Today is the official release date of Law & Reorder, a new book by Deborah Epstein Henry, a leading consultant to the legal profession. Henry, whom we’ve interviewed and written about before, is an expert on such topics as workplace restructuring, talent management, work/life balance, and the retention and promotion of lawyers — all topics that are covered in her book.
We chatted with Henry on Friday over the phone, about the changes taking place in the legal profession, whether they’re good news or bad news, and how law students and lawyers can navigate in this new environment….
If you are interested in joining a top-notch biotech company as their AGC or GC, then the latest Job of the Week — brought to you by Lateral Link, as usual — merits your consideration.
Position: Assistant General Counsel or General Counsel
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Description: A leading biotech company is looking for a general counsel or assistant general counsel to handle the legal issues of the commercialization of the company’s pain management company. The successful candidate would:
help the CEO and CFO assess risk with primary emphasis on commercial issues;
serve as the only in-house lawyer and work extensively with the CEO, CFO, Chief Medical Officer, and Head of Marketing;
work with the marketing department, making sure the product literature is in order, that the processes in place lower risk, and that the sales team is properly trained;
handle Medicare issues, reimbursement issues, manage outside counsel, and work with outside IP counsel and outside HR counsel;
manage the IP docket and discuss IP issues with management teams; and
chair the compliance committee and serve as the Secretary for the Board.
If you have what it takes to handle this opportunity, then contact Carolyn Brenner, email@example.com, for more information. Carolyn is a former Skadden associate turned legal recruiter, with extensive contacts in-house and in the Bay Area’s leading law firms.
Are you a litigator looking to move in-house? Do you have experience working on privacy and data protection issues? More in-house opportunities have opened up in recent weeks — Lateral Link is working on over two dozen in-house searches, and has recently helped six companies fill legal openings — and the latest Job of the Week is a rare in-house opportunity for a litigation attorney.
Position: Associate Counsel – Litigation, Privacy & Data Protection, and Risk
Location: Philadelphia metro area
Description: An international investment management company located in the Philadelphia area is seeking a senior litigation attorney to provide legal advice regarding risk avoidance and risk mitigation measures, global privacy and data protection law, and other issues. The ideal candidate should have a minimum of 8 years of experience handling complex litigation matters at a top-tier firm or government agency — securities, fiduciary, or consumer protection litigation preferred, but other experience considered. If you are currently a Lateral Link member, please see position #6901; if not, you can sign up for free at www.laterallink.com. You can also contact T.J. Duane directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture, if you will, my lawyer friend, Caitlin. She’s a mid-level finance associate at one of New York’s biggest lawyer factories. She’s been at the Big Law game long enough to be depressed on the good days and on the hunt for sturdy noose material on the bad days — which is to say most days. But, as luck would have it, after months of furtive interviews, she finally got an offer a couple of weeks ago to go in-house at a media company that most people I know, including me, would kill to work for.
So, when we went out to drinks last week to celebrate, I was expecting her to be ecstatic. I was expecting her to have quit the firm within five minutes of getting the offer. What I wasn’t expecting was three hours of listening to her waver, almost to the point of tears, about whether she should take the job.
I kept pressing her — what was it about this job offer that was making her so torn? The (awesome, non-billable) hours? The (cooler) people? The (less mind-numbing) work? Finally, after four Belvedere-tonics, she leaned across the table and lowered her voice.“It’s just… I’m just afraid…” She darted her eyes around and leaned in closer, lowering her eyes.
“I’m just afraid of what it’ll be like to feel…” she whispered, “…poor.”
The offered salary of the new in-house gig? $120,000 a year.
And now, a couple of weeks later, I’m still not sure what’s more disturbing: the fact that this friend — a worldly, educated, smart, able person — truly thinks that a single lawyer living in New York City on $120,000 could feel “poor” — or that fact that she’s absolutely right….
Working Mother just released its annual list of the top 100 companies to work for. As we are (hopefully) coming out of the recession, it is possible that people might actually start caring again about family issues and work/life balance issues.
This year, four law firms made the list. Before we get to the “winners,” let’s take a look at the process required to be up for consideration. To be on the list, first you have to fill out an application with 600 questions.
What is the magazine looking for? Here’s the explanation from their methodology section:
Eight areas are scored: workforce profile; benefits; women’s issues and advancement; child care; flexible work; paid time off and leaves; company culture; and work-life programs. An essay regarding best practices to support working mothers is also evaluated…
Working Mother considers not only the programs, benefits and opportunities offered by companies but also recently settled, decided or still-pending gender discrimination lawsuits.
An essay, do you say? Well, so much for rigid objectivity in list making.
Still, the four law firm winners should be proud. Let’s highlight them from out of the other top 100 companies…
The yellow-brick road leads in-house. Are you an internet / information privacy law guru with significant in-house or regulatory background? Are you looking for a high level strategic role with an ambitious, high-octane startup that is trying to revolutionize the online consumer experience? Then look no further than the Job of the Week, brought to you by Lateral Link:
Position: General Counsel
Location: San Francisco, CA
Description: Our client, an SF-based startup that helps Fortune 1000 corporations to better understand social data and the online consumer experience, is seeking a General Counsel with deep experience in privacy law.
