Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

February 2016 Archives

When voters in Vermont and Minnesota answered their phones last week, some of them were treated to a racist robocall. "The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called 'racist,'" the call claimed, before going on to ask listeners to vote for Donald Trump and "don't vote for a Cuban."

But the calls aren't from the Trump campaign. They're the work of William Daniel Johnson, a L.A.-based corporate lawyer who's described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "an uninspiring but determined white separatist."

Last night's episode reminded us why we fell in love with How to Get Away With Murder in the first place. There were ridiculous plots, a few jaw-dropping moments, and even some good acting -- on Viola Davis' part, at least. Oh, and all that matricide.

We just had to go all the way to Ohio to find our love again. Here's your spoiler-filled lawyer's guide to How to Get Away With Murder.

Top 3 Cool Legal Jobs This Week: Government Goodness

We're finally here at the end of the week. And now you find yourself settling into the TGIF doldrums. Time to start looking for a new job?

As part of our affiliate partnership with Indeed, we're continuing to bring you the best jobs of the week -- and this week's selection of cool legal jobs won't disappoint. This week, our theme is government-related work, for those attorneys who want out of the private sector.

An attorney in Florida is facing accusations that he forged judges' signatures -- not once, not twice, but more than a hundred times. Jose Manuel Camacho is facing 14 counts of forgery for allegedly copying seven different judges' John Handcock's a total of 114 times. Camacho wasn't just forging small beans documents, either: these were structured settlement deals which, under Florida law, required judicial approval.

We can't tell what is more shocking: the fact that Camacho had the (alleged) gall to engage in such prolific forgery, or that no one caught on until he had done it so many times.

Tips for Pursuing Public Interest Law (Without Going Broke)

The public has few benefactors and it needs dedicated humanitarian-types like you to represent the interests of individuals. It's important for quality lawyers to fight for the cause of civil rights.

Although nobody goes into public interest law to get rich, there are ways to pursue your passion without completely going broke.

Apple is in the middle of a high-profile fight with the FBI over iPhone encryption. And now Apple has a very high-profile lawyer leading their battle against the feds.

The tech company has hired superstar lawyer and former Solicitor General Ted Olson to help defend against an order to undo its phone encryption and bypass security functions on the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. And while Olson has a stellar legal reputation, he also has a poignant connection to terrorism that makes him well-suited to lead Apple's fight.

Think You're a Gunner? This Lawyer Finished 7 Marathons in 7 Days

So you think you're a gunner? It looks like you might have some competition in Sarah Ames, a Chicago Lawyer who recently managed to finish seven marathons in days despite having a full-time workload.

So next time you're thinking you're feeling a little tired and lazy, keep Ames in mind.

Well, add these two things to the list of things Georgetown Law simply cannot do: one, note the passing of a Supreme Court justice and two, use email.

That much was proven last week when something as simple as a quick "in memoriam" press release following Justice Scalia's passing quickly devolved into a competition between Georgetown Law professors to see who could be the most petulant and obnoxious. And, of course, the real victims were the poor law students, caught in the midst of GULC's reply-all Armageddon.

ABA's Proposed Rule Changes Close Bar Pass Rate Loopholes

Maybe you're not shocked to hear of the accusation lodged at law schools that they don't do nearly enough to accurately account for the quality of their education through the accreditation process.

Well, the ABA's Section Standard's Review Committee just took steps to address some of those concerns and it should make at least a few American law schools shake a little bit. The proposed standards are simpler, easier to understand, and revolve around one simple number: bar pass rates.

We've had murders, conspiracies, ridiculous plots, and even hallucinated babies. But it wasn't until last Thursday that How to Get Away With Murder actually landed anyone in the psych ward.

Now here we are, held against our will and desperately in need of some intensive therapy, so let's start the talking cure. Here's your spoiler-filled lawyer's guide to How to Get Away With Murder.

DC Is the 20th Jurisdiction to Adopt the UBE

A recent order from the D.C. Court of Appeals confirms that D.C. will be the twentieth jurisdiction to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination -- better known as the UBE. It will begin administering the exam this July.

It seems like only yesterday that a mere scant sixteen jurisdiction had adopted the UBE with the most notorious convert being New York.

It's been a rough week for lovers of the law. First, Justice Antonin Scalia dies, depriving the world of one of its most prominent legal voices. Then, today, Harper Lee passes away. She may not have been a Supreme Court justice, but the Pulitzer Prize winning author may have had just as big of an influence on many lawyers' lives, with her depiction of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mocking Bird launching a thousand legal careers.

