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Is Massive Law School Debt Hurting Public Interest Law?

It looks like our neighbors to the north are going through a bit of a crisis in terms of law student priority. In the opinion of a current 2L at the University of Manitoba, the climbing tuition rates of law school is possibly hurting public interest. Rather that pursuing public interest work, debt-laden law students are motivated to seek higher paying corporate jobs.

These same observation can be made down south. In fact, we Americans were talking about it a long time ago.

Despite bringing in $24 million dollars in business and generating nearly $8 million in revenue, former LeClairRyan partner Michele Burke Craddock says her success was devalued and diminished -- not because it wasn't enough, but because Craddock wasn't a man.

Indeed, sometimes credit for her accomplishments was stolen right out from under her, Craddock alleges in a new lawsuit against her former firm. Having started her own practice, she's now suing LeClairRyan, claiming that compensation schemes that were "cloaked in secrecy" discriminated against her as a woman.

Embezzling Lawyer to Serve 45 Months' Hard Time

A lawyer who, over a series of years, embezzled money from his client's estate to the tune of just under $2 million, was sentenced to 45 months of federal prison. The town of Oxford has won a small victory.

What at first began as a means to prop up his own financial survival became, according to federal prosecutors, a "scheme" conducted over a long period of time by a man who knew better. Peter Clark has been ordered to report to federal prison on February 24, 2016.

Indiana bankruptcy lawyer Brent Welke had a simple dream: to help his clients screw the banks, which his ads declared he'd been doing "since 1992."

But if one thing is true with American capitalism, it's that you don't screw the banks. The banks screw you. Welke was suspended in January for misleading advertising.

No one goes to law school to become a doc review attorney, but plenty of lawyers end up with a doc review gig at some point, whether they're BigLaw associates or low-paid contract workers. And while document review might not be the most enviable task, it does constitute the practice of law. That's the ruling in a recent lawsuit which found that a contract doc review attorney at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan isn't entitled to overtime pay because doc review required legal judgment.

Consider it a double-edged sword. Yeah, doc review is terrible work. But at least it's terrible work reserved for attorneys.

It should come as no surprise that law school is expensive. There's pretty much no way anyone can sign up for a J.D. these days without hearing plenty of horror stories about student debt in advance.

But, it turns out that if you want more than just a degree, you'll have to start paying up even more. A new look at ABA numbers shows that schools with the highest bar passage rates and best employment numbers command a hefty premium, charging about 20 percent more in tuition. As they say, "the rich get richer and the rest get stuck with expensive bar exam tutors and temporary doc review gigs."

Spend Your End-of-the-Year Bonus Wisely

As end-of-the-year bonuses start to become as rare as pensions, it's always nice to know that someone up there is looking out for you. For example, Ropes Gray LLP, in a surprising display of largess, has decided to give its most junior attorneys the same year-end bonuses amounts as their cut-throat BigLaw competition. But this "gift" comes with a catch: bill "substantially more" than the annual target of 1,900 hours.

So, you're definitely working for that money, there's no mistake. But what do you do with it once it's in your hands? Spend it wisely.

New Season of 'Serial' Focuses on the Story of Bowe Bergdahl

The wildly popular podcast Serial closed last year focusing on the story of Adnan Syed, the suburbanite convicted of murdering his girlfriend in 1999. The podcast has been credited for shining a light on some of the real inner workings of lawyers, with emphasis on the criminal justice system.

If you loved the first season of Serial, here's an overview of what's to come.

Gen X or Younger? Chances Are You're Not Going to Make Partner

According to recent reports, only 3 percent of managing partners at the nation's top 100 law firms are from Generation X.

This is consistent with the public's image of law firm partners as being white, balding, 3-piece-suit-wearing law firm fixtures. But even we were surprised by these numbers. On the other hand, this information might just be the push young associates need to question whether making junior partner is worth the trouble.

Casey Anthony's Lawyer Gets 5 Months in Federal Prison

A lawyer who represented Casey Anthony was sentenced to federal prison earlier this week after he pleaded guilty to charges of fraud.

The Rancho Santa Fe PI attorney pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud earlier this year. He also admitted that he forged client signatures, and used notary stamps to convince investors to advance him millions of dollars, reports the Patch.