* Jones Day‘s Corinne Ball is having a busy week. She’s the lead bankruptcy attorney for Chrysler. “It requires a certain charisma,” said Robert Profusek, head of Jones Day mergers and acquisitions practice. “When everyone is jockeying to have their point of view expressed, who do people stop and listen to? She’s a very charismatic personality.” But one can’t really help but stop and stare listen to someone wearing that. [Reuters]
* … Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal is predicting the Chrysler Chapter 11 filing will go down today. [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]
* Atlanta lawyer Andrew Speaker decided to file a lawsuit this week against the CDC for ruining his life when he had tuberculosis in 2007. That totally sucks for him, but the CDC is dealing with SWINE FLU this week. PIG FLU. How can you think about your silly TB, the destruction of your reputation, the ruin of your marriage, and implosion of your career at a time like this? [CNN]
* Why did Manhattan lawyer William Parente kill himself and his family last week? FBI agents have raided his office to find out. [New York Daily News]
* The problem with the law firm business model is leverage, says Wharton. [Forbes]
* Federal Judge Jay S. Bybee will has been invited to testify before Congress about his torture advice while at the DOJ. A scary prospect given that people like Obam-ite John Podesta want to see Bybee impeached. [Washington Post]
There is little chance that the American experiment would have survived a serious outbreak of the bubonic plague. The Athenians fought a war while stricken with the plague. Granted, it didn’t go so well, but that’s not the point. But a couple of kids get a new strain of spring flu (which is at least as accurate of a name for it as “swine flu”) and people start losing it.
Of course, law students are nothing if not susceptible to mass hysteria. Take this message that students at Loyola – Los Angeles received:
Please be advised that students will be permitted to wear breathing masks during an examination. If a student chooses to do so, he/she will be permitted to bring and use the mask at his/her seat in the examination room. This policy will remain in effect through the end of the 2009 Spring examination period. Thank you.
Office of the Registrar Loyola Law School
On the one hand, are people really wasting precious exam cramming time worrying about swine flu? Really?
* Here’s some advice on how to write a “killer cover letter.” It is more collegial than mercilessly sabotaging the competition, but I’m not sure if it’s more effective. [Let's Talk Turkey]
* Here’s the thing, if you are going to try and kill the billable hour, you must succeed. You can’t let it linger and heal itself. Because if you try to kill it but only succeed in hurting it, it is going to come back furious and stronger than ever. [Litination]
Did you apply to Columbia Law School last year for the class of 2011? Did you not get in or decide to go somewhere else? If so, don’t worry, Columbia is reconsidering applications. Here’s an email that a number of 1Ls who are not at Columbia are receiving today:
Thank you for your continued interest in Columbia Law School. We are excited to report to you that we have received all the required components of your application and that your file is now complete. We will forward your file to the Admissions Committee, which will evaluate it in the order in which it was completed. Good luck in the admissions process and we hope to welcome you here as a member of the Class of 2012!
Office of Admissions
Obviously, it’s some kind of screw up on Columbia’s end. None of the students who emailed in have expressed any “continued interest” in being a part of Columbia’s 2012 class.
But, as glitches go, this is a lot better than UNC inviting a whole bunch of people to admitted students weekend, notwithstanding the fact that the students had not been admitted.
But who knows, maybe Columbia looked at its incoming class of 2012, found it lacking, and now they want a do-over.
Update (5:44): It appears that current Columbia students are also receiving this email. 1Ls who are there now and 2Ls that transfer to Columbia after their 1L year.
Update (6:41): And now we have Columbia’s official apology:
We understand that you received an email at approximately [Redacted] p.m. this afternoon stating that your application for admission to Columbia is now complete. This email message was sent as a result of a computer glitch and is not a reflection of your current status at Columbia. Please disregard it in its entirety. We sincerely apologize for the error and want to assure you that your personal information remains confidential.
Yep, all your personal information is totally secure. Move along folks. Nothing to see here.
* Law School Fellows Program: “as many as twelve positions” will be available, paid at “a modest hourly rate” in places like the Legal Assistance Bureau and the Law Library.
* Career Services Partnership Program: working with some firms and companies, the Law School will coordinate jobs for graduates from September 1 of this year to March 1 of the next, to help out those who are waiting out deferrals or bar exam results. While stipends vary, past participants have “averaged $800 to $1000 per week.”
* Audit Courses: Class of 2009 graduates will be able to enroll in “a number of courses” in the fall semester, without tuition but without the opportunity to receive a grade, with the “understanding” that “graduates will participate in the class as observers.”
* Eagle Scholars Program: while auditing courses, graduates can participate in a weekly seminar intended to help students produce “a law review article of publishable quality.”
* Research Assistantships: in a measure bound to raise the ire of some continuing students, graduates are being welcomed to apply for assistantships with professors. Some faculty members have been given the green light to hire an extra assistant for the summer and fall.
* Public Service Jobs: for graduates waiting out deferrals, the Law School is extending access to PS Lawnet in an effort to connect graduates with public service opportunities.
Unlike some schools, BC Law doesn’t appear to be offering an extension in health care benefits. But at least the school isn’t asking students to go deeper into debt. As long as graduates stay away from the local pig farm, they should be okay. At least the ones who have only been deferred until March 2010 or earlier.
