‘Do Your Research,’ ‘Stick It Out,’ And Other Things Law Schools Should Stop Telling Students About Clerkships – Above the Law

The
school
year
is
over,
but
rising
third-year
law
students
are
busy.
They
are
putting
the
finishing
touches
on
judicial
clerkship
applications
and
preparing
to
submit
them
via
the

Online
System
for
Clerkship
Application
and
Review

(OSCAR)
on
June
12,
2023,
in
compliance
with
the
federal
law
clerk
hiring
plan.
On
that
date,
students
will
indiscriminately
apply
for
clerkships
with
as
many
as
100
federal
judges.
Judges
review
hundreds
of
applications
in
just
a
few
days,
with
substantial
input
from
friendly
law
professors
and
their
current
clerks

before
extending
interview
offers
for
this
coveted
first
legal
job.

Sadly,
due
to
the
lack
of
transparency
in
the
clerkship
application
process,
law
students
will
submit
their
applications,
fly
across
the
country
on
several
days’
notice
for
interviews,
and
accept
these
positions

either
on
the
spot
or
with
very
little
time
to
think
about
it

with
very
little
information
about
judges
as
managers
or
clerkship
experiences.
Some
will
have
wonderful
clerkship
experiences.
Others
will
experience
workplace
mistreatment
that
alters
their
career
paths,
derails
their
careers,
or
drives
them
from
the
legal
profession
entirely.
Troublingly,
the
latter
group
are
dissuaded
from
ever
speaking
about
these
negative
experiences,
even
with
law
students
considering
clerkships
with
the
judges
who
mistreated
them.

This
month,
we
can
also
expect
a
plethora
of
social
media
takes
about
clerkships

attorneys
tweeting
and
posting
on
LinkedIn
about
their
positive
clerkship
experiences
and
the
lifelong
mentor/mentee
relationships
they
developed
with
the
judges
for
whom
they
clerked.
Descriptions
of
the
judge/clerk
relationship
as
familial.”
Photos
of
judges
officiating
their
former
clerks’
weddings.
Attorneys
advising
students
to
“apply
broadly,”
meaning
across
the
U.S.
and
across
the
political
spectrum.
Refrains
about
the
importance
of
accepting
the
first
clerkship
you
are
offered,
because
you
can
live
anywhere
(and
endure
anything)
for
a
year
or
two.

There’s
nothing
wrong
with
discussing
the
benefits
of
clerking.
Clerking
can
be
a
very
valuable
experience
where
new
attorneys
receive
a
crash
course
in
trial
lawyering
and
judicial
decision-making,
while
honing
their
writing
and
research
skills.
But
when
the
messaging
is
uniformly
positive

from
law
schools
advising
students
on
clerkships,
from
faculty
members
referring
students
to
judges
and
judges
to
students,
and
from
attorneys
mentoring
law
students
and
hiring
them
for
their
post-clerkship
positions

law
students
lack
a
critical
perspective.
When
mistreated
law
clerks
hear
this
toxic
positive
messaging,
they
are
made
to
feel
that
they
must
have
done
something
wrong.
If
no
one
discusses
negative
experiences,
they
must
be
the
only
ones
who
were
mistreated.
This
can
be
enormously
isolating.
When
I
was
a
former
clerk

participating

in
the
judicial
complaint
process,
that
messaging
was
turned
around
on
me.
I
was
told
by
an
investigator
that
I
“must
have
done
something
wrong
because
the
judge
hired
[me]
in
the
first
place.”

Current
and
former
clerks
reach
out
to

The
Legal
Accountability
Project

(LAP)
frequently
for
advice.
They
ask
whether
their
experiences
are
common.
I
underscore
that
they
are
not
alone:
our
experiences,
while
not
rare,

are
rarely
shared
publicly
,
due
to
the
culture
of
silence
and
fear
surrounding
the
judiciary

one
of
deifying
judges
and
disbelieving
law
clerks.

When
I
was
a
law
student
at
Washington
University
in
St.
Louis
School
of
Law,
the
messaging
around
clerkships

like
at
most
law
schools

was
nearly
always
positive.
No
one
talked
about
the
potential
downsides
of
clerking.
Even
now,
to
the
extent
potential
downsides
are
broached,
this
is
typically
limited
to
the
relatively
low
clerkship
salary,
and
the
necessity
of
moving
to
a
faraway
place
for
a
year
or
two.
Realistic
and
balanced
clerkship
messaging
and
programming
must
become
part
of
mainstream
law
school
culture.

Law
school
clerkship
directors,
deans,
and
faculty
members
may
hesitate
to
broach
potential
downsides
because
they
worry
that
it
will
dissuade
some
students
from
clerking.
Or
because
they
prioritize

their
relationship
with
every
single
judge


even
those
known
to
mistreat
their
clerks

over
their
duty
of
care
to
all
of
their
students.
Yet
transparency
and
candor
will
not
dissuade
students
from
clerking.
The
students
who
entered
law
school
dead-set
on
clerking
will
clerk
anyway.
And
the
clerkship-curious
students
will
pursue
judicial
clerkships
with
the
confidence
that
they
will
be
treated
fairly
and
respectfully
during
both
the
application
process
and
their
tenure
as
clerks.
They
will
pursue
better
clerkships.

Many
law
schools
continue
to
give
the
ill-advised
directive
that
students
must
accept
the
first
clerkship
they
are
offered

that
they
can
never
say
“no”
to
a
judge.
This
contributes
to
the
deification
of
judges.
What
is
unique
about
clerkships
in
the
legal
profession,
such
that
you
can
never
turn
down
a
job
offer?
This
sends
a
message
to
both
law
students
and
the
judiciary
that
judges
deserve
blind
respect
and
total
deference.

Law
schools
also
rely
on
euphemisms
for
mistreatment
like
“fit”
when
discussing
the
judge/clerk
relationship.
They
describe
the
clerkship
search
as
identifying
“good
fits”
because
they
do
not
want
to
explicitly
state
that
some
judges
mistreat
their
clerks.
Still
others
tell
students
that
a
“challenging”
clerkship
(another
euphemism
for
workplace
mistreatment)
is
“worth
it”
for
the
prestige.
And
during
conversations
with
career
services
professionals,
administrators
tell
me
that
“law
clerks
just
want
to
keep
their
heads
down
and
move
on”
after
a
negative
experience.
Law
students
and
alumni
deserve
better
than
evasive
or
opaque
statements
and
half-truths
filtered
to
law
schools’
comfort
level.
They
deserve
candor
from
those
who
profess
to
have
students’
best
interests
at
heart.

Law
clerks
who
experience
mistreatment
are
notoriously
unwilling
to
share
that
information
with
their
law
schools.
But
in
the
instances
in
which
they
do,
too
often
they
are
confronted
with
advice
like
“stick
it
out.”
They
are
dissuaded
from
speaking
out
or
standing
up
for
themselves.
Some
administrators
help
students
extract
themselves
from
negative
clerkship
experiences.
But
this
is
the
exception,
not
the
rule.
Law
schools
should
tell
students
that
they

can

leave
a
clerkship
early
if
they
are
mistreated
or
disrespected,
just
like
they

can

turn
down
a
clerkship
offer
if
something
feels
wrong.
Anything
less
than
empowering
students
to
stand
up
for
themselves
is
disempowering,
considering
the
enormous
headwinds
that
clerks
seeking
accountability
face.

Law
schools
tell
students
to
“do
their
research”
about
judges
before
applying.
But
what
research
are
students
to
do,
when
so
little
information
about
judges
as
managers
and
clerkship
experiences
is
accessible
to
them?
Law
schools
intend
for
students
to
reach
out
to
current
or
former
clerks

ideally
alumni
of
their
alma
maters

who
may
or
may
not
share
candid
information
about
their
clerkship
experiences.
This
backdoor,
secretive,
fear-infused
method
of
information-sharing
is
sometimes
referred
to
as
the
clerkships
whisper
network
.”
Those
with
information
about
judges

either
law
clerks
or
law
school
administrators
(deans,
clerkship
directors,
and
professors)

may
or
may
not
share
information
with
students
who
reach
out.
But
current
and
former
clerks,
fearing
both
reputational
harm
in
the
legal
community
for
saying
anything
less
than
positive
about
judges
and
retaliation
by
the
judges
who
mistreated
them,
are
disincentivized
to
share
candid
information
about
mistreatment
with
law
students
who
need
it.

In
the
absence
of
transparent
information,
law
clerks
recount
to
me
the
troubling
ways
they
attempt
to
“research”
judges

anonymous
T-14
blogs,

The
Robing
Room
,
and
outreach
to
friends
at
better-resourced
schools
that
keep
some
records
about
clerkship
experiences.
They
reach
out
to
former
clerks
before
interviewing,
who
all
paint
the
same
overly
rosy
picture,
as
if
reading
from
a
script.
Law
clerks
tell
me
they
found
out
later

after
experiencing
mistreatment

that
former
clerks
were
not
fully
transparent
when
they
spoke.
In
the
rare
instances
when
clerks
share
information
with
their
law
schools,
the
schools
may
instruct
them
not
to
tell
anyone

putting
clerkship
directors
in
the
challenging
position
of
either
sharing
the
information
anyway
(anonymously),
or
not
warning
applicants
at
all.

We
should
encourage
law
clerks
to
speak
openly
and
honestly
about
the
full
range
of
clerkship
experiences.
Empowering
clerks
to
discuss
workplace
treatment
is
the
first
step
toward
changing
the
culture
in
the
legal
community.
Candid
dialogue
will
also
raise
the
bar
on
workplace
civility
in
the
judiciary,
challenging
every
judge
to
take
a
hard
look
at
their
chambers
culture
and
role
as
a
manager.

I
often
ask
deans
and
judges
how
they
think
students
obtain
information
about
judges
before
applying
for
clerkships;
whether
information
about
judges
who
mistreat
their
clerks
is
shared
with
students;
and
whether
enough
information
about
judges
as
managers
is
accessible
to
applicants.
Many
agree
that
greater
transparency
in
the
clerkship
application
process
is
necessary

yet
institutional
intransigence
and
fear
of
disruptive
change
have
long
precluded
reform.

It
weighs
heavily
on
me
that
we
are
entering
another
clerkship
application
cycle
where
law
students
lack
information
about
judges.
Here’s
some
advice
to
help
prospective
clerks
protect
themselves
and
make
(relatively)
informed
decisions:


  • You
    don’t
    have
    to
    accept
    the
    first
    clerkship
    you
    are
    offered.
    You
    can
    say
    “no”
    to
    a
    judge.
    You
    can
    also
    ask
    for
    more
    time
    to
    think
    about
    it.

    If
    something
    feels
    wrong
    after
    an
    interview,
    you
    can
    turn
    down
    a
    clerkship
    offer,
    or
    ask
    for
    more
    time
    to
    think
    about
    it.
    The
    judge
    will
    find
    another
    clerk,
    and
    you’ll
    find
    another
    job.
    Some
    judges
    continue
    to
    engage
    in
    the
    practice
    of
    exploding
    offers,
    pressuring
    students
    to
    accept
    offers
    on
    the
    spot.
    But
    do
    you
    really
    want
    to
    work
    for
    someone
    who
    respects
    you
    so
    little?

  • Ask
    the
    right
    questions
    of
    the
    judge.

    Ask
    about
    chambers
    culture,
    hours,
    tasks,
    and
    expectations.
    You
    can
    also
    ask
    questions
    about
    workplace
    policies.
    I
    speak
    often
    with
    judges
    who
    support
    increased
    judicial
    accountability
    mechanisms
    and
    enhanced
    workplace
    protections,
    and
    who
    are
    happy
    to
    tell
    me
    what
    else
    they
    think
    needs
    to
    change
    to
    increase
    diversity
    in
    the
    clerkship
    applicant
    pool
    and
    to
    ensure
    safe
    work
    environments
    for
    judiciary
    employees.
    A
    judge’s
    answer
    should
    be
    a
    red
    flag

    or
    a
    green
    flag.

  • Ask
    the
    right
    questions
    of
    the
    judge’s
    clerks.

    After
    your
    interview
    with
    the
    judge,
    you’ll
    spend
    some
    time
    with
    the
    clerks.
    This
    is
    part
    of
    the
    interview.
    But
    it’s
    also
    an
    opportunity
    to
    seek
    a
    candid
    assessment
    about
    chambers
    culture,
    how
    the
    judge
    provides
    feedback,
    and
    the
    judge’s
    relationship
    with
    their
    clerks,
    judicial
    assistant,
    and
    courthouse
    staff.
    Clerks’
    answers
    to
    these
    questions

    and
    their
    willingness
    to
    answer
    them
    at
    all

    is
    instructive.

  • Seek
    advice
    from
    former
    clerks.

    The
    clerkships
    whisper
    network
    is
    woefully
    inadequate
    but,
    this
    year,
    it’s
    the
    system
    that
    exists.
    As
    soon
    as
    you
    get
    an
    interview,
    reach
    out
    to
    former
    clerks.
    Start
    with
    your
    law
    school’s
    alumni
    network.
    Then
    search
    through
    LinkedIn.
    Or
    reach
    out
    to
    LAP,
    and
    we’ll
    try
    to
    connect
    you
    with
    former
    clerks.
    Ask
    pointed
    questions.
    Former
    clerks
    are
    better-positioned
    than
    current
    ones
    to
    answer
    candidly.

Considering
the
premium
that
law
schools
and
legal
employers
place
on
judicial
clerkships,
and
the
outsized
importance
of
a
clerkship
on
an
attorney’s
future
career
success,
the
legal
community
should
ensure
access
to
transparent
information
about
clerkships.
Our
clerkship
system
is
broken,
but
we
can
fix
it.

We
should
aim
to
create
a
legal
profession
that
is
more
diverse,
more
equitable,
and
more
inclusive.
But
nothing
will
ever
change
if
no
one
speaks
out
about
injustice.
And
it
shouldn’t
just
come
from
people
like
me

who
are
adjacent
to
the
practice
of
law.
We
should
empower
law
students,
law
clerks,
and
the
next
generation
of
attorneys
to
demand
safer
workplaces.
The
first
step
is
to
change
the
messaging
around
clerkships,
so
that
every
clerk
knows
they
are
not
alone.
Messaging
matters.




Aliza
Shatzman
is
the
President
and
Founder
of The
Legal
Accountability
Project
,
a
nonprofit
aimed
at
ensuring
that
law
clerks
have
positive
clerkship
experiences,
while
extending
support
and
resources
to
those
who
do
not.
She
regularly
writes
and
speaks
about
judicial
accountability
and
clerkships.
Reach
out
to
her
via
email
at Aliza.Shatzman@legalaccountabilityproject.org and
follow
her
on
Twitter
@AlizaShatzman.

Advancing AI Safety: Law Student Competition For Drafting A Treaty On Moratorium Of Large-Scale AI Capabilities R&D – Above the Law


Advances
in
capabilities
of
artificial
intelligence
(AI)
are
an
existential
danger
to
all
the
people
of
the
world.
These
advances
must
be
indefinitely
stopped
via
prohibitions
on
general
AI
capability
research
as
well
as
surveillance
and
reduction
in
manufacturing
of
certain
computer
chips,
among
other
measures.
To
enforce
a
regime
that
will
allow
humanity
to
continue
to
exist,
countries
need
to
pass
appropriate
laws
and
enter
international
treaties.


The
Campaign
for
AI
Safety
announces
the
first
law
student
competition
on
this
topic.
This
competition
invites
students
from
law,
philosophy,
and
related
disciplines,
including
JD
and
PhD
students,
to
participate
in
drafting
a
treaty
on
the
moratorium
of
large-scale
AI
capabilities
research
and
development.
The
winning
treaty
may
provide
a
blueprint
for
international
governance
and
legal
structures
in
the
realm
of
AI
control.


The
competition
is
open
to
students
globally
and
is
hosted
on
the
Campaign
for
AI
Safety’s
website.
Participants
are
encouraged
to
explore
the
implications
of
AI
development
and
create
a
draft
treaty
that
embodies
the
principles
of
responsible
AI.
By
participating
in
this
competition,
law
students
have
a
remarkable
opportunity
to
make
a
lasting
impact
on
humanity’s
survival
and
contribute
their
expertise
towards
the
formulation
of
an
international
treaty
that
will
shape
the
future
of
AI
governance.


Why
participate?


  1. Survival
    of
    our
    species.


  2. Intellectual
    Stimulation:
    Engage
    in
    cutting-edge
    research
    and
    legal
    discourse
    surrounding
    the
    complex
    field
    of
    AI
    safety.
    This
    competition
    offers
    an
    intellectually
    stimulating
    platform
    where
    students
    can
    explore
    the
    legal,
    ethical,
    and
    societal
    implications
    of
    AI.

  3. Recognition
    and
    Exposure:
    The
    winning
    draft
    will
    be
    showcased
    on
    the
    Campaign
    for
    AI
    Safety’s
    website,
    providing
    participants
    with
    valuable
    recognition
    and
    exposure
    in
    the
    field
    of
    AI
    governance.
    This
    exposure
    can
    be
    a
    stepping
    stone
    to
    future
    academic
    or
    professional
    opportunities
    in
    the
    growing
    field
    of
    AI
    law
    and
    policy.

  4. Prizes
    and
    Rewards:
    The
    top
    three
    participants
    will
    receive
    substantial
    monetary
    rewards.
    The
    winner
    will
    receive
    a
    prize
    of
    AUD
    4000,
    the
    runner-up
    AUD
    1000,
    and
    the
    third-place
    contestant
    AUD
    500.
    In
    addition
    to
    the
    financial
    rewards,
    participants
    can
    add
    certificates
    of
    participation
    to
    their
    CVs
    and
    online
    profiles,
    demonstrating
    their
    commitment
    to
    AI
    safety
    and
    their
    ability
    to
    contribute
    to
    critical
    legal
    discussions.


To
participate,
students
can
submit
their
draft
treaty
in
English,
with
a
maximum
length
of
10
pages,
in
Word
format.
The
submission
should
be
made
through
the
Law
Student
Competition
Submission
Form,
which
can
be
accessed
on
the
Campaign
for
AI
Safety’s
website.
Participants
are
required
to
provide
their
names
and
university
affiliations
for
proper
identification.


The
submission
deadline
for
the
competition
is
July
15,
2023.
After
the
judging
process,
the
results
will
be
announced
on
August
1,
2023,
highlighting
the
exceptional
contributions
of
the
participants.


The
panel
of
esteemed
judges
includes
both
academicians
and
legal
practitioners,
who
will
evaluate
the
draft
treaties
based
on
several
key
criteria,
including
clarity,
legality,
effectiveness,
and
comprehensiveness.


To
learn
more
about
the
competition
and
participate,
visit
the
Campaign
for
AI
Safety’s
website
at



www.campaignforaisafety.org/law-competition/



[This
article
is
sponsored
by
the
Campaign
for
AI
Safety,
an
Australian
unincorporated
association
of
people
who
are
concerned
about
the
risks
of
AI.]

The Biglaw Files: How Power And Privilege Harm The Legal Profession – Above the Law

This
past
weekend,
I
was
plagued
by
two
different
jarring
stories
of
Biglaw
lawyers
that
hit
social
media:
the

abuse
and
unyielding
rage
of
Allan
Kassenoff
from
Greenberg
Traurig

that
led
to
the
planned
suicide
of
his
wife
Catherine
Kassenoff,
and
the
vitriolic

antisemitic,
racist,
and
misogynistic
language
spewed
by
Jeff
Ranen
and
John
Barber
of
Barber
Ranen

(formed
by
140-plus
lawyers
who
departed
from
Lewis
Brisbois
at
the
beginning
of
May
2023).
Both
of
these
incidents
are
full
of
emails
documenting
the
widespread
abuse
of
power
and
privilege
within
the
Biglaw
world.

As
I’ve
previously
written
in
my
ATL
column,
these
are
the

toxic
behaviors
that
push
women
out
of
law
firms

and
hurt
our
profession
as
a
whole.
It’s
this
type
of
despicable
behavior
that
perpetuates
negativity
in
our
profession
and
continues
to
corrupt
it.
Yet,
it’s
a
sordid
reality
of
how
male
Biglaw
lawyers
wield
their
power
in
and
out
of
the
courtroom

and
how
law
firms
often
sweep
it
under
the
rug
because
it’s
just
regular
business
for
them

after
all,
if
the
Biglaw
machine
is
making
money,
who
cares,
right?
Imagine
working
for
a
firm
for
a
decade
and
learning
that
the
white,
male
partners

refer
to
women
and
other
POC
with
demeaning,
condescending,
and
wholly
inappropriate
language.

I’ll
let
you
click
on
the
link
to
see
the
examples
for
yourself.

I
worked
for
various
abusive
male
lawyers
throughout
my
law
firm
days.
I’d
often
ask
myself:
if
this
is
how
they
talk
to
me,
can
you
imagine
how
they
speak
to
their
wives,
daughters,
and
mothers?
Allan
Kassenoff
is
a
prime
example
of
this

in
various

TikTok
videos
from
Robbie
Harvey,
a
journalist,

which
garnered
more
than
20
million
views,
he
explains
and
documents
the
abuse
and
rage
of
Kassenoff
calling
his
wife
Catherine,
a
decorated
and
accomplished
woman
lawyer
and
mother
to
his
three
daughters,
a
“fat
loser,”
among
other
derogatory
terms.

Yet,
the
PR
stunts
played
by
these
firms
should
not
go
unnoticed.
Catherine
Kassenoff
made
her

public
plea
on
Facebook

before
undergoing
doctor-assisted
suicide
in
Europe,
shedding
light
on
the
magnitude
of
her
life
of
hell
with
Allen
Kassenoff.
But
like
any
good
lawyer,
she
diligently
attached
a
large
file
of
documents
and
videos
which
noted
the
abuse
and
corruption
in
the
case.

Greenberg
Traurig
has
since
put
up
a
statement
on
its
Facebook
page
defending
its
beloved
firm
partner.
What
we
have
yet
to
see
are
the
comments
from
various
legal
assistants,
law
firm
associates,
and
other
women
in
Allan’s
work
life
who
may
have
been
privy
to
the
pervasive
patterns
of
verbal
and
emotional
abuse
that
may
have
just
been
swept
under
the
rug
since
he’s
a
rainmaker
for
the
firm.
For
such
a
brazen
and
bold
figure,
he’s
certainly
now
hidden

removing
his
LinkedIn
profile
and
causing
GT
to
shut
off
all
comments
on
its
social
media
channels.

For
Ranen
and
Barber,
their
abhorrent
antisemitic,
racist,
and
misogynistic
behaviors
have
now
come
to
light,
but
a
little
too
late

as
the
documented
emails
occurred
while
they
were
employed
by
Lewis
Brisbois.
Thus,
it
appears
to
be
more
of
a
“gotcha”
way
to
preclude
their
new
firm
from
flourishing

perhaps
from
an
insider
at
Lewis
Brisbois
who
may
be
firing
back
after
Ranen
and
Barber
took
away
clients
and
lawyers
from
them.
Yet,
what’s
even
more
despicable
is
that
Lewis
Brisbois
allowed
this
behavior
to
permeate
for
more
than
a
decade,
with
the

New
York
Post
reporting
emails
that
go
as
far
back
as
June
2012
.
Where
were
the
internal
controls
since
law
firms
monitor
emails
and
have
various
firewalls
and
language
filters?
Did
they
only
go
up
after
they
exited
the
firm
and
took
the
100-plus
lawyers
with
them
for
their
spinoff?
Where
was
HR
in
all
of
this?

Here’s
the
reality:
emails
are
forever,
as
is
the
internet.
Certainly,
Kassenoff,
Ranen,
and
Barber
have
shown
us
how
Biglaw
operates
when
push
comes
to
shove
with
the
billable
hour
and
revenue.
Yet,
in
the
spirit
of
irony
and
hypocrisy,
it
makes
complete
sense
that
Ranen
(as
his
LinkedIn
profile
denotes)
was
the
editor
of
Boston
College
Law
School’s
Third
World
Law
Journal,
focusing
on
civil
rights.

Again,
the
irony
within
Biglaw
shines
bright
like
a
diamond.




Wendi
Weiner
is
an attorney,
career
expert,
and
founder
of 
The
Writing
Guru
,
an
award-winning
executive
resume
writing
services
company.
Wendi creates
powerful
career
and
personal
brands
for
attorneys,
executives,
and
C-suite/Board
leaders
for
their
job
search
and
digital
footprint. She
also
writes
for
major
publications
about
alternative
careers
for
lawyers, personal
branding,
LinkedIn
storytelling,
career
strategy,
and
the
job
search
process. You
can
reach
her
by
email
at 
wendi@writingguru.net,
connect
with
her
on 
LinkedIn,
and
follow
her
on
Twitter 
@thewritingguru.  

From The Bench To Biglaw: Judge Paul Watford Lands At Top 50 Am Law Firm – Above the Law

(Photo
by
Bill
Clark/Getty
Images)

Back
in
January,
Judge
Paul
Watford
of
the
Ninth
Circuit
announced
that
he
would
be

resigning
from
the
bench

to
return
to
private
practice.
The
55-year-old
judge
would
officially
call
it
quits
on
May
31,
and
in
his
resignation
letter,
he
said
stepping
down
was
“one
of
the
most
difficult
decisions
I
have
had
to
make
in
my
life.”

At
the
time,
the
legal
community
wondered
where
Watford
would
land.
He’d
previously
worked
at
Munger
Tolles
as
a
partner,
and
many
speculated
that
he
may
be
returning
to
his
old
stomping
grounds.
We
now
know
where
Watford
is
working

and
it
isn’t
at
Munger.

Earlier
today,
Wilson
Sonsini

a
firm
that
brought
in
$1,354,000,000
gross
revenue
in
2022,
putting
it
at
No.
33
in
the
most
recent
Am
Law
100

announced
that
Watford
had
joined
the
firm’s
litigation
practice
as
a
partner.
The
recently
retired
judge
will
work
out
of
the
firm’s
Los
Angeles
office,
where
he’ll
focus
on
appellate
and
complex
commercial
disputes.

What
does
Watford
have
to
say
about
his
move
from
the
bench
to
Biglaw?
Here’s
the
scoop
in
a

press
release

from
the
firm:

“Throughout
my
time
serving
as
a
Ninth
Circuit
judge,
I
had
the
opportunity
to
work
with
amazing
people
in
a
collegial
and
professionally
rewarding
environment,
and
to
be
directly
involved
in
the
disposition
of
interesting
and
important
matters,”
said
Judge
Watford.
“In
joining
Wilson
Sonsini,
I
will
be
able
to
continue
working
with
talented
lawyers
and
professionals
in
a
collaborative
culture
that
places
high
value
on
diversity
and
teamwork.
I
look
forward
to
taking
on
challenging
and
engaging
matters
for
the
firm’s
clients,
which
include
many
of
the
world’s
most
innovative
and
dynamic
companies.”

Congratulations
to
Judge
Paul
Watford
on
landing
at
a
law
firm
that
he
loves,
and
congratulations
to
Wilson
Sonsini
on
adding
a
former
federal
appellate
judge
to
its
roster.
Best
of
luck!


Former
Ninth
Circuit
Judge
Paul
Watford
Joins
Wilson
Sonsini
as
a
Partner

[Wilson
Sonsini]


Earlier
:

Ninth
Circuit
Judge
Plans
To
Leave
The
Bench,
Return
To
Private
Practice



Staci ZaretskyStaci
Zaretsky
 is
a
senior
editor
at
Above
the
Law,
where
she’s
worked
since
2011.
She’d
love
to
hear
from
you,
so
please
feel
free
to

email

her
with
any
tips,
questions,
comments,
or
critiques.
You
can
follow
her
on

Twitter

or
connect
with
her
on

LinkedIn
.

Cooking Up IP Literacy – Above the Law

When
I
first

wrote

about
a
podcast
appearance
by
famous
chef
Dave
Chang,
our
president
was
still
Barack
Obama.
In
that
column,
I
highlighted
the
benefit
of
teasing
out
lessons
for
success
in
legal
practice
from
high
performers
in
other
industries,
“especially
when
they
share
lessons
they
learned
on
their
path
to
success.”
That
is
doubly
true
when
they
achieve
their
success
in
a
service
industry
which
shares
similarities
to
the
service
profession
that
is
legal
practice.
When
I
wrote
that
column,
even
though
Chef
Chang
was
very
well
known
for
his
expanding
empire
of
Momofuku
restaurants,
he
was
nowhere
near
as
famous
as
he
is
now.
Since
then,
Chang
has
become
a
multimedia
star
in
his
own
right,
with
multiple
podcasts
on
the
Ringer
podcast
network,
as
well
as
numerous
TV
projects,
including
Netflix’s
“Ugly
Delicious.”

While
I
am
only
an
occasional
listener
to
his
Ringer
podcasts,
I
make
sure
to
listen
when
Chang
does
interviews
of
accomplished
guests
from
various
disciplines.
I
would
commend
two
interviews
in
particular.
The
first
is
a
March
2022
discussion
with
comedian
and
producer

Nick
Kroll
,
which
mixes
both
humor
and
pathos
in
its
discussions
around
work,
fatherhood,
and
the
challenges
in
maintaining
friendships
while
juggling
newfound
responsibilities.
The
second
is
an
interview
with
famed
executive
guru

Marshall
Goldsmith
,
focused
on
the
challenges
of
mixing
career
achievement
with
personal
goals
in
the
elusive
search
for
personal
contentment
and
even
happiness.
In
each
interview,
the
guests
bring
real
wisdom
borne
out
of
deep
introspection
to
the
conversation,
playing
off
Chang’s
unrelenting
willingness
to
expose
his
character
challenges
without
apology

but
also
coupled
to
a
sincere
desire
for
self-improvement.
Listening
to
either,
or
both,
would
be
time
well
spent.

In
the
latest
Chang
podcast

episode

that
caught
my
ear,
he
and
his
guests
were
doing
a
“Debate
Club”
segment.
The
topic?
“Culinary
Intellectual
Property
and
Giving
Credit
Where
It’s
Due.”
It
is
important,
however,
to
preface
discussion
of
the
episode
with
some
background
on
Chang
and
IP
issues.
For
one,
he
has
long
been
known
for
boldness
in
terms
of
calling
out
others
for
alleged
IP
infractions,
as
with
his
2012

claims

that
another
chain
was
“running
his
concept.”
He
is
also
a
prolific
trademark
filer
and
owner,
with
over
15
marks
to
his

name
,
centering
on
his
various
restaurants
and
other
enterprises.
Yet,
his
status
as
an
IP
owner
has
not
cooled
his
frustration
at
what
he
calls
the
“rampant
theft”
in
the
food
industry,
which
he
compares
to
the
struggles
that
fashion
houses
have
in
dealing
with
“fast
fashion”
competitors
like
Zara
and
others.

In
response
to
the
copying
he
claims
is
endemic
in
the
food
industry,
Chang
proposes
a
licensing
model
for
recipes,
similar
to
what
is
found
in
the
music
industry.
At
the
same
time,
he
acknowledges
that
certain
well-known
foods
are
no
longer
eligible
for
IP
protection,
such
as
the
chocolate
chip
cookie,
which
Chang
uses
as
an
example.
Despite
the
acknowledgment
of
the
public
domain,
however,
Chang
still
proposes
that
if
he
comes
up
with
a
“new”
chocolate
chip
cookie,
or
if
he
came
up
with
the
“pliable
ganache”
that
pastry
chef
Alex
Stupak
is
credited
with
originating,
then
he
“should
be
getting
some
royalties
for
that.”
Putting
aside
the
imprecise
references
to
things
that
may
be
patentable
concepts,
versus
trademarks
or
copyrights,
it
is
interesting
that
Chang
does
not
reference
Mrs.
Field’s
Cookies
when
talking
about
IP
around
chocolate
chip
cookies,
as
Mrs.
Field’s
recipe
is
a
well-known
example
of
a
food-based
trade
secret,
similar
to
the
formula
for
Coca-Cola.

Nor
is
Chang’s
call
for
greater
IP
protection
in
the
food
industry
met
without
counterpoint
by
his
guests.
In
an
initial
rejoinder,
one
of
his
guests
points
to
the
challenge
of
reducing
accessibility
and
follow-on
innovation
when
recipes
are
subject
to
IP
protection,
even
setting
aside
the
traditional
ethos
around
sharing
recipes
that
has
long
been
present
in
human
cultures
around
the
world.
Later
on
in
the
discussion,
an
even
more
potent
challenge
is
raised
to
Chang’s
proposals,
namely
the
lack
of
a
viable
enforcement
mechanism
in
the
food
industry
for
policing
IP,
including
the
low
monetary
stakes
that
would
make
the
cost
of
enforcement
prohibitive
relative
to
the
benefit

for
all
but
the
biggest
companies,
at
least.
In
fact,
Chang
points
out
how
megabrands
like
Twinkies
and
Coca-Cola
are
able
to
trademark
their
names
and
protect
their
recipes,
while
also
retaining
the
ability
to
copy
the
innovations
of
others
at
scale.
While
those
pathways
may
be
open
to
the
big
players,
Chang
also
laments
the
popular
notion
that
food
should
be
cheap,
which
in
his
view
serves
as
a
potent
roadblock
to
innovators
getting
proper
credit
for
their
contributions
in
the
food
industry.

Ultimately,
while
the
debate
ends
up
rambling
a
bit

and
the
precision
of
IP
nomenclature
in
use
is
lacking

it
is
always
interesting
to
listen
to
accomplished
business
people
debate
the
proper
balance
of
IP
protection
in
their
industry.
As
someone
with
a
history
of
innovation
in
a
sometimes
staid
industry,
it
is
not
a
surprise
that
Chang
leans
toward
a
position
of
rewarding
IP
owners.
Chang’s
frustration
at
the
lack
of
respect
for
IP
in
the
food
industry
is
palpable,
especially
when
he
sees
innovators
in
other
industries
rewarded
through
workable
mechanisms
for
balancing
access
to
IP
protected
material
and
the
need
to
foster
additional
innovation.
Still,
he
recognizes
the
presence
of
a
public
domain,
as
well
as
the
powerful
sociological
forces
that
surround
food
culture
and
cut
against
robust
IP
protection
in
the
industry.
At
a
minimum,
the
discussion
is
both
interesting
for
its
content,
as
well
as
a
potent
reminder
that
we
all
benefit
as
a
society
from
increased
IP
literacy.
The
more
robust
debates
we
can
have
around
IP
issues
the
better,
but
we
must
also
recognize
that
the
more
informed
the
debaters
are
on
proper
IP
terminology
and
scope,
the
higher
the
quality
of
the
discourse.
It
is
always
a
treat
to
hear
IP
discussed
by
nonprofessionals.
But
the
treat
is
also
sweeter
when
the
proper
IP
literacy
ingredients
are
present.

The
jury
has
spoken,
but
it
is
a
near
certainty
that
they
won’t
have
the
last
word.

Please
feel
free
to
send
comments
or
questions
to
me
at
gkroub@kskiplaw.com
or
via
Twitter:

@gkroub
.
Any
topic
suggestions
or
thoughts
are
most
welcome.




Gaston
Kroub
lives
in
Brooklyn
and
is
a
founding
partner
of




Kroub,
Silbersher
&
Kolmykov
PLLC
,
an
intellectual
property
litigation
boutique,
and 
Markman
Advisors
LLC
,
a
leading
consultancy
on
patent
issues
for
the
investment
community.
Gaston’s
practice
focuses
on
intellectual
property
litigation
and
related
counseling,
with
a
strong
focus
on
patent
matters.
You
can
reach
him
at 
gkroub@kskiplaw.com or
follow
him
on
Twitter: 
@gkroub.

ESG Readiness: 5 Steps To Transform The Legal Department – Above the Law

Companies
are
under
increasing
pressure
from
their
stakeholders
to
improve
Environmental,
Social,
and
Governance
(ESG)
performance.
The
legal
department
plays
a
crucial
part
in
spearheading
the
necessary
shifts
in
daily
tasks
and
operational
strategies.

Legal
departments
should
start
by
aligning
their
practices
with
emerging
ESG
expectations.
By
taking
a
proactive
approach,
the
legal
department
not
only
ensures
legal
compliance
but
also
becomes
a
catalyst
for
change,
embedding
ESG
principles
throughout
the
organization’s
fabric.
Taking
these
five
steps
will
make
legal
departments
ESG-ready:


  1. Review
    upcoming
    regulations.

    Make
    this
    your
    first
    action,
    If
    you
    have
    not
    done
    it
    already,
    you
    really
    cannot
    delay
    any
    further.
    A
    lot
    of
    regulations
    on
    the
    horizon
    require
    disclosure
    and
    (in
    the
    EU)
    supply
    chain
    due
    diligence.
    These
    regulations
    may
    apply
    to
    your
    company,
    or
    you
    may
    be
    pulled
    into
    their
    orbit
    as
    a
    result
    of
    client
    requirements.
    Legal
    teams
    must
    identify
    applicable
    ESG
    regulatory
    requirements
    and
    communicate
    them
    to
    the
    business.

  2. Appoint
    ESG
    champion(s).

    Change
    requires
    leadership.
    To
    make
    progress
    on
    ESG,
    someone
    in
    your
    department
    will
    need
    to
    make
    it
    their
    job.
    This
    may
    be
    all
    a
    full-
    or
    part-time
    role
    depending
    on
    the
    size
    of
    your
    organization.
    If
    you
    are
    a
    solo
    GC

    congratulations,
    you
    are
    the
    new
    ESG
    champion.
    Large
    legal
    departments
    with
    global
    operations
    will
    require
    a
    network
    of
    team
    members
    spanning
    geographies.

  3. Educate
    your
    team.

    Legal
    teams
    need
    to
    come
    up
    to
    speed
    on
    ESG
    concepts,
    terminology,
    frameworks,
    regulations,
    and
    reporting
    standards.
    Start
    with
    your
    champions.
    Encourage
    them
    to
    review
    existing
    resources
    (like
    PLC),
    attend
    training,
    and
    talk
    with
    experts.
    Your
    champions
    can
    then
    bring
    the
    information
    most
    relevant
    to
    your
    company
    back
    to
    your
    larger
    legal
    team.

  4. Update
    your
    compliance
    program:

    Enhancing
    compliance
    programs
    to
    incorporate
    ESG
    requirements
    is
    critical.
    Whether
    it
    is
    inside
    or
    outside
    of
    the
    legal
    department,
    the
    compliance
    function
    will
    need
    to
    conduct
    a
    comprehensive
    review
    of
    existing
    policies
    and
    procedures,
    identify
    areas
    where
    ESG-related
    risks
    may
    arise
    (such
    as
    environmental
    regulations,
    labor
    standards,
    and
    data
    privacy),
    develop
    training
    programs
    to
    educate
    employees
    on
    ESG
    compliance,
    and
    implement
    monitoring
    mechanisms
    to
    ensure
    ongoing
    adherence
    to
    these
    requirements.

  5. Identify
    key
    issues.

    A
    broad
    range
    of
    issues
    are
    included
    under
    the
    heading
    ESG.
    The
    importance
    of
    the
    different
    issues
    depends
    on
    your
    industry,
    size,
    location,
    and
    stakeholders.
    You
    will
    need
    to
    identify
    your
    company’s
    key
    issues
    and
    where
    they
    intersect
    with
    the
    legal
    department.
    Consider
    these
    areas:

  • Supply
    chain:

    Supply
    chain
    disclosure
    and
    due
    diligence
    standards
    are
    increasing
    sharply.
    Your
    legal
    team
    will
    need
    to
    build
    these
    considerations
    into
    the
    contracting
    process
    and
    terms.
    This
    includes
    conducting
    thorough
    assessments
    of
    suppliers’
    environmental,
    social,
    and
    governance
    practices
    to
    ensure
    alignment
    with
    ESG
    principles.
    Implementing
    contractual
    clauses
    that
    require
    suppliers
    to
    adhere
    to
    ESG
    standards
    can
    help
    mitigate
    risks
    and
    strengthen
    your
    company’s
    commitment
    to
    sustainability.


    • Disclosures:

      Investors,
      regulators,
      and
      consumers
      are
      focusing
      on
      company
      disclosures
      regarding
      environmental
      and
      social
      factors.
      It
      is
      crucial
      for
      your
      legal
      team
      to
      work
      closely
      with
      leaders
      responsible
      for
      internal
      and
      external
      communications
      to
      ensure
      accurate
      and
      consistent
      messaging
      across
      all
      public
      statements,
      including
      websites,
      news
      stories,
      and
      regulatory
      filings.
      Failure
      to
      meet
      this
      standard
      could
      give
      rise
      to
      allegations
      of
      greenwashing,
      damaging
      the
      company’s
      reputation,
      and
      undermining
      trust
      among
      stakeholders.

    • Human
      resources
      policies:

      Human
      resources
      policies
      play
      a
      vital
      role
      in
      supporting
      an
      ESG
      framework.
      Your
      legal
      team
      should
      collaborate
      with
      the
      HR
      department
      to
      review
      and
      update
      existing
      policies,
      such
      as
      those
      related
      to
      diversity
      and
      inclusion,
      employee
      well-being,
      and
      health
      and
      safety.
      Emphasize
      the
      importance
      of
      creating
      a
      positive
      work
      environment
      that
      aligns
      with
      ESG
      principles
      and
      fosters
      employee
      engagement
      and
      satisfaction.

    • Governance
      structure:

      Strong
      governance
      is
      essential
      for
      effective
      ESG
      implementation.
      Legal
      departments
      must
      review
      the
      existing
      governance
      structure
      and
      recommend
      any
      changes
      necessary
      to
      effectively
      implement
      an
      ESG
      framework
      or
      comply
      with
      ESG
      regulations.
      Collaborate
      with
      the
      board
      of
      directors
      and
      executive
      leadership
      to
      establish
      clear
      lines
      of
      accountability
      and
      responsibility
      for
      ESG
      matters.
      This
      includes
      incorporating
      ESG
      considerations
      into
      leadership
      charters
      and
      establishing
      reporting
      mechanisms
      to
      monitor
      and
      disclose
      progress.

By
getting
its
own
house
in
order
and
actively
participating
in
the
development
and
implementation
of
ESG
initiatives,
legal
departments
can
provide
valuable
leadership
and
support
in
integrating
ESG
principles
into
the
company’s
overall
strategy.
Embracing
ESG
will
lower
your
company’s
risk
while
also
making
it
more
competitive
in
the
context
of
evolving
market
expectations.




Christine_UriChristine
Uri
is
the
Chief
Legal
and
Sustainability
Officer
at 
ENGIE
Impact
 –
a
company
that
enables
global
corporations
to
accelerate
their
net-zero
carbon
journey.
Christine
began
her
career
as
a
business
attorney
20
years
ago,
providing
legal
counsel
to
businesses
ranging
from
local
start-ups
to
international
Fortune
500s.
She
is
a
general
counsel,
sustainability
leader,
public
speaker,
and
content
creator.
Christine
believes
that
improving
corporate
performance
on
ESG
measures
is
critical
to
building
a
more
sustainable
world.
She
is
passionate
about
inspiring
and
empowering
in-house
legal
teams
to
provide
ESG
leadership. You
can
follow
Christine
on 
LinkedIn. This
article
reflects
Christine’s
personal
opinions
and
not
the
opinions
of
her
employer.

Bar Exam Prep Company Goes Down For The Day… Please Don’t Panic – Above the Law

(Image
via
Getty)

Sometimes,
especially
during
bar
prep,
it’s
important
to
take
a
step
back
and
ground
yourself.
Get
out
of
the
house,
smell
some
roses,
dine
with
friends…
whatever
it
takes
to
keep
you
in
a
positive
state
of
mind.

Yesterday,
Themis
offered
this
life
lesson
accidentally
when
the
site
went
down
and
wouldn’t
come
back
up.

Themis

This
is
obviously
not
ideal.
The
bar
exam
places
enough
pressure
on
graduates
without
placing
more
obstacles
in
their
way.
Perhaps
there
will
come
a
day
the
legal
industry
will
adopt
a
rational
accreditation
model
to
guarantee
that
all
law
school
diplomas
convey

sufficient
mastery
to
justify
a
license
to
practice
law

without
an

archaic
bolt-on,
one-shot
exam

covering
subjects
that
graduates
will
never
touch
again
in
their
careers,
but
to
quote
the
King,

it
is
not
this
day
.

However,
try
to
keep
chill
about
this.
It’s
early
June.
The
test
is
just
under
two
months
away.
Better
to
have
your
prep
company
figure
out
its
connectivity
problems
now
than
on
July
19th
or
something.

Don’t
panic
over
losing
a
day.
Hopefully
this
doesn’t
happen
again,
but
it
will
inevitably
crop
up
in
future
years.
So
to
those
examinees,
go
over
your
handwritten
notes
if
you
must,
but
consider
just
taking
the
day.
It’s
early
in
the
process
still
and
your
law
school
careers
prove
you’re
more
than
capable
of
making
up
a
single
day’s
studying
later.
Keep
yourselves
grounded.
It’s
going
to
serve
you
better
when
the
test
does
arrive.

That
said,
if
this
sort
of
thing
happens
in
mid-July,
go
ahead
and
panic
like
you
thought
you
had
an
interest
in
Blackacre
but
forgot
about
the
fertile
octogenarian.


HeadshotJoe
Patrice
 is
a
senior
editor
at
Above
the
Law
and
co-host
of

Thinking
Like
A
Lawyer
.
Feel
free
to email
any
tips,
questions,
or
comments.
Follow
him
on Twitter if
you’re
interested
in
law,
politics,
and
a
healthy
dose
of
college
sports
news.
Joe
also
serves
as
a

Managing
Director
at
RPN
Executive
Search
.

Morning Docket: 06.06.23 – Above the Law

*
SEC
says
Binance
engaged
in
“extensive
web
of
deception.”
And
if
you
can’t
trust
people
selling
fake
money,
who
can
you
trust?
[Law360]

*
Coinbase
must
have
thought
it
dodged
a
bullet
after
Binance,
but
it
only
took
an
extra
day
for
the
SEC
to
come
around
for
them
too.
[Reuters]

*
Federal
Circuit
continues
to
sideline
Judge
Newman.
[Bloomberg
Law
News
]

*
The
independent
state
legislature
theory
continues
to
lumber
like
a
zombie
toward
the
country.
[New
Yorker
]

*
Florida
lawmakers
desperately
trying
to
convince
immigrants
to
stop
leaving
the
state
and
that
the
tough
anti-immigrant
law
was
just
for
show.
Maybe
don’t
pass
performative
legislation?
Just
a
thought.
[New
Republic
]

*
Speaking
of
lawmaker
grandstanding,
a
group
of
New
York
legislators
have
tried
to
horn
in
on
the
CUNY
commencement
speech
news
cycle.
They
denounced
the
speech
for
“paint[ing]
America
as
a
colonial
imperialistic
nation
imprisoning
innocent
people.”
Guess
they
missed
all
the
Central
Park
5
headlines.
[New
York
Law
Journal
]

Do You Know How Bad It Has To Be To Get Fired From Your Own Firm? – See Also – Above the Law


Sounds
Like
Your
New
Firm
Needs
A
New
Firm
:

Is
it
that
hard
to
have
a
firm
without
antisemitism
and
sexism
?


You
Won’t
Guess
Why
This
Bryan
Cave
Partner
Is
On
Leave
:

It
is
that
hard
to
be
a
decent
person?


No
Big
Deal,
Just
Trying
To
Sell
A
Few
T-Shirts
:

What?
Not
like
it
will
go
to
the
Supreme
Court
or
anything
.


You
Know
What’s
Really
Neat?
Drink
Etiquette
:

There’s
no
real
right
answer
here,
is
there
?


GT’s
Allan
Kassenoff’s
Family
Conflicts
Went
Viral
:

Video
clips
alone
may
not
tell
the
full
story
.