A Legal Tabloid - News, Insights, and Colorful Commentary on Law Firms and the Legal Profession
Managing Editor: David Lat
Editor: Elie Mystal
Assistant Editor: Staci Zaretsky
Contributors: Kashmir Hill, Marin, Mark Herrmann, Jay Shepherd
David Lat is the founder and managing editor of Above the Law. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Observer, Washingtonian magazine, and New York magazine. Prior to ATL, David worked as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, in New York; and a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. David graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School, where he served as book reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal. David has received several awards for his work on ATL, including recognition as an ABA Journal Legal Rebel, a group of innovators within the legal profession, and inclusion as a member of the Fastcase 50, "the fifty most interesting, provocative, and courageous leaders in the world of law, scholarship, and legal technology." You can connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.
Authorities are still investigating whether a gun was used when O.J. Simpson and others entered a Las Vegas hotel room and, after a heated argument, walked off with sports memorabilia.
The incident was reported to police during a 9-1-1 call as an “armed robbery,” though Simpson claims no break in or crime was committed and he was simply retrieving his own possessions.
And then he drove off in a white Bronco.
Okay, not really — but the story is similarly bewildering. It seems O.J. was engaged in a bit of self-help, conducting a “sting” operation against collectors he believed were in possession of sports memorabilia that really belonged to him. But it’s not clear how the collectors came into possession of the memorabilia in the first place.
If you care about this story — we’re trying hard, but not really feeling it — the AP has more details here. Theft Probe: Police Question O.J. Simpson, Search For Gun [Fox 5] Simpson Named Suspect in Casino Break-In [Associated Press via Las Vegas Review-Journal]
Are you a Department of Justice employee? If so, why are you at your desk? Shouldn’t you be at the festivities in honor of Alberto Gonzales’s lastday?
DOJ employees are invited to attend the Farewell Ceremony for Alberto R. Gonzales, 80th Attorney General of the United States. The ceremony will be held at 3:00 p.m., on Friday, September 14, 2007, in the Great Hall. For those unable to attend, the ceremony will be aired on JusticeVision and Justice Television Network.
We’re not very popular lately. You don’t like our freelance writing, you don’t like our photo selection, you don’t like our YLScoverage.
That’s fine; as longtime bloggers, we’re used to criticism. One of our favorite quotes is by Samuel Johnson: “I would rather be attacked than unnoticed.” As long as ATL’s traffic keeps climbing — which it has been consistently since launching a year ago, hitting a record high last month — we can deal with snarky and critical comments (each of which is another page view for us). If we can dish it, we can take it.
Anyway, if any of you are interested in how we do our job — which seems to be a lot of you, since apparently everyone has opinions about how ATL should be run — you might be interested in a recent interview we did, with Andrea Saenz of the Harvard Law Record.
Topics covered include Feldsuk, the Nixon Peabody song controversy, the clerkship application process, and general career advice. You can check it out here. Above the Law Gets Down with the Record [Harvard Law Record]
We continue our series profiling the perks or fringe benefits of life at a large law firm. This one may be the breast one yet. From a (male) tipster:
A friend of mine ran across this Simpson Thatcher perk: “The Firm maintains a lactation room for new mothers in each of its New York, Los Angeles and Palo Alto offices to facilitate their transition back to work.”
I have a hard time seeing candidates asking about it during interviews, so I thought I’d pass it along. I’m not a chauvinist or anything! I just have a childish sense of humor…
You’re not alone. We’d note that this perk may have broader appeal than our correspondent might think. See here.
Also, we’d suggest to STB that they regularly sweep their lactation rooms for spycams. Remember this guy? Update: Jeez, some of you are oversensitive. With respect to the photo, here’s what happened. To avoid copyright issues — hello, Nixon Peabody! — we use pictures primarily from royalty-free, stock photography sites. People upload pics to these sites that they allow others to use for free.
Our favorite such website, to which we have contributed many photos of our own, is stock.xchng. For this post, we went to stock.xchng and ran a search for “breastfeed.” The pic we used was one of three images that came up. That’s all. Flexible Working Arrangements [Simpson Thacher & Bartlett] Male lactation [Wikipedia]
A first-year student at Yale Law School was found dead in his apartment last night.
You read it here first; the story is developing. More details to appear in this space; refresh your browser for the latest updates. Update (12:40 PM): We just got off the phone with Bliss Bernarda in Yale’s Office of Public Affairs. She confirmed that a Yale Law School student has died but said the university does not have further comment at this time. We provided her with our contact information, and we will let you know if and when the school issues a statement. Update (1:05 PM): We are hearing that the death may not have been violent (as some people appear to be assuming) — that he may have died of natural causes. But we don’t have confirmation or details.
Further updates appear after the jump.
Attention young lawyers. We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement:
If you purchased a bar review course from BAR/BRI anywhere in the United States anytime from August, 1997 through July 31, 2006 (the “Class”), you may be affected by a settlement of a class action lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California called Rodriguez, et. al v. West Publishing Corp., d/b/a BAR/BRI, and Kaplan, Inc., Case No. CV-05-3222 R (MCx).
Okay, you already knew about that — and we wrote about it before too. But here’s the important part: the deadline for filing a Proof of Claim is this coming Monday, September 17, 2007. So if you chucked that form into a big “to deal with later” pile, just like we did, you need to fish it out over the weekend.
More discussion, after the jump.
1. Back in May, Locke Liddell & Sapp, of Houston and Dallas, and Lord, Bissell & Brook, of Chicago, announced plans to merge. Those plans have now been finalized, and the merger will take effect on October 2.
Sadly, they didn’t take our advice about that unwieldy name: the new firm will be known as Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell. More details appear in the Texas Lawyer.
2. Some readers were impressed by the ability to earn $160,000 in Connecticut, by working in the Stamford office of Paul Hastings.
Guess it was too good to last. PH is closing its Stamford office effective December 3rd. We contacted the firm for comment, and they issued this statement:
“As transactions and cases become more sophisticated and global in scope, they require large teams of attorneys and deeper resources. We have decided to consolidate our New York and Stamford offices in order to better serve our client’s growing needs.”
So maybe being from Yale Law School doesn’t make you God’s gift to the legal profession (at least according to this commenter). But we still care about developments at our alma mater — and were intrigued to hear about an urgent meeting, to be held at YLS later today:
TO: The Yale Law School Community FROM: Harold Hongju Koh DATE: September 14, 2007
RE: VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE ATTEND 12:30 P.M. MEETING TODAY.
If you are in New Haven, I ask you to please attend a very important meeting of the Yale Law School Community in the Law School Auditorium at 12:30 TODAY September 14, 2007. I am sorry not to be able to give you more information at this time; that information will be provided at the meeting. Let me reiterate that this is a very important meeting, and if you are in town and are able, I would ask you please to attend.
What might this be about? We asked our tipster to opine:
My first thought was Doe v. Ciolli. Then I started thinking positive, like someone got appointed to a high position. But Koh as AG under Bush? Nope.
Then I heard from the grapevine that something sad has happened and they need to let certain people know before they inform the whole student body. So now I think it may be a death or rape or something. Hopefully not.
Please feel free to speculate (but responsibly) in the comments. We will let you know when we have more. Update (11:35 AM): We understand that something serious happened to a first-year law student. Please keep your comments in good taste. Thank you. Update (12:40 PM): As noted here, a first-year student was found dead in his apartment last night. We are closing this thread to new comments. Please continue the discussion in the new post.
We broke the news of the Kilpatrick Stockton pay raise earlier this month. Today’s Fulton County Daily Report has an article about it here.
The Kilpatrick move is old news — it was actually announced before Labor Day — but Meredith Hobbs’s piece does contain a helpful summary of where the big Atlanta firms stand:
Alston & Bird sparked this round of Atlanta pay raises on Aug. 1 when it increased associate pay across the board, starting at $145,000 for first-years and rising to $190,000 for seventh years—the same scale that Hunton & Williams instituted in February during the year’s first round of associate salary increases. At that time, most of the city’s big firms increased first-year pay from $115,000 to $130,000. That followed a similar $15,000 pay increase at the beginning of 2006, also sparked by Alston.
Other firms that have announced they will raise local first-year pay to $145,000 in January include Troutman Sanders, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. Jones Day will raise first-year pay to $150,000 at that time.
A fantastic and hilarious email, announcing a name change for a Montana law firm, has been making the rounds. We’d like to reprint it here, but we’ll refrain for now. Instead, read the email and commentary on it here and here.
We have no reason to question the authenticity of the email (which apparently went out to the entire membership of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association). But we haven’t verified it definitively either. And we’d like to give William Managhan and Santana Kortum-Managhan the chance to comment, given the salacious nature of the material. How do they fill about all the roomers?
Accordingly, we have phone calls and emails in to the Managhan Law Firm (whose typo-laden website still identifies it as the “Managhan & Kortum-Managhan Law Firm”). We will let you know if and when we hear back from them. Update (7 PM): We have been communicating with Bobbi Bonnington via email. We hope to have more information for you soon. A comedic tidbit…courtesy of Montana [The Amateur Law Professor] Firm Name Change [The Legal Scoop]
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
The proper hair styling product might just be the only thing standing between you and your dream job. And the best way to find what works for you is to try the best stuff on the market. Join Birchbox Man for $20 a month and you’ll get customized shipments of the best grooming and lifestyle gear on the market every month—everything from haircare and shaving supplies to style accessories and tech gadgets.
As the leading discovery commerce platform, Birchbox is redefining the retail process by offering consumers a unique and personalized way to discover, learn about, and shop the best grooming and lifestyle products out there. It’s a full 360-degree process: try, learn, buy. Once you sign up and fill out your profile, head over to Birchbox Man’s online magazine to find article and video tutorials on how to get the most out your monthly box products. Pick up full-size versions of anything you like in the Birchbox Shop and earn points for every purchase.
We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!