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General Off-Topic Board / Law Links and Polls (duh)
« on: April 14, 2007, 06:26:30 PM »

the thread for all things lawyering...

General Off-Topic Board / Julie Fern is right handed
« on: April 09, 2007, 07:20:08 AM »
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran has begun "industrial scale" nuclear fuel production, the country's atomic chief said on Monday ahead of a major speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Now we are entering the mass production of centrifuges and starting to launch industrial scale enrichment, another step toward the flourishing of Islamic Iran," said Iran's Atomic Energy Organization head, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, addressing an audience at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran, according to a translation by The Associated Press.

Earlier on Monday, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said Tehran was ready to resume serious negotiations over its nuclear ambitions, Iranian state media reported.

Ali Larijani said Iran hoped to reach an agreement with Western powers that would "remove their worries" without compromising its own scientific development, Iranian state media reported.

"Today, with the nuclear fuel cycle complete, we are ready to begin real negotiations with the aim of reaching an understanding," Larijani was quoted as saying in a speech in the eastern city of Mashad.

"We are ready to negotiate and reach an agreement with Western countries in order to remove their worries about nuclear Iran without putting an end to our scientific development."

The comments came as Ahmadinejad was expected to offer details of "good news" on Iran's nuclear program during an address at Natanz.

Ambassadors of Islamic and non-aligned countries were invited to attend the ceremonies at the facility.

Analysts believe the announcement could involve 3,000 centrifuges -- the machines used for uranium enrichment -- that Iran has said would be operational soon.

Iran has repeatedly said uranium enrichment, which the United Nations has demanded it stop, is its right and will not be abandoned. The 15-member Security Council voted unanimously last month to pass Resolution 1747.

The U.S. and other nations contend that Iran is using the project to develop nuclear weapons, a claim Iran denies.

Iran currently runs 350 experimental centrifuges at an above ground pilot facility at Natanz, Reuters reported.

Throughout Iran on Monday, schools celebrated "National Technology day," marking the date 27 years ago that Washington broke diplomatic relations with Tehran.

In Tehran, around 200 students gathered in front of the Atomic Energy Organization, chanting "death to America" and "death to Britain" and burning American and British flags, The Associated Press reported.

Up to 15,000 students also planned to hold hands around the Natanz plant to show their support for "Iran's peaceful ambitions, state-run news agency IRNA said.

Tensions between Iran and the West have also been heightened by last month's seizure of 15 British sailors and marines by Iranian forces while on patrol in the Persian Gulf. The 15 were released by Tehran last week after 13 days in Iranian detention. (New video shows Britons 'in comfort0')

Politics and Law-Related News / UNT closer to getting law school
« on: April 03, 2007, 10:54:03 AM »

Senate committee hears proposal to start public program in Dallas

05:56 AM CDT on Tuesday, April 3, 2007

By TERRENCE STUTZ / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN The University of North Texas System would be authorized to establish a new law school in Dallas ending the area's distinction as the largest metropolitan region in the U.S. without a public law school under legislation considered Monday by a Senate committee.

The measure by Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, would clear the way for planning and preparation to open a law school in the old Dallas Municipal Building as early as the fall of 2009. Under an agreement between the city and UNT System, Dallas would donate the building and pay half the cost of its renovation.

Mr. West presented the proposal to the Senate Higher Education Subcommittee, citing the "overwhelming support" for the law school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and North Texas.

"This is a very important project for the city of Dallas in terms of what this means in providing affordable education opportunities," he said.

He noted that about 30 percent of the lawyers practicing in Dallas graduated from out-of-state law schools, partly the result of the lack of an affordable law school in North Texas. The region has two private law schools at SMU and Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth. But tuition is about three times as much as public law schools in Texas, according to Mr. West.

Texas now has four public law schools at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University, the University of Houston and Texas Southern University as well as five private law schools.

UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson was among those who testified for the bill, noting that it "has been 44 years and millions of lawyer jokes" since Texas created its last public law school.

"It's not about whether Texas needs more lawyers, but whether college graduates from North Texas have a reasonable opportunity to earn a law degree if they so choose," he said.

Mr. Jackson pointed out that a new law school would be far less expensive to establish than a medical school, making it a more viable expansion of the university system.

Also testifying was former state District Judge Jay Patterson of Dallas, who said law firms in the area have found it increasingly difficult to attract enough law school graduates particularly minorities to fill their needs.

The bill proposes spending about $6.2 million in state funds over the next two years to get the school up and running by the fall of 2009. The funds would be used to hire faculty and administrators, set up a library and pay debt service on revenue bonds that would be used for renovation of the old Dallas Municipal Building.

Before construction begins, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board would conduct a feasibility study on the proposed law school. It would initially be operated as a professional school of the UNT System and eventually become a part of UNT-Dallas.

General Off-Topic Board / How much money do you need per yr - New Poll
« on: April 03, 2007, 08:12:50 AM »

after reading this (still reading) it gets me to thinking how much ui need to be happy.

I think, 60k in a cheaper city would work fine for me.  anything above that, and im doing REAL GOOD!

General Off-Topic Board / Hot or Not?
« on: April 02, 2007, 02:33:25 PM »
im going to go with hot

and feel free to add pics of why you pick what you pick  :)

How much higher than the schools Avg does your score have to be to get a full ride/good scholarship?



General Off-Topic Board / Big Law
« on: March 30, 2007, 08:15:58 AM »
whatcha think?

