The New York Times is a world-renowned news publication. It is exceedingly prestigious. Coverage in its pages is highly coveted.
But the Gray Lady may be a bit easy. Why else would she go down on Gallion & Spielvogel, our favorite pair of S&C refugees turned eminently pedigreed barristers?
From this morning’s NYT:
Steven Spielvogel, a lanky 40-year-old lawyer who, with his angular looks and jet black hair, resembles Ric Ocasek of the 1980s band the Cars, has been on something of a tour of his own.
He has been promoting a network that connects small law firms around the country and the world. The idea is to give the better small law firms a way to compete with the big national and global firms.
Since starting the International Network of Boutique Law Firms, in 2004, Mr. Spielvogel has been knocking on doors and setting up lunches to persuade the lawyers at small firms with prestigious résumés to start a local chapter.
The rest of the puff piece proceeds to fellate Steve Spielvogel and the INBLF in print. It’s accompanied by an awesome pic of Spielvogel, striking a pose in Rockefeller Center (and looking like Luke Wilson, to his credit).
But why isn’t Spielvogel in a tuxedo? And where’s his partner in crime, Edward R. Gallion?
mockery news analysis, after the jump.
The New York Times piece, by one Karen Donovan, continues:
“The network is designed to supplement pre-existing legal relationships,” [Spielvogel] said. “It’s not about paying a fee to get listed in a directory: the standards are very rigorous and you can feel a certain level of comfort.”
The network so far has 250 law firms as members, and 16 international strategic partners, including Bolivia’s oldest law firm and Mexico’s oldest and largest firm.
How does Mexico’s “oldest and largest firm” qualify as a “boutique”? Guess law firms south of the border don’t get that big. They can earn more money clipping hedges in Newport Beach.
While the small boutique law firms lack the brand name of a big law firm like Cravath, Swaine & Moore or Sullivan & Cromwell, they hope that their membership — at an annual fee of $1,500 — will give them additional prominence and credibility.
Mr. Spielvogel has been particular about which small firms are invited to join.
“Steven is the ultimate c.v. snob when it comes to the vetting process,” said Edward R. Gallion, a law partner with Mr. Spielvogel in New York.
Steven Spielvogel, a prestige whore? Color us incredulous. Someone call the New York Times.
We’re delighted, though, by the NYT shout-out to Edward Gallion, of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell fame. Did you know that he, Gallion, is “a homosexual”?
(Ed Gallion is developing plans to found NAMBLA: the National Association of Magnificent Boutique Law Associations.)
Spielvogel explains the purpose behind the INBLF as follows:
“When I carried a Sullivan & Cromwell litigation bag and it said S.& C. on it, it was a reputable presumption that you were an amazing lawyer and brilliant,” he said. “And I am hoping that the I.N.B.L.F. imprimatur will similarly create a reputable presumption for all I.N.B.L.F.-approved attorneys.”
Two observations. First, from a commenter:
“What a f***ing tool. I can just picture him prancing conspicuously around NYC w/ his S&C bag, praying people will notice that he must be ‘amazing’ and ‘brilliant.’”
Second, a “reputable presumption”? We think we know what he’s trying to convey, but we’d expect better word choice from an “amazing” and “brilliant” S&C alum.
After reading the New York Times ode to the INBLF, you might be thinking: “Wow, this international network sounds fantastic. But what if I can’t afford that $1,500 membership fee?”
Fear not. Here’s a much cheaper alternative:
Some Small Law Firms Find Strength in Numbers [New York Times]
INBLF: International Network of Boutique Law Firms [official website]
International Network of Reputable Presumptions [Facebook]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Gallion & Spielvogel (scroll down)