Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

July 2017 Archives

Government Lawyers Retiring en Masse

Nearly half of government lawyers can retire in the next two years, and the rest are already getting that sinking feeling.

It's that same feeling you get when your parents die, and you can no longer ask them for advice. It's real, like death and taxes.

"It's a huge problem," said a former county litigator in a new survey. "When one of these attorneys retires, it can throw a major wrench into things."

For those aspiring lawyers looking to work in-house at one of the top tech companies, you might not need to have that Ivy League pedigree.

A recent scraping of publicly available data showed that Apple's most represented law school wasn't the Harvard of the West (Stanford), or the Michigan of the West (Berkeley), but rather Santa Clara University School of Law.

Now most of you must be asking: Santa Who?

Fewer Asian-Americans Going to Law School, Study Finds

Over the past decade, law school enrollment by Asian-Americans has fallen off by 40 percent.

While law school enrollments have declined steadily in recent years, according to a new study, far fewer Asian-American students are interested in legal careers today.

It's a troubling trend, the authors say, because Asian-Americans are already under-represented in the law.

If you're planning on starting law school this coming fall, you might be wondering what kind of technological devices you need to get before you're elbow deep in legal scholarship.

Assuming you already have a newer laptop and smartphone, as well as a functional printer, you probably don't need anything else. After all, there's an app for everything, even the finer things in life. Below, you'll find a few of the must-have pieces of hardware that'll make law school just a little bit better.

Law Graduate Sues for Open-Book Bar Exam

Mark Tetzlaff is an academic overachiever, but he just can't pass the bar exam.

He has a JD, an MBA, an MA, and a BBA, and is pursuing an LLM on scholarship. He has done nearly 200 research and writing projects in state and federal courts.

But he has failed the bar exam four times because he has short-term memory loss, he says. So he is suing the Illinois state bar to allow him to take an open-book exam.

Lawyer Donates $7.5M for Judicial Education

Few lawyers have won bigger verdicts and settlements than Thomas R. Kline.

Even fewer, if any, have given away more money to law schools. Kline, who donated $50 million to Drexel University Law School three years ago, has given another $7.5 million to Duquesne University School of Law.

It is the largest gift in the history of the Pennsylvania law school, and the first of its kind in the nation. The money will establish a judicial college.

The new Senate Bill 1604, introduced in the Senate by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, seeks to inspire the best and brightest of the freshly graduated legal scholars to pursue jobs in politics. The Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Act, introduced as a bill on July 20, 2017, seeks to create a new way for lawyers to learn about the legislative process through apprentice-like clerkships.

According to the press release from Senator Mike Lee from Utah, the bill's goal is to "better position congress to obtain top-notch services from stellar law school graduates," while giving the grads "a much better understanding of the legislative process."

Former Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Josh Kuiper was sued earlier this year after an alleged DUI crash injured another individual. In addition to the civil suit, he was charged criminally, and Kuiper resigned from his position.

However, the civil suit against Kuiper has gotten a whole lot more interesting since the plaintiff has now added three new defendants under a dram shop theory of liability. Kuiper allegedly stopped at three different local downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan establishments, drank at each, then drove away. What's more is that the former prosecutor was allegedly drinking to celebrate the retirement of a fellow prosecutor with other colleagues.

What's the Best Law School for a Career in Immigration Law?

Unlike lawyers who choose a field of practice for the money, immigration attorneys are often motivated by something else.

Perhaps they are immigrants or children of immigrants. It may run even deeper to a less complicated time when the United States was a nation of immigrants.

Whatever the impetus, it takes due consideration to pursue a career in immigration law. It begins with choosing the right law school.

Students Fighting, Beating Loans in Court

Judges across the country are throwing out collection suits against students, wiping out their debt because private lenders lost critical paperwork.

Other students are suing the government for reneging on the promise to forgive student loans, while some are suing their law schools for leading them into debt without delivering on education.

The litigation reflects a trend as an unprecedented number of graduates are taking action to deal with a problem almost every law student must face: how to get away from crushing student debt?

When it comes to helping close friends, family, or colleagues, attorneys can often be tempted to get around the law, rather than follow the law. The line between zealous advocacy and criminal activity is usually pretty clear. But, so long as that activity doesn't add up to moral turpitude, it's all good, right?

