Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

October 2016 Archives

Halloween isn't just about candy and celebrating the undead. It's about showing everyone else that you're better than them when it comes to dressing up. Much better. After all, no one wants to be the guy with a store-bought Pizza Rat costume at the office party. You're smarter and funnier than that.

So, if you're still looking for Halloween inspiration, here are four suggestions that we think will help you win Halloween.

The American Bar Association has some bad news for law schools that churn out J.D.s who never pass the bar, despite three years of study and six figures of student debt: You'll have to start doing better.

On Friday, the ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar adopted a proposal to tighten bar passage rate standards. Under the new rules, schools will be required to show that most of their graduates pass the bar, and relatively quickly.

Don't Cite Dred Scott

Looking for that perfect cite? The most on-point case law? The pin cite that will really drive your point home? Here's a hint: don't make it a cite to one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever. Don't cite Dred Scott.

Surprisingly, that's a lesson lawyers for the state of Kansas didn't learn until recently. Last week, Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister filed a brief in defense of the state's restrictive abortion laws, a brief that cited Dred Scott. Approvingly.

You graduated law school, passed the bar, and now you're ready to go. In one state, at least. But if you want to handle a case or advise a client across state lines, you'll soon hit a wall. Lawyers can't work where they're not admitted. For an out-of-state attorney to be allowed to practice across borders, they have to jump through significant hoops, sometimes even retaking the bar exam.

Is it time for a borderless legal market?

It was the best of courts, it the worst of courts, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolish-- Actually, scratch that. It was pretty much the worst of times all around in today's tale of two courtrooms.

In our first case of "judges run amok," a Michigan judge is gaining some viral fame after video emerged of him charging from the bench to help tackle a defendant -- while screaming "Tase his ass right now." Meanwhile, just a few states away, his colleague was facing indictment. Former Arkansas Judge Joseph Boeckmann, it seems, was also interested in some defendants' bums, but not in tasing them. Boeckmann is currently facing charges that he blackmailed young men into posing naked for him in exchange for lighter sentences.

Last week, the legal search firm Major, Lindsey, and Africa released its bi-annual Partner Compensation Survey and the results were pretty shocking. While male partners brought in an average compensation of $949,000, their female counterparts reported earning just $659,000, a difference of 44 percent. That's right, female partners make just over half as much as men do. It's a discrepancy that almost makes 79 cents on the dollar look not so bad. (Almost, but not quite.)

But what about the rest of us, who aren't partners pulling in high six-figure incomes? How much are we worth? Here's some ways you can find out.

Has this election cycle driven you to drink? Don't worry, you're not alone. You can take comfort in knowing that it will all be over soon, though. Tomorrow marks the last presidential debate before voters go to the polls. After the debate, there are less than 20 days until the contest is finally decided. The final debate, however, is particularly relevant for legal professionals, as the Supreme Court is scheduled as one of six topics to be covered.

If the past two debates are any guide, Wednesday's head to head will be a mess. So why not be one yourself? We've put together a handy drinking game to help you out.

Are you ready for your close up? If the idea of working in Hollywood is appealing, now could be the time for your breakout debut. Several major media and entertainment companies are looking for skilled attorneys to join their in-house teams. That could be you.

So dust off your resume and practice your best Marlon Brando stare. As part of our affiliate relationship with Indeed, we're bringing you the three coolest legal jobs of the week, all in the entertainment industry, because there's no business like litigating show business.

Not all law schools are the same. A student who gets a JD from Yale could have a much different experience than someone who studied at the University of Southern California, who in turn could have a very different three years than someone at the University of New Hampshire.

We're not just talking about differences in ranking, professors, or geography, either. We're talking differences in teaching styles. And those differences could have a significant impact on your success in law school and your career afterwards.

After stagnating for some time, attorney salaries have started to climb in recent years. And that trend should continue in 2017, according to a report by Robert Half Legal. The staffing agency recently released its 2017 Salary Guide and reports that legal professional salaries are expected to rise by an average of 3.6 percent in the coming years.

But, while a rising tide lifts all boats, not every boat is lifted equally. What sort of bump you can expect depends a lot on your workplace, experience, location, and more. Here's how the year ahead might look for you.

Harvard University's dining services workers went on strike last week, after months of stalled negotiations with the university. The workers are asking Harvard, a nonprofit with a $35 billion endowment, to pay them $35,000 a year, or less than half the $88,000 it costs to attend Harvard Law for a year.

Some of HLS's 1Ls want to lend the striking workers a hand -- and a meal. Students have proposed feeding the workers at their section events, causing Harvard Law School Dean Marcia Sells to send out a letter declaring that it "does not seem to make sense for us to encourage with Section Funds for students to bring in food to feed workers who are on strike."

Political dysfunction is nothing new, but the recent spat between Louisiana's governor and the state's attorney general seems to take state government infighting to new extremes. Governor John Bel Edwards recently sued the state's own attorney general, Jeff Landry, in order to keep the attorney general from blocking state contracts.

The dispute stems from a disagreement over anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender workers. Edwards wants them, Landry does not, and he has refused to approve state contracts with LGBT antidiscrimination provisions. "He basically told me that if I wanted him to approve those contracts that I would have to sue him," Governor Edwards said after he filed suit. "So I'm obliging him on that."

Your fancy microbrew and imported Pouilly-Fuisse aren't just something to sip on, they're part of one of the most heavily regulated industries around, the beer, wine, and spirits industry. Thankfully, those regulations mean plenty of jobs for attorneys with a taste for fine drinking -- and an ability to navigate a wide range of regulatory bodies and laws.

So raise your glass to a future in beer and wine law. As part of our affiliate partnership with Indeed, we're bringing you this week's top three cool, boozy legal jobs.

Have dreams of being a big city lawyer, shuttling between your Park Avenue apartment and downtown firm? Want to be in the hustle and bustle of a major metropolitan center?

Well, it's not impossible, but you might have a much better life ahead of you if you went the other route and worked in America's smaller towns. A new survey by Good Call looked at the best cities for recent law school graduates in terms of jobs, affordability, and cultural opportunities, and found a lot of lesser-known towns at the top of the list.

If you want to score higher on your law school midterms and final exams, try writing more. A new study by researchers at Brigham Young University's law school claims that law students can bump a 3.3 grade on timed essays up to a 3.4 simply by including 923 more words in their answer.

But don't just mash your keyboard during your upcoming exams. If you want to do better, you'll probably have to do more than just up your verbosity. Here's why.

Avocados might be the perfect food. They're fatty, but with the good fat, sweet but also nutty, creamy but not mushy -- simply one of the best things to ever grow from a tree. It's no wonder Americans ate 4.25 billion avocados last year (yes, that's billion with a b), making it the most consumed fruit in America.

So if you've ever dipped a chip in to guacamole, grabbed a handful of Hass in the supermarket, or slathered a sun-ripened avocado over your morning toast, you've got one man to thank. No, he's not a farmer, marketer, or botanist, he's a judge: Santa Barbara, California's own Judge R.B. Ord, the man who first permanently introduced avocados in the U.S., way back in 1871.

Can you have a successful legal career and a thriving personal life? The legal industry, with its focus on work over everything else, doesn't exactly make it easy.

Some people are trying to change that, however, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.