That’s the latest rumor over at Infirmation/Greedy NY. As for numbers, they are said to be the same as last year’s Cravath bonuses. Caveat: This is UNCONFIRMED. If you can confirm or have a memo, please email us (tips AT abovethelaw DOT com). We’re contacting our own Cravath sources and will get back to you shortly. Update (11:16 AM): According to multiple Cravath sources, there has been no announcement yet. But one is expected VERY SOON:
We think there will be an announcement tonight. Rumor is that Cravath will not top, only match.
Here are a few of the most notable moves within the legal profession: Reunited and It Feels So Good:
* Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld has returned to the New York office of McDermott, Will & Emery. This year, Weld unsuccessfully ran for the chance to get trounced by Eliot Spitzer the Republican nomination for governor of New York.
* Intellectual property lawyer Brian O’Shaughnessy is back at Buchanan Ingersoll — after Womble Carlyle crowed loudly about scooping him up. Nate Carlile of the Legal Times has the story:
O’Shaughnessy started at Womble the day after Halloween, never spent a moment there practicing law, and was gone before the end of the week. (Actually, it appears he cleared out at about the same time Womble was touting his hire.)
The Dow is hitting record highs — and after a month of softness, the lawyer wedding market is bouncing back too. In addition to Supreme Court superstar Ted Olson, a number of attorneys got married last weekend. And several of them made it into the wedding pages of the New York Times (although not Olson and Lady Booth; they must not have submitted, because one can’t imagine them not making it in otherwise).
Here are the couples vying for victory this week:
Near the end of last week, we learned about an upcoming change at the helm of the sublimely prestigious, yet supremely terrifying, New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. From the New York Law Journal:
Corporate partner C. Allen Parker will become the elite firm’s second-in-command on Jan. 1, 2007, at the same time Evan R. Chesler will succeed Robert D. Joffe as presiding partner.
This is an interesting and unexpected development:
The naming of a deputy presiding partner at this juncture is an unusual step for Cravath, which has traditionally reserved that position for those slated to succeed the presiding partner within roughly a year.
The article concludes:
One of the nation’s most prestigious and profitable firms, Cravath is also one of its most conservative. Whereas other firm leaders increasingly manage their firms full-time, Cravath presiding partners generally maintain very active practices.
In fact, Cravath differs from other Biglaw firms in a number of ways. In addition to its unusual “Cravath System,” in which associates work closely for a specific partner (or small group of partners) for a rotation of a specified length (e.g., 18 months), the firm also has a unique administrative structure.
In general, Cravath relies less on committees than many other top shops, and its decisionmaking process is less structured than most other firms. Instead, issues are decided by consensus among the partnership. In addition, and perhaps as a result of this highly democratic (and quasi-chaotic) set-up, the individual partners responsible for particular areas or departments — e.g., head of litigation, hiring partner, etc. — exercise a fair amount of control over their respective fiefdoms.
If you have good inside knowledge of Cravath and would be willing to enlighten us as to the meaning of these latest moves, as well as to make some predictions about the future leadership of the firm, you know where to reach us. (If you have information to share about Cravath — or any other juicy topic, for that matter — but would rather do so by a means other than email, send us a short email to that effect, and we’ll give you our telephone or AIM contact info.) Cravath Elects Deputy Presiding Partner [NYLawyer.com] Cravath, Swaine & Moore [official website]
We’re almost caught up here at Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. Today we discuss and score couples featured in the New York Times weddings page of October 8, 2006.
Again, a bit of a slow weekend for weddings involving lawyers. Here are the three couples under review:
While some tax lawyers are tying the knot, others are getting tied up in knots — legal knots, of their own making.
Does the name James Colliton ring a bell? Colliton (at right) is a former tax lawyer at the Death Star super-prestigious Cravath, Swaine & Moore. He’s also the guy who was indicted on charges of paying underage girls for sex, fled to Canada, and was subsequently captured in an East Village hotel.
Despite this past attempt to flee, Colliton moved for bail — pretty cheeky. Not surprisingly, his request was denied:
“This defendant ran and tried to hide,” the judge said. “I cannot release someone who could potentially run again.”
Those big law firms — they’re all the same, right?
Yeah, pretty much. But let’s keep that as our little secret. Here’s our next amusing interview story.*
A law school classmate had been on what seemed like a zillion second-year callbacks and was having trouble keeping all the interviews straight in his head. At a Cravath, Swaine & Moore callback, three rather stuffy and reticent lawyers took him to lunch at an upscale French restaurant. Trying to make conversation, my classmate piped up, “So what’s it like to work at Skadden?”
