Forum Replies Created
Frum Biglaw Starter Kit:
Intern to the Hon. Martin L. Ritholtz
Beth Medrash Govoha BTS / Ner Israel BTL / RIETS Semicha
Editor at Harvard Business Law Review
Tax at V10
Anything else to add?
Sounds right to me.
I assume you mean in the sense of not having a soul, correct?
Great post. I’m curious as to whether you are actually a 3L (as implied by your first post?) or working. Not that it changes the veracity of your statement, but I know my thoughts on this issue have changed a bit since I began practicing and I’m curious as to whether you share that experience.
Thankfully, I’ve actually never encountered an issue like the one I used as an example, and certainly never felt sufficiently uncomfortable that I would do something anywhere nearly as drastic as calling opposing counsel to tell them of an issue (I’m not even sure how this would play out–if your firm found out you did that, you’d be in a ton of hot water I’d imagine) or going above my direct superior.
Your suggestion regarding reframing to confirm with the partner is a really good one, and might work a lot of the time, but I can see a senior associate (most of whom will immediately see what you’re trying to do if you cc them or feel ambushed if you don’t) getting salty if an hour or two after you asked him about X a partner calls and says “[junior associate] just asked me about X [which you just asked him about], and I agree with him and think we should do Y.” As for your point regarding reviews, I guess it depends on people’s personality: I’ve worked with people who recognize that law is a team exercise and would thank you for confirming with the partner (I do my utmost to work with these types and hope to be this type if/when I get more senior), and I’ve worked (thankfully rarely) with people who are more concerned with their own career progression and would freeze you out of future deals for going over their head and making a partner question their judgment. If you know of a firm that consists solely of the former, let me know and I’ll definitely consider lateraling ASAP.
Your last paragraph is thought-provoking as well. I agree (and have stated above) that the sophistication of the parties involved in a transaction does indeed make it hard (and, from a reputational standpoint, stupid) to “pull a fast one” and I don’t think that happens much if at all. I guess the situations I’m thinking about are more in the grey area–e.g., massaging disclosure language (which certainly happens in every public filing). I think my revised example illustrates this: unclear what the motivation not to include is, a judgment call on which minds can differ, and unlikely to be caught by other parties unless they are sharp.
On a broader level, I really don’t mean to scare people off and make law (or at least corporate practice) sound like some sort of ethical minefield: it isn’t, certainly not relatively speaking. My goal in posting in this thread is simply to push back a little on the statement above that “being a lawyer is probably the most honest profession” (which may still be true–I have no means of comparison–but not because there are zero ethical issues to contend with).
I mean, I obviously don’t work at every major firm, but assuming my employer is fairly representative, I can say that lawyers–even junior ones, to albeit to a lesser extent–are making judgment calls every day. (As noted above, usually boring decisions–the clients make all of the high-level ones.) Whether to mark discovery items as privileged, whether to include an item into a disclosure or risk factors (and how to present them), whether to represent clients with questionable practices (e.g., middle eastern sovereign wealth funds), whether to clog a docket up with punitive motions (e.g., motions to DQ counsel), whether to notify the opposing counsel of a mistake they have made (e.g., overdisclosing privileged info or accidentally uploading sensitive material to a data room)–the list goes on and on, these are just what I thought of as I was typing. And with those judgment calls come varying levels of ethical dilemmas. I agree with your point to the extent that there are likely far more day-to-day ethical issues in, say, criminal defense than capital markets work, but I don’t think any area (or, for that matter, any profession, though that’s tough for me to back up) is entirely free of ethical dilemmas.
Now that I reread it, my example was written in a way that may have made it unclear as to whether or not the senior associate was arguing on substantive grounds. If it helps, imagine that instead of what I wrote he or she simply said “I don’t think it needs to go in, it’s not material enough–let’s not spook investors for no reason”, but you still have a nagging feeling that it should go in. Maybe a little more reasonable-minds-can-differ that way.
And good luck trying to go over a senior associate’s head: they have 1000x the opportunity to throw you under the bus and land you the “time to move on” shpiel at your next annual review. If you escalate and threaten to quit every time you have a disagreement with those above you on a substantive issue (e.g. definition of “material” disclosure), you better not be bluffing because you’ll be looking for a job faster than you probably intended.
And I’m not sure what you mean by “doesn’t happen any more.” These types of conversations and (what I see as) the resulting ethical dilemmas happen every day at every major firm. Again, partially mitigated by the fact that counterparties are usually sophisticated (or, in the case above, the plaintiffs’ bar and the SEC always have 10b-5), but that doesn’t remove the issues entirely.
