October 2014

* Cash kickbacks, booze, and politics mixing in Nevada? Come on! [MSNBC]
* Wearing a plaid shirt saves Lindsay Lohan from theft charges. [CNN]
* “Attorneys general” v. “attorney generals” battle heats up. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Australian authorities determine nude carwash is legal. [MSNBC]
* Landis’ attorney blasts doping case at arbitration hearing. [SI.com]

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGIf you are still participating in any of the bizarre discussions from Friday morning’s open thread — which covered such diverse topics as open houses in Houston, childhood sleepover experiences, and the hipster quotient of the New Yorker — please don’t let us stop you. You can join in the fun by clicking here.
But if you’re looking for a forum for discussing subjects that are a bit more germane to ATL, such as associate pay raises and clerkship bonuses, then this new open thread is for you.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend; we’ll see you on Monday.

Anne Heche Call Me Crazy Above the Law blog.jpg* A rabbi, a nun and Christopher Hitchens walk into a bar… [PrawfsBlawg]
* Unlike other 15-year-olds who appreciate toilet humor, this girl felt victimized by the inside joke. [Pensacola News Journal]
* Anne Heche continues to entertain/disturb, plus we haven’t had a cautionary divorce tale in some time. Stay tuned… [Nasty, Brutish & Short]
* Who knows? The junior associate who sent out that crazy email some time ago could end up the next Kafka. [Legal History Blog]
* Forget fashion mags, frenemies and Paris — this is the real harm perpetuated by women against other women. [Red Orbit]

Alberto Gonzales Melinda Doolittle Attorney General Alberto R Gonzales Above the Law blog.JPGWe highly doubt this. But instead of logging off as we originally planned, we’ll stick around for another fifteen minutes, on the off chance that it proves true.
P.S. Speaking of Wonkette, where we used to blog, congratulations to Ana Marie Cox on the dismissal of Robert Steinbuch’s lawsuit against her!
(To be sure, it was on statute-of-limitations grounds; bloggers might have preferred a broader ruling. But hey, a dismissal is a dismissal.)
Friday Night News Dump: Alberto Out At 5? [Wonkette]
Reliable Source: This Just In… [Washington Post via Wonkette]
Suit Dismissed Against Founding Wonkette Editor Ana Marie Cox [Associated Press]
“American Idol” — results — America, don’t take my Blake away! [Althouse]

Monica Goodling 5 Monica M Goodling Monica Gooding Alberto Gonzales Above the Law blog.jpgWe have a new favorite catchphrase: “You have a Monica problem.” We’ve added it to our favorite quotations, and we may put it in our email signature file, too.
As explained here, the words “You have a Monica problem” were typically uttered to Justice Department job applicants whose credentials might be deemed insufficiently conservative by Monica Goodling — the uber-powerful ex-DOJ official who played a key role in hiring.
But these days, “You have a Monica problem” might also apply to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. From Jason McClure of the Legal Times:

Now it’s all about Monica.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales emerged mostly unscathed from last week’s face-off with Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee over his role in the U.S. attorney firings….

But there’s one big wild card that’s yet to be thrown into play, and that’s Monica Goodling, Gonzales’ former White House liaison.

If you don’t share our Monica obsession, you can stop reading here. But if you find her as fascinating as we do, there’s more after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Alberto Gonzales Has ‘A Monica Problem’”

No Sleep Til Brooklyn Law School Above the Law blog.jpgLaw school snobs — or “tierists,” as some call them — should check out this interesting article, by Lindsay Fortado of Bloomberg News. It’s about how high demand for summer and permanent associates is pushing large law firms to expand their recruiting efforts, to include law schools outside the “top 10.”

When Josh Kleiman, a student at Brooklyn Law School, interviewed at 17 law firms for a summer position, 12 called back. He joined New York’s Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen, one of the city’s most profitable.

The competition has increased for Kleiman and other students at so-called second-tier law schools for jobs that pay more than $3,000 a week, plus free lunches and cocktail parties. New York’s largest law firms have hired record numbers of summer associates to deal with an abundance of work and defections of lawyers to banks and private equity clients.

Kleiman had the pick of the Biglaw litter:

Kleiman was also offered summer positions at Sullivan & Cromwell; Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker; White & Case; Shearman & Sterling and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel. He said he chose Fried Frank, ranked 14th in the city in revenue per partner, because the attorneys were “diverse and interesting.”

