October 2014

columbia law school logo.jpgHere’s our best attempt to tie up a few loose ends on the strange saga of Columbia’s Career Services’ Dean, Ellen Wayne.

Many CLS students were, frankly, pissed to hear of Dean Wayne’s departure via ATL. This

was sent to the entire law student body earlier this week:

Dear Students,

As you may know, speculation has circulated the law school and the Internet regarding changes at Career Services. Your student representatives are aware of the situation and have been meeting with administrators throughout the day. In these meetings, we have stressed the importance of providing students with as timely and accurate information as events allow.

We anticipate more information will be provided as soon as practicable. In the meantime, we ask for your patience. Career Services is in full operation; 1L resume reviews will continue and the LL.M. job fair will take place early next year. It is unfortunate that many of us learned of this situation from sources other than the law school administration. Please know that we are aware of the situation, have been strenuously advocating on your behalf, and will strive to provide additional information as appropriate.

Sincerely yours,

The Student Senate

Apparently, “as soon as practicable” turned out to be Friday. But we’re not sure the following message contained the details that most CLS students were looking for:

From: Ed Moroni.

Dean of Career Services Ellen Wayne has resigned from her position after 14 years of dedicated service to the Columbia Law School. During this time the Office of Career Services delivered very high rates of job placement for our students – often 100 percent – in addition to advisement and placement services in support of our alumni. Over her long tenure, Dean

Wayne assisted and counseled literally thousands of students and graduates of the Law School. Among her many accomplishments, she also initiated a full-service program and multi-law-school job fair for LL.M. students, and enhanced and professionalized the EIP recruitment event for J.D. candidates.

We thank her for her service and wish her well in all of her future endeavors.

To ensure a smooth transition while we search for a permanent replacement, former director of career services Natasha Patel has agreed to serve as Acting Dean of Career Services. Natasha will return to Columbia on December 8, 2008. The Career Services Office remains in full operation. Students and others should contact the appropriate person as listed in the

following directory, http://www.law.columbia.edu/careers/career_services/staff, who will

continue to provide services and programming for our students.

— Ed

Edward Moroni

Associate Dean for Administration and Finance

Columbia Law School

So, we still don’t officially know whether Dean Wayne left voluntarily or was asked to leave, or any of the reasons for her departure.

A tipster puts an interesting spin on the situation after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Columbia Potpourri:
Columbia Talks About Deans and Grades But Provides Little Information”

Lake Placid.JPGIn case you haven’t been following along, it appears that the NY Board of Law Examiners website is unavailable or unstable. It’s preventing exam takers from accessing their scores.

But how many? Please answer the poll below so we can see how many people are waiting for an oxygen mask to drop down from the ceiling.

Try to remain patient people, I’m sure that NY BOLE had no idea so many people would be visiting their website today.

Orrick Herrington Sutcliffe LLP Above the Law blog.JPGThe legal community is still buzzing with reaction to the news of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s layoffs of 40 attorneys — while White & Case sacrifices blood and treasure to the altar of “good timing.”

We don’t want to pile onto Orrick, we know a lot of good people that work there. But Ralph Baxter’s interview with the AmLaw Daily today is … a little weird.

Yesterday, we noted that Orrick’s layoffs come a month after they acquired a bunch of Heller Ehrman partners. Baxter addressed that issue specifically with AmLaw … depending on your definition of “addressed”:

What do you say to people who will look at your decision to hire 27 former Heller attorneys in early October, a month before this decision?

You take these two facts together (the Heller hirings and the layoffs), and you get a focused picture of Orrick. We’re bullish about the future, bullish about the role of lawyers in global finance, and we are boldly taking action to diversify Orrick’s practice. All of the Heller lawyers who joined us were in practice areas that are litigation-oriented. Compared with the layoffs, it’s apples and oranges. They are mostly partners, and they bring business with them.

