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September 2016 Archives

If you're as comfortable watching a runway as you are drafting a contract, or as familiar with department stores as you are with the civil procedure, maybe it's time to look for a job in fashion and retail law.

As part of our affiliate partnership with Indeed, and just in time for Paris Fashion Week, we're bringing you the three coolest jobs we could find.

It's been a bumpy ride for American Apparel, the Los Angeles-based retail chain. American Apparel stores exploded across the country in the early 2000s, quickly becoming the go-to place for American made t-shirts and hipster spandex leggings. That growth was fueled in part by the image of Dov Charney, American Apparel's founder and ex-CEO, who seemed capable of spawning sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits almost as adeptly as fawning magazine pieces. The company struggled through an IPO, closed dozens of stores, and hasn't turned a profit since 2009.

Now, after firing Charney in 2014 and emerging from bankruptcy in February, the company is attempting to right the ship by shaking things up once again. Chelsea Grayson, a former BigLaw partner and American Apparel's current general counsel, is scheduled to transition into the role of CEO in early October, Woman's Wear Daily reports.

When Kirkland & Ellis sent a junior associate to a status conference, Eastern District of New York Judge Nicholas Garaufis had a bit of a fit. For the BigLaw firm to send an associate instead of a partner, for it to "think so little of this court," was "outrageous, irresponsible, and insulting," Garaufis said. Then he refused to continue the conference. "I've been a lawyer for 41 years and a judge for 16 years and I'm not having this discussion with you," he told the Kirkland associate, according to the New York Daily News.

But Garaufis may be the exception, not the rule. While young associates have been increasingly shut out of court in recent years, working more as glorified law clerks than litigators, some judges are making a point to demand fresher blood in the courtrooms.

Nine people were wounded in a mass shooting outside a Houston mall yesterday morning. The gunman wore a military uniform decorated with Nazi symbols as he opened fire on passing cars, according to witnesses, until he was killed in a shootout with police.

Houston's mayor, Sylvester Turner, identified the shooter as Nathan DeSai, 46, a "disgruntled" attorney. "He was either fired or had a bad relationship with [his] law firm," Turner said.

The American Bar Association won't lose its ability to accredit new law schools, at least not in the immediate future. The Department of Education informed the bar association last week that it was rejecting a recommendation that it suspend the ABA's power to accredit new law schools for a year.

In June, the National Advisory Council on Institutional Quality and Integrity had recommended the accreditation suspension, after criticizing the association for failing to pay sufficient attention to student achievement. No law schools had lost their accreditation over the past five years, NACIQI noted, and the ABA had continued to accredit new law schools -- even as tuition rose, student success dropped, and the number of legal jobs shrank.

Indiana Tech School of Law opened in 2013, touting its emphasis on practical skills and "synergistic" approach to cross-disciplinary studies. It graduated its first class of J.D.s just this May, just 20 in all. Of that 20, only 12 sat for the bar exam in Indiana. Of that twelve, only one passed. That's a pass rate of only 8.33 percent, just slightly higher than the interest rates on those grads' student loans.

The school was granted provisional accreditation just this March, but its poor showing on the bar exam should have students and administrators wondering about its future.

Law schools excel at teaching the theory of law but not exactly its practice. You can spend years learning some of the nation's most important legal precedents and discussing obscure points of jurisprudence, but if you want to put that knowledge in to practice, you're going to need to get some experience.

Thankfully, you don't have to wait till you've graduated to start getting some experience in how law is actually practiced. Here are some ways to get your feet wet as a law student.

Scores of bar exam takers in Georgia were told that they had failed when they actually passed. According to the Georgia Supreme Court, 90 bar exam takers were told that they had failed the July 2015 or February 2016 tests when they had in fact passed. That means that some of the test takers had to wait more than a year to find out that, whoopsie, they hadn't failed the bar after all.

Now those once-future lawyers are doing what lawyers do: suing the company that scored the exams.

You don't have to give up your rock and roll dreams just because you're a lawyer. In fact, the two can merge quite nicely. No, we're not talking about starting up a band with a few fellow esquires. (A psychedelic group called "Res Ipsa," maybe? A 90's cover band that goes by "In REM?") We're talking about a job in the music industry.

