Thanks to the internet, your memory is probably getting worse. But surely you remember our recent Lawyer of the Day honoree, District Attorney Kenneth Kratz of Calumet County, Wisconsin.
A domestic violence victim who turned to Kratz’s office for help claims that the DA sexually harassed her via numerous text messages, trying to convince her to have an affair with him. One of his texts read, in pertinent part, “I’m the atty. I have the $350,000 house. I have the 6-figure career. You may be the tall, young, hot nymph, but I am the prize!”
(Someone should put that on a t-shirt: “You may be hot, but I am the prize!”)
Alas, the recipient of Kratz’s “I am the prize” text may not be the only woman he harassed. Two other women have come forward with allegations against the district attorney — and one of them claims Kratz has some weird ideas about what constitutes a fun date….
Would you want your lawyer to do everything in his power to zealously represent you during your trial? What if doing all he can involves snorting a line during your trial?
Hey, don’t be too quick to judge. Coke heads tend to be alert and aggressive — and those are good qualities for a trial lawyer to have. And I don’t know about you, but one of the things I always tell my lawyer upon the first meeting is: “Look buddy, you handle your detox issues on your own time. When you’re billing me, I want you on whatever drug cocktail you need to be at your best.”
Of course, not all clients are as self-interested as I am. And most court officers also have ridiculous “standards” about “drug use in the courthouse.” Sheesh.
So, unfortunately, a Minnesota lawyer is going to have to spend two days in the pokey for his illicit trial prep skills…
Last week, University of Chicago law professor Todd Henderson published a controversial post on Truth on the Market. Henderson revealed that he and his wife have a combined income of over $250,000, but argued that this doesn’t make them rich — certainly not rich enough to afford the new taxes Obama seeks to impose on married couples making $250K or more.
The reason I took the very unusual step of deleting [the post and comments] is because my wife, who did not approve of my original post and disagrees vehemently with my opinion, did not consent to the publication of personal details about our family. In retrospect, it was a highly effective but incredibly stupid thing to do. The electronic lynch mob that has attacked and harassed me — you should see the emails sent to me personally! — has made my family feel threatened and insecure.
Well, Professor Henderson, I’ve got your back. We might fight to the death about the proper use of the government’s fiscal authority, but it should be beyond obvious that earning $250,000 a year in this country does not make you rich. That figure doesn’t even approach “wealth,” especially if you live in a major city.
I might have a little more experience with electronic lynch mobs then Professor Henderson, so bring it on if you must. But for all the moral outrage one can level at a person bitching about making “only” $250K, know that $250K per annum is much closer to the minimum starting point you need to bank in order to have a shot at “making it” in the expensive cities of America. Living the dream requires a whole hell of a lot more….
Last month, on their blog, Bruin Briefs, staffers in the career services office of UCLA School of Law offered some advice to 3Ls who didn’t receive offers from their summer employers. If you’re in this ship that be sinking boat, you might find the counsel helpful; check it out here.
One UCLA law student identified this language as the best excerpt:
To many, [being no-offered is] a huge, unforeseen blow. If it’s happened to you, you may be cycling through feelings of anger, betrayal and/ or self-doubt. You’ve worked hard only to have the rug pulled out from under you. Give yourself a bit of time to recover. Remember to use your support systems and seek out help if needed. Take care of yourself and remember you’re the same person you were at the beginning of the summer. This experience doesn’t define you.
The tipster’s take: “It sounds like it was lifted from a suicide prevention handbook.”
We found a part of the post that we liked better….
If you’re looking for brutally honest opinions about the summer programs at the top law firms, head on over to the Career Center. Here are some examples of what you’ll find there:
Although this firm had one of the largest summer associate classes in 2010, a high offer rate in 2009, and no start date deferrals, summer associates still couldn’t slack off, since “the standard for most assignments is perfection” and “the pressure is on” to get an offer.
Summer associates get the real associate treatment at this firm’s summer program, but only those fortunate enough to land an offer — and not have it rescinded — will actually get to join the first-year associate ranks.
Despite making 100% offers to this year’s summer class, summer associates at this firm may not be so quick to accept them, warning that they were not given “real” work assignments and that associate morale was “through the floor.”
For information on summer programs and associate life at all the top firms, visit the Career Center.
Yesterday President Obama held a town hall meeting with those affected by the terrible economy. But the New York Times reports that the televised meeting “turned into a therapy session for disillusioned Obama supporters.”
A lawyer was among the disillusioned. Thanks to his question, Obama is now on notice that student debt is crushing the hope and change out of many people in this country. Here’s the Washington Post’s summary:
Then a 30-year-old law school graduate said he’s no longer able to make the interest payments on his educational loans, much less able to have a mortgage or a family. He said he had been inspired by Obama’s campaign. But now, “that inspiration is dying away,” he said. “I really want to know: Is the American dream dead?
If Bill Clinton had been asked that question, he would have said “I feel your pain,” molested the questioner, and said “I will not, let, student debt continue to bang you in the ass.”
So what did President Obama say to the debt-laden lawyer?
A Supreme Court clerkship is, in the words of Adam Liptak of the New York Times, “the most coveted credential in American law.” When SCOTUS clerks leave their posts at the Court to join private law firms, they get signing bonuses of as much as $250,000 (on top of normal associate salaries and bonuses).
But typically they join their firms as associates (or maybe counsel, if they have a few extra years of practice in addition to clerking). How many clerks come in to Biglaw as partners?
As reported yesterday — by Tony Mauro in The BLT and by Marisa Kashino in Washingtonian magazine, among others — at least one Supreme Court clerk from the Term just ended, October Term 2009, is going to straight into a partnership at a major law firm.
Meet Elizabeth Papez. She clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas in OT 2009. Now she’s joining the D.C. office of Winston & Strawn, where she will practice in commercial and appellate litigation, with a focus on intellectual property and energy law, as well as government relations.
We interview Papez about her interesting career path, after the jump.
* Beat Hess, legal director at Royal Dutch Shell, argues that the “party is over” for law firms. Beat, I’d like to introduce you to our commenter, Captain Obvious. I think you guys will really hit it off. [American Lawyer]
* A judge told accused cop-killer Richard Poplawski that he can no longer play “lawyer roulette” — which, if it’s anything like Chatroulette, involves a lot of naked dudes. Also, check out the phone call Poplawski allegedly took during his skirmish with cops. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
* Hewlett-Packard remembers that it dumped Mark Hurd and drops the jilted lover act. [New York Times]
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…