Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And Now Back to Our Reguarly Scheduled Programming (Or, Out of Moot Court Hell . . . for Now)

For Moot Court quarter-finalists, today was the day to turn our briefs. 7900 words of arguments and all the trimmings. Since I have been fairly negligent in my blogging duties the past couple days (in addition to going two weeks with out bahting and gaining 20 pounds - you're welcome, all), I thought I'd present for your consideration (in lieu of a "real" post) an exchange from the Library CPU Lab, where only one of the printers was working, as I was frantically trying to print out the requisite eight copies of my team's brief before the 5.00 PM deadline.
Rule 12(f): [prints off 1 copy of 40+ page brief]

Disgruntled student, possibly a 1L: Is this all yours? I'm waiting to print something -

Rule 12(f): Yep, all mine!

Disgruntled student, possibly a 1L: [sigh]

Rule 12(f): Man, if you're upset now, wait until you see what happens next . . .

Rule 12(f): [prints off 7 more copies of 40+ page brief]
Previously:
Moot Court, The Honor Code, and Above the Law
Moar Work Plz

Monday, September 28, 2009

On a Strange Personal Note . . . Foxfields!

Foxfields was super-fun this year! Although we have to say that ingesting lots of alcohol and fried food on a sunny, dehydrating day, and then fasting for 24 hours is not ideal . . . in fact, it's terrible. When this is over, we're gonna make a big donation to the UNWFP . .


Can Kan Jam - great game or greatest game?

Unfortunately, this girl was better at it than I was.

Even more unfortunately, some townie threw the frisbee underneath this dumpster. We were unable to move it . . .

. . . probably because all of our strength was drained from arm-wrestling

USA! USA! USA!

I guess there was a horse race going on too, we didn't notice. Hat tip to Aquilia for the photographs.

Is Clerkship Hiring Really *That* Bad?

All signs point to yes. There's an interesting thread at the Volokh Conspiracy where current clerks are discussing the applications that they have received. Consensus: it's not a good year to be applying for clerkships.
As a clerk for a federal judge, and the first one in our chambers to sort through and catalog the applications, I've noticed that we've received literally double the number of applications received two or three years ago. (In fact, I might be looking at your application right now, Mr(s). hopeful applicant.) The same is true for most of the other chambers. Moreover, the number of "top-tier" and "bottom-tier" applicants have both increased, as has the number of applications with firm experience.
And
It's brutal. From what I understand, 2/3 of the judges in one of the more prestigious appellate circuits had already completed their hiring by the time the official hiring plan started. I'm at a top school and one of the top students here - law review, externships, etc. - didn't even get an interview there. I lined up mine this summer (so I suppose I was part of the problem, from the perspective of those conforming to the rules) hiring plan be damned.
And
Current COA clerk in a "flyover" but nonetheless desirable circuit. The credentials of the people who interviewed this year (and those who we ultimately hired) were nothing short of absurd. Other than applicants from HYS, we didnt interview anyone who wasn't top 3-4% at a T14. Several had secondary degrees as well (MAs, PHDs, etc). I was top 10% or so at a lower-end T10 with journal managing board, moot court, strong summer work experience, and a previous D.Ct. clerkship, and I am certain I wouldn't have even been interviewed this year. What a difference a year makes.
Of course, as one of the above comments suggests, a lot of this is because so many alumni have been applying - using their "experience" to snap up opportunities that would have otherwise gone to graduating law students (i.e. current 3Ls). And, let's not forget all those folks that were unscrupulous smart enough to apply early.

Not news, really, for anyone who has been listening. The top students in our class are struggling to get clerkship interviews, let alone actual clerkship interviews. The lucky ones have their 2L summer position to fall back on . . .

How's it going for you, fellow Class of 2010'ers? Feel free to sound off - anonymously if you wish - in the comments.

Related:
Volokh Open Thread for Current Judicial Clerks

Previous:
Getting Your Clerkship Before Labour Day: It's Not Just for Graduates Anymore

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's the Deal With This "New" Paper Deadline?

This isn't new news, but it was reiterated in an electronic mail sent to students earlier this morning.
Paper Deadline: All fall papers are due no later than 5:00 p.m. Thursday, December 17, unless the instructor/supervisor imposes and an earlier deadline. One-time exception: Spring/fall 2009 yearlong independent research papers are due no later than 5:00 p.m. January 18, 2010. Students who submit late papers will receive F grades. If requested in advance, deadline extensions can be granted with good cause. See section V., pages 27-28, of the online Academic Policies for details.

Man, what? For those who are unaware, students were often (but not always) allowed all of winter break to finish their papers. The putative rationale: it's unfair to require a student to write a 30-40 page paper, which is ostensibly supposed to be something approaching publishable quality, while they're trying to study for three or even four other exams. (Here's something I have found to be incontrovertible: you *will* spend more time writing that 30-40 page paper for three credits than you will studying for that three credit exam).

We took a class last year where the Professor required the paper to be due at the end of the finals period. Yea, it was nice to get it done . . . but it was an unpleasant two weeks (and our performance on finals suffered).

