Marking a new low for the legal industry, there was only one practicing lawyer in the NYT weddings section this week. We were able to round out our contestant list with a 3L and a non-practicing JD, but LEWW remains alarmed about this decline in our profession’s visibility. We hope there is no truth to the rumor that couples are staying out of the NYT to avoid exposure on ATL. If that’s the case, we may have to cast a wider net for material — in fact, many commenters have suggested we do just that. We’ll keep you posted.
There was no LEWW last Friday because last week’s wedding pages were even bleaker than the Biglaw employment news. We’ve bounced back nicely, though, because Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday this year, making this week’s weddings section a February feast of premium nuptial news.
We present three outstanding couples for your consideration:
Some of our friendly commenters frequently gripe about the high number of Rabbi-officiated weddings featured in this space. They’ll be delighted to know that only one of our three weddings this week is a straight-up Rabbi wedding. The others were jointly officiated by a Rabbi and a Mennonite minister and a Rabbi and a bankruptcy judge. Yay for diversity!
* Can law firms evolve? Because right now they look a lot like a T-Rex right after the Chicxulub blast. [Ideoblog]
* Here’s a chart showing how California law schools stacked up against each other in terms of bar passage rates. Berkeley < USC & UCLA. This would never have happened at "Boalt." [TaxProf Blog]
* Having nailed Bush, I think there’s a new job for Josh Brolin. [Popsquire]
* Here’s one way to handle criminals. Or suspected criminals. Or suspected unarmed criminals. Hey, better that 10 innocent people are boiled in oil rather than one axe murderer getting away with a fair trial. [Nix-on-Crime]
Everybody has to sacrifice to survive in the new “economy” (if that’s what we’re still calling it). Today, we’ve received word that Buchanan Ingersoll could be asking partners to shoulder part of the burden. A tipster explains:
Buchanan Ingersoll was not able to pay nonequity partners any of their holdback at year end and equity partners only received a very small portion of their money. Partners forced to borrow to pay in capital by Jan 30.
But according to the firm, this is the normal timing for Buchanan’s decision making process. A firm spokesperson told us:
In terms of payouts to non-equity and equity partners — We are on a January 31 year-end for partner compensation so it’s only after that date that we determine the payout to equity and non-equity partners. There will certainly be a payout to non-equity partners and a substantial equity payout as well.
If there is any level of payout uncertainty in the partnership ranks, you can imagine how associates are doing. We explore after the jump.
One thing that has become clear to me since I started at ATL is that people in prison have a lot of time on their hands. A lot of time. We regularly receive handwritten letters from pro se litigants complaining that the judge who sent them to prison is “above the law.”
Michael Lambrix has been held on death row for over 25 years. Now, he wants to serve on the Florida Supreme Court. “Mike” describes himself on his website (doinglifeondeathrow.com) like this:
Born and raised in Marin County, CA I have now been held hostage on Florida’s death row over 25 years….
My spiritual faith and a healthy (if not a bit twisted) sense of humor have been my strength while the hope of spending time with my 3 children and grandson is my goal….
By nature I am easy going, hard to anger, and quick to forgive – even to a fault. Although spiritual by nature, I’ve grown disgusted by organized religion. For the same reasons I’m disgusted by organized politics — both have become institutions corrupted by man’s arrogance and greed.
Who better to deal with man’s arrogance and greed than a humble convicted felon? It makes sense to Mike. In his application to fill a vacancy on Florida’s highest court, Mike makes his best (handwritten) case:
I would now request that I be considered for nomination and in all fairness I would ask that you do not so quickly discount my genuine desire to become a Justice on the Florida Supreme Court. As a longtime (albeit involuntary!) citizen of the state of Florida I believe I am entitled to due consideration, and the following facts show that I am uniquely qualified to be a Justice on the court.
As for that pesky capital offense?
Of course, I do understand… there would be a predictable measure of reservation to my appointment, but to hell with the public. It’s the governor’s providence to appoint anyone he so chooses, and if the narrow minded public doesn’t like it, they can always vote me off the court in 6 years when I come up for a “retention vote.”
Before you “quickly discount” Mike’s appointment, give due consideration to the fact that we are talking about the state of Florida.
Goodwin Procter announced today a major expansion of its Financial Services Group with the addition of two nationally-recognized attorneys, Robert M. Kurucza and Marco E. Adelfio. Kurucza joins as co-chair of the firm’s Financial Services Group. Both are resident in Washington, D.C. The addition of Kurucza and Adelfio will enable Goodwin Procter to provide a more fully integrated suite of services to prominent common clients, and to offer even greater cross-disciplinary expertise to a broad range of financial institutions.
Good news for Goodwin, but the announcement is just more unsettling information coming out of MoFo. Rumors of all sorts have been popping up about how things are going at MoFo. What we do know for sure is that Mofo hasn’t made a decision about associate salaries:
MoFo, [hasn't] announced their bonus/ pay freeze intentions yet (which is totally bogus because it leaves associates in the dark). What little guidance we received came in the form of a wait and see what the market is doing approach.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
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 protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.