I've just added Proskauer Rose, who, you might have heard, just deferred current summers to fall 2011, to our 2010 table of doom. The firm has not announced a public interest program or any deferral stipends.
Don't forget to email us with tips on start date deferrals and summer program cancelations.
For the most part, these books give the lay of the land. The vast forests of unfamiliar material. The arduous peaks of preparing for an exam. The valleys of what little down time a law student may have. The desert of what was once your social and romantic life.
But one thing these books fail to elaborate on is the taxonomy of the native law school wildlife.
Enter John Infante: law blogger and law school explorer extraordinaire!
On his blog, Fearfully Optimistic, Infante has started a detailed series of posts on the people you meet in law school that outlines the telling characteristics of a particular species of law student, how to approach the species in the wild and also how to tell if you are one.
As one commenter said:
"Why does it feel like Law School is going to be one giant episode of
The Crocodile Hunter? Ahem: 'Crikey! It seems we have spotted the
elusive Sandbagger and the colorful Gunner. Notice the calls of the
Gunner as it displays its legal plumage. Oh! It seems the Sandbagger
has slipped off!' Oh boy; fun times are ahead indeed."
Law schools are doing all sortsof things to try to look less helpless against an abysmal job market.
Santa Clara University School of Law is the latest to roll out an extra program — one that’s built on advice from working lawyers.
Last summer, the school asked a number of well-placed alums for help understanding the looming recession and its impact on recruiting.
It formed what it calls the Legal Recruitment Advisory Board, which includes the dean, law faculty and deans, members of the career services staff, and eight alumni who hold managing or hiring partner posts at firms of all sizes. There’s even a corporate counsel.
It was a coincidence that their first meeting was held one week after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, said Vicki Huebner, the assistant dean for law career services. Good timing!
Offered in the spring and fall, the courses will focus on law firm economics and practice management, Huebner said. A third course is in the works, focusing on professional development skills. That class will have an intro to litigation and transactional work.
The courses are informed by insights from the working alumni.
One of the general themes that have come out of discussions was the growing specialization of law practices, Dennis Brown told us Thursday afternoon. The managing partner of Littler Mendelson’s San Jose office who also sits on the advisory board, said the best chance to get a position in the new economy is to get some experience in a sub-specialty of the law – whether through clinical programs, volunteer work or externships.
“When I graduated from law school, hiring decisions were primarily based on GPA and getting a broad survey of general law courses so you could run, ride, rope and shoot — like a cowboy,” Brown said. “What we have seen, especially with a dwindling job market, is the firms no longer have the capacity or inclination to take the raw clay and to shape it completely into something they would like the associate to be.”
The other alums are: Cooley Godward Kronish chief operating officer and litigation partner Mark Pitchford; Teresa Corbin at Howrey; Kathryn Meier, the former managing partner of Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel; DLA Piper’s Managing Partner of the East Palo Alto Office Andrew Valentine; Randy Gard at Gard & Kaslow; Wilson Sonsini partner Rod Strickland and Frederick Gonzalez, general counsel at SonicWall.
More DePaul drama. According to Brian Leiter, The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin is reporting that Provost Helmut Epp, who recently came under fire for appointing Illinois Judge Warren Wolfson as interim dean without faculty consultation, is at it again. This time, Epp has appointed Judge/Dean Wolfson to a three-year term, again without faculty consultation.
This is a violation of ABA rule 205[b]:
"The dean and faculty shall formulate and administer the educational program of the law school, including curriculum; methods of instruction; admissions; and academic standards for retention, advancement, and graduation of students; and shall recommend the selection, retention, promotion, and tenure (or granting of security of position) of the faculty."
Prof. Leiter also notes that he has been told that this new development "also violates the internal rules of the law school and all historical practice at the school."
In other news of law schools possibly flagrantly violating ABA regulations, Above the Law reported that a Michigan Law grad has issued a complaint to the ABA regarding Michigan's Wolverine Scholars program, which gives any Michigan undegrad with a 3.8 GPA automatic admission to the law school so long as they don't take the LSAT. US News padding, much?
After all the baseball analogies used during Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination hearings, I think it's time we called a moratorium on baseball-sounding language of any kind in relation to anything going on in the legal world.
According to a posting on the site, new associates at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP "are heading to the minors" of a new associate training ground - or "farm", as they're calling it - before going into the big league law firm.
Rather than proceeding straight into the hungry, gaping maw of a ginormous law firm after graduating from law school, green and somewhat-immature new associates will get sent to associate farms, where they will have the time to plump up and ripen with knowledge of the legal world for maximum nom-ability.
If you're thinking that this all sounds like something that would appear on a Sci-Fi channel show - oh, excuse me: Syfy - or like the plot for a new book by Margaret Atwood then you've just hit it out of the ballpark.
Yup. The post isn't real news, but satire from Litination, a satire site intended to blend real and fake legal news for entertainment purposes only.
But is there some truth to this fiction?
Is the current "Big Law" system broken? Are new law school graduates as unprepared for "real world" practice as the article says they are? Is it really all that bad to be transferred over to DLA Piper?
And is baseball really the best analogy for law and all things law related?
The Chicago Tribune reports that the American Bar Association has dismissed a complaint against DePaul university that resulted from concerns about the school's financial affairs, which were first raised by now-fired Dean Glen Weissenberger.
The ousting of Dean Weissenberger resulted in some pretty serious backlash from both students and faculty, who hit Facebook to organize campaigns on his behalf. These campaigns included the publication of minutes from faculty meetings on the issue.
From the Chicago Tribune story:
"The university released a report Monday from the American Bar Association, the accreditation agency for law schools, that concluded the central administration provides sufficient funds to the law school.
The funding of the law school became controversial in June when the school’s dean, Glen Weissenberger, complained to the ABA that the university had breached a 2004 agreement that guaranteed the college of law 75 percent of the “net tuition” in any given year. His memo also charged that the administration had provided inaccurate information about the revenue-sharing agreement to the ABA’s accreditation committee.
On June 18, two days after Weissenberger sent the letter to the ABA, the university fired him. The administration appointed Illinois Appellate Judge Warren Wolfson as interim dean."
You all may have heard of Sara Granda, the UC Davis School of Law graduate whose application to take the July California Bar exam was denied due to a processing error. Sara is also quadriplegic.
I called Sara today, to talk about the decision of the State Bar to deny her application, and the long road ahead of her to the February exam. During our conversation, Sara got a call from her lawyer.
Sara will be joining all the other would-be lawyers at convention centers across the state tomorrow: she'll be taking the exam.
Sara sounded thrilled by the news, but also concerned. In the 10 days since the state bar's initial decision, she hasn't spent anytime studying. Instead, she's been dealing with the "overwhelming" outpouring of support and media attention.
"It just shows you how many people really care," she said. "I wouldn't give up. I never gave up."
In a pretty marked reversal from their recent comments that are basically akin to "oh, the rules apply to everyone!" the State Bar will allow Sara to take the exam, despite the fact that she paid her application fees via check rather than online (the original reason for the denial).
"It's a high-tech process, and people need to maneuver it successfully, and we can't be in the business of helping any one person out with it," he said. "That takes us down a path that ends up in a place we don't want to be. How do you then choose which ones to help and which you don't?"
"That seems like a big cop out," Sara said. "In my situation, there are two people, if that, who graduate a year."
For more on Sara's story, including the governor's involvement, check out the Cal Law story here (free reg. req.).
DLA also announced that it will push back its recruiting to spring, similar to the plan announced by Orrick. As ATL points out:
"Of course, assuming that firms like DLA and Orrick still hire summer associates for 2010, and defer them to 2012 or beyond, eventually all of these deferrals are going to have to catch up with the firms. Either the firms will have to greatly reduce the number of summers hired or offers extended, or at some point they will have to accept a huge class of first-year attorneys. Nobody really wants to turn law school into a four-year experience where the fourth year is spent hiding out in a public interest organization."
DLA would-be first years can participate in a public interest fellowship through January 2012 with a stipend of $60k. Unless I can't read (possible), DLA did not announce if it plans to offer a stipend for all those who choose to enter the firm in January of 2011.
You can check out the firm's full memo to law school deans and career services offices, after the jump. You can also check out our ever-growing list of firms who have deferred 2010 offers and/or modified summer programs and recruiting policies here.
"Today, with state revenues having plummeted faster and further ... we simply can't afford
Irvine's law school.
Odds are, with the California economy doing even worse than the nation as a whole, we have
even less need for extra lawyers than we did when the (California Postsecondary Education Commission)
rejected the Irvine proposal back in 2006.
convinced that UC Berkeley and UCLA will come out of the current
troubles in excellent shape. We have great alumni whose support
continues to grow despite the economy. But I see no reason
for the state to spend a dime on Irvine.
Kill it now and put the money
to better use, such as helping reverse some of the cuts to
While soon-to-be 1Ls like myself stress over these final few weeks before law school orientation, Blake Strode is putting off those those days for at least another year in the name of love.
According to The Joplin Globe in Missouri, the University of Arkansas grad is telling law school to wait while he continues his tennis career.
Here's a bit from the Globe story:
"Strode is a three-time
all-Southeastern Conference selection, a two-time SEC Scholar Athlete
of the Year and was the 2009 recipient of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for
leadership and sportsmanship.
'I’m going to law school, but I’m definitely going to play tennis for at least a year,' he said."
The Globe says that Strode advanced Thursday to the quarterfinals of the Millennium
Tennis Club $10,000 Men’s Futures, which has a total prize of $10,000. Not sure if the winner gets all $10,000, but winning half of that is still a good chunk of change.
Who knows? With enough wins, Strode may even be able to pay his way through law school.