Food

Nixon Peabody LLP horrible theme song Above the Law blog.jpgAccording to the non-theme-song song (mp3) of Nixon Peabody, the firm is “the best to work with” and “the best to work for.” At NP, “it’s all about the team, it’s all about respect, it all revolves around integrity.”
And top of the line ingredients. From the Washington Post:

Big-time lawyers are pros at waiting for judges’ tough decisions, but yesterday afternoon at Nixon Peabody in the District, some may have posted fewer billable hours until results of the firm’s 19th annual cook-off were handed down.

The competition pits men against women, which could lead to actionable territory and dangerous stereotyping. Yet, it has helped build camaraderie among all departments, firm employees say, pointing to Nixon Peabody’s ranking among Fortune magazine Top 100 Best Companies to Work For, three years running.

Wow, they really milk that honor for all it’s worth! Kudos to NP’s public relations department for placing this puff piece in the Post. The firm’s PR operation has come a long way from the days when they threatened bloggers over leaked musical homages (and generated unflattering publicity for themselves).
More discussion, after the jump.

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It’s Friday afternoon, and things are kinda slow. So please forgive the randomness.

Remember Kirkland & Ellis’s big gay party from last month, featuring cocktails and hors d’ouevres, but open only to LGBT lawyers? A source at our former firm writes:

Hors d’ouevres? That’s nothing! At Wachtell Lipton, the gay partners (and whatever associates/summers are out and proud) go to a verrry nice dinner every year. Last year it was at Per Se.

Magnificent. We’ve been to Per Se — on our own dime, not Wachtell’s — and it lives up to the hype.

So if you’re summering at WLRK, say that you’re gay (whether you are or not). You can always “change your mind” when you return to school in the fall; sexuality is fluid. And Per Se’s salmon tartare cornets are to die for!

Earlier: Kirkland & Ellis’s Big Gay Party: Discriminatory?

* Fed cuts fed funds rate by 0.75%, but stocks are still lower. [AP; New York Times; Washington Post]
* Clinton and Obama get snippy with each other in debate, raising questions about each other’s legal work. [Washington Post; New York Times; WSJ Law Blog]
* SCOTUS denies review in gigantic Enron-related investors’ lawsuit. [SCOTUSblog via How Appealing]
* Statutory interpretation makes for strange bedfellows in 5-4 ruling in Ali v. Federal Bureau of Prisons. [SCOTUSblog (PDF) via How Appealing]
* New York City revisits the issue of forced disclosure of calorie counts by restaurants. [AP via Drudge]

breastfeed redacted lactate lactation room Above the Law blog.JPGSometimes we wish we had the breastses. Then we could enjoy the luxurious lactation room at Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Back in this post, we wrote about the lactation room at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. We’re sure it’s plenty nice. But we doubt it’s as snazzy as what the competition on the other side of Lexington Avenue is offering.
Check out this Davis Polk email, which went out late last year (exclamation mark in the original):

From: **** On Behalf Of Associate Development
To: all.lawyers.ny
Subject: Nursing Room

We are pleased to announce that the firm now has a private nursing room!

Located on the 10th floor, this cozy room is equipped with brand-new furniture, including a comfortable chair and end table, refrigerator, and reading materials of interest to new mothers. Access to the secure room is available through the Security Desk. A small sign on the outside of the door indicates when the room is occupied.

We hope that this amenity will provide returning mothers who wish to continue nursing their babies additional support during this important transition. Your privacy and comfort are our priority.

Please do not hesitate to contact [xxxx] or any member of the Associate Development Department if you have any questions. Thank you and congratulations to all of our new DPW Parents.

We’re curious about the “reading materials of interest to new mothers” at DPW. Draft asset purchase agreements? SEC proxy filings?
Meanwhile, in other happy news for parents, Arnold & Porter has jumped on the improved parental leave bandwagon. Following the recent trend, which we’ve been following in these pages, they’ve increased the paid leave they provide to women who give birth or primary caregivers of a newly adopted child. It used to be 12 weeks; now it’s 18 weeks, which appears to be the “market” rate these days.
Transmittal email, plus A&P’s full leave policy, after the jump.
Earlier: Biglaw Perk Watch: Lactation Rooms

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donut doughnut police officer cop Above the Law blog.jpgObesity isn’t just a problem for Biglaw lawyers who don’t get to the gym enough. From the New York Post:

He weighs more than 500 pounds, but that wasn’t enough to tip the scales of justice for ex-cop Paul Soto.

The rotund retiree lost his legal argument that it was a line-of-duty fall outside a doctor’s office that cost him his NYPD career. A judge says it was actually his “morbid obesity.”

“There’s no dispute that [Soto] is physically incapable of performing his duties as a police officer. He is morbidly obese, suffers from narcolepsy and is hypertensive,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Judith Gische wrote in her decision made public yesterday.

Apparently the physical vigor of being a cop doesn’t always keep off the pounds:

When Soto joined the force in 1993, Gische found, he weighed approximately 250 pounds. He is now 40, 5-foot-7 and over 500 pounds.

A former colleague at the 6th Precinct said Soto’s gun belt was an incredible 6 feet long, and his bosses would order him to take walks around the stationhouse for his own good. They would also have other officers shadow him to make sure he didn’t pick up food along the way, he said.

