Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

July 2012 Archives

Law School Scholarships Now Negotiable as Schools Court 1Ls

Law school scholarship packages are more attractive for 1Ls as schools compete for the best students.

After nonstop bad press, the number of applicants for law school is down which means schools have to work harder to make similarly competitive classes. To meet high quality standards some schools are offering perks to entice top ranking prospective students.

For many law school applicants the decision of whether and where to attend hangs on price. Schools have responded to that by increasing the scholarship dollars available.

Not only is there more scholarship money out there, accepted students are encouraged to take more of it.

It's almost August and informal reports indicate that top law schools are still accepting applications for the fall class.

It's been almost a decade of horror stories from law grads. Common complaints included accumulating six-figure debts, graduating to a life of doc review (if you're lucky), and earning less than a typical art major earns. So it's no surprise that law school admissions have suffered.

The surprise really is that some top 50 law schools are still scrambling to fill their seats. One would have expected that only unaccredited and second tier law schools would have dealt with this problem.

Post-Bar Exam Relaxation Tips: 5 Ways to Chill After it's Done

Studying for and taking the bar exam is a major accomplishment. Congratulations, you did it!

You just sacrificed several months of fun and free time to get here, studying pretty much anytime you could manage it. Hours of exam prep classes and many many dollars later, it's done.

Win or lose, just making it through the exam is a big deal. So in the first few days after the exam ends, treat yourself right. We have some ideas how.

Law schools have come under fire for being diploma mills. Several schools have been sued by disgruntled grads for misleading them about job and salary statistics.

As law schools are pulling back on the number of new admittees, Yale Law School announced they are inventing a whole new type of law degree -- a law PHD program.

Yale announced that the new law PHD program will train law grads that have ambitions on becoming law professors. Given that Yale produces a tenth of the law professors nationwide, it makes sense that Yale would have such a program.

In some dire news for general counsels, their average pay fell to only $1.7 million this year. Corporate counsels' base salary, non-equity bonuses, stock awards, and stock options all took a major hit, says a survey of Fortune 500 corporate counsels.

After experiencing double digit percentage gains in salary and pay last year despite the economy stagnating, general counsels' total pay fell by a whopping 5.7 percent this year, reports the ABA Journal.

Just how will these corporate counsel survive? If the average salary is only $1.7 million, it's conceivable one of these poor attorneys will have actually made less than a million last year.

Kleiner Perkins Sex Scandal Suit Must Play Out in Open Court

Kleiner Perkins will have to air its dirty laundry in court after a judge denied its bid for arbitration in a growing sexual harassment scandal.

Ellen Pao, a current employee, is suing the venture firm for sex discrimination. She claims that women are treated poorly by the firm and that they do not have the opportunities for advancement offered to man. Kleiner attempted to keep the case out of court and force Pao into a private arbitration.

Judge Kahn commended Kleiner's attorney, Lynne Hermle, for her "terrific" arguments. She must have been surprised by what came next.

"And I disagree with all of them."

You Can Fail the Bar Exam and Still Have an Awesome Career

People who want to be famous attorneys are generally uncomfortable with failure. That goes double for the bar exam.

But the exam is looming, and that means extra helpings of stress. It doesn't help that law school graduates are generally competitive, over-achieving, and just this side of obsessive when it comes to success.

Sure, everyone says it's not a big deal if you fail the bar. It's not the end of the world, other people fail, and you can take it again. You're still a smart person if you don't pass on your first try.

Where's the evidence, you say? We've got your evidence right here.

Law students charged with writing a law review article may feel like they have 99 problems -- or 120, or 200, or however many footnotes your 3L editors demand. Perhaps the biggest problem: what to write about in the first place.

Turns out, you can just turn to your iPod.

That's what an associate law professor seems to have done in the latest issue of the Saint Louis University Law Journal. His scholarly breakdown of Jay-Z's "99 Problems" is getting shared on the Internet, and shows law students that journal writing doesn't have to be dry.

Pardon us, however, if we say the professor's hip-hop polemic appears a bit familiar.

Do you have one of the highest paid careers in America? Lawyers are indeed among the Top 10 careers with the highest average compensation, but how exactly do legal careers stack up, moneywise, against other professions?

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics help to answer that question. While lawyers are among the most well-paid professionals, according to number-crunchers at CNBC, the legal profession's overall rank may surprise you.

Here, in reverse order, are the Top 10 highest paid careers and their average annual salaries:

Introducing our Ex-Lawyer of the Week: Nelson Mandela.

Mandela, South Africa's first black president, turns 94 today. Many are celebrating by completing "67 minutes of good deeds," one for each year of Mandela's anti-apartheid struggles, Reuters reports.

But Mandela's push for social justice actually began with a groundbreaking law practice he founded with a friend. The firm of Mandela & Tambo marks its 60th anniversary this year, and stands as a monument to Mandela's lifelong commitment to equality.

Summer bar exams are set to commence. Years of hard work and preparation all come down to a two- or three-day gauntlet that determines who finally gets to put their legal education to practice. (If they can actually find a legal job, that is.)

But bar studies aside, how will you actually go about taking the test? Take it from those of us who've been there: At any sitting in any state, you'll find but a handful of common bar-examinee personality types.

Which type of bar exam taker are you? Here are our Top 8 archetypes:

A Hawaii attorney convicted of licking a client's ear got a bit of a tongue-lashing in court last week.

"Quite frankly, these are the actions of a dirty old man," the judge in Lihue, on the island of Kauai, said about attorney Lawrence McCreery's unwanted harassment of a client, the local Garden Island newspaper reports.

