Above the Law has been able to confirm that Ballard Spahr has officially pushed back start dates for its incoming first year associates. A tipster summarizes the details:
On Friday Ballard Spahr told its incoming class that it is delaying start dates until September 2010. There will be a $45,000 stipend offered…. The firm claims it will try to help the incoming associates find these jobs.
We understand that the $45K is in addition to the standard $5K bar stipend the firm traditionally offers.
The firm will not cover health care directly, but there will be a $5,500 Health Benefit Stipend as well.
Getting the money is contingent upon finding a job, but the firm is not limiting the work to public interest legal work. Incoming first years are encouraged to find employment at host of places, doing legal or non-legal work in certain circumstances.
From a taxpayer perspective, the Marlins new stadium deal epitomizes fiscal irresponsibility. First, the specific terms of the Marlins stadium agreement skew hugely in the Marlins’ favor (more so than many other recent stadium deals). Under the agreement, the local government will be responsible for covering approximately three quarters of stadium building costs, while the Marlins will get to keep all stadium revenues — even those revenues from events completely unrelated to baseball, and even those revenues derived from selling stadium naming rights.
And we haven’t even gotten to the worst part. More on that after the jump.
I am one of many 3Ls who already missed OCI and are now trying to figure out what to do. We go to a T-50 school in a major market and have grades ranging from top 25%-15%. We’ve tried mass mailing to firms (all sizes), networking with judges and attys and nothing is paying off. Any advice on how we can find jobs? We aren’t looking to get rich, we just want a paycheck that we can live off of without having to eat nothing but noodles for the rest of our lives.
I’d also be interested in a take on our future, do we have any chance later on of securing a strong job with a large to medium size firm? Should I tell my wife to leave me so her life isn’t financially ruined as well?
Pork and Beans
Dear Pork and Beans,
Incidentally, when I’ve noted in past Pls Hndle Thxs that there aren’t very many law jobs to be had at the moment, I wasn’t joking around or hogging all the available jobs for myself. It’s just a bad economy, as my rich cousin likes to say, mere seconds before I punch him in the face. I’m sure you already know about this, but there are a bunch of law job websites (both firm and government employers) that you should monitor and contract attorney agencies with which you should register and then harass for work. Also, your school probably has separate alumni job listings, so the minute you graduate jobless, you can start checking that. In the meantime, there are other jobs – waiting tables, babysitting, working in retail. Might as well get a discount at Aeropostale while you’re waiting for a law job to strike, right?
Should your wife leave you? That depends entirely on the type of woman you married. If she’s a cosmo- swilling, Bergdorf allowance-getting, non-parodyDABA girl, you won’t have to tell her to leave you, because chances are she’s already gone. If she married you because of your debonair looks and your intentions to replace the macaroni necklace you made her while a student with some legitimate ice, you still have time to make good on that promise. Hopefully your wife was not bluffing when she vowed to that “or poorer” boilerplate, so she should be ok with noodles for a time. Unless she’s on the South Beach diet, in which case the good news is that there are, evidently, no assets, equitable division should be a cinch.
As for whether you’ll ever work in a firm – a dream is a wish your heart makes. Anything is possible once this economy turns around, but if you want answers now, text STAR to 4ASTRO to begin receiving your daily horoscope or LOVE to 69000 for sexy ladies who are waiting to hear from you.
The NYU Law School “Law Revue” is opening this weekend. We linked to a promotional video a few days ago. But with opening night right around the corner, the NYU guys are stepping it up, with this fully animated homage:
* The AIG bonus tax is also sexist. And, of course, communist. And most likely racist, homophobic, ageist, it certainly doesn’t do enough to fight AIDS or cure cancer, and is solely responsible for the death of every puppy in North America. [TaxProf Blog]
* Personality goes a long way in this business. [Underdog]
* Okay, it looks like Juliane Moore is going to play HRC in the upcoming Bill and the BJ movie. That role was totally inhabited by Emma Thompson, but Moore could be a good choice. She’s very thorough. But who is going to play Monica? I nominate Ellen Page. [The Huffington Post]
Yesterday, we mentioned a NALP “glitch” that allowed users to get a sneak peak at the organization’s 2009 statistics about law firms. The problem, whatever it was, was fixed soon after we alerted NALP to the problem. Here’s the quick statement we obtained from NALP:
Legal employers provide this data to NALP each winter. NALP is pleased to be able to publish this free online searchable database each spring once the data submissions are finalized.
