Good news for general counsel who dream of one day sitting in the king’s seat: the ABA Magazine says there is a new trend of corporations tapping lawyers to become top executives:
Nine of the Fortune 50 companies now have a lawyer as chief executive, up from three just a decade ago. In December, Bank of America and Continental Airlines became the two most recent publicly traded corporations to do so. Also in 2009, Citigroup named Richard Parsons, another lawyer, as its chairman, which is separate from the CEO.
Business leaders and corporate headhunters agree that the JD is once again an alternative to the MBA as the degree of choice for CEO candidates, and that the trend is very likely to increase over the next decade.
Woo-hoo. Maybe law school grads will start kicking biz school grads to the curb. Vanderbilt’s management school dean goes so far as to call the J.D. a “renaissance degree.”
According to the ABA Magazine, one law school is particularly successful in sending its grads off to lead a company instead of doing bet-the-company work….
Back in the summer of 2008, we wrote a post entitled “Summer Associates of the Day: Sapphic Summers in Lesbianic Lip-Lock.” The title of the post pretty much says it all.
Well, it turns out that a partner at the same firm, Minneapolis-based Lindquist & Vennum, may have been misbehaving too. The Pioneer Press reports that Michael S. Margulies, a leading Twin Cities real estate lawyer, has been accused of professional misconduct — in the form of “misappropriat[ing] significant sums from a limited number of clients and from the firm,” according to a statement by the firm. Margulies has withdrawn from the firm’s partnership, reported his conduct to Minnesota’s professional responsibility office, and agreed to be disbarred. He has also resigned from the St. Paul Planning Commission, where he served several terms under different mayors.
What prompted this alleged theft? It seems that Michael Margulies, former head of Lindquist’s real estate group, may have loved real estate not wisely, but too well. From the Pioneer Press:
Margulies, 56, of St. Paul, and his personal company, Triad Services, were sued in Ramsey County District Court by a real estate development company for which he had worked as an attorney, secretary and treasurer. In the lawsuit, CMB Minnetonka LLC alleged that Margulies “made numerous illicit withdrawals” from CMB’s bank account and line of credit at Highland Bank and used the money — $1.5 million or more — for his own purposes.
Specifically, the suit claims Margulies spent the money to overhaul the historic mansion at 516 Summit Ave. in St. Paul that he owned with his former wife.
So he allegedly did it all for love of a house. Was it worth it? Just how nice is this pile o’ bricks?
Hey Biglaw partners, if you’re switching products to please your client, you may be wasting your time. Last week, we reported that Day Pitney is getting rid of all the free Cokes in its office in favor of client Pepsi-Co’s products.
This was disappointing news around the firm, since according to our survey, 78% of lawyers prefer Coke to Pepsi.
As we recounted anecdotally in that post, Day Pitney is not alone. Many firms have been known to switch products to please clients. One former Biglaw type who is now in-house says, though, that product loyalty is inconsequential.
For the record, I am now in house with a very large company and I have absolutely NO expectation whatsoever that any of our firms will require their staff and attorneys to use our products, and only our products. In fact, I would see a move like the one taken by Day Pitney as nothing but full, balls-to-the-wall pandering. Forget what soda you stock at meetings. How about you do good work and stop overbilling me? THAT’S what matters. Idiots.
Is this in-house lawyer’s analysis flat?
UPDATE: Others say Pepsi will can those who don’t drink their kool-aid, er, their Sierra Mist…
Gucci wants g’s for the use of its big G. Gucci sued Guess Inc. in 2009 for trademark infringement, for allegedly selling knock-offs of its designs and for using the interlocking “GG” pattern.
Guess may be the company making knock-offs, but Gucci’s the company with fake lawyers. Gucci recently fired in-house lawyer Jonathan Moss because he had been working for the company since 2002 with a lapsed license. Gucci revealed this on Friday in a motion requesting that his inactive status not invalidate attorney-client privilege.
According to court documents filed Friday, Gucci America Inc. terminated Jonathan Moss on March 1. Gucci said it discovered in January that Moss’ status with the California bar had been inactive for the whole of his seven-year run as legal counsel with the firm. Guess has sought access to Moss’ communications regarding a trademark infringement lawsuit Gucci brought against it in U.S. District Court in Manhattan last year. Gucci’s disclosure came in a memo backing a motion that the attorney-client privilege should still apply to his involvement in the case.
So why did Moss let his license lapse? Apparently, he wasn’t making enough money in-house to keep his status active…
We’ve written before about partner departures from White & Case. Earlier this month, we discussed the firm’s Palo Alto office, which has recently lost some talent.
The latest partner to leave: patent litigator Jennifer L. Yokoyama, who has accepted an in-house position at Nike. Her departure from W&C is effective April 2.
“We are sorry to lose such a talented young partner in Jennifer,” said Bijal Vakil, executive partner of White & Case’s Palo Alto office. “Nike has a good eye for talent. We wish her and Nike well and look forward to remaining in contact.”
