April 2014

Over the summer, we wondered: what can law firms do to prepare for a possible double-dip recession?

One obvious answer: firms can “right-size” themselves, by making sure that they are as lean and as mean as they can be. And this seems to be what has been happening over the past few months.

We haven’t seen much in terms of lawyer layoffs lately, but staff layoffs are another story. In fact, on the staff side, we seem to be looking at a trend of firms reducing their permanent staff positions in favor of outsourcing.

Since August, we’ve learned of staff layoffs at O’Melveny & Myers (75 positions) and Paul Hastings (45 positions) — both as a result of domestic outsourcing to outside service providers. In addition, Pillsbury Winthrop announced that it might have to cut staffers who aren’t willing to relocate to its new Professional Services Center in Nashville. This prompted us to ask: Is On-Shore Outsourcing the Biglaw Wave of the Future?

The answer seems to be yes. Today we bring you news of additional staff reductions, at Fulbright & Jaworski and Goodwin Procter, both involving outsourcing….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Growing Trend of Staff Layoffs: Fulbright and Goodwin Announce Cuts”

At age five, when I was driving him to kindergarten one morning:

“Dad, you’re a lawyer, right?”

“Yes, Jere.”

“So you’ve read all the laws?”

“Oh, no, Jeremy. No one could ever read all the laws. There are way too many laws for anyone to read them all.”

Pause.

“Hey, Dad: How are you supposed to obey all the laws if you haven’t read them all?”

Longer pause.

“That’s a good question, son. When you get home tonight, ask your mother.”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Inside Straight: Things My Son Said”

The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) has produced an extremely useful chart for people trying to figure out where to start their Biglaw careers. They’ve listed the cities that give you the most bang for your buck if you land a high paying Biglaw job.

And boy, are New York City associates going to feel stupid.

The NALP “buying power index” sets New York as the baseline. It takes the median starting salary for the class of 2010 and the NYC cost of living index and sets that figure at 1.00. Cities with a better purchasing power than NYC have a value greater than 1.00.

New York ranks #42.

Most of the high-ranking cities also have the benefit of warmth….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “NALP ‘Buying Power’ Index Says Everything Is Bigger in Texas”

* Like many of the victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, he and his wife contemplated suicide, too. But come on, why bother? Was career suicide just not good enough? [New York Times]

* For Sale: One Illinois law license at discount price! Hasn’t been used in 15 years — almost like new. Slightly tarnished. If interested, please contact Rod Blagojevich ASAP. [Chicago Sun-Times]

* Howrey gonna get paid? With a $3M bill and a new Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee in place, that’s what all of these professional service firms are wondering. [Am Law Daily]

* 1Ls may be dumber this year, but prospective law students have gotten 13% smarter. That isn’t saying much, though, because 68% of them still want to go to law school. [National Law Journal]

* The TSA agent who advised this lawyer to “get her freak on” after spying a sexy personal item in her luggage has been professionally spanked. [New York Post]

Leah Ward Sears

* Leah Ward Sears, who shows up on SCOTUS shortlists, wants to impose a mandatory waiting period… on divorces. It’d be interesting to live in a country where you had to wait for a year to get rid of your spouse, but not to buy a gun. [Slate]

* Speaking of marriage…. Tara Reid was maybe engaged to an accountant? [Going Concern]

* Trust me, nobody buys off your ATL bloggers. Without us disclosing it. Because it’s not a bribe if you like money and don’t care who knows about it. [Gawker]

* The study doesn’t say that fat people are more likely to miss work; it says that unhealthy people are more likely to miss work. That’s why I discriminate against thin little stress balls that have a conniption every time they see a slice of chocolate cake. [Business Insider]

* Wait, we have a prison rape elimination act? Did we only just now decide that prison rape should be stopped? But it doesn’t apply to everybody in prisons? I’m so confused. [ACLU: Blog of Rights]

* At least Ken Jennings isn’t going to law school. [Ken Jennings]

We’d like to take a moment to thank our wonderful advertisers here at Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, please download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

It’s late October, so Biglaw bonus news could drop any day now. In 2010, Cravath didn’t kick off the season until November 22. But back in 2009, Cravath announced bonuses on November 2. And in 2007 — yes, the glory days, before the Great Recession — Cravath announced bonuses, regular and “special,” on October 29.

In light of the economic gloom and doom, including the possibility of a double-dip recession, it wouldn’t be shocking if bonuses are modest this year. Better to conserve the cash and avoid layoffs, right? Or maybe repeat what happened in 2010 and save some money for spring bonuses in a few months, when firms might have a better idea of the direction of the economy?

Regardless of how bonuses turn out, there are other pockets of good news in the world of large law firms — even news requiring law firms to open their wallets. Check out the growing number of firms that offer the perk we’ve dubbed the gay gross-up….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Has the Gay Gross-Up Hit the Tipping Point?”

A beautiful creature that would gladly eat the animals PETA tries to save.

Animals are not people.

If a PETA person had been sitting next to me when I wrote that, he’d smugly say: “You know, some people said the same thing about black people 200 years ago.” At that point, I would grab the PETA person by the neck with my left hand, pimp slap him across his face with my right hand, throw him down on the ground, and then bellow: “How dare you, sir!”

That’s because I’m a person. And while I acknowledge the historical reality that many people didn’t think black people were “people” at various times in history, that thinking never changed the underlying truth that the color of one’s skin had nothing to do with personhood. You dig? It’s like how the New World was here long before anybody “discovered” it.

Non-human animals are not non-human animals because thinking makes it so. They’re animals because they’re animals. Now I think animals should be way, way more respected then most humans treat them. But applying a human right — such as freedom from involuntary servitude — to animals both denigrates people and disrespects the animals that they anthropomorphise.

What I’m saying is that once again, PETA has gotten it all wrong….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “PETA’s Animal Slavery Constitutional Test Case Is Just Stupid”

It’s the end of October, and you know what that means: law school finals are lurking. As law students begin to hunker down and make sweet, sweet love to their outlines and flashcards, others are busy thinking up more clever ways to study the same materials.

Visual learners think that drawing pictures will help them cram especially boring law into their brains, but those in the auditory learning crowd know better. And that’s why one law student is writing rap songs about the most boring law of all, Sarbanes-Oxley….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Because Sometimes You Just Need to Rap About the Law”

Lawyers, journalists, investment bankers — they are liabilities, not leaders, in the zombie-infested world….

In the zombie apocalypse, your J.D. is worthless — which is actually not so different from the real world of recent years.

Torie Bosch, in a thought-provoking Slate article entitled First, Eat All the Lawyers, arguing that the boom in zombie-related entertainment reflects, and is fueled by, the economic anxieties of white-collar workers.

Page 4 of 207612345678...2076