Though McCreery, 64, got licked in court, he vows to appeal, claiming his objectionable ear-licking never took place.

A big bundle of lawyers are bankrolling both the Obama and Romney campaigns, as the 2012 presidential election is set to be the most expensive in U.S. history.

Together, lawyers and law firms are the No. 3 donors by industry to Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP candidate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Lawyers play an even bigger role in President Barack Obama's fundraising, coming in at No. 2.

So just how much have lawyers donated to these presidential campaigns -- the first in 16 years to feature two JDs vying for the White House?

A former lingerie model's lawsuit claims Internet lies have ruined her reputation and "jeopardized" her shot at going to law school. Is that really worth $3 million, as Shana Edme's suit claims?

Edme, of Georgia, is "an aspiring law student" who works at "a large law firm" on Long Island, N.Y., according to the suit obtained by Courthouse News Service.

But the unauthorized publication of some of Edme's racy modeling photos resulted in an invasion of privacy and unwanted attention from a bunch of creeps, her suit states. (Isn't that likely to continue if she continues toward a job as an attorney? But we digress.)

Ogletree Deakins Fudged 299 'Billing Errors,' Maricopa County Says

Maricopa County was understandably upset when they found out Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart had billed them incorrectly.

The county first noticed that they were billed for an associate's time when the work was actually done by a new hire who had not yet passed the bar. Then they noticed that Ogletree Deakins had actually billed two not-yet-attorneys as if they were full associates.

Billing errors happen and while they're upsetting to clients, they can also be fixed. The same error happening twice starts to look like carelessness.

Maricopa County is suing Ogletree Deakins for much more than that.

A few weeks ago, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts made a stunning turn and joined the four liberal members of the Court in upholding Obamacare.

Now CBS reporter Jan Crawford is reporting that Roberts made a last second turnaround. According to a source for Salon's Paul Campos, not only was Roberts prepared to vote with his conservative colleagues, but that he in fact penned both the majority opinion and the dissent.

What makes these leaks about Roberts' indecision so interesting is that Supreme Court leaks are usually rare. Typically, no one but the justices themselves and their clerks have any idea what goes on before the decision. And they tend to be very close-lipped about the mechanizations.

So how did the John Roberts' indecision leak?

Mitt Romney has a JD/MBA. Should You?

Mitt Romney has something that neither of the two most recent presidents can lay claim to. It's not the thick hair or the smiling family; it's the pedigree. Mitt Romney is one of the small group of individuals that hold a JD/MBA from Harvard University.

But the real question here becomes: Is anyone jealous?

Harvard's JD/MBA program does have an impressive list of graduates and only about a dozen people complete the program every year according to The New York Times. Certainly it's hard to get into and it requires a high level of dedication. But JD/MBA programs also have a dirty little secret.

Standing Desks are Good for Productivity. And Billing Hours Nonstop.

Standing desks have been around for a few years and their fad appeal has worn off enough that employers are seeing them as a legitimate solution. It's no secret that sitting for 8+ hours a day is bad for you and a standing desk offers a solution that won't impact work productivity.

Sure, the studies indicate that a standing desk will make you healthier.

The real question now is what will partners think if you request a standing desk? And what will clients think if they see you working at one?

U.S. News Ranks Law School Debt, Everyone Cries

If you graduated from law school in the last few years, chances are you are currently suffocating under a mountain of debt. Due to rising tuition prices and decreasing job opportunities, many law school grads are saddled with what is equivalent to a mortgage, except it doesn't come with a house.

In add to all the articles out there warning people off from law school, U.S. News published a list of law schools whose graduates have the most debt.

That news comes a little late for grads and those who already started their legal education. Thanks a lot for all the help.

You can have your law license suspended for a lot of reasons, and it should be no surprise that being a convicted child sex offender is one of them.

Former Debevoise & Plimpton associate Kenneth Schneider was convicted to 15 years in prison last year for having sex with a minor, reports the ABA Journal.

He is appealing his conviction and maintains he didn't turn the Russian teen into his "sex slave" for 6 years. Even still, the appeals court (not the state bar) suspended his law license.

3 Tips to Stay Cool and Dress Like a Pro This Summer

It's hot. If you're unlucky it's also humid and your clothes are probably not made for summer weather. Your pants stick to your legs, your socks squish in your shoes. It's not a good time to have to wear a suit to the office.

It also doesn't look like most law firms are lifting the business dress code anytime soon. The answer is to change your wardrobe.

That doesn't mean ditch the suit. Just update it for summer with these three easy tips, so you don't have to sweat your way through another day at the office.

It's widely known that some lawyers turn to alcohol to relieve stress. But only a few like attorney Paul Hletko decide to turn alcohol into a new career.

"I was growing weary of practicing law," Hletko tells ABA Journal in a magazine feature. So in 2010, he decided to turn away from his patent law practice and focus instead on opening a micro-distillery which he named Few Spirits.

But turning Hletko's home-brewing hobby into a full-scale business required a bit of legal maneuvering -- a challenge Hletko met head-on.

Top 5 Summer Beach Reads for Lawyers

A beach bag should include sunscreen and a good book so you're always ready for relaxation. But when you eat, sleep, and breathe law, it's hard to disconnect and find good summer reading that doesn't require highlighting.

If you've spent too much time on work to know what to page though when you're looking for an easy beach read, look no further.

Check out our list of the top 5 books to read this summer that won't weigh you down. There's something for everyone between novels, light weight fun reads, business literature, biographies, and thrillers.