So, as part of our affiliate program with Indeed, we're bringing you the coolest, most chart-topping legal jobs we can find this week, all in the field of Music Law.

It's a rite of passage for thousands of lawyers: pulling 10- to 12-hour days slaving away as an associate attorney, being woken up at 2 a.m. with questions about some urgent matter, going weeks without taking a day off. But the BigLaw life isn't the same up top, where plenty of partners can still pull in hefty sums while fitting in plenty of time on the golf course.

Indeed, apparently the partner life has gotten so relaxed over at DLA Piper, the world's third biggest firm, that partners are now required to submit daily time sheets, proving that they've worked at least seven-and-a-half hours a day.

The typical law student will have about two dozen professors in his or her law school career. Many of them will be fine, some will be meh, a few will be bad, and one or two will be truly great -- the kind of professor you'll remember fondly years down the road. Maybe they turned you on to a new area of the law or a new way of thinking about the legal system. Maybe they made a topic you hated seem tolerable, even enjoyable. Maybe they just made you laugh.

If you've had a professor like this, consider yourself lucky. And if you've yet to find one, start looking. They're out there. Here's what to search for.

A new year of law school is just starting and you already have your regrets. Law school isn't what you expected. The law really isn't what you want to do. This isn't how you want to spend your life.

Is it too soon to turn and run the other way?

Are you interested in a governmental gig but not down with joining the feds in D.C.? Does your state capital make you yawn? Not inspired by the thought of clocking in at the U.N.? Maybe you need to start working for the city.

As part of our affiliate partnership with Indeed, we’re bringing you the three coolest jobs we could find this week — all in city government in shining metropolises throughout the U.S.

What do law professors think about when they're not grilling you on the procedural posture of Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad? No, they're probably not thinking about how to improve their lecture on proximate cause. (They haven't changed that in 15 years.) And they're definitely not thinking about how great you performed on that cold call.

It turns out, they could be ruminating on B-list celebrities insulting Ann Coulter, or bootlegged videos on Steve Harvey's 90's stand-up routine, or which zoo animal best represents their colleagues. Law students, welcome to the weird world of law professor's on social media.

If you want to make a good impression, dress better than everyone else. But just 25 percent better.

That's right, looking just a tad sharper and a bit more polished than everyone else around you could be the key to success, whether you're trying a case, interviewing for a job, or just looking to impress your peers.

One of Ben Ferencz's most important cases was also his first. He was 27 years old. It was 1947. Ferencz, fresh from fighting World War II, was made chief prosecutor of the Einsatzgruppen Case, part of the post-war Nuremburg trials. It was his first trial.

Ferencz won, obtaining convictions for 22 Nazi leaders who had organized and led death squads throughout Europe, killing more than one million people. That trial alone could have cemented his legacy. Or, if not the Nuremberg trials, his decades of practice in international law. Or his role in founding the International Criminal Court. But, Ferencz doesn't think that's enough. To help cement his legacy, the 98-year-old prosecutor is donating up to $10 million to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to promote world peace and the rule of law.

You're a litigator. You like building and trying cases: the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and all that. You just might like litigating better if you were doing it somewhere new.

We understand. That's why this week, as part of our affiliate partnership with Indeed, we're bringing you the three coolest litigation jobs we could find. So get your resumes ready. Today could be the day you find your next great job.

The firm of Chadbourn and Parke is run by an 'all-male dictatorship' that denies equal pay to its female partners and shuts women out of leadership, according to a class action lawsuit brought against the firm -- by some of the firm's own leaders.

Lead plaintiff Kerrie Campbell joined Chadbourne as a partner less than two years ago, but alleges that she was systematically denied leadership roles and compensated much less than her male counterparts, according to the New York Times. Now she's suing for $100 million, on behalf of herself and 26 current and former women partners. And she's not alone. Though it's rare for attorneys to sue their own firm, at least two other lawyers have brought suit against their firms this year, alleging systematic gender discrimination.

Who is putting all these #!%&ing curse words into federal appellate opinions? The judges, apparently. According to Law.com, the "F word" has appeared in approximately 445 federal appellate opinions in the last ten years.

Of course, the opinions aren't referring to "that F-ing Rule 12(b)(6) motion." Rather, they're quoting, in full, the curse words of parties who have themselves cursed, sometimes even while censuring those parties for their use of obscenity.