Christopher Boutlier, male model turned interior designer.
Over the long weekend, the Washington Post magazine treated us to a delicious inside look at the gorgeous home of Christopher Boutlier, an interior designer, and his partner, Aaron Flynn — a lawyer. Flynn practices environmental and administrative law in the D.C. office of Hunton & Williams.
Flynn may be a mere associate, but he lives like a partner: he resides in D.C.’s desirable Dupont Circle neighborhood, in an 1,110-square-foot condominium; he has an art collection; and he sleeps with a model. (The fine-featured Boutlier was a model before becoming an interior decorator.)
Williams Mullen, the large and prominent Virginia-based law firm, announced yesterday that it will be cutting associate salaries by 7.5 percent, effective in January 2010. The new starting salary for associates will be $117,000 (in all offices other than D.C.).
A firm spokesperson described this as “a business decision,” made to remain competitive in a rapidly changing market. She added that the Williams Mullen cut was comparable to steps taken by similar firms, including Hunton & Williams and McGuire Woods (which cut starting salaries for associates by 10 percent). [FN1]
“Our clients are saying, ‘You better do this,’” the Williams Mullen spokesperson said. “This is a market adjustment just like any other adjustment, just like any other business adjusting the cost of its product.” If the firm were to keep associate salaries the same in this economic environment, “our clients would look at us and say, ‘You’re no longer competitive.” She added that equity partners would also see a decline in their incomes due to market realities.
As for whether this cut might be revisited at a later date, the spokesperson noted that matching the market goes both ways. “You can adjust down, and you can adjust up,” she said. “When things start to get better, we’ll look at ways to adjust accordingly.”
[FN1] UPDATE: A point of clarification about McGuireWoods: although the firm did cut starting salaries, incoming associates at the firm are still earning more than $117,000. New hires are making $144,000 in Northern Virginia, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, while new hires in Richmond, Charlotte and Atlanta are making $130,500. Earlier: Prior coverage of associate pay cuts
Earlier this week, we reported that Hunton & Williams wasn’t on the list of firms conducting on-campus interviews — or, to be technical, “on-grounds interviewing” (OGI) — at UVA Law School. That appears to have changed. From an email sent out yesterday afternoon by UVA Law’s office of career services:
[A] number of employers have signed up for OGI just this week. We have provided a list below. If you prepared your rankings previously, you may want to consider working these employers into your schedule. For example, contrary to what was reported on AbovetheLaw.com, Hunton & Williams is, in fact, interviewing during the OGI process and has been added to the system as of this afternoon.
The wording of the memo is misleading to the extent that it implies our original report was not correct at the time it was published. We have confirmed with UVA’s career services office that Hunton & Williams signed up for OGI after our original post went up.
Of course, that’s just a matter of chronology, not causation. But some readers think we might have played a role. From one law student tipster (representative of about half a dozen who expressed the same sentiment):
Apparently the ATL shaming was enough — Hunton and Williams now has a
bid page for UVA OGI.
More discussion, including the full UVA career services memo, after the jump.
It’s hard to overstate the love between Hunton & Williams and UVA Law School. The firm sponsors a number of pro-bono fellowships at UVA Law, they come together to offer pro-bono services in the Charlottesville community, and there’s even a UVA Law building — or at least a sizable part of one — named after Hunton & Williams:
The firm and the law school go together like peas and carrots.
So you can imagine our surprise to learn that Hunton & Williams doesn’t seem to be on the UVA Law “on-grounds interviewing” (OGI) list.
Tipsters explain, after the jump.
I figure that every new person that gets laid off is just a new recruit on the student loan bailout bandwagon. Sure, the shrinks out there would call that my “coping mechanism,” but you can’t start a revolution when everybody is well-fed and content.
The newest foot soldiers come from Hunton & Williams. The firm has laid off 87 people today: 23 attorneys, 64 staff. Hunton & Williams managing partner, Wally Martinez, confirmed the news to Above the Law:
Today, we reduced approximately 23 associate and counsel positions and 64 staff positions in our U.S. offices. The reductions are spread among most of our teams and offices.
“We conducted our own internal stress test,” says Martinez, adding that the lack of associate attrition was also a catalyst. “We’re quite late getting to the layoff table, but the economic situation is a lot more prolonged and deeper than we had expected.”
Hunton indicated that these were economic layoffs. But tipsters report that individual laid off associates are being told something different:
My colleague … was not allowed to use the word layoff and the departure is being considered a resignation (in order to get a severance package).