The seniormost lawyer arched an eyebrow and replied icily, “You’re interviewing at Cravath.” Without missing a beat, my classmate replied, “Well, do you know what it’s like to work at Skadden anyway?”
His comment was prescient – he ended up at Skadden.
We can understand his confusion. Both Skadden and Cravath have laid claim to the “Death Star” nickname. (Around here, we use it to refer to Cravath, since Skadden has moved into new offices.)
* We agree this commenter — not all of these anecdotes qualify as “horror stories.” That just happens to be the catchy title we’ve bestowed upon this ongoing series of posts. Earlier: Prior Interview Horror Stories (scroll down)
The latest news on the most notable moves within the profession: Government to Private Sector:
* Seth Silber, to Wilson Sonsini (as counsel), from the FTC. (Quips our tipster: “What a lovely week to join that particular firm!”) New Office Openings:
* Crowell & Moring — aka “Cruel & Boring”*** — is opening a New York office. They’ve grabbed litigator William McSherry, from Arent Fox, and patent lawyer Janet McLeod, from Dorsey & Whitney, to kick things off.
* The exceedingly profitable, Houston-based Susman Godfrey is opening a New York office, headed by name partner Stephen Susman. Lateral Private Sector Moves:
* Bankruptcy guru Paul Basta, to Kirkland & Ellis, from Weil Gotshal & Manges.***
* Patent litigators Joseph O’Malley and Bruce Wexler, to Paul Hastings (NY), from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto.
*** “Cruel and Boring” is just a silly nickname for Crowell & Moring that we’ve heard around town. We have no idea as to whether it has any factual basis. We just think using nicknames for law firms is fun. Other law firm nicknames we’ve heard: Weil Gotshal & Manges = “We’ll Getcha & Mangle Ya” (self-explanatory); Cravath Swaine & Moore = “The Death Star” (self-explanatory); Davis Polk & Wardwell = “The Teahouse on Lexington Avenue” (for their penchant for hiring geishas attractive Asian-American females — don’t get mad at us, we didn’t make it up).
(Feel free to add more law firm nicknames in the comments to this post.) On The Move [Antitrust Review] Basta Says Hasta to Weil Gotshal [WSJ Law Blog] DC Firm Opens NY Office [NYLawyer.com] Houston Firm Opens Manhattan Office [NYLawyer.com] Firm Adds NY Patent Litigators [NYLawyer.com]
In light of the recent debut of Skaddenfreude, ATL’s column chronicling attorney compensation, it’s a neat coincidence that the New York Times has an entire article discussing compensation for first-year associates at major law firms.
We’ll get to that article in just a second. First, though, a brief amendment to our prior Skaddenfreude request. We received this thoughtful email from a reader:
is it too late to add a line for hours billed? that would add more of an element of schadenfreude too, don’t you think? this is more like freudenskadden — feeling sick about how much more money they make.
Good point. We stand corrected! So yes, in your Skaddenfreude submissions — we’ve received a bunch already, thanks, keep ‘em coming — please include your annual billable hours (either an estimate of this year’s or last year’s actual).
If you’re not a law firm attorney, feel free to include an estimate of how many hours you work in a year. If you’re a legal academic, throw in some bragging about how you make six-figures, or close to it, for only nine months of work.
Okay, that’s the Skaddenfreude amendment. Now, on to discussion of the Times piece — after the jump.
Each year, just in time for fall on-campus recruiting season, Vault releases its prestige rankings of the nation’s biggest law firms. Here’s a report on the results of the latest survey, from The Recorder:
In big law, prestige is important. And an annual survey from career-oriented Web site Vault attempts to gauge just how impressive it is to work at the country’s top firms by asking more than 15,000 associates to rank their prestige factor.
The top ten firms were: Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Sullivan & Cromwell; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Davis Polk & Wardwell, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton; Latham & Watkins; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; and Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Executive summary: New York firms rule the roost. Nothing new there.
But lawyers at Latham & Watkins, based out in La-la-land, were happy with their top 10 finish:
“It’s certainly important and it is impressive that Latham has the reputation it has,” said Kimberly Posin, a fourth-year associate in Latham’s Los Angeles office. “Clients look to and appreciate the prestige factor.”
It’s also a key factor for law students who are interviewing at various firms and scouring the rankings to help make decisions, she said.
Within the firm itself, it was fun to get the e-mail detailing the results.
“It’s something that’s nice to talk about,” Posin said, “[to] call our friends at competing firms and say ‘Look at this.’”
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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