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Cadwalader Wickersham Taft new logo CWT AboveTheLaw blog.jpgIf the title of this post sounds familiar to you, it should. We used it back in January, a few hours before major layoffs — amounting to about 35 attorneys — at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
In the months since then, we’ve heard all sorts of other rumors about Cadwalader. There have been whispers that the number of attorneys laid off last time may have been closer to 50 rather than 35. We’ve heard about possible staff layoffs. There has also been talk of quieter, smaller-scale reductions in attorney ranks at CWT — “strategic firings,” as one tipster put it. This source guessed that the firm has already shed around 100 attorneys since its peak.
But losing 100 lawyers, if true, may not have been enough. Word on the street is that Cadwalader is now bracing for another round of large-scale layoffs, which could be announced as early as today or tomorrow. In the words of one source, “Surprised you haven’t posted anything on Cadwalader. Major s**t going down…”
Here’s the most detailed account of several that we’ve received (after the jump):

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Layoff Watch: Is Today ‘Layoff Day’ at Cadwalader? (Redux)”

avatar Exley ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by EXLEY, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Exley's avatar (at right).]
We apologize for the delay in bringing it to you; we received it later than the other submissions. Alas, the demands of Biglaw are not very conducive to covert participation in a legal blogging deathmatch.]
I saw this rather striking ad at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank this morning (pre-quake):
Lady Justice ad in airport.JPG
The text on the right says: “Justice may be blind but she still sees it our way 92.3% of the time.”
Call me a sick nut but at first I thought it was an ad for the United States of America, to make me feel good about all the rigmarole a person has to go through at airport security these days.
But it turns out that Lady Justice was posing for another almost-all-knowing entity.
Find out who it is after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Mascot of the Day: Lady J.”

Asia Asian law blogger blawg Above the Law blog.jpg[Ed. note / Disclosure: Please note that this post is authored not by the Asia Corporate Lawyers but by Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney of Kinney Recruiting, sponsor of the Asia Chronicles and an ATL advertiser. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates and partners in Asia than any other firm in the past two years.]
This week, we are going to very briefly discuss the state of the market for major law firms in Asia, with a focus on M&A, and with our usual slant towards Hong Kong / China (as that is where the majority of the hiring is taking place these days). In future editions of the Asia Chronicles, we plan to eventually devote an article to all the major practice areas in Asia, as well as each major Asia market generally (e.g., Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and Hong Kong).
Notwithstanding the global economic slowdown, most of our U.S. associate friends in Asia remain busy. Some, including the authors of prior installments of the Asia Chronicles, are as busy as ever. They are so slammed, in fact, that these poor writers don’t have time to pen the Asia Chronicles this week (as well as some of the past several weeks — or do their laundry, for that matter). But that is another story for another day, when we focus more on quality of life for U.S. associates in Asia.
So while we are authoring this week’s edition of the Chronicles, as an emergency fill-in, we thought it best to provide our readers with some very basic information and facts about the topic at hand.
A number of U.S. and British firms in Asia, especially in Hong Kong / China, are actively building up their M&A practices. This is no surprise when considering current and projected market conditions. In fact, a survey just completed this month by Simmons & Simmons of 200 CEOs and CFOs of leading companies in the Asia Pacific region shows that 91% of the respondents believe that the level of M&A activity will increase or remain the same over the next twelve months, with over two-thirds of respondents believing M&A activity across the Asia-Pacific region will increase over that time frame, and with 87% of respondents believing that there will be increased M&A activity in China in the next twelve months.
Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Asia Chronicles: Focus on M&A”

Check out the fabulously fun attorney bio page of the North Carolina-based Van Winkle Law Firm. Each of the attorneys has a normal bio, featuring practice highlights and professional affiliations. But the firm has decided to liven up some of their lawyers’ profiles with links to an alternate bio — click on the “Meet [Lawyer Name]” link at the bottom of the page — which reveals the attorney’s hobbies, likes and dislikes. (Okay, there aren’t dislikes, but there should be.)
Each attorney with an alternate bio has dual photos. One is the staid, professional photo, and the other is a “character photo,” giving visual clues to their interests outside of work. It reminds us of playing dress up with Barbie and Ken dolls.
For example, this one goes from boring lawyer to crazy biker!
Van Winkle Law Firm Lawyer Ken.jpg
Witness the other transformations — note that you can click on each image to be taken directly to the featured lawyer’s webpage — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Adventures in Lawyer Advertising: It’s Dress-Up Barbie Time!”

above the law logo.JPGTime flies. It’s hard to believe, but Above the Law turns two this summer. We started writing for ATL in July 2006, and the site went live in August 2006.
We’re happy to report that things are going swimmingly — so swimmingly, in fact, that we’d like to (and need to) hire another full-time writer. Law firms are firing, but ATL is hiring. This gig may not pay $160K, but we guarantee it’s more fun than document review or due diligence.
This is a full-time position. The pay is quite competitive for a media/journalism job, and standard benefits — health insurance, a 401(k), abuse from anonymous commenters — are included. If you’re looking to transition from law into the writing life, this is an excellent opportunity.
If you’d like to apply, please email us (subject line: “New Writer Application”). Please describe yourself and your background, and explain why you’d be a great addition to ATL. If you have a particular vision for the site or ideas for new features, do share. Feel free to include a résumé, a writing sample, a link to your own blog (if you have one), or any other information you think might be relevant to evaluation of your application.
We will take applications through Friday, June 6 (and will probably throw in another plug for this next week). Thanks for your interest; we look forward to hearing from you.