We could do other areas of law.
Suppose you’ve been engaged by operating business to do a public debt offering. You will work with underwriters’ counsel to draft several hundred pages of disclosures. What ethical issues arise?
You are tasked with putting together a disclosure schedule listing all “material” litigation items settled within the last two years. You look in the data room and see a number of litigation items totaling varying amounts, so naturally you list all above a threshold amount dictated to you by the senior associate. However, you also notice that of the smaller items below the threshold, many pertain to a common operating issue that has not been resolved and will likely lead to more and larger suits. You ask the senior associate whether to include the issue separately in the Risk Factors in the Registration Statement/Offering Memorandum, and he or she tells you that “the client doesn’t want to spook the potential investors, and there’s no way the underwriters are going to catch that–leave them out.” What do you do?
This is the most boring thread I have EVER seen here.
Yet I keep returning for I am fascinated to see if it can get any MORE boring.
So far every time I return I have not been disappointed.
Welcome to the practice of law.
And since you seem fairly familiar with the fund formation context more generally (an area that I don’t practice in directly but have a fair amount of exposure too), another interesting timely ethical dilemma surrounds the use and disclosure of management fees charged to portfolio companies and various bulk-discounts offered to private funds at the expense of portfolio companies. A number of funds, including Blackstone, recently settled cases involving these issues, which are may or may not be contained in the 100-page fund document you referenced but are within the more ambiguous realm of fiduciary duties.
Not a CLS 3L, but good luck to all on the bar exam. Hope not too many of you paid the extra $$$ for Barbri–Themis is just as good for half the price.
PBA: For an interesting case study that pretty squarely addresses your hedge fund example, see the current allegations surrounding Evan Greebel. It’s easy to judge the guy, but what do you do when your client comes to you and asks you do draft him a Consulting Agreement between the company for which he is CEO (and is presumably authorized to act) and his hedge funds? Even if you recognize the potential fraud, not so easy to say no and lose a major client when business generation is pretty much your entire job.
I actually largely agree with you point (which in the corporate context is helped quite a bit by the SEC’s Accredited Investor rules and the general sophistication and legal representation of all parties involved in a major transaction), but I wouldn’t go too far arguing that legal work is free of ethical dilemmas.
Looks like the jig is up. I’m really a housewife in Albany. Please ignore the substantive validity of any/all of my points.
Also, you would need to be brain dead to be incapable of passing the MPRE (even in states that require an 86). I truly hope nobody actually “frets” about it.
I was just kidding about the Cornell in the 80s thing. Good to hear you went to Penn–I hear its reputation took a hit after the whole JoePa scandal though. As for the midterms thing, perhaps I was guilty of precisely the anecdote fallacy that I bemoaned above. All I’ll say is that no doctrinal course in my school, upper- or lower-level, had a midterm or graded homework, and I haven’t heard of any from my friends from peer schools. I don’t think it matters for the purposes of the BTL-or-not discussion.
As for attending unaccredited/”regional” schools, that’s a discussion for another day. I will say that under very limited circumstances I would recommend a “regional” school; I don’t think I would ever recommend an unaccredited school no matter the price.
There is an enormous amount of misinformation in this thread. I will do my best to set things straight, but let me begin by introducing myself: I am a BTL-holding T14 graduate who is currently employed as an associate at a V10 firm. I will go through each post in this thread and insert my comment(s) as I feel necessary.
not that he is bragging or something rather it is only worth it in todays market if you go to a top 14 law school
If you are either: 1) interested in biglaw or 2) taking out significant loans to pay for law school (think $50k+, which requires biglaw to pay off in a timely fashion), this is correct. If you need support for this statement, google Law School Transparency and poke around.
It is ridiculous to plan for law school before taking the LSAT. It is like planning how to become a NFL player before ever picking up a football.
Although you may be more informed than many others in this thread–probably the case if you’re a TLS regular–your posts are often unnecessarily hyperbolic to the point of being misleading. Assuming one takes the relatively standard route of sitting for the LSAT ~3 years after high school, he will have already accumulated the majority of his college credits (and grades) by that point. Due to US News pandering, GPA counts for ~50% of your overall admissions cycle (the other ~50% is your LSAT score). Thus, there is reason to “plan for law school” in the form of taking GPA-maximizing courses even before taking the LSAT. I suppose the ideal situation would be to take the LSAT prior to even beginning college. However, because LSAT scores only last for five years, and might be a waste if you change your mind about law school during the intervening years, this isn’t generally the practice.
