We’ve now covered over a third of the Vault 100 law firms in open threads. But that means we still have two-thirds to go (assuming we follow through to the end).
The next five firms are colorful. They include one firm that was featured in the Transformers movie, and another that used to employ a high-priced escort.
For your consideration (in Vault 100 order, prestige scores in parentheses):
“Dewey Ballantine just raised its clerkship bonus. $50K for a federal clerkship or the highest court of any state.”
If you’re aware of any judicial clerkship bonus news that hasn’t previously appeared here, please email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”).
In addition, if you’re planning to apply for a clerkship next month, we reiterate our earlier plug for the Clerkship Notification Blog.
In the next few weeks, summer associates will be arriving at large law firms around the country. And they’ll get treated to lavish, three-hour lunches, paid for by Biglaw shops that want to win them back on a permanent basis.
But the summer lunches may be a trifle rushed over at Dewey Ballantine. Here’s a rumor (unconfirmed) that’s making the rounds:
The word on the street is that Dewey Ballantine announced today that summer activities/lunches/etc. won’t count towards the billable hours minimum of 2000 for a bonus (cliff effect: 1999 you get nothing, 2000 you get market).
This sounds like a recipe for recruiting suicide. Do most firms with minimums exclude summer associate activities from the total? I like lunch at Nobu57and karaoke as much as the next guy, but I’m not giving up $40,000 for it.
We see our tipster’s point. But we think that many (if not most) firms don’t count such activities towards billable minimums. Did Dewey count them in previous years, as this rumor implies? Update: We are getting some vague rumblings from sources that the Dewey rumor above is incorrect (although they won’t spell out how). We warned you to take this gossip as unconfirmed. Anyway, the real point of this post is what appears below…
In any event, our correspondent isn’t actually at Dewey, whose Los Angeles office will be hosting this comely young law student (as profiled in Stuff Magazine):
A quasi-racy picture, after the jump.
We have to step away from the computer for a while for a dental appointment. We’d rather be covering associate pay raise developments than undergoing a root canal, but we sadly don’t have much choice in the matter.
Please mention the latest associate base salary news in the comments to this post. We’ll check them out when we get back. Thanks.
P.S. Here’s the Dewey memo from yesterday:
Consider the rumors about Dewey Ballantine and Fried Frank joining in the associate pay raise fun to be confirmed. We’ve been in touch with multiple sources at both shops.
We’re working on getting a copy of the DB memo. Here is the text of the Fried Frank announcement (which reportedly went out by email at 2:11 PM today): FRIED FRANK
To: All DC and New York Associates and Special Counsel
cc: All Partners
From: Valerie Jacob, Justin Spendlove
We are pleased to announce an increase to the associate base salary scale as follows:
Class Year Adjusted Base Salary
This increase is retroactive to January 1, 2007, and will be reflected in the February 9, 2007 payroll. Bonuses for 2007 will be determined at year-end, as usual.
Base salaries and bonuses for Special Counsel will be determined on an individual basis in the Spring, as usual.
The Firm’s continued success depends upon the support and contribution of all our associates. We are very appreciative of the efforts and hard work of all our attorneys during this fiscal year and we look forward to continued success next year.
As several of you noted in the comments, news of a pay raise sounds even sweeter when it comes from a man named “Justin Spendlove.” Earlier: Previous announcements of law firm associate salary increases (scroll down through “Skaddenfreude” archives)
* Last Tuesday, a civil action captioned Aaron Brett Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP was filed in New York Supreme Court — and the world of Biglaw has never been the same ever since. Click here to access the complete archives of our Aaron Charney coverage.
* Of course, Sullivan & Cromwell partners aren’t the only bosses who are jerks challenging (allegedly).
* Don’t forget the Divine Miss C, Shanetta Cutlar, whose delicious reign continues over at the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section.
Compared to Aaron Charney and Shanetta Cutlar, other topics pale by comparison. But here are other highlights from the past week in legal news:
* Charles “Cully” Stimson apologizes for ranking on Gitmo lawyers.
* In New Orleans, trials get rescheduledfor football.
* Barry Ostrager of Simpson Thacher, the renowned business litigator, has poor bathroom manners (or aim).
* The justices of the Michigan Supreme Court just can’t stop squabbling.
* Now we know the real reason — or rather, the 25 million reasons — that the Dewey Ballantine / Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe merger was scuttled.
* Third Circuit Judge Marjorie Rendell, who also serves as the First Lady of Pennsylvania, sings a duet with Jon Bon Jovi. We don’t know whether to be delighted or frightened.
