|Legal Blog Watch|
Thomas' 'Jurisprudence of Extremism'
If nothing else in recent weeks, we know where Justice Clarence Thomas stands on Anita Hill and the value of a Yale law degree. But given his day job, we might ask, "Where does he stand on constitutional issues such as, say, free speech?" As it so happens, a First Amendment Center symposium published this week, Justice Thomas & the First Amendment, explores that question in depth, with contributions from a who's who of First Amendment scholars. In a forward, Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Irvine law school dean-to-be, sums up what he sees as the symposium's stark conclusion:
In his contribution to the symposium, an essay on the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case (notably, one that never mentions that phrase), Loyola Law professor William D. Araiza calls Thomas' body of work the "jurisprudence of extremism." Chemerinsky agrees and adds the observation that Thomas' First Amendment rulings add up to be neither consistently pro- or anti-speech. Three qualities they do share: disregard for stare decisis, a preference for bright-line rules and adherence to originalism. Read more in this broad-ranging collection of essays that also includes a bibliography, an analysis of his voting record on key topics and his answers to First Amendment questions from his confirmation hearings.
The Four Laws of Lawyer Marketing
We are a profession bound to uphold the law, but do you know the laws of lawyer marketing that will help ensure your success? Fear not, for legal-marketing consultant Tom Kane has compiled the four laws of successful lawyer marketing in a series of posts at The Legal Marketing Blog. Kane draws on an article written by another legal marketer, Trey Ryder, in which Ryder, in turn, draws on lessons from the book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. As Kane sums them up, the four laws of legal marketing are:
It all seems to boil down to establishing yourself as a leader in your field and then making sure that potential clients know you as a leader in your field. Given that, I am surprised that Kane never mentions blogs. For any lawyer striving to uphold the laws of lawyer marketing, is there a better tool than blogging?
Law Profs Dissent on Tutu Speech
A decision by the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., to bar Archbishop Desmond Tutu from speaking on campus has drawn criticism from many corners of the globe -- including the university's own law school. As reported at Minnesota Lawyer Blog, 18 members of the law school's faculty, led by professor Thomas C. Berg, co-director of the Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy, sent a letter to university President Fr. Dennis Dease asking him to reconsider his decision. Reportedly, Dease believed that an on-campus appearance by the noted South African cleric and human rights activist would be hurtful to some Jewish students and faculty members because of controversy over remarks Tutu is alleged to have made about Israel in a 2002 speech (remarks that, according to this piece, he never said). Berg's letter says:
The law school is seeking permission to host Tutu on its own if the university does not change its mind, the blog reports. Meanwhile, in another post at the same blog, Mark Cohen, the editor of Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, calls on the university to reconsider its decision. While the decision may have been driven by good intentions, he says, the university is "doing the wrong thing for all the right reasons." A commentary in the Star-Tribune offers a similar critique, acknowledging that Dease's decision was "motivated by a genuine desire to avoid hurting Minnesota's Jewish community," but calling it wrong and unethical nonetheless.
Careers Number Crunching: Money v. Happiness
The conventional wisdom is that Biglaw associates make piles of money but are miserable, while their smaller-firm counterparts earn much less but enjoy a better quality of life. At the blog Empirical Legal Studies, Indiana University School of Law professor William D. Henderson stood that conventional wisdom against available data from NALP, the ABA's Young Lawyers Division and other sources, and, guess what -- the conventional wisdom is pretty much right. The data show that over the eight-year spread of the typical associate track, Biglaw associates will earn $631,000 more in salaries than associates at firms of two to 25 lawyers and $524,000 more than those at firms of 51 to 100 lawyers -- and that does not include bonuses. But nearly half those Biglaw associates will spend much of those eight years working at least 60 hours a week, while roughly 40 percent of those in firms of one to four lawyers work 40 or fewer hours a week. Henderson sums it up this way:
But Henderson is quick to suggest that not all large firms are necessarily harsh places to work. As it turns out, the more elite the firm, the longer the working hours and the less desirable the working conditions. Ironically, he adds, it is the students who leave law school with the broadest array of options who choose these harshest firms, opting for prestige and money over quality of life.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on October 10, 2007 at 12:23 PM
Rodrigo González Fernández
DIPLOMADO EN RSE DE LA ONU
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