We’ve confirmed the news that Akin Gump has raised in Texas. Here’s the message from Bruce McLean, the Akin Gump chairman:
We are pleased to announce that we will be increasing associate and counsel compensation effective August 1, 2007. For first and second years, compensation will increase to $160,000 and $170,000, respectively. For subsequent years, we intend to be competitive in the market. We are in the process of determining the contours of the compensation structure for our other associate classes consistent with our Firm culture and the evolving market.
We appreciate all that you do to make this a great Firm.
We continue our series of colorful summer associate stories. If you have a tale to tell, please check out the submission guidelines, and then email us.
(Some of you have worried about whether a tale might be “too old.” You need not fret; oldies can be goodies. We’re trying to compile a “greatest hits” list, so even hoary stories are okay. But please do indicate the summer in which the events occurred.)
Here’s our latest X-Summer:
1. Superhero name: S&S Slur-Man
2. Special power: Ability to attack women and minorities from 50 feet.
3. Summered: Shearman & Sterling, summer 2005 (believed to be DC).
4. Claim to fame: Here are the allegations, from our tipster:
“Asked a female summer how she felt about the fact that since she was a woman, she’d always make less than him. Subsequently, got drunk at a firm social event and called a Hispanic summer from HLS a “wetback.” Was directed to apologize by the firm… and did so in a half-assed, insincere manner. “
5. What happened next: “Slur-Man was fired (and obviously not given an offer). No knowledge of his eventual career.”
(The usual rules apply. Please don’t name the Slur-Man or speculate about his identity. Thanks.) Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of summer associates (scroll down)
We have to step away for a bit, but we’ll leave you with something that should hopefully keep you busy while we’re gone. It’s time for the mother of all open threads: New York, New York.
With fall recruiting season looming (or already here), we’ve launched a series of open threads, where people can compare notes about law firms in different cities. Here are the earlier posts in the series (which we encourage you to revisit, even after they get bumped from the ATL front page):
This post, though, is about New York. Please gossip away, responsibly, about all of Gotham’s marquee names — Cravath, Wachtell, S&C, etc. — in the comments. Thanks. Earlier: Fall recruiting open threads for Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco / Silicon Valley.
A CLE allowance of five grand sounds pretty great. Is our tipster correct about this? And is any other firm similarly generous?
P.S. CLE is on our mind because we just paid our New York bar dues (and filled out our CLE certification). We still keep up with our CLE requirements, ’cause you never know. And we’ll be scooping up some CLE credits on Friday and Saturday, when we’ll be covering the 2007 ACS National Convention here in DC. Marsha Marsha Marsha!!! Update: Yeah, we know we aren’t required to stay current with our New York CLE. But doing so gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, that’s all.
On July 25, Bracewell & Giuliani joined the growing pack of Texas-based firms raising first- and second-year associate raises.
Houston-based Bracewell — with 391 lawyers in the United States, 306 of those in Texas — will raise first-year associate salaries to $160,000 and second-year associate salaries to $170,000 effective Aug. 1, says Melanie Hillis, a firm spokeswoman. Hillis says the firm, which is offering raises to first- and second-year associates in all seven of its U.S. offices, is still evaluating how to structure raises for third- through eighth-year associates.
Read the full article for an insanely detailed summary of the Texas pay raise action, which treats the subject like a high school history lesson: “On July 18, Houston-based Andrews Kurth…. On July 21, partners in Susman Godfrey….” (And who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand?)
Speaking of Giuliani, we’re obsessed with the Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl music video. We admire and respect Rudy Giuliani, but even we had to laugh at this lyric: “Giuliani girl stop your fussin’ / At least Obama didn’t marry his cousin.”
(Also, the pillow fight at the end is AWESOME. And we love Kucinich Girl.) Bracewell & Giuliani First- and Second-Years Seeing Green [Texas Lawyer] Debate ’08: Obama Girl vs Giuliani Girl [YouTube via BarelyPolitical.com]
With fall recruiting season just around the corner (or already upon us at some schools), we’ve launched a series of open threads, where people can compare notes about law firms in different cities.
