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Amal Clooney's #Me-Too Moment (Sort Of) + Other News

The Careerist

November 1, 2017

Rs_600x600-170311113533-600.2-amal-clooney.cm.31117My quick and dirty look at the news is now a weekly treat! Here's the edition for those with attention deficit disorder:

George Clooney's #MeToo moment (on behalf of Amal). I still doubt we will hear many female lawyers working in Big Law speaking up about their own experience with sexual harassment on the job, but I guess George Clooney is a good proxy.

Reacting to the sexual harassment/assault allegations concerning Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Clooney told The Telegraph: "My wife, who is a human rights lawyer, says she's faced those exact kinds of situations in law."

Of course, we can't help but wonder where Clooney's wife "faced those exact kinds of situations in law." Let's see now: Amal did work at Sullivan & Cromwell's New York office early in her legal career. Could it be that esteemed firm? Or the U.N. where she advised Kofi Annan on Syria? All that would be juicy, but, alas, there's no hint from George where those incidents happened.

"My wife is a very smart, very together, very accomplished human rights lawyer and she said ‘There have been times in my life, in the law community, I had to tell someone to knock it off'," Clooney also told The Telegraph. "So it happens everywhere."

I think it's great that George is speaking up on this issue, especially since he's worked with Weinstein himself. But it would be much more effective if Amal talked about it herself. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think people should do their own #MeToo reveals. 

Hand over the moolah or I will tell all to Above the Law. Seriously, is this the best threat this ex-Big Law associate could come up with?

The Recorder's Scott Flaherty reports that a former Los Angeles-based Dentons associate admitted that he illegally took confidential information concerning the firm's hiring and billing practices: "The onetime Dentons lawyer, Michael Potere, 32, was arrested on June 22. Prosecutors accused him of downloading sensitive documents from the firm, then threatening to leak information to the legal blog Above The Law unless he was provided $210,000 and a piece of artwork from Dentons’ Los Angeles office."

Not the most sophisticated heist of the year. Frankly, I would think that an associate who graduated from a good school (Northwestern), served as an assistant D.A. for the Illinois attorney general's office (criminal division, no less) and worked at two major firms (he also worked at Kirkland & Ellis), would come up with a grander, more twisty scheme.

I mean, why only $210,000? Plus, what art work at Denton's could he possibly have coveted? And threatening to spill the beans to Above the Law? Hey, what about moi—The Careerist?

Attention bargain hunters: Law schools that deliver value. I know that those of us who cover Big Law are serving the 1 percent that serve the 0.1 percent, and that we have a very narrow (e.g., elitist) view of which law schools are worthy of attending.

The truth is, of course, most lawyers don't practice in the rarefied confines of major law firms in big cities.

Keeping us honest is The National Jurist which looks at schools of a different ilk—ones that serve a more middle market (definitely not T-14, and maybe not even top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report). It looks at law school’s tuition (25 percent), students’ average indebtedness (15 percent), the employment rate (35 percent), students’ cost of living expenses (10 percent) and bar passage rates (15 percent). As Above the Law's Kathryn Rubino noted,  the ranking is based "solely on providing the best value for students, something quite distinct from the prestige that usually drives rankings." 

I'm not sure you should go out of your way to attend these schools, but if you happen to be in Ohio or Nebraska or similar venues, and don't mind staying there for the rest of your natural life, here are the go-to law schools for value:

1     Georgia State University
2     University of Georgia
3     University of Florida
4     University of Wisconsin
5     University of Nebraska
6     University of South Dakota
7     Univ. Arkansas, Fayetteville
8     University of Alabama
9     University of Kentucky
10   University of Oklahoma
11    Rutgers Law
12   University of Montana
13   University of Arizona
14   Brigham Young University
15   University of Iowa
16   Florida State University
17   Florida International U.
18   University of Cincinnati
19   Ohio State University
20  Arizona State University
21   University of Missouri
22  University of Mississippi
23  Louisiana State University
24  University of New Mexico
25  Texas Tech University 

Odds and ends:

1. What readers griped about: So I got a little blowback to my post on Harvey Weinstein ("Ready for BigLaw's #Me-Too Moment?"). A few readers thought I was minimizing the harassment that goes on in law firms (I was not, though I do believe that the sexism in Big Law is of a different order from the type alleged in the Weinstein matter). And one reader disagreed with me that Angelina Jolie couldn't get a callback at Gibson Dunn without high grades. (The reader thought the male partners at the firm would make an exception.)

2. Where you can find me this week: 

NYC Bar, November 2, 2017. Time: 6:30-8:30. I'm moderating panel on Time for an Encore Career? Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life

The panel will include Encore.org's Marci Alboher (author, The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life); City Bar Justice Center's Lynn Kelly; BoardAssist's Susan Fisher; and The Everest Project's Pam Carlton.

 [email protected]


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Another lively and well-written column, Vivia. I read all of them even though Dana is the only one
here who is a lawyer.

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: [email protected]

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