]

* Former Wisconsin D.A. Ken Kratz, of “I am the prize” fame, won’t face criminal charges. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]

* Good news for same-sex, bi-national married couples confronting immigration issues. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* Adrian Dayton asks: Are referrals still more important than law blogs for developing business? [Marketing Strategy and the Law]

* Blawg Review #304 has a timely theme — “Spooked by Nukes” — as well as some cool photography. [Declarations and Exclusions via Blawg Review]

Hillary Clinton cleavage breasts Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Scott Moss wants to know: What’s the weakest legal argument you’ve ever heard? [PrawfsBlawg]
* William Birdthistle wants to know: What financial and legal regimes are most conducive to the development of French-fry-selling Thai restaurants? [Conglomerate]
* NBS wants to know: Is Hillary Clinton channeling Eva Peron? Bonus observation: “Dolly Madison had a decent rack, and now there’s a whole line of cookies names after her.” [Nasty, Brutish & Short]
* The WSJ Law Blog wants to know: Why are there so many darn lawyers in Roseland, New Jersey? [WSJ Law Blog]

soccer field Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re a sucker for soccer — which is one of the world’s most popular sports, and which may soon take off on these shores, thanks to the arrival of David Beckham — then you should definitely check out the Volokh Conspiracy guest-blogging of our good friend and former co-clerk, Professor William Birdthistle.
Here’s a teaser, from Birdthistle’s first post:

I attempt to discern the cause of the deterioration of World Cup soccer into [such a] deplorable state. My conclusion, which I’ll explore further in coming posts, is that the rewards and punishments that referees have in their arsenal are too crude and too capable of determining the outcome of the game. The power of referees to work a game’s bouleversement with one blow of the whistle — either by sending off a star player or awarding a penalty — places officials at the center of the game.

Players then have a strong incentive to attempt to influence referees, often by bearing false witness to the facts with dives and operatic petitions. This phenomenon appears to be exacerbated at the quadrennial World Cup, where teams play relatively few games for enormous stakes and where caution and calculation often trump free-flowing football….

My proposals for addressing the situation, which I will also discuss further in future posts, focus primarily on ways of diluting and refining referees’ power.

For more thoughts, including details of his reform proposals, check out the links collected below.
Football Most Foul [Volokh Conspiracy]
The Universal Game [Volokh Conspiracy]
William Birdthistle, Guest Blogging [Volokh Conspiracy]

o'scannlain reunion 9.JPG

Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, Mrs. Maura O’Scannlain, and two decades’ worth of law clerks and judicial assistants. (We apologize for the less-than-stellar quality of this pic. If you live in the D.C. area and would like to give us a tutorial in digital photography, email us.)


Our photo essay about the historic Pioneer Courthouse, in Portland, Oregon, is complete . But our coverage of “DFOpalooza” — the delightful weekend of events celebrating Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain’s 20th judicial anniversary — isn’t quite done.
After the jump, more fun photographs. We traveled across the country to be there, so we intend to milk it for all it’s worth. And, of course, it’s good publicity for our awesome former boss.
If you’re a federal judge who’s wondering, “Why isn’t my law clerk reunion being covered this lavishly?”, there’s a solution: Invite us to your next one! (Hey Frank — we hear your house in Alaska is pretty sweet.)

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3 pioneer courthouse 8.JPG

Yes, ladies, he really is this handsome. Sorry, he’s taken.
From left to right: Professor William Birdthistle; Mark Schneider, an AUSA in Chicago; Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain; Brian Murray (OT 2002/Scalia); Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Cohn (OT 2000/Thomas); Carol Murray (we think); Cindy Zmijewski Demers (in profile); Ryan W. Bounds, of the Office of Legal Policy (and the Office of Sartorial Counsel).
For those of you who don’t like eye candy (of the admittedly blurry kind), you’ll be happy to know that this is the last in our series of photo essay posts about the historic Pioneer Courthouse, in Portland, Oregon. The prior installments can be accessed here (scroll down).
The latest batch of pictures, showing former O’Scannlain law clerks on a judge-led tour of the renovated Pioneer Courthouse, appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Pioneer Courthouse: A Photo Essay (Part 4)”

David lat David B Lat Dave Lat shirtless pic photo photograph Above the Law.jpg* We were taught growing up that when someone pays you a compliment, the appropriate response is gratitude. So thank you, QuizLaw!
Unlike those grumpy feminists — e.g., Jessica Valenti, adversary of Ann Althouse — we soak up compliments graciously. And we enjoy being objectified. Toward that end, here’s a shirtless photo of us. [QuizLaw]
* Call us un-American and terrible human beings, but we really don’t like dogs — not even to eat. So we support the idea of subjecting them to criminal punishment. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Oh, and we don’t like cats, either. [ABC 7 News]
* Chicago-Kent law students: When Professor William Birdthistle isn’t teaching you the finer points of securities regulation, he’s getting drunk off his ass enjoying — or at least writing about — the world’s most expensive cocktails.** [Forbes]
* This video is really more weird (borderline creepy) than it is funny. But the production values are excellent — especially for a law student council campaign video. [Concurring Opinions]
* Howard K. Stern, lawyer-cum-paramour of Anna Nicole Smith, may actually be a pretty shrewd attorney. He certainly knows his Bahamian family law. [PerezHilton]
* SCOTUS spouse we’d most like to grab drinks with: Martin Ginsburg. Close second: Martha Alito.*** [TaxProf Blog (2nd paragraph)]
* Apparently we’re not the only ones who are intrigued by Brian Leiter. [PrawfsBlawg]
** Please don’t misinterpret our good-natured ribbing of Professor Birdthistle, a former co-clerk and one of our closest friends.
*** We’re serious about this. Sources tell us that the nation got a very erroneous picture of Martha Alito from her husband’s confirmation hearings, when she fled the hearing room in tears. Apparently she’s a blast to hang out with and has a great sense of humor.

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