These partners go above and beyond the call of duty, and do so while working at some of the finest law firms: Akin Gump, SNR Denton, Hogan Lovells, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, Fried Frank, and Chadbourne & Parke.
Who are these phenomenal partners?
A summer associate program at a top law firm is like sex or pizza: even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.
That seems to be the conclusion of the American Lawyer’s 2011 summer associate survey. Am Law polled 3,656 students at 138 law firms about their summer experiences and used the results to rank 108 summer programs. The lowest-ranked program — that of Chadbourne & Parke, in case you’re wondering — still emerged with a healthy overall satisfaction score of 4.142 (on a 5.0 scale).
If you’re a law student trying to figure out where to spend your summer, you’re probably asking: Which law firms came out with the highest scores?
We received over 1,300 responses to this week’s Career Center survey on whether you made MLK Day “A Day On, Not A Day Off” — for your employer. The majority of respondents, 66 percent, reported working on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Not surprisingly, the top reason for putting in extra billable hours was that people just had work that needed to get done, even though no one specifically asked them to work. But it likely also had something to do with the fact that 32% of respondents who worked said their firm does not recognize MLK Day as an official firm holiday. Instead, some of these firms consider it a “floating holiday,” meaning that attorneys can either choose to take a day off on MLK Day or on another floating holiday.
What were some other reasons given for working on MLK Day?
With fall recruiting gearing up, and the lateral market warming up, we continue our annual series of open threads about the law firms featured in the Vault prestige rankings. These threads provide ATL readers with a forum to discuss the different firms and their various strengths and weaknesses.
The end of the Vault 100 is in sight. We’re covering the firms in batches of 20 now. Here are the firms ranked #61 to #80, which will provide today’s discussion fodder:
61. Greenberg Traurig, LLP
62. Holland & Knight LLP
63. Fish & Richardson P.C.
64. Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
65. Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
66. Foley & Lardner LLP
67. Perkins Coie LLP
68. Nixon Peabody LLP
69. Patton Boggs LLP
70. Kaye Scholer LLP
71. Hunton & Williams LLP
72. Reed Smith LLP
73. Steptoe & Johnson LLP
74. Chadbourne & Parke LLP
75. Howrey LLP
76. Bryan Cave LLP
77. Lovells (US) [now part of Hogan Lovells]
78. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
79. Crowell & Moring LLP
80. Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
This is a very eclectic group, including a few New York-centric firms, some D.C.-dominated places, and a bunch of national and even international giants.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these shops….
Some summer associates are ending their summers on a very positive note. Quite a few firms have already informed law school students that after this summer fling, they’re interested in a more serious relationship.
Since our last round-up of offices extending offers to 100% of their summer associates, we’ve heard from a few more contented summers…
Many large law firms realize the importance of maintaining good ties with their alumni. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s also the smart thing to do. Biglaw alums often end up in places where they can be helpful to their former employers — e.g., in-house, government, and the media (cough cough).
Alumni of Chadbourne & Parke recently received this email:
They were also invited to a cocktail party. This didn’t go over so well with those who became alumni involuntarily, i.e., the laid-off:
Are they f**king kidding me? Oh man I want to go to their Spring Fling. Cocktails in the boardroom. Do you think if we get really drunk we’ll be escorted out by security? Because I enjoyed it the first time.
Wait a sec — did the firm really have laid-off lawyers accompanied out by security?
Things seem to be going relatively well at Chadbourne & Parke. Let’s review some recent developments.
Back in January, the firm announced sizable raises and bonuses. In the same month, the Chadbourne & Parke Foundation generously contributed $100,000 to Haiti relief efforts. More recently, the firm’s well-regarded project finance practice snagged some high-profile work relating to renewable / clean energy projects.
But perhaps things aren’t going well enough at C&P. Earlier this week, we heard rumblings of the firm rescinding offers to some of its deferred associates.
We reached out to the firm, which confirmed the news and provided some details.
Yesterday, reports came in that Chadbourne & Parke unfroze salaries. Then tipsters started telling us that Chadbourne didn’t just thaw out one class year; instead, they went all out and gave true-up raises — putting their associates back to the salary level they would have been at had the firm never frozen salaries in the first place. True-up raises are even more significant at Chadbourne because the firm didn’t just freeze salaries, it actually cut salaries back in April.
By the end of the day, Chadbourne sources were telling us that in addition to the true-up raises the firm was giving out make-whole bonuses. Essentially, Chadbourne was giving people back the money they would have made over the course of 2009. That’s a move out of the Latham playbook (in a good way). One tipster put it like this:
[J]ust got my letter re: (1) bonus, and (2) 2010 salary and (3) true-up (actually got the letter last Friday, the 22nd). I am glad to say that I got unfrozen with a “true” true-up! The firm could not tell me if all associates were treated the same.
As we understand it, this good news was shared with nearly all Chadbourne & Parke associates.
Details and a statement from the firm, after the jump.
Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.
For a while there it would look like the first consecutive weeks without layoffs since this time last year (by our reckoning, you have to go back to the weeks ending October 9 and October 2, 2008). Alas, one firm did come through with staff layoffs, about which more after the jump.
As usual, we begin with the US macroeconomic picture, and as usual, it ain’t pretty. For the week, the S&P 500 was down about 2%. That was the second straight week of losses, and the DJIA had its biggest weekly decline in three months. 263,000 net jobs were lost in September and the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, despite perhaps the technical end of the recession. As with the stock market, bad results are one thing, but results worse than expectations are another, and that was the case here. Consensus estimates were net losses of 175,000, so the actual results were way short. August’s revised numbers were slightly better than original reports, though.
The poor results are creating pessimism around when things will start to turn around:
[T]he report also buttressed fears that economic expansion would be weak and hesitant, with scarce paychecks and economic anxiety remaining prominent features of American life well into next year.
“This is a weak report,” said Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. “The rate of job loss has tapered off, but we still haven’t reached the point where businesses are willing to hire.”
Could this create political difficulties for the president?