By Carlyn Kolker
Some stories really hit home. When Summary Judgments was a
young teenager growing up in Washington, she'd occasionally
venture to a neighborhood now known (did it even have a name
back then?) as the U Street Corridor. What was once a few blocks
with some run-down buildings, soup kitchens, a cool café or two
and perhaps one boutique has boomed over the past two decades.
In 2006, The New York Times labeled it "the newest and hottest
place in town for getting out on weekends after dark," and in
2009 the Washington Post wrote that "through rapid
redevelopment, U Street has seen a resurgence of its past as a
nighttime hot spot." And now, in perhaps another sign of the
maturation of the neighborhood, comes news that a new resident
has arrived: Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
just bought a condo in the area for $660,000, according to the Washington Business Journal. But the newspaper, citing requests
from the Supreme Court, isn't disclosing the exact address.
The conversation about what to do about the dwindling legal
job market started about the time the financial crisis began
gnawing away at the most dependable of law gigs, the
get-your-foot-in-the-big-firm-door-and-stay-there job. And the
hand-wringing hasn't stopped since.
In just the past few days, The New York Times' opinion page
and that paper's Economix blog have weighed in on the subject,
while the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog and Reuters have noted
the announcement of a New York City Bar task force to study the
grim employment horizon.
The discussion feels a little like Groundhog Day. Certain
things, as the articles point out, are now accepted as
conventional wisdom: Fewer people should go to law school; law
schools should accept significantly fewer students; law schools
should be honest with students about their job prospects before
students sign up for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands in
But it seems like it is taking a long time for the message
to sink in. And the articles, which have some fresh insights on
the subject, should be required reading for anyone thinking
about applying for law school. The Economix blog, for example,
shows that even as the top of the market struggles, big firms
continue to play Keeping up With Cravath: Though they would love
to pay less than $160,000 to first-year associates, they don't
want to lose face by being the leader in cutting salaries.
(Reporting by Erin Geiger Smith)
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach, who died
over the weekend, was never afraid to take on controversy during
his legal career. As a law student, he became an anti-war
advocate and joined the radical Students for a Democratic
Society, which led New York's Committee on Character and Fitness
to delay his admission to the state bar. As a newly minted
judge, he took to the streets -- literally -- to combat the AIDS
epidemic by handing out condoms to prostitutes. In 2004, he was
named a permanent member of the Kosovo Supreme Court. And in his
final months, he penned an opinion piece for The New York Times
in which he urged state lawmakers to pass a bill legalizing the
use of medical marijuana, which he admitted to smoking to cope
with the harsh side effects of treatment for pancreatic cancer,
and touched on the tension he felt between acting as a judge,
who must uphold the law, and a cancer patient, who found that
marijuana eased his symptoms of nausea, sleeplessness and loss
of appetite from chemotherapy.
Reichbach's battle with cancer ended on Saturday, when, as
the Daily News reported, the 65-year-old judge passed away.
Reichbach was "insightful and compassionate, with an unwavering
commitment to the pursuit of justice," the New York Office of
Court Administration said in a statement Monday.
Reichbach didn't live to see his dream of legalized medical
marijuana in New York state. A bill to legalize the drug was
passed by the state assembly last month but didn't advance in
the state Senate.
(Reporting by Jessica Dye)
It is an historic time in Nigeria, where Alooma Mariam
Mukhtar, the country's first female chief justice, was sworn in by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday. The top
court job isn't an easy one: "The deterioration in the Nigerian
judiciary is enough to make an average citizen to despair," an
opinion piece on the AllAfrica website asserts. Not only do
judges make politically-based decisions and feud with each
other, justice is often seen as "for sale," the Nigerian PM News reports. Mukhtar, a career judge, is seen as incorruptible, the
PM News says, but even so, she faces other gargantuan tasks,
such as speeding along the Supreme Court's workload.
Summary Judgments for July 13
Summary Judgments for July 12
Summary Judgments for July 11
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook