Last night, George Sodini, 48, walked into an LA Fitness Center near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and opened fire on those exercising inside. Early reports say he killed three women and injured up to 15, including his ex-girlfriend. He then turned the gun on himself.
Sodini’s LinkedIn profile says he was a systems analyst at K&L Gates. We reached out to the firm this morning. A spokesperson responded to say:
K&L Gates is deeply saddened by last night’s events, and offers its condolences to the families and friends of all who were involved in this terrible tragedy.
ABC News has found Sodini’s online diary. We ran a WhoIs search and determined that the diary is not a hoax. A George Sodini of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, registered the website in August 2000.
It is incredibly disturbing.
Not all firms are cutting back on the perks. The Memphis Commercial Appeal has an enthused article today about the perks to be had at the small Tennessee firm of Burch, Porter & Johnson.
The article, “Legal firm helps its employees find essential balance,” talks about the firm’s AMAZING perks:
Something refreshing for body and soul is happening within the 119-year-old walls that house a venerable Memphis law firm.
Refreshing as a good yoga session. Strengthening as a brisk core-body workout. And uplifting as guest speakers whose work has made Memphis a better place.
Sweet. You can work out at work! And they friggin’ bring in guest speakers at lunch. Wow! Do they have as much free coffee as you can drink too?
If you thought firm life in Memphis couldn’t compare to Biglaw in the big city, think again:
That quest for balance explains why Leah Hillis strolled down the hallways on a recent lunch hour wearing workout clothes for a yoga session.
The associate attorney headed for the firm’s large, third-story storeroom overlooking Court Square… Other exercise classes to strengthen the core-body are Mondays and Fridays in the same unfinished space, which holds files of old cases, surplus furniture and cleaning supplies.
The classes are inexpensive: $4 for yoga and $3 for the core-body sessions.
Only $4 to work out in the storage closet!
If that’s not your cup of tea, you can spend lunch with a guest speaker during one of the firm’s “fireside chats” in the Crump Room. A recent speaker mentioned in the article is a Holocaust survivor. Fun times. Law and life: Legal firm helps its employees find essential balance [Memphis Commercial Appeal]
We know you legal folk struggle with your weight. Nearly 70 percent of respondents to Justin’s weighty April survey admitted to putting on the pounds since embarking on the legal track. Maybe it’s because you’re such deep thinkers!
Thinking makes you hungry, says Science Daily. A Canadian research team has found that intellectual work, that stuff lawyers do so much of, causes a substantial increase in caloric intake:
The research team, supervised by Dr. Angelo Tremblay, measured the spontaneous food intake of 14 students after each of three tasks: relaxing in a sitting position, reading and summarizing a text, and completing a series of memory, attention, and vigilance tests on the computer. After 45 minutes at each activity, participants were invited to eat as much as they wanted from a buffet.
The researchers had already shown that each session of intellectual work requires only three calories more than the rest period. However, despite the low energy cost of mental work, the students spontaneously consumed 203 more calories after summarizing a text and 253 more calories after the computer tests. This represents a 23.6% and 29.4 % increase, respectively, compared with the rest period.
Perhaps you can fight the bulge by thinking less hard. Another option is to get an in-work work-out with a treadmill desk — Quinn Emanuel’s Aaron Craig logs five to six miles a day at the office.
If resolved to keep the paunch, the intellectual fatties can at least take comfort in knowing that the thin lawyers are the dumb ones. [Ed. note: There was no substantial increase in caloric intake as a result of coming up with that bit of logic.]
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.
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…
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.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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