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Here’s the latest Job of the Week, courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. If you’re not already a member of Lateral Link, you can sign up through their website. Membership, which is free and confidential, allows you to learn about new legal opportunities as they become available.
Position: Staff Counsel
Company: ActBlue
Location: Boston, MA
Position Description: Staff Counsel will report to Executive Director. Initial responsibilities will include:
• Research of campaign finance laws and regulations at the federal, state and local levels.
• Developing and implementing legal and lobbying strategies to expand ActBlue’s ability to operate at the state level.
• Ensuring compliance with all applicable campaign finance and privacy laws.
• Cultivating relationships with election offices and local campaign finance attorneys across the country.
• Responding to legal inquiries and complaints.
Additional information, after the jump.

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Adolf Hitler paralegal Above the Law blog.jpgA legal staffing agency put up an advertisement soliciting applications for a temporary paralegal position. Cover letters and résumés started rolling in. Like this one:

Hello there,

I am not a paralegal. But, I type 85 WPM and used to be [an] executive assistant and have multiple skillsets, easy to train, that honestly set me $1000 over the salary of a degreed political science bachelors degreed [sic] person. Sadly, she was aggressive and began reading Hitler’s methods and worked her way to stop my success with her deception.

The compliance lawyer finally figured out what she was doing and wound up getting rid of her. She now works in buying and selling electrical components somewhere.

So, I have no way to measure her value or mine within this paralegal field. I’ll let you be the judge.

A cover letter referencing Hitler? + 10 points. We don’t know what “Hitler’s methods” consist of, but then again, we never read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Nazis.
Read the rest of this long, strange, rambling cover letter — does the applicant need a paralegal gig, or a therapist? — after the jump.

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Thacher Proffitt Wood LLP Above the Law blog.jpgWe had been hearing rumors this morning of associate layoffs at Thacher Proffitt & Wood. The rumor mill was claiming that somewhere between 30 to 40 associates were given pink slips by TPW.
As is so often the case, the truth is somewhat different, but the rumors not completely unfounded. Thacher Proffitt has not laid off any associates just yet, and certainly not as many as 40. The firm has, however, notified a smaller number of associates — namely, 24 non-first-year associates — that their being laid off in January is “a near certainty.” It is also encouraging first-year associates in its Structured Finance and Real Estate practice groups to look for other opportunities.
In response to inquiries from us, TPW issued this statement, through a spokesperson:

It is no secret that the credit crisis has deeply affected our Structured Finance and Real Estate practices, which are large practices in our Firm. Therefore, we have taken the painful step of notifying 24 associates in those practice areas that if we do not see a substantial improvement in the market, it is a near certainty that they will be laid off in January strictly for economic reasons.

These associates are good, hardworking lawyers that any law firm would be fortunate to have. Unfortunately, these associates are working in areas that are currently slow and that will not be active for some time to come. We are delaying a decision on economic layoffs for as long as we can; however, we believe it would be unfair to the associates potentially affected to give them no warning of this possibility. We are encouraging these associates to seek new opportunities and, should they leave the Firm, we will compensate them through the end of March.

In addition, we have offered first-year associates in our Structured Finance and Real Estate groups a four month severance package should they leave the Firm. They are under no obligation to take this offer, [which] is strictly voluntary; however, we feel it is in these associates’ interest to explore other opportunities as well, as we are concerned that we will not be able to provide them with the best work experience at this formative stage of their careers.

We thank Thacher Proffitt for getting back to us so quickly. And we commend the firm for its candor about the possible layoffs, as well as its praise for the affected associates as lawyers.
If you have any associate layoff news that has not been previously reported, please contact us, by email (subject line: “Nationwide Layoff Watch”). Thanks.

graduation cap gown kid Above the Law blog.jpgIn the comments to our post about Thanksgiving horror stories, an interesting (if somewhat off-topic) discussion developed. It started off with a law student complaining about having to study for final exams over the holiday, to which another commenter responded: Why bother? After a certain point, who cares about your law school grades?
The conventional wisdom is that law school grades don’t really matter after your first year. Once you’ve secured your summer associate gig in the fall of your 2L year, you can pretty much coast, according to this theory. Unless you’re hoping to graduate with honors, snag a feeder judge or Supreme Court clerkship, or become a law professor, you don’t need to worry about your law school transcript (as long as you don’t fail anything or lack sufficient credits to graduate, of course).
But in the comments, some readers suggested otherwise. They claimed that if you want to lateral from one firm to another, the firms you’re applying to may request your transcript and consider your grades. Some suggested that grades even matter in the context of partnership decisions.
Thoughts? If you have an opinion or, better yet, hard information, please provide it in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Thanksgiving Horror Stories: Open Thread

Here’s the latest Job of the Week, courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. Check out their new, redesigned website by clicking here.
(Since we didn’t post a Job of the Week last week, due to the abbreviated holiday publication schedule, we’ll give you two this week — one today, and one near the end of the week.)
Position: Transactional tax associate at international consulting firm
Location: New York
Description: International management consulting firm seeks associate to join its Transaction Tax Services group.
More details, after the jump.