The article also has an interesting quote from a BC Law spokesperson:
“[w]e’re all very concerned about our graduates and the economic situation,” but stressed that while “we all want to help…unless students come to us we won’t know how to help them.”
BC students might want to bring up “loan forbearance” just in case the administration is really unaware of how that might help out deferred or unemployed recent graduates.
After the jump, let’s look at what is going on at Loyola – Chicago.
But since then, K&L Gates has made a number of smaller staff cuts in a number of its offices, including Pittsburgh and Chicago.
The firm refused to comment on its latest reductions. But our sources report that around 20 staffers have been let go from the firm today and over the last couple of weeks. The cuts are coming in the departments you’d expect when a firm is trying to reduce costs. Mailroom staff, the floating secretarial pool, these are the people getting hit right now.
Tipsters also report that in Chicago at least, the recent cuts are Bell Boyd & Lloyd legacy staffers.
Still, it’s got to be particularly tough to survive the K&L Gates March cuts, only to be caught on the backswing now. Nobody is truly “safe” in this economy, but you’d like job security to be a little more than a month-to-month proposition.
Kilpatrick Stockton fires associates after the jump.
For those of you just tuning in, we have a little bit of a back and forth going on between Fordham Law School and One First Street. Last week, we wrote about What Fordham Knows About Justice Scalia. Professor Joel Reidenberg, an information privacy law professor at Fordham, had his class compile a 15-page dossier on Justice Antonin Scalia after the Justice was quoted in January saying, “Every single datum about my life is private? That’s silly.”
[Scalia] believes that certain kinds of information are not private — Internet tracking, most items of consumption (unless embarrassing), addresses, and so on. He partly seems to endorse the view that there’s no privacy violation if there’s “nothing to hide.”
We checked in with Justice Scalia to see how he felt about Professor Reidenberg acting on his professed privacy beliefs. He was not pleased:
I stand by my remark at the Institute of American and Talmudic Law conference that it is silly to think that every single datum about my life is private. I was referring, of course, to whether every single datum about my life deserves privacy protection in law.
It is not a rare phenomenon that what is legal may also be quite irresponsible. That appears in the First Amendment context all the time. What can be said often should not be said. Prof. Reidenberg’s exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any.
Professor Reidenberg responds to Justice Scalia’s response, after the jump.
It’s time for another list! The AmLaw 100 is out and we finally get to see some financial numbers from the nation’s top law firms. The 2007 numbers have been totally obsolete since Lehman collapsed, so we’ve been waiting a long time for these numbers.
In terms of gross revenue, there is not much of a change within the top ten:
But we all know that gross revenue is a little uncivilized when it comes to prestige whoring among fellow practitioners. After the jump, let’s take a look at the top ten in terms of profits per partner.
Many law school graduates are preparing for an endless summer. Endless in that they won’t be starting work until well into the winter. At this point, the majority of firms are starting 2009 graduates in January 2010. There are some outliers though — some firms are starting new associates as early as September 2009, and some are offering them start dates as late as January 2011.
Here are a few of the latest additions to the deferred start dates list from the past week:
Foley & Lardner pushed its start date back from September 8, 2009 to February 1, 2010, offering a $10,000 stipend. “The firm did it to protect incoming associates from swine flu,” one of our Foley sources joked.
Paul Hastings has deferred all incoming first-year associates from October 2009 start date to January 19, 2010. They’re providing a $10k stipend, optional health insurance coverage starting in October and an optional $5k salary advance to cover required loan payments in the interim.
A tipster tells us: “Faegre & Benson (Minneapolis) just called their incoming associates to let them know that some get to start at the beginning of October and some don’t get to start until January. The unlucky ones who are deferred until January are mostly Real Estate and Corporate types. $7500 stipends. Earlier they said ‘at least October, 2009.’”
Andrews Kurth has pushed back starting dates to January 2010. Per a firm statement, “The firm will pay each of the new associates in the class a deferral stipend of $10,000; the stipend is not a salary advance or a loan and is not expected to be repaid after starting employment. The firm will also honor its commitment to pay the bar and moving expenses for this class. ”
After the jump, we’ve got a new round-up of start dates at firms nationwide, sorted two ways: alphabetically by firm name and chronologically by start date (per popular demand).
Let’s keep rolling through the U.S. News law school rankings. Last time, we learned a couple of interesting things about Emory: ATL has a lot of readers who are alumni of Emory, and the school generates a lot of hate from other law schools in Georgia. Who knew?
While still first-tier schools, the next batch of schools probably have more regional appeal than national pizzazz. Here’s the list:
30. Fordham 30. Alabama 30. UNC 30. University of Washington 30. Washington & Lee 35. THE Ohio State University 35. UC – Davis 35. UGA 35. University of Wisconsin 39. UC – Hastings 40. Wake Forest 41. BYU 41. George Mason 43. University of Arizona 43. University of Maryland 45. American University 45. Tulane 45. Colorado – Boulder 45. Utah 49. SMU 49. Cardozo
Man, that’s a lot of “ties.” It’s like U.S. News is trying very hard to tell prospective students “the only difference between Fordham and Alabama is whether you want to practice in NYC or Birmingham.” But based on Monday’s thread, apparently Washington & Lee is the best law school in the country (that nobody’s ever heard of).
After the jump, is Cardozo happy with its top 50 ranking, or is it coming for Fordham?
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: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.