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Guest speaker: Politics at the Department of Justice

This Thursday, February 19th, the Pre-Law Advising Office welcomes Lisa Graybill, currently the Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas.  Attorney Graybill began her legal career in the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice under Attorney General John Ashcroft.  As a result, she had a front row seat to the initial development of politicized hiring and firing processes at DOJ.  Attorney Graybill will speak both about her experiences at DOJ as well as about the larger issues surrounding legal employment in government.

The talk will take place Thursday, February 19th, at 1:00 pm, in Dickinson 216. All are welcome.

 

Lisa Graybill, Esq., is the Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas.  Before joining the ACLU, she spent 3 years in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice under John Ashcroft.  While there, Attorney Graybill investigated and prosecuted complaints... read more »

ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship

The American Bar Association Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund offers up to $5000 a year to law students attending ABA-accredited law schools.  The Fund is “intended to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to apply to law school and to provide financial assistance to the scholarship recipients.”  Applications are now available online and are due no later than March 2, 2009.  The application is open to any citizen or permanent resident of the US who will be attending law school beginning Fall 2009, and who achieved a grade point average of at least 2.5 as an undergraduate.

Applications require financial information, a personal statement, recommendations and an official transcript, so if you’re thinking of applying, please don’t put this off.

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Amherst College starts new undergraduate law journal

From the Pre-Law inbox:

Amherst College has started a new undergraduate law journal.

Res Publica Undergraduate Law Journal was founded in an effort to promote

scholarship in the field of law in the liberal arts. The mission of Res

Publica is to bring the best traditions of the contemporary humanities to

bear on the most difficult and urgent juridical problems of our time. With

the saturation of everyday life by modern science and technology, the

increasingly global and unequal flow of culture, capital, commodities and

populations across nation-state boundaries, the transformation and even

crisis of the basic concepts of modern law and politics, the worldwide

recognition of human rights and the dismaying consistency of human rights

abuses, and the constant depiction of law in diverse traditions of... read more »

The job market for lawyers: what's the future?

It’s so hard to know the job market for lawyers will be like in the next few years.  The economic downturn has thrown most sectors into turmoil, and it’s anybody’s guess what will happen in LawWorld.  The received wisdom is that lawyers do well in bad times as well as good.  But that aphorism really refers to the legal field in general, not to individual areas of practice.  The early 90s saw a number of restructured law firms and layoffs, especially in those firms closest to the financial sector.  That scenario seems to be playing out again, only potentially on a bigger scale.  At the same time, some practice areas will continue to do well.

The good news:

 

International commercial law, especially in Asia and the Middle East, seems to be thriving.

 

Intellectual property... read more »

And so it begins….

The New York Times reports:

You know things are bad when even lawyers are getting laid off.

In downturns of years past, law firms exploited corporate failures and bitter, protracted lawsuits to keep busy and keep billing. But in this still-unfolding crisis, the embittered and the bankrupt have been relatively slow to appear, at least in court.

 

Law firms in turn are feeling the strain. Thelen and Heller Ehrman, two firms whose deep San Francisco roots extend back decades, have collapsed outright, in part because of the business slowdown. Each firm left several hundred lawyers out in the cold. Many others, including Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and Katten Muchin Rosenman, two Chicago firms ranked among the nation’s hundred most profitable by American Lawyer magazine, and the international giant Clifford Chance have jettisoned dozens of associates.

 

... read more »
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