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American Lawyer summer associate survey Above the Law blog.jpgThe American Lawyer just announced the results of its 2007 summer associate survey. Interestingly enough, the highest-scoring firms weren’t necessarily the biggest firms with the most lavish programs. From Paul Jaskunas’s article:

Small is beautiful, at least in the eyes of 2007′s summer associates. While respondents to our Summer Associates Survey liked big firms, they liked life at small to midsize firms even better. Students craved juicy assignments, friendly offices, and lots of attention, and the firms that best satisfied these needs tended to be medium-sized shops with relatively small summer programs.

Of the top 20 firms, only four had summer programs with more than 100 clerks, while nine hired 30 or fewer summer associates. Students most commonly cited firm reputation as a factor influencing their clerkship decision, but that doesn’t mean that the behemoths of the legal world always have the upper hand in winning over law students.

“They go out of their way to make you feel like a part of the family from day one,” wrote an enthused summer at first-ranked Nutter McClennen & Fish, which had only 11 clerks…. One of the 17 summer associates at second-ranked Fox Rothschild called it “a big firm where you can live a small-firm lifestyle.”

And a full-length firm photo, too!
Based on the proliferation of reader comments on today’s Morning Docket, where we linked to the survey in passing, it’s clear that many of you are dying to discuss the rankings. So here’s an open thread for that purpose. Have at it!
Size Does Matter [American Lawyer Student Edition]
National Rankings: Summer Associate Survey 2007 [American Lawyer Student Edition]
Results By City: Summer Associate Survey 2007 [American Lawyer Student Edition]

sleep-deprived.jpg
Are you a law student in the D.C. area looking for a part-time job to help you pay for books and the “cheapest sh*t the liquor stores sell?”
Well, Skadden has a great opportunity for you. That is, so long as you don’t want to sleep. Our tipster passed along this listing from the GW Jobs Board:

Major international law firm is seeking a law student to join its overnight Legal Assistant staff. The ability to perform legal research, cite check, Blue Book, shepardize, proofread and use Lexis/Westlaw is required, in addition to providing general support to attorneys in various practice areas, as assigned. Individual must be flexible and able to work independently, follow instructions well, and have an eye for detail. A skills test will be administered. Competitive salary and excellent benefits package commensurate with experience. EOE.
The scheduled hours are: Monday night through Friday morning
Midnight – 5:00 a.m.
(20 hours per week)

We especially recommend this position for a 1L, because you might as well go balls-to-the-wall on sleep deprivation. It’s all about the experience, man. That’s what you’ll tell the grandkids about one day.

From an ATL reader going through the law firm recruiting process right now:

I’ve enjoyed reading about various law firm recruiting snafus on Above the Law over the last few months. I just never thought I would be lucky enough to encounter one of my own.

I recently came home to an unusually thick envelope from Arnold & Porter (DC). Inside there was a typical ethnicity request form (to be mailed back to them for recordkeeping), a return envelope, and finally, much to my surprise — a refrigerator warranty!

Yep, that’s right. While other firms are busy sending recruits bonsai trees, iPods, and designer cookies, Arnold & Porter sends its rejects their appliance warranties.

Our tipster sent along a scanned copy of the warranty registration form:
Arnold Porter refrigerator warranty Above the Law blog.jpg
Earlier: Public Humiliation, Courtesy of Your Friends at Wilson Sonsini
Fall Recruiting Snafu Watch: You Know They Really Don’t Want You When…
Not Everyone’s A Winner at Nixon Peabody

party parties party planning Above the Law blog.jpgPaging laid-off (or about-to-be-laid-off) associates: Looking for a new career? If you’re culturally literate, possessed of good taste, and great at slaving away for law-firm partners — which, given your job experience, you probably are — think about becoming a “personal manager.”
From the New York Times:

Looking for someone to curate your life? Need a personal concierge whose expertise is not picking up dry-cleaning but helping chose your wardrobe, your tastes, your friends?

[Allison] Storr calls herself a personal manager, but her duties go far beyond that. Her clients, all of them men, pay monthly fees of $4,000 to $10,000 to have her be their personal decider in nearly all things lifestyle-related.

And there’s a fun Biglaw blind item in the article:

A partner in a New York law firm, who agreed to be interviewed if he was not named to protect his privacy, said he has employed Ms. Storr for two and a half years. Last summer, Ms. Storr organized an ’80s theme party at the lawyer’s house in the Hamptons for about 200 of his friends, with a $5,000 budget. “It was honestly one of the most fun parties out there,” the lawyer said. “By now all my friends know that Allison works for me.”

He calls her an outsourced wife. “The nice thing is that when I ask her to do something, she gets it done and there’s no negative feelings.”

Putting together a summer party for 200, on a budget of just $5,000, is an impressive feat. Shouldn’t a Biglaw partner cough up at least five figures for a fabulous fete?
Need a Life? She’ll Arrange One [New York Times]

Here is the latest Job of the Week — actually, make that Jobs of the Week — courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. Because Lateral Link does no cold-calling and is more efficient than traditional recruiting firms, successful candidates receive $10,000 upon placement.
Positions: Junior Corporate Counsel and Senior Corporate Counsel
Employer: Software Company
Location: Irvine, California
Description:

(1) A corporate counsel (3-6 years experience) that will take responsibility for all aspects of product support for the MAS and Accpac product lines.

(2) A senior corporate counsel (8+ years) with strong academics, prior in-house experience and advanced interpersonal skills. This person will provide counsel on business issues, negotiating and documenting a variety of transactions and dispute resolution as well as supporting the Company’s North American operation in mergers and acquisitions activity.

More details, after the jump.

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