Sadly, no matter how difficult it is to find a good legal assistant, paying someone to lie to the immigration authorities and to marry your legal assistant clearly crosses the line of turpitude. Based on the admission of one "Person A," a Texas lawyer is now facing a federal indictment for allegedly paying "Person A" to marry his legal assistant in order to allow her to continue working.

Why Aren't STEM Majors Going to Law School?

What is it with lawyers and math?

It's one of the oldest jokes in the profession that lawyers went to law school because they were no good at math. As it turns out, it's no joke.

According to statistics, math students score the highest on law school admission tests but relatively few go to law school. At a time when law school admissions are down, it is an unsettling fact that the smartest students are going into other professions.

If you always wanted to move to a particular big city, choosing a law school located there could be a great way to start laying down your roots. In addition to potentially meeting some local students, professors, and lawyers, it'll be simple to network among your motley class of transplants from different cities and states, who probably also have dreams of laying down their own roots in the city.

It really depends on what you want for your career. Often, once you're licensed in a state, changing locations might be more difficult than you might expect.

Lawyer on the Lam Spotted in New Mexico

Attorney Eric Conn, awaiting his sentence for a $550 million disability fraud scheme, was not about to trade in his pinstripes for prison stripes.

Before he got to the courthouse, he cut-off his ankle monitor and kept on driving. He had planned it long before authorities figured out he was cheating the system.

"In fairness to the FBI I had a year to plan for this," he said in a fax two weeks later.

Career Tips If You Want to Practice Music Law

In the midst of World War II, songwriters Harold Adamson and Jimmie McHugh popularized the expression "on a wing and prayer."

They wrote several patriotic songs during the war, prompting President Truman to award them the Presidential Certificate of Merit. It was all good, except that they borrowed the "wing and a prayer" lyric from an earlier John Wayne movie.

It's a snapshot of history that illustrates something about the world of music law: it can be a glamorous business where your chances for success sometimes depends on fighting and a bit of luck.

Judge Hilary Green of Houston, Texas, was recently suspended after confirming allegations of illegal drug use, sexting with her bailiff, and illicitly taking prescription drugs. While the suspension is temporary, pending the final outcome of her case before the Texas Supreme Court, her own admissions are rather damning.

In her responses to written questions from the state's judicial council, Judge Green admits to taking marijuana, ecstasy, and cough syrup. In a deposition of her former "boyfriend," Claude Barnes, he details that Green also used cocaine and hired prostitutes. Barnes filed a complaint with the judicial commission allegedly after finding out that Green had been lying to and cheating on him. Along with Barnes' complaint, other allegations of judicial misconduct in actual proceedings surfaced, which Green contends are related to the nasty divorce she was a party to.

Associate Hiring to Increase Soon, Law Firm Leaders Say

Law firm leaders expect more rain in the making for the rest of the year, according to a new survey.

Citi Private Bank announced the results from a poll of 157 law firms, largely from the top 200 law firms in the nation. They forecast more opportunities for new associates, also.

But optimism was statistically guarded, as only 51 percent of the respondents expressed confidence that the rest of the year will be considerably better. Other reports suggest the future is partly cloudy.

Law Schools Want Statement on GRE

Most law schools want the American Bar Association to say whether they should accept the graduate record exam in lieu of the law school admissions test.

According to a recent survey of 120 law schools, 61 percent of the respondents said the ABA should make a statement about the GRE. Traditionally, the bar association has approved only the LSAT.

"The ABA is the accrediting body of law schools," said one law school admissions officer in the telephone survey. "It would be helpful to get their sense of the GRE."

Law School Offers Degree in Government Contracting and Purchasing

The University of Dayton School of Law is offering a master's degree in government contracting and purchasing.

It is a rare offering because apparently only one other law school has comparable programs. George Washington School of Law awards degrees in government procurement and contracts, the ABA Journal reported.

For Dayton, a Catholic university, it is also a blessing for law school graduates who are struggling to find employment in a tough job market.

Can Moms Breastfeed During the Bar Exam?

Women have gained more accommodations to breastfeed in public, and now one state supreme court has ordered those accommodations at the bar exam.

The Montana Supreme Court has ordered bar administrators to accommodate breastfeeding mothers "in a manner consistent with public policy and law." The interim order is effective for the July exam, as the examiners' board considers public comments for a permanent order.

The new rules include 15-minute breaks every three hours for the mothers, but do not answer one question: where will their babies be during the exam?