Go to a real college and get a real degree. Nothing can take the place of a real education.
I don’t know what this means.
But perhaps a good education will help in this person’s future. A strong GPA may mean something in regards to getting in graduate schools, but a strong education gives a person even more advantages.
Maybe this is what the previous person was trying to say, I don’t know, but this actually has some validity. The downside of going all-in on the BTL is that you may change your mind about law school (or do poorly on the LSAT) three years into the endeavor. At that point, you’re stuck, because outside of law school (i.e., for getting any other professional position) a BTL is pretty much worthless. If this is what is meant by “more advantages,” then there is something to this post.
If he wants law school, a strong law school will give him way more than a weak law school and a strong liberal arts education.
If you meant “If he wants biglaw,” (or pretty much any legal job), then you are correct. But again, this strategy (going BTL to maximize GPA and get into a T6) is risky for the reasons mentioned immediately above.
A strong undergraduate education will give a prospective graduate student a leg up when taking the LSAT and in law school. Although it is totally possible to succeed at a prestigious law school without it, a proper undergraduate education will make it a whole lot easier and will give skills that a BTL simply cannot.
No, it will not.
You are wrong
I daresay I know more BTLs who have gone to top law schools than you do.
…And this is where the conversation devolves into inanity. The problem is that each of you are speaking from either 1) first-hand experience or 2) anecdotal information. For obvious reasons, neither can be trusted to inform a sound opinion, and thus none of your posts are anything beyond utter speculation. PBA, out of curiosity, do the people you know tell you their actual grades? Or are you basing this off employment outcomes/honors/law review? Any of the three can be misleading for reasons I won’t go into here. Suffice to say that, for lack of any credible evidence, I don’t think there is any reason to think that BTL-holders would fare any better or worse than your average law school matriculant. Unless you can summon data to the contrary, I think presenting anecdotal evidence as anything even resembling fact is disingenuous and a disservice to the OP.
My preference would always be for a non-BTL because it gave me background knowledge which proved very helpful in studying for the LSAT and the first few months of law school.
I have no idea what you would study to help you with the LSAT (formal logic?) or the substantive material taught in law school, but whatever it is certainly isn’t a necessary condition to doing well in either.
If the goal is admission to an elite national law school and finding employment in “Big law”, a BTL is not the best way to go.
Au contraire (or, if you prefer, aderaba). See above. Your statement does hold true, however, for pretty much any other professional employment.
Big firms who come to interview at top schools look foremost at grades, then somewhat at personality and presenation. They almost never even ask where you went to undergrad unless you are trying to go into a science heavy field like patent law.
This is true, though you will almost certainly get questions about your yeshiva/BTL during on-campus interviews.
No, writing skills are not at all relevant to law school success except in one class. You can get an A+ without a single proper sentence on a law school exam.
Again, your penchant for hyperbole hurts you. The first sentence here (your conclusion) does not necessarily follow from the second (your premise), and is in fact wrong. Although you are correct that proper grammar is not necessary to get good grades, forming coherent arguments and forming conclusions is. So maybe the two of you are talking past each other by defining “writing” differently, but I can assure you that writing skills (of the latter variety) do matter. Also, as an aside, it’s entirely possible that your buddies got “A+s” despite their poor grammar, not that the poor grammar was “irrelevant.”
Also, yeshiva guys do have good connections. Often much better than their classmates.
Again, although the rest of the information in this post is largely correct, you need to rein yourself in to things that you can back up. Otherwise you jeopardize your entire credibility.
1. Law schools have A+. Perhaps not every one, but most do.
2. Writing ability is the least factor in a grade. I have been shown A+ exams from top schools with misspelled words, broken sentences, and horrific grammar.
Some schools have A+s. Many of the T14 have switched to either HP/P/F or have non-letter grades. Others use A+ as a replacement for CALI awards (best exam) but still count it as a 4.0. Bottom line: who really cares. Your second point suffers from the same issue mentioned earlier.
1. Law school does not have homework.
2. Law school does not have tests–just one final at the end of each semester for each class.
These are generally true, at least for non-seminar courses.
There is no question in my mind that being really proficient in Talmud, predisposes someone to having the type of thinking that does well in law school, too.
You should probably begin questioning more.
Not all Law Schools are the same, and if you are not looking to join a major downtown firm and work 2000 plus hours the first few years, it doesn’t make much difference where you go tgo Law School.