So what's the point of this new regulation? Is it to help Professors return grades more quickly? Or just a clever scheme to help students multitask better. Anyway, students take heed, if you're at all concerned about this, the best thing to do is to put of your paper until you are a 3L, when those pesky things like "exams" and "grades" won't mean much anymore.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our NYC Apartment Search is Really Taking Off

As many of you know, we will be in New York City next year. As many of you also know, the New York City rental market is . . . an interesting one. Last summer we got a great deal in the Upper West Side, except that somethings turned out to be not what we expected (e.g., the LL made us do chores to avoid having part of our security deposit withheld). Anyway, this deal - $1k in SoHo - seems to good to pass up:

$1000 1 BR in 3 BR ASAP! @@LOOK@@ (SoHo)


Date: 2009-09-22, 6:59PM EDT
Reply to: hous-zneuf-1387578642@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]


No credit cheak, no broker fee! Rent straight from me!

This apartment is located in SoHo in a 100+ year old building. The building is falling apart and may get condemned any day now, but eyyy, it is rent subsidized by the NYC government.

I pay about $450 per month for the apartment because it is rent subsidized, and make money off my roommates by subletting their rooms to them for $1k each. You don’t like it? I don’t care. Because I’m not really supposed to be doing this and it is against my lease agreement, you’ll need to pay me everything in cash. No checks, etc. Also, no mail to the apartment.

We have a washer and dryer in the place, but sometimes it eats your clothes. Oh, and I'll use your detergent sometimes. Try and hide it in your room? I'll find it! But hey, you can use my cheap brand when I get around to buying some.

To move in it is first month’s rent and a one month deposit. So, $2k total. We’ll split the utilities and cable three ways. I always leave the lights, TVs and AC units on when I'm asleep and/or out of the apartment. But, hey, it is split 3 ways so I don't care. Sometimes I forget to pay for a few months, but I want the money from you each month anyway. If the cable or power gets cut off, I may need for you to charge it to your credit card and I’ll take it out of your next month’s rent. Eyy, I can live with no cable and electric, but you can’t. Right?
Read more.

Monday, September 21, 2009

OPEN THREAD: How's It Going Out There? (Revisted)

With OGI Part Deux beginning this week, and many people done with their callbacks from round I, it's time to check in:

Please use the comments section to discuss below - anonymously if you wish. Please also indicate what, if anything, you'd like to see improved or changed about our OGI coverage.

Our apologies for such a quick post and the general lack of posting - we're currently in moot court hell, and won't ascend for another two weeks - - but hey, if you're going Weds. night, you just might have us as a judge. Is there any rule against live-blogging the proceedings?

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Honor Code, Lile Moot Court, and Above the Law

Life is funny sometimes - I got up early to work on my Moot Court packet this morning, and what do you know - Above The Law is running a story about . . . UVA Moot Court.

The thrust: some 2L(s?) are upset that the Moot Court Board making people who withdraw from the contest contact their (prospective - and I guess for some ITE very prospective) employers saying that - well - they withdrew from moot court, and if they don't do so .... well then the moot court people just might contact the employers for them!

Here's our multi-point response:

1. The first round of Lile Moot Court is not hard. In fact, it's pretty simple to turn something in to say that you did the competition; we wrote our first round brief on the Acela: it's a closed universe problem with a very low word limit - you're not looking to knock it out of the park here, just to do your best in what is a very busy time for 2Ls (callbacks, cite checks, etc.). For all the lengths that Above the Law goes to make the the Moot Court board's position seem absurd/obnoxious, it's at least worth mentioning that it's also pretty absurd to not spend 2-4 hours grinding out a short brief.

2. The Moot Court board's position is reasonable. If you put on your resume that you were doing moot court and didn't actually . . . you know, do it, then you should be required to fix that error. It's fine, I think (see below), but I don't think it's at all absurd to suggest that people who claim they are doing moot court - - - actually do moot court. Some employers actually do care about moot court (the CW being that they like to see Moot Court or a journal, although obviously doing both helps!), and we think it's unfair that students claim that credential when they don't deserve to do so.

As an aside, we know the board is "cracking down" on people who turn things in super late or super incomeplete more this year than they have in year's past, but as we are unaware of the exact specifics, I think that is fine too.

3. This is not to say that Above the Law doesn't have a point, either, though some of the arguments are off-base. I'll go through them one-by-one:
* How the hell did UVA Law not win the douche competition?

Hrmm, that's an interesting question - I'm sure the members of the moot court board, who are all listed in the site linked to in the article, whose names were linked/posted in the comments, and can be found easily, enjoy being singled out as "douches", though. Certainly, it's important to link serious and legitimate concerns about a questionable policy with ad hominem attacks combined with stereotypes about the Law School that single out the people who follow and attempt to enforce this (long-standing) rule.

* This letter reeks of no offered 3Ls who are trying to find an excuse for why their sterling resumes — replete with moot court credentials — didn’t make the cut.
The policy is a long-standing one; that the board threatened to actually contact employers may or may not be a new, but we can say with absolute certainty that the current moot court board did not invent the rule at issue.

