Job Searches

Here is the latest Job of the Week, courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. To refresh your recollection:

“Because Lateral Link does no cold-calling and is more efficient than traditional recruiting firms, successful candidates receive $10,000 upon placement.”

Company: Fortune 500 Tech Company
Title: Corporate Counsel, Real Estate
Location: Mountain View, CA
Description: This Fortune 500 Tech Company is seeking a Corporate Counsel, Real Estate, to focus on transactions related to expanding or constructing data centers and other facilities. Specific responsibilities include the following: draft, review and negotiate PSA’s, easements and land-use rights; and review, modify and negotiate construction agreements.
The position requires 7-10 years of experience handling complex and strategic real estate transactions on a global basis, specifically with commercial leases, real-property acquisitions
and sales, and construction agreements.
To apply for this position, please visit laterallink.com.

email e-mail message microsoft outlook Above the Law.jpgIn case you’ve forgotten, this week is still Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. It has been a big hit, as reflected in both site traffic and the number of reader comments on posts. If you don’t like this theme — if, for example, you see it as patronizing or degrading (which is not our intention; our coverage is partly tongue-in-cheek, poking fun at the ridiculous elitism of the legal profession) — then come back next week.
Still here? Okay. On this week’s theme, a reader sent us this inquiry:

Whatever happened to Diana “bla bla bla” Abdala? You should post an APB to figure out what happened.

If you don’t remember the infamous Dianna Abdala, a graduate of Suffolk University School of Law (Tier 3), then refresh your recollection over here.
So, does anyone know what Ms. Abdala might be up to these days? If so, we’d love to hear from you (in the comments, or by email). Thanks.
P.S. We usually omit the names of people who commit Abdala-esque career suicide gaffes. But since she is all over the internets, with her very own Wikipedia entry, we figure this cat is already out of the bag.
P.P.S. The high number of Google results associated with Dianna Abdala makes it harder to find out what she’s up to these days. We were too lazy to look past the first 10 (of over 10,000) Google hits associated with her name. Hence this post.
We Reap The Emails That You Sew [WSJ Law Blog]
Dianna L. Abdala [Wikipedia]

No Sleep Til Brooklyn Law School Above the Law blog.jpgReactions were varied to Amir Efrati’s controversial, widely read, front-page Wall Street Journal story about the job prospects for graduates of non-elite law schools. Some students and alumni of non-top-tier law schools hailed the piece for revealing some dirty secrets about American legal education. But not everyone was so pleased.
From a tipster at Brooklyn Law School:

I thought you would be interested in hearing about a BLS Career Services breakfast held this morning. Apparently the director of Career Services at BLS, Joan King, was asked about her reaction to the WSJ article. (Note: this breakfast is an annual event, and was not held as a reaction to the article).

Ms. King said she was contacted in the research-gathering stage by the WSJ author, who interviewed her about the job market for BLS students. She believes that there were some omissions in the article, and that the writer had an agenda: to prove his hypothesis, without highlighting some additional facts.

Amir Efrati, if you see Joan King in a dark alley, turn the other way — and RUN. If you mess with a girl from Brooklyn, you WILL regret it.
And there’s more. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Top-Tier Law Schools: Brooklyn Law Strikes Back”

Human Rights Campaign HRC gay rights Above the Law blog.jpgThe Human Rights Campaign has some answers. HRC, which is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, recently released its annual list of Best Places to Work. And law firms were prominently represented:

[T]he Human Rights Campaign Foundation released a report showing that numerous large U.S. law firms are providing important benefits and protections for their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) attorneys and staff. In this year’s report, which is part of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s broader Corporate Equality Index, 30 law firms earned the top rating of 100 percent. 80 law firms earned scores of 80 percent or above.

You can see the list of top firms by clicking here (PDF; scroll down to page 48). Alas, no 100 percent rating for Sullivan & Cromwell, of Charney v. S&C fame — despite their generous gifts of Kiehl’s products at LGBT job fairs.

But our friends at Nixon Peabody earned a perfect score. Will they commission a theme song to celebrate? Like “Everyone Loves Gay People at Nixon Peabody”?

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this post, we linked to (and reprinted info from) this page on the HRC website. But an HRC rep has informed us that the page hasn’t been updated from last year, and still reflects scores from the 2007 report.

HRC Corporate Equality Index — 2008 [Human Rights Campaign (PDF)]

Better Know a Legal Market Above the Law blog.jpgAs we mentioned on Friday, due to the popularity of Non-Top-Tier Law School Week, we’ve extended it to include all of this week. We will continue to explore — and to challenge — the following claim:

Even if times might be great for Biglaw shops and the top-tier grads they hire, it’s hard out here for graduates of non-elite law schools (especially those not at the top of their class).

The thesis was articulated last week in this post, based on this Wall Street Journal article.
This latest post falls on the “challenge” side of the ledger. Several readers have emailed us to point out that, in essence, not all non-top-tier schools are created equal. Geography — i.e., presence in (or proximity to) a strong legal market, especially one without many top law schools to compete with — makes a big difference.
What do we mean by all this? Find out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Top-Tier Law Schools: Better Know A District Market”

sorting hat Harry Potter Above the Law blog.jpgLaw school can be thought of as a Harry Potter-style “sorting hat” for law students (as Dave Hoffman suggests). Similarly, the recent round of pay raises can be thought of as a sorting hat for law firms.
Nathan Carlile has this excellent article in the current issue of the Legal Times:

Call it a near miss.