False. Getting a government and/or public interest job is far easier from a T14 for a number of reasons least of which is the generous loan repayment plans that they offer. I suppose your chances of success in hanging a shingle (near-zero) or joining your shver’s firm (100%) are similar no matter where you graduate from, but that’s about it.
There has been much false information posted above. Some professors teaching certain courses do give homework in Law School. A Law student should figure to spend 3 hours in outside study or work for every class hour. Thus a fifteen credit semester means 15 hours per week in class and 45 hours additional preparation.
I suppose that would technically be “homework” in that it’s work done at home, but it isn’t graded and thus I don’t think most would consider it homework in the meaningful sense.
It is also false that there are NO tests except for semester finals. I attended an Ivy League Law School and Property, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law and Ethics all had weekly tests as well as finals. Except for senior level courses all my law classes had midterm exams.
This is not the norm anymore. I hope you enjoyed Cornell in the 80s.
The classes I teach have midterm, final and 3 major research projects each semester.
I pity your students.
REMEMBER: When making application to take the Bar Exam the candidate must supply his/her College Transcripts as well as Law School Transcript. Out of town a BTL may not be recognized as a legitimate degree. Last year the Bar Committee contacted me to find out what it was. In the specific applicant’s case it really wasn’t equivalent to a 4 year BS or BA and he was not permitted to take the Bar Exam…and lost his $750 application fee.
I haven’t heard of this happening before, but given some of the stories I’ve heard (i.e., people going to an American yeshiva for a year or two after coming back from an Israeli yeshiva that certainly does not give any form of credits and walking out with a BTL) it makes sense. Interesting.
Okay, that’s all for now. I’m happy to discuss any of this stuff further. I guess my biggest peeve with all of the (many) BTL–>law school discussions on here is the prevalence of anecdote-based conclusions. Let’s all just admit that we don’t have any remotely convincing evidence relating to the relative success of a BTL getting into/doing well in law school and reduce the discussion to what we do know. The decision to eschew college in favor of a BTL–almost certainly a life-changing one–should be given at least that much respect.
You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.
If you’re 22+ and can’t
introduce yourself to a girl
who seems receptive
I feel sorry for you bro.
LADIES: Is there anything more
Clearly you aren’t aware of the DROVES of employers in BigHipsterLaw.October 15, 2013 6:25 am at 6:25 am in reply to: Calling all N.J. people to get out and vote for Lonegan! #978983
I believe the most important value for a politician is the ability to obfuscate important issues, foist their personal beliefs and interests on others, and mischaracterize and thereby discredit their opponents.
Vote Jewishness for Governor.
lol does he even lift?
the fact that a cut disproportionally affects one minority does not make it per se discrimination, especially when the reason for the disproportionality is fully voluntary. instead of asking the internet whether you are required to forgive a government official, i would suggest heeding the calls of those who suggest taking a look at your expenses.
I’m afraid to hear your definition of “innocent.”
your question is too specific. please make it more general so I can answer properly.August 6, 2013 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm in reply to: Boys can't be so picky: A shidduch crisis solution! #969993
yo pba, i think i might be the only one who meivin. still, good work.
I prefer “LSATs”.
And FYI, I actually managed to score the mythical 120. Rutgers-Newark immediately offered a fee waiver.
“a passing mark on the LSAT”
yikes. I hope no one is actually attempting to glean information/advice from this thread.July 7, 2013 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm in reply to: Life Under a Truck. A tale of broken mirrors, mangled bumpers, and other #1044398
“(He built a wall in the middle of the drift pan)”
sign me up as a volunteer inspector.
“the number of con law scholars on this board is astonishing.
Con law? What is that–slang for constitution law?
My aren’t we cooooooooooooooooooooooool”
you got a beef with me bro?
these puns are a shade too silly.
the number of con law scholars on this board is astonishing.
it’s gladwell not levitt. get your pseudoscientists straight.
lol st. john’s.
how interesting, indeed it is. you’ll have to pardon my incredulous reply; I had not seen the gemara, and i don’t believe it is quoted in any of the major rishonim on chumash. be that as it may, there is no excuse for ignorance. interesting to note that it is derived from the fact that they ground it up.
per your advice, I will refrain from posting for the next month, perhaps forever.
the fact that the gemara “talks about it” doesn’t make it natural (in the real sense of the word). normal, yes; natural, no.
