This email exchange is rapidly making the rounds. It doesn’t rise to the level of Dianna Abdala, but it’s not bad — and perfectly suitable for a slow Friday afternoon.
The tipster who sent it to us introduced it as follows:
This is pretty funny. It goes to show you that tier four students are just as entitled and obnoxious as their tier one counterparts!
From: [redacted] Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 9:05 AM To: [Partner at four-person law firm] Subject: Interview?
Sir, let me begin by noting that I understand your time is very valuable
and I anticipate that your work day is very hectic. However, my time is
valuable to me and sitting at the interview location waiting for you has
resulted in a fantastic waste of a potentially productive Friday
I was very interested in your firm. I believe that there are many ways
of becoming a good lawyer, and felt that employment at your firm would
be one of them. Though I find myself being pushed in the direction of
the large firms as a result of my grades, I had high hopes that getting
involved in a smaller and yet equally productive camp would be the best
fit for me. Sadly, it seems that I will not find out if my suspicions
I realize I am just an naive law student in your eyes but I assure you
sir that a day will come when I command a level of respect that would
make [sic] idea of standing me up unimaginable. As I was your first interview
this morning I feel that a phone call was in order from your end. Good
luck with the rest of your interviews.
Right now you might be thinking, “Good for you, Wayne State Guy! Just because you go to a Tier Four doesn’t mean you can be jerked around.”
But the truth turns out to be more complex. Read the partner’s response, after the jump.
As we previously mentioned, this week is Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. Even our open threads on job hunting will reflect this theme.
One graduate of a non-elite law school sent us this suggested topic:
Lots of non-top tier law students end up working for insurance companies.
The dumb ones end up doing insurance defense (hired by insurance company to defend slip and fall, med mal, etc). The smart ones do insurance coverage (represent the insurance company which denied coverage).
How about postings where we can compare salary info? Salary info at these firms is much more guarded. I have no idea what anyone else makes.
So, what ARE salaries like in this area? From our tipster:
I’ll get the ball rolling from the insurance coverage perspective. When I started as a first year at one NYC insurance coverage firm, I was making $75,000 with no bonus (and a billable hours minimum of 1900).
Now, I am a fifth year doing insurance coverage at a different firm in NYC, my salary is $128,000, and our firm offers a $7,500 bonus to associates deemed the cream of the crop at year end. Name partners are rumored to make a boat load of cash, but other partners are rumored to be nothing more than senior associates. Our minimum billables are 2100.
The 50-lawyer firm, based in New York but with a small L.A. office, starts first-year associates at $60,000 — or $100,000 below the starting salary at many Am Law 100 firms.
Mid-year and senior associates, however, are promised the same total pay — or more — that they’d earn at Latham & Watkins or Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
For third-years on up, the firm says it checks what top New York firms like Cravath, Swaine & Moore are paying in base salary and bonuses, and matches that. Last year, the firm added a $10,000 sweetener.
So what exactly is the point of this unusual system?
More discussion, after the jump.
Sometimes it seems like we talk about the same handful of general practice Biglaw shops again and again. So let’s mix things up a bit. Here’s a suggestion from a loyal reader:
I’m in the field of patent law. It might be interesting to post a Fall Recruiting Thread that discusses both patent boutiques (Finnegan Henderson, Fizpatrick Cella, Kenyon & Kenyon) and general practice firms with a strong IP practice (Kirkland, Irell, MoFo, Jones Day, Ropes & Gray).
Yes, it might. So here’s that post — an open thread in which people can talk about firms that specialize in or excel at intellectual property law.
(Last month we had a post dedicated to discussion of compensation issues at IP firms. But this open thread is intended to be broader, to go beyond pay to discuss quality of life, strong practice areas, type of work, etc. Enjoy.) Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: IP Firms
In case you missed this story from last week, here’s a recap. Earlier this month, a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Montana by the name of William Managhan sent out the following email, to the entire Montana Trial Lawyers Association:
From: William L. Managhan To: Montana Trial Lawyers Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2007 6:32 PM Subject: [mtla_members_all] Firm Name Change
Managhan & Kortum-Managhan Law Firm will no longer be known as such. The name is returning to Managhan Law Firm as Santana Kortum-Managhan is leaving the firm. Turns out that she was having sex with Tim McKeon of Anaconda while attending MMLP hearings in Helena.
Call me silly but I no longer fill [sic] comfortable with her as my law partner or wife. Some will think this is an inappropriate announcement, but considering the small legal community in our state, I might as well preempt the roomer mill [sic]. Please address communication to William L. Managhan through Managhan Law Firm.
More discussion, including accounts of our telephone conversations with Bobbi Bonnington and Tim of Anaconda, after the jump.
A fantastic and hilarious email, announcing a name change for a Montana law firm, has been making the rounds. We’d like to reprint it here, but we’ll refrain for now. Instead, read the email and commentary on it here and here.
We have no reason to question the authenticity of the email (which apparently went out to the entire membership of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association). But we haven’t verified it definitively either. And we’d like to give William Managhan and Santana Kortum-Managhan the chance to comment, given the salacious nature of the material. How do they fill about all the roomers?
