Noon-Thirty News 07/14/10

Posted in News on July 14th, 2010 by bl1y

Breaking: Fruit Roll-Ups are Made of Sugar

Payton McClure, some random nutcase, is suing General Mills, claiming that Fruit Roll-Ups are unhealthy and that the advertisements for them are “false and misleading” because the products contain partially hydrogenated oil.

‘Nuff said.

Land of a Thousand Resumes
[Huffington Post]

After graduating from an unnamed “top tier” law school and working in the business for 23 years, Laurie-Ellen Shumaker has found herself laid off, and after sending over 1000 resumes, including applications for positions as a secretary or day care worker, she has failed to receive a single interview.

Interviews are like seeking unicorns. I’ve even gotten a status update on two different jobs saying I’m the best qualified, but then I never hear anything after that.

Shit like this makes you want to pair your lunch with a couple stiff drinks.  …Don’t mind if I do, actually.

Former Judge Lays Into Law Schools
[Bitter Lawyer]

A former judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has laid into the legal education industry:

I attended a top-25 law school (Boston University) and graduated in 1977. My third-year tuition was $7500, and most law jobs paid around $35-40000 per year at that time. BigLaw paid, if I recall, around $60000. Thirty years later, tuition is around $40000, roughly a 550% increase. BigLaw jobs now pay around $160000, a 250% increase, but most law jobs outside BigLaw, pay around $60000, a less than 75% increase.

Cold, hard numbers, and pretty hard to argue with.  Should be something good for law school administrators to plan a meeting contemplating the implementation of action steps refrigerator.

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Breaking: Black Woman Angry About Something

Posted in Dumb Ideas Girls Have on January 25th, 2010 by bl1y

As you may already be aware, The Deep End on ABC aired to almost universally bad reviews.  But, Natalie Holder-Winfield, a “diversity lawyer” (whatever that means, I think she just tells you to hire blacks to avoid law suits) has managed to complain about the one thing the show got right: diversity.

“While I can toss out most of the show’s antics as hyperbole — for starters, no partner would allow a first year associate to go within 20 feet of a client–the show is 100% correct when it comes to life at a firm for blacks and Latinos. For the most part, we do not exist.

Scenes like the one where Dylan, the first year associate who is described as a Boy Scout, is tapped for mentorship, help explain why associates of color only account for 15% of law firm associates. Rowdy Kaiser, a partner who drives a smoking Porsche, actually appoints himself as Dylan’s “secret mentor.” And, he lives up to his promise. Behind the scenes, he coaches Dylan and even helps him to navigate a difficult case where the firm would have lost a potential client if Dylan made one false move.

However, there are rarely secret mentors for associates of color. Many of the associates of color I interviewed for my book, Recruiting & Retaining a Diverse Workforce: New Rules for a New Generation were treated like outsiders. They were not invited to social functions with partners and they certainly were not tapped for secret mentoring. Yet, study after study shows the importance of mentoring in any profession.

Now, technically, the show has two black people: Susan Oppenheim (a named partner in the firm) and Malcolm Bennet (a first year associate).

Yet, when Susan is introduced to Malcolm, she literally closes the door in his face. She disregards him and is more concerned with the firm’s politics, i.e., how he was hired, rather than eying him as her secret mentee.

The white associates in the show were given so much access and support. While they commiserated about the same old things that annoy all associates, they could at least dream about a future at the firm. They were a part of the firm.”

I can’t say for sure that I follow Ms. Holder-Winfield’s complaint.  Is it that the show doesn’t have enough black people, or that real law firms don’t?  Well, she can’t just be complaining about firms not having enough black people, because she otherwise wouldn’t need to talk so much about the show.  So, I guess her complaint is that the show is too accurate in this regard.

What’s worse about her complaint, aside from being confusing, is that she acknowledges that there are indeed black people working at the firm.  So far the show has 9 main characters, 3 partners, 5 associates, and 1 paralegal.  Of those 9, one partner and one associate are black.  I’ll let you do some thinking about what percentage of the United States is black.  Blacks are 12.4% of the population, but 22% of the people working at the firm; 25% of the attorneys.  They’re overrepresented by a factor of 100%!  And Holder-Winfield is complaining about discrimination by the firm?  What a jackass.

Just to make Holder-Winfield’s comments even more ridiculous is that she completely misrepresents how the white characters are treated:

Dylan (white) is intentionally given a start date 10 days late to put him into a reputational hole that he’ll now have to dig his way out of.

Addy (white) is given assignments by two different partners that, due to time constraints, cannot both be complete.  She is shut down when trying to explain this and is berated when she finds a solution by getting help from a fellow associate.

Beth (white) is talked down to by her lawyer-father for not being aggressive enough to survive in the legal world, and is then passive-aggressively taunted by a client when she allows her convictions to collapse.

Doesn’t really seem like the whites were given as much access and support as Holder-Winfield imagines they are.  Not only that, but law firms aren’t as all-white as she imagines.  At my firm there were 7 starting corporate associates.  3 were white, 3 were hispanic, and 1 was some sort of ambiguous Near-East/Indian blend.  One of the 3 white people was a French national, and I think counts for some diversity points.

