Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

August 2012 Archives

Prominent upstate New York attorney James D. Doyle was busted for having sex with a prostitute after he was allegedly caught asleep in his car with a young lady named Alicia Guastaferro.

What garnered national headlines was not the fact that Doyle is a particularly notable or famous attorney, because he's not. He's a bit of a big deal in the small town of Greece, New York, so think somewhat big fish in a very small pond.

However, the story made its rounds around gossip sites because the alleged prostitute, Alicia Guastaferro, is a former beauty queen and she's quite attractive. Additionally, Guastaferro once starred in ABC's Wife Swap and is 20 years old compared to James D. Doyle's 54 years of age, reports the Democrat and Chronicle.

Is 'Resident at Law' Just a Fancy Term for Associate?

A Florida lawyer recently noted the obvious -- that there are a lot of new lawyers but not a lot of law jobs. So the lawyer came up with a resident at law practice

Recent law grads can experience something similar to the residency program of medical school grads. But will it take?

Similar to the medical residency program, the resident at law program would train recent grads on the practicalities of the legal practice that you may not necessarily learn in law school, reports the ABA Journal. In addition, residents would be trained on the business side of law and hopefully develop tools to go out on their own or become more hirable.

But is a "resident at law" really just a fancy term for poorly-paid associate?

OCI Tips for Law Students to Stand Out, Look Good

On campus interviews are dominated by grades. Many of the top firms and job opportunities have a GPA or rank cutoff for who they'll interview during OCI.

Even if you're not excluded from interviewing based on grades, statistics indicate that most people aren't going to be the top academic candidate for any given job.

That's not something to worry about. Sure grades may be your foot in the door but that's not what's going to seal the deal.

OCI interviewers sit through meetings with many applicants during the process and the real trick is being asked back for a second interview. The best way to accomplish that is to stand out from the crowd.

That doesn't mean be the person with clown shoes or a list of jokes at the ready. There are better ways to be memorable.

Should You Go to the Very Best Law School You Can Get In?

The list of law schools with the most applications was recently reportedly and schools in the Washington D.C. and New York City areas dominated the list. As another batch of potential law students ready their applications for next year, they will also be faced with the difficult decision of choosing the right law schools to apply to.

Conventional wisdom has been that you should apply to the very best law schools you can possibly be admitted into, and then attend the very best school you actually get in.

However, this dependence on lists may be misplaced, and choosing law schools based solely on rankings may not be the smartest move.

Apple, Samsung Facing Astronomical Legal Fees

The only sure winners in the Apple Samsung patent battle were the lawyers and the astronomical legal fees they racked up.

As you probably know by now, Apple gave Samsung a historic courtroom beat down over a host of patents used in smartphones and tablets. Basically, Apple said Samsung was a copycat and they were vindicated in a U.S. court.

However, despite the victory, it's unclear just how the court's ruling will truly benefit Apple. Technology changes in a blink of an eye, and a patent worth billions today may be useless tomorrow. Nevertheless, Apple won its case, and the lawyers for both sides won too if the reported legal fees are any indication.

Georgetown: The Most Popular Law School for Applicants

The list of top schools for law school applications was released and the list was notable as the most popular law schools all seem to be centered in the D.C. region.

The top two schools on the list were Georgetown and George Washington. The University of Virginia was also in the top five and American University ranked number nine. Georgetown topped the list by a wide margin, reports U.S. News and World Report.

Given all the negative things we've seen for reasons not to go to law school, one may be able to glean some useful information from the list of top law schools for applicants. Because after all, there must be something to make a law school the most popular law school.

More and More Women are Becoming BigLaw Equity Partners

More woman partners are being promoted to equity partners at the Big Law firms, says a 2011 study.

This result is a bit surprising as there have been conflicting data that fewer women are entering Big Law practice and the ones who enter firms tend to leave as they advance in seniority, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Overall, the data is still bleak for woman. Women make up only 15% of equity partners nationwide, about the same number as in 2006. However, at the biggest law firms, women now make up as much as 20% of the equity partners.

Family law is taking on a whole new meaning in Nevada, where a lawyer son is representing his father in a divorce case against his mother.

This probably wasn't what the mom, Marie Liapis, was expecting when her son Mark Liapis of Reno graduated from law school more than two decades ago.

But Mark Liapis' taking his father Theodore's side in the divorce matter doesn't create a conflict of interest, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled last week.

Which is not to say Mark's mother didn't try her darndest to get him disqualified.

What Code of Silence? Former US Supreme Court Clerk Tells All

When a former Supreme Court clerk breaks the famed code of silence and dishes on the highest court, you'd expect a lot of dirt, right?

After all, in 1998, former Supreme Court clerk Edward Lazarus broke this code of silence and was excoriated by his peers when he published an account that detailed "wild gun battles" in court.

