With the Fourth of July falling on a Saturday this year, it pains us to contemplate all the tacky red-white-and-blue themed weddings that will be taking place tomorrow in VFW halls across this great nation. Please, people: A little bunting goes a long way. And it should never go on the bridesmaids.
But we’ll tackle the Independence Day weddings next week. Today, we’ve got the last batch of June weddings. Here are the finalists:
In case you are wondering, this is going to be a bad day for associates and staff working in Biglaw. We’ve already seen big layoffs at Dechert and Bryan Cave. And we’re sitting on even more bad news (waiting on additional sources). But we just received official confirmation from Goodwin Procter that significant cuts are taking place today.
The firm is telling us that 74 people have been let go. Goodwin gave ATL this statement — which was also sent out to all Goodwin employees moments ago:
After careful deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our attorney and professional staff work force. We are reducing our associate ranks by 38 people and our staff ranks by 36 people, resulting in a reduction of approximately 4% in each group. The attorneys affected include associates and professional track attorneys and the staff affected include paralegals, secretaries and administrative staff.
People have been suggesting that Goodwin have been conducting stealth layoffs for months, but the firm has repeatedly denied those rumors.
Instead, Goodwin people maintained that the firm would openly announce layoffs, should they occur. Here, it would seem, is that announcement.
Check out Goodwin’s full statement after the jump.
AmLaw Daily continues to provide firm by firm profit numbers, and attorneys continue to be annoyed with firm rhetoric against the backdrop of actual layoffs.
The latest issue comes from associates formerly with Foley Hoag. Two weeks ago, we reported that Foley Hoag laid off 32 people, 17 associates and 15 staff. Yesterday, AmLaw reported that Foley’s profits per equity partner rose by 5%.
We’ve mentioned before that rising PPP in the face of layoffs and salary freezes is not necessarily a bad thing. If partners aren’t making money, partners will leave. If partners leave, banks start asking questions. If banks don’t receive satisfactory answers, everybody gets fired.
But just because people are capable of understanding the economics of the situation, it doesn’t mean that this is a time for partners to be patting themselves on the back.
The statements that annoyed some Foley people after the jump.
As we noted in yesterday’s Morning Docket, even the New York Times has taken note of the salary freeze trend at law firms. The Times reached out to Above The Law’s own David Lat for the story:
Although many associates are angry about the freezes, others are relieved, said David Lat, founding editor of AboveTheLaw.com, a blog about law firms and the profession.
“There is this sense that firms didn’t act prudently during the boom and now they are getting religion, and that it’s better late than never,” Mr. Lat said. “Many associates we have spoken to think the freeze probably saved jobs.”
At the beginning of the month, we did a round-up of firms that have frozen 2009 salary rates at 2008 levels. That list was 16 firms long. Since then, quite a few other firms have announced freezes. Due to frequent requests, we’re updating the round-up list since the number of firms with freezes (that we know of) has more than doubled, to 33 32. Check out the as-comprehensive-as-we-can-make-it list, after the jump.
Goodwin Procter announced today a major expansion of its Financial Services Group with the addition of two nationally-recognized attorneys, Robert M. Kurucza and Marco E. Adelfio. Kurucza joins as co-chair of the firm’s Financial Services Group. Both are resident in Washington, D.C. The addition of Kurucza and Adelfio will enable Goodwin Procter to provide a more fully integrated suite of services to prominent common clients, and to offer even greater cross-disciplinary expertise to a broad range of financial institutions.
Good news for Goodwin, but the announcement is just more unsettling information coming out of MoFo. Rumors of all sorts have been popping up about how things are going at MoFo. What we do know for sure is that Mofo hasn’t made a decision about associate salaries:
MoFo, [hasn't] announced their bonus/ pay freeze intentions yet (which is totally bogus because it leaves associates in the dark). What little guidance we received came in the form of a wait and see what the market is doing approach.
Goodwin Procter just came out with their 2008 bonus news. Like other peer firms in Boston, Goodwin is going with a Cravath scale, though the firm does have a 1,850 hours requirement:
For 2008, we maintained our bonus eligibility threshold of 1,850 hours, though many of our peer firms set significantly higher thresholds for bonus eligibility this year. Attorneys who met the 1,850 threshold, which could be achieved through billable and pro bono work, were considered for bonuses, taking into account the factors noted above.
One very interesting note is that stub-first years will be receiving no bonus at all:
Target bonuses by class are listed below. Individual bonus awards may be above or below the targets based on the mix of relevant factors and will be prorated as appropriate for leaves. Because of their short tenure, attorneys in the class of 2008 who started in October were not included in the bonus program this year.
The Baby Boomers (the generation that was dealt a resounding defeat last week) is also sometimes called the “Sandwich Generation.” Boomers like to claim that they are the first generation (in the history of “ever” apparently) to have to take care of both their parents and their children while they are still working.
Inter-generational aspersions aside, Goodwin Procter is actually doing something that should help Boomers out. They’ve instituted a very interesting new benefits package:
Free, round-the-clock access to a telephone support center that provides information on services for the elderly, the disabled, and the family members who care for them.
This is a program that could actually help attorneys. As anybody who has ever served as a part-time caretaker/full-time worker can attest to, getting the appropriate information is half the battle.
In last Wednesday’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we asked you whether you billed over Columbus Day Weekend this year.
We received 1,175 responses, and were pleasantly surprised to learn that 26% of you had a pleasant three-day weekend. Associates in Boston were most likely to enjoy a discovery-free Columbus Day, with offices at Bingham, Goodwin Procter, and Ropes & Gray reportedly closed for the day. Overall, 46% of Boston respondents reported that they had not worked over the holiday weekend, followed by 36% of respondents in Philadelphia.
Of course, not all respondents were so lucky. As one associate commented:
One of the name partners threw a hissy fit when someone asked for the time off, because “Columbus Day isn’t Christmas, and this weekend is just like every other weekend.” We were only absent one associate on Monday. Everyone else not a partner was working.
Of those who spent time at the office, though, only 65% said that their office was actually open. Among worker bees whose offices were actually closed, 52% said that they simply had things they needed to get done. Another 21% said that a partner had told them to work over the weekend, while 8% said a client had asked them to finish something. 13% said they needed the hours.
But two percent of respondents who worked over Columbus Day weekend even though the office was closed said that they just “wanted to impress people,” which is just sad roughly consistent with prior holiday surveys.
Overall, about 58% of respondents who worked over Columbus Day weekend believed that the work was worth it.
We’re entering the second half of the Vault 100. This is part of a series of open threads to discuss the firms considered to be the profession’s most prestigious. Because we know you love prestige. And the opportunity for “TTT” accusations. [FN1]
Here’s the next bunch of firms, with prestige scores in parentheses:
Vault notes that attorneys at Pillsbury are treated to “freshly baked cookies.” But they also have to put up with being referred to as “Pillsburians” by Vault.
Compare, contrast, discuss… and if you’re at Pillsbury, have a chocolate chip cookie for us. Earlier:Vault 100 Open Threads – 2009
[FN1] We periodically get e-mails asking for the definition of “TTT,” which appears so often in comment threads. As the uninitiated have surely gathered, it’s a derogatory term. Likely originating on AutoAdmit, it stands for “third tier toilet.” For more, see Urban Dictionary.
Law firm mergers have transformed the Biglaw landscape over the past decade. Several of the five firms in our latest open thread on Vault 100 firms have been involved in merger mania.
Here are the firms to talk about this morning:
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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