October 2014

100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGThanks for your responses to our recent call for memos. Here are two more firms that have announced associate pay raises:

1. Crowell & Moring: Starting salaries to $160,000, effective August 1. Minimum billables to 1900 hours, effective September 1. Associates who do not wish to meet the new minimum are invited to reach “alternative arrangements” with the firm.

2. Dow Lohnes: No, Rupert Murdoch is not trying to buy them. Dow Lohnes is an AmLaw 200 law firm with a significant presence in Atlanta. Will their move to the $160K scale encourage other Atlanta firms to follow suit?

Full memos, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: More Announcements, and Weekend Open Thread”

* Did John Carney’s guest post attacking Dahlia Lithwick tick you off? Then read this, it’s funny. [QuizLaw]
* Is having a personal injury lawyer in your “hot yoga” class a wise idea? Not as bad as you might think. [The Recorder]
* Could admin law be turned into a computer game? Quite possibly — although satisfaction not guaranteed (sorry, Roy Pearson). [Concurring Opinions]
* Should Aaron Charney move to Miami? Give him a lifetime supply of SPF 45, and send him on his way. [Daily Business Review]

iPhone small Apple iPhone Blackberry Crackberry Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, this is kinda random. But it’s Friday, so please give us some latitude.
(Also, we have previously covered this subject, in a way that connected it to the legal world. So there.)
As you all know, today is I-Day: the first day that Apple’s coveted iPhone will be available for sale to the general public. At 6 PM, Apple and AT&T stores will open their doors, and the masses will flood in. Long lines have already formed in different cities around the country.
We were just IM’ing with one ATL reader standing outside an AT&T store waiting for his iPhone. If you’re curious, you can read portions of our exchange after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Waiting for the iPhone: An iWitness Account”


Legal%20Eagle%20Wedding%20Watch%20NYT%20wedding%20announcements%20Above%20the%20Law.jpgIt’s fitting that on this, the last week of the Supreme Court term, LEWW is considering a major test case. The issue: One couple has a Rhodes Scholarship, one has a SCOTUS clerkship, and one has two YLS degrees. How do we rank them?
Throw in a divorce, a famous grandparent, a couple of PhDs, a blog, three Courts of Appeals officiants, and a dash of “flava“, and we’ve got lots of credentials to chew up and spit out.
Here are the candidates:

1. Jean Galbraith and Jeremy Tobacman
2. Damara Crawley and Kevin Chambers
3. Catherine Roach and Joshua Chafetz

Read on to see which couple will emerge with the sweaty flush of victory!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 06.25: Animal Attraction”

Oona O'Connell redacted balcony 3 small Playboy Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
Our email correspondence with the super-hot lawyer turned Playboy model, Oona O’Connell, continues.
A brief question-and-answer session, plus an uncropped version of this Oonalicious photo, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL’s New Pen Pal: Oona O’Connell, Lawyer Turned Playboy Model (Part 3)”

Supreme Court 6 Above the Law blog.JPGAfter yesterday, we thought they were all done for the Term. We thought wrong.
Some notable news from the Supreme Court today. Lyle Denniston of the invaluable SCOTUSblog reports:

In a startling turn of events in the legal combat over the war on terrorism, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to reconsider the appeals in the Guantanamo Bay detainee cases. It vacated its April 2 order denying review of the two packets of cases. The Court then granted review, consolidated the cases, and said they would be heard in a one-hour argument in the new Term starting Oct. 1.

Such a switch by the Court — from denial to rehearing and new argument and decision — may not have occurred since 1947, in Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, legal sources said Friday.

So they’ve changed their mind about a cert grant for the first time in 60 years. What a neat little factoid!
But hey, being a Supreme Court justice means being able to change your mind. And never having to say you’re sorry.
(For more on the likely import of this change of heart, see Orin Kerr.)
Court switches, will hear detainee cases [SCOTUSblog]
Supreme Court Agrees to Take Guantanamo Bay Cases [Volokh Conspiracy]

laptop pink girl woman Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgEarlier this month, we posted about the laptop policy of the New York Bar Exam. A lot of you weren’t fans:
ATL reader poll New York Bar Exam Laptop Policy Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
But this story, like the Oona O’Connell saga, also has a happy ending.
For those of you who care, details appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The New York Bar Exam: A Laptopgate Update”

Oona O'Connell South Beach Miami 2 small Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
[Thumbnail image. Click to enlarge. Photograph courtesy of Oona O'Connell.]
There should be a law — against this kind of hotness in a U.S. law school classroom!
As you may recall, lawyer cum Playboy model Oona O’Connell was not pleased by our prior coverage of her. She recently sent us an angry email, taking us to task for publishing malicious gossip.
Our response to Oona O’Connell, followed by her reply, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL’s New Pen Pal: Oona O’Connell, Lawyer Turned Playboy Model (Part 2)”

Howrey LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGBack on Wednesday, we reported that Howrey LLP plans to chuck lockstep compensation for its associates. Starting in 2008, the firm will employ a “competency model,” in which it would “determine salary based on individual evaluations and various forms of progress indicators.”
Today our scoop was picked up by The Recorder (and then by the WSJ Law Blog). From The Recorder:

In a radical departure from the status quo, Howrey is getting rid of lockstep compensation for its associates….

While Howrey first-years will start at the market rate — the firm recently raised them to $160,000 — all other associates will advance through different levels based on personal evaluations instead of seniority. Each level has a salary range, and [partner Henry] Bunsow said top performers would be paid more than market, while some could make less.

“The goal is not to have associates make less than their counterparts at other firms,” Bunsow said. “If poor performers can get a better deal somewhere else, that may be a marketplace reality — we would hope that this system wouldn’t promote that.”

“The goal is not to have associates make less than their counterparts at other firms” — sounds a bit defensive, but whatever.
This system will be highly customized, but complicated:

The evaluations will be based on performance and experience, which could shorten the partnership track for some and lengthen it for others. Since Howrey is a litigation-focused firm, factors like writing, deposition, trial practice and client presentation skills will be considered, Bunsow said. Although there will be bonuses based on hours, that will be just one of many considerations in the evaluation, he added….

Associates will be assigned to partners who will be responsible for their development and their individual evaluations. A full-time staff person will be hired to oversee the program and to make sure that associates feel they are being treated fairly, Bunsow said.

Okay, we’re getting a headache. This sounds like the brainchild of a Soviet bureaucrat.
And this is just the simplified version. If you’re interested in the dirty details, an internal Howrey email — which includes mention of a “Competency Czar” — appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: More About the Howrey Weirdness”

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGHere’s a quick follow-up on Wednesday’s post, reporting on Supreme Court clerk hiring for October Term 2008. That’s not the Term whose clerks will start showing up for work next month — the October Term 2007 clerks are listed here — but the Term after that.
Interestingly enough, the two justices thought most likely to leave the Court next, Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, are both done with their clerk hiring for OT 2008. And we also hear that RBG has hired at least one clerk for OT 2009 — very CT-esque of her to hire that far into the future.
Thanks to everyone who submitted SCOTUS clerk hiring info, by email and in the comments. We’ve folded them into our evolving list of OT 2008 law clerks. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: OT 2008 (Update #2)”

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