Jay Wexler's recent account of his time as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's clerk on Salon.com will likely not make as many waves as Lazarus' account. In breaking the "code of silence," the former Supreme Court clerk gives you some humorous anecdotes as well as a mundane summary of what life as a clerk is really like.

Lawyers Sentenced to Ethics Class for Reading Judge's Text Message

Reading someone else's text messages is generally frowned upon but sometimes it happens. At least, that's what Assistant District Attorney Doug Mann and defense lawyer Eric Perkins are arguing.

The pair have been ordered to attend ten and five hours of ethic classes, respectively, by a judge who claims she caught them snooping.

Judge Angelica Hernandez recused herself from a capital case involving the pair and banned Mann from her courtroom until he completes the class. He says it was all a misunderstanding, reports KIII TV.

Seven Habits of Highly Successful 1Ls

If you haven't been living under a rock you're probably heard of the famous 'Seven Habits of Highly Effective People' by the late, great Steven Covey. The book is good general advice but when it comes to 1L year there are some specific things you need to know to succeed.

Below are the seven we think should be top of your list.

These aren't the only things you need to know. After all, it doesn't contain any actual legal information. But you still don't want to leave home without it.

ABA Decides We Need a Rule to Stop Law Schools Lying About Jobs

The accrediting body of law schools, the American Bar Association (ABA), has passed a new set of rules regarding reporting of law school data like employment and salary information.

Law schools will be required to report information that is "complete, accurate and not misleading." In addition, law schools will have to publish information that includes attrition numbers, employment outcomes for graduates, and the percentage of students who retain scholarships, reports the ABA Journal.

The revised ABA rules were passed in direct response to scathing criticism (and lawsuits) against schools for posting misleading information about exceptionally high employment rates and starting median salaries which were not accurate.

Arizona Couple to Pursue Harvard Law Degree Together

When couples choose a law school, they might have to compromise a bit on where they choose to attend. But not Ron and Sarah Gonski.

The couple made a pact to attend law school together, presumably at the best school to accept them both. This fall the couple will join the class of 2014 at Harvard University.

That's right; the best law school this couple could get into was only one of the best in country. So how did they do it?

Lawyers can be forgetful, but how can you forget stealing two pricey paintings from an art gallery and then hanging them up in your own house?

Australian lawyer Michael Sullivan claims that's exactly what happened when he was caught on surveillance video absconding with two works of art valued at more than $14,000 in 2008, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Despite the evidence, Sullivan, 54, tried to use one of the oldest defenses around: He didn't recall doing it.

Chicago Firm Wants Top-Tier Law Grad for $25K a Year

The good news: a Chicago law firm is actually hiring as evidenced by its Craigslist ad.

The bad news: The job requires extremely high credentials like a top 10% grad from a top tier law school.

The ugly news: The job only pays between $25,000 and $35,000.

The Chicago law firm craigslist ad is just the latest sign on the sad state of the job market for young attorneys. With more highly educated (and unemployed) law students graduating every year, there is now a glut of competition for every law job that comes along. And despite the ridiculously low pay, the Chicago law firm that posted the ad will probably get several dozen serious responses.

Disbarment Over Cuban Cigars: IL Attorney Smuggled Smokes in the 90s

Cuban cigars are still illegal in the U.S. and smuggling them can get you a hefty punishment. If you're an attorney, they could get your disbarred.

Illinois' Bar Association recommended just that for Richard Connors, a Chicago lawyer who was convicted of smuggling Cuban cigars into the U.S.

Generally smuggling violates laws against drug trafficking. But in this case Connors broke a lesser known statute.

3 Tips for Law Students to Leverage a High Class Rank

By now, law school class ranks are undoubtedly out. Those numbers can be everything in legal education where everyone is comparatively evaluated.

If your rank isn't as high as you'd hoped then you have your work cut out for you. But if your number is up there, it's time to start thinking about how to leverage that success.

Being at the top of your class isn't just something to be proud of; it's something you can use as evidence of your own personal merit. If you haven't started considering your options given your superstar law student status, we have some ideas on how you can turn those stellar grades into a great opportunity.

Top 5 Movies All Law School Students Should Watch

There are only a matter of days until the new semester starts for law school students so it's time to cram in as much relaxation time as possible. It's too hot to move outside so make your home into a private movie theater and enjoy your last few days of free time with a movie marathon.

In the interest of maximum time efficiency (because who doesn't want to do more with their time) that movie time can also be used to psych yourself up for the coming semester.

The legal world is endlessly fascinating to the entertainment industry. From all those options, we've compiled a list of the Top 5 must-see movies for law students. From comedy to drama, romance to thriller, we've got something for everyone.

