The last time we checked in with our friends at K&L Gates, they were busy infecting each other with swine flu. But now we’re wondering if K&L Gates is about to catch a different kind of sickness. A tipster reports:
[S]o we’re having a firm-wide associates meeting on the 18th people (i.e., me) are getting nervous have you heard anything?
Gosh, why is everybody always so pessimistic? You’re a Biglaw associate. Your firm is having a big meeting. What could possibly go wrong? They probably will be announcing a fabulous bonus payment. Maybe even a raise or a big time merger that will vault K&L Gates into even more prestigious air.
Sorry, I just wanted to see what it would have been like if Above the Law existed in 2004.
Many law firms have figured out that the best way to stop the spread of swine flu is to have their sick people stay home from work. Last week, we mentioned that Akerman Senterfitt had explicitly told its associates that staying home because of swine flu would not count against their vacation time.
The stay home message has also gone out at K&L Gates. But apparently one associate didn’t get the memo and showed up to work despite having flu-like symptoms. The associate was eventually diagnosed with the H1N1 virus.
The associate drew the ire of K&L Gates managing partner Peter Kalis. All associates at K&L Gates then received a blistering email from the managing partner.
Our inaugural Law Firm Swag Contest was about quality rather than quantity. We had just four entries, but they were goodies.
Eschewing trinkets and baubles, K&L Gates took the high road, urging recruits to change their world through an innovative website. Perkins Coie went green, arranging for trees to be planted in honor of interviewees. And who doesn’t like a customized iPod, the swag doled out by Dobrowski LLP, the Texas litigation boutique?
But in the end, dear readers, you voted with your feet. Following in the footsteps of the “Sex and the City” gals, or maybe Imelda Marcos, you made it all about the shoes. The customized Nike footwear doled out by Mayer Brown scored a runaway victory, with over 55 percent of the 2,100 votes.
Props to the person in the Mayer recruiting office who came up with the brilliant idea for this Niketown summer associate event. If you’re looking for new running shoes — or, for that matter, the opportunity to do appellate litigation in New York — then sprint in the direction of Mayer Brown! Earlier: Law Firm Swag Contest: The Finalists ATL Contest: Best Law Firm Swag of 2009
Perhaps it’s a sign of the times. We received a whopping four (4) entries in our inaugural law firm swag contest. Is law firm swag, like subsidized soda or staff attorney programs, another casualty of the recession?
But if we cancel the contest, then the terrorists win. So, onward!
We realize, of course, that not everyone approves of swag. See, e.g., this comment:
This is fairly disgusting…. I find this article particularly untimely, given that most law students are struggling to find good jobs, and many practicing attorneys are struggling just to keep the jobs they have.
Jeez, commenter 58 — lighten up! Considering that we cover law firm layoffs in excruciating detail, to the point where many accuse us of doomsaying and fearmongering, we are aware of the tough job market. But, even in the Great Recession, some people are still getting offers — along with a little swag to sweeten the pot. So what’s wrong with some fun to balance out the gloom?
In defense of law firm schwag, here’s a trend worth noting: “going green.” Firms are trying to be environmentally conscious in their swag selections, as well as more socially responsible in general. This may make schwag less “disgusting” to its critics.
A second theme of swag this year: customization. In this age of individualism and/or narcissism, firms are letting swag recipients have a say in what gets given away. Just as firms are moving away from lockstep in terms of pay and promotion, so too are they allowing for greater tailoring in terms of swag.
Check out the finalists, and vote for the best law firm swag, after the jump.
The penalty for having a partner announce layoffs on a train was six spots according to Vault. There have been other Pillsbury cutbacks. But the Acela incident happened when associates had Vault surveys sitting on their desks.
After the jump, let’s take a look at some of the other firms in this group.
Last night, George Sodini, 48, walked into an LA Fitness Center near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and opened fire on those exercising inside. Early reports say he killed three women and injured up to 15, including his ex-girlfriend. He then turned the gun on himself.
Sodini’s LinkedIn profile says he was a systems analyst at K&L Gates. We reached out to the firm this morning. A spokesperson responded to say:
K&L Gates is deeply saddened by last night’s events, and offers its condolences to the families and friends of all who were involved in this terrible tragedy.
ABC News has found Sodini’s online diary. We ran a WhoIs search and determined that the diary is not a hoax. A George Sodini of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, registered the website in August 2000.
It is incredibly disturbing.
* ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was secretly taped by a peephole videographer. Now the naked tape has made the rounds on the Internet. (Before you search, beware of viruses.) Her lawyer says Andrews plans to pursue criminal and civil charges against the peeper. [Fox News]
* “Morgan Lewis signals Armageddon.” [AmLaw Daily]
* Deutsche Bank allegedly tried to plant one of its lawyers as an intern at another law firm in order to gather intelligence. [Bloomberg]
* The Washington Post gets the first post-Gatesgate interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The incident has made the race scholar want to study race. In criminal justice. [Washington Post]
* Oregon court rules that divorce when kids are involved can be just as messy for same-sex couples as it is for heterosexual couples. [Courthouse News Service]
* Dan Rather’s lawsuit against CBS is back on and e-mails between K&L Gates and CBS experts are discoverable. [Reuters and New York Times]
Multiple independent sources report that K&L Gates had a minor spate of staff layoffs late last week. One particular tipster sums up the move nicely:
In the Dallas office last week, five staff members are given the boot, very stealth-like.
Reason given: Not enough work to go around.
As the staff numbers sharply decrease, many attorneys are doing a larger portion of clerical (a/k/a non-billable tasks.
Naturally one would wonder is the time spent filling in for an ever-decreasing staff being billed to clients?
Five legal staffers isn’t necessarily front-page news, but you have to check out how K&L Gates went about this round of cuts.
“Screaming” details, after the jump.
* The Supreme Court short list has been leaked. Surprise: There’s a man on the list! Under consideration are Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Appeals Court judges Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Pamela Wood, and California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno. [Associated Press]
* Bill Gates is firing his dad’s firm. Microsoft has dropped K&L Gates from its preferred legal providers list. [Seattle Times via ABA Journal]
* A murdered lawyer in Guatemala left behind a video blaming the president of the country for his assassination. [Wall Street Journal and Associated Press]
* Obama may not comply with the 2nd Circuit’s ordered release of detainee abuse photos. [Washington Post]
* “Michelle Obama: Why I left a ‘big ol’ fancy’ Chicago law firm.” [Chicago Sun-Times]
But since then, K&L Gates has made a number of smaller staff cuts in a number of its offices, including Pittsburgh and Chicago.
The firm refused to comment on its latest reductions. But our sources report that around 20 staffers have been let go from the firm today and over the last couple of weeks. The cuts are coming in the departments you’d expect when a firm is trying to reduce costs. Mailroom staff, the floating secretarial pool, these are the people getting hit right now.
Tipsters also report that in Chicago at least, the recent cuts are Bell Boyd & Lloyd legacy staffers.
Still, it’s got to be particularly tough to survive the K&L Gates March cuts, only to be caught on the backswing now. Nobody is truly “safe” in this economy, but you’d like job security to be a little more than a month-to-month proposition.
Kilpatrick Stockton fires associates after the jump.
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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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