We regularly receive all kinds of wacky gossip related to the fall recruiting process. Some of these rumors are true, and some of them aren’t.
We found this rumor, about the Chicago office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, quite amusing:
“I heard from a friend there that during summer associate callbacks, only students from ‘good schools’ get lunch. E.g., Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago.”
“Students from Illinois, DePaul, etc. must starve. You should look into this.”
Loyola (of Chicago) 2Ls: What say you?
We looked into this rumor. Alas, it appears to be untrue.
More after the jump.
Sometimes it seems like we talk about the same handful of general practice Biglaw shops again and again. So let’s mix things up a bit. Here’s a suggestion from a loyal reader:
I’m in the field of patent law. It might be interesting to post a Fall Recruiting Thread that discusses both patent boutiques (Finnegan Henderson, Fizpatrick Cella, Kenyon & Kenyon) and general practice firms with a strong IP practice (Kirkland, Irell, MoFo, Jones Day, Ropes & Gray).
Yes, it might. So here’s that post — an open thread in which people can talk about firms that specialize in or excel at intellectual property law.
(Last month we had a post dedicated to discussion of compensation issues at IP firms. But this open thread is intended to be broader, to go beyond pay to discuss quality of life, strong practice areas, type of work, etc. Enjoy.) Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: IP Firms
It’s a subject of tremendous importance, since it has a major effect on the day-to-day lives of associates, but it doesn’t get talked about as much as one might expect. So to everyone going through the fall recruiting process right now, don’t be afraid to ask:
How does the law firm assign work?
It might not sound very sexy. But the assignment system employed by a law firm might determine whether you’re staying until midnight every night while the guy next door, who’s getting the same paycheck — and maybe even the same bonus, if you’re at a firm with lockstep bonuses — is leaving every day at 6 p.m.
There are many different ways that firms can handle the issue of assigning work. Some have an assigning partner (or partners); some have a non-lawyer administrator who makes assignments; some have a “free market” system. Sometimes assignments and hours are tracked by computer, and sometimes they’re not.
Please discuss the subject in the comments. To get the ball rolling, we reprint a recent memo from Bingham McCutchen that lays out their approach to the issue. You can check it out after the jump.
We continue our occasional series on Ex-Lawyers of the Day, with this interesting email from a Biglaw tipster:
In the interest of lawyers turned novelists turned vigilantes — this is for all of us who have received several calls an hour from headhunters — the email below deserves a mention in your blog.
Rudy Delson is a former Simpson attorney who left law firm life for fairer pastures in Brooklyn to write a novel. His book is being published today. There are lawyers in the book. I understand it may even be literature.
Here’s an explanatory email, from Delson to our tipster:
So, check this out. When I worked at Simpson, I saved the email address of every headhunter who ever contacted me. And then this morning, I was able to send them this…
Rudy Delson’s blast email / spam to the headhunters, after the jump.
Has Quinn Emanuel’s unorthodox approach to the callback process ruffled some feathers? Maybe. Why does the firm brass keep on sending out emails about it?
Last Thursday, firm founder John Quinn sent out this email. Then, on Friday, name partner Bill Urquhart chimed in:
From: “A William Urquhart” To: “Attorneys” Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 10:38:28 -0700 Subject:
We have received several questions about the recruiting weekend at Deer Valley. Here are some answers.
Question: Who is attending the weekend?
Answer: There will be approximately 20 lawyers from the firm–both associates and partners. There will be lawyers from all the firm’s four offices.. There will be law students from Texas, Chicago, Harvard and Yale. All of them will have received call backs. As you know, the vast majority of those students invited back to our offices receive offers. If the on campus interview processes operates as intended, this number should be close to 100% because nobody should be invited back unless they meet our minimum objective standards. They should also have met our more subjective standards.
Question: How did you choose these schools?
Answer: These were the schools whose interviews were late in the recruiting season. If this experiment is successful, we may decide to have two such events next year–one in late September for the students of the schools which schedule interviews early (e.g. Columbia, Stanford, U Va, NYU, etc.).
reproduced below is an email which we sent yesterday to chicago students who received call backs. it describes an experiment we are going to try this year with the call backs from law schools whose on campus interviews are late in the season (chicago, yale, harvard and texas). instead of having them come back to the firm for interviews, we are inviting them to come to a weekend at a resort in utah. aside from attempting to distinguish ourselves from other law firms, the reasons for trying this are described in the email below. we think those reasons are compelling. however, the proof will be in the pudding.
we have a limited amount of space available for students, partners and associates. we can not invite everyone we would like to. certain of you will be invited to attend the weekend. the invitations will be sent out shortly.
