October 2014

Thanks to commenter “legal beagle” for drawing our attention to what currently graces the Drudge Report. Our annotations appear in red.
Drudge Report TB Andy Speaker Andrew Speaker Andrew H Speaker Abovethelaw.JPG
Matt Drudge, you are a genius.
Exclusive: Diane Sawyer Speaks to TB Patient [ABC News via Drudge Report]

Andrew Speaker Andrew H Speaker Andrew Harley Speaker Above the Law blog.jpgThe Atlanta lawyer who has been quarantined with a case of drug-resistant tuberculosis, Andrew H. Speaker, has become an overnight celebrity of the legal world. And we’re happy to bring you more information about him.
First, from a fellow alum of the University of Georgia Law School, who knows Andrew Speaker personally:

He was a generally well-liked, pretty gregarious fellow, who did reasonably well in law school as far as I know.

I like it when a product of UGA Law makes the national news, but not this way!

Second, from the Denver Post:

[T]he patient, who had hastily left Rome earlier this week after CDC officials begged him to go into isolation at a hospital there, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday that he thought the security was excessive.

“I’m a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person,” he told the paper. “This is insane to me that I have an armed guard outside my door when I’ve cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing.”

Third, as several commenters pointed out, Speaker’s wife, Sarah Cooksey, appears to have a personal website.
A screencap, plus links and more discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Still More on Andrew Speaker”

snow globe snowglobe snoglobe sno globe Abovethelaw Above the Law.JPGMay and June are the peak months for law school graduations. And you know what that means: dreadful graduation gifts.
So we’ve decided to embark upon a quest to find America’s most egregious graduation gift. If you have a nominee, please send it to us by email (subject line: “Worst Graduation Gift”). Please include a photograph of the gift if possible.
Pictured at right, the current frontrunner: a New York City snow globe, given to a recent Columbia Law School grad, by his out-of-town aunt (who was very proud of her find). Our tipster wondered: “I LIVE in New York. What do I want with an NYC snowglobe?”
P.S. We assume that the two tallest buildings in the snow globe are supposed to be the Twin Towers. If so, they’re not a very good likeness. They look more like 125 Broad Street — the not-so-happy home of Sullivan & Cromwell.

Here is the annotated engagement announcement for Andrew Speaker — aka “The TB Guy,” whom we just named our Lawyer of the Day — and his wife, Sarah Cooksey.
It’s a tale that’s abounding in irony. Check it out:
Andrew Speaker wedding announcement Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
Engagements: Sarah Cooksey — Andrew Speaker [Appen Newspapers]
New Father-in-Law a Microbiologist [Associated Press]

Williams Connolly LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGBy email and in comments, readers have expressed significant curiosity about associate compensation at Williams & Connolly, the elite, Washington-based litigation boutique. We’d like to help; but we don’t have anything to report at the current time.
Here are some questions that we’d like your thoughts on:
1. Base Salaries. Historically the firm has paid above-market base salaries, but no bonuses. Back in March, Williams & Connolly raised to $165K. At that time, when homegrown D.C. firms were paying 145/155/170, a starting salary of $165,000 was well above the market.

But now that Washington-based firms have raised to 160/170/185, will Williams & Connolly raise again to stay ahead of the competition? Or might they stay at $165,000, but start paying bonuses?

2. Clerkship Bonuses: Speaking of bonuses…. The last we heard, Williams & Connolly paid a clerkship bonus of $25,000. Is that still correct? Do they differentiate between district and circuit court clerkships? What about people with two years of clerkship experience? Inquiring minds want to know.

Update: A current offeree confirms that the W&C clerkship bonus is still at $25K.

3. Summer Associates. A rumor, from a tipster:

The word is that summers aren’t being paid the first-year associate rate. They’re getting $2500 a week, while other DC summers are getting $3100.