In memory of Harper Lee, here is some of FindLaw's best coverage of her as a lauded author, legal inspiration, occasional litigant, and, of course, law school dropout.

It's Friday, which means you've just about made it to the weekend. Congrats! Now, why don't you see if you can make it to a better job? And better jobs are out there -- and some of them are even pretty cool.

As part of our affiliate partnership with Indeed, we're bringing you the three coolest legal jobs we can find this week. For the sports-inclined attorneys, these jobs will bring you out on the court with top basketball stars. For those of us who chose studying over athletics, the rest of the jobs will bring you back to college, though thankfully not as a student.

ABA May Allow Law Students to Earn School Credit for Paid Work

If you ever participated in an externship during law school, you’ll remember that you were only allowed to earn academic credit towards your J.D. if the position was unpaid. Well, the ABA is considering whether or not it should relax that rule.

As the world remembers Justice Scalia this week, plenty of attention has been given to his role as the Supreme Court's conservative leader, originalism's most successful advocate, or even the bench's most sarcastic judge. But many of the retrospectives miss a major part of Justice Scalia's life: his time as a law professor.

Justice Scalia spent much of his early career bouncing back and forth between practice and academia, including seven years teaching law at the University of Chicago. Could you have survived Professor Scalia?

New Jury Duty Scam Targets Lawyers and Other Professionals

It was just another day for family lawyer Cindy Harrington Napier when she got a phone message from a Lt. Yates of the Sheriff's Department, who left an urgent message for her to call him back. When she did, she was shocked -- and terrified -- to hear that she had failed to appear for jury duty and an arrest warrant would soon be coming.

Let us ask you: if this happened to you, would you keep your cool? Probably not -- and that's part of the scam.

When Justice Scalia passed away last Saturday, politicians and pundits immediately set about remembering the conservative jurist and his legacy. But one voice stands out among the rest: that of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose relationship with Antonin Scalia proved that friendship knew no boundaries.

Their camaraderie spanned boroughs (he's from Queens, she's from Brooklyn), backgrounds (he attended Harvard, she's the only Columbia grad on the High Court), and, of course, politics. It even inspired an opera. Here's how Justice Ginsburg remembered her longtime friend and "best buddy."

Feeling a bit restless? Wondering if the grass is greener on the other side, job-wise? It might be! It doesn’t hurt to look, at least. And we at FindLaw want to help you out. As part of our affiliate partnership with Indeed, we’re bringing you the three coolest legal jobs we can find.

So when you’re done wooing your Valentine this weekend, why not snuggle up to your laptop and update that resume? There are plenty of good legal jobs out there, whether you’re into bombs, bison, or biotechnology.

When last we met, we finally found out who shot Annalise. And if her bleeding body wasn't enough, Shonda Rhimes threw two more on the pile, and then one off the side of a building, for good measure.

But that was three months ago. Now we're back from the mid-season break and How to Get Away With Murder's law students are recovering from their finals and stressing about finding summer gigs. Well, not quite. Here's your spoiler-filled recap of last night's boozy, druggy, hallucinating HTGAWM episode.

The Bluebook may be one of the world's most hated books. It's frustratingly complicated, not particularly well organized, and poorly bound. Oh, and a fresh version costs about $40, most of which goes to Harvard, the wealthiest nonprofit in the world after the Catholic Church.

But now it's got some competition. Students from NYU Law, led by professor Chris Sprigman, have put together their own streamlined, digital, open-source version, dubbed Baby Blue, and they're giving it away for free, despite threats from Harvard's lawyers.

Better Call Saul: A Tragicomic Practice Primer

Do you remember Saul, the ethically questionable attorney from Breaking Bad, played by comedian Bob Odenkirk? Maybe you'd prefer to forget because he seemed so shady.

But if you're contemplating solo or small practice, it's time to settle in for some tragicomic TV. Saul got his own spinoff, Better Call Saul, on Netflix now, and it should be required viewing for all lawyers.

Prosecutor Who Lied to Secure Death Penalty Is Disbarred

The Netflix series "Making a Murderer" almost seems echoed by Texas' Board of Disciplinary Appeals' decision to disbar a former prosecutor who lied and hid evidence in a death penalty case.

The victim of this alleged miscarriage of justice is Mr. Anthony Graves who pushed to have a man who prosecuted him disbarred. On Monday, he was vindicated in his quest.