Ranting and raving online is all the rage, but free speech can be costly for lawyers and law students. That's why you may want to clean up your social media accounts before they affect the status of your career.

The reasons are obvious: HR managers are increasingly looking at online profiles to make hiring decisions, while current and potential clients may pass judgment on your skills based on something you post to your networks.

With several years' worth of tweets and status updates to potentially clean up, what's the best way to go about it? Here are five tips to get you started:

Desperate Law Student Broke into School, Stole Transcript to Improve Grades

Most law students get desperate during exam time. They go to great lengths to fit large amounts of information into their heads just long enough to pass the test and hope some of it will stick.

Joshua Gomes took a different route to deal with his desperation. He stole his transcript so he could improve his grades.

Gomes was charged in December with breaking and entering and armed robbery when he was caught on camera stealing from the school registrar's office. Now he's pled guilty in order to avoid some harsh penalties.

A prominent lawyer arrested for bringing a gun to a movie theater insists he did nothing illegal. Sung-Ho Hwang, 46, of New Haven, Conn., says he only carried his gun for self-protection, the Connecticut Post reports.

Hwang, an immigration lawyer who graduated from UConn, is president-elect of the New Haven County Bar Association. He also has a valid permit to carry a pistol in Connecticut, police said.

At a news conference Wednesday, Hwang told reporters he did nothing wrong. But New Haven's mayor questioned Hwang's judgment. "Sometimes just because something is legal doesn't make it right," he said, according to the Post.

Las Vegas lawyer Curtis Cannon may have thought he'd hit the jackpot in an alleged jailhouse sex act with his client. But the consequences may be hard to swallow.

Police arrested Cannon, 58, on suspicion of voluntary sexual conduct with a prisoner, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. His client, Crystal Wallis, 23, was also charged.

A hidden camera in a jailhouse interview room allegedly caught Wallis performing oral sex on Cannon last Friday, police allege.

But is that kind of surveillance even allowed in a private meeting that's supposed to be protected by attorney-client privilege?

The Top 10 Strangest Things Seen During a Bar Exam

Studying for the bar brings out the worst in most of us and that's part of what makes the bar exam such a strange place to be.

Following the July bar this year, the ABA Journal asked participants about the strangest thing they've seen at the bar exam. The results are as varied as they are wacky.

There are many but we've rounded up the top 10 wild and crazy stories.

5 Things a 1L Should Not Do at Law School

That first day of 1L year is coming up and that means a whole bunch of new dos and don'ts to learn.

Law school is a social universe unto itself complete with stereotypes and status markers. Each 1L class is subdivided into small sections of 100 students or less. During the first year, you'll spend a lot of time with those people so it's important to make a good impression.

Within the world of law school that means more than looking your best. You'll see what we mean.

How Else to Use a Law Degree: 5 Fun, Non-Lawyer Careers

Law isn't for everyone. Heck, even a lot of attorneys can't stand the profession. But alternative careers for lawyers can sometimes feel non-existent.

After all, becoming an attorney requires some very specialized skills. Three years of law school, professors berating you with their Socratic "teaching" method, passing the bar, and years of practicing can leave you feeling pigeon-holed.

But fear not fed-up attorneys, there's a way out. Here are five fun career alternatives that have actually been done successfully by other ex-lawyers.

The 5 Most Diverse BigLaw Firms in the U.S.

Law firms are traditionally stereotyped as a good ol' boys club. In other words, it's a place where old, white men reap in big salaries.

But as more and more women and minorities enter law school, the stereotype is slowly evolving. That said, some firms have evolved more quickly than others.

Vault and The American Lawyer recently came up with separate rankings for the top Big Law firms in terms of diversity, writes Above the Law's David Lat. (Lat rightfully says attorney of all colors are cracking into BigLaw, as long as they can generate plenty of green.)

It's interesting to note that the rankings vary wildly between the two organizations as they had different measures for "diversity."

How to Turn Document Review Into an Associate Position

Some say the economy is rebounding but we all know it's still tough to land a law firm gig. If you took a document review job to pay the bills after taking the bar, you're not alone.

Law school graduates from the last few years face a tough market and doc review is one way to keep the student loans at bay. It can be hard to make the jump from document reviewer to associate and many don't make it.

But it can happen.

We've taken advice from all over the Internet to provide you with some helpful tips to make a doc review job into a full-time attorney position.

Gunning for that corner office with the views? Well, you better act fast as lavish corner offices are quickly being replaced by cubicles and shared workplaces

As an industry, law firms move at a conservative pace. And the law firm office environment is no exception. Over a decade ago, tech companies began adopting open work spaces where a CEO's office would be almost indistinguishable from a secretary's.

Other companies quickly followed suit as knocking down walls saved money (more space was used) and encouraged collaborative working environments. Now, law firms are getting aboard as some of the Big Law firms have downsized.