Of course, speculating about their employment credentials is highly germane. But since we're already doing so: for our part, we have enough faith in humanity and our classmates to believe that you wouldn't go out of your way to hurt someone's job prospects just because you're unhappy with your own. But then again, our moral compass may be screwed up, going to a "douchey" law school and all.

* Do they really expect 2Ls to call up perhaps a double digit number of firms and say “hi, can I send a new resume? My old one was correct at the time, but my circumstances have changed in a minor way and now I’m afraid jackasses I go to school with will use this to sabotage my application.” The horse is out of the barn and galloping away on this one.

Is there any need to actually call - why not use email? Here's a simple method, which I think should satisfy everyone involved:

(1) Write your current / perspective employer saying that you have an updated resume;
(2) Attach a copy of your resume with moot court taken off and whatever else changed;
(3) ???;
(4) profit.
It seems like step (1) could be done with a mass email to all of the firms at which you still have applications pending. Subject: "Rule 12(f) Updated Resume, September 2009". It'd probably take about 15 minutes.
* Where in God’s name does the Lile Moot Court Board get the idea to become the resume police? Isn’t that the job of employers, not wanna-be employees?

I agree with this. As I said before, I believe that the policy is a good one, but part of the honor code means that the students are supposed to abide by it. If it's not enough to say "don't put moot court on your resume unless you actually did it," then it's not enough, and our beloved (or "douchey", depending on your views) system of an honor code is for naught. But I think - in light of some anectodal evidence and gut instinct - that most people do follow the policy. We know some people who did, voluntarily, contact their employers for not dropping moot court (or their journal for that matter). Again, it wasn't really a big deal . . . We also know people who didn't put moot court on their resume to avoid this problem, but ended up doing it anyway (again - the first round is not that bad!!)

So, to side with ATL on this one: I think that was a silly thing to say or even threaten, the honor code means that you don't treat people like babies, and that you don't threaten to do check up on someone's compliance with the honor code. (For those who don't know, this is the same reason that we are allowed to take unproctored exams, sometimes where-ever we want: the school doesn't monitor our compliance there, and moot court shouldn't here).

* Did the Lile Moot Court Board think, for a second, about the consequences of looking like mean spirited asshats in front of the entire UVA Law community?

As of today, this sentence should read "Did the Lile Moot Court Board think, for a second, about the consequences of looking like mean spirited asshats in front of the entire legal community?" Did the Above the Law editorial board consider that it looks somewhat mean-spirited itself by linking to a website with these guys' names on it and calling implying that they are douches?

Seriously guys, I know the job market is tough and competitive. But threatening your fellow students is just not the right way to go. People who put moot court on their resumes without actually participating in the competition will look really silly if an interviewer ever asks them a question about it. That is the “spot check.”
See above, although it's worth pointing out that for pre-screening purpose (a second round of OGIs starts next week), the interviewers won't have an oppotunity to do what ATL is suggesting in deciding who gets an interview.

4. Disclaimer: I am in Moot Court. And hey, I kind of like it. Well, OK, not really...

And yes, we are sorry about the typos.

Related:
UVA 3Ls Threaten to Eat Their Young [Above the Law]

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is There a New UVA Law Blog on the Prowl?

FFJ came across this gem: t14blog.com. As you may have guessed from the title, it's a group of students - all 1Ls - at four top 14 Law Schools. All, as near as I can tell, are anonymous (but for how long? - we believe that you should stand by what you write, but that's another story . . .), and all of them seem to be very chipper about the prospect of law school so far. The four schools represented are Columbia, Chicago, Cornell (whose blogger uses the pseudonym "Ivy Life"; I'll let you all have fun with that one), and of course, Virginia ("Southerly Wind"). From Southerly Wind's most recent entry:
One important development has been the fact that I actually am really liking legal research. I had no idea how different it would be from all of the research I’d done for projects in the past – I assumed it would involve looking up cases, but the immense organizational structure that has been produced for the purpose of conducting legal research is staggering. And I’m not going to lie, I had a blast running around the library trying to find the right cases and statutes for our first memo. Even the process of writing the memo was refreshing compared to the more open ended projects I was used to in college. I’ll admit it – at least at this stage in the game, I kind of enjoy legal research and writing, whatever that says about me personally.
Oh boy. You had a blast running around the library (with your entire LRW class) looking up obscure reporters? Wait until you have your major memo . . .

There's also this:
If there’s a ‘this economy’ cloud hanging over the school it has yet to touch the 1Ls. And the weekly keg was flowing today, softball is starting soon, and life is in general looking good – so far. We’ll see what week 2 brings

That is more than can be said for the second- and third-years, at least by our watch. Other than that, we welcome this "Southerly Wind" to the UVA Law blog community. When I leave this place to go coach high school football in upstate New York, you may get to be top dawg...money in the bank my friend, money in the bank (kidding).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

LIVEBLOG: When OGI Fails, Then What?

Editor's Note: We're here at the Career Services talk titled "Post OGI Strategy Session" . . . since it's the day before Moot Court briefs are due (eep!). For convenience, we divided the short talk into several categories.

