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

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Law Grads Gush Over Prospects as Landmen

Texas Lawyer: Law Grads Gush Over Prospects as Landmen

A number of big energy companies recently began to recruit at Texas law schools to fill landman jobs, which involve title searches and contract negotiations. “It’s becoming a very hot job,” says Rhonda Vickers Beassie, assistant dean of career development at the University of Houston Law Center. Beassie says Exxon Mobil Corp. of Irving, Texas, and British company BP, which has its exploration headquarters in Houston, are recruiting for landmen at the law center.

It has begun… Good luck to those taking July Bar Exam!


The Law Firms Working Group, Empirical Analysis of Law Practice

Bill Henderson, law professor and blogger extraordinaire at The Empirical Legal Studies Blog has launched The Law Firms Working Group Website at the University of Indiana Law Center. The goal of the project is to “advance our knowledge and understanding of law firms, and private practice generally, through systematic and collaborative empirical research.”

The Working Group is a collaborative research network of scholars who focus on law firms and the legal profession. We currently have 38 members drawn from a wide array of universities and disciplines, including law, sociology, economics, business, and political science. Our institutional sponsors are Indiana Law and the American Bar Foundation (ABF), which is the leading independent research institute for the empirical study of law and legal institutions.

A quick look at the projects page has made me very excited about the prospects for the Group, as does Henderson’s involvement. His previous works on legal education are must reads for anyone interested in the subject.

  • Law Firms and Pro Bono
  • The Professionalization of Large Firm Management
  • Lawyer Mobility
  • The Changing Geography of Global Law Firms
  • Interaction Between Law Firm Structure, Hiring, and Partner Promotion
  • Race and Gender in Large Law Firms
  • Globalization Strategies of U.S. Law Firms
  • The Career Trajectories of Young Laywers
  • How Do Corporate Lawyers Add Value: Reducing Transaction Costs or Avoiding Regulation?
  • How Do Markets for Lawyers Influence the Production of Law?
  • Patent Lawyers: Exploring a Community of Practice

Career Services – are you paying attention to this? This stuff is what inquiring minds want to know.

Some Thoughts on Reforming the American Criminal Justice System

From Tom Kirkendall, One of Houston’s Clear Thinkers comes an interesting post on reforming the criminal justice system, inspired by this post from Mark Steyn who has been live-blogging the Conrad Black trial.

I’ve summarized the list of suggestions. See both Tom and Mark’s posts for further commentary.

  1. End universal reliance on plea bargains
  2. End reliance on technical charges such as “mail fraud” and “wire fraud” rather than the underlying crime.
  3. End prosecutors’ ability to seize a defendant’s funds and assets, depriving him or her of the means to hire good lawyers and rebut the charges.
  4. Allow the defendant the last word in closing arguments.
  5. End endless counts that result in compromise verdicts.
  6. End statute creep (citing RICO).
  7. End to de facto double jeopardy (criminal v. civil, prosecution by other agencies, etc).

Study Cites Economic Efficiency, Better Outcomes for Federal Public Defenders

Adam Liptak picked up on a recent study of federal public defender programs for the NY Times, Public Defenders Get Better Marks on Salary. In An Analysisof the Performance of Federal Indigent Defense Counsel (.pdf), Harvard economist Radha Iyengar studied the the performance of Public Defenders and Court-appointed attorneys in federal cases. From the abstract:

Exploiting the use of random case assignment between the two types of attorneys, an analysis of federal criminal case level data from 1997-2001 from 51 districts indicates that public defenders perform significantly better than CJA panel attorneys in terms of lower conviction rates and sentence lengths. An analysis of data from three districts linking attorney experience, wages, law school quality and average caseload suggests that these variables account for over half of the overall difference in performance.

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