October 2014

law firm merger.jpgTo paraphrase Austin Powers, Heller Ehrman is getting to “town bicycle” status. The latest firm to take a ride through Heller’s financials: Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw.
According to Am Law Daily, citing sources close to both Heller and Mayer Brown, Heller is “aggressively” pursuing other merger options, with Mayer Brown looking like the most promising match. They add:

The current talks between Mayer Brown and Heller, which began days after Heller’s talks with Baker & McKenzie ended, actually represent a second effort to combine the firms.

Before anybody starts requesting new business cards, it must be noted that Heller merger rumors tend to be as bankable as that Nigerian guy who needs your account number. In the past few months, Heller has been linked to Winston & Strawn, Proskauer Rose, and Baker & McKenzie. Given that a Heller/Mayer Brown merger has fallen through before, this latest rumor could be more about smoke screen than actual fire.
Just last week, Heller announced that it was postponing start dates until after Martin Luther King Day. We’ll keep you updated on Heller’s continuing efforts to be saved.
Heller Ehrman, Mayer Brown In Merger Talks [Am Law Daily]

James Cook Turnbull Asser.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by guest writer LIAM HILL (no relation to Kashmir), who will be writing a series of posts about fashion and style. Fashion is a popular topic these days. See, e.g., the undershirts post (200 comments).
Perhaps it's because Fashion Week is about to get under way in New York. You can follow goings-on over at our sister site, Fashionista, which will be covering the collections live from Bryant Park.]
With the economic downturn, lawyer layoffs, and pushed-back start dates, I’ve been wondering about the influence that such turmoil has had on — what else? — office fashion. I tend to agree with Mark Twain, who said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” (Well, unless you’re in the middle of Times Square, with a guitar and a cowboy hat.)
Leaner times tend to bring out the Brooks Brothers aesthetic, and business casual once again goes where it belongs — away. Ties and coats return, flip-flops and “commuter shoes” stay home, and “white shoe” again can once mean white shoe (but only on Fridays). Although many will resist the siren song of a more formal workplace, the trend is inevitable. I know you won’t believe me, but apparently those who want to take your job already do. At least according to Turnbull & Asser.
Read my interview with James Cook (pictured), Bespoke Manager of Turnbull & Asser, and share your thoughts on the current state of men’s fashion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The State of the Union Office (Or: How is the downturn affecting lawyer dress?)”

mouse cheese mousetrap mouse trap.jpgStealing Swiss Miss from your law firm’s kitchen is not a good idea. If you’re a summer associate, it’s a recipe for getting no-offered.
And stealing food from the law firm refrigerator is also unwise. See here (and note the “FYI” postscript).
Does anyone care to guess — or actually know — the law firm where this sign was posted?
Reasons Not To Steal Food From the Company Fridge [Midtown Lunch]

cleary associate helps obama.jpgAm Law Daily highlights the work of James Clark, a fifth-year at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, who took a two-month unpaid leave to volunteer for the Obama campaign in Pennsylvania.

Clark was a community organizer for three different townships in Bucks County, a county Hillary Clinton carried with over 60 percent of the vote. He felt that his Cleary litigation experience helped him in his campaign stint organizing local volunteers: “Volunteers are kind of like junior associates in that you have to clearly articulate what needs to be done so that everyone is on the same page.”

Also don’t make any sudden movements. Be firm, yet gentle.

Clark credits Cleary for allowing him the opportunity to work in rural Pennsylvania….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cleary Associate Fought for Lost Cause in PA”

Winston Strawn LLP logo Above the Law blog.JPGAs we mentioned earlier today, we’re doing a series of posts on law firms no-offering their summer associates. Recently we heard this, from an operative in a law school career services office:

The first blow of what we expect to be a horrible recruiting season has landed. Winston & Strawn in Chicago was “oversubscribed” and is handing out no-offers and soft offers.

We contacted the firm for comment. From spokesperson Darryl Van Duch:

I am responding on behalf of firm management regarding your inquiry about Winston’s summer class. In your email you stated that Winston & Strawn in Chicago is oversubscribed, and is handing out no-offers and cold offers.

It is the firm’s policy to not comment on individual personnel issues or hiring issues. However, we felt in this situation it was appropriate to address your statements. As to the issue of cold offers, we have not made and will not make so-called ‘cold’ offers. Additionally, the overall percentage rate of offers we made to summer associates in the firm this year was in the 90s, consistent with prior years.

What we’ve been hearing is roughly consistent with Van Duch’s statement. Tipsters tell us that the firm’s Chicago office no-offered 7 out of 67 summer associates, meaning that 90 percent of summers did receive offers.
Now, 90 percent seems plenty high. But it’s certainly lower than the 95 to 100 percent offer rates that were par for the Biglaw course during recent boom times. According to the NALP directory, the Chicago office of Winston had an offer rate of 100 percent in 2007, with 37 out of 37 summers getting offers.
More ruminations on offer rates, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide No Offer Watch: Winston & Strawn”

James Muir Little Joanne Hall Gavin Hall.jpgThe end of this tale is tragic and grim, but we’ll focus on the salacious over the sad. From the Telegraph:

James Muir-Little, 45, a deputy district judge, resigned his post before the outcome of disciplinary proceedings against him. He had cheated on his own wife with Joanne Hall, 31, a cardiac nurse, after meeting her through and internet website for swingers.

