Friday, October 24, 2008

UC Irvine: Get a Legal Education for Free!

It is well known that California has the largest number of lawyers of any state. In fact, there are often complaints that there are simply too many lawyers in California. UC Irvine's law school has the answer: free legal education!

Students who enroll at the University of California’s new law school in Irvine next fall will get their legal education for free.

The law school is giving full tuition scholarships worth about $100,000 to its first 2009 class of about 60 students, the National Law Journal reports.

There you have it. If there are too many lawyers, the solution is to make it easier to get a legal education, rather than targeted incentives such as loan forgiveness for those intending to work in the public interest. What's this you say about a California budget crisis?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Biting Billables

Above the Law reports that O'Melveny & Myers is cutting staff in both the New York and Los Angeles offices. In the Los Angeles office:

Five associates are gone, a number of staffers have been let go, and there are rumors about more to come. Performance related or not, "job security" is surely a thing of the past.

The premise for the terminations apparently has to do with "performance". The tipsters seem to indicate that this means that people simply having been billing enough.

Many law students take it for granted that billable hours are a standard to surpass, but that first year associates are not required to meet those numbers. This may still be true, but certainly with these sorts of dismissals, especially during a time when most first year associates would be watching their backs and making sure they do not provide large firms with excuses for dismissal, one wonders whether the allegedly inadequate numbers are much higher than usual, or the O'Melveny Class of '07 simply wasn't up to scratch, or some combination thereof.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Law Jobs in the Economic Downturn

TaxProf has posted a blog entry discussing bleak job prospects for current law students. Hey, TaxProf, I've got news for you: it sucks for current graduates, too!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Michigan Makes Exceptions to LSAT

Apparently, the University of Michigan's law school will now be setting aside 5-10 out of its incoming class of about 350-400 students for in-state undergraduates, whose LSAT scores will not be assessed. Read story here.

I'm not so sure about this. There's much to be said for finding alternatives to standardized testing. The question for any alternative is whether or not it is a good measurement of a person's ability to handle the bar exam and the practice of law.