Biglaw, Job Searches

What’s Up With Bingham McCutchen?

Bingham McCutchen Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgAs you may recall, earlier this year there were rumors about there not being enough work to go around in the San Francisco office of Bingham McCutchen. Some of these rumors were prompted by the firm offering buyouts to some associates.
The rumors of slowness are starting to resurface:

I am a 2L at [a top ten law school], and we are mid-EIP. Early this summer I bid for Bingham’s San Francisco office, only to receive an email after bidding closed that they would not be coming to EIP and my bid was cancelled.

I just spoke to a friend who bid for their DC office and received an interview. She got an email (last week I believe) saying Bingham DC would not be attending either, and her interview was cancelled.

What’s up? Sinking ship? Not enough work?

Not so, according to firm spokesperson Claire Papanastasiou:

We carefully assess our hiring needs and annually review our OCI approach to maintain a balance of entry-level attorneys in all of our offices. Class sizes change from year-to-year, and we adjust our on-campus schedules accordingly.

For example, in San Francisco and D.C., we had a higher-than-anticipated acceptance rate for this past summer. To maintain the appropriate balance of entry-level lawyers in those offices, we’ve adjusted next summer’s class size.

If you have more light to shed on the situation, please feel free to email us (subject line: “Bingham McCutchen”).
Update: Remember the Fried Frank policy on entering one’s billable time? Bingham is also anxious about time entry (even if their policy is more forgiving). Memo after the jump (or click here).
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Bingham McCutchen (scroll down)


BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN LLP
Associate, Counsel & Of Counsel Time Entry Policy
Timely and accurate time entry is the backbone of the
firm’s revenue stream. A delay in time entry affects
the accuracy and reliability of our client bills and
often fails to capture all of the work performed by
our attorneys. To address what has become an ongoing
problem, the firm is instituting the following Time
Entry policy for all associates, counsel and of
counsel. This policy will become effective on August
1, 2007.
• All attorneys must strive to enter time on a daily
basis. Daily time entry is the most effective means
of ensuring that time entries are accurate and
provides firm management with essential up-to-date
information on work-in-progress.
• The weekly time entry deadline is 8:00 p.m. on
Tuesday for the previous week’s time. All time for
the period Sunday through Saturday must be entered and
closed by the weekly time entry deadline. The
exception to the Tuesday deadline is the month end
deadline which is communicated to all attorneys
several days prior to the cutoff.
• The Accounting Department will maintain a list of
associates, counsel and of counsel who have
accumulated more than five delinquent days in any
given year (Dec. 1 – Nov. 30).
• Failure to meet the Firm’s time entry deadline will
negatively reflect on an attorney’s good standing and
will be addressed as part of the firm’s periodic
performance reviews. In addition, once an associate,
counsel or of counsel has accumulated five delinquent
days in any given year, the following penalty shall
apply: Attorneys who have delinquent time entries
(entries that are not in the system and closed by
Tuesday for the previous week) will be assessed one
“point” for each delinquent day. These points will
accumulate throughout the year and the total number of
points assessed will be considered by the firm in
determining compensation and bonus.
Please use the month of July, 2007 to bring any
delinquent days into compliance. You will continue to
receive an automated delinquent time notification on
Wednesday each week that summarizes your delinquent
days.
If you have any questions about this Time Entry
Policy, please contact your Attorney Development
Director or Manager. Thank you for your cooperation in
assisting the firm in this important aspect of our business.

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