lukegilman.com : The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

Trials of Law School, The Documentary

Via Texas Law Blog, the Trials of Law School will be screened at the
20th Annual Dallas Video Festival on August 4, 2007.

Johnny Holmes, Former Harris County DA Profiled

The Houston Chronicle has a profile of Johnny Holmes, the larger than life Harris County District Attorney who held sway for 21 years in Former DA ran powerful death-penalty machine.

Facebook Founder Sued

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of online networking juggernaut Facebook (Add me! Add me!), is facing a lawsuit from three of his former college mates who claim Zuckerman stole the source code from a similar project and used it to start Facebook. They are seeking to have Facebook turned over to them.

WSJ: Judge Expresses Skepticism About Facebook Lawsuit, and the law blog’s take.

It doesn’t sound like it’s going extraordinarily well for the plaintiffs. From the law blog –

In a pretrial hearing yesterday, Judge Woodlock said that “dorm room chitchat does not make a contract.” He criticized the plaintiffs, whose site is called ConnectU, for scheduling a press conference after the hearing and speculated that they were seeking news coverage “for the purposes of a settlement.” Facebook is the world’s second most-popular social-networking site; ConnectU isn’t.

Oh, snap.

Real Life FBI Intrudes on Second Life Gambling

Linden Labs, the parent company of the Second Life virtual world announced a ban on gambling following an FBI investigation.

While Linden Lab does not offer an online gambling service, Linden Lab and Second Life Residents must comply with state and federal laws applicable to regulated online gambling, even when both operators and players of the games reside outside of the US.

Virtual reality is raising some interesting jurisdictional issues. See also, Do We Need a Virtual Gaming Commission?, Talking About Forced Sex of Avatars = Crime?, Where Real Money Meets Virtual Reality, The Jury Is Still Out.

Avoiding the Debt Trap, Starting Salaries for Law Grads Not What You’ve Been Led to Believe

While some Texas firms are raising starting salaries to match the Coasts, the reality of starting out is much less lucrative than many law students have been led to believe. For the jobless JDs in a tough legal market, finding a job is hard enough. As noted in National Law Journal article About That Huge Salary: It’s a Long Shot, the picture isn’t as rosy in all aspects of the legal market.

…the eye-popping salaries are the reality for a small fraction of law school graduates, and all those stories of big money may be creating unrealistic hopes for the vast majority of law school students. Contributing to the situation is the effort by law schools to portray their employment numbers as robustly as possible to boost their ranking scores. The upshot means dashed expectations for lots of graduates, many of whom are saddled with high debt as they struggle to start their careers. “They do not have an accurate perception of the job market,” said Emily Spieler, dean of Northeastern University School of Law. “They have very restricted views.”

The Houston Chronicle’s Mary Flood takes a local view on the Legal Trade Blog in Lawyers who make the smaller bucks and in the Chronicle article Salary reality: Many lawyers don’t earn big bucks.

So what’s a JD candidate to do? Here’s one option -

Evening Law School, One Way to Avoid the Debt Trap

Money was the main factor in going the evening route. I spent a year trying to save up some money to do the traditional full-time route and had to concede that what I managed to save up wouldn’t even make a dent. In-state tuition at public schools has skyrocketed in the last decade. It’s cheaper than a private school, but it’s no longer the bargain it once was.

Evening Law Schools have had a long and varied history in the pantheon of legal education. Some notable institutions such as Georgetown started out exclusively offering evening classes.
Prior to the current rigorous accreditation regime enforced by the ABA however, many law schools operated in a laissez-faire environment and night schools in particular developed a reputation for being more interested in collecting tuition than teaching the law. The reputation of evening law schools has improved with an emphasis being placed on the equivalence of the education. At Houston, for instance, evening students have the same professors, the same opportunities for extracurricular activities and academic honors and the same degree at the end. Working and going to law school at the same time can be tough, but it may be worth the sacrifice to avoid the debt trap.

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