Given the abysmal job market for lawyers, the smart money advice remains the same. To maximize chances at post-graduation law firm employment, get your glutes into one of the nation’s top-ranked law schools and then work like hell to graduate in the top 10%.
But it should also go without saying that while you’re doing that, you need to keep your head down, your nose clean and your proboscis proverbially burnished wholly by the curricular grindstone. In other words, don’t screw around, which means most of all, don’t do anything criminal so as to jeopardize your hard-won matriculation — let alone the state bar’s moral character requirement for admission to practice law.
So with the obligatory caveat of granting the accused their day in court and their presumption of innocence, here come Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira — two students at the University of California–Berkeley Law School, the country’s seventh highest ranked law school. The two 24-year-olds have been charged in Las Vegas, Nevada with beheading an exotic bird in a Las Vegas Casino. To be precise, the hapless fowl in question, which police say the two men killed and decapitated, was a helmeted guineafowl minding its own business at the Flamingo Hotel Casino’s Wildlife Habitat. So once again, what happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay in Vegas, especially when police say they also have the alleged perps caught on tape.
Cooney was a 3-year-old shelter dog who was horribly tortured and killed by her owner, a monster named Raymond Rios, in a Reno motel room in October 2010. The tragedy galvanized animal advocates and legislators to toughen Nevada’s previously weak law, which according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund,“Before “Cooney’s Law,” Nevada was the only state in the country where someone could torture an animal to death on three separate occasions before they would face a felony animal cruelty charge.”
Nevada’s tardiness in making malicious and willful animal cruelty a felony punishable by a maximum five-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine, was too late to sufficiently punish Raymond Rios for killing Cooney — but it will be just in time to mete out justice if Cuellar and Teixwira are convicted. See NRS 574.100.
Photo Credits: “Nose to grindstone” by “A Family Farm Album: Frank Sadorus’ Photographs : Off-times” at http://www.museum.state.il.us/; “Helmeted guineafowl,” by Stig Nygaard at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution.