Remember that cute little bar graph, prepared by some disgruntled people in the Washington office of Baker & McKenzie? It looks like it worked.
A source at the firm reports that the firm just raised associate salaries. An associates’ meeting was held earlier today. We haven’t seen the memo yet, but here are the numbers (emphasis added):
Old pay scale:
New pay scale (retroactive to 7/1):
Also, from a meeting earlier in the week, in which the upcoming recruiting season was discussed:
“The hiring partner made a comment about the bar chart posted on the web, mentioned that he was evaluating the situation, and mentioned AboveTheLaw by name. Then today we got the raise news.”
We’re probably about to open a big ol’ can of worms. We’ve been procrastinating on writing this up for a while. But what the heck — opening up cans of worms is our job.
This past Sunday, the New York Times Magazine had a very interesting essay by celebrity law professor Noah Feldman. Here at ATL, he and his wife, fellow Harvard Law School prof Jeannie Suk, have reached a level of Brangelina celebrity that has entitled them to their own mono-moniker: Feldsuk (which you voted on, so you’re estopped from complaining).
Here’s the lede of Professor Feldman’s piece:
A number of years ago, I went to my 10th high-school reunion, in the backyard of the one classmate whose parents had a pool. Lots of my classmates were there. Almost all were married, and many already had kids. This was not as unusual as it might seem, since I went to a yeshiva day school, and nearly everyone remained Orthodox. I brought my girlfriend. At the end, we all crowded into a big group photo, shot by the school photographer, who had taken our pictures from first grade through graduation. When the alumni newsletter came around a few months later, I happened to notice the photo. I looked, then looked again. My girlfriend and I were nowhere to be found.
I didn’t want to seem paranoid, especially in front of my girlfriend, to whom I was by that time engaged. So I called my oldest school friend, who appeared in the photo, and asked for her explanation. “You’re kidding, right?” she said. My fiancée was Korean-American. Her presence implied the prospect of something that from the standpoint of Orthodox Jewish law could not be recognized: marriage to someone who was not Jewish. That hint was reason enough to keep us out.
Not long after, I bumped into the photographer, in synagogue, on Yom Kippur. When I walked over to him, his pained expression told me what I already knew. “It wasn’t me,” he said. I believed him.
Since then I have occasionally been in contact with the school’s alumni director, who has known me since I was a child. I say “in contact,” but that implies mutuality where none exists. What I really mean is that in the nine years since the reunion I have sent him several updates about my life, for inclusion in the “Mazal Tov” section of the newsletter. I sent him news of my marriage. When our son was born, I asked him to report that happy event. The most recent news was the birth of our daughter this winter. Nothing doing. None of my reports made it into print.
Many readers emailed us about this piece. The reactions of three of them appear after the jump.
This Monday, ATL is hosting Blawg Review. If you’re not familiar with this fine institution, check out their website:
Blawg Review is the blog carnival for everyone interested in law. A blog carnival is a traveling post about a topic or theme. For example, there’s Carnival of the Capitalists, concerning business and economics, while Grand Rounds is about medicine and healthcare, and Blawg Review has topics discussed by lawyers, law students and law professors.
Each weekly issue of Blawg Review is made up of article submissions selected from the best recent law blog posts. The blogger that puts together the Blawg Review carnival each week is called the “host.”
The host — that’s us, at least for the coming week.
If you’d like to submit a post of yours for consideration, please check out the submission guidelines (which provide the super-special email address for submissions — not the usual ATL address). If you’d like to see an example of a Blawg Review, check out last week’s edition, over at Blawgletter.
We look forward to your submissions. Thanks! Submission Guidelines [Blawg Review] Funny Blawg Review: Blawg Review #118 [Blawg Review]
The rumor from the other day has been confirmed: Paul Hastings, of Transformers fame,* has raised its clerkship bonus to $50,000.
We’ve confirmed the news with two sources: an associate at the firm, and a law clerk with an outstanding offer. (We don’t know what PH pays for two clerkships, though; if you have that info, please email us.) Update: Confirmed. Paul Hastings also pays a $70,000 bonus for two years of clerking.
* Guess the New York Times folks missed Transformers. In this article, they identify Paul Hastings as a San Francisco law firm — even though it’s really a national firm, headquartered in Los Angeles (housed in an iconic tower that looms large over the L.A. skyline). Earlier: A Law Firm Cameo in ‘Transformers’
We’ve confirmed the news that Akin Gump has raised in Texas. Here’s the message from Bruce McLean, the Akin Gump chairman:
We are pleased to announce that we will be increasing associate and counsel compensation effective August 1, 2007. For first and second years, compensation will increase to $160,000 and $170,000, respectively. For subsequent years, we intend to be competitive in the market. We are in the process of determining the contours of the compensation structure for our other associate classes consistent with our Firm culture and the evolving market.
We appreciate all that you do to make this a great Firm.
We continue our series of colorful summer associate stories. If you have a tale to tell, please check out the submission guidelines, and then email us.
(Some of you have worried about whether a tale might be “too old.” You need not fret; oldies can be goodies. We’re trying to compile a “greatest hits” list, so even hoary stories are okay. But please do indicate the summer in which the events occurred.)
Here’s our latest X-Summer:
1. Superhero name: S&S Slur-Man
2. Special power: Ability to attack women and minorities from 50 feet.
3. Summered: Shearman & Sterling, summer 2005 (believed to be DC).
4. Claim to fame: Here are the allegations, from our tipster:
“Asked a female summer how she felt about the fact that since she was a woman, she’d always make less than him. Subsequently, got drunk at a firm social event and called a Hispanic summer from HLS a “wetback.” Was directed to apologize by the firm… and did so in a half-assed, insincere manner. “
5. What happened next: “Slur-Man was fired (and obviously not given an offer). No knowledge of his eventual career.”
(The usual rules apply. Please don’t name the Slur-Man or speculate about his identity. Thanks.) Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of summer associates (scroll down)
We have to step away for a bit, but we’ll leave you with something that should hopefully keep you busy while we’re gone. It’s time for the mother of all open threads: New York, New York.
With fall recruiting season looming (or already here), we’ve launched a series of open threads, where people can compare notes about law firms in different cities. Here are the earlier posts in the series (which we encourage you to revisit, even after they get bumped from the ATL front page):
This post, though, is about New York. Please gossip away, responsibly, about all of Gotham’s marquee names — Cravath, Wachtell, S&C, etc. — in the comments. Thanks. Earlier: Fall recruiting open threads for Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco / Silicon Valley.
* Dear Mama. [BBC]
* Judiciary Committee votes for contempt for Bolten and Miers. [New York Times]
* Georgia’s upset replacement Congressman is sworn in; now he can immediately begin to work on next year’s race. [AP via Online Athens]
* No you’re not, Lindsay, you’re guilty…of stealing my heart! [CNN]
* American law firms are going to France and using brash tactics such as, gasp, websites. [New York Times]
About a month has passed since our last post about Supreme Court clerk hiring for October Term 2008 (not OT 2007, whose clerks started just this month, but the following one). We were reminded that we hadn’t written about the subject in a while after we received this email:
“I heard that some dude from Calabresi just got hired on the court, then some other dude from Yale, but I can’t remember who he clerked for.”
Considering the frequency with which Guido-maniacs and Yalies troop off to One First Street, this is about as helpful as saying that “I heard someone with a law degree got hired to clerk for the Court.”
Despite the vagueness of this information, we’re sure we can get to the bottom of things — with help from you, our loyal readers.
Please check out the latest version of our list of OT 2008 law clerks, which appears after the jump. If you have more SCOTUS clerk hiring news to add, or a correction to anything on the list, please email us (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”).
We aren’t expecting to get that much hiring news this time around, since the Supreme Court Term is now over, and the justices are all traipsing around Europe (or New Hampshire). But we’re thinking we might hear about hires that were made some time ago but haven’t hit the rumor mill yet. For example, who is the mysterious fourth Thomas clerk for OT 2008?
Just a quick follow-up to our recent post about Saira Rao and Chambermaid, her novel about a law clerk’s challenging year clerking for a federal judicial diva. A tipster writes:
I just left a lunch where Saira Rao spoke to the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware, and she clarified something [from the recent Philadelphia Inquirer article].
I believe the article said something to the effect that she was pushed out of Cleary once people found out what her book was about. [Ed. note: Here's the quote from the Inquirer: "[Rao] left her New York law firm, Cleary Gottlieb, in November when the subject of her book became known, and, she said, the firm made her feel unwelcome.”]
According to her, it appears the opposite was true. She mentioned that the firm was actually accommodating to her needs as a writer and essentially created a new position for her so that she could concentrate more on the book. She also said she received two months off to allow her to finish up some edits on the book as well. She actually said she loved the firm and had a wonderful experience…. [Ed. note: For more, see this comment.]
In addition, she also mentioned that the book was recently optioned to be turned into a television series, so be on the lookout. No word yet on how involved she will be beyond the title of “consultant”.
With respect to the account of Rao’s departure from Cleary, our understanding is that the “firm made her feel unwelcome” statement wasn’t based directly on anything said by Rao herself, but reflected the article writer’s interpretation of events.
We love to engage in juicy speculation about workplace departures as much as (if not more than) the next guy. But it’s best when the scuttlebutt is actually accurate. Update: We have an email in to Carlin Romano, the Philly Inquirer book critic who wrote the article. We’ll let you now if and when we hear back from him. Lifetime raises Sunday stakes [Variety] Earlier: Chambermaid: Judge Sloviter Speaks
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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