Earlier this year, New York’s Simpson Thacher & Bartlett raised starting salaries for first-year associates to $160,000. In the competition to recruit top talent, the tactic was similar to one used by Kenyan marathon runners: a midrace burst to separate elite competitors from the pack of pretenders.

But while Simpson’s bump momentarily opened up a $25,000 gap between top-end New York firms and their Washington counterparts, the pack soon matched the move. Eight months later, starting salaries for first-years at most of the 200 largest firms nationwide remain bunched at $160,000.

More discussion — including rumors of Skadden leading a new round of pay raises in New York City — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “D.C. Pay Raises: Separating the Men from the Boys? (Plus Rumors of Skadden NY Raises)”

Wayne State University Law School Above the Law blog.jpgThis email exchange is rapidly making the rounds. It doesn’t rise to the level of Dianna Abdala, but it’s not bad — and perfectly suitable for a slow Friday afternoon.
The tipster who sent it to us introduced it as follows:

This is pretty funny. It goes to show you that tier four students are just as entitled and obnoxious as their tier one counterparts!

Here’s the first email, from a student at Wayne State University Law School (who shall remain nameless; please keep him that way):

From: [redacted]
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 9:05 AM
To: [Partner at four-person law firm]
Subject: Interview?
Sir, let me begin by noting that I understand your time is very valuable
and I anticipate that your work day is very hectic. However, my time is
valuable to me and sitting at the interview location waiting for you has
resulted in a fantastic waste of a potentially productive Friday
morning.
I was very interested in your firm. I believe that there are many ways
of becoming a good lawyer, and felt that employment at your firm would
be one of them. Though I find myself being pushed in the direction of
the large firms as a result of my grades, I had high hopes that getting
involved in a smaller and yet equally productive camp would be the best
fit for me. Sadly, it seems that I will not find out if my suspicions
were correct.
I realize I am just an naive law student in your eyes but I assure you
sir that a day will come when I command a level of respect that would
make [sic] idea of standing me up unimaginable. As I was your first interview
this morning I feel that a phone call was in order from your end. Good
luck with the rest of your interviews.
Sincerely,
[redacted]

Right now you might be thinking, “Good for you, Wayne State Guy! Just because you go to a Tier Four doesn’t mean you can be jerked around.”
But the truth turns out to be more complex. Read the partner’s response, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Tier Four Law Students: They Can Be Pissy Bitches, Too”

Quinn Emanuel Ivy Ivey recruiting video Above the Law blog.GIFThis morning’s New York Times has a painfully earnest article about law firm recruiting videos. It’s not a particularly juicy piece; they should have called us for comment (’cause we “give good quote”).
But it’s still neat to see Biglaw getting a shout-out in the NYT. Here’s the lede:

Law firms have discovered YouTube.

Well, actually, they have discovered that the law students they are trying to recruit as summer associates watch YouTube, the popular video Web site.

Several firms are trying to parlay that discovery into a hiring tool, creating recruiting videos and Web sites with the look and feel of YouTube. The firms hope to persuade students that their lawyers, and by extension the firms, are young-thinking and hip.

Okay, that didn’t say anything that ATL readers don’t already know. We weren’t surprised to see the byline of crack reporter Karen Donovan, author of that publicist-generated puff piece Pulitzer-worthy profile of Gallion & Spielvogel.
But the article gets a little better as it goes along. More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Videos: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid”

Johnnie Cochran Johnnie L Cochran Jr Loyola Law School Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, so you didn’t graduate (1) from a top-tier law school or (2) at the top of your class from a non-top-tier law school. Please don’t get discouraged, even in the face of depressing news articles.
Before you leave the law to become an electrician, consider this inspirational tale, from an ATL reader:

Finding a job after graduating from a lower tier law school might be harder, but it is certainly possible. A lot of it depends on what type of job you wish to pursue. Knowing I wanted to practice in a law firm who actually tried cases, throughout law school I worked for several small firms and solo practices and gained experience.

The summer studying for the bar I found a part time clerkship with an attorney who practices business litigation. After the bar exam he offered me a position full time. I don’t make anywhere near the big firms in terms of salary. But I make plenty for my first year out, and I get a percentage of our contingent fee cases (which will actually put me a little less than big firm salary if all goes well).

Also, I get great experience. My first week I attended two hearings on motions for summary judgment in court, and a month after I pass the bar (hopefully!) I already have an assignment to participate directly in a trial. The salary is not “equal”, but I feel I am gaining better experience and enjoying my quality of life much more than if I was in a mega firm.

Good stuff — and a reminder that Biglaw isn’t the be all and end all of legal practice.
Also, we have a question about working as a paralegal, from a different reader. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Attention Non-Top-Tier Grads: Some Advice, and a Question”

contract attorney temp temporary attorney lawyer work.jpgOur recent post about contract attorney work, part of Non-Top-Tier Law School Week here at ATL, generated almost 200 comments. We’re happy to report that we have more for you on that front.
Here’s a question from a contract attorney reader:

I’ve done some contract attorney work (doc review, ick) in the past and have been offered jobs that pay a flat fee of $35-$45 an hour, but want 60 to 80 hours a week.

The Fair Labor Standards Act seems to say that professionals (attorneys) are only exempt from OT pay when they’re salaried. We contract attorneys, obviously, don’t fall within that category. It also seems to say that it’s illegal for an employer to make an employee waive that right to overtime pay.

Any idea why it is that so many major law firms can hire contract staff for flat rates and make them work overtime without OT pay?

More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Contract Attorney Work and Overtime Pay: What’s the Deal With That?”

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