Kaye Scholer — which conducted stealth layoffs in November and open layoffs in February — is now cutting back on associate pay. The move will only affect associates that are on track to bill below 1600 hours this year, but affect them it will. The WSJ Law Blog reports:
Here’s the way it’ll work: All those first and second year associates who, as of June 1, were on pace to bill fewer than 1600 hours for the year will have 20% of what they stand to make over the last half of the year withheld. (In other words, the firm will hang on to 10% of the year’s salary.) For third year associates who fall beneath the threshold, the firm will withhold 15% of the July-December pay (or 7.5% of the full-year salary).
If, at the end of the year, the associates have hit 1600 hours, they’ll have their full pay restored.
That means that the misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child against Park Avenue lawyer Madlyn Primoff will be dismissed in six months as long as she does not get arrested or violate the order of protection issued for her two girls.
“There is no ongoing danger to the children,” Westchester County Assistant District Attorney Audrey Stone told City Judge Eric Press during a brief appearance at 9:30 a.m.
Outside of the courthouse, Primoff apologized:
“Clearly I made a mistake,” Primoff said. “But I truly love our children and I know I am a good parent.”
As one commenter already anticipated, that apology is as close as we are likely to get to a real life “I’VE ABANDONED MY CHILD” moment.
Do you think that the (lack of) punishment fits the crime? Some additional details after the jump.
Happy Monday. To kick off the new week, we have more law firm layoff news.
The latest dispatch comes from Kaye Scholer. The firm conducted layoffs in the Corporate and Finance department on Friday. The number of affected attorneys is not known, but is believed to be at least five, including some first- and second-year associates.
In November 2008, the firm claimed that it was dismissing some lawyers for performance-based reasons. Back then, managing partner Barry Willner stated: “While we are obviously mindful of the difficult economic situation affecting all of us, we have no current plans to engage in layoffs or other terminations outside of the normal course of our business.”
Alas, three months later, the economy looks worse than ever. So bad, in fact, that Kaye Scholer finds itself chasing after gangsters for legal fees.
More details about last week’s layoffs, after the jump.
After another craptasticical week for lawyerdom, here’s your weekly dose of wedding cheer. Unfortunately, like many of the firms we cover on ATL, LEWW has been forced to make some difficult decisions. We had to show one set of newlyweds the door–entirely for performance-related reasons, of course, because LEWW doesn’t do layoffs.
Last month, we reported that K&L Gates would stop paying bar association fees for their attorneys.
Now, we’ve learned that Kaye Scholer has decided to stop paying membership fees for the New York Intellectual Property Law Association:
As announced in October, each individual attorney now is responsible for maintaining his or her membership in NYIPLA. Both new membership and renewals for 2009 should be paid in full and received by NYIPLA no later than December 31, 2008.
I thought IP attorneys were a golden goose in this rapidly declining legal market? Why would you piss them off?
The annual membership dues are $200 for lawyers with more than five years experience, $130 for attorneys with less than five years under their belt.
Based on figures we’ve received, Kaye Scholer stands to save (wait for it …) $9,920.
Keeping your associates enrolled in an organization that helps them enhance their skills < $9K?
We’ve received a ton of comments and many tips that “stealth” layoffs are happening at Kaye Scholer. One commenter claimed:
[S]ince last summer, by my count at least 8 associates left voluntarily, as did 5 paralegals. An additional 8 associates were laid off and 4 paralegals were laid off with them. It seems to me that the fact that none of these paralegals were replaced, coupled with the fact that the only new blood brought into the department were the new 1st years in 2007 and again in 2008 shows that perhaps its the partners that are “dead wood” and not the people that worked for them.
Another commenter offered these numbers:
I was in the RE practice group. The breakdown of who was let go is as follows (and this does not include those that left voluntarily because they anticipated the coming of Armageddon). Class of:
2006 – (2)
2005 – (2)
2004 – (1)
2001 – (1)
1998 – (1)
Counsel – (1)
and at least 5 paralegals were let go.
I anticipate that the class of 2007 is next to be “reduced,” as there are now no remaining people out of the 5 associates from the class of 2006 and only 1 out of the 4 associates of the class of 2005.
A tipster put it all together like this:
This doesn’t even include those in corporate that were let go… The lit associates, some of whom billed close to 3000 hours last year, have absolutely no work, and are not going to even get close to the 2000 hours needed to make first tier bonus. Word going round is that there will be a mass round of layoffs for the lit people that didn’t get snipped after the first round in May.
What exactly is going on at Kaye Scholer? A response to the rumors by managing partner Barry Willner, after the jump.
Wachtell may be the most prestigious firm out there (according to Vault), but it has the industry’s worst Web site, as rated by Jonathan Thrope of the American Lawyer. We’re not completely sure we trust his judgment though, since he was “sucked in” by Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice’s animated dog. We waited for it to do something cool, but it just stretched and yawned.
According to Thrope, law firms are getting more serious about online marketing and using Web sites to create a distinctive brand. In general, law firm sites strike us as fairly dry. And boring. There are a few exceptions, like the Van Winkle Law Firm’s split personality bio page. North Carolina-based Van Winkle adds a personal touch to its site with dual bios (and photos) for many of its attorneys: one with professional highlights, and another focused on hobbies and life outside of work.
Other firms experiment with offbeat advertising, but seem to be using it to recruit attorneys, not clients. Like Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle’s creation of a Facebook page, and Stoel Rives’ free-style running promo on YouTube.
Of the assortment of staid sites in the AmLaw 100, five made Thrope’s cut for the worst. Check them out after the jump.
Judging from our traffic, readers are enjoying this rundown of the Vault 100. We do aim to please here at ATL. We appreciate those who have offered insights about firms in the comments.
Moving on to the next group (with prestige scores in parentheses):
As we move down the Vault list, “notable perks” are becoming less elaborate. This group is dominated by tales of free food, from endless soda at Greenberg Traurig to weekend doughnuts and muffins at Foley. And it appears that Pillsbury lacks a monopoly on cookie benefits; over at Cahill, lawyers are plied with “twice daily cookie trays.”
We note this food-related perk at Bingham: “If any lawyer takes out a more junior lawyer for drinks/dinner, he/she can submit the expense to the mentoring budget AND the senior person can get creditable hours.” Can you expense the roofies?
We invite you to compare and contrast these firms’ work, lifestyle, benefits… and cookies, in the comments. Earlier:Vault 100 Open Threads – 2009
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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