General Off-Topic Board / the Atlanta/GA thread
« on: March 25, 2007, 06:05:38 PM »!846876388&UrAuth=%60NbNUOaNYUbTTUWUXUVUZTYU]UWU^U^UZUbUaUcTYWYWZV&urcm=y

Pay soars for new hires at corporate law firms
Huge gap between private and legal aid lawyers

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 03/25/07

For some, law school is looking pretty good right about now.

Post comments below.

Starting pay at many Atlanta corporate law firms has soared in the past two months. In some cases, the pay hikes are putting newly-minted lawyers' base pay miles ahead of their more public service-minded peers and Gov. Sonny Perdue and the state's top attorney.

Since January, when Troutman & Sanders ignited metro Atlanta's pay war, more than a dozen Atlanta law firms have raised salaries for first-year attorneys from $115,000 to $130,000.

Heavyweights King & Spalding and Alston & Bird followed Troutman's lead. The list has since grown to include Kilpatrick Stockton, McKenna Long & Aldridge, Morris, Manning & Martin and others.

Hunton & Williams trumped the pack recently by sweetening the pot for its newbie associates to $145,000. That's more than Georgia attorney general Thurbert Baker or Gov. Sonny Perdue make.

Atlanta's largesse is part of a national trend that began in New York and has worked its way to law firms in California, Miami, Chicago, Houston and other major cities.

Competition for top law school grads and healthy balance sheets has helped push pay up on the corporate side of the legal profession nationally. Meanwhile, many of their first-year peers in the public sector legal aid services, for instance would be ecstatic to start their careers at $50,000.

Salaries at the largest Atlanta law firms generally hovered at $75,000 in the late 1990s. They rose to about $100,000 in 2000.

"Salaries were pretty flat during the strong parts of the economy," said Bob Saudek, managing partner with Morris, Manning & Martin in Atlanta. "They were poised to go up when the recession hit in 2002. The recession did impact law firms a lot. All of a sudden, it was more of a buyer's market for law firms.

"Law firms weren't hiring as fast in 2002 to 2004. There wasn't the pressure to move salaries up."

Atlanta salaries remained fairly stagnant until late 2005, when they went to $115,000. Then earlier this year, they jumped to $130,000.

The pay increases come at a time when the legal profession nationwide is enjoying immense business and profits. The legal industry enjoyed healthy revenue growth in the first half of last year, due largely to rate increases and a rise in demand, measured in the form of gross hours, according to a study by wealth manager Citigroup Private Bank.

As a result, productivity has picked up as attorneys put in more hours.

This summer, many of the nation's top law firms plan to bring in more summer hires. And many law schools are reporting greater hiring for first-year associates, many of whom will join law firms in the fall.

Law firms compete for hires, raise the ante

Salaries historically go up every few years, but this time the competition has intensified.

"They're competing for a small group of talented associates," said Roy Sobelson, associate dean of the Georgia State University College of Law. "Once one does it, anyone else who wants to keep up has to do the same."

The first-year associates aren't the only ones enjoying more money. Increases have spread in ladderstep to other associates in the firm, experts say.

"When you have an increase in the base, it works its way through the entire associates ranks," said Ben Johnson III, managing partner at Alston & Bird, where about 40 new associates will start this fall.

Competition has become so steep that some top-drawer law firms nationally are awarding $200,000 signing bonuses to those who've clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Those bonuses are on top of the $145,000 to $160,000 starting pay and equate to what Chief Justice John Roberts earns in a year. Roberts criticized the inadequacy of judicial salaries in a report to Congress earlier this year.

"It's a sign of just how out of whack the cost of legal services are in relation to the value of services provided," said Susan Hackett, general counsel for the Association of Corporate Counsel in Washington, D.C., a bar assocation for in-house counsel in private sector companies. "Do we really think someone who just graduated from law school and has very little practical experience has the same level of legal acumen as someone who is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States?"

Paying for those salaries

Hackett noted that a lot of first-year associates in large firms tend to "focus on mundane, routine tasks" such as document discovery, contract review and other research.

"These are all tasks you can hire a non-law firm vendor to fulfill at a fraction of the cost," she said.

Consequently, Hackett added, newly minted attorneys will pay a heavy price for the heftier paychecks.

"Associates have to drum up work. They're never going to see a free Saturday or Sunday," she said. "The partners in the firm aren't going to take the money out of their own pockets, but out of the associates' hides. They're going to make the associates bill more hours to pay for their keep."

Alston & Bird's Johnson disagrees.

"There's no expectation necessarily that anybody will work more hours because you're paying them more money," he said. "That may or may not be the case. How many hours people work depends on how much work you've got."

Huge pay gap for legal aid lawyers

The latest wave of pay hikes points to another issue. Most of these increases are going to associates in corporate firms. Those in the public sector, such as district attorneys' and legal aid offices, aren't seeing much of the bounty.

A study released last November by the Chicago Bar Foundation and Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice found that four in 10 legal aid lawyers plan to leave their jobs due to low pay and high law school debt.

Median starting salary for an attorney at a civil legal services group is $36,000. An attorney with 11-15 years of legal aid experience makes about $55,000, according to the NALP, the Association for Legal Career Professionals.

Then consider: The average debt of new law school grads has skyrocketed. Many graduates are entering the job market with six-figure debt. Loans that used to take 10 years to pay off are now being extended to 30 years, according to Dina Merrell, associate director of the Chicago Bar Foundation and co-author of the study.

The debt may in fact justify the generous salaries.

"With debts to pay, lots of students are happy to take the jobs," said Emory University law professor Charles Shanor.

General Off-Topic Board / Big Fish / Little Fish Poll
« on: March 22, 2007, 07:38:19 PM »
which would you rather be?

id prefer to be the big fish...

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