David Lat

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, he launched Underneath Their Robes, a blog about federal judges. Before entering the journalism world, he 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 an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He has received several awards for his work on ATL, including recognition as one of the American Lawyer’s Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the Last 50 Years; one of the ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels, a group of pioneers within the legal profession; and one 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 Twitter.

Posts by David Lat

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgThe rumors that we mentioned from this morning are true (as rumors so often are). The firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel has made its bonus announcement.
Schulte will pay year-end and special bonuses, according to the now-familiar scale, to associates with 2000 or more “Target Hours.” It will pay additional bonuses to associates who hit 2300 and 2500 Target Hours ($10,000 for the former, and $20,000 for the latter). As the SRZ memo notes, these overworked associates “will, therefore, be paid above market” — which is as it should be, for suffering that is extraordinary even by Biglaw standards.
Update: Okay, as some of you suggest in the comments, 2300-2500 hours may not be “extraordinary.” But it’s certainly higher than average, even in New York. Our basic point is that at least Schulte is providing additional compensation to associates who work longer hours than usual. It’s a nice move.
Check out the memo, after the jump.

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Job of the Week

Here is the latest Job of the Week, courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. Because Lateral Link does no cold-calling and is more efficient than traditional recruiting firms, successful candidates receive $10,000 upon placement.
Position: Corporate Transactional Associate
Location: London
Description: US based international law firm is seeking a junior attorney to join their London office to work on US capital market and international transactions.
Requirements: One year of corporate experience at a US law firm.
To apply for this position, or to learn about other career opportunities, please visit laterallink.com.
Earlier: Prior Job of the Week listings (scroll down)

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s an open thread for discussion of law firm bonus news (and rumor). Our last bonus post has scrolled off the front page of ATL, leaving it bereft of bonus coverage — which is unacceptable, given the many firms that have not yet announced.
We’re hearing rumors of an announcement by Schulte Roth & Zabel. If they’re true, can someone please send us the memo?
Also, you can still vote in our poll about whether New York associates should receive higher bonuses than their non-NYC counterparts. We’ll keep the poll open through the weekend. To vote, click here.

Kyla Ebbert Hooters Playboy breasts nude Above the Law blog.jpgRemember Kyla Ebbert, the comely young woman whose sexy outfit was deemed too revealing for flight by Southwest Airlines? We mentioned her story in passing back in this post (fourth link).
Well, it seems that Ms. Ebbert is back in the news — er, nude. From the AP:

A 23-year-old college student who was told by a Southwest Airlines employee that her outfit was too revealing to fly is wearing even less on Playboy’s Web site….

Kyla Ebbert appears in a series of pictures — some in lingerie, some nude — under the heading, “Legs in the Air.”

“They’re very tastefully done,” Ebbert told The Associated Press on Thursday. “I don’t see anything wrong with the female body.”

Indeed. And we’re big fans of Playboy, which we read strictly for the articles (and the ATL shout-outs).
So what does Kyla Ebbert want to do with her life?

Ebbert worked at a Hooters in San Diego but said she wants to become an attorney, and doesn’t think posing nude should get in the way of her professional aspirations.

“This was beautiful and classy. I don’t see why it would affect a professional position,” she said. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

Ebbert is absolutely right — there’s a long and distinguished tradition of law students posing in various states of undress. See here.
So, when’s the application deadline for Miami Law?
Flyer told to change outfit poses nude [AP via Yahoo! News]

Barry Bonds home run record baseball indicted Above the Law blog.jpgAs we’ve stated before, we are very ignorant about sports. We don’t know anyone more ignorant than we are. Whenever a professional athlete’s name is mentioned, our typical response is, “He plays what again?”
Fortunately, there are people around who do know about sports. Like Matt Brown, who has an excellent and edifying post about the Barry Bonds indictment over at Bugs & Cranks:

So, what’s up with these charges?

Barry Bonds is being indicted in federal court for lying to a grand jury. He has been formally charged with 4 counts of perjury, and one count of obstruction of justice.

Is that bad?