Accordingly, we have phone calls and emails in to the Managhan Law Firm (whose typo-laden website still identifies it as the “Managhan & Kortum-Managhan Law Firm”). We will let you know if and when we hear back from them. Update (7 PM): We have been communicating with Bobbi Bonnington via email. We hope to have more information for you soon. A comedic tidbit…courtesy of Montana [The Amateur Law Professor] Firm Name Change [The Legal Scoop]
The New York Times is a world-renowned news publication. It is exceedingly prestigious. Coverage in its pages is highly coveted.
But the Gray Lady may be a bit easy. Why else would she go down on Gallion & Spielvogel, our favorite pair of S&C refugees turned eminently pedigreed barristers?
From this morning’s NYT:
Steven Spielvogel, a lanky 40-year-old lawyer who, with his angular looks and jet black hair, resembles Ric Ocasek of the 1980s band the Cars, has been on something of a tour of his own.
He has been promoting a network that connects small law firms around the country and the world. The idea is to give the better small law firms a way to compete with the big national and global firms.
Since starting the International Network of Boutique Law Firms, in 2004, Mr. Spielvogel has been knocking on doors and setting up lunches to persuade the lawyers at small firms with prestigious résumés to start a local chapter.
The rest of the puff piece proceeds to fellate Steve Spielvogel and the INBLF in print. It’s accompanied by an awesome pic of Spielvogel, striking a pose in Rockefeller Center (and looking like Luke Wilson, to his credit).
But why isn’t Spielvogel in a tuxedo? And where’s his partner in crime, Edward R. Gallion?
More mockery news analysis, after the jump.
If you graduated from law school before or during the tech boom of the late 1990′s, you may recall how an elite boutique named Gunderson Dettmer led the charge on associate pay raises. As noted here:
In 1999, a Silicon Valley firm named Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, shook the legal community by offering new associates a starting salary of $125,000 with a guaranteed bonus of $20,000. This represented a 25 percent increase in the average base salary and even more for the total compensation package. Other firms in major cities around the country were forced to follow Gunderson’s lead and annual salaries increased by about 30 percent between 1999 and 2000. New associates reaped the benefits.
The firm is considerably bigger today. And it didn’t lead this latest round of pay raises; Orrick deserves credit for that.
But Gunderson Dettmer is definitely keeping up. Moreover, as a source at the firm notes, “Thankfully it appears that we didn’t take the underhanded bonus-cutting route that Wilson Sonsini and Heller Ehrman did.”
Check out the memo, after the jump.
Here’s a recent message from a Chicago-based reader:
I’ve got a suggestion for a post. How about one on the Chicago market?
NYC, done. L.A. is pretty much set. DC looks like it’s headed to 160.
But what about Chicago? I think a post along the lines of whether Chicago is going to take a back seat as a lower tier legal market, or match the LA/DC markets, would generate a lot of interest/traffic/comments.
Ok, just my two cents. The stuff on the compensation has been great! Keep up the good work.
We agree with this commenter. There’s no longer much excitement to covering Los Angeles, which is “pretty much set,” and Washington, DC, which will surely settle at $160K (even if some firms drag their feet about it, to save themselves a few weeks’ worth of higher salaries).
But “flyover country” — basically, Chicago and Texas (which we’ll cover in a subsequent post) — is a big question mark. Will these markets match the big money of the East Coast, and retain their status as major legal markets? Or will they fade into regional obscurity, unable to draw the same legal talent as their more flush coastal counterparts? The big Chicago shops haven’t budged on associate salaries in their home offices. But one Windy City boutique, Much Shelist, isn’t going down without a fight. Last week they raised all of their offices — including their home office, in Chicago — to the $160K scale. The memo appears after the jump. UPDATE/CORRECTION: The purported Much Shelist memo that appears after the jump is a FAKE.
The litigation boutique of Susman Godfrey is prestigious. And it is well-paying, especially around bonus time.
It’s also not shy about honking its own horn (which shouldn’t be surprising, given its Texas roots). In fact, Susman Godfrey just issued a press release about its pay raises that might make Gallion & Spielvogel blush.
Here are some excerpts (emphases added):
TOP LITIGATION BOUTIQUE SUSMAN GODFREY RAISES ASSOCIATES SALARIES IN LOS ANGELES & NEW YORK OFFICE
Susman Godfrey announced today a salary increase for their associates in Los Angeles and New York. The compensation package for first year associates joining their Los Angeles and New York offices is $160,000, plus benefits. Already among the best paid associates nation-wide, the compensation package for first year associates in their Houston, Dallas, and Seattle offices is $140,000, plus benefits….
Susman Godfrey also pays year end merit bonuses to associates who have been with the firm for at least one year. Last year, associate bonuses topped out at $120,000. In 2005, some associates received a walloping $150,000 in year-end perks. More commonly, our merit bonuses have accounted for 20% to 60% of an associate’s annual compensation and are far in excess of bonuses paid by our competitors. Thus, associates’ year-end merit bonuses tend to range from an additional $30,000 to $80,000 on top of the base salary.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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