The real winner of Super Bowl 50 wasn't the Denver Broncos. It wasn't even Beyonce. It was referee Cletus "Clete" Blakeman, at least according to the Internet. And no, the web wasn't impressed with Blakeman's sometimes controversial calls; it was more about his looks. Blakeman's presence on the field sent hashtags like #hotref and #rippedref trending on Twitter.

That's a lot of unexpected attention for a personal injury lawyer from Omaha.

U. of Arizona Opens LLB Program in China

A dry market has been afflicting the American law school model for years now. It's no secret that even under the most rosy of characterizations, the domestic JD is going though a bit of a bear market.

At least one of America's law schools has decided to take a more pro-active, international approach to address this issue. The University of Arizona's Law School has partnered with China's Ocean University in Qingdao to create an LLB program for undergraduates seeking a law school education, all from the comfort of their own homes.

Non-J.D. Program Enrollment Is Way up in Law Schools

According to Prof. Derek Muller of Pepperdine University's School of Law, 10 percent of law school enrollment is in one of the variety of non-J.D. programs. For non-lawyer types, this means that 1 in 10 students in law school have no intent to eventually become a lawyer.

There has been a very steady increase in the number of students attending law school in the non-J.D. programs. What should we make of all of this?

What American Territory Graduates the Most Non-Lawyer JDs?

Think one territory: Puerto Rico. According to data collected from the ABA and put together by Startclass, the territory of Puerto Rico takes the crown for graduating JDs who don't eventually put their degrees to work as attorneys.

Not to say that there is a causation issue here, but if you really want to practice law, might we suggest that you avoid the schools that made it to the top 25 list of non-lawyership?

Plenty of attorneys will slump in to work today, bleary-eyed, bloodshot, and with a slight ringing in their head. Sure, it's the day after the Super Bowl, so that explains a bit of it. But for many lawyers, that's just the regular start to their day.

Lawyers are drunks. And there's empirical proof of it, thanks to a forthcoming study on attorney substance abuse.

A Los Angeles immigration lawyer who dedicated her life to trying difficult asylum cases is now getting what every Angeleno dreams of: a movie. Attorney Judy Wood will be the subject of a new biopic entitled Saint Judy.

The film will chronicle Wood's fight to protect immigrants and ease restrictions on asylum seekers. Here's a quick preview.

Attorney Thomas Tamm, Champion of Civil Liberties, Faces Ethics Charges

A man known for his civil liberties work faces disciplinary action by the D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel -- the body responsible for ethics violations by attorneys licensed with the D.C. bar. And what clearly egregious instance of misconduct did this man commit to warrant this charge? Embezzlement? Conspiracy?

No, Mr. Thomas Tamm has been charged with two counts professional misconduct stemming from his whistle-blowing on then President Bush's warrantless wiretapping programs in 2004, almost 12 years ago. Sources report that his license possibly is at stake.

Martin Shkreli became the world's most hated man last fall when he raised the price of a lifesaving medication by 5451 percent overnight. It was a role he relished, saying he only regretted not raising the price higher and taunting his critics on social media.

Shkreli's bad behavior also landed him in legal hot water. He was arrested in December on fraud charges related to previous stints as a hedge fund manager and at a biopharmaceutical company. Now, Shkreli's got himself a celebrity criminal defense lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, who has previously represented Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, and Plaxico Burress.

Don't Let a Disability Crush Your Legal Career Goals

If you're an able-bodied individual who's beginning to slip into self-pity, consider people like Haben Girma, the first deaf and blind person to graduate from Harvard Law. Now look reassess your situation.

But if you have a physical disability like Ms. Haben Girma, her story should invigorate you. At the very least, her example destroys common assumptions about what's possible for those with physical disabilities.

Rewriting Your Resume to Escape the Law

Leaving so soon? Maybe the practice of law has not delivered on your expectations. Or maybe you feel the call of another career opportunity beckoning you. We each have our reasons and we won't judge you. After all, there are at least 101 things to do with your JD besides practice law.

If you're looking to say farewell to the practice of law, keep in mind a few tips that will help you craft your resume for a non-law-related field.

Your next cocktail hour might feature a kale-wheatgrass smoothie rather than a Manhattan. That is, if the latest Millennial trend takes hold: the sober happy hour. Youths these days are adding some good, clean fun to their socializing and we can see it making its way into the legal industry sooner or later.

Is the sober happy hour the worst thing ever invented or could this be a welcome addition to our booze-soaked trade?