Biglaw, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues, Start Dates

Good News at O’Melveny & Myers

We have recently covered a number of notable partner departures from O’Melveny & Myers. While some of the losses were “not undesired,” as one source put it, others were bad news for OMM.

But, in fairness to the firm, there is good news coming out of O’Melveny these days as well. Let’s discuss some of it.

First, OMM has responded to some of the partner departures with fresh leadership. Firm chairman A.B. Culvahouse remains at the helm of the ship, but several practice groups now have new heads. As recently reported by Am Law Daily, Steven Tonsfeldt is the new leader of the M&A practice group, C. Brophy Christensen and Eric Reimer will take over the corporate finance/capital markets group, and Robert Rizzi will head the tax group. Congratulations to all of them on their new posts.

Second, OMM is busy — so busy that it is calling up some of its incoming associates and asking them to come in earlier. These associates were originally given start dates in December 2011 but are now wanted in the early fall.

(By the way, we are working on a story for next week about start dates at major law firms. Feel free to send us info about your firm if you have any.)

So what specific start dates are O’Melveny’s incoming associates being offered now, and how do they feel about the change?

Here’s what associates headed for O’Melveny’s Washington office were told, by email (emphasis in the original):

As you may know, O’Melveny in general is very busy right now, and the DC office has been especially busy for a number of months. We are active in the lateral market and are seeking both temporary and permanent transfers from other OMM offices. The partners don’t see business levels decreasing in the near future — just the opposite — so we would like to offer you the opportunity to join the firm on Monday, October 3rd instead of the original December start date mentioned in your letter.

D.C., of course, is home to OMM’s world-class appellate and Supreme Court practice, which boasts former Acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger (and multiple members of the Elect). It’s worth noting that even if OMM’s transactional practices have lost some prominent partners, the firm still has great strength on the litigation side.

(A minor proposed copy edit to Dellinger’s bio: I’d change “Walter is member of the Appellate Practice” to “Walter is a member of the Appellate Practice,” to avoid sounding like this guy — who’s getting killed in our favorite fictional lawyer contest, by the way.)

UPDATE (12:25 PM): That was quickly fixed! Glad to be of help.

In addition, incoming associates in the New York office have had their start dates moved up. They were originally going to be starting on December 5 and are now going to be starting on September 14, according to a firm spokesperson.

How do the incoming associates feel about their new start dates? Here’s what one of them told us:

I’m pretty happy about it. While I wouldn’t have minded having four months off after the bar exam to recuperate before starting work, I don’t mind starting a couple months earlier. At least from this email, it seems like the firm is in solid financial condition, which is always good to hear.

Indeed. Congrats to the incoming O’Melveny associates on their new and improved start dates, and best of luck at the firm.

O’Melveny & Myers Promotes Four Partners to Leadership Positions [Am Law Daily]

Earlier: More O’Melveny Partner Departures (Dewey get more talent? Yes.)
What’s Going On At O’Melveny & Myers?
Musical Chairs: Paul Weiss Snags Corporate Partners from O’Melveny
Prior ATL coverage of O’Melveny & Myers

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