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 summer of 2009 should be very different from past summers of fun and excess. Many are expecting this summer to be a twelve week (or ten week, or eight week) “job interview” that current Biglaw associates didn’t really have to go through.
This shouldn’t come as a galloping shock to A) regular ATL readers, B) casual ATL readers, C) people who can read, or D) anybody at all that has been paying the slightest bit of attention to the legal industry.
But it is time to ask “how bad is it going to be?” We started receiving reports this weekend on perhaps a new paradigm for summer associates. Here’s a rumor that has been swirling around Nixon Peabody:
Nixon Peabody [has] informed their summer class they will only be hiring 50% of the summer associates?? Basically they said…only HALF of you are going to make it and we are going to give you real work to see who is worthy.
After the jump, Nixon Peabody unequivocally shoots down this rumor.
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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