Food

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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “(Threatened) Lawsuit of the Day: Chelsea Clinton Sics Dad on Italian Eatery”

Well, not in Illinois. In Cavel International v. Madigan (PDF; via How Appealing), the Seventh Circuit upheld an Illinois law making it unlawful to “slaughter a horse if that person knows or should know that any of the horse meat will be used for human consumption.”
It’s a quirky and interesting case. Howard Bashman provides a concise summary and more discussion over here.
Don’t miss page 11 of Judge Richard Posner’s slip opinion, which features a photograph of a “birthday cake” made of horse meat. YUM!!
horse meat horsemeat Cavel International Lisa Madigan Richard Posner Above the Law blog.jpg
Cavel Int’l v. Madigan (PDF) [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit]
Horse meat was until recently an accepted part of the American diet [How Appealing]

egg hardboiled egg hard boiled egg vs man Above the Law blog.jpgIs this litigation kosher? You bet. From Vos Iz Neias (Yiddish: “What’s News”):

A New Hampshire prison inmate’s file drove a federal judge to rhyme to express himself.

A prison inmate protesting his [non-Kosher] diet attached a hard-boiled egg to documents sent by mail to U.S. District Court Judge James Muirhead.

“I do not like eggs in the file. I do not like them in any style. I will not take them fried or boiled. I will not take them poached or broiled. I will not take them soft or scrambled Despite an argument well-rambled,” Muirhead wrote in his response to inmate Charles Wolffe.

Wolffe, 61, says he is an Orthodox Jew and has accused prison officials of refusing to feed him a kosher diet. He is seeking… proper foods and $10 million from the state. His case has been scheduled for a trial.

More discussion, plus the full text of Judge Muirhead’s order, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Practice Pointers: Do Not File An Egg with Judge Muirhead”

lunch callback girl red hat Above the Law blog.jpgWe regularly receive all kinds of wacky gossip related to the fall recruiting process. Some of these rumors are true, and some of them aren’t.
We found this rumor, about the Chicago office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, quite amusing:

“I heard from a friend there that during summer associate callbacks, only students from ‘good schools’ get lunch. E.g., Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago.”

“Students from Illinois, DePaul, etc. must starve. You should look into this.”

Loyola (of Chicago) 2Ls: What say you?
We looked into this rumor. Alas, it appears to be untrue.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Crazy Rumor Watch: Let Tier Two Grads Eat Tastykake”

We continue our series profiling the perks or fringe benefits of life at a large law firm. This one may be the breast one yet. From a (male) tipster:

A friend of mine ran across this Simpson Thatcher perk: “The Firm maintains a lactation room for new mothers in each of its New York, Los Angeles and Palo Alto offices to facilitate their transition back to work.”

I have a hard time seeing candidates asking about it during interviews, so I thought I’d pass it along. I’m not a chauvinist or anything! I just have a childish sense of humor…

You’re not alone. We’d note that this perk may have broader appeal than our correspondent might think. See here.
Also, we’d suggest to STB that they regularly sweep their lactation rooms for spycams. Remember this guy?
Update: Jeez, some of you are oversensitive. With respect to the photo, here’s what happened. To avoid copyright issues — hello, Nixon Peabody! — we use pictures primarily from royalty-free, stock photography sites. People upload pics to these sites that they allow others to use for free.
Our favorite such website, to which we have contributed many photos of our own, is stock.xchng. For this post, we went to stock.xchng and ran a search for “breastfeed.” The pic we used was one of three images that came up. That’s all.
Flexible Working Arrangements [Simpson Thacher & Bartlett]
Male lactation [Wikipedia]

dinner fancy restaurant Above the Law blog.jpgOur series on the perks or fringe benefits of large law firm life has become somewhat sporadic, partly because we’ve covered so many of the biggies. To review our past posts, click here, and scroll down.
Today’s perk: prizes for big billers. If you really kill yourself during a particular month, racking up 250 or 300 hours on some monster deal or litigation, do you get rewarded for it? Of course you might see your crazy hours reflected in your year-end bonus check. But might you get some other, non-monetary benefit? (And we’re not counting being able to show up after 10 on the morning after an all-nighter.)
We don’t know if this policy still exists, but a source sent us this interesting information:

When I was at Clifford Chance (f/k/a Rogers & Wells), a legacy Rogers & Wells program was that if you billed 250 in a month, the firm covered dinner for you and a guest (spouse, date, friend, etc…) with no questions asked. It was an amazing program. Historically, the Firm had no limit, but assumed associates would “just exercise the judgment expected of them.”

It worked for years until a few “exceptions” decided to add very, very expensive bottles of wine to their orders. I think eventually the limit was set at $500. I know more than a handful of “superstars” tanked their careers by “not exercising the judgment expected of them” and submitting dinner bills for several thousands of dollars.

Anyone know if Clifford Chance still has this special dinner benefit?
We also hear that at WilmerHale, “super-super high billers” get vacation vouchers. Can anyone confirm and/or provide more details?
Update/Correction: Or maybe the WilmerHale workaholics get gift cards? See this comment.
Please discuss, in the comments. Thanks!

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