Network Network Network

Donovan: "We didn't mean to schedule this at the same time as Moot Court . . . feel free to come talk to us to schedule an individual OGI-search plan.

Don't get down if you have not gotten a significant yield from OGI; you are not alone.

First, take note of the resume collections on Symplicity. People have gotten jobs from these in the past, and we think it is a higher yield than just sending out letters.

Second, there's networking. . ."

Lawson: "Networking is sort of a buzzword - you want to meet as many attorneys in the geographic market that you're looking as you can."

Check the alumni listing on LawWeb - contact these people and see if you can schedule an informal, informational interview. Try to make connections where you might not otherwise have one; these people are more than willing to help.

Donovan: "The more information you can give these folks up front, the better . . . these people are more like your allies than people you are applying for a job."

"You have to have a little bit of a thick skin; some of these people are extraordinarily busy, and you might not get a response right away."

The idea is to get advice from older lawyers - and "this is an important piece, at least good or probably better than sending out a hundred letters or cold calling."

The Post OGI Mass-Mail

Donovan: Focus on smaller firms, broader geographically. The best way is through email with an attached cover letter in .pdf and resume in .pdf.

"For the firms you feel like are target firms, don't do a mail merge . . . my sense is . . . you should try to personalize those firms."

Lawson: "If you already have plans for fall break, and you're going to be where the firm is - mention that in your cover letter . . . make it as easy as you can to be the most accessible again.

Holding Pattern:

Donovan: If you're in a holding pattern - it's a good idea to reach out, and say that you're still interested.

September OGI

Donovan: Not that many interviewers, and only four with open slots - but if you're interested in the firm "I would make a special request, it shows the employer you are interested."

Lawson: "Remember that this summer is not necessarily where you want to end up . . . you'll have more opportunities after graduation.

Donovan: There is a lot of ways that this could go - the economy seems on the uptick "and there could be major 3L hiring next year" as a result.

"We are following up with the employers that canceled at OGI, and will let you know which of them will be interviewing in the spring."

Encourages scheduling a meeting - can help you 1 on 1.

And that's it folks - good luck (with jobs and with moot court)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sean Merriman Might Have A Defense

Tila Tequila - who has the world's most popular MySpace page (remember MySpace? We don't), among other things is accusing San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman of battery and false imprisonment after Merriman physically prevented Tequila from leaving his house the other week. (PROTIP: If Shawne Merriman does not want you to go anywhere, you are not going anywhere). Merriman says he held back Tia because he was afraid that she was going to be drunk driving.

An article on Slate.com gives some heads-up legal analysis:
It's . . . legal to detain someone if you believe he's going to harm himself or others. If Merriman can prove that he was concerned Tequila would get behind the wheel while drunk, he might have a case. The method of restraint, however, has to be "reasonable." Taking away someone's keys and locking the car doors is reasonable; punching and choking someone, as Tequila alleges Merriman did, is not. Who determines what's "reasonable" behavior? If the answer is obvious, a judge makes the call; otherwise, a jury does.
It's an interesting read for those of you who, you know, care about the law and all. Do we really think a jury in Southern Cal. is going to convict Merriman of anything but being a solid force in the backfield? He should show this for his closing argument:

EDIT: Yes I know that Merriman will not be charged; it's just 'fun' to think about.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This Would Be Kind of Funny . . . Kind of Cruel, But Kind of Funny

Sometime in the next 5-6 hours: 
  1. Identify your "friends" on LR or otherwise applying for federal clerkships.
  2. Get their phone numbers
  3. Dial *67 + their phone number.
  4. Let it go to voicemail, then say you're a prestigious judge and leave a cryptic message that you would like them to fly to [some far out location] right away for an interview for next Wednesday. (Best to add something like "But Thursday morning is too late.")
  5. ???
  6. Profit. 
Your friends will love you for it.  Unless they actually believe you, that is. 

Previous:

Related:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

IM Softball Gets Rough

Boys and Girls - you may wish to think twice about where you park Dad's Honda Civic when you come down to the Park to lay the hurt on some unsuspecting undergrads (or other law students, as happens from time to time). This email was sent to the IM-team captains:
Hi all,

Within the last few nights there have been a series of thefts at The Park during Intramural events. In at least two cases, windows were broken out of vehicles and valuables inside were taken.

The UVa Police run frequent patrols in the area, and ask that while you should not approach a suspicious individual, you report any suspicious activity to the police immediately.

In addition, you may consider removing valuable items from your vehicle before coming to your game, or walking/riding the bus.

Please let me know if you have any questions,

Erik Jaeke

Assistant Director of Intramural Sports
University of Virginia

P Please consider the environment before printing this email
We're going to borrow an IM bat and wait in the parking lot; if we see something we'll go all bear-Jew on the perp. J/K, but seriously, don't break into our car (or bike, in my case).

CALLBACKS STICKY

You know how it works - post the firm, location, and status (callback offered / denied). We'll keep this thread at the top, and update it continuously. Thanks, and good luck. (EDIT: We make no guarantees about the accuracy of these reports, as we rely heavily on anonymous, unverifiable reporting. And also remember, just because a firm has *started* offering call backs doesn't mean that they have finished . . .)

