October 2014

Bingham logo.jpgLast week, Fortune released its annual list of the 100 best places to work. Shockingly, a number of law firms made the list.

Now Fortune wants to tell us about the 25 Best Paying Companies (from among the top 100 companies to work for), and once again I have no earthly clue what they are talking about.

Let’s start right at the top. The number one, best paying company that is also nice to work for, in the entire United States of America is … Bingham McCutchen. According to Fortune:

For the second year in a row, this law firm is the top-paying Best Company to Work For. Lawyers fresh out of school get starting salaries of $160,000 a year, topped off with fat bonuses.

Umm … okay. I mean, I think Skadden’s definition of “fat” is a little different than Fortune’s, but whatever.

More from Fortune after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “I Do Not Think ’25 Best Paying Companies’ Means What You Think It Means”

Pound Hall.jpgUsually, resisting arrest in Boston involves a wicked scrap with staties.

I guess higher education is supposed to teach you how to use your words instead of your fists. But at Harvard Law, I guess they skip the “oral argument” phase altogether, and go straight to vague prestige threats.

Let’s see how that is working out for one of the brightest Harvard Law stars:

A promising Harvard Law School standout told cops during a bizarre drunken tirade that he would “lie and cheat” to ruin them if — as a future attorney — he ever calls them to a witness stand, police said.

My pres-tige brings all the boys to the yard, and they’re like: it’s better than yours. Damn right: it’s better than yours:

A police report states that Simpkins, 24, made the threat early Saturday morning, just four months from graduation, as he spilled out of a Theater District bar and into the back of a Boston police cruiser, barking to officers, “Give me a (expletive) ride, I work for the district attorney’s office.”

More fun details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Harvard Law Student Threatens Police with ‘Prestige’”

london.gifLast week, we mentioned that Linklaters was gearing up to conduct massive layoffs.

Today, The Lawyer is reporting that 270 Linklaters employees are out of a job:

Magic circle firm Linklaters has confirmed that between 100 and 120 of its City lawyers will lose their jobs as part of its so-called New World strategy, while 130 to 150 members of business services staff will also be affected.

“New World Strategy” indeed.

Linklaters is a large firm, but 270 people represent deep cuts:

The London cuts will translate to 4.8 per cent of the firm’s total workforce while 4.2 per cent of its lawyer headcount will be slashed.

Is there a country where the legal industry is thriving? Have Rosetta Stone, will travel.

Linklaters: 270 London jobs to go [The Lawyer]

Earlier: Magic Circle Meltdown: Layoffs at Allen & Overy, Linklaters, and Clifford Chance


Fish Richardson logo.jpgFish & Richardson is conducting layoffs, another indication that IP work is not a safe haven during the economic storm.

The firm would not respond to our requests for comment, but a firm wide email sent to Fish associates confirmed that 30 support staffers were let go this week:

Today, Fish & Richardson is reducing the size of our staff by notifying 30 support staff that they will no longer be employed by the firm. Affected employees are in eight of our U.S. offices and in several administrative departments.

We thank all of these employees for their service to the firm. We know that this will be a difficult time for them, and we will assist them through this transition with a severance program. Our people are our greatest asset, and so we take these steps only after thoughtful consideration.

The firm wide memo did not mention anything about associate layoffs. That may be because the firm is also conducting stealth layoffs of associates.

More details from tipsters after the jump.

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laurence tribe.gif* Cha-ching. Harvard Law gets an anonymous $10 million gift to endow a Laurence Tribe chair. [Associated Press]

* Gov. Rod Blagojevich has decided to swing by his impeachment trial in time to deliver the closing argument. [Chicago Tribune]

* Martin T. Manton would have been a Judge of the Day back in 1939, had ATL existed then. The Second Circuit judge, who was nearly appointed to the Supreme Court, was found guilty of taking bribes, resigned, and spent 19 months in prison. Now, what to do with his portrait? [New York Times]

* This story is going to hurt the lawyerly reputation. Not only did this attorney steal from his clients, he stole from physically and mentally impaired clients. New York lawyer Steven Rondos stole $4 million from his clients’ medical malpractice settlements to pay his mortgage and buy a home theater system. [New York Daily News]

* President Obama brings Biglaw hours and a less formal dress code to the White House. [New York Times]

* Restless rainmakers. [Legal Times]

Indiana Jones South Park.JPG*Wow. Layoffs have come to the ACLU. Reagan: 1 – Obama: 0.[Huffington Post]

* How many people are taking the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl? Would your answer change if I told you the Obama’s were backing them? [Sports Judge Blog]

* Bart Simpson is a Scientologist? [Popsquire]

* They raped Indy. And we just stood there and let them do it. [Ridiculum]

* Lat will be speaking at the Mid-Atlantic APALSA conference, at U. Penn. this Saturday. [Penn Law]

Morrison Foerster logo.jpgEarlier today, we learned that a number of associates have been let go from Morrison & Foerster. According to a firm-wide memo that was just released, 53 associates have been laid off across all MoFo offices. We also understand that 148 staff members were let go.