As promised, today we take a look at some of the overall summer program numbers from the firms that are ranked 11 through 20, according to Vault (check out firms 1 – 10 here).
The moderately surprising fact is that this next batch of firms didn’t decrease their overall summer associate offers as much as the Vault top ten. Looking at the firm’s New York offices, there was a 14% decrease in offers to 2Ls, compared with a nearly 20% decrease in the V10.
But, one firm really does skew those numbers. More details after the jump.
Ed. note: Welcome to the latest installment of “Notes from the Breadline,” a column by a laid-off lawyer in New York. Prior columns are collected here. You can reach Roxana St. Thomas by email, at email@example.com, or find her on Facebook.
After a few weeks of unemployment, I begin to wonder whether some sort of sporadic dysfunction is affecting my ability to receive email. Specifically, while I am able to peruse every available resource for potential job openings, the résumés I submit seem to drop into an online supernova black hole. Occasionally, I get a confirmation message indicating that my résumé has been received, but, as a general matter, I hear nothing but the sound of silence.
Where do they go? I wonder. Are they floating lazily in space, along with billions of unwanted headshots submitted by New York’s considerable legion of actor/singer/dancer/waiters? Are they in a virtual file cabinet somewhere, turning virtually yellow and brittle at the edges? Or do they go straight into a giant “deleted items” folder? Perhaps the beleaguered legal employers, in an effort to capitalize on economies of scale, have set up a single, huge data landfill, where cover letters indicating a willingness to be “flexible as to class year,” accompanied by finely honed (and embellished) résumés, can be gathered and stored. If the shrinking corps of presently-employed lawyers is wiped out by bird flu, raptured, or disabled by an epidemic of carpal tunnel syndrome, they will definitely get back to us … right?
So I am pleasantly surprised when I get an email from a potential employer, asking me whether I am available for a telephone interview. The job, which I heard about through a friend, is in the legal department of a publishing company, and although they are looking for an experienced litigator, the position does not involve actual practice. A year ago, I would not have considered it; but, given my present circumstances, I am delighted. I respond to the HR person’s email, wondering how to temper my desperation enough to avoid sounding, well, desperate. I settle on an answer that reflects both desperation and lawyerly faux courtesy, telling her that I am available later that day, the next morning, any time the following day, “or whatever works for you.” She schedules the phone interview, which will be conducted by Scott, the lawyer who heads the department, for the following morning.
Find out how Roxana’s chat with Scott went, after the jump.
I wanted to circle back to a very interesting piece on AmLaw Daily yesterday. Their article on what Texas law firms are doing during this economic downturn confirms suspicions I’ve had for a little while:
At a time when law firms are more openly announcing and discussing layoff decisions, one group of firms is being particularly mum about job cuts — the Texans….
“It’s an interesting market where, unlike New York and the West Coast, not everybody’s being candid,” says Andrews Kurth managing partner Robert Jewell.
I’m not an expert on Texas culture, but I honestly can’t understand what benefit Texas firms get from hiding their layoffs in this manner. Why would they be more comfortable with the rumors and anonymous sourcing about the extent of their layoffs, as opposed to simply telling the truth?
Are they yella’? Because it seems to me that the forthright and honorable thing to do would involve standing up and admitting the extent to which they’ve had to cut back.
After the jump, AmLaw reports that there might be a little class warfare at play as well.
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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