If you get a callback, you'll be leaving CHO on one of these. Wooo.

Employers Who Have Extended Callbacks:

Akin Gump (DC)
Arnall Golden Gregory
Arnold & Porter (DC)
Baker Botts (Houston, Austin)
Baker Hostettler (Cleveland, Houston, DC)
Baker & McKenzie (NYC, DC)
Bernstein Shur
Bingham McCutchen (DC, Boston)
Boies Schiller (NY, DC)
Bracewell & Giuliani (NYC, Houston)
Buckly Sandler
Cadwalader (NY, DC)
Carington Coleman (Dallas)
Chardborne (DC)
Clifford Chance (DC)
Cooley Godward (DC, VA)
Covington & Burling (DC,NY)
Cozen O'Connor
Crowell & Morning (DC)
Cozen O'Connor (Philadelphia)
Davis, Polk & Wardwell (NY)
Debevoise & Plimpton (NY)
Dechert (DC)
Dewey & LeBouff (NYC)
Dickstein Shapiro (DC)
Freshfields (United Kingdom)
Finnegan
Foaley Hoag (Boston)
Foley & Lardner
Fenwick & West
Fried Frank (DC)
Frost Brown Todd
Fulbright & Jaworski (DC, NYC)
Gilbert
Goodwin Procter (DC, Palo Alto)
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (DC)
Haynes & Boone (Houston)
Hirschler Fleischer (Richmond)
Hogan & Hartson (McLean, DC)
Holland & Knight (Chicago)
Howrey (Chicago, DC)
Hughes Hubbard
Hunton & Williams (Richmond)
Jackson Walker (Austin, Houston)
Jenner & Block (Chicago)
Jones Day (DC, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta)
Kasowitz (NYC)
Kattin Muchin (Chicago)
Knobb (San Diego)
Keller Heckman
Kelley Drye (DC)
Kilpatrick Stockton (Atlanta)
King & Spalding (DC, Atlanta)
Kirkland (Chicago)
K&L Gates (Seattle)
Latham & Watkins (NY, LA)
LeClair Ryan
Linklaters (UK)
McDermott (DC)
McGuire Woods (Richmond)
Miles & Stockbridge
Morris Nichols
Morrison Forrester (VA, SF)
Nelson Mullins (DC)
Nixon Peabody
OMM (DC)
Patton Boggs (DC)
Paul, Weiss (DC)
Paul Hastings (San Diego, Chicago)'
Pillsbury Winthrop (DC, NYC)
Potter Anderson
Proskauer Rose (NYC)
Reed Smith (DC, Chicago)
Robins Kaplan (Minneapolis)
Ropes & Gray
Scott & Hardin (Chicago)
Schiff Hardin (Chicago)
Shearman & Sterling (NYC)
Simpson Thacher (DC, NY)
Skadden Arps (DC, NY, Chicago)
Steptoe & Johnson (DC)
Sullivan & Cromwell (DC, NY)
Sutherland (Atlanta)
Troutman Sanders (Atlanta)
Vinson & Elkins (DC, Houston, Austin)
Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease (Cleveland)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (NY, DC)
White & Case (DC, NY)
Wildman Harold (Chicago)
Wiley Rein (DC)
Wilkie Farr (DC, NYC)
Williams & Connolly (DC)
WilmerHale (Boston, DC)
Wilson Sonsini (Palo Alto)
Winston Strawn (Chicago, DC)
Withers Begman (CT)
Wyche, Burgess (South Carolina)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tuition Go Up, Comp Go Down

Apology in advance: some fairly depressing musings follow.

So, alright - all the buzz on UVA Law Blog has been about how tuition has been going up. There's not much we or anyone else can do about that - short of reigning in unnecessary costs, of course. Usually, we let others - like our friends at Above the Law - discuss the other piece of the puzzle: rise - and now fall - of salaries.

This is, of course, is no small matter. After all, if salaries at large firms (that presumably pay the market salary in their given region) - where most UVA students work according to the most recently reported Career Services data* - continue to increase, then increase in tuition don't seem so bad.

By way of explanation, tuition at UVA rose by around 9% annually from 2003 to 2008. But this doesn't seem that bad considering the starting salaries at large law firms in major markets rose almost 10 % from $145k to $160k (plus large bonuses). [Depression alert! The link takes you to an NYT article on burgeoning lawyer's salaries].

But now pay is decreasing - many firms in major markets have already cut salaries from 160k down to 145k. And one consultant thinks that it should go even lower, according to an ABA Journal article:
Some big law firms are cutting annual pay for new associates from $160,000 to $145,000, but the cuts need to go deeper, according to a law firm consultant. 
Writing at Cotterman on Compensation, one of the consulting firm’s principals, Jim Cotterman, says pay is still out of line, and it should drop to $125,000 or even $100,000.
Lawyer compensation will take a hit in other areas too, Cotterman predicts. He says signing bonuses are likely to be cut, benefits reduced and bonuses made more difficult to attain. 
The impetus for the changes will be client demands, he says. “Services will be competitively bid, outsourced, offshored, converged, internalized, re-engineered, and even forgone." Add alternative fee arrangements into the mix, he says, which transfer risk to law firms. "All of this will bring the major line item in any law firm—the cost of people—under assault. This will affect total employment, wage scales and job expectations.”
Lovely.