chart 1 graph pie chart bar graph.GIFWe realize that we’re constantly sending surveys and polls your way. That’s because blogging is an interactive medium — which is a good thing. We talk to you, and you talk back to us. We couldn’t do our jobs without all the tips and info we get from you, via email, comments, and yes, surveys.
Anyway, we hope that one more survey won’t kill you. Please take a few seconds to fill out our anonymous reader survey, which gives us a sense of our readership demographics. You can access the survey by clicking here.
And please don’t overlook the final question, in which you can offer us editorial feedback — what you like, what you dislike, and what you’d like to see more or less of in these pages. Thanks.
P.S. In case you find the educational categories a little confusing, “post grad work” means you’ve done some post-graduate work, but aren’t done yet (e.g., you’re in law school). “Post grad degree” means that you have completed at least one post-graduate degree. If you have one such degree, like a JD or a master’s degree, but are in the process of getting another, like an LLM or PhD, check off the “post grad degree” box.
Above the Law Reader Survey [SurveyMonkey.com]

Shame on you, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Earlier this week, we promised our readers that we’d be writing about your cute little firm video. But when we tried to access the video just now on YouTube, via Legal Pad, we got this:
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman video Above the Law blog.jpg
For those of you who never got to watch the PWSP video, it was described pretty well over at Legal Pad, “smooth jazz” and all. But we regret not being able to add our two cents. We were looking forward to describing the archival photographs of sweaty, shirtless men, featured in the “history” section of the talk, as well as to deploying this line: “I’m not just the firm chairman, I’m also a client.” Sadly, that last quip is useless without the video evidence, since you can no longer witness for yourself the uncanny similarities between Jim Rishwain’s demeanor and Sy Sperling’s.
But don’t worry, Pillsbury peeps; we don’t take it personally. We’re used to having the videos we write about yanked from YouTube. See, e.g., here (University of Miami 1L modeling montage), here (Quinn Emanuel recruiting video featuring sexy associate “Ivy”), here (Harvard Law School parody), and here (Columbia Law Revue).
Jim Rishwain’s Good Answer [Legal Pad / Cal Law]

Most law firm name changes are pretty silly. The general approach: lop off all names after the first two. If you like, squish the surviving names together into one word, to make yourselves seem contemporary and cool. E.g., “WilmerHale.” (A law firm marketing firm would charge you five figures for that advice.)
Okay, so how do you get anyone to care about your name change? You make a YouTube video, that’s how! Here’s a press release from Hanson Bridgett LLP, a northern California firm with about 130 lawyers:

The firm formally known as Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos, & Rudy LLP has a new tag line—”Inspired”—to go with its new logo and a new abridged name, Hanson Bridgett LLP. Breaking through the monotony of the legal landscape, the firm is employing a light-hearted video to help disseminate the re-branding roll-out by “word of mouse.”

Seriously. As the press release notes, “[t]he video stars Hanson Bridgett Managing Partner Andrew Giacomini, who is seen banging a bass drum while walking down Market Street in Lederhosen and knee-highs.”
The video, cutely entitled “The Law Accordion to Hanson Bridget,” is kinda weird, and a bit too long; you really need just the first and last 30 seconds. But it’s an interesting experiment in law firm marketing. Check it out:

Oh, and the firm has its own blog: the Infrastructure Law Blog. Infrastructure law sounds even more boring than ERISA may not be the sexiest practice area ever. But the firm deserves props for participating in, rather than fighting, the online revolution.
P.S. Yes, we’ve seen the Pillsbury Winthrop video. We’ll be writing about it in a separate post.
The Law Accordion To Hanson Bridgett [YouTube]
Hanson Bridgett Launches New Look, Video to Match [press release]
Infrastructure Law Blog
Hanson Bridgett LLP [official website]

The makers of supposed cold-buster Airborne settled a class action lawsuit over false advertising claims today. When the herbal supplement first debuted ten years ago, the packaging proclaimed that it could “ward off colds.” Since then, the company has softened its claim, but the only study to support Airborne’s efficacy was conducted by two people and paid for by the company. No wonder it has agreed to pay back $23.3 million.

If you’ve bought Airborne recently and you saved your receipt, they’ll reimburse you the $6.99 (Walgreen’s price). Hey, it may be worth it to some people.

UPDATE: Good news! Our diligent commenters pointed out that as long as you have proof of purchase of one box of Airborne, you can get a refund for up to six additional boxes. That raises the stakes to roughly $48.93, which may be worth it to this law student.

Airborne Settles Suit over False Claims [NPR]
Airborne Settlement Website

From a student at Duke Law School:

I had to laugh out loud at Kramer Levin’s use of the daylight savings time maxim, “spring ahead/spring forward,” to suggest that we could do the same for our careers by coming to their firm. See the flyer below, which they seem to have sent to the entire 1L class.

Actually, we think it’s kinda cute! Check out those otherworldly tulips:
Kramer Levin Naftalis Frankel spring ahead daylight savings time Above the Law blog.jpg
And it’s a helpful reminder for overworked law firm associates. If you have a conference call scheduled for, say, this Sunday morning at 10, you don’t want to miss it.

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