April 2014

Harold Koh Yale State.jpgIt looks like former Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh will in fact be the next Legal Adviser of the State Department. The cloture voted just passed, 65 – 31 according to Congressional sources.
The cloture vote ends months of debate over Koh’s nomination. An up-down vote on his nomination should follow soon.
We’ll see if American foreign policy is immediately transferred to the control of a secret transnational body hell bent on taking our freedoms.
Koh cloture vote passes [The Cable]
Earlier: New York Post Writer Takes A Hatchet to Dean Koh
Yale Law School Conservatives Defend Harold Koh

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

pls hndle copy 2.jpgATL -
For the NY bar, exam takers were given the option of either hand writing the test or typing it on a laptop using ExamSoft. I chose to type it because I can obviously type faster than I can write, but I have been having nightmares about my computer freezing on me or some kind of tech glitch happening during the test. I am really freaking out over here. Should I change over to handwriting?
Katharine Gibbs School for Typing

Dear Katharine Gibbs School for Typing,
When I was your age, there was no such thing as being given “the option” to type the bar exam, unless you were among a select group of Benedict Arnolds who volunteered to participate in the 2005 bar exam laptop test run. Everybody else hand wrote the exam, just like our fathers before us, and their fathers and our father’s father’s fathers and so on and so forth as far back as President Abraham Lincoln, who somehow got away with just “reading” law, most likely because he was a giant and people weren’t about to pick a fight with him over minor things.
The law guild is no different than any other gang: you have to get jumped to get in. Us hand writers wrote until our fingers seized up and our hands gnarled into claws, and by God we liked it that way. My year, some poor soul’s hand fell off altogether so he switched hands and kept right on writing, because that’s just what you do. You typers seem to forget that the first part of the Character and Fitness test is purification by pain.
But you and your Turing machines know nothing of “”honor” or “loyalty” or “code.” Maybe your so-called “laptop” will ease your sissy hand cramps, but it will do nothing to address the fundamental issue here. You, sir, have no respect for your elders or for the handwriting brotherhood. You sicken me.
Will there be problems with your laptop on the day of the exam? Only God knows. And He is watching you and your computer, my friend. And He is judging.
Your friend,
Marin

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: And Now You Do What They Told Ya”

BuckleySandler logo.jpgBack in March, we reported that two big time Skadden D.C. partners were splitting off from the mothership and forming their own firm. Yesterday, we received word that their new firm, BuckleySandler, made a significant new hire:

After 20 years with General Electric, Stephen Ambrose, Jr., former General Counsel of GE Capital’s consumer finance unit, is joining BuckleySandler, as Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s New York office, effective July 1, 2009. This move coincides with the opening of the firm’s New York office.

G.E., we bring good things to life.
A new New York office run by a finance guy? Are they hiring?
Actually, if I was an unemployed corporate attorney in NYC I wouldn’t wait for an answer to that question. Sending a cold, unsolicited resume to a person you haven’t met can’t really hurt. Not in this market.
A spokesperson for Buckley Sandler had this to say about the importance of the hire:

Steve’s reverse commute will provide the firm with not only an accomplished, well-respected addition but an industry insider with a complete understanding of the financial services landscape and huge sector experience. As Steve notes, “Joining BuckleySandler provides me with a superb opportunity to employ as outside counsel the client-focused service and cost management skills I’ve developed during my career, as well as the chance to practice with my longstanding and highly respected legal colleagues at the firm.”

Oh come on, he’s practically begging to be inundated with resumes from young lawyers who also want a complete understanding of the financial services landscape — and a paycheck.
Check out the full BuckleySandler press release after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: BuckleySandler Snags High Profile Hire”

dahn yoga.jpg* California lawyer Ryan Kent has accused Dahn Yoga of being a cult and filed a class action suit against the Brain Wave Vibrators. [San Francisco Chronicle]
* Ross Mitchell spent just $38,000 on his online law degree and became his own first client. He won his lawsuit to be admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. [Boston Herald]
* Richard Posner is bearish on newspapers and bullish on draconian copyright protection for online news. Permission to link? [The Becker-Posner Blog]
* Is 12 years enough for Bernie? [Am Law Daily]
* Law school is great preparation for doing something other than law. [Legal Intelligencer]
* Musical chairs: Morgan Lewis taps gas from Baker Botts. [Am Law Daily]

battle of law firm bands cover.jpgMembers of WMD and the Bad Ass Brass Band (Latham & Watkins LLP / Law Office of Richard Goldberg), rocking out.
If you’re at your computer (and perhaps in the office) at this late hour, you must be very bored.
So check out a slideshow of photos from the sixth annual Battle of the Law Firm Bands, an event previously covered here and here, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Field Trip: The Battle of the Law Firm Bands (Part 3)”

Salary Cuts.jpgKaye Scholer — which conducted stealth layoffs in November and open layoffs in February — is now cutting back on associate pay. The move will only affect associates that are on track to bill below 1600 hours this year, but affect them it will. The WSJ Law Blog reports:

Here’s the way it’ll work: All those first and second year associates who, as of June 1, were on pace to bill fewer than 1600 hours for the year will have 20% of what they stand to make over the last half of the year withheld. (In other words, the firm will hang on to 10% of the year’s salary.) For third year associates who fall beneath the threshold, the firm will withhold 15% of the July-December pay (or 7.5% of the full-year salary).
If, at the end of the year, the associates have hit 1600 hours, they’ll have their full pay restored.