If you are currently a Lateral Link member, please see position #6751 on the Lateral Link site. If you are not a Lateral Link member, you can sign up for free at www.laterallink.com. If you are interested in this position or any other positions in-house, please contact Trevor Ulbrick, Lateral Link’s Associate Director of Business Development, directly at email@example.com.
Now this is a list that matters. Corporate Counsel (an American Lawyer publication) has complied its annual list of the firms that Fortune 100 companies use as outside counsel. This is a list of which firms are getting work from clients with deep pockets. If you care at all about the business end of the law, then you care about this list.
And while the firms that are tapped for this kind of work won’t surprise anybody, it’s always good to take a look at who clients want to be with.
For general corporate law, these are the firms that were mentioned most by clients reporting to the magazine:
The applications for our Morning Docket opening were so wonderful — and overwhelming (no more apps being accepted) — that we figured we’d go back to the well to fill another freelance position available here on Above the Law. We’re launching a column aimed at in-house counsel, and we’re looking for a writer.
But now we’re looking for someone who has been on the inside. Someone who has been a corporate consumer of legal services, not just a provider of them. Someone who has had the rare joy of calling up a partner in private practice, bossing him or her around at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday, and getting the desired work product by 8:00 a.m. on Monday. You know, someone who has lived the good life.
But we know the challenges a writer could face with this column. We know, for example, that pesky SEC rules could hamstring a writer who is currently employed at a large publicly held company. If you’re in a position where another lawyer at your company would probably have to review your column before publishing, this job probably isn’t right for you.
But maybe you used to work in-house and now have a private consulting practice, or an academic job? Or maybe you’re still in-house, but at a smaller enterprise? What we’re looking for is a person with experience of and insight into the world where lawyers protect the corporate shield (and sometimes make it home in time for dinner).
You can share your wit and insight with ATL’s thousands of readers (who may insult you; don’t take it personally). You can hone your writing skills (on the non-legal side). You can write under your own name or under a pseudonym (so long as you aren’t breaking any laws). And you will be paid (at a level commensurate with a freelance writing gig like this one).
If you’re interested, please send us your résumé or a brief bio, along with a cover email describing your vision for the column and how you’d make it appealing to corporate counsel readers. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: “In-House Column”).
Thanks for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you.
Legal hiring across the country is really picking up. This week’s job is another in-house position that is exclusive to Lateral Link. Lateral Link’s midwest practice is growing with several recent placements and a new recruiter in the Chicago office, John Thurmond. John is a former real estate attorney, with experience in-house at ORIX Real Estate Capital, Inc., and in the law firms Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP and Schiff Hardin LLP. Prior to entering the legal industry, John was a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy.
Position: Assistant General Counsel
Location: Chicago, IL
Description: Public company in the Chicago area is seeking a full-time attorney to serve as assistant general counsel. Attorney responsibilities would include SEC reporting; assisting General Counsel with negotiation and documentation of new investment products; working with portfolio managers to implement/manage existing investment products (including CDOs; and general in-house corporate work.
In May 2006, then-Judge J. Michael Luttig made major news in the legal world by resigning from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to become senior vice president and general counsel of aerospace giant Boeing. Luttig served as a Fourth Circuit judge for almost 15 years, during which time he reigned as the #1 feeder judge, sending almost all of his clerks into Supreme Court clerkships, and came extremely close to becoming a justice himself.
Luttig’s resignation from his life-tenured Fourth Circuit judgeship came as a shock to many (and was viewed by some as “taking his toys and going home,” after he got passed over for the SCOTUS seats that ultimately went to John Roberts and Samuel Alito). But Luttig, who’s only 56 — he was appointed to the Fourth Circuit at the tender age of 37 — seems to be enjoying the new challenges of serving as GC of a large public company.
During his four years at Boeing, Luttig has given its in-house ranks a major makeover. He has brought in some top talent, including at least four Supreme Court clerks: John Demers (OT 2005/Scalia), Grant Dixton (OT 2000/Kennedy), Brett Gerry (OT 2000/Kennedy), and Jake Phillips (OT 2004/Scalia). Is there any in-house legal department with more former Supreme Court clerks than Boeing? Don’t forget to count Luttig himself, who clerked for Chief Justice Burger (OT 1983), after clerking for then-Judge Scalia on the D.C. Circuit.
UPDATE: Boeing boasts at least eight (8) SCOTUS clerks. Here are three who were inadvertently omitted from the original version of this post: Bertrand-Marc Allen (OT 2003/Kennedy), Lynda Guild Simpson (OT 1984/Powell), and Eric Wolff (OT 2000/Scalia).
And Luttig has given his net worth a makeover, too. At the time of his May 2006 resignation, federal circuit judges earned $175,100 a year. As executive vice president and general counsel of Boeing — the country’s largest aerospace and defense company, #28 on the Fortune 500 — he makes millions.
Luttig no longer has to worry about covering college expenses for his two kids (which he cited in his resignation letter as a reason for leaving the bench). And this past May, he and his wife, Elizabeth Luttig, bought a fabulous second home in beautiful Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
How much did Mike Luttig pay for his new place? And how does the price tag compare to his in-house compensation at Boeing?
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.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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