Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

July 2015 Archives

Kids are weird. They eat dirt, obsess over dinosaurs, and think there are monsters under the bed. But many kids are weird in the most adorable ways. Take Grayson Dobra, for instance. This Louisiana tot decided to celebrate his second birthday with a personal injury lawyer-themed party.

Yep, young Grayson is obsessed with ambulance chasers -- one ambulance chaser in particular: New Orleans personal injury lawyer Morris Bart, whose commercials have been airing on Louisiana T.V. for the past 35 years.

The Evergreen State just got a little greener, at least for lawyers. The Washington State Bar Association gave attorneys the, ahem, green light to use weed and operate marijuana-related businesses, just three years after Washington voters legalized recreational use.

This makes Washington the first state to not only allow attorney recreational use of weed but to also allow lawyers to go ahead and open their own pot shops, farms, or other businesses.

Hide your children! Hide your wives! The Georgia Annotated Code is free online!

The annotated code was put online, gratis, by, the nonprofit run by Carl Malamud, a longtime advocate of moving legal documents into the public domain. Georgia has sued, claiming that the upload is an attempt to "terrorize" the state into publishing the laws "under Malamud's terms."

Top of your law school class? On the fast track to making partner? Don't expect us to be impressed. Real gunners become federal judges. Before they're 40.

Honestly, it shouldn't be that hard. At least according to the Ninth Circuit's resident conservative, porn aficionado, and cinephile, Judge Alex Kozinski. Kozinski, you may remember, was appointed to the Court of Federal Claims at the young age of 32. Follow his instructions and you could have the president calling you up for a spot on the federal courts, Kozinksi claims.

If you were flipping through Seattle radio stations last Friday, you may have happened upon KEXP's deconstruction of the Beastie Boys' album Paul's Boutique. To celebrate the 26th anniversary of that album's release, the independent radio station played every track of Paul's Boutique, along with every track that was sampled on the album. It took them 12 hours.

Paul's Boutique, like many hip hop albums at the time, was packed with samples, references, and riffs off other artists' work. Within three years of its release, that style of music would have largely disappeared, a victim of litigation as much as changing tastes.

Two-thirds of parents want their kids to grow up to be lawyers. The other third have probably read the stats about lawyer depression, alcoholism, and student debt.

But forget lawyer kids, what about lawyer parents? There are plenty of perks that come from being an attorney, including pleasing your parents, but how does the legal profession stand up when it comes to actually being parents?

Once you're done sitting for the bar, you'll probably want to head to a real bar. You've dedicated years of your life and months of cramming to the bar exam -- going out for a night of celebration is your right and obligation.

But as a soon-to-be-lawyer, you don't want to drink just any swill. Here are seven drinks to help you celebrate finishing the bar exam the right way.

It's not hard to find prestigious legal work when you've graduated from a top law school. While the rest of the world's law school grads may struggle to find employment in a slumping legal market, it seems like every Harvard alum is given an honorary Supreme Court clerkship. We're pretty sure a Yale diploma comes with an entry level professorship somewhere in the Midwest.

But not everyone is impressed with grads from top-ranked schools. Take Adam Leitman Bailey, who runs a New York real estate law firm. When it comes to finding new talent, Bailey has a unique hiring rule: dogs and Ivy League grads need not apply.

As the bar exam creeps ever closer, you're probably finding yourself scrambling to get the UCC under your belt, trying to up your memory, or just generally panicking. It's normal. But don't let your dread and apprehension blind you to the best part of taking the bar: being done.

In just about a week you will be done with the bar exam and once again remember what it's like to be a part of humanity again. Don't let the moment go to waste. Here are five things to do once you've finished the bar exam:

Welcome to "First Week at the Firm," a FindLaw feature for beginning associates, focused on helping you navigate the transition into firm life. We hope you'll enjoy this new series and come back regularly for more insider tips.

Hello, new associate! There's a lot of unique, variable, and engaging work ahead of you -- some day. In the mean time, you'll be getting used to life as a new associate. Here are three things you'll soon be hearing over and over as you start your career as a lawyer.

Daniel King and Tamara Brady just finished what should be one of the hardest trials of their lives -- and they still don't have time to take a break. The duo's main client, James Holmes, was found guilty last Thursday of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others after he opened fire on crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012. Having been unable to convince a jury that Holmes was not guilty due to insanity, King and Brady's main job is now to keep Holmes off death row.

But even as they represent one of the most infamous killers in recent history, Holmes' public defenders have largely flown under the radar. Holmes has a total of five PDs working his case, but these two stand out. Who are Daniel King and Tamara Brady, public defenders for James Holmes?

All lawyers seek to serve their clients zealously, but some really go the extra mile. Take, for example, the recent case of Senor Ruiz Zuniga, a Costa Rican defense attorney. Mr. Ruiz was recently caught smuggling 142 grams of cocaine to a client in prison -- via his anus. That's about enough cocaine to fill half a Coke can. Pura vida, indeed.

Ruiz isn't the first lawyer who has been tripped up by drugs. There's, of course, the Connecticut lawyer who dropped his weed in the middle of court. Neither can we forget the California attorney arrested on meth charges when he came to court up to defend a client. But Ruiz is one of the few lawyer-cum-drug-mules that we've encountered.

Ah, to be a lawyer. The prestige, the wealth, the simple nobility of the legal profession! Sound good? Of course! If only real life matched the fantasy.