Here are the threads that we’ve put up so far (which we encourage people to revisit, even after they get bumped from the ATL front page):
We’ve hit the East Coast and the Midwest. Now let’s show some love to the West Coast (where the lunch hour is approaching — a peak time for visiting ATL).
Here’s an open thread for talking about law firms in San Francisco and Silicon Valley — the Bay Area. Please gossip away, responsibly, in the comments. Thanks. Earlier: Fall recruiting open threads for Boston and Chicago
People, please, be patient. We heard you the first time you asked us to confirm that Kirkland & Ellis has raised its clerkship bonus. It was not necessary to reiterate this request in the comments to every single post on ATL.
We reached out to Kirkland earlier this week, shortly after we started hearing this rumor, but we didn’t hear back from them until just now. From firm spokesman Brian Pitts:
I can confirm Kirkland’s clerkship bonus has increased to $50,000 and that it applies across all offices. As for serial clerkships and/or multi-year clerkships, Kirkland’s practice is to evaluate those on a case-by-case basis. Please let me know if you need anything else.
We thank Mr. Pitts and K&E for this information. We appreciate it greatly when firms respond to our requests for information that are relevant to prospective associates (many of whom read ATL).
In this week’s New York Observer, there’s an article (by yours truly) that may be of interest to ATL readers. It’s entitled Profits vs. Partners: Are the country’s top law firms going the way of the dinosaur?
You can check it out by clicking here. The piece has also been picked up by DealBook and the WSJ Law Blog (with a somewhat snarky title — but if we can dish it, we can take it).
The point of the article is not that law firms are becoming more businesslike and profit-oriented (yawn), but what this means for the profession — and also for firms as profit-maximizing businesses. Here’s an excerpt:
It’s a noteworthy shift for the legal profession, whose denizens like to think of themselves as intellectual types—and view their Wall Street cousins as money-obsessed philistines. Many angst-filled attorneys suspect they should have gone into something more tweedy and creative than relocating commas within merger agreements. As Clarence Darrow said, “Inside every lawyer is the wreck of a poet.”
Such questions of professional identity aren’t just theoretical; they have ramifications for law firms as businesses. If law firms become “just like banks,” but with smaller paychecks, firms may lose their appeal to the talent they must attract in order to thrive.
In other words: Is Biglaw, by emphasizing money so much, hoisting itself by its own petard? If it’s all about the benjamins (baby), why not just go to an i-bank or hedge fund? Are firms going to lose their top talent to the world of finance — which would then impair Biglaw’s ability to thrive as a business?
(If Biglaw has nothing to offer but monetary rewards, which are offered in larger amounts by Wall Street, will law firms end up as dumping grounds for the mathematically-impaired? (Please don’t take offense; that includes us. We can’t balance our checkbook without a calculator.))
More excerpts and discussion — including predictions from law firm consultants about when the next round of associate pay raises is coming, which we know you’re dying to hear — after the jump.
When we posted yesterday’s open thread on Chicago law firms, to create a forum for people to talk candidly about Biglaw shops now that fall recruiting season is approaching, we weren’t sure how it would turn out. We worried that the comments would descend into useless trash talk, or that there wouldn’t be enough participants to make the thread useful.
We were pleasantly surprised. Most of the commentary on the Chicago thread is thoughtful and informative.
So we think we’ll do more of these city-focused threads — maybe two or three a day for the next week, until we’ve hit all the major legal markets.
Here’s the Boston thread. Please discuss Beantown’s big law firms — e.g., Ropes & Gray, WilmerHale, Goodwin Procter — in the comments. Thanks.
Here is the latest unverified gossip making the rounds among summer associates in New York City:
“I’m not summering at Davis Polk, but I have some friends who are, and I’ve been to a few of their events. The general assumption among people there was that the firm is going to $180,000, probably in time for fall recruiting season.”
“My career adviser at Cornell said that it is all but declared that NYC associate starting salaries will be going up to $195K. Is there truth to this? I haven’t heard it anywhere else?”
At this point, since such rumors have been percolating for weeks, we don’t put much stock in them. But maybe we can have a meta-conversation about them: What does the persistence of these (perhaps ridiculous) rumors say about law students and young lawyers?
(Other than that they have huge-ass student loans and/or a taste for the finer things in life. E.g., Cristal.)
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
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 (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), 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.
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