It’s November 1. That’s supposed to mean it’s time for Biglaw bonus season. Here at Above the Law, we’re ready for it. Not only are we expecting emails to flow in about bonuses which should be better than last year (firstname.lastname@example.org), we’re also using our Google Voice account (646-820-TIPS) to accept text messages about bonuses.
We expect bonus season to get rolling in earnest soon. Last year, Cravath announced on November 2nd.
But while we wait for bonuses, it seems we still have some firms that are trying to catch up in regards to base associate compensation. After spending most of the year as salary stragglers, Foley & Lardner seems ready to come back to the pack…
The Human Rights Campaign has released its annual Corporate Equality Index, which assesses corporate America’s progress towards equal treatment of the LGBT community.
It’s a pretty great day to be gay and searching for career advice. Gawker has a list up right now on the top ten gay colleges, and the Human Rights Campaign is trying to help you figure out where to work when you’re done with law school.
This year, 97 Biglaw firms (out of 130 who responded to the survey) received a perfect score from the HRC. That’s up from last year and makes the legal field the best industry when it comes to LGBT issues. Banking was next and retail finished third.
Granted, you’d expect law firms — what with their expert understanding of “laws,” and such — to be leaders when it comes to gay and lesbian equality. But the legal field was able to achieve this distinction notwithstanding a somewhat controversial rating philosophy that may have prevented other firms from achieving perfect scores…
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:
We’ve done a number of reports over the last few weeks on salary cuts of 2009 that are being reversed in 2010. Sure, some firms are still trying to be cute when it comes to associate pay. But many Biglaw firms are back on the $160K scale for associate salaries, at least in major markets.
Apparently Foley & Lardner hasn’t received the memo. While New York associates will start at $160K, associates in other big-market Foley offices (like D.C., California, and Chicago) remain stuck at $145K.
Yesterday, we told you about a law firm that left a war veteran without an offer. Today, we are able to confirm that the firm in question was Foley & Lardner. But we also have a correction and some additional details about the situation.
Let’s get to the correction first. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported:
Matt Nelson graduated last week from the University of Minnesota with a law degree and an MBA. Nelson, 36, was on track to earn $145,000 his first year at a Milwaukee firm. But duty called, and while he was serving as an Army paralegal in Iraq, Milwaukee withdrew its offer.
The Minneapolis paper got it wrong here. Matt Nelson was a summer associate at Foley & Lardner in 2008 and 2009. Foley no offered him at the end of his 2009 summer at the firm, which was after he had returned from Iraq. The firm did not pull his offer while he was serving overseas.
That’s lucky for Foley. As many commenters pointed out, yanking an offer while Nelson was in Iraq (as the Star-Tribune reported) might have gotten Foley into legal trouble. As it stands, Foley’s actions are just a depressing statement about insufficient respect for our war veterans.
Above the Law reached out to Matt Nelson, and he made it clear that he doesn’t want anybody feeling sorry for him just because of one no offer….
Late last week, Foley & Lardner released its new salary structure. Honestly, I can’t tell you what they’re doing. I’m a professional firm double-talk decoder, but trying to pull out key phrases from this memo made me feel like John Nash.
The memo starts off similarly to other announcements from firms that want to move to merit-based compensation. The firm has conducted a major review, the recession sucks, you know the drill.
Foley is breaking associates out into three tiers, similar to Orrick and other firms that have moved away from lockstep. But when the memo turns to “specifics” — like how much money people will actually make — the Foley & Lardner memo turns to mush:
Within Tier I, the compensation structure will be similar to what has been in place for the last several years. Specifically, there will be a set starting salary in each office for the stub year and the first full fiscal year following law school graduation. During the second and third full years, associates will have a base salary and a 1950 billable hour deferred salary payable at year-end if they achieve a minimum of 1950 billable hours and 150 investment time hours during the year.
The starting Tier I salary is the one thing that’s clear:
Salary schedules will be distributed in each office. The starting salary in New York this year will be $160,000. In our other major city markets (Boston, Chicago, Washington and all of our California offices), where the recently announced starting salaries of the major law firms have varied to a greater extent, the starting salary will be $145,000. The starting salaries in our other offices will generally maintain the differentials from the major city amounts which have existed in recent years.
Salaries for everybody else are not at all clear. See if you can understand what Foley is doing with Tier II and “Senior Counsel” associates.
Earlier this month, we reported on layoffs at Foley & Lardner. Foley later confirmed the news.
Maybe Foley is just clearing out room so it can bring on its class of incoming associates? Right. Maybe if I had wheels I’d be a wagon? Foley has already deferred its incoming associates until February 2010. Now it is deferring associates again. Tipsters report:
I know every office has been talked to about the *possibility* of changing start dates. … [In Chicago] it’s complicated:
* all incoming IP associates are deferred until September, 2010, with a $5K/month stipend (no health care) beginning February 1; * half the litigation associates will start in February as planned; the other half will actually start *earlier*, this December; * the incoming transactional associates haven’t been told anything yet. My guess is they’ll be summarily shot.
The firm has not responded to our multiple requests for comment.
Incoming associates are asking firms to let them know when they will be starting. But does it really matter? Are there opportunities that incoming associates are really passing up this fall because they plan on starting this after the first of the year? Let us know in the comments. Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Foley & Lardner Lays Off 39
We’re getting multiple reports that Foley & Lardner is laying off 39 people today. Our sources report that associates are being told right now. If you work at Foley, I hope your phone is not ringing.
One tipster tells us that the IP group could be the hardest hit:
Foley announced associate/senior counsel/etc. layoffs today. Exact number not entirely clear, but about 39 folks are supposedly being informed today. There were others informed earlier that could take the total up to 50+. Not sure which offices, etc. Rumor has it that Foley’s IP group is especially vulnerable — very little work in that group.
The penalty for having a partner announce layoffs on a train was six spots according to Vault. There have been other Pillsbury cutbacks. But the Acela incident happened when associates had Vault surveys sitting on their desks.
After the jump, let’s take a look at some of the other firms in this group.
* A disappointing ruling from the 3rd Circuit for sports gamblers in Delaware. [USA Today]
* L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich wants to make hanging out illegal. [Los Angeles Times]
* Judge Jed Rakoff is becoming a media darling. Another article singing the BofA-bench-slapping judge’s praises. [New York Times]
* Foley & Lardner sued for allegedly revealing trade secrets. [National Law Journal]
* Connecticut prosecutor John H. Durham has been chosen to lead the Justice Department’s investigation into CIA torture of detainees. [Talking Points Memo]
* Four more years for Bernanke. [Washington Post]
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
The proper hair styling product might just be the only thing standing between you and your dream job. And the best way to find what works for you is to try the best stuff on the market. Join Birchbox Man for $20 a month and you’ll get customized shipments of the best grooming and lifestyle gear on the market every month—everything from haircare and shaving supplies to style accessories and tech gadgets.
As the leading discovery commerce platform, Birchbox is redefining the retail process by offering consumers a unique and personalized way to discover, learn about, and shop the best grooming and lifestyle products out there. It’s a full 360-degree process: try, learn, buy. Once you sign up and fill out your profile, head over to Birchbox Man’s online magazine to find article and video tutorials on how to get the most out your monthly box products. Pick up full-size versions of anything you like in the Birchbox Shop and earn points for every purchase.
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 email@example.com 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?
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!