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September 2010 Archives Profiles Celeb Attorneys in 9-Part Series

What do all these people have in common: Shawn Chapman Holley, Laura Wasser, Bert Fields, Gloria Allred, Harland Braun, Tom Meserear, Blair Berk, Lisa Bloom and Marty Singer? In addition to being high-profile lawyers to the stars, they are also part of's 9-part series profiling celeb attorneys.

The profiles, which cover the attorneys behind celebrity clients such as Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson, are more of an insight into life as a celeb lawyer than anything else. Looking at the intersection between law, media, and celebrity personalities, the series discusses current clients, the attorney's take on celebrity justice, and how each lawyer came to practice in the niche filed. With the advent of TMZ and other media outlets, celebrity lawyers are becoming increasingly recognizable personalities independent of their clients -- the series shows how this has changed the practice and the approach to lawyering.

Coffee Catastrophe: Starbucks Raises Coffee Prices

David Letterman once said, "I drink way too much coffee. But if it weren't for coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever." The caffeine-loving comedian is one of the millions of Americans addicted to the delicious beverage that comes in an array of permutations ranging from lattes, cappuccinos, iced coffee, and espresso, to name a few. I, for one, consider my morning cup of coffee part of my daily vitamin routine.

Coffee and law students go together like peanut butter and jelly. The much-needed caffeine jolt is a necessary budgetary allowance, and one that may find students everywhere re-thinking their finances. Seattle-based Starbucks coffee, the ubiqutous chain that manages to have a location (sometimes two) on practically every street corner recently announced raising its prices. Translation: the necessary java jolt to get through a long night of outlines will now cost you more.

Survey: Law Firm Hiring to Expand in Q4

Brace yourself.

There is good news on the horizon, according to the results or a recent survey.

Law firm hiring is expected to increase in the fourth quarter of this year. According to projections, legal hiring is expected to rise by 23 percent. Even better, 88 percent of the respondents reported feeling at least somewhat confident that their organization will expand throughout the remainder of 2010.

TV Gets 3 New Lawyer Shows for the Fall Season

Because lawyers and law students don't spend enough time learning and practicing their chosen profession, there are three new lawyer shows scheduled to debut for the fall season TV lineup. The success of Law and Order, Judge Judy, and law-themed movies is a testament to the popularity of the drama inherent in our profession. So here is a run down of the latest lawyer shows to hit TV ....

1.  Outlaw, starring Jimmy Smits, is about a Supreme Court Justice turned born-again social crusader. The show highlights the bad boy judge turned good lawyer, and also has some major political and legal drama. Outlaw premieres on September 22 at 10 pm on NBC.

2.  The Whole Truth gives its audience a look into the entire case and courtroom drama that goes down between a beautiful defense attorney and prosecutor. Ripe with sexual tension, and catchy cases, The Whole Truth has a Law and Order feel with the level of case development the show delves into, with a romantic aspect that viewers always enjoy. The Whole Truth premieres on ABC on September 22 at 10 pm.

DOJ Funds Prosecutors and Defenders Loan Forgiveness

Teach for America can offer loan forgiveness through federal programs to participants who support society by teaching in schools where their help is needed. Now, the U.S. Department of Justice has set aside funds to do something similar for those hardworking attorneys in the nation's DA and PD offices. Announced on Friday, September 17, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) will allocate almost $10 million to support federal and state public defenders and state and local prosecutors.

According to CNBC, the funding has become available under the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act. For the first time under the act, funds will be given out in all 49 states and the District. The money will provide loan repayment assistance for attorneys working in prosecutors and defenders offices and who agree to remain in their positions as for a minimum of three years.

Survey: Associate Job Satisfaction at 6 Year Low

Many law students enter law school anxious, but excited about the future prospect of working for a big law firm, doing exciting work and making serious bank. As many have recently found, reality tends to be a far cry from the picture painted by law school admissions programs. For one, very few students end up working at big law firms. Further, the graduates "fortunate" enough to land big law jobs tend to hate them.

In fact, three reports released last week found that associate job satisfaction is at a six year low. According to the survey, which included more than 5,000 third, fourth and fifth year associates found that a huge number of such attorneys are unhappy with their careers.

10 Things You Should Know About Solo Practice Before You Start

Ah, to be young and solo. Whether it is because of the challenging economy or the desire to blaze their own path, a huge number of attorneys are making the move to go into solo practice. What follows is a list of 10 things that many solos learn the hard way. Maybe we can save you the trouble with this list.

1. Connections, connections, connections. Network, network, network. Chances are you have been told of their importance a hundred times. Chances are you still don't get it. When it comes to getting clients and learning how to practice law, the people you know are going to make all the difference. Get out of your office and get to know people in your community. Organizations like the chamber of commerce, bar associations, athletic teams and anywhere else where you can meet people will make a big difference. Don't hide behind your computer. It's a great tool, but the best marketing is still done face to face.