Is this whiny? Sure. But whining about minor salary differences is our stock in trade here at ATL.
If you can shed any light on these matters, please email us (subject line: “Williams & Connolly”). Thanks.
Earlier: Skaddenfreude: Williams & Connolly Weighs In

LEWW is delighted to bring you the first all-Jewish edition of Legal Eagle Wedding Watch! The MOT really represented this week. Mazel Tov to all the happy couples and their proud parents!
Here are the finalists:

1. Rebecca Kristol and Elliot Silver
2. Talia Milgrom-Elcott and Aaron Dorfman
3. Lisa Gordon and Michael Kanner

More about these couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 5.27: Pierced Through the Heart”

Andrew Speaker Andrew H Speaker Andrew Harley Speaker Above the Law blog.jpgThe strikingly handsome Andrew Harley Speaker (at right) is a graduate of UGA Law, and a member of the Georgia bar. Earlier this month, he got married, and flew to Europe for his honeymoon. Congratulations, Andrew!
Andrew Speaker practices personal injury and family law in the Atlanta area. This doesn’t sound like a recipe for fame. So why have we named him our Lawyer of the Day?
Well, Mr. Speaker has the potential to become one of the most influential lawyers of our time….
Update: More on Andrew Speaker appears here.
Tuberculosis Patient an Atlanta Lawyer [Associated Press]
Extreme TB Patient Taken To Denver [CBS News]
Andrew Speaker bio [The Speaker Law Firm, PC]

Denver Colorado Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe realize our coverage of law firm salary news focuses very heavily on certain major legal markets, primarily on the East and West Coasts: New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco / Silicon Valley.
So we’re going to mix it up a little. Each day, for the next two weeks or so, we will create an open thread devoted to compensation coverage in a legal market outside the “usual suspects.”
Today’s target: Denver, Colorado. Here’s an article from earlier this month, which appeared in the Denver Post:

At least four national law firms with offices in Denver have raised their entry-level attorney pay to $160,000, forcing some local firms to reconsider what they’re offering this year’s new recruits. Pay for first-year associates, fresh out of law school or clerkships, jumped to $160,000 at some New York firms earlier this year and in California over the past few weeks….

Four national firms with Denver offices – Cooley Godward Kronish, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Morrison & Foer ster and Hogan & Hartson – confirmed they’re raising first-year pay to that level at their U.S. offices.

The largest Denver-based firms are paying $105,000 to $110,000, and some out-of-state firms with offices here pay in the $120,000 range.

Denver lawyers quoted in the Post article talk about the advantages of working for local rather than national firms. The plusses include lower billable hours, more client contact, greater community involvement, and the opportunity to develop their own practices more quickly.
But are these advantages worth a cool $50K a year? The article suggests that local and regional firms in Denver, even if they can’t raise all the way to $160K, will increase associate salaries a little bit, to make the pay gap less enormous.
If you have information or insights about legal salaries in the Mile High City, please discuss away in the comments. Enjoy!
(Non-Denver or national salary discussion should continue in last night’s post about Covington & Burling. Thanks.)
Law firms woo grads with high pay [Denver Post]

Fry Guy Fry Kid William Smith William P Smith Bill Smith McDermott Will Emery Above the Law blog.JPGEarlier this month, we wrote about how William P. Smith — a partner at McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago), and head of its bankruptcy department — landed himself in the deep-fat fryer. Smith unwisely told a bankruptcy judge, in open court, that she was “a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal.”
Well, Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff didn’t respond so well to that colorful statement. She issued a sua sponte Order to Show Cause, directing William Smith (hereinafter “the Fry Guy”) to explain why he shouldn’t be suspended from practicing in her court.
Several tipsters have directed our attention to this delightful article, from the Daily Business Review, about the Fry Guy’s “super-sized gaffe.” It describes the fallout, for both Smith and McDermott Will & Emery, from L’Affaire Happy Meal — and includes a shout-out to Above the Law.
Excerpts and discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “HappyMealGate: An Update on the Fry Guy”

scales of justice ABA Journal UC Hastings women lawyers Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIf so, then please take this survey.
Please note that the survey is for WOMEN LAWYERS ONLY (sorry, boys). It’s being conducted by the ABA Journal and the Center for WorkLife Law, at U.C. Hastings. The goal of the study is to find out how women lawyers treat each other in the workplace.
(We could offer a few editorial thoughts of our own on that subject. But we should probably refrain, so as not to skew the survey results — or get ourselves in trouble….)
To take the survey, please click here. And please feel free to forward the survey link to your female lawyer friends. The survey will be kept open through the end of June.
Women Lawyers Working Together [Survey Monkey]

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