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The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

Time, Place, and Manner

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Latham Gets New DC Managing Partner

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Latham and Watkins has a new managing partner for its DC office.

Alice Fisher is an expert in white collar criminal investigations, and had left Latham from 2005-2008 to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division in the Department of Justice (that sounds like a big, important division to us).

Latham's DC branch is the 11th largest office in DC, boasting 270 lawyers and another 207 staff.  Hopefully it will stay that way, we don't want to see "Fishered" added to the legal lexicon.

[Washington Business Journal]

More on PayScale Salary Data

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We previously wrote about law school starting salaries collected by PayScale and published on Forbes in which no schools were found to have starting median salaries of $160,000, and only a dozen made it over the $100k mark.

The article had originally stated that PayScale had looked at 28,000 salaries from 98 schools, but an intrepid Con Daily reader took a gander at the data available on PayScale and noted that many schools have far fewer than the average of 286 salaries that number requires.  Yale only had 59 salaries listed, Stanford 70, NYU 36, and so on.

We contacted Kurt Badenhausen, author of the Forbes article, and he looked into the issue:

"I spoke to Payscale and they told me the PayScale Research Center [the source of the low sample sizes] uses a different data set and not the full data set that they use in their research projects.... [28000] is the total number of law school grads Payscale looked at from the 98 schools. There were roughly 8,500 of those that had less than 5 years experience and were considered for the median salaries of recent grads."

So, we're looking at about 87 students on average for each school.  Remember, these aren't the starting salaries published by schools and US News, but of students with less than 5 years (median 2 years) experience.  The numbers may be lower than what law schools report because of the high rate of attrition in BigLaw.  If so, we think PayScale paints a far more meaningful picture for prospective students.  Your starting salary is of course important, but not as important as what you're paid the rest of your career.

A spokesperson for Stanford contacted Forbes and defended their data:

"All of the private sector starting salary employment data we report to NALP, the ABA and U.S. News is 100% verified.”

PayScale reported a median of $125,000.  Stanford claims not only a median of $160,000 for its graduates employed full time upon graduation, but a 25th percentile of $160,000 as well, with a 94% response rate.


LSAT! Huh! Good God y'all! What is it Good For?

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An article by Amy Goodusky in the Connecticut Law Tribune blasts the LSAT as being completely useless to predicting success in law school or in practice:

"I have never understood how it is that being able to determine the number of black, white, gray and brown hats that hang from six pegs if one of the hats came from Argentina and only the black hats are lactose intolerant has anything to do with how to ask a concise and lucid deposition question, write a Motion for Order of Compliance, or calm an unhinged client who has just received a subpoena.

"If there is anyone who can tell me whether the fact that I understand a paragraph written by Gertrude Stein demonstrates that I will be able to put the two correct search terms into the virtual box for a WestLaw query with the appropriate number of words between them so as to produce a current piece of jurisprudence on point with the one I wish to prove, I would be most grateful."

The LSAT measures three abilities in law school applicants: deductive reasoning skills, reading comprehension, and the ability to perform under pressure.  What these could possibly have to do with law school or practice is beyond us.  We have never heard of a lawyer or law student who ever had to read, think, or act under pressure.

The LSAT is imperfect, but it's not supposed to be the sole measure law school applicants are judged by.  Schools look at other factors, such as your GPA.  But, comparing students based on GPAs is a dubious process.  Who is the better candidate, a student with a 4.0 in Women's Studies from Auburn, or a 2.8 Biochem major from Johns Hopkins?

Of course, this article comes with the standard mantra of those who hate the LSAT, "I'm just not good at standardized tests:"

First, for the record, I should state that I am an abysmal taker of standardized tests. The thought of filling in all those little bubbles with a Number Two pencil makes me want to run straight out and shoot a couple of bags of high-grade heroin. When it became apparent that to pursue a law degree I would be compelled to go through several hours of this onerous process, and that my performance would indelibly affect my future, I reacted wildly. I ate. I wept. I gnashed. I said “words you never heard in the Bible,” to quote Paul Simon.

You know that to become a lawyer, you have a 2-3 day standardized test that makes the LSAT look like a Cracker Barrel comment card, right?

While some people may truthfully have problems with their nerves that reduces their brains to soup when they look at a scantron sheet, we suspect there is a more common reason for poor test taking: not really being that smart.

The people who bomb the LSAT but insist on their smarts always point to their GPA and how everyone tells them they're so smart.  The problem is that it's easy to bullshit your way to a good GPA.  Take classes that are heavy on writing and group projects, and aim for smaller programs that are afraid to lose students (and funding) if they give low grades.

As for your peers thinking you're so smart, odds are you just talk such impenetrable circles of bullshit that no one can pinpoint exactly what's so stupid about what you're saying.

Now, the ability to do the double talk walk is incredibly useful for a lawyer, whether in front of a jury or trying to explain a bill to a client.  But, there still needs to be an objective test that you can't bullshit your way through.

"Stanley — who may be more familiar to some of us by his surname, after which his business is called, that is, Kaplan — drilled me into emotional numbness every weekday evening for 115 weeks."

That's 2 years, 11 weeks.  Ms. Goodusky attended University Connecticut, class of 1996.  U Conn is currently ranked #56 by US News, and has a median LSAT of 161.  As a fun comparison, 115 weeks before taking the LSAT, BL1Y was studying for AP exams as a high school senior.

[CT Law Tribune]

Berlusconi "most accused person in history and in the universe"

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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was in court today in a closed hearing to decide whether he should stand trial for fraud over the sale of film rights by his Mediaset company.

This is the first time in eight years that Berlusconi has appeared in court.  In 2003 he appeared on bribery charges which were eventually thrown out.

Berlusconi paints the accusations as persecution, describing himself as the "most accused person in history and in the universe."

There are three other pending cases against Berlusconi, including a trial for having sex with an underage prostitute set to begin April 6.


Page 297 of 342

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