Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

June 2014 Archives

Last week we gave all of you doubting whether you had time to take summer vacation a little nudge to take legal-history inspired vacations. We even had suggestions for the nerds at heart, and the too-cool-for-school types.

No matter what kind of vacation you take, at some point -- most likely five minutes before your flight at the airport gift shop -- you will deal with the question: Do I need to bring back souvenirs for my co-workers?

Everyone needs a summer vacation, right? Yesterday, we indulged your inner nerd and shared the top five nerdy law-related travel destinations.

Today, we're indulging your "cool dude" persona in case you're not into embracing your inner nerd. Here are our top five pop culture law-related travel destinations.

I know, you like to think of yourself as more of an intellectual than a nerd. You're not a computer scientist, after all! But think again. If you went to law school, there's no escaping the fact that you have nerdy tendencies. Accept it.

Now that we have that out of the way: since it's summertime, we thought we'd give you some travel ideas to sate the legal curiosity inside you. Here are our top five nerdy legal travel destinations for your summer getaway.

Yep, Now Is the Time to Go To Law School (With Huge Caveats)

Good call, Mr. Weissmann, though we totally beat you to it.

Now is a good time to go to law school, as shrunken demand and class sizes, along with a recovering job market, mean that you aren't tying an anvil of debt around your neck and diving into the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

But that doesn't mean you should go to your nearest school and pay full sticker price -- as with all legal rulings, there are caveats and fine points.

Bad Law School Grade? Here's an Original Idea: Sue!

What would you say if you were a first-year law student in 2011, and you were about to dump multiple additional year's worth of tuition into a degree from an unaccredited school, but your Contracts professor "unilaterally and without notice" changed the syllabus, causing you to get a "D" and flunk out?

You should say, "THANKS!" Instead, Martin Odemena told the Massachusetts School of Law: "I'll see you in court!"

Does Fed. Loan Forgiveness Make 'Too Much Debt' a Non-Issue?

Here's a stupid question: does it matter anymore how much you borrow for school?

Think about it for a second: what are your possible outcomes? You could end up in BigLaw, which means you'll have enough money to pay off your debt. Or, you could end up in public interest law, which means the government will have enough to pay off your debt after ten years.

The only scenario in which you even need to worry about that student loan balance is if you graduate and work in the small law private sector or hang a shingle.

The Women in Law Empowerment Forum ("WILEF") is an organization devoted to the education of women in law firms, and furthers its goals by providing networking opportunities for women. Now in its eighth year, WILEF provides Gold Standard Certification to law firms that "successfully demonstrate that women represent a meaningful percentage of their equity partners, of their highest leadership positions, of their governance and compensation committees, and of their most highly compensated partners."

Let's see who made the cut for 2014, and what they are doing right.

Remember back in May when there was much ado about whether law degrees were worth it? Maybe not, but the experience was seared into my memory when there were some very loud objections to my proclamation that you can do anything with a law degree. To help bolster my claim, I even created a nifty list of 101 possible things you could do with a law degree.

For the jaded few that are still unconvinced, I have more evidence for you. Exhibit A: Catalina Girald.

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

NALP's 2013 Law Grads Jobs Report Says Market is 'Flat'

Every June, the National Association for Law Placement releases its annual job report on employment trends for new graduates. And every year, at least for the past few years, it has been a time for muted optimism about the distant future and commiseration with the plight of others in the present.

How did the Class of 2013 shake out? Despite having a larger than normal fleet of graduates flooding the workforce, the news was basically flat: some good, some bad, but mostly "meh."

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

Disgusting Lawyer Suspended for Giving Clerk Sexual Ultimatum

In 2011, John Daniel Mismas, an asbestos litigator, was seeking a clerk. He turned to a professor at the University of Akron School of Law, who gathered up three candidates for interviews. Mismas chose Ms. C. But it soon became clear that he was seeking more than a clerk, as he began to make inappropriate comments and sexual suggestions even before she even started.

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

Good Career Move: Guy Leaves BigLaw to Be a Rock Star

Nearly one year ago to the day, we told you to chase your dreams: instead of schlepping case files from your bedroom office to the courthouse, go live the rock 'n roll lifestyle, like the legally trained (and former pro soccer player) Julio Iglesias.

Struggling artist beats unemployed attorney, right?

Of course, Julio Iglesias wasn't the best example, even if he is the best-selling Latin music artist of all time. After all, though he had legal training, he wasn't a lawyer. Our other examples were indie artists and Judge Learned Hand, who recorded a folk song once. How about a real example, someone who punted on corporate law in order to unretire his drumsticks and join a multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning pop rock band?

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

Enjoy your last summer of freedom. When fall comes and you start law school as a 1L, you can kiss fun-loving summers goodbye once and for all. As you spend most of your time enjoying the sun, or backpacking, or whatever it is college grads do these days, one of the things on your list should involve preparing for your first day of law school.

Here are the five things you'll need for law school. If you have them already, great, you're all done, or you may want to consider an upgrade. If you don't, try to get a summer job so you can afford the necessary goodies ...

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

Law Grads: You WILL Work in Public Interest. You Have No Choice.

