October 2014

Department of Justice seal DOJ seal Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgAs you know, we recently did a series of open threads on law firms in different cities. But we realize that Biglaw isn’t the only option out there.
We’ve been reminded of that by some recent emails. From one reader:

Not so much a tip as a request: How about an open thread for non-firm work — U.S. Attorney’s offices, for example? What are the pros and cons of leaving Biglaw for a few years to go there, and how do you do it?

And from a second:

This my fizzle in light of the prestige cult that ATL harbors, but I was curious if you would ever consider a look at federal government lawyers.

Not just at the Department of Justice:

The FBI, CIA, DoD, etc, all are staffed by tons of lawyers, not to mention the JAG branches of our Armed Forces. I’m obviously biased in light of my JAG affiliation, but I always enjoy reading up on the lives of non-BigLaw attorneys.

We’re happy to accommodate these requests — and note that working for the federal government, even if less lucrative than Biglaw, can be tremendously prestigious.
Please discuss legal employment opportunities with the federal government — including U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Main Justice, the JAG corps, and agencies — in the comments. Thanks.

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOf course we’re not done with our series on the mishaps of summer associate. There’s just too much material. If you have an anecdote to share, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
Here’s our latest X-Summer. The good news is that this story is current, from this summer (although we gladly take old stories too). The bad news is that many details are missing — but maybe you can help us out with that.
1. Superhero name: O’Melveny & Mystery Man
2. Special power: Ability to spawn a hundred stories about the true reasons for his departure.
3. Summered: O’Melveny & Myers, summer 2007 (southern California).
4. Claim to fame: According to allegations in circulation:

Ellen DeGeneres Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg[O]ne of our summers got fired… Apparently, while he was on the Newport retreat, he did something offensive, and no one knows what, exactly. The most likely story is that he said something homophobic to a lesbian partner, but it’s all speculation.

The rumors have gotten out of control, though. Apparently this story has reached New York, and has blossomed into one about two summers: one allegedly groped an associate, and the other supposedly exposed himself to a bunch of attorneys. It’s amazing. Legal gossip is a nationwide network.

Amen to that. Ain’t the internets great?
More discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “X-Summers: O’Melveny & Mystery Man”

Frank Lasee 2 Wisconsin WI Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgRemember Wisconsin state representative Frank Lasee? He came up with the brilliant idea of cutting off state funding for the University of Wisconsin Law School. The governor characterized the proposal as “ridiculous and bizarre”; Ann Althouse condemned the idea here.
Anyway, now we have a little more insight into his psyche. See here, here, and here.
Why Does Frank Lasee Hate Lawyers? [Seriatim]
What the divorce court transcripts tell us about Frank Lasee [Althouse]
Lampert Smith: Lasee’s acrimony on full display [Wisconsin State Journal]
Earlier: Wisconsin Lawmaker Seeks Death Penalty for Law School

gun pistol firearm Second Amendment Above the Law blog.jpgFor all of you greedy associates out there, here’s a cautionary tale. From CNN:

The owner of a car dealership has been accused of killing two employees because they kept asking for pay raises.

Rolandas Milinavicius has been charged with two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Inga Contreras, 25, and Martynas Simokaitis, 28.

All three are from the eastern European nation of Lithuania but had been living in Atlanta, Georgia….

Oh, Atlanta.
Might this represent a new strategy for boosting profits per partner? Laying off associates (or de-equitizing less lucrative partners) generates so much bad publicity. Could knocking off a few lawyers be that much worse?
(If the victims were billing under 1950, that’s manslaughter rather than murder, as a matter of law.)
Police: Workers asked for pay bump, got bumped off [CNN]
Earlier: Fall Recruiting Open Thread: Atlanta
Bad News for Atlanta Associates?

Philadelphia Philly City of Brother Love Abovethelaw Above the Law website site.jpgOur series of open threads on various U.S. legal markets is more or less done. Here are the cities or regions we’ve already covered:


We were all ready to pack it in. But then we received several requests for PHILADELPHIA.
So here’s the Philly thread. Feel free to discuss (and complain) in the comments. Thanks.
Update: In light of the comments thus far, let’s throw Wilmington into the mix. We encourage you to discuss Wilmington and the Delaware legal market in this thread too.

hillary clinton is magnificent.jpgWith the 2008 presidential campaign dominating the airwaves, despite being over a year away, everyone is talking about politics (and watching awesome, politically-themed music videos). Here’s a question that a law student posed to us:

Are there differences between the politics of firms, roughly distinguishing between liberal and conservative, or are they all pretty much the same? How can a student figure out the political leanings of a particular firm?