The fact is, a career in the legal profession isn't for everyone. The hours are grueling, the work draining, the job prospects shaky. But if you love it, you love it. Luckily, for those considering becoming a lawyer, there's plenty of opportunities to test out the legal profession before getting a J.D.

Perhaps you've seen your friends slowly drift away from Twitter as their careers take off. Maybe you've felt pressure to not share that Clickhole masterpiece, now that you're a serious lawyer. You might even worry that sharing an article on LinkedIn could give the impression that you're not working hard enough. After all, lawyers are too important for social media, right?

Forget that. Not only can you continue to update your Facebook and 'gram your selfies as a lawyer, you should. Here's why.

If only legal skill and acumen were all it took to build a firm! Instead, those looking to grow a practice soon realize that marketing and business development are essential to success — and sadly, these aren’t skills typically taught in law school.

Women lawyers, in particular, can face unique challenges in building a practice and making it rain. Thankfully, Thomson Reuters, FindLaw’s parent company, is here to help with “The Woman Lawyer’s Rainmaking Game: How to Build a Successful Law Practice.” Consider it a legal aid, just as essential as any practice guide on your shelf.

The June solstice has passed, the days are getting shorter, and you're starting to wonder if you'll ever get the tan you've been dreaming of since last November. But more is slipping away than just the chance at sun and beaches. As the season winds down, so are your chances of finding the perfect summer read.

July and August remain the last months to get through your summer reading. Here are five books we think all lawyers should add to their summer reading lists before the good weather fades away:

Harper Lee's modern classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, inspired the careers of more than a few lawyers. Atticus Finch, the novel's moral center, stood for many as the model of a justice and honor, defending the poor, needy and oppressed against injustice. Atticus became so popular among lawyers that the Alabama state bar even erected a monument in his honor.

That vision of Atticus is about to be dramatically altered. Tomorrow, Harper Lee's second novel comes out, more than 50 years after Mockingbird. The new book, Go Set a Watchman, deals again with Scout, Atticus and Maycomb, Alabama, but 20 years later -- and it shows Atticus Finch not as a lover of justice but as a racist and his daughter's major foil. It is, to put it mildly, a shocking redefinition of the beloved character.

Law schools tend to have a limited reach. If you didn't attend a top ranked school, say anything between Yale and Georgetown, your school's reputation is often limited to the immediate geographic area. Cardozo may be a great law school, but not many Angelenos will know that.

So it can be nice to hear that your small school is actually, literally, underrated. Bloomberg Businessweek is here to give a small handful of indebted grads the warm and fuzzies, having just released its list of the 10 most underrated law schools. Who made the cut? Which law schools are the tops when it comes to being underrated?

There's nothing skilled professional women like more than being judged for their appearance. Indeed, most lady lawyers invite the chance to have their hair, dress size, and outfits overshadow their legal prowess.

Luckily for female lawyers in the San Francisco area, two Marin County styling consultants stalked the halls of a county court house to do just that. The pair spent a day critiquing female lawyers' outfits -- and had their judgments published by the Marin County Bar Association. Was the fashion advice sexist, as many claim? You be the judge, here are the facts:

Sharks may not be nature's cuddliest predator, but they've definitely got their fans. The fact that Discovery's Shark Week extravaganza is in its 28th year is proof enough of that. Legal sharks, too, aren't without their admirers.

Though lawyers' reputations as ruthless killing machines are much exaggerated, there are plenty of top litigators whose zealous advocacy, intimidating reputations, and killer instincts make them stand out -- for better or worse. Here are three great whites of the legal world:

There's about three weeks left before the bar exam. You know how to write an essay. You've studied all the black letter law. You've got the MBE under your belt. Or you would, if only you could remember whether singing the curtains is enough to get you charged with arson.

Here's where simple, brute memorization comes in to play. You won't be able to fully rewire your brain in time for the bar exam, but there are certain tricks that might help. Here's five techniques to help you improve your memory as you cram through the final weeks of bar prep.

Abraham Lincoln got his start as a lawyer. Then again, so did Nixon. In fact, more than half of the U.S. Presidents have been lawyers. Working as an attorney is still one of the most common paths to political office, with 37 percent of the House and 57 percent of the Senate being made up of attorneys.

Politics is, after all, just another legal career. So, if you get tired of working with the laws, should you consider taking a job making them? Consider these pros and cons if you're ever thinking of making the jump from Greedy Associate to Greedy Politician.

Last year, Airbnb, the tech company that allows users to rent out their spare rooms or empty apartments to travelers, launched its first business travel venture. The tech company claims that using Airbnb instead of a traditional hotel will help business travelers feel more at home when they're abroad, while simultaneously allowing them to be inspired by their unique surroundings.

As lawyers, we're skeptical. While Airbnb can give you a native's perspective of a city, it also lacks many of the amenities of a hotel service, the kinds that you most desperately need when you're traveling for business. You be the judge, though. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Airbnb for business travel:

A Juris Doctor is a terminal degree. Not because it kills you, though it might, but because it's the highest level of degree awarded in legal studies. So what do you do if a J.D. just isn't enough? You go down one -- to a Master of Laws, or LL.M. degree. An LL.M. is usually a one year course of study in a specialized area of law. You can get, for instance, an LL.M. in environmental law, tax law, or fashion law.

Generally, LL.M.s require a lot of extra debt while resulting in few career benefits. That's why people often refer to it as a "Lawyers Losing Money" degree. They're not worth it -- except when they are. Here are three times when it might make sense to go back and get an LL.M.