But I digress.  What’s really obnoxious about Holder-Winfield is that she thinks partners ought to select their mentees based on race.  She wanted Susan to mentor Malcolm simply because they’re both black.  At that point in the show, Addy has been working for Susan and just proven herself to be very intelligent and capable.  Susan selects her to second chair an important trial.  So, it looks like Susan has just chosen a mentor based on the content of her character, but Holder-Winfield wants Susan to throw that away and choose Malcolm based solely on the color of his skin.

Ms. Holder-Winfield, you are what is wrong with this country.  And, just to counteract how incredibly wrong you are, here’s something that’s incredibly right (though so very far from earning diversity points):


PS: Malcolm already has a partner in his corner.  One of the (white) partners goes against established firm hiring procedures to bring in a hand-selected associate.  I guess he technically doesn’t have a secret mentor, but isn’t a public mentor, going to bat for you on your very first day of work a whole lot better?

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You’ve Still Got a Friend in Jose Cuervo

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13th, 2010 by bl1y

Couple hilarious tweets from Tila Tequila have hit the gossip circle. Apparently poor little miss thang ain’t got no friends:

“Why do I tweet so much? Even BEFORE Casey passed away? BECAUSE I HAVE NO FRIENDS! THERE! THE TRUTH COMES OUT! Just pray 4 her please!”

“PPL say I need 2 get off twitter & grieve with friends & family…WHERE? I DONT HAVE ANY! Casey was my only family & my Dogs! Worst day ever,”

Maybe you’d have friends if you weren’t such an insufferable, self-obsessed annoying bitch who thinks the right way to find love is get a bunch of guidos and club rats to do stupid stunts to compete for the chance to make out with you on TV?


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Why Smart Women Really Have a Tough Time Dating

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10th, 2010 by bl1y

Dr. Alex Benzer, author of Tao of Dating and Other Wastes of Money has written a relatively uninsightful piece for the Huffington Post about why smart women have a tough time dating. While I don’t think he gets anything wrong, his piece is just pretty bland, uninteresting and superficial. Of course, you can’t expect to get the truth about dating published with the Huffington Post. So, as a supplement to “Dr.” Benzer’s piece, here are five more reasons smart women have trouble dating.

1. They Want to “Date Up.” Many women insist on “dating up” in two categories, education and income. They want a man who is at least as well educated as they are, and who makes more money than they do. Well, smart people tend to be well educated and make more money, so this narrows the fields down pretty quickly. And to worsen the problem, smart men will generally consider a wider range of education and professional backgrounds. Smart women restrict themselves to a smaller pool, but the men in that pool don’t feel obligated to stay in it, so we date women outside of it and there’s not a whole lot left in the pond.

2. They want to “Date Up.” Yeah, we’re still on this. Like I said, most women want to date up, but there’s another reason why this is particularly problematic for smart women. When smart women look for someone as educated as they are and who makes better money, they come across as much more superficial than other women. For the most part, they look at only doctors, lawyers and bankers, and when that’s your pool of potential mates, you look like a gold digging bitch. It might not be the case, but that’s how you’ll come across.

3. They come across as insecure about their smarts. Many smart women are in jobs that are, or traditionally have been, dominated by men. Whether real or imagined, they often feel a need to prove themselves, which includes proving how smart they are. As they say, a rich man doesn’t need to tell you that he’s rich. Same goes for smarts. If you’re intelligent, it will come through naturally. Making an effort to show how smart you are shows you’re insecure about your intelligence; you don’t trust it to show on its own. Not only is insecurity unattractive, but you’ll come across as a try hard and frankly, not that smart.

4. They’re not actually smart, they’re just educated. Going to an Ivy League school does not necessarily mean you’re smart. You can memorize facts and definitions and kill the SATs and even graduate with great grades from a top school but still be dumb as bricks when it comes to things like adapting to a new technology or figuring out that the guy with a wife and a mistress isn’t interested in you.

Education is just a paper in a frame and a line on a resume. Being smart is about observation, analysis, adaptation and innovation. If you were actually smart, you wouldn’t need a psuedo-doctor to tell you what you’re doing wrong. You’d have already figured it out and fixed it.

5. They have a rod up their ass. Benzer gets it right that many smart women don’t play up their feminine side, but ignores the darker part of this. They often are incredibly obsessive about finding men who want them for their intelligence. On the other hand, men don’t really care why a woman is attracted to us (unless it’s for money); we just want a woman who is genuinely attracted to us. The why doesn’t matter.

What makes this one particularly bad is that intelligence on its own is not really that attractive. If your intelligence makes you more able to hold an interesting conversation, or enjoy the nerdy things we like, or suggest a book we’ll love, then it makes you more attractive. But, intelligence can also make you a mindless drone. It’s not raw intelligence but how you apply that matters.

Wondering why there’s a picture of Amanda Bynes in this post? She’s definitely not the model of feminine intelligence. Nope, just a gratuitous hottie. You’re welcome.

PS: If you think of Dr. Benzer as a real doctor, you’re not that smart. He’s a freaking hypnotherapist and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner…meaning he’s just a super-cheesey wannabe pickup artist who calls himself a doctor.

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