Comparing Biglaw life to a treadmill is a cliché. But to some attorneys around the country, it’s truly the best description of how they pass their days (and nights, and weekends). From the New York Times:
Terri Krivosha, a partner at a Minneapolis law firm, logs three miles each workday on a treadmill without leaving her desk. She finds it easier to exercise while she types than to attend aerobics classes at the crack of dawn.
I’m now spending the majority of my billable office hours walking on my treadmill. I set up a monitor directly in front, and hooked up an arm with a keyboard and mouse tray to the frame of the treadmill….
I find that 1.5 mph is best speed if I’m typing — slightly faster if I’m just reading. Billing by the mile, not by the hour….
Check out our interview with Aaron, plus a slideshow of treadmill-desk porn, after the jump.
If you’re an employee of the U.S. Department of Justice, and your name isn’t Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, your job probably doesn’t have many perks. They toss a few four-dollar meatballs your way, and public outcry ensues.
And now you can’t even go to the office gym, thanks to a potential outbreak of staph infections, aka “Staphylococcus aureus.” All three DOJ fitness centers are being closed for “a thorough cleaning” (which makes you wonder how “thorough” the regular cleanings are).
First the rat-ridden day care center, and now this. What next for the DOJ’s beleaguered employees?
These are not the easiest times to be at the DOJ. In the wake of the U.S. Attorneys firing controversy, the Justice Department has been plagued by a leadership vacuum (not just in terms of no Attorney General, but a very high number of acting AAGs). It has also suffered from a loss of public respect and low employee morale.
But no gym? To quote Justice Scalia, “this is really more than one should have to bear.”
The memo, which includes tips for preventing infection that everyone should read, appears after the jump.
We’re guessing you’ve all seen this video of 1,500 Filipino prisoners dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It has been discussed all over the blogosphere and MSM. E.g, Gawker; Concurring Opinions; Times of London.
(We’re just surprised that sentencing guru Doug Berman — who, by the way, moderated a great panel on the federal sentencing guidelines at the recent ACS convention we attended (and will write about later) — hasn’t weighed in on this innovative approach to criminal punishment.)
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the clip:
Pretty cool, eh? Professor Charles Nesson of Harvard Law School quipped, “I want to meet the warden.”
Well, Professor Nesson, we can help. As it turns out, Byron Garcia — the prison official who came up with this idea, and uploaded the video clip to YouTube — is our uncle!
You can read our correspondence with Tito Byron, after the jump.
As we mentioned yesterday, over the next week or two we’ll be doing a series of posts on fringe benefits at law firms. Each day we’ll have a post dedicated to discussion of a specific type of perk.
Today’s fringe benefit: gym memberships. Although you might never have guessed, based on the proliferation of pasty and portly associates, many top law firms offer free or discounted gym memberships for their lawyers.
Some firms even have on-site gyms. The market leader here may be Skadden, which has gyms in some of its larger offices, like New York and Washington. We’ve visited the gym of Skadden DC, and it’s impressive. Personal trainers are available, and they’ll even furnish you with freshly laundered workout clothes, emblazoned with the Skadden logo (down to jockstraps — although we don’t think those have the logo).
An in-house gym is great. You can head down for an afternoon pick-me-up, before settling in for the evening session of work. Or you can squeeze in a quick work-out while waiting for word processing to turn around some document.
But exercising with co-workers has its downsides. When we were at a firm, a former colleague who worked out at the super-high-end gym frequented by partners once returned in a shellshocked state. She declared: “I just saw [partner X] on the elliptical. In a tank top and short-shorts. I didn’t need to see that.”
Please discuss free or discounted gym memberships, in-house exercise rooms, and similar law firm perks, in the comments. Thanks. Earlier: An Open Thread on Tech Allowances
Sunday’s NYT sports section features a short interview with our favorite NFL referee, Ed Hochuli. Hochuli is a minor celebrity among football fans for two things: his brawny physique and the commendably detailed on-field explanations he gives when announcing penalties and other calls.
He’s also a partner in the Phoenix law firm of Jones, Skelton, and Hochuli.
From the interview:
YOU WORK AS A REFEREE AND A LAWYER?
I am a full-time civil litigator and a full-time referee. I go and defend in court. The two jobs have a lot in common.
YOU APPEAR TO TAKE WORKING OUT SERIOUSLY.
I do. I do cardio, at least an hour, sometimes more, every day. I lift weights four days a week for another hour.
If you want to feel like a total slob, read all the details of Hochuli’s diet and workout regimen here. And for the next time you’re debating whether to go for a run or merely dash down the hall to the vending machine, you can buy “What Would Ed Hochuli Do?” merchandise here.
Is it any surprise that this strapping specimen of manhood has fathered six children?
We wonder what Hochuli is like to work for. Are there any JSH associates out there who’d like to give us a report?
Oh you Harvard Law School kids! We poke some fun at the (rather silly) proposal to rename the HLS sections, which are currently identified by numbers. And then we get grief for it in the comments, including a claim that we “have very little understanding of irony or satire” (even though the survey didn’t seem very satirical to us, aside from a single throwaway line about Hogwarts).*
Anyway, to satisfy any defensive HLSers, we’ll now publish a tip we received that makes the Law School seem slightly less ridiculous:
[I]t’s not the HLS administration’s idea to do this; it is basically the idea of a single 1L. I was at the student government meeting in which this idea was first proposed, and it came from a 1L section representative. Because 1L participation is strongly encouraged, no one wanted to shoot him down (even though many people thought the idea was silly).
Someone suggested sending out a poll to see if other students agreed, and if so, the student government would pass on the poll results to the administration. My hunch is that students will vote against it, and regardless the faculty/admin almost certainly would not support the idea. That’s the back story.
