Happy Friday! Starting today, expect to find The Careerist in your email. Every week, I’ll be culling the news and trotting around town to keep you informed about what’s happening in our little world.

I’ll curate it all and pull it together in a snappy, easy-to-digest format. (A bonus to those of us with short attention spans!) Of course, you can count on me to deliver what you’ve come to expect: Saucy observations made with a gimlet eye.

I want to hear your thoughts too! Find me at vchen@alm.com and on Twitter: @lawcareerist.

Here’s what’s catching my fancy this week:


Ladies, have you hugged your managing partner today? 


To those of you who think I have nothing nice to say about Big Law, listen up: The sexism in law firms is far more palatable than what goes on in the TV and movie industries. As creepy as some male lawyers might be (there’s at least one major lech in every office), they are Cub Scouts compared to the antics of media stars like Matt Lauer, Louis C.K., Charlie Rose, Bill O’Reilly and Kevin Spacey (I’m sure the list has grown longer by the time you read this).

The worse that usually happens in Big Law is that some partner gives you an unsolicited, prolonged kiss at a closing dinner or grabs your waist a bit too tight at a photo-op. More often than not, he’s probably just leering at you (I know, it’s still creepy).

As far as I know, no partner at a major firm is in the habit of exposing himself or pleasuring himself in front of female associates. I don’t know if male lawyers have better moral compasses or are more fearful of legal consequences, but I think we ladies should be thankful that they keep their pants on in the office and their hands to themselves. Those little things count.


You are clueless, hopeless and stuck. 


This is why I’ll never make it as a diplomat or career counselor. I have little patience with those who are hopelessly thick.

lawyer asked columnist and “lawyer whisperer” Julie Brush at our sibling pub, The Recorder: “I’m a junior litigation partner at a mid-sized law firm. I have great credentials and trial experience, but no portable book of business. Will I be able to ‘upgrade’ to a big firm as a partner?”

Brush tactfully answered that this fellow’s options would be “limited.” She said that if he had solid trial experience in a high demand niche area he might be able to move, though probably into a position with a less prestigious title. Having business, she emphasized, is key for making lateral moves in the major leagues. I applaud Brush for answering the question so delicately. But I’m amazed that any lawyer would ask such a silly question in the first place. Are lawyers so out of it that they’d think that having “great credentials” and “experience” will land them a position (partner, no less!) with a big firm?

Frankly, I would have been a lot more blunt with this litigator. So here’s my tough-love message to him: You ain’t going nowhere. If I were you, I’d double-up on the brown-nosing at your current firm.


The official list of 10 law schools to avoid like the plague. 


Of course, there are many, many more law schools not worth your time or money. But these schools have earned the distinction of being publicly disciplined by the American Bar Association for enrolling students who are unlikely to graduate and pass the bar.

The schools are: Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, Arizona Summit Law School in Phoenix, Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Florida, Charlotte Law School (now closed), Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston and Valparaiso University Law School in Valparaiso, Indiana.

According to Law.com, it’s rare for law schools to be publicly sanctioned this way. You know that these schools must the worst of the worst, because some legal education experts, including Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency, have argued that the ABA’s own standards for law schools weren’t that stringent in the first place.

Perhaps this sounds harsh and elitist, but I don’t believe these schools (and lots of others with poor job records for graduates) have any business in legal education. They are parasitic institutions that play to the vanity—or desperation—of people who think they can be lawyers. Sad.


Is The Mooch running out of things to do? 


Remember Anthony Scaramucci, the Harvard Law School grad who was White House communications director for about 30 seconds? He’s now threatening to sue the Tufts Daily and Tufts Fletcher School of Diplomacy student, Camilo Caballero, for a series of op-eds in which Caballero calls the Mooch “irresponsible,” “unethical,” someone who just wants “attention and nothing more,” plus “a man who makes his Twitter accessible to friends interested in giving comfort to Holocaust deniers.”

When asked why he’d bother with this suit, Scaramucci told Tufts Observer: “When you guys get a little older and you start running businesses … and your reputation in this business is super valuable … you will fight aggressively defamatory public remarks that are made about you whether they are in a student newspaper or a much larger publication.” (Scaramucci said he would drop the lawsuit threat if the student and the paper apologize.)

Sounds high and mighty. But wouldn’t it be more graceful (and mature) to just let these swipes go? I mean, Mooch, are you serious about this lawsuit or are you just afraid that we’ve already forgotten you? If Scaramucci didn’t have enough going on to occupy his time before the threat, he has even less to do now. On Tuesday, he resigned from the Tufts University board.


TED Talks are hot beds of sexual harassment. 


Considering how often it offers upbeat talks with feminist messages (e.g., speeches by Sheryl Sandburg, Monica Lewinsky and Gretchen Carlson), it’s a bit unnerving to hear that TED conferences are crawling with lechers.

As first reported by The Washington Post, male attendees groped female attendees at conferences. What’s more, even TED’s top lawyer was not spared the indignities. “Nishat Ruiter, TED’s general counsel, seems to have been both privy to information about the harassment and herself a subject of inappropriate behavior,” reports Corporate Counsel.

First of all, who knew Ted Talks were run like rock concerts (alcohol and drugs are plentiful, according to internal emails unearthed by the Post)? And who would have thought that a bunch of “ideas” nerds (Bill Gates has been spotted) would be going for the sexual atmospherics? Really, what’s this world coming to?


Thanks for reading. 


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