October 2014

law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgLatham & Watkins might be leading the charge for salary freezes, but that’s not going to stop the firm from paying out associate bonuses. Right?

Latham is not a lockstep bonus firm. As a tipster explains it:

Our bonuses are not lock-step- so those people working their tails off usually do end up doing better than market … It’s usually those who are at the threshold (1900 hours) who do worse than market or get no bonus at all.

Well bonus information just went out and it looks like those hours thresholds have shifted. Latham goes through great (and ultimately futile) lengths to make sure that the firm’s bonus information doesn’t appear in the press. A tipster explains:

The way they announced them was via an email with a link in it that took you to a page that listed both your specific bonus, as well as an “un-cut-and-pasteable” bonus memo.

After the jump, we post the first screenshot of the Latham bonus structure.

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Not Hiring sign.jpgThus far, the University of Chicago Law School has been immune to the fever of grade reform. While other law schools bend over backwards to make the same level of education look better on a transcript, Chicago has held the line.

But it’s not like U of C Law is just ignoring the economic realities of the day. Another trend among top law schools it to make their on-campus interview process start earlier so firms don’t “fill up” on other candidates. Chicago is officially moving in that direction:

The fall 2009 on-campus interview program may seem very far away during the Chicago winter, but the Office of Career Services has begun planning in order to maximize your opportunities during this important phase of the job market for students exploring law firm careers. This planning has led to a notable calendar change: The University of Chicago Law School’s fall on-campus interviews will be held August 17-28, with an orientation to the program scheduled for August 15th.

After the jump, Chicago Law makes its intentions clear — but there are other problems with changing the timing of OCI.

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Perkins Coie logo.JPGYesterday, I mentioned that Fortune released a list of the Top 100 places to work. In that post I failed to note that Perkins Coie was ranked 82nd on that list.

According to Fortune:

A support staffer gave this impressive list of her benefits: $2,000 in technology flex plan allowance, $80 for wellness program participation, $475 for 20th anniversary with firm, $1,500 performance bonus, $50 Nordstrom gift card, $3,500 year-end bonus.

Well, tipsters report that Perkins Coie management is pumped about the news. Check out the firm-wide email and fun tipster responses after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Perkins Coie’s Vegas Vacation”

london.gifThe London-based “Magic Circle” firms may have had a strong presence on the 2008 global law firm rankings, but a few of them are off to a rough start in 2009. Earlier this month, we reported, “having already laid off 20 New York litigators, Clifford Chance today let go of 70 – 80 London lawyers.”

The layoff disease has spread to two other Magic Circle firms. Layoffs were announced in the New York office of Allen & Overy yesterday. Our sources says:

Allen & Overy just fired two paralegals and three attorneys in the NY office. These firings are said to be “performance based.” Word on the street is that there will be more, but they will come in bits and pieces to avoid bad press. Rumors have already started about other attorneys being let go in offices abroad.

[UPDATE (Jan. 26, 10:34 a.m.]: In response to our inquiry about layoffs, A&O spokesperson Jaime Bruck says, “This is nothing more than the normal management of our business. We don’t comment on the reasons for individual departures. The total # of attorneys in NY is 171.”]

And Linklaters plans layoffs soon. The Old World firm is going “New World” by axing 70 partners and 10 percent of its associates, reports The Lawyer:

Linklaters’ top management is to drastically overhaul the firm’s structure, slashing up to 70 partners and 10 per cent of associates in a bid to become a smaller, more profitable operation.

The programme, understood to be called Linklaters New World, will also see redundancies among support staff. The firm’s offices in Western Europe are thought to be most vulnerable to cuts.

Those layoffs could start as soon as February.

With the Guardian reporting that “Britain has officially entered recession for the first time since 1991,” the layoff news from London seems inevitable. But some of the firms in the circle– Freshfields and Slaughter & May– are still feeling magical. Good news from those firms, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Magic Circle Meltdown: Layoffs at Allen & Overy, Linklaters, and Clifford Chance”

Gillibrand Senator.jpg* Governor Patterson has chosen Kirsten Gillibrand, a 42-year-old New York congresswoman, to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate. [Reuters]

* On the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade protestors gather for the annual March for Life on the National Mall. [The Los Angeles Times]

* The Senate has confirmed six members of Obama’s cabinet but Attorney General-designate Eric Holder is still waiting. [The Associated Press]

* Blagojevich may file a lawsuit challenging “unfair” Senate trial rules to the state Supreme Court. [The Washington Post]

* Obama ordered the Justice Department to review the case of an accused al-Qaida agent, the only enemy combatant held on US soil. [The Associated Press]

Marc Dreier Marc S Dreier LLP.jpgQuips a tipster: “Dreier gets $20 million bond — but he didn’t steal enough to pay. This guy is no Madoff.”