Resting at #70 in the Vault rankings, Kaye Scholer seems to just be continuing the trend of firms in this range trying what they can to save money.
At least the attorneys will have the opportunity to make the money back if they can pick up their hours. It’s more like being sent to your room without dinner, instead of being left by the side of the road.
Kaye Scholer to Withhold Pay From Lower-Billing Associates [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Kaye Scholer
In This Market: Are You Getting Laid Off or Fired? A Kaye Scholer Case Study

Ashram.JPG[Ed. note: This post is authored by ATL guest columnist Hope Winters. Hope is an early retired lawyer, turned Senate staffer, turned corporate lobbyist. She lives in Washington, DC. Read her previous work here. Read part I of this piece here.]
After this dinner I’m still starving from, we hop into the car to drive to the purported “private” room we paid extra for. Now I’m really starting to believe murder or rape is a foregone conclusion. I attract criminals like Jewish men attract Asian girls. And here’s the thing, there’s nothing to stop anyone from doing anything. We’re not allowed to lock either our door nor the front door to the Brady Brunchesque house we will be staying in tonight. Our “private” room is in this house. I said a private room. Like hotel room. Not a room in some random family’s house. Not some room I’m not allowed to lock.
As I enter the spacious open living room containing a lot blue mats and a lot small purple chairs for meditation, I find a DVD player. Excellent. Civility. I’ll just do my Denise Austin Yoga for Abs video and skip class tomorrow. It’s almost pitch black in the room because not only do these people not eat, they don’t do electricity.
I walk over to the big glass window peering out over the water — trying to find the lake, and then, I hear this boy’s voice.
“Hey.” I turn around quickly.
Plaid flannel shirt. Black wire rimmed glasses. Scruffy beard. Red North Face jacket. So Ted Bundy.
I have met my maker.
Can Hope survive her first encounter with Ashram men? Non-homicidal details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Return of Hope During the Recession: Adventures at The Ashram (Part II)”

* Some people think that White & Case should have gotten out in front of the SexyLexus story. Regardless of what you think, it’s an interesting case study on Biglaw spin management. [ABA Journal]
* I really hope that a successful business relationship isn’t like a successful marriage. Quite frankly, I don’t know how many roofies one man is allowed to carry around before it gets a little bit weird. [A VC in NYC]
* I’ll take the penis mightier, Trebek. [Courtoons]
* Tax law and the tragedy on the Washington Metro. [Tax Prof Blog]
* I vote we move to a system where the entire jury trial has to be done in segments of 140 characters or less. [What About Clients?]

above the law intern.jpgA while back, Above the Law put out a call for new interns.
We were flooded with applications. Nearly 80 people sent in résumés, writing samples, and funny emails showing they had the stuff to deal with the irreverent world of Above the Law. We saw many qualified candidates, and we want to thank everybody who applied.
We have selected three people to join the fray. They’ve been working behind the scenes for a couple of weeks now. Moderating comments, editing copy, and conducting research projects. We’re now ready to publicly welcome them to the larger ATL community.
After the jump, say hello to Karen, Matt, and Alex. Each one of our new contributors has taken the time to write a brief bio, for your amusement.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Meet the Interns”

Confident Kid hasn't been laid off yet.JPGThe second quarter’s Managing Partner Confidence Index is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that the managing partners at the nation’s law firms are more confident than they were last quarter. The bad news is that managing partners overall are still expressing “negative” confidence — and that could lead to fresh layoffs in over the next six months. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports the good news:

The good news: the overall confidence index was up 23 points to 91. We’re still in “negative” territory, but only slightly. Summarizes Citi’s Mark Costiglio: “Managing partners are much less pessimistic about the broader economy and the legal market, and there’s a sense that the worst is behind them.”

And the bad news:

The not-so-goods: Expenses. MPs continue, it seems, to fret over expenses, especially lawyer compensation. And that, LBers, could lead to a continuation of the parade of horribles: layoffs, hiring-freezes, salary-cuts and the like.

After the jump, the Managing Partner Confidence Index executive summary points out the ugly news.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Managing Partners Are More Confident: But They Still Expect to Fire You”

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