They exchanged naked pictures and sexual fantasies by email before twice meeting for sex at hotels. In one email Mrs Hall promised to be a “dirty little slut” for the judge.

Not to be confused with clean big sluts. Or Nazis German prison workers. They’re popular on the other side of the pond.
The tragic part is that when Joanne Hall’s husband, Gavin Hall, learned of her infidelity, he killed their three-year-old daughter in revenge.
But let’s not dwell on that. More details about the swinger judge, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: James Muir-Little”

wiley rein pro bono.jpgThanks for all of the tips in response to our Friday post on no-offers. We are investigating various leads and will bring you a series of posts based on what we learn.
We’ll start with Wiley Rein. The firm’s 2008 summer class was oversubscribed, but only four summer associates paid the price. We’d been hearing reports that Wiley gave offers to 34 out of 38 SAs, and the firm has now confirmed the news.
Kay Nash, director of professional development and attorney recruiting at Wiley, said over email:

As is always the case here, everyone who deserved an offer received one, despite our higher numbers this summer. We are confident that we can comfortably accommodate the excellent students to whom we extended offers. We always aim for approximately 25 new associates, but gave a significantly higher number of offers reflecting the strength of our summer class.

A few tipsters pointed out that Wiley’s class may have been oversubscribed due to the huge fees the firm earned as part of the 2006 Blackberry litigation. The settlement pushed Wiley’s profits per partner all the way to number one for 2006.
Thirty-four offers out of an expected 25 slots suggests that Wiley is doing the best they can. But that probably does not mean a lot to the four fallen. We pour out our 40 to the undeserving four.
Earlier: Fall Recruiting Open Thread: No Offer, No Cry

enzyte lawsuit busted liars.jpgIf you have a small penis the only thing you can do about it is buy a gun.
I can finally say that with the authority of judicial precedent behind me. As the WSJ Law Blog reported yesterday, Steve Warshak, founder of Enzyte, was sentenced to 25 for defrauding sad, pathetic men.
I have often watched the late night replay of the Daily Show and Colbert and wished, nay prayed, that somebody would put an end to this stupid ad-campaign so I could get back to Girls Gone Wild promos. Though U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel ruled that the company would be allowed to stay in business, one expects civil litigation to destroy once and forever the concept of “natural male enhancement.”
There are lots of penis products on television, usually in the form of car commercials. But the lack of subtlety from these Enzyte jerks is just totally out of place for the quiet, drunken depression that marks watching late night television. Get out of my head Smilin’ Bob, I do not believe you!
Now if we could only get rid of commercials telling me that I have to keep it up for 36 hours, life would be better.
Fraudulent Male Enhancement Drug Gets Company Founder 25 Yrs. [WSJ Law Blog]

frumpy hls parody.jpgOver at f/k/a, David Giacalone wonders why few people have taken a stand on Harvey Silverglate’s outrageous contention that the “Harvard Factor” has somehow killed satire in the legal profession.
Stand at my wall and start screaming “Hektor,” why don’t you?
Professor Silverglate reminds me of the guy, Dr. Pritchard I believe, who wrote the poetry textbook in Dead Poets Society. He tries to make objective the subjective art of “comedy,” despite the fact that he is not funny.
Silverglate is annoyed that so many people reacted poorly to the New Yorker cover of Barack Obama dressed up in so-called “muslin” attire. His reasoning for the backlash over the cover is that “elites” — like Obama — have become so stifled in their thinking that they can no longer take a joke.
He specifically calls out the HLS Parody (full disclosure: I was part of the show each of my three years). He states that none of the humor approaches the frankness or “brutality” of previous incarnations.
Excuse me while I stand on my desk and shout “yawp.”
Maybe back in Silverglate’s day, all the good ‘ol boys could sit around and tell watermelon jokes with impunity. Today, at Harvard and I’d imagine most anywhere else, you can still make fun of racial and gender stereotypes, you just have to be a little bit more intelligent and creative about it. Why? Because “Gee golly, them girls sure can’t drive,” just isn’t funny anymore. It’s called progress.
More ad hominem attacks on Silverglate, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Truth and Consequences”

comparing.jpgOur Vault 100 series is winding down. We hope that the insiders have enjoyed the opportunity to brag (or to vent) about their firms. And that the curious have appreciated insights into life at various firms in the top 100.
Here is the next bunch up for discussion (with their prestige scores in parentheses):

81. Crowell & Moring LLP (4.763)
82. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP (4.754)
83. Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP (4.735)
84. Arent Fox PLLC (4.726)
85. McGuireWoods LLP (4.697)
86. Venable LLP (4.676)
87. Dorsey & Whitney LLP (4.575)
88. Dickstein Shapiro LLP (4.554)
89. Baker & Hostetler (4.531)
90. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P (4.503)

Are the following statements true or false?

  • Venable attorneys like bocce ball.
  • Katten attorneys need Weight Watchers.
  • Having your tupperware washed denotes a “notable perk.”
  • Getting to leave early and have the firm respect your personal time is the best perk of all.
  • Okay, you know the drill.
    Earlier: Vault 100 Open Threads – 2009

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