Allow me to translate:

You see, there are these things called Apples. And man, let me tell you, Apples are the future. But unfortunately, there are these other things called Oranges, and Oranges are so obsolete, so yesterday. Really, IN THE FUTURE, the only thing Oranges will be good for is Juice. So we said, screw it man, let’s make some Juice. Let’s make some now! Because the future is now. Apples and Pulp bro’. Don’t sleep.

Other highlights from Baxter’s interview after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Orrick Plays ‘Hide the Logic’ During AmLaw Interview”


W.T. Sherman a Drunk Hero.JPGLast month, Moore Van Allen laid off 20 staffers. This month, the bell tolls for attorneys.

Associates and partners have confirmed that 20 attorneys we laid off from MvA on Wednesday.

Is there going to be a Charlotte “legal market” still standing in 2009?

We reported last month that Dewey LeBoeuf closed their entire Charlotte office, displacing 11 attorneys.

All of these hits to the Charlotte market make sense, since we no longer have a banking industry or, you know, money. But still, right now Charlotte looks like Sherman just came into town.

… Maybe there will be some Reconstruction work that Charlotte based attorneys can pick up?

Update (12:00): This should probably go without saying, but we now also have reports that MvA has canceled its 2009 summer program.

Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Is Katten Cutting Fat?

Dewey & LeBoeuf Closes Charlotte Office

eapd no offers but fair.JPGOne of these days, I’m going to be able to lead off with some good news for attorneys or support staff. But it is not this day.

Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge has confirmed layoffs of a number of support staffers:

We have been engaged in a long-term review of our cost structure and due to improvements and efficiencies with our technology and processes, we determined that lower staffing levels are appropriate.

Meeting and exceeding our clients’ needs remains our top priority. We, like other law firms and businesses, continually strive to best position the firm. We felt it necessary to take proactive measures to align our talent with our client needs

We understand that 50 staffers were laid off: 25 from the Boston office, and 25 across all other EAPD offices. The firm said that no associates were laid off as part of this long-term review.

The firm could not provide us with information about the severance package offered to staff.

Some EAPD back story after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Staff Layoffs at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge
These Things Never Happen On Boston Legal”

Larry Johnson.jpg* Felons can join the Army but not the New York police force. But New York State Supreme Court Judge Henry Kron wants to change that rule for Afghanistan war veteran, Osvaldo Hernandez, who served a year on Rikers Island for gun possession before joining the Army. [New York Times]

* Former O’Melveny & Myers partner Ron Klain (a.k.a. Kevin Spacey in Recount) is Joe Biden’s pick for chief of staff. [Politico]

* Woman suing Kansas City Chief running back Larry Johnson (not Grandmama). After she rejected his advances, he allegedly spit his drink in her face, threatened her life, and ordered his bodyguards to administer a beatdown. [Courthouse News Service]

* Mormons, Prop 8, and an unidentified white, powdery substance. [Los Angeles Times]

* New North Carolina senator is not a sore winner. Senator-elect Kay Hagan drops her suit against Senator-not-for-long Elizabeth Dole. Hagan had sued for defamation after Dole ran a TV ad accusing her of being “godless.” [CNN]

* Skadden sues Thelen. [American Lawyer]

New York Statue of Liberty.jpgNew York first-year associates have been driving us insane with their anticipation of bar exam results being posted this week.

The moment has finally come. Results are up as of 9 a.m. today. Unfortunately, the overeager result seekers seem to have overwhelmed the page. It is down as of 9:14 a.m.

We hope all the gunners who have been clogging our inbox achieve the ultimate bliss of passage today.

Voyeurs have to wait until Monday for the results to go public.

Earlier: Prior ATL Coverage of Bar Exams

Howrey logo.JPGThe Recorder is reporting that Howrey will take on 40 lawyers from Thelen’s prestigious San Francisco construction practice:

The group — which Howrey characterized as “most of the construction practice” from Thelen — includes Thelen Chairman Stephen O’Neal, construction practice head John Heisse II, D.C. office managing partner Andrew Ness, San Francisco partner David Buoncristiani (who handles matters for client Bechtel), Los Angeles partner Robert Thum and D.C. partner David Dekker. Most of the 18 partners and about 25 associates and of counsel are in San Francisco and D.C., and the rest are in New York and Los Angeles.