[Aaron Charney is very upset he wasn't invited. Expect to hear from his lawyers shortly.]
the recruitment weekend has generated a lot of buzz on some law blogs already. you may be asked questions by the students who will be coming through the office in the next few weeks. please tell them that this is an experiment. if it is successful, we may decide to expand it next year to two events. also, please be sure to state that the firm will be absorbing all expenses associated with the weekend.
We should hope so. As one commenter noted, “Why Deer Valley in the summer? That’s like going to Vermont in March to see the leaves changing.” What sane law student would shell out his own dough to schlep out to Utah this time of year — other than, say, someone applying to clerk for Judge Michael McConnell (10th Cir.)? (Actually, we hear that Judge McConnell might come out to the East Coast to interview clerkship applicants.)
Anyway, the email sent to the Quinn Emanuel callback-ees appears after the jump.
Title: Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Description: This Albuquerque, NM-based company, which makes personal passenger planes, seeks a General Counsel to head overall management of the legal and regulatory functions within the Company and to oversee all legal aspects of its anticipated public offering, including legal compliance with SEC and NASDAQ/NYSE registration and all subsequent reporting requirements. Company is willing to relocate qualified candidate from anywhere in USA to Albuquerque, NM.
The fall recruiting process. Some firms mess things up; some firms live it up.
We’re hearing through the grapevine that this year, for students at schools with late on-campus interview weeks, Quinn Emanuel isn’t doing the whole callbacks-at-their-offices thing. Instead, they’re inviting the students they like in the on-campus interviews on a weekend trip at a resort in Deer Valley, Utah, to get a better feel for the firm and its attorneys.
Apparently former Stanford dean Kathleen Sullivan will be on the trip, to make a pitch to the students. There will also be DVDs with virtual tours of the offices, in case some interviewees want to know what their office would look like if they chose to work there.
It appears that Quinn is trying this out as a pilot program this year, with the late OCI schools (e.g., Harvard, Chicago, Yale). If it works well, then they might expand its use.
This strikes us as a cool and fabulous junket. But on the other hand, maybe people wouldn’t want to spend this much time on an extended callback. Thoughts?
UPDATE (9/13/07): More details about the experiment are available here.
We have to step away for a bit. But we’ll leave you with some food for thought (and argument): a piece we just wrote for the New York Observer, timed to coincide with fall interview season, about New York law firms. Here’s a brief excerpt:
“[J]ust as certain sleeve cuts are all the rage at Fashion Week, some law firms are “hot”—and some are not. Having interviewed with firms exactly 10 years ago, I was curious: Who is this fall’s “It” Firm?”
We expect that many of you will disagree with our conclusions, condemn us as ill-informed or biased (or both), etc. That’s okay. Our point is to provoke. We’d like to become for the law firm world what Michael Riedel is to theatre: “Post columnist Michael Riedel’s gleeful skewering of Broadway’s shows and personages has made him a must read—and a must-hate—on the Great White Way.”
You can read the full column over here. It’s the first in what’s going to be a semimonthly column we’ll be writing for the Observer on New York lawyers and law firms. Enjoy (we think). Polish Those Portfolios! Legal Eaglets Seek Their Nests [New York Observer]
In case you’re not familiar with it, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is an intellectual property law firm headquartered in Chicago, with approximately 150 lawyers firmwide. A tipster recently wrote to us: “Word on the street is that Brinks no-offered half their SA class.”
Here’s the posting on Greedy Chicago cited by this source:
To confirm, I was in their 2007 summer class that included 16 people in Chicago, and at least 8 of us, perhaps more, did not get offers to come back. I’m probably biased towards myself, but I can honestly say that the other people who did not get offers are very competent people who worked very hard during the summer.
The reasons that we all received for not receiving offers were absolutely ludicrous and obviously cooked up. What’s worse is that we were all told throughout the summer that we were doing a great job (some of us did not hear a word of “constructive criticism” all summer). A lot of shady stuff took place over the summer, and I’m happy to provide more info to anybody who is interested
From our source: “I want to know what other firms are cutting back!”
You’re not alone! Here’s an open thread for discussion of firms that (1) “no-offered” sizable portions of their summer classes or (2) didn’t extend offers to summer associates for dubious reasons.
Please discuss, in the comments. But please do NOT identify any individual summer associates by name. Thanks. Re: Brinks troubles? [Greedy Chicago / Infirmation]
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.