Anyway, we're not complaining - because there's no one really to complain to about things that are simple market forces; rather we're just pointing out that if there was any enmity about lawyers making "too much money," this might dampen it somewhat, as even those associates who start out at the top are going to make less - quite possibly significantly less if the consultant quoted above has his way - than they were before.

Bear in mind that if you have the full-complement of loans, your monthly payment will be around $1,800/month or $26,100/year (check this website) and your take home pay would be around 97k after taxes (that's for NYC, other states / cities would be better). So after loan payements, you have around 70k left. That's based on a 160k salary - pretty nice, when all is said and done.

But if the salary goes down to 100k, the take home is around $62.5k, according to this website. Less the loans, you're looking at $36.4k - a pretty big decrease.

That said, 100k for those lucky enough to get it is still a lot of money - even with student loan payments - in a country where the median income for a family of four hovers around 50k. Of course, a lot of emphasis

If anything this should serve as a warning to those considering law that the profit margin (the ratio of costs to benefits in this case) has diminished, and may continue to diminish even more sharply. And, of course, another argument against raising tuition again!

* Ed. note: Most of this data focuses on the class of 2008, and some of it - include the metrics for 1L job statistics, still focuses on 2007.

Related:
Big Law Associate Pay Should be Cut to 125k, or Even 100k, Consultant Says

Previous:
This Post Brought to You By Higher Tuition

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Alea Iacta Est

Clerkship apps go LIVE today! Unless you're one of those people we've been "whining" about who already has a clerkship, of course. Good luck everyone; we hear clerking is just like being in law school minus the kegs, softball, feb club, and foxfields . . .

And, no, we are not applying for clerkships. We originally suicide-rushed a few judges, but gave up when we realized it required substantive knowledge of the law. Plus, the Feds don't seem don't seem to consider advice on gunning to be a serviceable writing sample.

Related:
Law Clerk Addict 2010-11 Edition [Law Clerk Addict]
Federal Judges Law Clerk Hiring [Market Design]
Clerkship Application Open Thread [Above The Law]
Straight Gunning: More Important ITE Than Ever Before [Law Weekly]

Fixing the US, Sans Morality (Part II)

Editor's Note: I pretty much disagree with all of this. Also, Buck v. Bell has been overruled... - Rule 12(f).

Last time, I looked at ways for the government to stimulate the economy, ala Cash for Clunkers. As promised, here’s a couple ways for the government to make some money.

1. Legalize Drugs

The War on Drugs costs the American tax payer billions every year. Think of all the expenses – law enforcement and border patrol, prosecutors and court costs, and prison expenses. Legalize drugs and all those expenses go away, plus federal and state governments can tax the hell out of weed, cocaine, or your other favorite recreational past-time. The only downside is that The Wire would seem stupid - “Omar Jaywalks”. Oh, and meth should still be illegal, that s*** is scary.

2. State Prostitutes

Before you get all moralistic on me, state governments already do this in the form of lottery tickets and PowerBall. We promote and sponsor vice in the worst possible way. Basically government affects a wealth transfer from those it should be protecting to those who government already works for. And yes, somewhat-high achieving Georgians going to the University of Georgia for free, I’m talking about you. Poor working-class Georgians paid for your “prestigious” Hope Scholarship.

Since we’re already in the business of selling vice, why not go one step further and sell sex? And under my plan, we address the problem of immigration as well. BAM! Here’s how it works –
(1) Import college age women desperate for a Permanent Visa to the United States.
(2) Set them to work as state prostitutes. Since this is the US, we’ll do it nice and classy. Just like in the Netherlands, give the women bouncers and require weekly STD tests.
(3) Tax.
(4) Require the women to attend college and learn English.
(5) Upon the completion of a college degree, give the women Permanent Visas.
Not bad, huh? We get college educated women who want to be in this country and put some dollars in Uncle Sam’s wallet. We all have a price and we all want to have sex – why not use it to decrease the national deficit?

Bonus: The US can get on the sex tourism industry. Even the Chamber of Commerce will have to sign on.

3. The Ghost of Carrie Buck, or the Fall of Octomom

For those of you unfamiliar with Buck v. Bell, here’s the holding: if you’re dumb and a potential drain on society, the state can sterilize you. (By the way there’s a historical marker on Preston Rd. now covered up by trees so you can’t see it from the road. Evidently Carrie Buck was a resident of Charlottesville.)

A couple arguments for bringing back forced sterilizations:
1. Kids cost money and sometimes the parents can’t pay that money. Our welfare net is embarrassing relative to the rest of the civilized world, but we still have one. Get some deadbeats out of the “children market” and government won’t have to foot the bill.

