We’ve got two painfully funny / bad / uncomfortable lawyer-produced clips today. Normally, I wouldn’t seek out clips like this to write about, but both of these were submitted to us by their creators. So, I guess, be careful what you wish for.
After the jump, check out the mid-size California firm that hopes you’ll call them, maybe, and a war crimes lawyer turned comedienne who sings a love song to Mitt Romney — while wearing a bikini, of course…
There have been a number of firms that have cut associate salaries. But there have not been many firms that have needed to slash salaries twice this year. Allen Matkins associates appears to be in their own personal corner of sadness.
A tipster reports:
For the second time this year, Allen Matkins has laid off lawyers and cut salaries for those who still have a job. 2 lawyers were laid off in Los Angeles. I am not sure how many in other offices, but I know there were more. Salary cuts were also part of the package. Associates untouched by the last round of salary cuts were not so lucky this time. Cuts ranged between 15% and 30%. … This cut occurred Thursday October 15. Cuts are effective November 1, 2009. Nice holiday gift isn’t it.
Allen Matkins has not responded to our multiple requests for comment. In terms of layoffs, other tipsters have reported a few involuntary attorney departures. 2nd year associates seem to be the hardest hit.
Multiple tipsters are also reporting the salary cut news.
Following along with all of the Allen Matkins cuts is a little bit confusing; let me walk you through it after the jump.
Allen Matkins, a mid-sized California firm, is the latest firm to offer the “hemlock package” of layoffs and salary cuts.
The layoffs at Allen Matkins were relatively small. Only about ten people, six of whom were associates, according to ATL tipsters. But the salary cuts were more substantial. According to one tipster:
First year salary has been reduced from $160K to $145K. A number of other associates (excluding first years) were informed that their salary would be reduced by 15% or 30%. Those associates were told that they were selected to receive “adjusted” compensation based on their hours, although the actual method for determining which associate would be subject to this salary adjustment was not disclosed and remains unclear.
None of these items is new. But as we were going through our overflowing inbox — if we owe you an email, we apologize for our delinquency (or blame our spam filter) — we came across some associate pay raises not previously mentioned here:
1. King & Spalding: We provided extensivecoverage of their recent raise in Atlanta. But we forgot to mention that they also raised starting salaries in Houston, to $160,000 for first-year associates (effective August 1). Memo after the jump.
2. Hunton & Williams: This news surfaced in the comments, but we also received it by email: “Hunton in DC raised to $160k. Memo is floating around, though unfortunately I don’t have a copy.” (If you have the memo, please email us.)
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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@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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