October 2014

law clerk judicial clerkship Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWhile we’re on the subject of judicial clerkships (or clerkship bonuses), and with clerkship application season not that far off, we’d like to put in a quick plug for the Clerkship Notification Blog.
We’ve mentioned it in these pages before. It’s a great resource for clerkship applicants.
But it can’t go on without your help. The blog’s former editor, Katherine McDaniel, is leaving — to clerk, naturally. So she’s looking for two people to take over the site from her.
We encourage you to apply. For details, please click here. Thanks.
Now Accepting Applications [The Clerkship Notification Blog (2007-2008 Season)]

Following up on yesterday’s post about law firm advertising campaigns, here’s another interesting ad:
Mosh Pit Litigation Goldberg Weisman Cairo Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
Commentary after the jump.

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Covington Burling LLP logo Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGSome good news for law clerks heading to the New York office of Covington & Burling after their clerkships. A source at the firm directed us to check out this updated section of their website:

We reward judicial clerks who come directly to the firm following their clerkship(s) with credit for purposes of both salary and partnership consideration, together with a $50,000 bonus for one clerkship and a $70,000 bonus for two clerkships for those who have clerked for a federal judge, or for the highest court in any state or the District of Columbia.

So add a new member to the $50K/$70K Club. But note that Covington is taking the Ropes & Gray approach: the new and improved clerkship bonuses are paid out in New York only. In Washington and San Francisco, the firm still pays a $35,000 clerkship bonus.
Update: Also noteworthy, per a commenter: “This is different from the other $70K bonuses in that it only applies to people with two-clerkships, rather than one two-year clerkship.”
In addition, we’ve heard a rumor that Willkie Farr & Gallagher has raised its clerkship bonus to $50,000. But we haven’t seen the email, and Willkie’s website and NALP form don’t reflect this info. If you can confirm, please drop us a line.
A “List of Shame” for top firms paying below-market clerkship bonuses, after the jump.

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Worldwide Plaza World Wide Plaza Cravath Swaine Moore Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThe typical Lawyerly Lairs post offers a voyeuristic peek inside the luxurious residence of a prominent lawyer. Today’s post, in contrast, is about an office building. But since lawyers at Cravath, Swaine & Moore pretty much live in the office, the home/office distinction doesn’t matter.
From the New York Observer:

Cravath is staying right at home in their Death Star.* The white shoe law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore has signed a 15-year renewal at the Worldwide Plaza at 825 Eighth Avenue that will cost the firm $900 million….

Bloomberg reports that Cravath will retain its nearly 600,000 square feet at a little less than $100 per square foot, a far cry from the $39 per foot it paid for a lease it signed in 1989. When Cravath moved to the Hell’s Kitchen building back in the 1980’s, it was a risk for a high-powered law firm to move that far west, even if it was in a brand-new tower. Twenty years later, with the West Side firmly established, the deal was clearly a steal, especially over the last few years.

We offer some additional observations of our own, after the jump.
* We’ve been over this before, people. The Observer has it right. Skadden hasn’t been referred to as the Death Star ever since they moved into the Conde Nast Building at Four Times Square, home to dozens of fashion models — who walk on real runways, not the Skadden support staff runway.

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golf ball Abovethelaw Above the Law legal website site.jpg* He killed, but it was a tough crowd; they crucified him. [CNN]
* Jeez, all sorts of shenanigans going on with convicted murderers. [CNN]
* It’s not going away folks. [Jurist]
* Yep, it’s still constitutional in Georgia. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Is this going to lead to people who suck at it not even being allowed to play golf? [WSJ Law Blog]

Madonna at Supreme Court SCOTUS Aisha Goodison Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIn addition to handing down some big opinions, yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a number of cases. As noted by SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston, the Court denied certiorari in a significant antitrust case, as well as a pair of test cases raising constitutional issues in the immigration context.
But the most important cert denial was surely Aisha v. Madonna, No. 06-1389. A blurb about this battle of the mono-monikered musicians, from a reader:

Why nothing about this crazy diva? Her case is discussed by Marty Lederman over at SCOTUSblog.