2. Send out announcements. A great way to create a buzz after you open your solo practice is to make use of announcements. Other attorneys are likely refer you clients, and possibly hire you for short-term projects.

Fordham University Law Launches Fashion Law Institute

We've come long way from the days of wigs and robes; and to prove it, Fordham University is celebrating the opening of its Fashion Law Institute, just in time for New York Fashion Week. "As someone who has been around this business a long time, I can tell you that a lawyer who understands fashion is a very important thing," designer Diane Von Furstenberg told those assembled to celebrate the Institute's inauguration. Von Furstenberg, also head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, personally donated $50,000 to help fund the new program.

The Fordham Universtiy Fashion Law Institute will be headed up by Professor Susan Scafidi, who is credited with creating the first course in fashion law, according to the report by the Los Angeles Times. (Sidebar: Scafidi was wearing one of the famed Von Furstenberg wrap dresses, but had changed up the buttons, much to the designer's delight.) Under Scafidi's direction, the Institute will focus on the five most important aspects of the law as they apply to fashion designers: "intellectual property, business and finance, international trade and government regulation," according to Fordham Law Dean, Michael Martin.

ADA Accommodations and 'Flagging' On the LSAT

Most people interested in law school are at least a bit familiar with the idea of "accommodation" given to those with disabilities in academic and employment situations. Accommodations in situations like test taking can be requested per the Americans with Disabilities Act, which just celebrated its twentieth year. What many may not be aware of is that, at least regarding those taking the LSAT, accommodation comes with a price tag: when sitting for the LSAT, any ADA accommodations given are followed up by a practice called flagging.

Flagging, according to an article in Momentum Magazine (Fall 2009), allows the Law School Admissions Council (the organization responsible for administering the LSAT) to notify a law school that the person applying has requested an accommodation. The LSAC will then inform the school(s) that "accommodation was given and that [the] score should be interpreted 'with great sensitivity and flexibility.'" This has the practical effect of allowing the schools admissions department to discover that an applicant has a disability.

Record $10M Gift for Chicago Law: A Rankings Boost Next?

How do law schools compete with the heavy hitters like Harvard and Yale? Oh yes, they get wealthy alumni to donate millions of dollars to fund scholarships which lure top prospects, and hopefully boost law school rankings. One University of Chicago Law School alum is testing this theory out first hand after donating a record $10 million to the University Chicago Law School, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Carlyle co-founder, and University of Chicago Law School class of '73, David Rubenstein graduated from law school debt free, and now sees his sizeable contribution as an opportunity to repay his debt. The 61 year-old Rubenstein is creating the David Rubenstein Scholars Program with his pocketbook-- a fund that will provide 60 students with full-tuition scholarships for three years of law school. The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic merit, and not financial need.

NJ Attorney David Wolfe Named Chair of the ABA Young Lawyers

The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association has a new leader. Elected during the ABA conference in San Francisco, New Jersey attorney David B. Wolfe will serve a one year term as head of the Division.

If one of the benefits of youth is energy, David Wolfe will be a youthful leader in the best sense. In addition to his work as a partner at at Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C. in the firm's real property valuation and litigation departments, Wolf's responsibilities with the ABA include service in the ABA House of Delegates, and a recent appointment to the board of The American Bar Foundation. Wolfe has also served as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence and the ABA Commission on Mental Health and Disability Law.

What Law Grads Should Know About FindLaw's Lawyer Directory

You did it. You graduated from law school. And passed the Bar. There was joy and relief. And now there is a new reality. As a new associate or solo practitioner  you need to let people know that you're out there. And while buying an ad spot on an overhead Blimp is tempting, you might be looking for more useful, online ways to announce your legal services, expertise, and offerings.

Enter, the FindLaw Lawyer Directory.

It is an online directory of attorneys across the U.S. hosted by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business--the leading provider of online legal information.  With over 1 million people perusing per month, it is searchable, available anytime, and built with the consumer in mind.

Newly-minted Esq., what do you know need to know about it? Here's our top 3...

Top 10 Law Student Pick-up Lines to Never Ever Use...

With law school back in session we thought we'd venture into the personal lives of hardworking law students across the land.  Behind laptop screens, thick glasses, and under any wanted/unwanted facial hair are the hearts and the minds of law students just trying to figure it all out.

While we can't carry your course loads, or your books, we can offer some tips on things to steer clear of.  So this 'Top 10' is dedicated to pick-up lines. Ones not to use. Never ever.

Top 10 Law Student Pick-up Lines to Never Ever Use...

10. You satisfy all the elements of looking good.

9. You can be the C in my UCC anytime.

8. A reasonable person would say yes to dinner with me next week.

7. You know, Miranda didn't warn me about you.