2. Kids take on the personality traits of their parents, either through genes or learned behavior. Some people are morally deficient, violent, and/or or self-destructive. Get psychos out of the “children market” and government won’t have to foot the bill.
I’ve made a non-exclusive list of what I’ll call Parenthood Disqualifying Characteristics. Feel free to add some more in the comments.
1. Violent felony conviction
2. Hate crime conviction
3. War crime conviction
4. Multiple bankruptcies
5. Profound or severe mental retardation
6. Debilitating and lengthy addiction to illegal or prescription drugs
A caveat: Due process takes a long time and may make these procedures more costly in the long run. I suggest writing these laws like criminal forfeiture statutes, as in, they occur as part of sentencing with the judge as fact finder (and abuse of discretion review).

There’s your list, UVA Law Blog readers. Can we fix our great country without morality? YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

Previously:

Fixing the US Sans Morality, Part I


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Where mah $$ at?

From Cynthia Burns, UVA Law Director of Financial Aid:

This email provides important information regarding the delay of the refunding of excess financial aid resources by Student Financial Services. The Law School Financial Aid Office has been monitoring this situation and recognizes that this delay has created some anxiety as many of you are awaiting these resources to cover current living expenses.

Our understanding of the situation is that the delay is a result of the new loan processing system required by the new Student Information System to transfer funds from the student loan lenders to the University and then to students. The problems are the result of some set up issues that were not discovered prior to the start of the disbursement process. Student Financial Services, however, is working fervently to correct these errors and restore the flow of resources to students. I anticipate that most of you will receive your refunds within the next several weeks.

If you need resources prior to receiving your refund, the University has an emergency loan program available to all students. Law students are eligible to receive one $750 Lee Loan each semester. This is an interest free loan that can serve as a cash advance of your expected refund. To obtain a Lee Loan, you must apply in person at Student Financial Services in Carruthers Hall, located on Emmet Street across from the Barracks Road Shopping Center. You will need to present your Student ID Card at the Cavalier Central Counter to receive the loan.

I encourage any student experiencing extreme financial hardship resulting from the delay in your financial aid disbursement to contact the Law School Financial Aid Office.

Thanks for your patience.

I'm one of those who hasn't gotten his money yet and I'm finding this to be a major pain. It's not so much about the interest free loan to the University (on a non-trivial amount), but the fact that many expenses come due at the beginning of the semester. That is, in addition to rent and food, I have to shell out for books, a parking pass, health insurance, and in my particular case, furniture. In sum, poor form UVA.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What's More Embarrassing Than Scheduling a Cupcake Match?

Scheduling a cupcake match and then losing. Good lord, UVA, at least give us something to cheer for. * removes Al Groh poster from wall *.

Related:
UVA Falls to William & Mary [Washington Post]
William & Mary 26 Virginia 14 [ESPN]

Previously:
School's In, And Football Starts Soon!

Bam! - We Just Figured Out the Perfect LRW Prompt

Now, it's no secret that we are Dillard-Fellow rejects (as well as rejects for many, many other law school awards). That said, we have the perfect idea for the next legal writing prompt: forget windmills, forget injured high school athletes, forget drunken driving in rural North Carolina: what about making the 1Ls spend one of their precious weekends analyzing and stressing out over what happened in the Boise State - Oregon game last Thursday?

PROMPT: Analyze Byron Hout's possible causes of action against your client, LaGarrette Blount, under Idaho Law. GUNNERS ONLY: What is Blount's criminal exposure? Can Hout initiate the suit in Federal Court, and what would be the advantages to doing so?



All of the elements for the perfect beginning LRW assignment are there, including
  • Law from a state that no one here cares about so it will be easy for the students to find those obnoxious reporters (quite likely the only time they will ever use them) from the Law Library.
  • Some thorny issues (was LaGarret Blount provoked? Did he feel threatened? Are there any mitigating circumstances given that he had just finished playing a football game? Does it matter that )
  • It appears from a cursory look at Idaho law that tort actions for assualt and battery are common law actions, so it would allow 1Ls to learn how the shepardizing system works (paper only - using computers is for chumps) (Ed. note this is not legal advice and we did not really research it - please don't email us!).
  • An ostensibly "sexy" topic that (we are sure) would become quite boring if you researched it.
  • Is it really "unconscionable"? ESPN thinks so.
Anyway guys at my law school used to pull this sort of thing after NGSL games; it was no big deal, really.

Related:
Oregon Suspends Blout for the Season [New York Times]

Friday, September 04, 2009

No Offers Hit Home

Editor's note: A version of this article - written by me - appeared in the September 4th, 2009 edition of the Law Weekly. Consistent with the Law Weekly's policy on reproduction, I have posted it here. The original is available here.

The times they are a-changin’.

Current third-years entered the Law School at a time when the economy was healthy and the largest law firms were benefiting from the steady demand for legal services that comes with a robust financial market. As first-years in the fall of 2007, the Class of 2010 received advice from their Peer Advisors that boiled down to a general mantra: UVA law students can get jobs at large law firms, so long as they can tie their shoelaces.

Mr. Clayton, you did great work this summer, and everybody really likes you, but . . .

Since that time, however, the current third-year class has witnessed a seachange in the legal market—a change that has radically altered both the class’ experiences and its expectations for entering the market as young attorneys.

