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#DearFindLaw - Advice for New Lawyers and Law Students from @FindLawLP

Today's #DearFindLaw deals with 1L dilemmas. Now that you're getting the hang of law school, should you join or form one of these study groups everyone's talking about? And while you're at it, is it too early to think about this summer?

Are Study Groups Worth It?

Law school study groups will be forever memorialized in popular culture thanks to the smarmy, backstabbing students in "The Paper Chase" -- aka "The Only Movie About Law School, Other Than 'Legally Blonde.'"

In reality, even though there's not that much backstabbing going on at law school anymore, study groups do remain a viable method for learning the material, especially for people who learn better by talking than by listening.

OK, you've finally started getting your loans in order. You used the National Student Loan Database System to see what you've borrowed from the feds. You've consolidated, if appropriate, and picked an income-based repayment plan so that your payments are manageable. You're also up-to-date on your monthly payments on any private loans.

But now your career is taking off and you have a bit of surplus cash. And instead of letting the interest build on those loans, you're ready to start dumping your excess cash on one or more of them.

Which one do you pick first? That depends on a few considerations.

At Greedy Associates, we love it when lawyers behave badly, whether it's a history of torture porn or dressing up like Thomas Jefferson to defend themselves from ineffective assistance claims. But an attorney "conspiring with his (attorney) wife to frame a school volunteer by planting drugs in her car," as the Orange County Register described it, is a new experience for us.

Kent and Jill Easter were both lawyers in Irvine, California, located in one of the state's Republican strongholds, Orange County. Apparently, a school volunteer, Kelli Peters, briefly left the Easters' son alone at school. The Easters also misinterpreted the volunteer's comment about the son being "slow to line up" as a comment on his intelligence.

OK, no big deal, right?

Ron Klain has served as Chief of Staff to two Vice Presidents: Al Gore and Joseph Biden. He's a Democratic Party bigwig. Heck, he was even a Supreme Court clerk once upon a time.

Now? Klain just been appointed to the position of Ebola "czar" (formally known as the one-man "response coordinator"). He's set to begin his new duties Wednesday, CNN reports.

Here are a few fun facts about the guy with the worst title in the entire Obama administration, courtesy of the questionable source that is Wikipedia:

Look, his name makes for a clever title, but much like the Kansas gubernatorial candidate who once upon a time (allegedly) got a lap dance, I still have no idea why this is a controversy.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery looks at porn, as do 66 percent of all men. McCaffery emailed porn and crude jokes back-and-forth with his buddies -- many times, in fact. More than 230 emails were sent or received between him and his buddies, many of whom were using their state government e-mail accounts. McCaffery, at least per previous accounts, was using his personal e-mail address.

But the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is trying to take him down. McCaffery calls it a "cooked up controversy."

Episode 4 of "How to Get Away with Murder" teased that we wouldn't believe Professor Keating's last nine words -- and the folks at ABC's marketing department didn't disappoint! After an episode full of tantalizing securities fraud, we got precious little of the overarching "Mr. Professor Keating will be dead in seven weeks" story line. In case you missed it, check out last week's Episode 3 recap. Oh, and spoiler alerts. Obvee.

The crime of the week this week is -- surprise! -- insider trading, not murder. Remember: Keating teaches a criminal law class, not murder class, and insider trading is some kind of crime, so there you go. Anyway, Elizabeth Perkins (of "Big" and "Weeds" fame) owns a securities firm and she's accused of trading on inside information. (Oddly missing is a discussion of the different theories of insider trading, but I guess not everyone is as interested in "misappropriation" as I am. Go figure.)

In honor of National Dictionary Day, we're pleased to offer a sequel to last year's post about words only federal judges use. These are words that you'd be hard pressed to find outside judicial opinions or the legal environment -- because, for some reason, lawyers like using archaic and complex language.

1. Pellucid.

Sounds like: Lucid, but with some pells before it (whatever those are).

Made cool by: Fellow blogger William Peacock's favorite judge, Bruce Selya of the First Circuit, describing how crystal-clear a trial court judge was when explaining to a defendant that he was waiving a right to appeal as part of his plea agreement.

It means: "Admitting light without diffusion or distortion."

Synonym: Clear.

Yesterday, my Royals, against pretty overwhelming odds, made it to the World Series. A team that hasn't made the playoffs in 29 years made the World Series. A team that seemed to ignore every advancement in baseball knowledge and statistics, somehow, made it to the World Series.

It's a Cinderella story. It's a movie in the making. It's every kid's (or blogger's) dream. It's every sports cliche ever uttered -- and I'm loving it. And it's also a great lesson in perseverance and hope for every lawyer and law graduate out there who is struggling with unrealized potential and unfulfilled dreams.

Here are a few thoughts, and way too many baseball references:

Young associates work a lot. They're asked to do this, they're asked to do that -- and they feel like they need to say "yes" to everything in order to continue earning the boss' favor (that's the law firm partners, in this case).

But good relationship management involves establishing early on what each party expects from the other. This means learning the fine art of saying "no." By letting the partners know early on in the relationship that you'll push back if you have a really good reason, you let them know that you're not a pushover and, while you'll gladly take on additional work if you can, you'll be assertive about when you can't anymore.

So in honor of National Boss' Day (October 16), here's a bit of advice on the fine art of learning to say "no" to a partner or senior associate:

Last month, three criminal defense lawyers and a paralegal were in need of one of their own after they were indicted for allegedly bribing court staff to pass along wealthy clients. Lawyers Dwane Smith, 56; Benjamin Yu, 36; and Jae Lee, 41; along with paralegal Jose Nunez, 47, were charged after the court staffer became a cooperating witness, reports the New York Daily News.

That probe expanded this week, when investigators' eyes turned to Yu's former mentor, 70-year-old attorney Paul Liber. Though Liber and his lawyer both point out that he has not been charged, his name came up repeatedly during the investigation, reports the New York Post.