The iPad: much cooler than a Crackberry.

The recession is officially over, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. But don’t just take NBER’s word for it; there are other signs, too.

Like the return of law firm perks. Sources report that Edelson McGuire — a Chicago-based boutique with some high-profile clients, like Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich — is giving away iPads to everyone at the firm. The lucky recipients include attorneys, administrative staff, and even some law students who are working for the firm part-time.

This is not ordinary behavior — the trend among law firms is still to roll back perks, not to expand them — but Edelson McGuire isn’t an ordinary firm. How many firms have conference room tables that convert to ping-pong tables? Or have a neat firm website, where each attorney profile contains such fun facts as daily coffee consumption, favorite time of day to work, and “pre-court ritual”?

Is giving away iPads a new law firm trend? Edelson McGuire isn’t the first firm to do this in 2010….

What would you do for a free iPad?

A few months back, Patterson Belknap, another litigation-focused firm, showered its full-time associates with Apple booty. On June 4, PBWT associates arrived that morning to envelopes on their desks, with an apple on top of each envelope. Inside the envelope was an Apple gift card for $675 — the cost of a new iPad — and a note thanking the associates for their contributions and hard work.

Patterson can afford to be generous, since 2010 should be a banner year for the firm. In February, Patterson secured a $1.75 billion settlement for its client, the Cordis unit of Johnson & Johnson, in patent litigation involving cardiac stents. Expect firm profits this year to be heart-stopping.

As we emerge from the recession, we expect more firms to start providing new (or reinstating old) perks. If your firm has a cool way of showing appreciation to its attorneys and staff, please let us know.

(To learn about all the ways to contact us — you’re not limited to email — just click here.)

September 20 Report – Business Cycle Dating Committee [National Bureau of Economic Research]
KamberEdelson Breaks Up After 2 Years [National Law Journal]


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