It’s a good thing Soto doesn’t work at a law firm, where office-wide emails about extra sandwiches left in conference rooms make the rounds daily.
He’s Biiig Blue [New York Post via Drudge]

cockroach Biglaw law firm cafeteria Above the Law blog.jpgWe have a lunch meeting today, so we’re going to be offline for a while. We’ll leave you with a food-related post to chew over while we’re gone. Hopefully it won’t cause you to lose your appetite.
Over at Keeping Up With Jonas, Jonas Karp has filed a great investigative report: a look at how various law firm cafeterias fared in unannounced annual inspections by the New York City Department of Health. If you’re hoping for a healthy dose of schadenfreude, you might be disappointed. As Karp writes, “All of the firms surveyed passed their inspections, and none had Serendipity 3-like 100 live cockroach violations.”
Darn. But as Jonas notes, “some firms did a lot better than others.”
Which ones? Read the full post to find out. As you review the results, consider this question: Is cafeteria cleanliness inversely proportional to law firm prestige? Simpson Thacher and Cravath came within a few points of failing inspection, while a perfect score was earned by… Greenberg Traurig!
Maybe GT associates won’t be getting a pay raise anytime soon. But at least their New York office has an immaculate cafeteria.
Feel free to opine on the quality of your law firm’s cafeteria, or any other Biglaw canteen that you have personally sampled, in the comments.
Law Firm Cafeterias: Inspection Results [Keeping Up With Jonas]

Ave Maria School of Law Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe thought the whole point of Ave Maria Law School, founded by Domino’s pizza founder Thomas Monaghan, was that with enough money, you can do whatever you want. E.g., establish a very conservative, Catholic law school, and not care if the liberal legal academy raises its eyebrows — ’cause you could buy and sell them, several times over.
So doesn’t it defeat the whole point if Ave Maria requires funding from sources beyond Monaghan’s pile of pizza dough? From Julie Kay’s article in the National Law Journal:

Got $20 million? If so, you could have a law school building named after you.

Ave Maria School of Law is selling naming rights to the new law school facility it’s building in southwest Florida.

“We’d like to find someone who would want the opportunity to have their name associated with the school, to help us with the construction costs,” said Dean Bernard Dobranski. He said the school is rapidly moving forward with its controversial plan to relocate from Ann Arbor, Mich., to Ave Maria, Fla., and has even obtained architectural renderings of the new school.

Ave Maria is already in turmoil: controversy over its move from Michigan to Florida, lawsuits filed by three professors who claim they were wrongfully terminated, an ongoing investigation by the American Bar Association. A suggestion that Tom Monaghan’s coffers are not infinite could not come at a worse time.
Meanwhile, in other Domino’s news, they’re trying to return to the glory days of their 30-minute delivery guarantee — without getting sued. Delivering delicious pizza in under half an hour is a noble mission. We wish them the best of luck.
P.S. Tom Monaghan no longer owns the pizza chain. He sold his controlling interest to Bain Capital in 1998 for about a billion dollars, which he plowed into launching Ave Maria University.
Ave Maria still looks to move, puts name on block [National Law Journal]
Domino’s Pizza and the Law [WSJ Law Blog]
Will a Twist on an Old Vow Deliver for Domino’s Pizza? [Wall Street Journal]

Thanksgiving turkey Above the Law blog.jpgGreetings, ATL readers. Please accept our wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving!
We hope that you aren’t spending much time in front of the computer today. But if you are — for some depressing reason, like work — feel free to bemoan your fate in the comments.
Or, on a more cheery note, list what you’re thankful for. This year, we are thankful for ATL’s large and devoted readership. We are also thankful for our Best Law Blog award, which we won thanks to reader support. Thanks, everyone!
P.S. Apologies to ATL’s sizable readership in Canada; we’re taking off today. Why not just move your Thanksgiving so that it coincides with ours?
[Photo credit: yours truly.]

Some etiquette tips for law school deans:

peanut Mr Peanut warning contains peanuts you will die Above the Law blog.jpg1. If you send one of your students to another law school, for a year-long stint as a visiting student, don’t “apologize” for it — even if that student has a severe peanut allergy, requiring the receiving school to “peanut-proof” itself for the year.

2. If you really must issue an “apology,” do so by phone or in person, not by email.

3. If you really must issue an “apology” by email, send it to the individual dean. Do not send it to a listserv consisting of the deans of ABA-accredited law schools.

Because it might get leaked to ATL:
peanut allergy email snafu Above the Law blog.jpg
ATL readers: Please take this opportunity to engage in a spirited debate over whether schools, airlines, and other institutions go too far — or not far enough — in accommodating people with extreme food allergies. Thank you.Peanut Girl Dean Mark Sargent Villanova University School of Law.jpg

Chelsea Clinton Osso Bucco Nino Selimaj Above the Law blog.jpgWe met Chelsea Clinton at a wedding once. She wasn’t super-friendly; in fact, she was downright standoffish. She gave off this aloof, “stay away starf**kers” sort of vibe.
Chilly Chelsea couldn’t be more different from her gregarious parents, whom we’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Bill and Hillary Clinton are friendly and down-to-earth, despite being far more recognizable than even their famous daughter.
(Yeah, we know, they’re politicians and she’s an ordinary citizen. But that doesn’t means she can’t be nice to people.)
Based on our firsthand experience with Chelsea Clinton — and it was an overseas wedding, so we were actually in her presence for several days — we weren’t that surprised to read this story. From WCBSTV:

A celebrity photo has led a former president to send a threatening letter to a Manhattan restaurant owner.

President Bill Clinton has demanded that the owner of Greenwich Village restaurant Osso Buco remove a picture of his daughter Chelsea that’s been gracing the walls of the family-style Italian eatery, alongside other celebrity photographs.

Owner Nino Selimaj tells CBS 2 that the picture has been up for years and has never posed a problem until now.

What’s the big deal? Such pictures are commonplace in restaurants of a certain type, and they’re all over the place at Osso Buco — placing Chelsea on notice, when she posed for the photo, that it might be hung on the wall.
More after the jump.

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