Presumably Kleiman chose Fried Frank over the conventionally more prestigious S&C sometime this past fall (pursuant to the NALP deadlines). But if similarly situated law students turn down S&C in higher-than-usual numbers this coming fall, we’re blaming it on this guy.
(To whom, by the way, law clerks may owe their newly improved bonuses. Some speculate that S&C raised its clerkship bonus to $50,000 because it feared a tough recruiting season this fall, due in part to L’Affaire Charney. Eventually Simpson Thacher followed suit, followed by many other top shops. And the rest is history.)
Lawyer Search Spurred by M&A Sends Manhattan’s Best to Brooklyn [Bloomberg]

Fenwick West LLP Above the Law blog.JPGIf you want to get a raise to the $160K pay scale, but without a corresponding “adjustment” to your bonus. Or if you want to bill only 1800 hours a year, and still make a decent living.
From a source at the firm:

Fenwick & West raises. Keeps bonus structure the same.

I know the partners are relishing embarassing our biggest competitor WSGR with this move.

Check out the memo, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Go to Fenwick & West, Young Man”

British judges wigs Above the Law blog.jpgToday’s Judge of the Day hails from the other side of the pond. From Reuters:

A British judge admitted on Wednesday he was struggling to cope with basic terms like “Web site” in the trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet.

Judge Peter Openshaw broke into the questioning of a witness about a Web forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.

“The trouble is I don’t understand the language. I don’t really understand what a Web site is,” he told a London court during the trial of three men charged under anti-terrorism laws.

These internets can be so confusing…
So is this Judge Openshaw positively ancient? Actually, no:

Prosecutor Mark Ellison briefly set aside his questioning to explain the terms “Web site” and “forum.” An exchange followed in which the 59-year-old judge acknowledged: “I haven’t quite grasped the concepts.”

Jeez, Judge Openshaw — get with the program. Even Justice John Paul Stevens uses email. And he’s getting close to 90!
Judge to prosecutor: So what’s a Web site? [Reuters via MSNBC]

Akin Gump 2 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld Deborah Jeane Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.JPGIn an earlier post about the legal secretary at Akin Gump who worked for the alleged D.C. madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, we described the secretary as “no Miss Popularity.” A source at the firm told us that “[m]ost people don’t like her,” due to her supercilious attitude. Various commenters echoed these views.
But a different source has more positive things to say about the Akin Gump Escort:

She was a secretary (never a paralegal) to partner John Dowd (attorney/author behind the Pete Rose gambling investigation and Rose’s subsequent ban from baseball and the HoF).

[Ed. note: We previously pointed out that fact, as well as the coincidence that Dowd is now representing the fabulous Monica Goodling, back in this post.]

She was a moderately friendly, attractive woman, late 20s/early 30s, with dark blonde hair. I think she lived on a farm in southern Maryland and liked horses.

First, of course she lives in Maryland. Do you think the Akin Gump Escort would be a Virginia gal?
Second, a weakness for horses — how clichéd. Does she enjoy long walks on the beach too?
Earlier: OMG: The Akin Gump Escort Worked For… Monica Goodling’s Lawyer!!!
The D.C. Madam’s Akin Gump Apprentice: She’s No Miss Popularity
Akin Gump: Truly A ‘Full-Service’ Law Firm

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGSorry, we have nothing new to report concerning either associate pay raises or clerkship bonuses. The best we can offer is yet another non-announcement announcement (like these two).
Today’s email, which actually made the rounds earlier in the week, comes from McDermott Will & Emery:

As you are probably aware, over the last two weeks there have been a number of developments in various of our markets in the US with respect to associate salaries. It is very clear, for example that the market in California has increased to a level of $160,000 for first year associates with commensurate increases in more senior classes.

The Firm intends to continue our practice of paying competitive compensation in all of our markets. Rather than taking action on a serial basis, we are continuing to monitor the relevant developments and plan to make a final decision by May 30 with retroactive effect back to May 1.

Thank you for your patience in the interim.

Dawna Butala for Donald A. Goldman, Esq.
McDermott Will & Emery LLP

One source’s gloss on this: “A likely bump for the california offices, but looking grim for Chicago, Boston and D.C.”
We have to step away from the computer for a little while. Please discuss compensation issues, and post the text of any new announcements, in the comments. Thanks.

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