“It is a difficult decision for me to leave White & Case,” said Yokoyama. “It is a great Firm, and the Palo Alto office has an abundance of excellent attorneys and is a wonderful place to work. I could not, however, pass up the opportunity with Nike. It is a dream job for me and one that I could not turn down. I wish my friends and colleagues at White & Case continued success and will miss them dearly.”
Biglaw needs to take a page out of the Burger King playbook and adopt a “Have It Your Way” attitude with its general counsel clients, according to a new study. In the words of the ABA Journal:
The recession has driven a power shift that now favors in-house counsel over the law firms they hire, a new report [PDF] has found.
About 75 percent of general counsel and law firm partners said the balance of power now lies with law firm clients, according to the report (PDF). A majority of both groups believe the power shift will be permanent.
We’re hearing more and more often from general counsels about the hot new trend of cutting back drastically on the number of outside firms they work with. The most dramatic example of this came from Levi Strauss, which slimmed its outside legal counsel down to size two.
The report says that 73% of GCs surveyed “admitted to either changing or reducing the number of their external legal advisers as a result of the recession.”
The 13-page report was commissioned by UK-based law firm Eversheds, but looks like it was designed by Barbie — lots of bubbles, and generous use of the color pink. It promises the death of the pyramid law firm structure and the move to “value billing.” It’s pretty, but is it substantive?
The common assumption is that corporate counsel positions are cushier than Biglaw gigs. One of the big reasons is that in-house hours are supposedly more humane. However, Daniel Cooperman, a former partner at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen (now Bingham McCutchen), who left Biglaw to work as general counsel at Oracle and then Apple, suggests otherwise.
At Oracle for 11 years, he only lasted two at Apple before he burned out. He talked to the Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog about his time getting housed:
Mr. Cooperman admitted that he needed a break from the intensity of the general counsel job, which he has held for a total of 13 years.
“It’s an extreme amount of responsibility and accountability and you need to be available fully 24 hours a day. After all that time, I really wanted a bit of sabbatical,” he said.
Cooperman is getting that “breather” by heading back to Biglaw. He’s returning to Bingham as of counsel in the firm’s Silicon Valley office. He told the WSJ that his mission is to help the law firm understand its corporate clients’ culture.
Lesson one: don’t be offended when people hang up on you…
Three GCs were on the panel: Seth Krauss of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.; Dawson Horn III of Tyco International; and Jonathan Broder of Conrail. Conrail is, of course, the railroad company. Take-Two is a software and video game company, of Grand Theft Auto fame. Tyco is a well-known manufacturing company, of shower curtain scandal fame.
They provided some insight into the in-house world and what they look for when they hire outside counsel. “”We’re instruction-rich and cash-poor,” said one.
They offered advice to partners and lawyers who want their business. “Know something about me,” said Horn. In other words, Google him. And: “Believe in the cause,” he added.
That’s rather vague. More specific instructions for getting hired by a general counsel, and some advice for fellow GCs, after the jump. Continue reading “What GCs Want”
In October, we mentioned that the giant department store, Macy’s, was having some trouble disposing of its sensitive documents. Reports surfaced that internal documents, some of which included the Social Security numbers of Macy’s customers, were being disposed of on the streets of St. Louis, in lidless containers.
Now, months after the initial, embarrassing incident, Macy’s is doing it again. Missouri Lawyers Weekly reports (subscription):
Sensitive Macy’s records have again been littering the sidewalks of downtown St. Louis.
The records, meant for disposal, included shoppers’ Social Security numbers, employees’ expense reports, memos from the department store’s attorneys and even a letter from a distressed aunt about a foul-mouthed Santa Claus.
Macy’s — and Federated Department Stores, which owns Macy’s — has had months to fix this obvious problem. Their solution? Wait for it… buy lids for the streetside containers!
Details on this clever plan after the jump.
[Brett Favre] decided to play the game at his age and all that goes with it, and the effect he had on Minnesota and on that team and a lot of sports fans was enormous. I think the excitement and the challenge is something that is very alluring, and if I can play a small part in paying the taxpayer back…then I will look back at this time and say, for all the knockdowns that I will inevitably have, it would have been worth the experience and the knowledge that I was helpful.
– Thomas Russo, 66, former chief legal officer at Lehman Brothers, discussing his departure from Patton Boggs to become the new general counsel for American International Group Inc.
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!
The proper hair styling product might just be the only thing standing between you and your dream job. And the best way to find what works for you is to try the best stuff on the market. Join Birchbox Man for $20 a month and you’ll get customized shipments of the best grooming and lifestyle gear on the market every month—everything from haircare and shaving supplies to style accessories and tech gadgets.
As the leading discovery commerce platform, Birchbox is redefining the retail process by offering consumers a unique and personalized way to discover, learn about, and shop the best grooming and lifestyle products out there. It’s a full 360-degree process: try, learn, buy. Once you sign up and fill out your profile, head over to Birchbox Man’s online magazine to find article and video tutorials on how to get the most out your monthly box products. Pick up full-size versions of anything you like in the Birchbox Shop and earn points for every purchase.
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.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!