Public service: Some feel that it is their calling. They don't seek the profits of private industry. They want to ask not what their country can do for them, but what they can do for their country.

Or something like that.

Those people would have gone into public service anyway. Considering the lawyer archetype (soulless, greedy, etc.), that's probably one percent of graduates. Where do the rest of them go? A rare few head to BigLaw. Everyone else chooses between private and public sector gigs.

Choose no more. Choice is an illusion.

At FindLaw, we know how important having a mentor is to one's professional development, so much so, that we often recommend it's one of the first things you do when you start a new job. But in all of our writings, we've never actually explained how to get a mentor.

It's very easy to say "get a mentor." But, how do you get the ball rolling? Who should you ask? What should you do? We're going to answer those questions for you -- read on to find out how to find a mentor.

How Quin Snyder Went From Law Student to Utah Jazz Head Coach

Hah! Again folks, you really can do anything with a J.D. Granted, Quin Snyder's law degree (and his M.B.A.) probably have very little to do with his recent hire as the coach of the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz. It probably didn't help him land his last gig as a head coach either, for the Missouri University Tigers.

But hey, if you have a law degree, and some other talent, and connection, know this: it won't prevent you from chasing a far more exciting dream.

5 Reasons Why Obama's PAYE 2014 is Bad for Lawyers, Law Students

Yesterday, we talked about Pay As You Earn 2014, President Barack Obama's expansion of an income-based repayment system for student loans to pretty much any borrowers whatsoever. On the surface, it looks great: ten-years to forgiveness for public sector, twenty for private (compared to traditional IBR's 15/25), plus payments are limited to ten percent of your discretionary income.

Basically, you won't go broke under PAYE 2014 while making payments, and you won't make payments forever. So why are we still holding our breath?

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

3 Reasons Why Obama's PAYE 2014 is Good for Lawyers, Law Students

Pay As You Earn. For graduates suffering under the crushing burden of student loan debt, those words sounded so sweet a few years ago when President Barack Obama first uttered them. And then came the details. And the restrictions.

  • Ten years of payments ... unless you work in the private sector, in which case you'll pay for twenty years.
  • Payments capped at ten percent of discretionary income ... unless you took out loans before October 2007 or stopped borrowing before October 2011.

Basically, it was a more generous Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan for current students, not for those who really needed it -- the ones who went into law school during a good economy, took out loans, and graduated to doc review and living with parents. Yesterday's announcement, a promise of expansion of the program (specifically removing the date restrictions while declining to provide any other details) sounds pretty good for the previously ineligible, but is it really? Let's take a glass half-full approach.

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

You did your time in job search land, and maybe you even worked with a recruiter, and you've finally landed a gig as an associate at BigLaw. Before you start and get overwhelmed with all there is to do, there are certain tasks that you should do up front to set the tone of your employment, and establish a foundation for success.

We recently read some great tips for things to do at a new job, and we thought we'd tweak them for the law firm context. With first impressions made in a mere seven seconds, try to do these things in the first week at your new job.

All the tasks you should perform fall under two umbrellas, and we'll call them "lifestyle" and "professional."

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

There's much ado made about working from home, so when earlier this week I read an article in Entrepreneur about "homing from work" my interest was piqued. The article discussed a study on employees taking breaks during the work day to perform personal errands, and found that most -- that is 93% -- "of busy professionals take care of personal or family needs during the day by Homing From Work."

As someone that lived worked at BigLaw, I know that if you want to get anything done in your personal life, you have no other option than to home from work. Here's a breakdown of what exactly falls under "homing from work" and how to balance your home needs with your work responsibilities.

If you're working at smart law firm, chances are you already have a bio or profile page on your firm's website. So, do you really need to create your own professional website? The answer is an emphatic "yes!"

If you are not so easily convinced, read on to find out why creating your own professional website will be in your best interest.

5 Tips for Staying Productive in the Summer

Nobody wants to work today. Nobody at all. It's lovely outside, family members are on vacation, the beach is calling, but alas, you must work, especially if you are a summer associate gunning for a post-graduation gig.

How do you stay productive during the days of summer, when there are many more fun things to do? Here are a few tips:

10 Things to Do Before You Start 1L Hell

1L year starts in August. That means, between now and then, you've got a couple months to burn.

Some will say that you should take an expensive pre-law boot camp course. (Hah!). The gunner from 1L hell is already memorizing black letter outlines. And the social butterfly is Pinterest-ing party ideas, student groups to lead, and pubs to crawl.

What should you, the sane one, do?

A few weeks ago, we highlighted some notable 2014 law school graduation speeches -- but we were too early for the best commencement speech of the season. What speech gets this high honor? None other than Mindy Kaling's speech at the Harvard Law School graduation.

It all started with Kaling stating that she was honored to get an honorary Harvard Law degree, when she was kindly corrected that she was not in fact, not getting a degree. The rest was jokes and jokes, until Mindy Kaling ended on an inspiring note.

If you missed the speech, we highly recommend hearing it for yourself. If you don't have 16 minutes to devote to that, read on for our favorite quotes from her speech.