North Carolina Law School Crowdfunds to Help Graduates Take the Bar Exam

When studying for the bar exam, sometimes you just don't have any gas left in the tank -- literally.

That's why one law school is raising money -- to help struggling students prepare for the big test. Campbell University's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law is doing it with crowdfunding.

"Through your generous contribution students are able to buy groceries, keep their bills up to date, or enable them to have enough gas in their car to get to the bar exam and a few job interviews," the crowdfunding page says.

Some Law Schools Using More Legal Tech Than Many Law Firms

According to recent reports, law schools are using legal tech more than many law firms.

In one survey, nearly 62 percent of the respondents said they are already using or intend to use new technologies in their classrooms. Meanwhile, another survey revealed a mere 7.5 percent of law firms are using tools like artificial intelligence.

While comparing the studies may be like comparing seeds to apples, together they say something about the future of legal tech in the profession.

California Bar Test-Takers May Get a Break

Christmas may come early for those preparing to take the California bar exam.

According to reports, the California Supreme Court may lower the passing score as early as September. Its decision could be retroactive to the exam set for July 25, 2017.

The court has been reviewing whether California's cut score is too high, and has taken over the issue from the Committee of Bar Examiners. In other words, Santa has a brand new bag.

Who Is Saul Bellow and Why Should Lawyers Care?

Saul Bellow is dead, but he still matters if you want to get a law job.

A prominent intellectual property firm recently screened applicants based on their essays about Bellow, a 20th Century author who won numerous prizes for his work. The firm posted a job for a lawyer and "a literary artisan," well-versed in the classics, with an essay assignment: Whether Saul Bellow deserved his 1976 Nobel Prize for Literature.

"If you are unfamiliar with Saul Bellow, this position may not be right for you," the ad said. Somebody got the job already, but here's why it matters to you:

For some reason, people are hard-wired to be unable to turn away from a garbage fire. And since it's no secret that lawyers hate legal dramas for their wild inaccuracies, for some reason, a good number of us just can't turn away. Our more experienced TV watching companions know to hover their finger over the pause button, lest our couch objections and grumblings about real life timelines would disrupt the predictably twisted plot line.

Nevertheless, just about every other lawyer out there watches every legal drama and TV series that gets released. Sometimes, some of these fall through the cracks though. For that reason, below, we've listed our top ten legal dramas to binge watch this summer.

How to Answer That Bar Exam Question You Didn't See Coming

There's this nightmare, where you are crossing a bridge and it suddenly runs out.

There you are, looking at the vast below and the bridge starts to crumble behind you. You have no place to go but down.

That's what it feels like when you face a question on the bar exam and you don't know the answer. Nothing prepared you for this. Now what do you do, besides panic?

Should You Draft Your Own Will?

If you drew last in a gunfight in the Old West, you might've had time to write out your last will and testament on a scrap of paper before you died.

And yep, pardner, you probably should -- write your own will, that is. Time's not like the undertaker; it waits for nobody.

But that was so two centuries ago. Today, you can write a will on a computer faster than you can load a six shooter. And if you've gone to law school, you likely consider yourself more than qualified to draft a simple will. Except, maybe you shouldn't draft your own.

Harvard Law School Honors Scalia With Endowed Professorship

Justice Antonin Scalia, who began his legal career aspiring to teach the law, will continue that path through the Antonin Scalia Professorship of Law at Harvard Law School.

The law school announced the endowed professorship, "which stands as both a testament to Justice Scalia's legacy on the Supreme Court and as a vote of confidence in a new generation of scholars," said former Harvard dean Martha Minow.

"Justice Scalia had a singular impact on statutory analysis and legal thought," Minow said. "He also had a great love of learning."

Prepping for the Bar Exam Performance Test: How to Beat the Clock

'Time's up.'

Like a death sentence, those words await everyone taking the bar exam. So when time expires, will you?

This article is about how to beat that relentless taskmaster -- the clock that winds down to the last minute of your bar exam life. Ladies and gentlemen, you may start now:

Tips for Starting a Blog in Law School

Writer's block.

Law students know it especially well -- that blank space that stares back at you when you're trying to write an essay. We would curse it, except that it changes nothing and all you get back is more blank space.

Here's a tip: start a blog. It's a great way to uncork writer's block and even launch a career.