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September 2011 Archives

Some Women Attorneys are Trading in Their Power Suit

"Attorneys need to wear a suit."

Can a woman attorney look authoritative if she is wearing something else?

A "power suit" got its name for a valid reason, after all. Suits bring a sense of professionalism with them. 

But wearing a two-piece suit may also make some female attorneys feel dowdy and uncomfortable. Not surprisingly, some women attorneys are turning to jumper dresses and other chic frocks to fill their work wardrobe.

Is this a good idea?

Boston Lawyer Fathered 75 Children, Might Soon Hit 140

Ben Seisler is an attorney from Boston. He's also the father of about 75 children.

And surprisingly, the 33-year-old lawyer expects his child count to explode to upwards of 120 to 140. He made this startling discovery after he signed up on an online registry that matches children conceived by sperm donors with their biological father and half-siblings.

How did this begin? Chalk it up to law school. It's all because Seisler wanted to make some part-time cash when he was a law student at George Mason University. And what's easier than a part-time job donating some of your genes to the sperm bank?

Arizona Law Dean's Blood Test Clears Him of DUI Charges

Lawrence Ponoroff, dean University of Arizona law school, might be popping a champagne bottle soon. After all, he needs to toast his victory: his May DUI charge was recently dismissed.

But Ponoroff should probably get a designated driver to escort him back home after his celebratory toast. He wouldn't want to run the risk of repeating the events that led to the DUI charge in the first place.

It all began when a Tucson police officer noticed that Ponoroff was speeding May 6.

Justice Scalia Weighs in on Same-Sex Dorm Dispute During Speech

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia likes same-sex dorms.

Or at least he thinks that universities shouldn't so easily abandon their religious and moral convictions.

While speaking at Duquesne University Law School over the weekend, the Catholic Justice weighed in on religion in public life . This included criticizing a lawsuit against Catholic University's newly imposed co-ed dorm ban.

He also lamented his colleagues' decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Recall that the majority gave U.C. Hastings permission to deny support to groups that oppose homosexuality.

Law Clerk Ranks as 7th Most Hated Job in America

Does anybody really enjoy being a law clerk?

Let's face it. Only a small minority of law students decide to spend their 3L summer compiling clerkship applications because they truly want to clerk for a judge.

The vast majority are doing it for prestige.

Now our vast disinterest in the realm of clerking is showing. "Law clerk" ranks as #7 on CNBC's "10 Most Hated Jobs in America" list.

Why is clerking for a judge so disliked when it's so popular during law school?

Manhattan Asst. Attorney General Moonlighting as a Dominatrix?

If you haven't noticed, a lot of attorneys--even the employed--are turning to the realm of sexual pleasure in this time of economic uncertainty.

In an interesting twist, the newest alleged member of the legal sex trade is Alisha Smith, an assistant New York Attorney General. She is known for her involvement in a number of securities fraud cases, including a $5 billion settlement from Bank of America.

She's also apparently a dominatrix.

Tulane 1L Complains About Admission of Convicted Murderer

Bruce Reilly is a Tulane 1L. A scholarship recipient. And a convicted murderer.

Though he expected his classmates to learn about his criminal history, he had hoped that they would be more understanding, and ask questions before judging him on his past.

That came to an end earlier this week when another law student chose instead to out him, The Times-Picayune reports. The complaint unleashed concerns about campus safety, the admissions process, and strangely, whether Reilly will ever be admitted to the bar.

Justice Clarence Thomas Criticizes Left-Leaning Law Schools

U.S. Supreme Court Justice and resident constitutional stalwart Clarence Thomas' recent Nebraska trip served up some insight into his legal jurisprudence. And his view toward elite, Old Guard law schools.

Justice Thomas spent about 90 minutes last Thursday speaking to an enraptured crowd of students and faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Law School.

Thomas' Nebraska trip included some gushy words about his travels in the Midwest. Well, that and criticism that many elite law schools lean too much to the "left." 

Turns out he doesn't consider himself an originalist. Indeed, he flat out rejected suggestions that he is an originalist when interpreting the Constitution.

Instead, he calls himself a follower of "get-it-rightism," reports Radio Iowa.

Which Are the Best Law Firms for Women?

Though the legal job market still isn't looking too promising, it appears as though, for female attorneys at medium-sized and large law firms, things are looking up.