Depends on your point of view. Does Barry play for your favorite team?

He’s not on a team.

Then it’s unequivocally good. F*** Barry Bonds.

That’s just an excerpt; read the full thing here. And here’s a copy of the indictment (PDF), courtesy of the WSJ Law Blog.
Please feel free to discuss the Barry Bonds indictment in the comments. But we probably won’t read any of them, since we know jacks**t about football.
Barry Bonds indicted by grand jury [AP via Reno Gazette-Journal]
Bonds Charged With Perjury in Steroids Case [New York Times]
United v. Bonds: Indictment (PDF) [WSJ Law Blog]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgThe latest Biglaw bonus announcement to cross our desk is that of Proskauer Rose. The firm is paying year-end and special bonuses, according to the familiar scale, consistent with the firm’s “established merit and hours guidelines.” The non-New Yorkers among you will be pleased to see that the Proskauer bonuses are the same across the New York, Boston, and Los Angeles offices.
Also, congratulations to Proskauer’s eleven new partners (and four senior counsel), whose promotions were recently announced. A special shout-out to Jon Oram, our law school classmate, and a leading young sports lawyer. Jon’s clients include the NBA, the NHL, Major League Soccer, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the New Jersey Devils. Congrats, Jon!
P.S. For the record, Jon was not our source for the Proskauer bonus memo — which we’ve posted for your reading pleasure, after the jump.

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associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgGuess it’s “Magic Circle” night here at Associate Bonus Watch. Fresh on the heels of Freshfields, we’ve confirmed the Allen & Overy bonus announcement.
Check out the memo, announcing year-end and special bonuses at market rates, after the jump.

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associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgFrom the London Times:

Lawyer aims for KO

A City solicitor who swapped the boardroom for the boxing ring is to make her professional debut. Laura Saperstein, 36, from Tottenham, North London, was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer with Freshfields, earning £75,000 a year. Three years ago she left to train full-time and won the British lightweight amateur title. Her bout, against a Swedish opponent at Tooting Leisure Centre, will be on November 18.

We’re guessing that Ms. Saperstein is enjoying her new career, in which she’s already encountered significant success. But perhaps she misses her old job, or at least the paycheck of her old job, this time of year.
Her former employer, the Magic Circle firm of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, just announced bonuses for its New York and D.C. “fee earners.” The memo appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Freshfields Matches”

* From the unintended consequences file: “[R]ecent ousters on Wall Street are likely to result in even higher pay for management. The risks of running a bank or a brokerage are greater now than they have been at any time in the past—risks of prosecution, lawsuits, and ouster—and the top managers will demand to be compensated for those risks.” [DealBreaker]
* Seventy-nine-year-old nun pleads no contest to sex abuse charges. Blogonaut observes: “my high school buddy claimed to have been traumatized for life by once seeing a nun naked.” [New York Times; Blogonaut]
* Law firm office as prison: not just a metaphor. [AP via Boston.com]
* Unless the food has made quantum leaps in the past few years, we don’t understand why undergrads are clamoring for access to the YLS cafeteria. We ate hummus wraps for lunch for three years. [Yale Daily News]
* Details about our CLS appearance next week. [Columbia Law School Federalist Society]

Judge Mary Barzee Flores Above the Law blog.jpgIn our earlier post about the recusal motion filed by one Robert Seitz — a Florida pro se litigant seeking recusal of Judge Mary Barzee Flores, claiming that he once received a pre-judicial BJ from Her Honor — we noted that his claims were mere allegations.
We expressly disclaimed any independent knowledge of his claims. We were simply passing along allegations made in a publicly filed court document — which, by the way, has circulated widely via email. (It was forwarded to us by maybe half a dozen different tipsters.)
Now we bring you Judge Barzee Flores’s side of the story. From an omnibus order filed in the case, denying Seitz’s motion to recuse:
Robert Seitz 3 crazy guy blow job Above the Law blog.jpg
You can read the full order, after the jump.
Earlier: Legal Ethics Question of the Day: If the Court Has Gone Down on You, Is Recusal Required?

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