Hmm… Thelen attorneys, Chairman Stephen O’Neal, Howrey — where have I heard that before?

Oh yeah! You’ll remember that the Recorder initially broke the story on O’Neal’s flirtations with Howrey.

Immediately after Thelen dissolved, we mentioned possible options for the firm:

Option 1 is the plan they have arguably been pursuing: breaking up the firm practice group by practice group to interested parties. As we reported yesterday, this is the best option to save associate jobs. However, that plan is dependent on Thelen’s banks signing-off on the plan and maintaining their line of credit. Did Stephen O’Neal’s aggressive and ultimately public pursuit of his own lifeboat at Howrey scuttle that option? Once everybody is told that the managing partner could be leaving in ten days, why would other potential suitors compete for full Thelen practice groups? Instead, it’s easier to wait for an official dissolution and cherry-pick the rainmakers. This is what happened to Heller.

I’ll pause until the Thelen people stop screaming and hitting things.

Read about other Thelen landing places, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Howrey and Reed Smith: Latest Beneficiaries of Thelen’s Shutdown”

Lady and the tramp.JPG* The Disney-induced anthropomorphism of pets and the stunning decline in standards for law schools has come to its logical conclusion. There’s now a dog with a J.D. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Lawyers are rats! But only in Canada. [Law is Cool]

* Somebody did actual research to determine that “narcissists” lead most major law firms? Next, somebody should study whether lawyers are “risk-averse” or “risk-loving?” [ABA Journal]

* Morgan Stanley memo warning employees not to leak Morgan Stanley memos is leaked by Morgan Stanley employee to Dealbreaker. Because that’s just how Bess rolls in the 2-1-2. [Dealbreaker]

* Counteroffers are a bad idea. Just ask the experts. [Lateral Link]

skirt above the knee.jpgIf all the news about lawyer layoffs has gotten you thinking about career alternatives, here’s a business idea for you. From the ABA Journal:

Being well-dressed costs money. But for a lawyer, looking tailored and professional in an attractive, well-fitting suit is a worthwhile investment, Tony and Tara Costanzo say.

That message has put the 30-something married couple in business, helping several hundred clients including numerous lawyers in the New York area, order the right clothes without ever having to shop for them….

The Costanzas will meet busy clients as and where needed, and once held a clothing consultation in a courthouse restroom. Then they order the right clothes, in the right size. Ready-made suits start at just under $500; custom-made suits begin at close to $1,000 for men and $1,500 for women.

In the middle of a recession, the Costanzos — no relation to George — somehow have hordes of poorly-dressed attorneys willing to pay exorbitant prices for consultations in courthouse lavatories. When the going gets tough, the tough get new wardrobes.

Our tipster remains skeptical:

It seems as though the fashion bar would be much lower these days. After all, your adversaries are probably so worried about losing their jobs that they are likely to be wearing last year’s fashions — or other horrifyingly dated apparel, like a suit from back in the days when men were boldly exploring “skinny pants.”

I have a better idea: let’s take Michelle Obama’s self-congratulatory lead and start a recession-friendly wardrobe consulting business, to dress the desperate — but still fashion-conscious — in bargain finds from J. Crew and the Gap.

We leave you with a fashion tip for these troubled times: when it comes to skirt length, go long.

(Or maybe not? See these musings from our little sibling site, Fashionista.)

Consultant Helps Harried Lawyers Avoid Attorney Wardrobe Malfunctions [ABA Journal]

Attorney Wardrobe Malfunctions: Experts Offer Tips on Debugging the Dress Code [NYLawyer.com (registration required)]

Costanzo Clothiers [official website]

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