The only source of information I’ve found so far is to research donations to presidential candidates.

Interesting. We’d say that many firms, especially in New York, are “pretty much the same” — money knows no political distinctions. But here in D.C., it’s more common for firms to lean one way or the other.
One way to figure out a firm’s political valence is to look into the former government service of its lawyers (especially high-powered partners). This method would suggest to you that WilmerHale, home of the diva-licious Jamie Gorelick, is left of center, while Gibson Dunn, home of Ted Olson, is right of center.
As our correspondent notes, campaign contributions also shed light on the political leanings of a law firm. On that subject, Lindsay Fortado of Bloomberg News has this interesting article. Here’s something that surprised us:

Lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis, the law firm that’s home to Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr and Bush administration official Jay Lefkowitz, have given more to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign than to all of the top Republican candidates combined.

Kirkland, based in Chicago, is one of several corporate law firms that traditionally backed Republicans where lawyers are turning to Democratic candidates….

With respect to K&E, though, we’d guess that this varies from office to office. The Washington outpost of Kirkland, which is stocked with tons of former Scalia and Thomas clerks, is probably not funneling massive cash to La Hillary.
Which way does your firm lean? Please discuss in the comments. Thanks.
Kenneth Starr’s Law Firm Gives More Money to Clinton [Bloomberg]

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGHere are two updates about clerkship bonuses (a subject of interest to a limited group of readers — but those who care REALLY care):

1. Willkie Farr & Gallagher: The rumor that Willkie pays a $50,000 clerkship bonus has been confirmed. We understand this applies to both New York and Washington.

2. Akin Gump: In New York, the firm pays a $50,000 clerkship bonus. (We don’t know what they do in other offices.)

In addition, one tipster calls out WilmerHale for, well, trying to pull a Latham.
If you’d like to know why WilmerHale’s $35,000 clerkship bonus may not truly be a $35,000 clerkship bonus, read the rest of this post, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Clerkship Bonus Watch: Akin Gump and Willkie (and WilmerHale Pulls a Latham)”

* Roberts, C.J., recovering. [New York Times; Washington Post (via How Appealing)]
* Senator Stevens’ office raided by feds! [CNN]
* Surgeon accused of organ harvesting. [MSNBC]
* Can Congress commute a sentence? [Slate]
* Inside Iraq’s “Rule of Law Complex.” [NYT]
* Al Gore III pleads guilty to drug possession. [CNN]

laptop pink girl woman Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe recently posted about technical difficulties surrounding last week’s administration of the New York bar exam. About ten minutes ago, candidates who sat for the exam received this email:

From: New York Bar Exam Administration
Date: 30 Jul 2007 17:03:09 -0400
Subject: NYS Bar Exam Laptop Program

As you may know, some candidates taking last Tuesday’s bar examination experienced technical problems with the Securexam software during the examination, and some also experienced problems after the examination when attempting to upload their work. The State Board of Law Examiners has been working with Software Secure to resolve the problems.

Our primary focus during these past few days has been collecting exam files from candidates’ computers and confirming that we have all of the essay answers. Software Secure is in the process of sorting through and reviewing the thousands of files that were either uploaded or transferred to them through the utility that was described in an email sent by Software Secure on July 25, 2007.

For those of you who are interested, the rest of the message appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Laptopgate, and the New York Bar Exam: The Aftermath”

Texas map Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOur series of open threads on different legal markets around the country is winding down. We’ve already covered most of the biggies:









But we haven’t covered TEXAS. That’s what this here post is for.
Y’all know what to do, in the comments. Thanks.
Update: This just in, from the Texas Lawyer: Winstead Says Yes to Bonuses, No to Raises.
P.S. We realize that Texas has several major cities. E.g., Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio. But our (admittedly anecdotal) understanding is that many Texans are flexible with respect to which city they go to. So we’ve decided to have a consolidated, omnibus Texas thread.

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