Do you know why people go to law school? For most people, it’s not because they “love the law” or because they want to be part of the system of justice. It’s because they want to make money. Lots and lots of dirty, sexy money.
Granted, there are easier ways to make money in this world. You could work on your jumpshot. You could do… whatever it is they do in business school, between pub crawls masquerading as “networking events.” You could choose your parents wisely.
But still, if everything works out — and I mean everything — you might make an obscene amount of money in Biglaw. So much money that you can send around messages like this to your fellow attorneys….
A prominent partner left his white-shoe law firm some time ago, purportedly for falsifying expenses. A juicy detail that is less widely known: some of the fake expenses were for what might be described as improper forms of entertainment.
(This blind item — relating to someone who left his firm prior to 2010 — has nothing to do with Ted Freedman, the former Kirkland & Ellis senior partner whose recent departure we covered last month. Please note the update we’ve appended near the end of our earlier post, quoting a source stating that Freedman simply retired.)
Actually, we’re not sure that it’s herpes; that’s just a guess, based on context clues. But apparently some prominent, white-shoe law firm has been hit by an outbreak of a sexually-transmitted disease.
No matter when it’s done, job hunting usually sucks balls. When done in the middle of the Great Recession, it feels like the balls are covered in tangled hair and pointy skin-piercing spikes. It’s painful and you have to be careful.
One disgruntled attorney recently emailed us about a company that he suspects is trying to take advantage of desperate job hunters. He calls it “a new type of scam preying on unemployed lawyers.”
He responded via an ad on Craigslist to an “assets management company” seeking IP attorneys for full-time or part-time contract work. We’ll call the company Pay To Work, LLC. In the ad, PTW says it’s looking for “entrepreneurial” attorneys to do intellectual property work. It says its clients include scientists, inventors, writers, artists, celebrities, universities, and multi-national corporations. That sounds pretty sweet!
But there are some big catches. First off, “partners” are supposed to pay $295/month for “administrative fees.” Second off, the company has no clients at the moment. It’s a start-up in the “set-up phase.” So if you sign up and start paying $300 a month, what exactly are you getting for your money?
Over the weekend, the New York Times took employers to task for taking advantage of university kids eager to get work experience. Unpaid internships abound, and the recession has made it easier for corporate employers to cry poor, and bring on free labor.
However, there are strict federal guidelines [PDF] around unpaid internships, and many are breaking the law by giving their eager little beavers noneducational menial work. The folks at the Labor Department are on to this devious scheme:
Convinced that many unpaid internships violate minimum wage laws, officials in Oregon, California and other states have begun investigations and fined employers. Last year, M. Patricia Smith, then New York’s labor commissioner, ordered investigations into several firms’ internships. Now, as the federal Labor Department’s top law enforcement official, she and the wage and hour division are stepping up enforcement nationwide.
While most of the abusive internships are in the exciting worlds of fashion, film, media, and music, there was at least one poor NYU student suckered into cleaning out bathrooms for free at a law firm…
Working from home is one of the perks of living in the Internet age. The downside is that work more easily intrudes into the rest of your life. But being chained to your BlackBerry is better than being chained to your office chair.
A partner in the Miami office of an AmLaw 50 firm doesn’t like the idea of his associates being out on the beach with their BlackBerrys, though. He wants them in the office. He wants to see their faces, and the only tan he wants to see on them is the kind from the office’s fluorescent lights.
This partner whom we are not outing from a firm that we are not naming gave a speech last week that left many of his associates even less excited about spending time at the office than before…
Which New York law firm, having already completed two rounds of layoffs, has hired the Five O’Clock Club to help it carry out additional layoffs (in August, October, and November)?
After we ran the item, several firms came forward to declare they’re not the firm in question. And now they’re joined by one more: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
A spokesperson for Morgan Lewis contacted ATL to say that it isn’t the firm with layoffs in the works. In fact, Morgan Lewis claims that it shouldn’t even be on the shortlist of contenders.
Read why — and check out the list of the Five O’Clock Club’s clients, including some very prestigious law firms that haven’t publicly admitted to layoffs — after the jump.
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.