After a short hiatus, the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) and Flex-Time Lawyers has released the 2011 list of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women, which demonstrates a small, yet significant, trend towards the increasing implementation of parent- and female-friendly programs in the legal industry.

Well, at least in the Midwest.

Pot-Smoking, Gun-Toting GA Judge Removed from the Bench

Catoosa County Magistrate Anthony Peters is a judge no more, having been kicked off the bench by a unanimous Georgia Supreme Court this past Tuesday morning.

Banned from ever holding judicial office in the state of Georgia, Peters, who isn't actually an attorney, was called out for his erratic behavior, including his refusal to take responsibility for his actions, instead choosing to publicly disparage the Chief Magistrate Judge and local Sheriff.

Local attorneys have yet to publicize their plans to celebrate.

Want a Higher Salary? Try FBI's Hostage Negotiator Tactics

So you're going to march into your partner's office to demand (OK politely request) more money.

You've been killing it on the billables, you are indispensible (at least in your mind) to this firm. But you better do your homework before you head in there. Enter Jim Hopkinson, author of Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You, who believes that you should be using FBI hostage negotiation tactics to negotiate a higher salary.

When you embark on the road towards salary negotiation, you need to keep in mind that the partner or HR director is akin to a lunatic in a bank vault.

Except that he or she is guarding the payroll budget.

Dodd-Frank Inc.: Debevoise Charges Bank $100K for 17-Page Letter

New regulations mean more work for lawyers. Reform on Wall Street through the Dodd-Frank Act has created a whole lot of work for attorneys in a move The New York Times has dubbed "Dodd-Frank Inc."

Is your firm capitalizing on the new regulations?

Debevoise & Plimpton is. The BigLaw firm has pumped out a 17-page letter about the new regulations at a hefty cost of $100,000.

And, don't expect the paperwork to end there.

Profile of an Unhappy Worker: Unmarried Woman Lawyer, Doctor, 42

Are you a 40-something year old single professional woman making less than six figures a year? If you are, you must be incredibly unhappy.

This according to a recent survey which revealed the profiles of unhappy workers.

Those who were the unhappiest were single females, aged 42, in "professional" jobs (think doctor or lawyer), making less than $100k a year.

What about the "happiest" person, according to the survey? Well, that lucky worker is a 39-year-old male who's married with a wife who works part time. He also has a young child at home and works in a senior management position, raking in around $150k-200k a year.

O'Melveny Helps New Parents Transition Back to Billing Hours

In what appears to be the first of its kind to hit the legal industry, O'Melveny & Myers has launched Momentum One, a program designed to help new parents engaged in the process of returning to work.

Each parent participant is paired with a transition team that will help navigate the challenge of being a working mother (or father) for the first time, providing guidance and asking pertinent questions.

Apparently it works.

Spring Bonuses Waste of Money, Don't Affect Loyalty, Survey Says

Say you're an indentured servant at a big corporate law firm. You bill thousands of hours a year. You sleep under your desk when necessary. You miss your girlfriend's birthday party because a deal is going through.

Do you think you'll be more loyal to your firm if they gave you a spring bonus?

Well, apparently you wouldn't, you ungrateful employee! Spring bonuses actually do nothing for employee loyalty, according to a recent survey of midlevel associates.

What Women Should Not Wear (i.e. Miniskirt, Cleavage) to OCI Interviews

What should you wear to OCI (law school "on-campus interviews")?

For guys, it seems relatively simple. Slap on a conservative suit and a tie, a pair of nice shoes, and you're good to go.

For gals, it seems a little more complicated. Pant suit? Skirt suit? Flats? Pumps? Blouses? Knit shells?

A lot of what you end up wearing to your interviews is dependent on what you're comfortable with and what kind of firms you'll be meeting with.

But, there are some general fashion faux pas that all women should try to avoid:

NY Attorney Sues Ex-Girlfriends Over Posts

For many people, doing a basic Google search on your prospective attorney is something that has become almost second-nature. But, if you're Manhattan attorney Matthew Couloute Jr., a Google search of your name doesn't exactly point prospective clients to your State Bar profile.

Instead, it points prospective clients to a character-slamming page on, where jilted lovers and ex-lovers congregate to bash on their former flames.

Apparently, two of Couloute's former exes took to the web to unite forces against the attorney, calling him "scum," amongst other insults. Couloute has now filed a federal lawsuit against the two women, Stacey Blitsch (a former roller-derby queen) and Amanda Ryncarz.