The major problem for third-years —even for those students able to secure a summer internship at a large law firm—is the internship did not lead to an offer of full-time employment as they had expected. Instead they find themselves thrust back into the worst job market in recent generations, competing not only with other third-years in the same position but also with almost the entire second-year class to secure another job . . .

Read More

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fixing the US, Sans Morality (Part I)

We recently ended the great experiment popularly called Cash for Clunkers. For those of you unfamiliar with the process, below are the basic provisions.
1. You own an old piece of crap car that gets bad gas mileage.
2. You want a new car that gets good gas mileage.
3. A couple thousand dollar subsidy by Uncle Sam will prompt you to make that new car purchase.
Evidently the program has had some success – automobile salvage workers and Asian car manufacturers have especially benefited. I briefly considered the program, but decided against it for the basic reasons below.
1. My old piece of crap car that gets bad gas mileage runs just fine.
2. I don’t want a new car.
3. Even with a government subsidy, you still are taking on many thousands of dollars in consumer debt. (Many > couple).
Anyway, I’ve been thinking of other ways to use the tremendous power of the federal government to tax and spend on behalf of THE PUBLIC GOOD. In the first installment of a two-part post, I’ll spin out some ways that the federal government can stimulate the economy, mostly in the same vein as Cash for Clunkers. In other words, prompt people to buy stuff or do things that have a positive impact on the national gross national product. In the second installment of this post, I’ll give some ways that the federal government can make itself money to close our national deficit. (I know, crazy thought that Chinese banks will one day refuse to keep buying our debt, but consider this a thought experiment).

1. Forgive Student Debt

I’ll let others make a more elegant case for forgiving student debt than me. Nutshell case – less loan payments, more consumer spending, better economy, WIN.

Here’s where I’m on board: this is an issue that young people, by and large, can get on board with and care about. Politicians have governed for too long ignoring 20-somethings, and with good reason. We don’t vote. Wide-scale student debt forgiveness may have only a marginal effect in stimulating the economy, but agitation for this policy could have larger implications. More civic participation from America’s future working class will lead to better government. For instance, picture a world where more kids have master’s degrees and we build less F-22s Raptors (no matter how badass they are). Wouldn't you rather live in that world? I would.

Ok, enough faux-seriousness – this is a blog, not reality.

2. Health Care Makeover

Yeah, I’m not touching this. Some right-wing nut job will break into my apartment and shoot me in the leg with a MAC-10.

3. Bills for B*****s and Money for Marriage

Divorce is expensive. Those going through divorce have to pay for lawyers to haggle over who gets the junk the couple has accumulated before and during marriage. Probably one or both folks hire some private investigators to get dirt on their former better-half. Costly counseling ensues after the divorce. And if kids are involved, the arms race of present giving at Christmas and birthdays kicks. Sounds like just the right environment for a couple on the cliff of marriage to get a little push into the abyss of divorce – for the sake of the economy of course.

Here’s the other half – marriage is also expensive. The cost of a wedding is huge (flowers, photographers, cakes, dresses), not just to the parties and their immediate families who pay the bill. Out of town guests have to purchase plane tickets and rent cars for the weekend. Toss in hotel bills and a gift or two and everyone’s wallets feel a little lighter by Sunday morning. Even lawyers get a piece (!) – houses get sold and the smart ones get prenuptial agreements.

So here’s the plan: give a tax break for every year a person’s marital status changes from the year before.

4. Gay Marriage Galore

Along the same vein as above, gay people have bank accounts and income too. Why should Breeders be the only ones spending money on marriage and divorce? Frankly, its pretty unfair that if (when?) I develop a crippling gambling addiction that forces my spouse to divorce me, I have to pay out of the nose in spousal support and alimony while a gay man in the same situation walks away with his Gucci man purse, his Vespa, AND the decorative sconces from Saks. UVA Law Blog readers, your new Republican party slogan – “You can listen to Fred Phelps (“Gods Hates Fags” guy) or you can have a robust economy.”

Check back tomorrow for ways the government can make money (or at least close the national deficit).

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

ITE, Can You Really Afford to Buy Whole Textbooks?

Textbooks are expensive. Very expensive. At Courts and Commerce, even the * used * version of my Criminal Investigations textbook ran something like 86 dollars. 86 dollars?! That's enough for a week's worth of lunches at Scott Common's, or about 1/4 of a parking pass! (Of course the new version is even more).

What does the clever entrepreneur do? Easy: go online to half.com, or some similar website. Now, don't waste your time with books that are classified "Like New", "Excellent", or "Very Good" - you want to go down to "Acceptable" - which is internet code for "barely even still a book" - that's where the real bargins are. Be sure to pick the sketchiest sounding seller you can find - somebody like "cashmoneytexts" - and you'll know you have the cheapest deal.


Observe the above - I bought the textbook for $18.99 and its only missing the cover and some of the pages - where as a used textbook from the bookstore - provided I could even get a used textbook - would have run more than four times as much. How much y'all think I can sell it back for?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I went to the Bookstore and checked what a used copy costs: $85.50.