Greedy Associates

Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

Ah, good old (alleged) bribery. When lawyers behave badly and someone gets hurt or killed, we kind of feel bad about it. But when lawyers get arrested for bribery? No one gets hurt, and we can bask in the awesomeness.

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver found himself on the pointy end of the law after he surrendered to the FBI Thursday morning, accused of using his office to get bribes and kickbacks. What's the legal angle? Turns out a lot of his wheel-greasing money was funneled through a law firm for legal services that, mysteriously, were never rendered.

The new semester has just started, and if you haven't bought or rented your casebooks by now ... well, what's wrong with you? (Except 3Ls: Everyone knows that you've totally checked out at this point.)

In the year 2015, we have plenty of e-books (some available even from our sister company, West Publishing!), but are e-textbooks really the way to go? Sure, they save precious space in your backpack, meaning you won't look like Richard III by the end of law school, but is the trade-off really worth it?

Here are a few factors to consider:

I don't even know where to start. Maybe at the end? On January 16, Louisiana lawyer Jennifer Gaubert was convicted of misdemeanor criminal mischief for filing a false police report.

Gaubert is scheduled to be sentenced on February 13 and faces up to six months in jail -- quite a difference from the felony she could have been convicted of. Let's all take a trip down memory lane and remember how we got here...

The results from Vault's 2014 Law Firm Associate Survey are in, reports TaxProf Blog. Wait, why is TaxProf Blog reporting on this? Probably because "Tax" is the practice area with the highest associate satisfaction. Take that, antitrust!

So what makes tax law so interesting? "Tax law may be satisfying work because it is often described as solving a puzzle, allowing lawyers to find creative solutions to their clients' problems," Vault opines on its website. I read that to mean "finding ever-more creative ways around the tax code." But hey, everyone needs to find fulfillment at work.

So in which other practice areas are associates happy, according to this survey?

It's a new year, and a new semester. Whether you're a 3L trying to knock out some credits by taking "Shakespearean legal theory" or a 1L wondering how you'll make it through another semester of contracts, there are always things you can improve upon.

Here are a few ideas for things law students can improve upon in the new year:

Even if you're not in court, your office may have a suit-and-tie dress code. These are recipes for blandness; basically, you've got three possible colors of suit, unless you want to get into plaids, stripes, and windowpanes (which you should).

In the absence of awesome suit patterns, though, there are some cheap and easy ways to add a little bit of flair, color, and personality to an otherwise suffocating "Mad Men"-esque dress code. Here are five fashionable suggestions:

How's the legal market doing? Georgetown Law's Center for the Study of the Legal Profession released a report Tuesday entitled "Report on the State of the Legal Market" in conjunction with Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor. (FindLaw is also part of Thomson Reuters.)

To put it bluntly, things aren't good for the old guard. The traditional law firm model seems to be working for the toniest of the tony firms, but that's only because they make so much money. The Top 100 firms as a whole, however, are still facing the results of the 2008 recession, as the legal marketing becomes more fragmented, work moves in-house, and basically, the "10 jillion practice area corporate law firm" looks like its once-guaranteed fortunes are in question.

"They're terkin' 'er jerbs!" That's ostensibly the sound of lawyers, angry that non-lawyers are muscling in on our "profession." The latest target of our collective outrage is the Limited License Legal Technician, a type of legal job that as yet exists only in Washington state.

Once just an idea on paper, the first generation of LLLTs is ready to take its licensing exam in March. Should lawyers be afraid of LLLTs?

If you're a law student, a recent graduate, or even a new associate, here's a tip: Consider a career in criminal law with the District Attorney's office or the Public Defender.

"But," you say, "I couldn't care less about criminal law. I went to law school so I could become a civil litigator!" That might be true, but what will you do after you inevitably leave this job, downtrodden and depressed? A career of only a few years in criminal law could do you some good and give your resume some valuable litigation credibility.

Harvard Law Plagiarist Loses Defamation Claim Against School

Megon Walker is a Harvard Law graduate and was on a journal. One would imagine that those two notes on her resume alone would guarantee her a high-paying position in BigLaw.

Except there's a little note on her transcript: a reprimand for plagiarism.

In 2009, she submitted a journal article for editing that, according to the school, had significant portions of previously published articles included without proper citations.

The school investigated and issued a formal reprimand on her file and transcripts, yet allowed her to graduate with her class. Walker then sued, alleging that the notation was defamatory and cost her job opportunities with prestigious firms, reports the National Law Journal. Unsurprisingly, she lost.