Biglaw, Dissolution, Howrey LLP, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues, Sheppard Mullin, Summer Associates

Howreying for the Exits: More Partner Departures; Bootcamp Gets the Boot

The spinning of the revolving door at the beleaguered Howrey law firm is making our heads spin here at Above the Law. Keeping track of all the partner departures is becoming quite the challenge. We’ve collected some links about the latest partner defections, after the jump.

At this rate, it’s not clear how many lawyers will be left for “rescue” by white knight Winston & Strawn. (Protip: check the armor for bedbugs.)

Here’s some new (but hardly surprising) information: Howrey has canceled its summer program. Yes, the famous Howrey Bootcamp, touted by the firm as “[f]ar more intense and rewarding than traditional summer associate programs,” and offering “an entirely unique approach to associate recruitment and training.”

Bootcamp participants received intensive litigation training — and inspirational poetry from firm CEO Robert Ruyak, which we share with you below….

How did Howrey bootcampers learn of their getting the boot? They received two-sentence emails, informing them that the program has been cancelled and their offers have been rescinded. “No mention of Winston,” one of them reported to ATL.

Two sentences? That’s a bit terse. We know that Howrey’s fearless leader, Robert F. Ruyak, can do better. A tipster sent along a poem that was included in Howrey Bootcamp materials back in the early 2000s. (“Seriously. Enjoy. And kindly post for all to see.”)

Here’s an excerpt:

A leader is not a concept,
But the defining characteristic of
A person or organization.

(This is powerful stuff — muscular, lyrical lines, spare yet profound. Seamus Heaney better watch his back. If you’d like to vote for Ruyak as Above the Law’s lawyer of the month for February, there’s still time.)

One not content to stand on familiar ground,
Or master the known,
But compelled to explore the unexplored,
Grasp for the untouched, and
Keep the unthinkable firmly in mind.

The unthinkable — like the dissolution of the organization being led.

Here is a contest for the comments. Please come up with a haiku in English, informing Howrey summer offerees that their offers have been rescinded and the program has been canceled. If you need to be reminded of the requirements of the haiku form, see here and here.

UPDATE (1:20 PM): Much to our chagrin, commenting is down, due to problems with Disqus. Hopefully this will be resolved soon.

UPDATE (3:00 PM): Comments are back. Thanks for your patience.

As for the latest Howrey partner defections, here are some highlights:

  • Fifteen construction / litigation attorneys — six partners, two counsel, seven associates — to Pillsbury Winthrop (in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, and New York). [WSJ Law Blog]
  • Roger Klein — former chairman of Howrey’s corporate practice and general counsel to the firm, and previously seen as possibly playing a leading role in winding up Howrey’s affairs — to Sheppard Mullin. [The BLT]
  • Antitrust lawyer C. Scott Hataway, to Paul Hastings. [Am Law Daily]
  • Two antitrust lawyers in London, partner Shaun Goodman and counsel Sarah Jordan, to Kirkland & Ellis. [Legal Week via Am Law Daily]
  • The head of Howrey’s London antitrust practice, Tom McQuail, to Morrison & Foerster. [The Lawyer via Am Law Daily]
  • Two insurance coverage partners, Jill Berkeley and Seth Lamden, to Neal Gerber & Eisenberg in Chicago. [ABA Journal]

We’re also hearing rumblings that additional Howrey partners, in construction and litigation, might be heading for Seyfarth Shaw (but this is unconfirmed; we’ll keep you posted).

The Howrey Defections Continue: 15 Lawyers Bolt to Pillsbury [WSJ Law Blog]
Roger Klein Leaves Howrey for Sheppard Mullin [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]
Howrey Loses Corporate Chair and Antitrust Partner in D.C. [Am Law Daily]
Today’s Howrey News: DC MP Will Join Sheppard Mullin; 6 Others Also Exiting Multiple Offices [ABA Journal]
Kirkland Hire of 2 Lawyers Leaves Howrey’s London Office with Only 1 Remaining Partner [ABA Journal]

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Howrey

HOWREY LLP — POEM BY ROBERT RUYAK

A leader is not a concept,
But the defining characteristic of
A person or organization.

One not content to stand on familiar ground,
Or master the known,
But compelled to explore the unexplored,
Grasp for the untouched, and
Keep the unthinkable firmly in mind.

One who embraces Risk as the price of success,
Change as the fuel of progress,
Dreams as the window to the future,
And Creativity as a sacred obligation.

One who believes that the Extraordinary is ordinary,
Goals have no limits,
Values cannot be compromised, and
Total Commitment is a way of life.

Leaders are often misunderstood,
Frequently criticized, sometimes derided,
But never ignored.

The world doesn’t always agree with them
And they like that.

Some think they are a little crazy,
But that’s the human side of genius.

For all of this they have earned our respect,
Our confidence and a following.

That’s why we call them Leaders.

-Robert F. Ruyak
Managing Partner & CEO

ATL Law Firm Directory
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