October 2014

comparing.jpgWe’re entering the second half of the Vault 100. This is part of a series of open threads to discuss the firms considered to be the profession’s most prestigious. Because we know you love prestige. And the opportunity for “TTT” accusations. [FN1]
Here’s the next bunch of firms, with prestige scores in parentheses:

51. Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (5.851)
52. Dechert LLP (5.838)
53. Vinson & Elkins LLP (5.822)
54. Goodwin Procter LLP (5.815)
55. Jenner & Block LLP (5.778)
56. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (5.728)
57. Alston & Bird LLP (5.715)
58. Fish & Richardson P.C. (5.706)
59. Cooley Godward LLP (5.692)
60. Irell & Manella LLP (5.635)

doughboy.jpgVault notes that attorneys at Pillsbury are treated to “freshly baked cookies.” But they also have to put up with being referred to as “Pillsburians” by Vault.
Compare, contrast, discuss… and if you’re at Pillsbury, have a chocolate chip cookie for us.
Earlier: Vault 100 Open Threads – 2009
[FN1] We periodically get e-mails asking for the definition of “TTT,” which appears so often in comment threads. As the uninitiated have surely gathered, it’s a derogatory term. Likely originating on AutoAdmit, it stands for “third tier toilet.” For more, see Urban Dictionary.

michelle obama convention speech.jpg* Some of you might have already noticed, but a former Sidley Austin associate had a big night. [ABA Journal; MSNBC]
* More reasons to dump Internet Explorer if you haven’t done so already. [Res Ipsa Blog]
* Maybe instead of professional responsibility, they should teach “internet scams for dummies” in law school. [ABA Journal]
* I’m pretty sure we were promised tactile feedback toys back in Real Sex 1. I’m sure we’ll get them just after the flying cars start rolling off the assembly line. [Legal Pad]
* Fun with Biden over at Legal Times. At this point, if his convention speech comes in under the 8-hour mark, he will claim victory. [BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

Thelen LLP new logo.jpgAs we reported last month, Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner is on the prowl for a merger partner. And just like a divorcée plunging back into the dating market, the firm is taking steps to make itself more attractive.
Like changing its name. From the firm’s press release:

In a move to present a clear and strong brand in the legal marketplace, Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP, an international Am Law 100 law firm, announced today that it is shortening the legal name of the firm to Thelen LLP.

The name change will be effective September 9 and will better reflect the firm’s 80-year history as one of the world’s premier law firms. A single corporate identity also has the added benefit of consistent branding in the domestic and global markets in which Thelen operates.

There are other advantages, too. As reported in today’s National Law Journal, name partner Jeffrey Steiner just defected to DLA Piper. This follows the departures of name partners Peter Brown (to Baker Hostetler) and Richard Raysman (to Otterbourg Steindler). Scrubbing their names from the firm name makes sense (and may have been required).
It’s much safer for the firm simply to be known as “Thelen.” Max Thelen isn’t going anywhere.
Thelen Announces New Firm Name [press release]
Defections continue at Thelen [National Law Journal]
Thelen Faces Departures During Merger Search [Legal Times]
Thelen, It Rhymes With Wheelin’ [WSJ Law Blog]


Thelen LLP new logo.jpgAs we reported last month, Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner is on the prowl for a merger partner. And just like a divorcée plunging back into the dating market, the firm is taking steps to make itself more attractive.
Like changing its name. From the firm’s press release:

In a move to present a clear and strong brand in the legal marketplace, Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP, an international Am Law 100 law firm, announced today that it is shortening the legal name of the firm to Thelen LLP.

The name change will be effective September 9 and will better reflect the firm’s 80-year history as one of the world’s premier law firms. A single corporate identity also has the added benefit of consistent branding in the domestic and global markets in which Thelen operates.

There are other advantages, too. As reported in today’s National Law Journal, name partner Jeffrey Steiner just defected to DLA Piper. This follows the departures of name partners Peter Brown (to Baker Hostetler) and Richard Raysman (to Otterbourg Steindler). Scrubbing their names from the firm name makes sense (and may have been required).
It’s much safer for the firm simply to be known as “Thelen.” Max Thelen isn’t going anywhere.
Thelen Announces New Firm Name [press release]
Defections continue at Thelen [National Law Journal]
Thelen Faces Departures During Merger Search [Legal Times]
Thelen, It Rhymes With Wheelin’ [WSJ Law Blog]

Jimmy Page.jpg* It appears University of Iowa political science professor Arthur H. Miller has met an untimely end. [Ace of Spades HQ; TaxProf Blog]
* Joe Biden’s reputation for never shutting up is already the stuff of legend. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]
* More expectation management with Biden. [Supreme Dicta]
* Oh, now I see, those summer outings were really tests. [Portfolio]
* No theme from Blawg Review this week, but at least now we know why Jimmy Page and his titanium replacement hips were invited to the closing ceremonies. [Texas Appellate Law Blog via Blawg Review]

Will Work for Food 2 Above the Law blog.JPGCorporette has entered the fall interviewing fray with their own top ten list of interviewing tips.
They really seem to think that successful interviewing requires effort, preparation, and study. They suggest keeping detailed notes on every conversation you have, networking, and even setting up Google and Westlaw alerts so you are up to speed on the latest legal news.
I know that the economy is in bad shape, but I’m not sure that turning into a crazy stalker person is the right way to go.
Then again, following Corporette’s guide is probably better than showing up hung-over and asking for a Bloody Mary.
The problem with any interviewing “advice” is that it needs to be tailored to the person. If you are socially awkward and talk like Michael Phelps, you probably want to rehearse everything you are going to say beforehand and speak only when forced. If you have Jerry McGuire-esque living room skills, you want to keep your head in the moment and trust your instincts.
Memorizing 15 fun-facts about every partner at the firm is an option, but there is no one path to success.
10 Things About … Interviewing [Corporette]

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld LLP logo.jpg“My Gump, my Gump, my lovely Akin Gump. Check it out….
What’s going on at Akin Gump? That seems to be what many of you are wondering, based on some comments posted to a recent open thread featuring the firm:

“What is happening to Akin Gump DC? I saw that a bunch of lit partners just left.”