Dreier Gets $20 Million Bond [Bloomberg]

Dreier to Remain in Jail [Am Law Daily]

Judge Says No to Bail Request; Dreier to Stay Behind Bars [WSJ Law Blog]

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Marc Dreier

Obama dildo.JPG* Well, surely this will be the most disturbing image anyone sees today. [Quiz Law]

* Orin Kerr defends the third-party doctrine, which holds that “a person cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information disclosed to a third party.” We like the sound of that. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Traffic stats on popular professorial blogs! [TaxProf Blog]

* Fascinating interview with a Venable partner who was on the U.S. Air flight that landed in the Hudson. [AmLaw Daily]

* Will Obama be good for the cause of criminal justice? [Underdog]

* Illinois’ state legislature is going to consider abolishing the death penalty there. But probably not until after they get done with Blago right? You know, why take that club out of the bag? [My Law Life]

Harvard Law School seal logo.jpgAmerica, welcome to your new national nightmare: a country run on the thinking instilled by Harvard Law School.

Noam Scheiber’s brilliant article in the New Republic takes the first stab at capturing what this turn of events could mean for the direction of the country. After pointing out some obvious differences between the Bush 41-Clinton transition and the Bush 43-Obama transition, Scheiber explains:

But part of the explanation also lies in the elite institutions that socialized them–namely Harvard and Yale, their respective law schools. The two schools stand on opposite sides of a cultural chasm in the academic world. Even more than that, they stand for different theories of governing.

Obviously, Scheiber makes his argument by using broad generalizations about the two schools’ methods of education. Yale is portrayed as intellectually curious if a bit absent minded and unstructured. Harvard is austere and disciplined and a place where happiness goes to die.

Individual experiences will certainly vary. As John Matteson offered in the Sunday Times:

I can’t tell whether Barack Obama suffered into self-knowledge at Harvard Law the way I did. Whereas I never discovered an academic comfort zone in Roscoe Pound Hall, he became president of The Law Review — a feat of intelligence and dedication I can regard only with awe.

The generalizations about the two law schools have particular import though. Remember, Obama is seemingly bringing the entire HLS faculty with him to Washington.

Additional thoughts after the jump.

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Tulane's Mexican party pic small.JPGTulane Law School finished third in our post about the Top Law Schools of the Year.

Apparently, they took that as a challenge. Some of the law students there decided to throw a little party. From Guanabee:

It’s racist party pics of a bunch of white law students at Tulane University dressing up like Mexican caricatures. It seems last weekend the President of the Tulane Student Bar Association…. attended (or threw?) a party whose theme was “The Border” according to a tipster who attends the same school. These pictures were posted on [her] Facebook profile under the title, “No we will not die like dogs! We will fight like lions!” Because Mexicans are a caricature from The Three Amigos.

Geez guys, if you want to make ATL that badly, you could always just steal another shoe.

I guess some people are not clear on the rules, so let me help those people out. If you are already clear on the rules, please skip right to the jump, to see the blatant rule violations that were posted on Facebook.

Anyway, if you absolutely must dress up as a racial stereotype, you first need to ask yourself:

A) Are you a mascot?

B) Is it Halloween?

If you answer “no” to both questions, then you generally cannot mock other ethnic groups via costume, unless:

1) You’re “one-eighth” of the ethnic group you are mocking and can provide sufficient documentation to that effect upon request.

2) You’re in a play or some other performance piece and can legitimately blame directorial choices for your dress.

3) You’re trying to make a crushingly ironic point about the currently state of world affairs (a/k/a The New Yorker Exception).

But note that if you are applying under the guidelines set forth in subsection three, you can still legitimately be called out by others who aren’t in on the joke.

That is all. Pictures after the jump.

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KL Gates would like that money back.jpgK&L Gates associates have not heard about their 2008 bonus or their 2009 raises yet. Bonus news is historically late at the firm, and raise news should come in March.

In the meantime, associates got an unexpected bonus along with their second paycheck of the year. This is an excerpt from the e-mail associates received yesterday:

Please see the email below regarding an error with the direct deposit of the January 22nd payroll. In short the issue is that your payroll appears to have been deposited 3 times and the firm is in the process of request [sic] 2 of those be returned. So, please be careful not to spend more then your normal pay until you see that they [sic] corrections have been made to your account.

On the downside, K&L uses an inept payroll company. On the upside, the firm’s cash flow must be nice and healthy if it can afford to triple pay all of its associates. Indeed, as we reported yesterday, profits per partner at K&L are up.

The associate who sent the e-mail along to us is a brave one:

they said they’d take it out by early next week. i think i could head up to atlantic city. triple it. then put it back in my account by next monday.

Sounds like a plan to us. Not a good plan, but a plan. Full e-mail from the director of payroll after the jump.

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