“Hashem had make-up come down with the mann I learned.”
are you serious? please tell me you are joking…
so i just did some research (i.e. i googled “tattoo eyeliner halacha” and the first result was gold), and apparently it may only be a derabbonon that may not apply in cases of extreme circumstance (scar tissue and the like).
the things people will subject themselves to (and, apparently, the heterim people get) for the purpose of seeming aesthetically pleasing to others…June 5, 2013 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm in reply to: Does Someone Who Is Passul L'Aidus Have Legal Standing? #957169
why not? participation as a witness and initiation (i presume you mean as plaintiff) are entirely different things.
there is no way this is muttar. where is there an exception for “beauty”?
lol black lipstick? are you a juggalo?
here’s the real question: why does makeup help you look prettier (beyond covering visible flaws)? are dusky eyes, red cheeks, and earrings just something that we are conditioned to think is beautiful, or is there some evolutionary aspect to it?June 5, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm in reply to: Looking for deeper meanings to psukim in aishes chayil (Mishlei) #957727
so, if I understand you correctly: op shouldn’t care about the deeper meaning because of the purported circumstances surrounding its writing?
you must be joking dude.
maybe we have different ideas about the contours of the driveway, but if it’s shared in the sense that both have full right of use at any time, the assumption (as seen in the cases above and the cases they cite in turn) is that sharing=permission.June 4, 2013 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm in reply to: #1 things a girl should know or have before going to seminary in Israel: #958488
BUT WAIT, if the reasoning behind r’ moshe’s teshuva holds true, then the milk already in your starbuck’s is for sure not pig milk. so by bringing it into e’y, are you adding pig’s milk (or a presumption thereof)?
I’M TRIPPIN’ HERE PEOPLE, HOW CAN YOU EVEN GO ON WITH YOUR NORMAL LIVES?!?! SMH…June 4, 2013 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm in reply to: #1 things a girl should know or have before going to seminary in Israel: #958484
hey hey AD HOM alert.
girl, you’re totally wrong about terumah and maaser. that having been said, you bring up a fascinating point about non-cholov yisoel products brought into e”y. i never really thought about that before, but i suppose adherence obviously follows the location of the person, not origin of the product. so if you start drinking your stabucks with milk here and fly to israel, gotta throw that thing out half-drank. good call yo. ignore the haters (but learn about hilchos terumah and maaser). and btw homies i’m pretty sure r’ moshe’s heter is only for ‘murica. wanna extend it elsewhere on the same reasoning? go ahead, but that’s your own cheshbon b.
since i’m doing this pro bono, i’m gonna have to give you the lazy man’s answer:
See: Northtown, Inc. v. Vivacqua, 272 A.D.2d 917 (N.Y. App. Div. 4th Dep’t 2000); Lyon v. Melino, 214 A.D.2d 992 (N.Y. App. Div. 4th Dep’t 1995).
try to distinguish.
popa: on the 3.5/4.0 count, you are definitely right. i’m assuming same gpa across the board, but perhaps that’s a mistake on my part.
at any rate, i would still say the answer is no, though this may depend on cost and alternatives.
med schools == law school admissions – it’s far more holistic because they need not pander to usnwr to the same extent (different formula). and at the margins, ug matters for law school too, though you’re right that the gap is less than is perceived by the public. your point is rendered somewhat moot by the fact that the op hasn’t indicated that he thinks he can score that high. if he could somehow take the mcat before enrolling (btw you could probably do this with LSAT) and scored a 35+, then knock yourself out. until then, don’t take the risk, since a touro degree and a 30 mcat will get you nowhere, whereas the same from a respected college just might. at any rate, if he really is good enough to score even a 35 he should have no problem getting into – at the very least – brooklyn with a full scholly.
and btw YU isn’t exactly prized by admissions officers either; edited
you can’t bank on scoring a 40 on your MCAT. don’t be fooled: the anecdotal touro=>PREFTIGE people you bring as evidence got into the schools they did DESPITE touro, not because of it. it’s like the btl/law school shtick: do bmg guys get into hls/cls/nyu? sure. but that path is strewn with the bones of many a fordham/carbozo/st. johns/touro graduate.
i didn’t get your situation right above. 0/2 on the day. yeah dude just keep doing your thing, ignore the haters. if they actually park in the driveway, make a fuss. don’t be nice and let them park: once you do, good luck getting them out.
lol dude I’m sorry I totally misunderstood your question. I thought you meant touro DO, not touro UG. sadly, my analysis stays the same. worthless degree for getting into an even halfway decent med school. you will be competing with thousands of people from real colleges.
i gotta say, dentistry sounds like a pretty chill life. if you can do that, do it. but do yourself a favor and don’t go to a school with people who shouldn’t be licensed to cure cheese, let alone people.
“big wrinkly smile”