* Too soon, Daily Princetonian, too soon. And what’s more, you budding SNL-writers are so completely unfunny that you might consider law school instead. Dewey Ballantine would probably hire you. [IvyGate Blog]
* Retiree sick of junk mail claims that (literal) poo-slinging is constitutionally protected. [AP via Forbes]
* If only Jason were just a tad younger, they’d be just another couple of happy, teenage parents. [Sheboygan Press]
* But we’ll always have YouTube. [ValleyWag]
* Want to do more than just blog? Ernie is looking for a freelance legal researcher. Sounds like a great gig if you like that kind of thing. (I obviously don’t, or I wouldn’t be putting this out for all of you to see.) [Ernie the Attorney]
On the Way Out:
* The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California (San Francisco), Kevin Ryan, is stepping down. He cited “personal and professional reasons” for his departure.
(Does this mean that ATL favorite Eumi Choi might be placed in charge of the office for a while, even if only in an acting capacity? We hope so.)
* In New York, Brooklyn Civil Term Administrative Justice Theodore T. Jones Jr. has been nominated by Attorney General Governor Eliot Spitzer to the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.
* Over in London, Camille Abousleiman and Louise Roman Bernstein, described by the WSJ Law Blog as “capital-markets stars,” are leaving the troubled Dewey Ballantine for LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
* Litigator Kristan Peters, to Dorsey & Whitney, from Fulbright & Jaworski.
* Akin Gump: Eighteen new partners. Names here.
* Dow Lohnes: M&A and corporate lawyer Matthew Block (described to us as “a hard worker” and “a great guy”).
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe chairman Ralph Baxter demanded a guaranteed $25m (£12.92m) payout over five years, had the proposed merger with Dewey Ballantine gone through, The Lawyer can reveal.
Orrick’s management drafted an employment agreement for Baxter and Dewey chairman Mort Pierce to sign, which would have committed both partners to the newly merged firm for five years.
Pierce is understood to have refused to sign, prompted by the dissatisfaction of a number of Dewey partners with the terms of the agreement.
The significant remuneration for a non-fee-earning chairman is thought to have contributed to Dewey’s decision to walk away from the merger with Orrick.
Pierce is known to be the highest earner at Dewey, earning an extra $3m (£1.54m) in one year in bonuses alone. But he is also the highest biller, averaging more than 3,000 chargeable hours a year.
Balking at Ralph Baxter’s rich demand is understandable. But in hindsight, one can’t help wonder whether Dewey shouldn’t have just bent over and grabbed its proverbial socks. The DB partners who have walked out the door in the past few weeks probably took with them books of business totalling well over Baxter’s concededly greedy demand.
But the $25 million wasn’t the end of it. Check this out:
For Dewey, the combination of Baxter’s personal demands, which also included unlimited first-class air travel for himself and at least one family member, and the perceived imbalance in terms of post-merger management were the final straw in scuppering a deal that could have produced a $1bn (£514.5m)-turnover firm, which could have been in the global top 10.
Quips an amused tipster: “I laughed when I saw Baxter’s personal demand of unlimited first class travel for him + 1.
Seriously, does he think he’s Gnarls Barkley or what?” Revealed: Baxter killed Dewey-Orrick merger [TheLawyer.com]
Last week was short, thanks to the New Year’s holiday; but it sure was busy. Here are some highlights from a very momentous week:
* No more jokes about Harriet Miers: the ill-fated ex-SCOTUS nominee has resigned as White House counsel. Speculation about her successor abounds.
* No more jokes about the Dewy Orifice: the ill-fated merger between Dewey Ballantine and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe hasbeencalled off.
* Turns out that Chief Justice Rehnquist was a painkiller junkie. Once, while suffering withdrawal symptoms, he tried to bust out of a hospital in his PJs.
* Chief Judge David Levi, of the Eastern District of California, will be the new Dean of Duke Law School.
* All About Jan? Just as the aging Margo Channing’s reign over Broadway was threatened by the comely Eve Harrington, the aging Linda Greenhouse’s reign over One First Street is being threatened by the comely Jan Crawford Greenburg.
* Who knew? Law professors and legal bloggers sure know how to party! Photos of drunken legal academics available here and here.
* Cravath partner John Beerbower has enjoyed some amazingapartments over the years. Cravath partnership + Wealthy wife = $20 million, Park Avenue pad.
* Who’s your favorite First Circuit judge? Cast your vote here.
* If you’re a right-winger hoping that Justice Stevens will step down soon, don’t hold your breath.
* Today’s D.C. Circuit: Despite the occasional catfight, it’s not as bitchy as it used to be. Sigh.
* Oppressed law clerks, your Devil Wears Prada is on its way. Coming soon to a bookstore near you: Chambermaid, by former Third Circuit clerk Saira Rao.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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