“I’ve heard the same thing…. Akin appears to be losing tons of partners and the DC office is rumored to be in turmoil. It does, however, have Tom Goldstein, which is sure to attract gunners who think they’ll be arguing cases in three years.”

“I read somewhere that the changes at Akin are part of some larger strategic plan. Anyone know anything about that?”

As a matter of fact, yes — Kim Eisler does. He writes, over at Washingtonian:

Over the past few months, 950-lawyer Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has lost about 45 lawyers, including two of its rainmakers, Michael Madigan and Richard Wyatt Jr. Tensions are said to be high, with partners in the New York office unhappy that the Washington lawyers are not producing their share of revenue. To increase productivity, Akin Gump pushed out 5 percent of its lawyers who, in management’s view, were not generating enough income. The firm also closed its office in Taipei, one of 12 it maintained outside of Washington, and insiders predict the money-losing Beijing office will be next to go. The China offices have been expensive failures in the eyes of New York partners, who are pressing Washington to stop the bleeding….

The firm still has several stars, including criminal-defense lawyers John Dowd and Michele Roberts, Supreme Court litigator Tom Goldstein, and lobbying-practice head Joel Jankowsky, and is counting on them to pull Akin Gump out of its tailspin.

These boldface names are familiar to the ATL readership. John Dowd is the defense lawyer of Monica Goodling (and the former boss of the Akin Gump Escort). Tom Goldstein, the celebrated SCOTUS litigator, was a judge on ATL Idol.
To read more about comings and goings at Akin Gump, check out Eisler’s complete piece, available over here.
Clock Is Ticking for Strauss’s Firm [Capital Comment / Washingtonian]
Earlier: Fall Recruiting Open Thread: Vault 31-40 (2009)

associate layoffs cost money.jpgThis weekend, the New York Times explored the cascade of sadness left behind after massive layoffs. Aside from fear, the Times noted that there can be a productivity downgrade that shows up in real economic terms.

Too often, their anxious and overworked remaining employees become risk-averse and unproductive, or leave for other jobs. As companies hire new workers or turn to outside vendors to compensate, the short-term savings from layoffs can evaporate.

The National Law Journal also has some stern advice for layoff-happy firms. According to Bruce McEwen of Adam Smith Esq., “law firms that slash associate numbers in hopes of keeping profits-per-partner high may be headed for trouble.”
What else law firms can try, beyond going to $190K, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Layoffs Cost Money”

Philip Berg Philip J Berg Barack Obama lawsuit.jpgAlthough Barack Obama is just days away from accepting the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination (acceptance song speculation here), some Hillary Clinton supporters refuse to give up. From the Philadelphia Daily News:

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has faced so many false rumors about his family history that it has put his birth certificate on the Internet: he was born in Honolulu, nearly two years after Hawaii became a state, making Obama a U.S. citizen by birth.

But that hasn’t stopped Montgomery County lawyer Philip J. Berg from challenging Obama’s qualifications to be president.

Berg, a Hillary Clinton supporter, announced he’s filing a federal lawsuit today, claiming that Obama lost his citizenship when his mother relocated the family to Indonesia when Barack was a boy.

Under the law, however, moving to a foreign country does not negate an American’s citizenship.

Bad enough for Rule 11? In Berg’s defense — or maybe not — he makes other claims, too (e.g., that Obama was actually born in Kenya). You can check out the full complaint by clicking here.
Raining on Barack’s Parade [Philadelphia Daily News (fourth item)]
Berg v. Obama: Complaint (PDF)

sniperkitten.jpgOver the last several weeks, we’ve run quite a few ATL / Lateral Link surveys about summer associate issues like assignments, offers, and, of course, lunch.
But no matter what the survey topic, two debates have consistently emerged in the comments:
1) Are summer associates an appropriate use of firm resources and associate time?
2) Are the LOLcat pictures accompanying the surveys absolutely awesome, or really annoying?
Of course, it’s not that surprising to see summer associates and LOLcats — two creatures linked by their youth, their frequent proximity to food, their occasional fluffy nature, and, alas, their occasional misspellings — prompting relatively parallel debates among ATL readers (especially since those similarities prompted the use of LOLcats as pictures for the summer associate surveys).
And now that the summer programs are over and the on-campus interview season has begun, both debates are in full swing.
On the substantive front, a number of firms are heavily weighing the impact of summer programs on firm resources (like cash), and many are now narrowing their on-campus recruiting or even scrapping summer programs altogether in some offices, as Kash covered over here.
Meanwhile, on the fluffier front, the LOLcat debate also surged last week. Check out some of the funnier comments, and take today’s survey, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Life Survey: Darn Kids (and Kittens)”

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