Noon-Thirty News 08/03/10

Posted in News on August 3rd, 2010 by bl1y

Bike Stealing Burglar Sues Victim

[St. Petersburg Times]

For those of you suffering Bar Exam Withdrawal:

One October day in 2007, a homeless man broke into a car and stole a bike. He didn’t get very far. Within minutes, that man, Michael Dupree, was caught trying to sell the bike down the street.

[...] Anthony McKoy and the other men jumped him, pointed a gun at him, placed a knee painfully on his spine and handcuffed him. Dupree claims in his suit, which he filed without a lawyer, that the take-down “resulted in permanent disabilities and psychological disorders which the Plaintiff continues to suffer.”

Discuss.

100% Offer Rates, 0% Reliable Good News

[Above the Law]

ATL is reporting that 5 big law firms have given 100% offer rates to their summer classes.  Sounds like good news, but I wouldn’t be jumping up and down just yet.

First, the 5 firms represent only a total of 150 offers, with most of them coming from a single firm, Ropes and Gray, which gave 82 offers.  It’s really no surprise that offer rates are so high; law firms scaled back their summer programs in anticipation of not having many spots available.  All this means is that firms believe they have scaled back to the right amount, or possibly less than what they need.

But, the bigger reason to not break out the bubbly just yet is remembering what happened the last time law firms gave out offers in the 90-100% range.  They ended up rescinding offers, deferring incoming associates, and laying people off in their first year.  Law firm managers are not particularly great at predicting economic trends, and there’s little reason to think optimistic law firm hiring will really mean there’s more legal work on the horizon.  Douple dip recession and those 100% offer rates will mean bubkes.

FBI vs. Wikipedia

[New York Times]

The FBI sent a letter to Wikipedia demanding that it take down the image of the FBI logo that appears on the FBI wiki entry.  The FBI cited a law that prohibits the use of the the seal, but Wikipedia contends that the law is aimed only at preventing people from committing fraud or impersonating an FBI officer.  The use of the image on the Wikipedia article is clearly not intended to make it look like the page is endorsed by the FBI or an official FBI website.

The New York times agrees, displaying the image alongside their coverage of the story, and I think they’re right.  If you’re bored, feel free to discuss whether the FBI could bring a copyright infringement suit for use of the official government logo.

You Know When It’s Steal

[St. Louis Today via Dumb as a Blog]

Robbing a fast food restaurant through the drive-thru seems like a pretty decent plan, as far as robberies go.  You’re already in the get away vehicle.

But, calling back to complain about your measly haul ($586) is pretty dumb.  Especially when you call to complain twice.  The article didn’t specify if the man was caught (and no name appears, so he probably wasn’t), but hasn’t this guy ever heard of caller ID?  Even if he used a payphone or other untraceable number, do you really want to make sure the employees know exactly what your voice sounds like?  Take your $586, buy yourself 2930 cripsy chicken nuggets, and call it a day.

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Reason Not to Go to Law School #8

Posted in Reasons Not to Go to Law School on January 11th, 2010 by bl1y

There’s too many God damn law students.

The New York Times has reported that since The Economy Happened there has been a 20% increase in LSAT takers. Naturally, this is leading to an increase in students applying to law school (some schools have reported more than a 50% increase in applications).

On the other end, law schools are not rapidly expanding their lecture halls and hiring new professors. Nope, the available seats in good law schools is going to remain pretty much the same. So, getting into a decent law school is going to be a lot harder, and you can expect your future class mates to be even more competitive and douchebaggy.

Just to make things worse, third and fourth tier diploma mills have been cropping up all over the place thanks to the ABA practically endorsing degrees not worth the Kinkos paper they’re printed on. And unlike the good schools, they will be more than happy to widen their doors to take in more suckers. So, if you go to a mid-ranked school, when you graduate you’re going to have a huge number of kids from crappy schools competing for the same jobs.

Now, you might be thinking students at shit schools won’t hurt your job prospects, but some 30,000 students graduate from TTTs every year, and the numbers are going up. A 20% increase in those students, means another 6000 hungry lawyers in the job market. If you only have to compete with the top 5-10% from those schools (and you probably will), that’s 300-600 fewer job opportunities for you.

If you happen to be one of those TTT students…I’d feel sorry for you, but I don’t feel sorry for dumbasses who should have known better than to go to such a shitty school in the first place. However, I will offer you a gratuitous hottie as a consolation prize.

And look, she’s upside down! It’s practically a metaphor for how the rest of your life will turn out if you decide to go to law school.

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Reason Not to Go to Law School #6

Posted in Reasons Not to Go to Law School on January 11th, 2010 by bl1y

Ethics.

There are three different systems of ethics in the world:

Six year old ethics: Little kids have very good instincts about what is fair and what is not. Sometimes they just need a little more information about what effects different choices will have, but they’re generally good gauges of what’s right and what’s wrong.

“Ethics:” Then there’s ethics as in “ethics.” This is the manipulation of rules to come up with the most convoluted way to rationalize their actions. If you explain it to a six year old and they give you a cross look, it’s probably not ethics, it’s “ethics.”

Lawyer ethics: Some people will confuse this with “ethics” in that it’s entirely convoluted, but instead of trying to find some weird theory to justify their actions, lawyers just create needlessly complex, stupid ethical rules. I assume law students start school with the normal six year old ethical sense most of us share. But, somewhere along the line their heads get full of weird legal rules and they lose sight of basic ethical principles. While sometimes they are trying to cheat and steal and relying on “ethics,” most of the time they’re just so far removed from basic humanity that they couldn’t find a coherent ethical principle with two hands and Hammurabi.

Case in point: David Lat (of AbovetheLaw.com fame) went to a hotel, ate a packet of Oreos from the hotel mini bar. He then replaced the packet with an identical one bought from a local store to avoid the crazy hotel charge. He submitted this scenario to Randy Cohen’s New York Times column The Ethicist, who promptly told him he was in the wrong.

Here’s what one commenter said, as reported on Above the Law:

“In a way, it’s somewhat analogous to the crime of theft (as tested on bar exams): once you take something that doesn’t belong to you with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of possession, the crime is complete. You can later change your mind and return it, but the crime remains.”

While this is a fair representation of the fictitious (yet representative) multi-state crime of theft as test on the bar exam, it’s also a fair representation of what’s wrong with law student (and lawyer) ethics. The analogy is simply irrelevant. Here’s the entire relevant inquiry regarding Lat’s dilemma:

Q: Was anyone, in the least bit, harmed by your action?

A: No.

END OF DISCUSSION.

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