The firm just confirmed the reports to ATL:

Morrison & Foerster has reduced its legal and non-legal staffing in its U.S. offices to align our firm with client needs in this extraordinary economic downturn. We notified 53 attorneys and 148 staff of the termination of their employment. These decisions are exceedingly painful, but necessary to assure that we address the current economic challenge from a position of financial conservatism and strength.

Tipsters in L.A. report that 13 associates were let go from that office. Our New York sources say that 12 associates were let go in New York City. We understand that all class years were affected, including first years.

“I will be fine,” said one affected associate. “But it’s a sad day for people here.”

MoFo had remained relatively quiet during these times of legal industry upheaval. But the firm did suffer partner defections from their D.C. office earlier this week.

No firm is immune to the 2009 market crisis. And it’s still only January.

News of the layoffs was first published by Legal Pad (while we held our post to give the firm a chance to issue a full statement). Read the firm’s full statement, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Layoff Watch: Morrison & Foerster Suffers Significant Layoffs (53 Lawyers, 148 Staffers)”

White House small Washington DC Abovethelaw Above the Law legal tabloid.JPGYes We Can…. Hire lots and lots of Supreme Court clerks?

In prior posts (here and here), we reported on the impressive legal team that President Barack Obama has assembled to staff key positions in his administration. Like many of the Bush Administration lawyers they’re replacing, the Obama lawyers have impressive pedigrees: degrees from top law schools, often with honors and/or law review experience; impressive clerkships, including many SCOTUS clerkships; and stints at leading law firms (but with WilmerHale and Williams & Connolly replacing Gibson Dunn and Kirkland & Ellis as the feeder firms).

Several legal superstars are making big financial sacrifices to go into government service. They can expect low six-figure salaries as government lawyers, a far cry from the seven figures that some of them — not the law professors, but the Biglaw partners — earned in the private sector. As reported by Ken Vogel over at Politico:

Eric Holder, President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, will get a separation payment from his firm, Covington & Burling, of between $1 million and $5 million, plus a share of the firm’s profits from this year “based on work performed through date of separation,” and a repayment of between $500,000 and $1 million from the firm’s capital account…. [Holder] earned $3.3 million last year as partner.

Jeh Johnson, Obama’s nominee to be the Pentagon’s top lawyer, would get a severance of between $1 million and $5 million from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, an international law firm. He’ll also get his $200,000 capital investment back from the firm, which paid him $2.6 million last year as a partner.

For more details — e.g., how much Eric Holder and Jeh Johnson’s retirement plans and pensions might be worth — see Politico.

In our earlier hiring round-ups, we missed a few names. Many tipsters came forward to fill in the blanks.

Learn about the latest legal eagles to land in the Obama nest, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: More Additions to the White House Legal Dream Team”

salary pay raise.jpgWe still don’t think Biglaw firms giving out normal raises is news. But judging from the number of e-mails and comments we’ve received begging for this list, many ATL readers judge this post-worthy.

In case you’re somehow unfamiliar with the practice, Biglaw firms tend to have a tiered salary system keyed to associates’ class years. In the new year, when an associate moves up a class, they move to the next level on the pay scale. An example of such a scale, from Cleary Gottlieb’s 2009 salary memo (posted in full after the jump):

Class Salary

2008 and participants in the International Lawyer Program – $160,000

2007 – $170,000

2006 – $185,000

2005 – $210,000

2004 – $230,000

2003 – $250,000

2002 – $265,000

2001 – $280,000

Some 32 firms (that we know of) are responding to economic pressures by freezing salaries: capping pay scales at last year’s rates.

But a number of firms are giving their associates the usual $10,000 – $25,000 raise. This is an open thread for those getting the pay bump to brag about it. A list of nearly 50 firms conducting business as usual with raises, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Open Thread: Business as Usual, or The Firms That Have Not Frozen Salaries”

foley hoag logo.jpgAmLaw Daily continues to provide firm by firm profit numbers, and attorneys continue to be annoyed with firm rhetoric against the backdrop of actual layoffs.

The latest issue comes from associates formerly with Foley Hoag. Two weeks ago, we reported that Foley Hoag laid off 32 people, 17 associates and 15 staff. Yesterday, AmLaw reported that Foley’s profits per equity partner rose by 5%.

We’ve mentioned before that rising PPP in the face of layoffs and salary freezes is not necessarily a bad thing. If partners aren’t making money, partners will leave. If partners leave, banks start asking questions. If banks don’t receive satisfactory answers, everybody gets fired.

But just because people are capable of understanding the economics of the situation, it doesn’t mean that this is a time for partners to be patting themselves on the back.

The statements that annoyed some Foley people after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Profit Numbers Draw the Ire of Recently Laid Off Associates”

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