* Want to visit Cuba? The Obama administration plans to loosen travel restrictions to la isla bonita. [New York Times]
* Two federal judges in D.C., Judges Emmet Sullivan and Ellen Segal Huvelle, refuse to rubber-stamp settlements they view as insufficient, in actions brought by the feds against Barclays (Sullivan’s case) and Citigroup (Huvelle’s case). [WSJ Law Blog]
* Elsewhere in Washington, Harvard law prof Elizabeth Warren, a leading contender to head the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, meets with lobbyists for big banks. [Washington Post]
* The Rod Blagojevich circus will continue, with the former Illinois governor to be retried on hung counts, but ethics reform in Illinois doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. [New York Times]
* Lehman has gone cold in the grave, but the company’s Chapter 11 case continues to be a cash cow for bankruptcy lawyers. [Am Law Daily]
* Speaking of civil litigation, a trial date has been set in the wrongful death suit filed by the family of Robert Wone against his ex-college roommate, former Arent Fox partner Joseph Price, and Price’s two lovers. [Who Murdered Robert Wone?]
* The Obama administration supports creating a United Nations commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma. [Washington Post]
Ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich was accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat in Illinois. The U.S. Attorney for Chicago, Patrick Fitzgerald, seemed to have some great evidence — tape recordings of Blagojevich engaging in apparent wheeling and dealing (and uttering a fair amount of profanity).
Today, on the fourteenth day of jury deliberations, the jury found the former governor guilty on count 24 of the indictment, making false statements to federal agents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. The maximum penalty is five years of imprisonment. This makes Blagojevich a convicted felon.
The applications for our Morning Docket opening were so wonderful — and overwhelming (no more apps being accepted) — that we figured we’d go back to the well to fill another freelance position available here on Above the Law. We’re launching a column aimed at in-house counsel, and we’re looking for a writer.
But now we’re looking for someone who has been on the inside. Someone who has been a corporate consumer of legal services, not just a provider of them. Someone who has had the rare joy of calling up a partner in private practice, bossing him or her around at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday, and getting the desired work product by 8:00 a.m. on Monday. You know, someone who has lived the good life.
But we know the challenges a writer could face with this column. We know, for example, that pesky SEC rules could hamstring a writer who is currently employed at a large publicly held company. If you’re in a position where another lawyer at your company would probably have to review your column before publishing, this job probably isn’t right for you.
But maybe you used to work in-house and now have a private consulting practice, or an academic job? Or maybe you’re still in-house, but at a smaller enterprise? What we’re looking for is a person with experience of and insight into the world where lawyers protect the corporate shield (and sometimes make it home in time for dinner).
You can share your wit and insight with ATL’s thousands of readers (who may insult you; don’t take it personally). You can hone your writing skills (on the non-legal side). You can write under your own name or under a pseudonym (so long as you aren’t breaking any laws). And you will be paid (at a level commensurate with a freelance writing gig like this one).
If you’re interested, please send us your résumé or a brief bio, along with a cover email describing your vision for the column and how you’d make it appealing to corporate counsel readers. You can reach us at [email protected] (subject line: “In-House Column”).
Thanks for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you.
With fall recruiting gearing up, and the lateral market warming up, we continue our annual series of open threads about the law firms featured in the Vault prestige rankings. These threads provide ATL readers with a forum to discuss the different firms and their various strengths and weaknesses.
The end of the Vault 100 is in sight. We’re covering the firms in batches of 20 now. Here are the firms ranked #61 to #80, which will provide today’s discussion fodder:
Earlier this month, roughly around the time that newly minted law review editors were hearing the good news, we raised the issue of how many minorities and women are being selected for law review.
It’s not a new debate; whether underrepresented minorities (URMs) and women are adequately represented on the nation’s leading law journals has long been a subject of controversy. But in light of the tough legal job market, in which credentials like law review membership are more valuable than ever, it’s certainly a subject worth revisiting.
We kicked off the discussion with this tip:
You may want to investigate proportions of URMs [underrepresented minorities] and women at some top 5 law reviews. I hear that [one school] took 29 1Ls, but only 7 women and no African-Americans. [Another school] took 45 first-year editors, about even male/female, but only 2 URMs in the bunch.
Which law journals are being referred to here? And how are URMs and women doing at other law reviews — perhaps yours is mentioned — around the country?
UPDATE: Please note that a few updates and corrections have been added since this post was originally published. Check them out after the jump.
In August, 2008 the ABA issued a landmark ethics opinion allowing the outsourcing of U.S. legal work.
This August, the ABA is pondering whether to accredit offshore law schools that follow the U.S. system. Because apparently 200 accredited U.S. law schools just isn’t enough. The National Law Journal reports:
The American Bar Association is already tasked by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit U.S. law schools. Now an ABA committee has recommended that it should seriously consider expanding that power to overseas law schools that follow the U.S. model.
In June, the ABA’s Council of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar appointed the committee of law professors, attorneys, judges and law deans to examine whether foreign law schools should be allowed to seek ABA accreditation. The council is scheduled to consider the committee’s recommendations in December.
There was a time when Americans knew how to protest a war. Now is not that time. From the Detroit News:
One protester, Ahlam Mohsen, a Michigan State University senior from Coldwater, was arrested and faces arraignment today on a felony charge of stalking, as well as misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct, Big Rapids police said. She is accused of throwing the apple pie at [U.S. Senator Carl Levin] after her friend Max Kantar made a lengthy statement at a public event at Peppers Cafe and Deli in downtown Big Rapids.
I can accept that money is speech. I can accept that mosque building is religious freedom. But if your political discourse devolves to pie throwing — or shoe throwing, for that matter — you’re just an idiot.
Senator Levin wasn’t injured by the iconic American dessert…
We call it Skaddenfreude: taking pleasure in the misfortune of others who work at large law firms. Today’s tale of Skaddenfreude involves a contract attorney working a project in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis.
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, 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.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…