I don’t know a lot of people who have involuntarily resigned. I suppose it’s possible, but it sounds like the colleague either got “laid off,” or needs to get themselves to an exorcist immediately.
Good luck to all the people laid off from Hunton today. Welcome to bandwagon, there is plenty of room left.
Read the full Hunton & Williams statement after the jump.
Richard Marinaccio was laid off from midsize firm Hodgson Russ LLP in Buffalo, New York, in January. While he was job searching, he may have spent his time constructively polishing his resume. And he may have spent some time playing board games. Both activities paid off.
In March, he both found a new job and casually surfed over to Hasbro’s website and took a quiz on his Monopoly strategy. He did well on the quiz, moving to the next round, which involved writing essays on his strategy. He did well again, and qualified for an online game-playing session with 80 other players. He scored at the top and was one of 28 people to participate in Monopoly’s national championships in Washington, D.C., last week.
He told us it was his first time participating in competitive Monopoly, though it’s always been his favorite game to play with his family. The family game-playing sessions prepared him well and Monopoly money is turning into real money for the 26-year-old attorney. He won the championship, taking home a purse equivalent to a Monopoly bank: $20,580. Marinaccio will also go on to represent the U.S. in the Monopoly world championship in Las Vegas in October.
And he’s not even a real estate attorney. He recently got a new job working as in-house counsel at a health care company.
He wasn’t the only attorney trying to force people into bankruptcy. Ellis Baggs of Hunton & Williams also qualified for the national competition, though he was eliminated before having the chance to square off with Marinaccio.
Advance to Go. Collect $20,580. Congratulations on the new job, the Monopoly skills, and a place in the ATL Lawyer of the Day annals, Mr. Marinaccio.
We love to point out when our commenters point us in the right direction. Over the weekend, somebody placed this comment in the recent Law Shucks post:
Hunton & Williams is planning big layoff in week ahead. The firm has been laying off PARTNERS in stealth moves during the past two months and a firm-wide meeting is scheduled for this week. Expect big staff cuts since those attorneys are no longer around.
In response, one of our tipsters did some checking:
Saw a comment under the law shucks story that Hunton was having a firm-wide meeting this week. Came in and checked today, [rooms have been reserved] by Human Resources from 11:30 to 1:00…. on Friday.
Hunton & Williams did not respond to our requests for comment. But there are a lot of issues that the firm might choose to address this coming Friday.
We’ll get into our other tipsters’ reports after the jump.
Where do lawyers turned reality TV contestants go? After their television careers, they take different paths.
Some return to their law firms. E.g., Charlie Herschel (Survivor / Weil Gotshal); Denise Gitsham (The Bachelor / K&L Gates); and Stacy Rotner (The Apprentice / Sidley). Some stay in the world of entertainment. E.g., David Otunga (engaged to Oscar-winning songstress Jennifer Hudson); Yul Kwon (Survivor winner, who then worked for CNN as a special correspondent).
And some have ups and downs. Remember Jeremy Anderson, the hottie from Hunton & Williams who competed for DeAnna Pappas’s hand on the latest season of The Bachelorette? Shortly after the show ended, his life wasn’t so glamorous. From a Texas tipster:
Jeremy, the runner-up from the Bachelorette, is working as a contract attorney upstairs at my firm [McKool Smith in Dallas]. Looks like Hunton Williams didn’t invite him back to the firm after the show ended. I heard about it because a bunch of the secretaries were going to the doc review floor to go check him out. I personally wasn’t about to make my way up there to stare at the guy.
Other indignities inflicted upon poor Jeremy (from a different reader, in mid-September):
I was at lunch today at Jason’s Deli in downtown Dallas with all of the other downtown workers. Well, all of a sudden, a familiar face walked in for a take-out order: Jeremy from the Bachelorette. My, how the mighty have fallen. From national TV to getting his own lunch.
And that wasn’t the end of it. Get this: Jeremy Anderson has been doing catalog modeling for JCPenney. And not just regular JC Penney, but the JC Penney outlet store.
(No joke — we have photographic proof. The photos show that Jeremy, whose magnificent shirtless torso was featured prominently on The Bachelorette, has gained weight since leaving the show.)
But our hero’s tale has a happy ending. Read more, and check out the pictures — including the J.C. Penney catalog images — after the jump.
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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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