Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Amal Clooney.

 

My quick and dirty look at the news is now a weekly treat! Here’s the latest edition chock full of tidbits—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 DA for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office (Criminal Division, no less) and worked at two major firms (he also practiced at Kirkland & Ellis), would come up with a grander scheme.

I mean, why only $210,000? Plus, what art work at Dentons 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—those 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 schools’ 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, (though ALM’s Daily Report readers certainly would) 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 National Jurist’s 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    University of 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 University

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 & Crutcher 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, Nov. 2. Time: 6:30-8:30. I’m moderating the 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.