Yesterday we told you the tale of Aquagirl — the Clearly GoatlipsCleary Gottlieb summer associate who stripped down to her underwear and dove into the Hudson River. At a summer associate event. At night. At Chelsea Piers. Seriously.
In the comments, some of you updated us on Aquagirl’s fate. Now we’re happy to bring you this very detailed report:
I worked with [Aquagirl] at Arnold & Porter this summer. On our first day as summers, we were taken to lunch at a nearby restaurant. We were seated at round tables, with at least one partner and one associate at every table. During the lunch, one of the partners asked each of the summers to tell her something funny that had happened to us while we were working at a previous job.
After a few people told their silly, harmless stories, [Aquagirl] was up. She announced to all of us that she was the girl at Cleary that everyone had talked about last summer. She said she hoped no one would hold it against her, and that she could have a fresh start.
Um, talk about uncomfortable situation? I mean, what do you say to that?
What do you say to that? How about “You go, girl!” In a single evening, Aquagirl transformed herself from some random summer associate into a mini-celebrity of the legal profession. And instead of trying to conceal her scandalousness, she OWNED it. Magnificent!!!
One of yesterday’s commenters stated that Arnold & Porter “didn’t realize her Hudson-jumping proclivities.” But our correspondent begs to differ:
[T]he people who interviewed her at Arnold & Porter DID know about what happened to [Aquagirl] at Cleary, and decided to hire her anyway. (Although summer gossip was that she wasn’t allowed to participate in alcohol-related afterhours activities; it may very well be that she did not attend events because she was at bar review class.)
I was told that all the summers at A&P got an offer to come back, but she hasn’t responded to our email chain about her plans for next year (she’s clerking now).
Anyway, we’re glad to hear that everything worked out for Aquagirl. Fitzgerald — F. Scott, not Patrick J. — famously observed that “there are no second acts in American lives.” But, based on Aquagirl’s post-scandal success — an offer from Arnold & Porter, a prestigious federal appellate court clerkship — it seems there ARE second acts in American law. Earlier: The Cautionary Tale of Aquagirl
* If it’s about avoiding an intimidating environment, there should be a “No Hot People” rule. What’s wrong with grunting if it doesn’t involve intermittent moaning? [Althouse (prior ATL post here)]
* Professor Le comments on a recent Northwestern University study of different ethnic groups’ views of affirmative action. Sometimes things are black and white. Or Asian and Hispanic. More or less. [C.N. Le: The Man, the Myth, the Blog]
* My advice for post-exam conferences if you’ve bombed the exam: Wear something tight, or learn to cry on cue. (No hate-mail, please… this is gender-neutral advice. And a joke.) [PrawfsBlawg]
* Disclaimer: Rape is never funny. But here, it provides the context for the all-too-frequent absurdity of classroom dialogue and the unfortunate extension of said absurdity into the real world legal system. [Quizlaw]
* It’s not like she mooned the President. Geez. [AP via MSNBC]
If you haven’t already done so, we recommend that you read this article (and not just ’cause we’re featured in it). It’s entitled Scuttlebutt Central, by Stephanie Francis Ward, and it’s from the November 2006 issue of the ABA Journal.
The piece is a fun and interesting read; check it out for yourself. We’ll just comment on one passage that caught our eye:
A Washington, D.C., corporate associate who asked to remain anonymous admits to reading legal gossip blogs daily — a habit he says isn’t unusual among his peers.
“There’s an allure of some of these stories — like the summer associate in New York who took off her clothes and jumped into the Hudson River — so there’s sort of a universal appeal,” he says.
This hasn’t turned into a lawsuit — yet. But we can see one coming from a mile away. And local law enforcement did get involved.
So it’s appropriate fodder for Above the Law. Here’s the story:
You can lift, strain, crunch and sweat all you want at the Planet Fitness in the Dutchess County village. But whatever you do, do not grunt.
Yep, “NO GRUNTING.” It says so, in black and white, on a sign posted at the gym. One former member learned the new rule the hard way.
“This is really absurd, especially the part about the grunting,” said Al Argibay, a corrections officer who learned first-hand “no grunting” means exactly that.
A corrections officer who likes to grunt? Color us surprised.
Argibay said he was at a multi-press station, getting ready to squat about 500 pounds, when the forbidden sin happened. “I let out a grunt, squatted down, back up, grunt again. That’s it,” explained Argibay. “Basically, grunt, grunt, basic breathing in heavy, and breathing out.”
Grunting is commonplace at most gyms, but not Planet Fitness, which discourages so-called “musclehead behavior.”
There’s even a flashing light and siren on the wall, labeled a “lunk alarm,” which sounds if someone grunts or drops weights on the floor.
[Gym manager Carol] Palazzolo admits she called the cops on Argibay. The Wappingers Falls police report said officers were asked to “escort a member out of the club for grunting while working out… which is not conforming with the rules of the establishment.”
Calling the cops may have been an overreaction. But even though the story is written in a “Can you believe this?” tone, we’re sympathetic to the gym manager’s side of the argument. Exertion at the gym is all well and good. But loud, showy grunting goes too far, and interferes with the workouts of other patrons. Update: Ann Althouse has a similar reaction.
(Other pet peeves at the gym: super-sweaty people who don’t wipe down the equipment after they’re done; people who use the weight machines in spastic fashion, generating loud, clanging noises with each rep; and people who hog certain machines, sitting there for minutes on end, and shooting dirty looks at anyone who approaches to ask if they might work in.) Man Escorted From Planet Fitness Gym For Grunting [WCBS - New York via Drudge Report]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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