Aisha Goodison seems right up your alley. She’s more than a little nutty, “strong,” fearless, and with a bad attitude. (Gotta love the pictures of Madonna and Gwen Stefani on her website).

I glanced over her cert petition and she’s pro se. Does that mean she wrote her own complaint? If not, who is helping her out? Just how crazy is she?

Plenty crazy. More discussion, after the jump.

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rats rat mouse mice DOJ day care Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWorking as a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice offers many advantages over toiling as a law firm associate. Greater responsibility. Better hours. Nicer bosses (with some exceptions).
But working for the DOJ has disadvantages too. Lower pay. Less support staff. No Aeron chairs working pens.
And maybe rats snacking on your toddler. From a tipster:

Cadwalader may have bed bugs, but the Justice Department’s child care center has rats. The center is… managed by a board of directors, mainly middle aged DOJ lawyers.

Here’s an email making the rounds. My favorite line is “They will stay upstairs for play the rat of the day.”

Check out the email, after the jump.

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An interesting and odd observation about law firm ad campaigns, from Copyranter:

What The F**k is up with all the law firms using goofy animal symbolism? Dykema thinks it’s a giraffe amongst zebras. Zuckerman Spaeder says I’m a canary threatened by a lion.

Bingham McCutchen animal advertising advertisements Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg

And Bingham McCutchen (above) was, first, a lion-chasing zebra (where does the Dykema giraffe fit into this equation?) and now, a baby-coddling grizzly bear. Hey, if any of you crows want to see an idea using puffins, drop me a line.

(All ads scanned from the Wall Street Journal, the bear ad from yesterday’s edition.)

A commenter at Copyranter offers some great suggested captions for the Bingham ad. To read them all, click here. Our personal favorite:

“Bear lawyers who accept babies as payment.”

What, no sharks or leeches? [copyranter]

trophies trophy award prize Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid law blog.jpgRemember Niki Black’s “Funniest Law Blog” contest, over at Legal Antics? The results have been announced, and Above the Law won second prize. Woo-hoo!
Thanks to everyone who heeded our desperate pleas and voted for ATL. And congratulations to Phila Lawyer, which took first place, and QuizLaw, which came in third.
We’re delighted by our second-place finish. The winner gets to pick any single item sold by The Billable Hour — but excluding their coveted luxury watch line. We, on the other hand, get three signed copies of Saira Rao’s roman a clef about clerking for Judge Dolores Sloviter juicy new novel, Chambermaid — which is a very fun summer read.
Hooray! And thanks again to everyone who voted for us.
And, the winner is… [Legal Antics]

Thelen Reid Brown Raysman Steiner LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law legal blog tabloid.jpgAssociates at Thelen Reid were clamoring for a post shining the spotlight on their firm. Here are some representative emails:

“Since your posting on Bingham worked so well, how about starting one on Thelen? The silence from OTC [Office of the Chair] is deafening, and people are super-disgruntled.”

“We’ve waited long enough here, and they haven’t said anything. We’ve come up badly in who knows how many articles. We’re the highest ranked firm (#17) on the Cal Law 25 not to raise, and several below us already have. And several firms that would be below us on the AmLaw 100 (we would be #69, but AmLaw refuses to count firms as merged unless the merger happened by a certain date, and our merger was officially Dec 1, 2006) post-merger have raised, and we haven’t. And our PPP [profits per partner] is quoted in one article as $860K and in another as $850K, $15K-$25K behind Pillsbury who has raised.”

“[A]lthough management hasn’t said anything, popular opinion is that they will raise first years to $160K and compress everyone else across the board, mainly because that’s what they always do. I don’t quite understand how they feel they have “matched market” without lockstep salaries.”

We meant to do a Thelen Reid post some time ago, but we never got around to it. And perhaps now one is no longer needed, since the firm has matched — sort of.
More details, after the jump.

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