The strikingly handsome Jed Rubenfeld is a con law professor and deputy dean at Yale Law School (as well as a contestant in our Law School Dean hotties contest; but sorry, ladies, he’s married to fellow YLS professor Amy Chua). Henry Holt & Co. paid Rubenfeld an advance of $800,000 for U.S. rights to his novel, and his superstar agent, Suzanne Gluck of William Morris, “sold foreign rights to 31 publishers for more than $1 million.” As the WSJ explains, “[t]hat effectively valued Mr. Rubenfeld’s manuscript above $1.8 million, not including the undisclosed sum Warner Bros. paid for movie rights.”
But based on early sales figures, Rubenfeld’s hopes of topping the bestseller list may be about as realistic as his chances of catching up with current leader Evan Caminker in the ATL hotties contest. We suspected things might not be going swimmingly when we recently saw copies of The Interpretation of Murder marked “45% Off — Clearance” at Books A Million in Dupont Circle. (See also this reader comment.)
(UPDATE: Ann Althouse has a theory as to why Professor Rubenfeld may not be faring better in the hotties contest.)
More details about Rubenfeld’s foray into the literary world, after the jump.
Yesterday we wrote about Julie Buxbaum, the 2002 graduate of Harvard Law School who just landed a $500,000, two-book deal with Dial Press. We also asked you for more information about her — where she practiced law before leaving for the writing life, what she’s like as a person, etc.
Via Friendster, we learn that this Harvard Law hottie is 29 years old, in a relationship, and residing in Los Angeles. She has highbrow tastes in literature — e.g., Interpreter of Maladies, The Unbearable Lightness of Being — and less highbrow tastes in movies — e.g., Revenge of the Nerds.
We also learned some things about Julie Buxbaum through your emails. One tipster stated, upon information and belief, that she worked in the L.A. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Another tipster, however, said she used to work at litigation boutique Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman. Our speculation: Julie started off at GDC, then left for Hennigan Bennett (Biglaw to boutique — a perfectly logical career path).
The most fun tidbit about Ms. Buxbaum? That her brother was a child actor who went by the stage name Josh Blake. This piece of information is corroborated by the IMDb entry for Josh Blake, “sometimes credited as Josh Buxbaum.” For devotees of the late 80′s sitcom ALF, you may recall Blake as Jake Ochmonek, the “belligerent nephew” of the Tanners’ next-door neighbors, who was befriended by that furry alien from the planet Melmac. Julie Buxbaum [Friendster] Josh Blake [IMDb] Earlier: Harvard Law Hottie Lands Monster Book Deal
We follow the media and publishing worlds almost as closely as the legal world, so we’re not quite sure how we missed this. But we did, and we’re sorry. So we’re bringing it to you now, a few days late — and we apologize if you’ve already read about it somewhereelse.
For all of you lawyers who are frustrated writers, this news may inspire or depress you, depending upon how you react to news of other people’s good fortune. Here’s a book deal announced last week in Publishers Marketplace:
Julie Buxbaum’s debut novel THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE, about a 29-year-old attorney who lost her mother as a teenager and finds her well-constructed life falling apart when she can’t commit to the man who loves her, to Susan Kamil at Dial Press, in a major deal, for publication in winter 2008, in a two-book deal, by Elaine Koster of the Elaine Koster Agency (US).
For those of you not conversant in PM-speak, “a major deal” is one with an advance of $500,000 and up.
The timing of the deal announcement was a bit ironic. That same week, Ms. Buxbaum wrote an essay for 02138, the new magazine by and about Harvard alumni, in which she waxes poetic about turning her back on Biglaw to pursue life as a sushi-starved artist. Here’s the money quote:
I am currently dressed in head to toe Old Navy. My highlights are grown passed [sic] my ears. That latte is a splurge, sushi an absolute no-no. And, of course, there is the constant, nagging guilt — like an angry rash — when I check my dwindling bank balance, when I remember I spent close to a quarter million dollars on higher education, when I realize that it was less than a year ago that I was making six figures. I was a litigator at a top law firm, an HLS graduate, a somebody. Now, well, to be honest, I am not too sure who I am, what exactly I “do.”
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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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.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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